A world without autism

On one side of the autism debate are those whose mission it is to eradicate autism, remove it from the face of the earth. Which got me thinking, and brought the following questions to mind that I would like to ask those who would see autism disappear:

If autism could be cured, and if we, as a society, chose to cure it, what would the world be like? How would it impact our lives, and the lives of our children (and descendants many generations down the line)?  What would society look like 50 years from now?  100 years from now, when autism (or autism-like traits) had stopped influencing things?

If you can, I’d also like to know what you think would actually be removed from individuals and society by curing autism, in terms of behaviors, (dis-)abilities, etc.  In other words, what do you consider part of autism, and what do you consider just different enough to be not autistic?

Obviously, I’m also interested to hear what those who don’t share this goal think would happen if autism were to be completely removed from the human condition. Is this something that we would, or should, want? Or would this be a case of, “be careful what you ask for, you just might get it”?

10 thoughts on “A world without autism

  1. Real Answers

    Autism has been flourishing since 2000. Cell phones have been flourishing since 2000. Cell phones emit microwaves. Microwaves affect the brain and the fetus. Put down your phone and don’t put it next to your brain again. Take that phone off your waist if you’re pregnant. Take it off if you’re not. We cook food, not people with microwaves. I think there are some new questions to ask for Autism Month.

    Try putting cell phones and microwaves and health into google. Try putting microwaves and autism in. Try cell phones, microwaves and cancer. Search on YouTube. It will make you sick.

    Microwaves are not only emitted by cell phones, but also by cell towers. They make our wireless internet possible. We are all paying.

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  2. Justthisguy

    Well, lessee:

    No autism means no computers, no electricity, no steam engines, no Newton’s Laws, maybe even no stone axes or flint knives.

    Lotsa happy socialist monkeys, though, who shit in their hands and throw it at anyone who disagrees with the monkey consensus.

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  3. Patrick

    Took a while to get over here, maybe drop a line in the email to get your hub link updated?

    No spectrum folks in the world?

    HA, this place would be Sorry Out of Luck for people to be frankly honest about things. Can you imagine a place where people constantly told a plethora of minor mistruths that were intended to not hurt someone’s feelings? (AGH, thats already the case most of the time anyway, we’re Doomed I tell you, DOOMED! /grin)

    HA #2, Then y’all would have to figure out what to do with some of the worst major whiners, because once we were gone there’d be some room for them to complain and make conspiracy theories about something else!

    HA #3, Do you really even want to go there? I mean, didn’t I just read on Kristina’s blog in the last few days that one of the areas they have found as potentially being invoved is a ‘morpheus’ zone in the DNA? IF, and this is a very big IF that is true, then No future models of human brain neurology would ever be released. (Ok … evolved) How’d ya like to be stuck with an old buggy OS 4evah!

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  4. Billiken

    Let’s see…A life where no one comments “When I grow up I want to be like Claire (the youngest and most affected).” A world populated with people who don’t always see or act upon greyed nuances nor with purposeful malice. A world without computers and all applications related to quantum mechanics.

    No thanks.

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  5. Billiken

    Correction. A world without people who don’t always see or act upon greyed nuances nor with purposeful malice.

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  6. Jeni Hill Ertmer

    With respect to my two little grandchildren who are autistic, not having it maybe would be nice in that they could be learning, doing, processing things in what we consider a normal manner -if the world were autism free. But then too, would they really be who they are if that were the case? And for me, being with these two beautiful little people has changed my attitude, my patience levels -GREATLY – and my enjoyment and appreciation of my family so much over the past four years, I wonder, what really would be gained if it were eliminated? Ok, I could do nicely without the meltdowns, a little of the ecolalia too now and again, but overall, it is not the life-threatening illness that many other things a child (or adult) can have that I’d much rather see them eradicated than autism.

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  7. Melody

    What I find interesting is that often, when an autistic person expresses that they don’t want a world without autistics to a person who supports a cure, they are first met with something like “well you must not be REALLY autistic, you’re just mildly affected” and then we get asked, “So what’s good about having autism?”

    My main point is that we DON’T need to be gifted, or savants or anything, in order for our existence as autistic people to be valued. I could just as well counter, “Well, what’s good about being human?” It would be unfair for a human person to have to justify to an alien species why it is important that we exist as we are (without getting some sort or neurosurgery to make us more like the invading aliens, who turn out to outnumber humans 100 to 1) by pointing out what humans can do. Some humans perhaps can rival or even surpass the aliens’ skills at some things (perhaps art or music), but if you average the whole population, we would be disabled compared to them. That doesn’t mean that being a human being, imperfections intact, is a horrible, tragic state of being. I’m sure if the aliens provided us adequate supports that we’d get along just as well in their society. Adjustment is difficult of course, but a number of us could find jobs, and some may even become famous.

    Maybe that’s why so many neurodiversity advocates like to point out people like Einstein as examples of autistics. Not because we actually believe that the reason we should exist is because we all have super science skills (clearly, we do not), but because we’re expected to justify our existence with extra ability. Neurodiversity is all about, we don’t need to justify our existence and quality of life (which depends much more on what kinds of acceptance, supports, and understanding we get than on how disabled someone is). Just as humans shouldn’t have to justify our existence by pointing out those who have been unusually skilled at one thing or another.

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