Seriously. Michael John Carley says he is "going to have a very hard time calling [him]self autistic," since some others with the same label may wear adult diapers and head-restraining devices. "Hard to swallow," Mr. Carley? What I find difficult to digest is the idea that there are people out there promoting pride and dignity for people diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, while denying other disabled people the same. It makes an easy target of those of us who happen to share (well temporarily, until the new DSM V is completed) your label, but who stand for the basic human rights and dignity of all people. And, oh yeah, it's just plain wrong.
I am autistic, Mr. Carley. I have always been autistic, and I have never been ashamed of having this in common with people whose needs are greater than my own. I worry, though, that people might think I'm like you. I'm not. I know that having a disability doesn't make anyone less of a person.
Did you write this vision statement for GRASP, Mr. Carley?
"At GRASP we envision a world where all individuals on the autism spectrum are respected, valued, and fairly represented; where appropriate supports and services are readily available to those in need; and where people on the spectrum are empowered to participate in policy and personal decisions that affect their lives."
And if so, what did you mean by "respected" and "valued" and "all individuals?" Because I'm not getting it.
Another well known "Aspie," Liane Holliday Willey, weighs in on the topic here. " 'Grouping Aspies with people who have language delays, need more self-care and have lower IQs, how in the world are we going to rise to what we can do?' Willey said." If this "rising" means someone else needs to be pushed down, no thanks, I don't want any of it.
I don't like to call out other autistics by name, and I rarely do that here. I'm making an exception for these two; this is too important to let go without comment. There are too many people out there claiming that "neurodiversity" means selfishly promoting the needs of the "super high-functioning" and "barely autistic" at the expense of people you have now publicly disrespected.
Once the DSM has removed Asperger syndrome from its pages, there will still be plenty of "autism advocates" to tell me I'm not really autistic. Of course their opinions won't make any more or less difference than they did before. I'll still be what I am and they will still be what they are too. Why don't you guys over at GRASP just keep the "Aspie" label for yourselves then? I am already autistic, you see; I really have no use for it.