The Autistic Movement: Do I Like it?

No, I don’t like the autistic movement for a lot of reasons. First, they take extreme and untennable positions. Especially, the rejection of any treatment for anything whatsoever. The regarding of every trait as a difference and not a disorder and that it should be afforded the same dignity. They’re not for reducing the scope of ABA, they want to abolish it. On the most extreme levels, they believe that the nonverbal, the extremely anxious, and every other condition needs to be accepted in neurodiversity.

Yet, that is all relatively superficial because underneath it all is a pathological self pity and the perception of their supposed eternal victimhood by society. That and the fierce “us versus them” ideology they’re developing. If one has nuanced views that ABA may be useful for more severe traits, like I do, then one is a traitor to neurodiverse purity. In the end, it is a dystopian paradigm where they see themselves as resisting a boogieman. I have met plenty of ABA providers and they aren’t malicious and the autistic movement would do well to work with them to diversify their therapies to be more neuroinclusive as opposed to turning them into villians.

They need to figure out what should be treated, what shouldn’t be treated, and how to go about treating. Additionally, they need to coordinate to create public service media and distribute the information to human resources departments, schools, government agencies, and so forth, on how to integrate their autistic employees and patrons. Things that would actually get autistic people into gainful employment, the middle class, and out from a lot of hardship and prejudice. Yet, that is all based on the idea that ignorance, as opposed to malice, is the main issue of autistic people.

To put it one way, the autistic movement never uses Hanlon’s Razor. They want to believe their suffering is the result of the malice of others as opposed to their stupidity and ignorance. If it is malice then they are victims of bullies whereas if it is not malice then they need to do the more arcane and technocratic work of educating institutions about the needs of people on the spectrum. They need to have diplomatic summits with HR departments and ABA providers when they are cosplaying French Resistance to a boogieman that doesn’t exist. The results will be that autistic people will remain unemployed, potential allies will be enemies, and, in the name of inclusivity, there will be nonverbal people whose sevantism could have led them to great feats of art or science had it not been for their nonverbal traits being defended as a intergal part of their identity when they were preschoolers.

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