Thinking about some of the issues surrounding diagnosis.
There are no answers to these questions. If you have perfect understanding, that is great, I am not looking for explanations or justifications, examples or lectures. I am not trying to anger or cause resentment or to shame or blame or otherwise cast shade or darkness on any sector, site, person, or persons, groups, etc.
So much of our understanding of autism seems to be “work in progress”.
I have been reading blogs and participating in forums and getting good input from discussions but of course there are questions in my mind. Autism needs details, asks questions to understand.
Somebody (somebodies, it is a popular concept, this one) said that autism needs to be taken out of the DSM as a psychological condition, because it is developmental and neurological.
This raises one question. Autism is diagnosed almost solely through behavioral clues, through our struggles and our attempts to adapt and to overcome the neurology we are given.
We do have struggles and they are not “normal” in that only 2.5 percent of us ( according to the CDC) of the total population have this neurology. It is rare and unusual, Autism is not the “average” experience of the general population of humans.
There is no neurological or developmental standard test, nor is there any physical exam, blood test, brain scan, genetic DNA tests that confirms “yes, you are autistic”. So how would that work if we “de-pathologized” Autism? Our struggles would still remain, our adaptations would still be needed, as would support and understanding…. I don’t see how wiping out “autism” as a pathology in the DSM would change anything. It is as if by denying our struggles, we deny our own existence or our disabilities. Yet there are many demands for special care and accommodations. Have our cake and eat it too? It simply does not compute in my mind. Until science can come up with accurate and complete diagnosis through testing of some sort ( blood, dna, forms with questions answered only specific ways) I do not see how we can remove Autism and attempts to define it from the DSM. Where would we go for diagnosis? If we were not diagnosed, would we be able to get the help so many autistic people need? All these are rhetorical questions. None of the thinking going on in my head regarding the declaration that Autism needs to be de-pathologized makes any sense as alternatives. Unreasonable expectations on some hopeful people’s parts maybe. Still thinking, no answers.
Is there a “right” way to be autistic? Do I have to meet others’ expectations even in the ‘way’ I am autistic?
Do I have to use the right words, think the right thoughts, behave in certain ways or march in lock step with others, rejecting all you don’t agree with until I am autistic enough in your (or anybody else’s, your groups, your family, your clinic, your forum, your institute, your research results, your organizations definitions or explanations,) your legalistic application of which words or phrases are “correct” to describe autism before I am autistic enough, before I am considered autistic at all, before I am autistic enough, before I am worthy to be heard or seen, before I and my thoughts and behavior meet your definition of how I “should be”???
I am not here to meet your expectations except on your playground, your own page, group, forum, blog, etc. etc.
Not going to play that game then. I am going to take my autistic self and go someplace where I can learn about autism using the words and resources I choose, go to groups which might be forbidden as undesirable, wrong thinking, wrong anything, to learn if they know something I might not know, and to see if I might learn something from them regardless of “person first” language, calling autistic people “they” and “them”, naming types of functioning, describing levels of function, or doing other “unacceptable” forms of thinking, learning, or teaching about autism.
Can we afford to completely discount others attempting to help and to understand autism just because they do not use the same words or have the same ideas?
Some ideas will be unacceptable to me, and some will be scientifically proven to be incorrect, documentation is always appreciated. Speculation is not the same as concrete facts.
Today’s “facts” are not necessarily the truth, only our current understanding of it, based on faulty studies and insufficient scope or input of unreliable nature unknowingly incorporated therein.
I have said before and will say it again. I think that it is up to an individual to decide for him or herself/ themselves, which pronouns and descriptions to use, which terms make the most sense and are the most useful in the personal context as we try to sort autism in all its ranges and descriptions.
Of course we have to agree on basic vocabulary to exchange ideas, but is it really reason to reject any group, site, person, web page, forum, because they do not “do autism” in the “right way”. ???
Why not simply take what you can and use what seems right for you, and leave the rest.
That is OK. Personal opinion and ways of doing things will vary. Leave the rest for anybody else to use if they choose. Don’t waste energy trying to correct them, shut them down, shut them up, or chastise, shame, or destroy them. The more varied the input, the better the insights from many more ways of understanding. My 2 cents. Your opinions may be different.