8.12.2007

Autism and Neurodiversity

Last week's PostSecret included the postcard at right, which shows an illustration of an Autism Awareness ribbon and reads: "I AM NOT A PUZZLE! I DON'T WANT TO BE CURED."

This brings up an interesting point that I didn't have space to cover in my recent Nature Medicine story about autism and the parents of autistic children who believe the condition was caused by mercury-based preservatives in vaccines. While reporting for the story, I interviewed several parents of autistic children. They fell into two camps: Those who believed that vaccines poisoned their otherwise normally developing children so that they developed the neurological symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders; and those who believed that their child was born with a set of genes that would have caused autism regardless of whether their child had received a vaccination. At the heart of this bifurcation is a bigger question: Is autism a disease that can, or should, be "cured?"

One autism parent and fellow blogger, Kevin Leitch, says no. Leitch used to believe that mercury in vaccines caused autism, but changed his mind after several years of reviewing the scientific literature. His daughter's brain, he says, is not disease-ridden, but an example of "neurodiversity."
"The idea that shes damaged in some way became fairly repugnant to us," Leitch told me. "We just don’t see her like that. I objected very strongly to the language being used to describe them: poisoned, empty shells, dead souls, toxic train wrecks...You're talking about children here; we cant call them these things."
Another blogger, Autism Diva, has an autistic child and has been diagnosed herself with Asperger's Syndrome (an autism-spectrum disorder). Autism Diva, who obviously doesn't have a hard time accepting that the disorder has a genetic component, had similar sentiments:
"I love my autistic child. How could you think of re-wiring them and making them someone else?" she said. "My child’s very impaired and needs a lot of help. If I left her alone in the world she would die. That’s kind of scary, and I can't see a lot of parents signing up for that. But it's common, it's not a new thing. Not an infection that we all ought to be fighting, it’s a part of humanity. You get on a slippery slope to eugenics very quickly. Is every brain one day going to be uniform?"
This concept of "neurodiversity" is explored in depth—as it relates to autism but also to racism, sexual orientation, and even left-handedness—by yet another blogger, Kathleen Seidel at her website, neurodiversity.com.

11 comments:

Andrew Lehman said...

Autism seems to have several causes. The origins of one group is evolutionary in nature, but not evolution in terms of natural selection. Darwin proposed three theories. In this case the other two apply.

See cause of autism #1 http://www.neoteny.org/?p=83, cause of autism http://www.neoteny.org/?p=84, cause of autism #3 http://www.neoteny.org/?p=85.

For an overview click here http://www.neoteny.org/?cat=7.

Anonymous said...

governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
hippo jaw -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
honest riches -
hot video squeeze templates -
instant website creation -
jump manual -
keyword research pro -
linden method -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
micro niche finder -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
my traffic strategy -
nasty dirty money -
negative calorie diet -
no adware -
pc optimizer pro -
perfect uninstaller -
pergola plans -
pick the gender of your bady -
plr ebook club -
pregnancy without pounds -
profit lance -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -

Anonymous said...

quit smoking today -
ready made review sites -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry easy download -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
rocket spanish -
roulette sniper -
rss ground -
secret affiliate weapon -
secrets book -
spam bully -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
starting a day care center -
tattoo fever -
team idemise -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
the super mind evolution system -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
vincedelmontefitness -

Anonymous said...

vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
wrap candy -
zygor guides -
7day ebook -
360 fix kit -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
art of approaching -
beating adwords -
believe and manifest -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
convert 2 ev -
cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
digi cam cash -
digital media solution -
Auto Content Cash -
Banner Ad Blueprint -
Copy Paste Systems -
Every Other Day Diet -
Farm Ville Secrets -
Plugin To Green Profits -

Anonymous said...

Rapid Mass Traffic -
Tinnitus Miracle -
Tweetomatic Profiteer -
Woodworking 4 Home -
24 Hour Internet Business -
Blogging To The Bank -
Burn The Fat -
Earth 4 Energy -
Fap Turbo -
Fat Burning Furnace -
Fat Loss 4 Idiots -
Foex Auto Money -
Hemorrhoid Miracle -
Legit Online Jobs -
Magic Of Making Up -
Magni Work -
Micro Niche Finder -
Plr Article Software -
Pregnancy Miracle -
Software Submitter Pro -
The Affiliate Code -
The Diet Solution Program -
Truth About Abs -
Zygor Guides -
dl guard -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -

Anonymous said...

error killer -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
flatten your abs -
gamers testing ground -
gov auction -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov records -
herbal hair solution -
homebre ware -
home job group -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
inteli gator -
joanas world -
joyful tomato -
kidney stone remedy -
learn digital photography now -
learn elements now -
linden method -
lose man boobs -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -

Anonymous said...

muscle gain truth -
niche adsense themes -
ninety day powerseller -
pc optimizer pro -
pregnancy miracle -
pregnancy without pounds -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
seo elite -
spyware cease -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
stock assault -
talking to toddlers -
the action machine -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -

Anonymous said...

tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbo cash generator -
turbulence training -
twitter online system -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
water 4 gas -
wedding speech 4u -
wp goldmine -
wrap candy -
xsite pro -
zygor guides -
37 days to clean credit -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate prophet -
affiliate video brander -
anti spyware -
art of approaching -
atomic blogging -
auction classified cash -
automated cash formula -
bbq book -
bloggers pay check -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -

Anonymous said...

cheat your way thin -
chopper tattoo -
cleanup the profits -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
commission blueprint -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for bruxism -
declutter fast -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex ambush -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
instant article wizard -
jamo rama -

Anonymous said...

joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
maverick money makers -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
natural cancer treatments -
niche review templates -
nyhms warcraft guides -
pappa pc -
pc booster -
pc optimizer pro -
pc secret formula -
pda flix -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button ecover -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -

Anonymous said...

silent sales machine -
silver lotto -
spyware cease -
super affiliate handbook -
the 11 forgotten laws -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbulence training -
twitter rockstar -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warcraft millionaire -
warcraft wealth -
warp speed fat loss -
webcomp analyst -
wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -