Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Autism infighting won’t go away

I’d love to be proved wrong on this, but I don’t see it happening and here’s why. As reported today by Disability Scoop:
“‘The infighting that a lot of times characterizes the autism community needs to stop,’ said Scott Badesch, president of the Autism Society. ‘Until we come together, we’re not going to be able to move the needle on enhancing autism services.’
“Tension has been brewing for years with parents and even professionals at odds over everything from possible causes of the developmental disorder to whether precious dollars should be spent on research or services for those on the spectrum.
“As a result, Badesch said he sees many other interest groups getting a stronger reception locally and in Congress, citing elderly Americans and the gay and lesbian community as examples. By working together with a united front, Badesch said he hopes autism advocates can be more productive.”
The reason that infighting won’t go away is that too often, people with autism are excluded from discussions of what is best for people with autism.

In a classic example, Disability Scoop refers to differing opinions between “parents and professionals” as if they alone shape the dialogue.

Later in the write-up, Disability Scoop says this:
“Inquiries from Disability Scoop to three other national groups advocating for individuals with autism about the proposed summit did not yield any immediate response.”
Again, did Disability Scoop attempt to obtain statements from an organization of self-advocates? Like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, for example? The language used by writer Michelle Diament suggests not.

This is why autism infighting won’t go away.

Look for additional perspectives on autism infighting, curated with Storify.

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