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Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

Except you didn't say the exact opposite.

The topic here isn't whether I personally want treatment; it is whether being autistic is a horrible thing that we should actively prevent anyone from suffering from. And as soon as people who are actually autistic talk about that, we get told that we're "high functioning" and thus don't count, because obviously what's at issue is "severe" autism. So the people who are the closest to having any information that they can relate are discounted.

Thing is, the point about a "spectrum", as opposed to a "continuum", is that it's not all more-severe/less-severe. There are tons of different ways in which the autistic population varies. The assumption that anyone who can write clearly can't possibly have any idea what it's like to have "severe" symptoms is incoherent.

So, recapping the impression your posts create:

1. If someone is autistic, and can't function, that is autism being non-functional. It's never something else that happens to be happening in the same person as autism.
2. If someone can communicate, their autism is "not severe", and they are "high functioning", and thus not entitled to an opinion on what it might be like to be "severely" autistic.
3. If an autistic person has anecdotal evidence, it's just one anecdote and doesn't matter. Your nephew, by contrast, is the gold standard of statistically significant and representative results.

Just seems a little unfair.

Look, I get the desire to have a way to make things better. And I can see the issue when you've got this relative who's incapacitated, and also there's a diagnosis. But it's not at all obvious at the current state of the art in the field that the problem there is autism per se, rather than some other condition, which isn't autism, and if that got treated he might be fine. Or maybe not. We don't know. But handwaving and dismissing people who have real and relevant experience, and telling us that we don't count because we're not "severely" autistic, implies that you do know. That you have all the answers, that you've found definite proof that this really is always and forever just autism, and that fixing it would make it all better.

And that's... Well, first, it's premature, and second, it's an invitation to eradicate all future autistics, of any variety, because no matter how precocious some of us are, we apparently spend a few months, maybe a year or two, not able to talk, and thus not able to decide whether we want to be treated. Or "cured".

Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

I was talking with a friend, who points out that there are people whose disconnect from their nervous system is severe enough that they have trouble controlling bowel movements, who can write clearly about it.

The assumption that anyone who can communicate is "high functioning" in a way that prevents them from having relevant opinions is just your attempt to split all the people whose humanity you'd have to acknowledge out from the people you're saying shouldn't exist and don't have opinions.

Seriously. Just... maybe let the people who have any experience at all be heard? Maybe don't just immediately jump in to shut us down, asserting that either we're too disabled for our opinions to count, or that we're too opinionated to count as disabled? You've got no skin in this game. How about you stop trying to make major life decisions for people you are not only unwilling to listen to, but are so hostile to that when you do accidentally hear something they say, you immediately put significant effort into discrediting it?

Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

So what you're saying is:

Anyone who is autistic and can communicate is not entitled to an opinion on whether being autistic sucks.

Think this through. Is that really a viable way to evaluate something? Keep in mind that vast numbers of autistics who "can't communicate" actually turn out to be able to once someone lets them.

I know someone who worked with some autistic kids. Non-verbal, "severe" autism, all that. They got a computer in the classroom, and she discovered: One of the kids could quite consistently enter "y" or "n" to answer questions. He had never demonstrated any ability to communicate before, and suddenly she could get clear information from him. So she showed this to the supervisor of the class, who said it was just chance events, and the kid couldn't communicate, and stop wasting my time.

In a universe where your attitude didn't exist, that might have gone differently, and the kid might have been taught to read, write, and communicate effectively. But instead, the supervisor categorized people as "high functioning" or "not high functioning" and the opportunity was missed.

Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

A tall person may well know a heck of a lot more about the experience of being tall than an endocrinologist, and might be better qualified to speak to the question of whether we should try to eliminate all tallness from our population because it's so debilitating.

The problem with the "severe autism is horrible" thing is that it's not really a useful claim. It's more useful to look at individual cases, where in general we find that the "severe" problem isn't autism per se, except sometimes maybe it is. But!

The real use of the claim isn't in treatment. It's political. It's a way for our anonymous coward to, safely protected from any criticism or reflection on the rest of his life, try to get all the people who have actual hands-on experience of what we are talking about silenced, by saying we don't count, and we aren't real, and we aren't what's being talked about.

Imagine that someone claimed that sickle-cell anemia was being "severely black", and insisted that all the black people who have normal blood cells shut up about so-called "racism" because they don't know what it's like to be "severely black".

Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

No no no yourself.

What's disgusting is that because you hate people and look down on them, you insist that the people who didn't get screwed over by your hostility don't count, and aren't "real". And you may say you don't hate people, but your massive disgust reaction, and total failure to read what people are saying, are exactly what a bigoted response looks like. Your brain has shut down because Disgusting Things.

What makes you so sure we haven't met people with "severe" autism? Only your self-referential assertion that anyone who's functional must have non-severe autism. But your very narrow experience is not the whole of reality. People who actually work with a whole lot of people on the autism spectrum quickly conclude that "severe autism" is not the distinguishing factor. It's not "more or less autistic". There's degrees of many different traits. There's other factors. Some people who are autistic also have ADHD. Some don't. Some might have OCD, or bipolar disorder. All of these things result in different outcomes. So does shitty parenting.

Most importantly, the entire point of all the posts you are so smugly condemning is that we should teach people how to cope with their disability. See, no one argues against that. We are all in favor of it.

What we are opposed to is the idea of "curing" us. Which is not at all the same thing as "teaching us the skills we need".

Here's the thing. I am, in fact, happy the way I am. I'm super happy. I'm happy because, rather than trying to break me and make me into something totally different, people taught me coping skills and worked with me.

So shut the fuck up. You are arguing against a non-existent strawman. No one's arguing against helping autistics cope by teaching them useful skills.

Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

Well, actually, yes, lots of people who appear to have the brain mechanics of "sociopaths" are, in fact, extremely useful to society. If we completely eradicated those traits, we'd lose a lot of very useful people. The question is whether they learn coping skills that allow them to adapt.

Your cousin's situation sucks, but you're making a big leap when you assert that that is all "autism", and not some mix of autism, other cognitive disorders, or just plain mistakes made in raising him. Lots of autistic people are totally dysfunctional when no one has taught them usable skills.

A lot of kids who were believed to be "nonverbal and incapable of learning language" turn out to be perfectly able to read and write. Give them a keyboard or a pen and paper, and suddenly they're not only capable of communicating, but obviously quite smart. Give them these tools early, they grow up "high-functioning". Deny them these tools and torture them to try to make them stop waving their hands around, they grow up incapacitated.

The bulk of the problem there isn't the kids, it's the people trying to break them. Sometimes, you try to break people, they end up broken.

Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

Well, that's the thing. "Different isn't necessarily good" is also so broad and obvious that it's meaningless.

The amputees case is significantly different in a key respect: People who have a limb amputated aren't suddenly a different person.

The rest of the body is what you have; the brain is who you are. I think people are entitled to a vote in whether they want to exist or not.

Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

This is ... basically completely wrong. The sum total of the diagnostic difference between autism and asperger's in the DSM-IV was early language acquisition. That's it. There were no other real differences.

I don't "have asperger's". I'm autistic. Insisting that only people who can't process information are "really" autistic is pretty much pointless. That's not what the word means, and it's pretty insulting for you to sit around declaring what the terms "really" mean. Are you an actual qualified psychologist? No? Then why exactly do you suddenly feel qualified to dispute the diagnoses of the professionals so aggressively?

Comment Re:Good News / Bad News (Score 1) 182

I'm not sure how many "many" is. I've encountered exactly one, and she was a victim of severe ongoing emotional abuse. It's a lot like the large number of people who want to be "cured" of being gay because everyone around them is a dick to them about it.

Take away the abuse, the problem goes away.

Hint: I've met dozens of autistics. All of them had learned to do social interaction things at least somewhat. The ones who had the hardest time weren't "more autistic", they were victims of parents who didn't bother to explain anything to them.

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