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What do you think of the neurodiversity movement?

My husband and I have been reading a lot on this as our son is on the autism spectrum. He is very "high functioning", verbal and above average intelligence though. We generally tend to agree with the neurodiversity camp. I wonder if we'd feel the same way if he had classic autism as we do now? I'm very torn on this subject and would like some opinions (and please no bashing though that plea generally falls on deaf ears around here). I'm especially interested in opinions of moms with autism or who have children with autism. Thanks!

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Asked by feministmama at 1:39 PM on Nov. 4, 2009 in Kids' Health

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Answers (3)
  • All you can do is your own research, really. But asking others opinions may bring up questions you hadn't thought of yet.
    Would you feel the way you do now, if your child had classic autism? That's a bit irrelevant. You are dealing with how he is, not how he could have been. It sounds to me like you are doing your best by him. And that's great.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:38 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • As an individual with an ASD & the parent of a teen with an ASD, I agree that the general public needs to be more accepting of those with differences, neurological or otherwise, but I'm not sure how I feel about how those involved with the neurodiversity movement advocate for such acceptance for those w/an ASD.

    I know that I don't agree with those who are of the "cure at any cost" movement, b/c I don't think we need a "cure" so much as we just need help to learn how to function in general society as well as we are able. We all have our niche in this world and it would be nice to have help to find the right one, rather than people trying to constantly change who we are to make us fit into the niche they prefer, kwim? At the same time, I believe it is necessary to try to address any medical issues that may be contributing to maladaptive ASD behaviors, but if a person can get along w/o hurting anybody else, why force change?

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:53 AM on Nov. 5, 2009

  • One of my good friends has a child with "classic" autism - and she has moved from the "vaccines caused it" to embrassing the neurodiversity movement. She's come to understand that autism is part of who her child is - not something that was done to her child. She said she came to this understanding after spending time with hier neice with Downs Syndrome and realized that it's OK of someone's mind works differently than everyone else. So now she working to give her child the tools he'll need to have the best life he can.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:33 PM on Nov. 5, 2009

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