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Autism and Social Movements

July 13, 2012
As a sociologist (a college professor) and an Autist, I have looked into the Autistic community quite a bit.

In a sense, there are two communities: The Autistic community (Autists) and the Autism community (the infamous Autism Speaks and similar organizations). They have little to do with one another.

However, the issue is really even more complicated. There is not just one Autistic movement. There are several. For instance, without naming names, some groups of Autists oppose cures. Some favor them (at least in some cases). Others are interested in providing supports. They avoid taking a position on the issue of cures.

Exactly five years ago, after being re-diagnosed (correctly diagnosed) on the Autism spectrum, I joined the anti-cure movement. These days, I am more interested in support issues. I also hope that it will, someday, be possible to cure certain Autistic problems (like social difficulties) while leaving the more positive traits intact.

Autists are also disproportionately poor. There is such a thing as “other people’s money.” Monetary systems are arbitrary or conventional arrangements. There is nothing innate about private property.

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