Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Articles of Impoverishment

For non-impoverished replies (mine might be) please read the Diva's Autism Speaks and GRASP: Speak Without Understanding and Amanda's text and video response. See also Articles of Tasty Prey and Art of Understanding.

Sparseness is the first thing I saw in the "Articles of Understanding" between Autism Speaks and GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership). Alison Tepper-Singer's offering is rigid, predictable in singling out a certain number of autistics. Michael John Carley's is too abortive for me to understand.

Both Tepper-Singer's and Carley's articles are "gut" reactions. Both refer to science but don't address it. Science is not emotion or gut based. Science is objective.

I've only recently understood the scientific need to study autism and Asperger's separately. Accurate measurement of cognitive processes or intelligence in either group isn't possible if data from both groups are mixed. Example: lumping data from six cows and six cabbages will give you serious problems in addressing the functional characteristics of either. Before tampering with anything we need a precise understanding of what it is.

"Autistic" describes the autistic community, which includes all of us. Obviously autistic children become autistic adults and it's true autistic adults are nothing like autistic children. Usually we're taller, to start with. See above discussion of data mixing (children and adults, in this case). Most autistic adults speak (regardless of diagnosis) and some don't. Some of us adults have been taught that who we are is wrong. The rest of us adults value who we are and ask society to aknowledge our differences including education and opportunities that are appropriate to who we are.

Most importantly: no one gets left behind. This is what needs to be understood. Everyone has a place in society no matter what their relative strengths and limitations.

Note: this post was originally called "Clash of the Gitterati" referring to yet another "tiara tussle". If you're not a Diva afficionado, think "autism royalty". If you haven't read Michelle Dawson - that's what the links in the side bar are for. Happy reading.


  1. Thanks for the link, Ralph. Great blog! :-)

  2. Hi Charles

    I was surprised and happy when I saw your blog. It's even got "art" in the title. :-)

  3. Yeah, I can fall back on that when people tell me I'm not being very scientific :-)

  4. I'm trying very hard to separate the two, to get rid of my 'artistic accent'. I admire anyone who can employ art when discussing science and not muddy the issues. Recently I've learned or relearned that art is "neutral" which parallels objectivity in science except it's a different 'discipline'. I remind myself that using art to leverage language (or science) didn't work and isn't going to work. :-)

  5. But we also have to remind ourselves that there are other forms of advocacy besides verbal advocacy, and art is one of them.


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