Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Carving Up the Spectrum

Harold Doherty yearns for the day when the autism spectrum can be amputated of all who do not meet his personal criteria for being low-functioning and severe. But note how odd his argument sounds when juxtaposed to the very evidence Mr. Doherty calls on his own behalf. Mr. Doherty says: the “I Am Autism” video is directed at the depiction of some of the harsh realities that often accompany Autistic Disorder.

But in point of fact, that video contradicts Mr. Doherty's yearning. “I Am Autism” presents a fairly sizable number of individuals, and I am certain if their diagnoses were checked, not all would have Autistic Disorder. More than likely, the individuals presented in the “I Am Autism” video would represent quite the range of current outcomes—from those Mr. Doherty might characterize as low-functioning or severe, to those many would agree are high functioning, or perhaps even (gasp) Aspergers.

Ironically enough, it is the producers of “I Am Autism” who gather these individuals under the common heading of autism. It is the producers of “I Am Autism” who see no reason to make any distinction. For them, autism of any kind is something inherently evil—something to be battled against and eradicated forthwith.

It is true, Mr. Doherty, that the producers of “I Am Autism” would indeed amputate from the autism spectrum all who do not meet your personal criteria for being low-functioning and severe. But they are not going to stop just there—they are going to amputate all the rest.

1 comment:

jypsy said...

Given that everyone in that video; all those very young children were required to "read, complete, and send" the Personal Release and Copyright Grant found here I don't think it's likely any of them would meet Mr. Doherty's criteria for "low-functioning and severe".