Thursday, March 13, 2014

#StopCombatingMe

As previously mentioned, I have Asperger's. I am proud of it, god dammit it. I mean, it makes my life more difficult at times, but it's shaped who I am. I am comfortable with it.

So, on my social networking sites, people have been flipping out over The Combating Autism Act. So, I looked it up a bit... and it made me furious.

I am not defective. I am not something that needs to be combated. I do not need to be spoken for (*cough Autism Speaks cough*). I may not be the default, but it is not a fault.

Some may argue, oh, what about the autistics who can't speak / communicate, or who throw tantrums constantly??? shouldn't they be cured?

We may not know what they want. There are ways for autistic people to learn to communicate, even if not through spoken word. There are ways to treat autism without curing it.

Maybe it'd be beneficial to cure autism in these people?

Well, let's say that there were no moral implications with curing autism on its own. There's still moral implications with altering genes! Yeah, from the research done, there are multiple genes that might be responsible for autism. To prevent / cure autism, there'd have to be intensive gene alteration, which, besides just being dystopic, would cause far more problems than it'd "cure". 

Other people have suggested brain surgeries. Oh, yeah, let's unnecessarily crack open someone's skull to make everyone else's lives easier. Just like that one family who had their son's vocal chords altered because his tic was too loud, which raises issues of bodily autonomy. 

Bodily autonomy? You know, that human right? 

So, I'm just really angry.

I think I have comments enabled, so, go ahead and comment. I probably won't respond to them unless I feel it's necessary, but go ahead and comment anyway.

-Skylar

1 comment:

  1. I am a diagnosed autistic adult, but have intense impairments that have truly precluded my needs from being met. And the pride of successful autistics isn't enough for me to be content with my lot in life. I can't live only to praise my superiors. I had goals of my own, only to see them crushed. Combating disabilities isn't combating those who live. Neurological disabilities hurt individuals who live.
    I doubt you really think the general public would be fundamentally against cure for what it is, because you make scary descriptions of what the act of cure would be, and make senseless comparisons to alternation of vocal cords. What moral standard considers medical treatment/therapeutics as an offense to bodily autonomy? Which modern one? What kind of a life is someone compelled and trapped into living within their body if they have such pervasive disabilities? I thought bodily autonomy included the right to choose what to do with it for its needs.
    I'm not sure if all non-verbal autistics are completely fluent through typing on communication devices. What of those who aren't completely non-verbal per se, but who have impairments with language? What will let them have the equal opportunity to interact/communicate to the same extent that others can, and get all that comes with it, besides letting them appropriate the tangible tools/features into their nervous systems which presuppose that and other abilities?
    Why rely solely on the opinion of those with the best opportunites to communicate to determine policy for those who lack them? Why would anyone want to remain disabled? Why not err on the side of opinions consistent with the spirit of reality? If you approve of treating autism without curing it, why has your side even condemned nearly any treatment that has substantial proven benefit? So I'm not sure what rules you want.
    There are no moral problems with altering genes for important reasons, especially considering the dynamic nature of genetic material/lineage. Gene therapy isn't dystopic. I think many of the proposed opposite ideas are dystopic with the draconian policies they impose. I rather think that autistics deserve to benefit from emerging medically formulated technologies, just as the broader society itself tends to consider itself deserving through its contemporary consensus. This shouldn't be undermined by fears based on aversion to unfamiliar change. Why would perfected gene therapy cause problems?

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