Autism is Not a Disease

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 26 Dec 2004 13:00:00 GMT
# I made my mother's Chocolate Mint Pie yesterday for the community Christmas pot-luck dinner. Yum.

# Amy Harmon at The New York Times - How About Not 'Curing' Us, Some Autistics Are Pleading BugMeNot - The Aspie school in New York's Catskill mountains doesn't treat autistic people as diseased. As well they apparently shouldn't. [cafe]

The new program, whose name stands for Autistic Strength, Purpose and Independence in Education - and whose acronym is a short form of Asperger's - is rooted in a view of autism as an alternative form of brain wiring, with its own benefits and drawbacks, rather than a devastating disorder in need of curing.

It is a view supported by an increasingly vocal group of adult autistics, including some who cannot use speech to communicate and have been institutionalized because of their condition. But it is causing consternation among many parents whose greatest hope is to avoid that very future for their children. Many believe that intensive behavioral therapy offers the only rescue from the task of caring for unpredictable, sometimes aggressive children, whose condition can take a toll on the entire family.


The effort to cure autism, they say, is not like curing cancer, but like the efforts of a previous age to cure left-handedness. Some worry that in addition to troublesome interventions, the ultimate cure will be a genetic test to prevent autistic children from being born.

# Jim Sinclair at The Autism Information Library - Don't Mourn For Us - the 1993 essay that sparked the autism-is-not-a-disease movement. Wow! [faisal]

Autism isn't something a person has, or a "shell" that a person is trapped inside. There's no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person--and if it were possible, the person you'd have left would not be the same person you started with.

This is important, so take a moment to consider it: Autism is a way of being. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism.

Therefore, when parents say,
"I wish my child did not have autism,"
what they're really saying is,
"I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead."
Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.


What it comes down to is that you expected something that was tremendously important to you, and you looked forward to it with great joy and excitement, and maybe for a while you thought you actually had it--and then, perhaps gradually, perhaps abruptly, you had to recognize that the thing you looked forward to hasn't happened. It isn't going to happen. No matter how many other, normal children you have, nothing will change the fact that this time, the child you waited and hoped and planned and dreamed for didn't arrive.

This is the same thing that parents experience when a child is stillborn, or when they have their baby to hold for a short time, only to have it die in infancy. It isn't about autism, it's about shattered expectations. I suggest that the best place to address these issues is not in organizations devoted to autism, but in parental bereavement counseling and support groups. In those settings parents learn to come to terms with their loss--not to forget about it, but to let it be in the past, where the grief doesn't hit them in the face every waking moment of their lives. They learn to accept that their child is gone, forever, and won't be coming back. Most importantly, they learn not to take out their grief for the lost child on their surviving children. This is of critical importance when one of those surviving children arrived at t time the child being mourned for died.

# L. Neil Smith - On Concealed Carry and the NRA - I encountered this while doing a Google search for something else. I am occasionally tempted to trade in my inalienable rights for a little temporary relief from gummint hassle. This article is a good reminder of why that is a really bad idea.

Those who beg permission from the government to exercise a right they already possess are not free men and women. They're Tories; they're grovelers. They'd beg permission from the government to breathe, if they were told it was required of them. If they were told it was required of them, they'd beg permission from the government, even to grovel.

A license -- government permission -- to carry a concealed weapon is nothing but the latest kind of gun control, the latest kind of groveling. There's no way to euphemize it; there's no way to excuse it. It isn't necessary: nobody needs the government's permission to carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise. And it's illegal under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution for government, at any level, to require it. That's right, it's illegal; and it's a primary goal of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus to jail those in government, elected or otherwise, who obstruct the Bill of Rights in any way.

It's also dangerous: it converts a fundamental human right into a privilege which the government may see fit to deny to anyone, for any reason, at any time is wishes. How anyone could be aware of history for the last hundred years -- especially the last fifty -- and not acknowledge this basic truth is beyond understanding.

# Robinson Armament - XCR™ Modular Weapon System - Alex Robinson's new rifle "will begin mass production very shortly". There are links on this page to an image gallery and videos (no muzzle rize at all on this puppy in full auto .223 or 7.62x39).

XCR™ with vertical grip
From Mr. Robinson's December 8 news update:
The retail price of the standard XCR-L 5.56 is $1,249.99 which is similar to the price of an AR15 Flattop with a good rail system added. However, the XCR-L offers so much more - quick-change, free-floating barrel; caliber change; lower recoil; better ergonomics; better reliability; and stronger parts. If you have any questions or comments, we'd like to hear them. We are taking orders now for shipment sometime in January into February.
According to the video page, it will be available in .223, 6.8 Rem, and 7.62x39:
Caliber conversion depicted is the same for all calibers, including 6.8. In other words, one need only substitute the barrel, bolt, and magazine to go from one caliber to another. High capacity 7.62x39mm magazines for the XCR-L with a bolt hold open feature are under development. Rifles capable of fully-automatic fire are only sold to military and law enforcement agencies. Semi-automatic versions of all rifles are available for sale to the public in all states except where prohibited by state law. All NFA Rules Apply.

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