A Touch of Alyricism

Dedicated to the equally fascinating topics of autistic advocacy and the 'sisterly sophistries' of radical gender feminism. Other topics may occasionally crop up. Contactable at alyric@gmail.com


Polemicist since Grade 8

Friday, April 08, 2005

Latest Lenny Letter - What's in a Name

The latest from Lenny otherwise known as the Schafer Autism Report. He's a nice bloke Lenny, quietly doing a good job disseminating what's new in autism research and occasionally what's new on the lunatic fringe. And true to form, he very nicely advertised this well intentioned website........

New Service For Parents of Autistic Children From Wiley Sherer, Webmaster and Aspie, AskAnAspie.com. Hi, I'm with Odds & Friends, the Asperger's and High FunctioningAutism Society of the University of Chicago, and we're trying to let peopleknow about a new service that we're offering to parents of children on theautism spectrum. It's called AskAnAspie, and it's a way for neurotypicalparents to ask questions about what it's like to actually be on the spectrumand get answers from a team of University students, all of whom areautistic. You can see our website at http://www.askanaspie.com/. If you could pass on our web address to the parents on your email

.....and couldn't resist climbing aboard his favourite soapbox.

Editor\'s note: Here is my question: By clinical definition, Asperger Syndrome and Autism are two related,but distinct diagnosis. One can be clinically labeled "Asperger\'s" or"Autistic", but not both. Yet, why do some people with Asperger\'s callthemselves "autistic"? Is this a dysphemistic attempt to make Asperger\'sappear to be as serious as autism, or is it just slang?. This causesconfusion. For example, your mission statement starts out "The mission ofAskAnAspie is to build a bridge between the Autism and Autisticcommunities." How does the same word get split into two differentcommunities? How does one build a bridge between the same place? If thereis a real difference between the two, then why use the same word? Perhapsyou can explain this to those of us in both the neurotypical and theneurotypicalism communities. We like bridges, too. -LS.

I'll have a shot at answering those.

1.Asperger's folks call themselves autistic because they share the same deficit/difference - a disconnect from the human race. It was what led both Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner to independently call their patients 'autistic'.

2. Autism Communitries - set up by and for the parents of autistic children with a liberal sprinkling of professionals usually in advisory positions.

3. Autistic Communities - set up by and for autistics. No need for the professionals, they are the professionals.

Reasons for the distinction between 2. and 3. include:

a) Marty Murphy
b) Sabrina Freeman
c) Kit Weintraub
d) Gina Green
e) Autism Canada
f) Autism Society of America
g) James Mulick
h) Boyd Haley
et al.

Capisce Lenny? .....and it's a spectrum


Blogger Autism Diva said...

Lenny's comment about Asperger's madeAutism Diva wish she had the energy to write to him, again, about this anger at Asperger's people calling themselves "autistic".

One bona fide, former empty shell and everything, autistic, A. Baggs thinks that Asperger's folks are autistic. She doesn't think that by AS folks claiming to be autistic they put themselves on the same level as she as to certain dificulties. A. Baggs for instance can't always speak and uses a keyboard to speak for her frequently. She doesn't think that "classic" autistics are diminished by Asperger's type folks also calling themselves autistic.

Besides all this, Lenny has been told by Autism Diva that the definition of autistic is going to be changed in the next DSM edition, and it's quite possible that Asperger's will disappear and become subsumed by "autism". There are several notable scientists who say that there is no reason to have "Asperger's" as a separate form of autism.

Lenny didn't listen.

Lenny will get 1 or 2 tiaras eventually, because he does disseminate some good information, but he spreads such trash with it, it's scary.


1:19 PM  

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