I don't agree with some of their viewpoints, but I think Kristina Chew and Dora Raymaker highlight some serious issues fought on both sides of the ASD world. Here are their ten controversies and snippits of what they say. To read the whole article (and some of the reader comments), hit "read the rest" or click here to view their original post.

1. Personhood vs. stereotypes."
Changeling. Trapped. Suffering. Better off dead" vs "Genius. Savant! Mysterious and awe-inspiring... Just like Einstein"

2. Recovery from autism.
Who wants the cure? Parents or the individual with ASD? "Kristina writes more on this controversy in Once Upon a Time, I Tried to Recover My Son From Autism."

3. Support vs. cure.
The idea of "cure" is tied to the medical model of disability which holds that a person with a disability is "sick" and needs to be "cured;" some internal flaw has "caused" the disability...In contrast, the socio-ecological...perspective rejects the idea of "cure" as nonsensical (and in some ways offensive) as it does not view disability as a flaw that resides solely within an individual. Instead, this perspective asks, what needs to be done to bring the individual and their environment into better alignment?

4. Advocates vs. Advocates.

" 'Autism advocate' is a tricky term, as people who label themselves as such may have diametrically opposing perspectives on disability, autistic rights, and which issues are critical to address....There is a misconception that any autistic person who advocates for support and acceptance instead of cure must be 'high functioning' (see Controversy 5.) and not actually be disabled by their autism. "

5. The "autism spectrum."

"How can both a "high-functioning" college student with Asperger's Syndrome and a "low-functioning," non-verbal child with self-injurious behaviors both be on the autism spectrum?"

6. The so-called epidemic of autism.

7. Genes vs. environment.

"More and more scientific evidence points to genetics as the cause of autism, though scientists note that it's likely there is no single cause....In the end, focusing on what causes autism diverts attention away from considering issues of pressing concern to actual autistic persons and their families today, such as housing, employment and long-term supports for individuals who will need such. "

8. Fear of vaccines.
If there's no valid scientific evidence to support a link between vaccines and autism, why is there so much talk about such a link?
Wig's Note: For my own personal story of vaccinations, and why I think they play a part in activiating, if not causing, some forms of autism, call or email me. I do not agree with the authors on this point...

9. Social programs in theory vs. effectiveness in practice.
"There are a number of social service programs available for people with an autism...In theory, this sounds great, but in practice, such services are often wrought with controversy. "

10. Who can represent autistics?
"...many autism-related organizations do not include individuals with an autism spectrum diagnosis in their administration or policy. Some common arguments against inclusion are that autistic people wouldn't be mentally capable of representing their own interests, that any autistic person who would be capable must not be "really" autistic, or that it's not possible to find an autistic person who has the "right" ideology for the organization. "

What do you think?

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