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Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:24 am
I have Asperger's, and I am getting my masters in occupational therapy for exactly this reason -- I strongly believe that people on the autism spectrum are better served by others on the spectrum than by NTs who do not share their experience and cannot truly understand their needs.
I currently work as a respite care provider, and one of the people I work with is a twelve year old girl with autism. Although she is nonverbal, I am quickly able to understand what she needs through her gestures, and I am the only person I know of that she will initiate eye contact and physical contact with.
I think it is crucial to have autism/Asperger's services that are run by and for people on the spectrum. The psychologist who diagnosed me, while competent to administer the necessary tests, had a very limited capacity to understand the struggles that I am having in a neurotypical world, and had very few suggestions for what I could do to improve my level of functioning. It is perhaps no surprise that I have gotten more focused and useful advice from my aspie boyfriend and my Asperger's group than from my NT psychologist. They were able to give me their advice because they had experienced similar situations and had needed to solve similar problems themselves. If my psychologist had been an aspie, as well, I suspect that she would likewise have been able to give me better recommendations for how to function in a NT world. That's certainly something I'll be able to offer my AS/autism clients when I work as an OT.
Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:31 pm
I beleve that with the aspies/auties having the experience, we should be the ones to tell the nerotypicals what we experience instead of letting them figure us out on thier own.
I voted yes.
Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:40 pm
I agree, excellent post!
Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:42 pm
Post subject: A “Wise Latina” model for autism policy-making
Judge Sonia Sotomayor made two statements that could be extrapolated to autism (auties & aspies) politics
1. "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life."
Try it on for size:
I would hope that wise autistics with the richness of their experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than an NT who hasn’t lived that life
The second statement
2. “there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives - no neutrality, no escape from choice in judging”
This statement offers the CAUSE (NT lack of perspective) with the logical EFFECT (autistics taking a stronger position) in defining autism for the next edition of the DSM, international policy making, and research funding, etc.
Any “autism organization” that does not have autistics making up at least half of the board should be suspect. Appointing a token autistic just won’t ethically be enough.
There are autistics in pertinent fields: I personally know speech language pathologists, an occupational pathologist, and surely there are autie/aspie psychs out there.
There are also self-educated autistics who, thanks to their intensely focused interests in the area of autism, are leading experts in the field.
What do YOU think?
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