“Is everyone entitled to their opinion about autism?”

Subtitle 1: “Why yes Dorothy everyone including me!”

Subtitle 2: I like the Wizard of Oz starring Dorothy and her friends… 🙂

Currently circulating on the autism related Facebook groups is an op-ed critiquing Dr. Temple Grandin written in 2013 by a well known autistic blogger by the name Lydia Brown.

A lot of my tribespeople respect this blogger and I’m beginning to think that her opinions are considered sacrosanct based on the comments that I’ve read.

I don’t agree with her opinions about Dr. Grandin but she is entitled to express them.

However in the manner that this particular op-ed was written, it was more than a critique and almost painting Dr. Grandin as an anti-autistic activist. 🙂

Under the title of the op-ed was, “Trigger warning for ableism”. Really? 🙂

I’ve read all of Dr. Grandin’s books on autism, read many of her essays and interviews, and watched several of her videos including her TED talks.

Dr. Grandin does speak for a lot of us autistics in the way that she frames issues helping many of us to identify with what she’s talking about.

Most of the time Dr. Grandin is repeating the same suggestions about how to help autistics which includes helping autistics be the best at what they like to do, period.

It’s pretty basic but needs to be regurgitated often to get the point across.

At other times, Dr. Grandin talks about how her mother helped her to get to where she is today and my mother did the same for me.

And one thing that her mother did and my mother did too was to teach me good manners.

In order to teach a child good manners, whether autistic or not, requires discipline, repetition, and brain conditioning. 🙂

Apparently that type of training is considered a form of ABA Therapy by this blogger, at least that was my take on it based on reading others’ remarks.

What really annoyed me about this op-ed was the way that the blogger twisted the facts regarding Dr. Grandin’s messages and presumed to know exactly what is going on in Dr. Grandin’s mind about other autistics, especially those considered severely autistic.

After thinking about that, my reaction was that this particular blogger at that point in time in 2013 was a little jealous that Dr. Grandin is more famous than she is. That’s my opinion.

The bottom line is that many autistics including myself are pushing the concept of Neurodiversity which embraces the notions of Acceptance and Inclusion opposed to just being ‘aware’ that we exist.

Furthermore, most autistics identifying with Neurodiversity also identify with the Autistic Union’s set of principles.

One of those principles addresses using sound scientific research in order to mitigate the comorbid health conditions that are often associated with autism.

If one agrees with both aspects above, then there is room at the table to discuss “fixing” certain aspects related to autism without deleting our existence.

That’s my opinion on this slightly old but currently discussed op-ed and I recommend that you form your own after reading it.

[To be continued…]

Critiquing Temple Grandin

‘Trigger warning for ableism’ 🙂

Author: David Moore Boulware

Me = [scientist, researcher, writer, photographer, autistic savant, alter ego (Leonard (the friendly vegetarian lizard from an alien oval planet)), ...]

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