Monday, March 29, 2010

Times article explores the 2 sides of autism advocates

Nominee to Disability Council Is Lightning Rod for Dispute on Views of Autism

"When President Obama nominated Ari Ne’eman to the National Council on Disability, many families touched by autism took it as a positive sign. Mr. Ne’eman would be the first person with the disorder to serve on the council.

But he has since become the focus of criticism from other advocates who disagree with his view that society ought to concentrate on accepting autistic people, not curing them.

A hold has been placed on Mr. Ne’eman’s nomination, which requires Senate confirmation. Whether the hold is related to the criticism of Mr. Ne’eman and what it might take to lift it is unclear." Continue reading

I do not agree with Mr. Ne'eman's stance on an approach to autism. While it would be a huge step forward for a person with ASD to serve on the council, the harm his opinions could cause to research efforts in the near future are not worth it. I understand Mr. Ne'eman's arguments and agree that there should be more support to help those with high functioning autism to fit into public life, however this is only a small number of those with ASD. His approach would leave behind the children that never develop speaking or other communication skills. It would leave behind those that are firmly stuck in their own world in order for a few to fit more comfortable into ours.

1 comment:

  1. Katie, I love your blog! I am learning a lot from you. This article was interesting; I hadn't thought about this division in autism advocacy.

    I agree with you on this. I also wonder if research for a cure could co-exist alongside efforts to accommodate and embrace people currently living with autism. I guess the key is making sure research for a cure is not stymied.