Subject: Re: Scientists baffled by increase in autism
Organization: The Satyrikon
User-Agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.7
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 07:36:29 EST
Date: 27 Oct 2002 08:03:37 -0500
OldCoyote@webmail.co.za (Old Coyote) writes:
> Satyr wrote in message
> > OldCoyote@webmail.co.za (Old Coyote) writes:
> > > "Tom" wrote in message
> > > news:...
> > [...]
> > > > > As for Aspergers, I doubt it entirely. 2/3 of my family have been
> > > > > social workers for a long time, and I have had the pleasure to
> > > > > volunteer at many functions. It seems very unlikely that any talent
> > > > > of a broad enough scope to be profitable could routinely appear in
> > > > > people who are otherwise obviously handicapped.
> > > >
> > > > I don't think there's any serious doubt about the existence of savant
> > > > abilities in cognitively disabled people.
> > >
> > > Oh I'm not questioning savant phenomena, I've seen it myself. I
> > > know an autistic man who can tell you what he had for breakfast
> > > on any given day, for instance. However that is not going to make
> > > him rich. I believe most (almost all) savant abilities are like that,
> > > essentially trivial.
> > Autism and Asperger's are not necessarily the same thing. Some schools
> > of modern thought, for instance, maintain that there is not a
> > clear-cut dividing line between autism and Asperger's syndrome, that
> > both lie upon a broad and continuous spectrum of what are called
> > pervasive developmental disorders.
> > Obviously, someone who fits the standard definition of "autistic" may
> > exhibit an amazing abstract skill, but the severity of their handicap,
> > as you note, will prevent them from capitalizing on that skill.
> > However, as a blanket statement about what is possible, you are
> > forcing individuals to conform to a very rigid definition of who is
> > and is not autistic. This is very old-fashioned, and represents
> > precisely the kind of prejudice high-functional autistics face. Folks
> > like you appear to demand they either be handicapped, or not
> > handicapped, successful or an utter failure, with no middle ground
> > allowed.
> Quite the opposite. I suppose you didn't read what I wrote.
Quite the opposite, actually. I did not get the impression that you
had thought through the consequences of what you stated.
> > Bill Gates is a pretty good example, though he has not, to the best of
> > my knowledge, been officially diagnosed with Asperger's.
> Nor will he ever be, unless he wants to. Why would that be? Because
> he's better than either of us maybe? Notice that one of us doesn't
> feel a need to denigrate him by labelling the man as handicapped for
> that sin.
Note that only one of us considers the label "handicapped" to be
denigrating. Why is that?
> Hell, if you won't read what I write, I'll demo it for you. I'm just
> that kind of guy.
For which I'm sure we're all grateful.