Good News: The students featured on the segment were autism positive, especially Daniel Corcoran, who speaks for himself in helping his college classmates understand why he relates to others a bit differently.
Bad News: Nightline's reference to Daniel's self-identification as a "daring step". Enough with the disability courage rhetoric. We shouldn't need to be daring to say who we are. That's a problem.
Good News: Daniel's mom, Karrie Oslick, knows that people with Asperger syndrome have "a full range of emotions. "
Bad News: Why is this even a question?
Good News: In at least one NJ middle school, it's now considered cool to hang out with kids who are different. According to the show, "no one is bullied here".
AS is beginning to be understood as a legitimate difference.
Bad News: Jed Baker states that 90% of kids with AS are bullied. Yet legislation and enforcement of anti-bullying acts are still scarce.
Good News: Daniel Corcoran lets the world know that he "couldn't be happier" with who he is.
Bad News: On Nightline's website, Daniel is said to "suffer" from Asperger syndrome. Somehow I missed the part where happiness = suffering.
Good News: No mention of autism needing a "cure"; no bogus "treatment plans" for AS. Social differences are negotiated between AS and NT students.
Bad News: On the page to the text of this show, Nightline includes the obligatory link list.
The links include Autism Speaks.
I have written to ask that this be removed and replaced with a link to neurodiversity.com, ANI or autistics.org. Please join me in this effort. Nightline may of course support Autism Speaks if it so chooses. But linking through an article meant to encourage a positive (or at least neutral) view of AS is a big step backward. Yet another failure of the media to "get the gist".