where biography meets neuroscience, where biography meets nonsense
How can "different" and "cure" be mutually exclusive?
You think it is possible to separate the useful bits of autism from the bits of autism that people find problematic, and "cure" some but keep others? I don't, in fact, in social life it is often being different in itself, in any way, that is the problem in social contexts in which uniformity is expected.
And I should add a clarification of my position: I really should get out of the habit of using the word "autism" and instead use the term "autisms". It couldn't be clearer from the current state of research into the genetics of autism that a huge number of different genetic phenotypes are currently categorized as autism. I've still not given up on the idea that one genetic mechanism could be the underlying cause of a core autism syndrome (and I beleive I know what that genetic mechanism is), but it is clear that in the current state of autism diagnosis that there are many more than one genetic syndrome falling under the umbrella of autism. On August 7th in my blog I referred to a blog piece by Dr K. Mitchell that explains that the importance of rare mutations in human variation has been underestimated, and it is a problem for research, including autism research. On April 14 I wrote about an Australian sociodemographic autism study published in PLoS One which I believe gives support for the idea that autism WITH intellectual disability could represent "a dilution of the pure ASD phenotype" compared to autism without ID, which contradicts the popular view that the most impaired autists are by definition the most autistic autists.
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I think it is possible, and with research, it could be done. Being different doesn't have to be any problem. The concern is getting to have sufficient ability to live with. I've heard of the substantial genetic variation seen among those considered autistic. I think they need to sort out which combinations of genotypes lead to which phenotypes in the various autism cases they get data from, including information of rare mutations, and the same with gene expression knowledge coming out. The technology to handle all of this information has grown considerably, and likely will continue to. There may not be a correlation of level of autism characteristic with impairment. I would then just realize that ability is very unevenly distributed within the autism spectrum.
"Being different doesn't have to be any problem." But it very often is, in any situation in which social stuff is important, which is just about in every area of life these days. Sexism, ageism, racism and the general exclusion of people for being different or the wrong type are still things that happen often in Australian society. When we are talking about autism(s) we are talking about not fitting in socially. Intellectual incapacities are regarded as separate issues. By defnition autists don't fit in socially, and that is a problem in many areas of life, even though it needn't be.
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