"As a label, Asperger's has done well by me, too. It is a strong identity - one that's been groomed to have more positive connotations than some other diagnostic labels. Because of that, there are those that feel that replacing the Asperger's label with an autism label would change people's perceptions too greatly. That it will lower peoples' expectations of our abilities through negative connotations.
Perhaps I'm naive...but I like to hope that the opposite will be true. That maybe some of the optimism that some apply to the Asperger's label can be absorbed into the autism label. And maybe, it will encourage us to look at abilities more fluidly, and see that ability is not black or white.
There are others who would object to this direction as well, arguing that folding "higher functioning" people into the autism category would take away from services for those who are more needy. That if people see those with Asperger's as the face of "autism" - it would divert energy from helping those who would be labeled "very low functioning.""
I'll follow up on all this for the show soon.
Meanwhile, a scientist and writer famous for her own experience of autism, Dr Temple Grandin, presented at the big TED spectacle in
Palm Springs this weekend. Look out for the video for that on the TED website.
Many of the real time tweets (#TED) from her talk captured my attention.
@brainpicker: #TED Temple Grandin: We have to learn to work with Autistic minds of specificity, we'll absolutely need them in the future.
@TEDNews: Temple Grandin at #TED: Research shows that there is a tradeoff between social and cognitive thinking
@TEDNews Temple Grandin at #TED: Who do you think made the first stone spears? It was the Asperger guy in the back of the cave.
@DesignObserver: Grandin: If you were to get rid of autism genes, no one would be left in Silicon Valley and energy crisis wouldn't be solved. #TED
Claire Danes plays Temple in a new HBO biopic just screened in the USA. I wonder if we could get hold of it for broadcast on ABC1? I rather like the tag line for the movie: "Through mentoring and sheer will a young autistic woman succeeds against the odds".
Ah, the power of supportive mentoring is so rarely acknowledged. It is so, so key, and yet so, so rare in most of our professional lives - especially for women.
Boing Boing offers a review of the TED spectacle...Gates, Grandin...lots of notables strutting their stuff amongst the intellectual, cultural and culinary (Jamie Oliver) glitterati.
Read the original here.