Call me silly but the title of the her blog strikes me as an oxymoron. You want to talk about the joy of children, sure. The joy that your child brings to you, that works too. But the joy of autism? Really? Your child has autism and that fact brings you joy? Anyway...
The post is supposedly about how autism is viewed in Canada. It starts out by talking about the initial diagnosis process - any parent whose child has autism has been there. But then we get to this passage:
Whatever the entry point into the foray of autism, what lies ahead is largely dictated here in Canada of what the government dictates is the proper autism “intervention.” Based on the notion that autism is a disease or something “wrong,” the government of Canada continues to endorse an intervention promoted by a series of parents in Canada.
That statement just floors me. If you have a condition that is defined in something called the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" then here's a hint:
There is something wrong.
This government-stamped intervention is Applied Behavioural Analysis or ABI (Applied Behavioural Intervention). Based on a history of viewing cognitive disability as an illness, a human deficiency, and of treating Canadians with cognitive disabilities as less than human in our own history, the Canadian Government has continued to base its autism policy not in the social model, but in this deficiency or medical model
Here's another hint, by definition autism is a medical condition. If you define it to be something other than what the word means we are no longer talking about the same thing.
Notice if you will the subtle association between ABA and treating people as "less than human". As I have written about before this is a common ND theme.
And there is still more
As long as we continue to view autistic people as requiring an intervention to make them “better,” our system can never claim that it accepts diverse citizens
People with autism, especially young children, certainly do require intervention to help then learn the skills that are required to survive in the world. But I guess little things like being able to dress yourself, learning not to injure yourself, understanding that you can't run out in the street directly in front of a car, or really silly things like learning how to talk aren't really making someone "better". If we all just accept our "diverse citizens" and possible sing a verse or two of kumbaya everything will be perfectly fine.
Acceptance will not help your child be able to survive in the world on their own. If that were all it took then there would have never been a need to institutionalize people with autism. That was the common response to autism only a short few decades - do we really want to drop the interventions that have given people with autism a chance of being able to function on their own in society?
Oh wait, that wasn't very accepting of me. Of course there are many high profile people out there with autism who are doing fine in living in society and many of them have not had the interventions that are being talked about. However, I think they are the exception rather than the rule and that the silent majority could have benefited from the extra support and help.
The thing I just don't get it is why people like Ms Klar go around spouting this nonsense. She obviously loves her child and wants the best for him. And I am assuming that she is doing what she thinks is best for him. But what possible reason can there be for trying to reclassify what is a medical condition as just a "difference" or for trying to say that there is nothing "wrong" in autism.
I just don't get it.
Edited to add : Apparently I am not the only one who doesn't like the post.