The next time I read anyone saying that “autism is not a disorder but simply a different way of being,” and using the stupid label neurodiversity (or worse, the reverse term neurotypical), I’m pointing them to this study:
Autism Costs Society An Estimated $3 Million Per Patient, According To Report
Each individual with autism accrues about $3.2 million in costs to society over his or her lifetime, with lost productivity and adult care being the most expensive components, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a theme issue on autism spectrum disorders.
read the rest of the article at Science Daily
Sure we should treat autistics like human beings rather than broken misfit toys to be fixed. That goes without saying really. As does the idea that autistics should be supported in a manner that best supports their mindset.
Cure = Genocide!?!
There is no way to cure autism once it is set in, and I doubt we’ll ever find a cure that works that way. However, there may be hope to tackle it earlier through gene therapy or other means during the fetal development process. Some of the anti-cure zealots of the Autism rights movement refer to this form of prevention as genocide.
Now where they do have a bit of a point is when we only have the technology for prenatal diagnosis but not treatment. In this situation the mother is given only the options of either going forward with the pregnancy or termination. this is the scenario put forth by the reactionary people behind the The Autistic Genocide Clock.
Of course all this assumes that all our diagnosis tests are really accurate and highly predictive, which is a BIG if; usually the level of prognostication is low unless it’s a blatant physical defect. Most likely the parents will be told something like: “The test results show that your fetus has a XX% chance of developing autism. This is not a guarantee that your child will have autism and we don’t know where on the spectrum of autism your child will be. It could be mild or it could be severe” After, this it’s up to the mother.
It’s not good news to be sure, and some mothers will terminate out of fear for the worst. However, even if it’s at the mild end of the spectrum it still requires a lot of support both emotionally, physically, and financially, which some mothers may feel they couldn’t handle. Even in this situation it is the mother’s choice; just like when it’s the mother’s choice when she doesn’t feel she could handle a “normal” baby. It’s really not that much different.