Nothing to be Proud Of

As I was looking for something on Wikipedia today, I discovered that it is Autistic Pride Day. It is a day set aside to celebrate “neurodiversity”. Give me a break.

I’m sorry, but this can go in the bin with all the other “Pride” days. Why on earth is “neurodiversity” something to be proud of?

I have nothing against those on the autistic spectrum, if there is such a thing. I know there are even some kids who do have a wiring malfunction in their brain and are not just riding the cultural autism wave because they have been allowed to not behave in social situations and this is a way to explain away their sociopathy.

There certainly is neurodiversity. Everyone is wired a bit different. Big deal. Some people are wired so differently that they can’t function in normal society. That’s just the way they are. Inasmuch as they are disadvantaged, then we have a moral responsibility to take care of them. They shouldn’t be looked down upon. That’s just the way they are.

It’s just like I’m a cripple. I’m missing part of a leg. Normally people have two full-length legs with a foot on the end of each. Thanks to a very slippery road and my unfortunate placement between a stationary vehicle and one spinning out of control, I don’t. I can’t do some things now. I have pain a lot of the time. And I’m a strong advocate for increased access for the physically disabled. But I don’t there should be a “Mobility Impaired Pride Day”. I don’t there there should be some sort of special colour or ribbon or symbol.

Autistic Pride Day is the brainchild of Aspies for Freedom (AFF), a group of people with Asperger’s Syndrome – considered by some doctors and researchers to be a condition on the autistic spectrum, though how to classify it is a matter of some controversy.  AFF want autism to be given special minority status – thus joining the burgeoning number of other minorities (so many that I’m not sure there is a majority left). If anyone can achieve this it would be AFF, because once they set their mind on something. . .

(That was so un-PC. Maybe it will generate some comments. You know what they say, any blog traffic is good blog traffic. BTW, any AS readers can respond with something about cripples.) 

Just because you shouldn’t be ashamed of something does not mean it is something to be proud of. You are who you are. You play from the hand you’ve been dealt. “Pride” days do nothing for promoting diversity or incorporating differently-abled people into mainstream society. 

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2 Responses to Nothing to be Proud Of

  1. Margi says:

    No majority left? Oh no! That needs its own day. I think we should call it Dinosaur Pride Day. As one of my lovely wee patients once said to me, “You’re so f***ing awful, hen, you’re almost cute.” Would make good motto I think. What colour for wristbands?

  2. M. Shepherd says:

    While this is most certainly a trollish entry, per your admission that comments may roll in as some sort of desired confirmation that you are doing something worthwhile I’m sure, I felt that taking the bait would do little harm.

    The issue of pride among those on the spectrum is remarkably similar to other groups who face pressure from their societies to fit within a concept of normal that remains largely undefined. Without identifying a problem beyond the undesired behavioral issues, many countries and their peoples have opted to lump a bunch of people into a vague category that fosters a herd-like response to do something about a poorly understood issue of their own creation. As a consequence many functional individuals now suffer discrimination due to the resulting stereotyping, snake-oil cures, and attempts to circumvent undesired behaviors through aversion therapies which generate trauma far worse than the supposed condition.

    Although parents may be concerned or ashamed of their children exhibiting behavior which allows grouping that child into a category, there are issues of ethics and historical consequences that need to be addressed. In the present, homosexuals are still forced by parents to undergo treatments which range from bizarre religious rituals to behavioral modification therapies and drug regimes. These untested and often damaging cures are likewise used on children who are diagnosed autistic. Such hysterics further allows for a diagnosis to excuse physical abuse which has resulted in the acquittal of several parents who murdered their children.

    The assumption by many is that the categorical lump that is autism equates to a costly burden upon societies which is the equivalent of a physical handicap. That assumption is incorrect and I advise you reconsider how you yourself came to such a conclusion. Most people on the spectrum can function as well as those off of the spectrum if afforded the opportunity of equal access to address the issue, seek educational opportunities which meet needs similar to those provided for dyslexics, and protection from workplace discrimination. Additionally, children need to be protected from physical and psychological abuse from parents, special interest lobbiest’s must be required to legitimize their claims before laws/funding is passed, and all claims of treatment should be verified by an objective third party prior to being allowed on the market.

    That is what minority status means, it is a desire for protection from well-intentioned but often harmful actions which can be removed when societies manage to adapt in a manner which no longer threatens a given group.

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