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Disability

February 6, 2008

A lot of people say that they do not want to be “cured” of their Asperger’s autism, and that Asperger’s is not a disability. The second statement misses the context of the anti-cure movement.

The entire concept of not wanting to be cured comes from the involvement of many aspies with the disability rights community. More particularly, it is related to the social model of disability, which is intimately connected with the liberation movements in various disabled communities, including autistics, the deaf, the intersexed, and former psychiatric patients.

Asserting that one does not want to be cured is one of the main positions of the social model of disability. However, when some of those same aspies then say they are not disabled, it appears to reflect a lack of knowledge of the history of the autism rights movement.

See this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_model_of_disability

From the standpoint of the social model of disability, the process of disabling is performed by society. The emphasis is not on disabled persons. It is on how disabled persons become disabled, not so much by their differences, but by living in societies and communities which do not accommodate them.

I suspect that most aspies, once learning about the social model of disability, would substantially agree with it.

I was very disabled as a child and teenager. Now, as a tenured college professor, I do not consider myself to be especially disabled, but I would not say that I am not disabled at all. I live alone, spend most of my time by myself, and have never married.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 6, 2008 11:15 pm

    Hello, Mark. I have quoted this post on my blog at athameblade.blogspot.com and commented on it in the context of my experiences. I’m a regular subscriber of your blog and quite enjoy it. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    February 6, 2008 11:19 pm

    By the way, I’m the one who wrote this paper on wrongplanet.net:

    http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt51517.html

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