Take a look at Foresam's response to my BADD post:
Ari Ne'eman is not autistic. He has Asperger's. You have no clue what low functioning autism is all about. Ne'eman is intentionally confusing the issue, as are you.
Well, at least Foresam was direct and to the point. On the other hand, I thought my post was strong enough to at least influence a few opposers or to at least incite positive change.
Alright Foresam, I've been tossing around your commentary and here's my response:
Yes, you are right, Ari Ne'eman is Asperger's autistic. And, as you know, Asperger's is a form of autism belonging to the Autism Spectrum Disorder family within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Several Autistic community members refuse to distinguish themselves by type of autism, as it may lead to classism both inside and outside of the community. Please note that the Autistic community is working to secure improvement of life for all autistic people. Categorizing autistic people hurts the community. It is also subjective, as autistic people often have uneven skills. For example, an autistic person may be a whiz at computers, or at solving advanced math calculations, yet be completely unable to attend to self-care needs. Also important is that many people on the spectrum--despite the label they may have been given--require services and support in order to reach goals and to level the playing field.
It is untrue to assume that the Autistic community includes only those who fall under the label of Asperger's or "High-Functioning Autism." There is a great number of autistics who face extreme challenges, and who deal with co-morbid conditions, who are just as much a part of the Autistic community as any other autistic person. The Autistic community is kept alive by members from all walks of life, including those who live in group homes or other similar environments.
Perhaps it would be of interest to you to learn that ASAN is most definitely not run solely by those who are Asperger's autistic. ASAN receives invaluable service, commitment, work, input, and collaboration from members who represent several facets of the autism spectrum.
On the contrary, I am well aware of what you assume I "have no clue" about. Let us momentarily move to my experience working as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant within a Self-Contained Classroom for high-school students on the autistic spectrum.
One of my favorite students was a female who was nonverbal except for a few select vocalizations. She struggled to read early elementary sentences and books and also struggled with learning how to write and type. She lacked self-care skills, engaged in frequent flapping and rocking, screamed out often, hit herself, and had a lot of rigid rituals she needed to maintain.
At first, I did not know how to relate to this student. Matter of fact, she frightened me, especially when she screamed and commenced to biting herself. That noted, I never once saw her as a monster, or viewed her as someone who should be despised, hated, discarded, and left to dwell on the fringes of society. My instincts drove me to find out how to best speak *her* language. Within two weeks, we grew to understand each other and shared times that could rival the most beautiful sunsets on earth.
I am telling this to you because I often wonder what is so hard about accepting people who are different. Seeing as to how there is no cure for autism, should the girl I spoke of above, and others like her, have to live in shame for who they are? Why do we wish to stamp out and obliterate people we fear? Do they not deserve the same respect, rights, and understanding as any other human being? The girl above did not need to be a typical person to bring love and magnificence into my life and into the lives of others.
Is it not my responsibility, as a fellow human being, to help those I can in the ways I know best? The Autistic community pushes only for what has been proven to help autistic people most.
I happened to notice that you are a Louis Armstrong fan. I love that song "What a Wonderful World." Are disabled people not also a part of this world? After all, we're all here for some reason or another.
To accept or not to accept, that is the question.