By choosing to have the neurodiversity symposium encompass and showcase facilitated communication, the key promoters of the construct are signalling their support for a debunked communication form and actively supporting its continued use. And they are obviously, openly anti-cure. Based on the language here, one could argue that if an autistic individual happens to communicate by smearing feces, that this should be celebrated. I hope that's not what they mean.
Perhaps there's a failure to think through here on their part, but regardless, it seems to be an extreme position that I can not, after having worked for two decades with my son to help him overcome obstacles, to learn to communicate, to function in the wider world, support. I have not sought to make him neurotypical, but I have worked to help him function better, to master new skills, to become more autonomous (the same as I've done for my daughters). Imagine if I'd chosen to celebrate his (and their) autistic forms of communication and self-expression involving feces instead.Since I have been somewhat critical of Kim Wombles in the past, I though I should take this opportunity to point out when she gets something right. As I have been saying for years now, the neurodiversity movement is not a good thing for the majority of people with autism because it ignores the needs of those who are disabled by their autism and creates unrealistic ideas of what it means to have autism.
Don't get me wrong, the basic idea of neurodiversity isn't a bad one. Every person - disabled or otherwise - is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity, and you should respect a person's right to be different. But like other grand philosophical systems (i.e. socialism), there is a disconnect between the lofty ideal and what it looks like in practice.
In practice, neurodiversity starts out with a respect for the individual and acceptance of their differences, but quickly degrades into an anti-cure, anti-treatment movement that attacks people who are trying to help their loved ones.
Acceptance is a wonderful thing, but no amount of acceptance is going to give my children the ability to function on their own. Acceptance can't teach them how to talk or socialize. Nor will any amount of acceptance give them the ability to take care of themselves or live independently when they are older.
In practice, neurodiversity is a movement that ignores the fact that most people with autism are actually disabled by their autism. It is a movement that ignores the major challenges that autism creates and instead focuses almost exclusively on the "autistic quirks" of extremely high functioning.
There is a fundamental difference between the "quirks" of someone who doesn't like velvet but can function well enough to serve on the IACC and a child that can't talk, can't socialize, and is almost incapacitated by their rigidities. The neurodiversity made up of the former but pretends to speak for the needs of the latter while at the same time ignoring their very real needs.
So, I am happy to see that the neurodiversity movement has lost a follower. Good job Kim.