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You Are Not Your Child

Sara Luterman www.NosMag.org Sara Luterman [image: Headshot of a smiling white person with short dark hair & glasses.] Recently, Amy Lutz, a parent advocate, wrote an opinion piece for Spectrum News titled, Adults with disabilities deserve the right to choose where to live. I wholehearted agree with that sentiment. Unfortunately, the article that follows argues nothing of the kind. It is, in fact, an argument to return people with developmental and intellectual disabilities to institutions. These new institutions have organic-biodynamic farms, swimming pools, and fluffy pillows. They are, however, still secluded and subject to all of the abuses of Willowbrook and Pennhurst. Amy Lutz and others who mask new institutions as a “choice” do not draw a healthy or appropriate distinction between themselves and their own children. When they say, “adults with disabilities deserve the right to choose,” they mean is that their opinions are their children’s opinions. They do not…

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Autism Science to Watch Out For

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com Photo © Jeffrey Beall | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: Photo of metal letters spelling “Science” affixed to a brick wall.] At a recent workshop on How to Find Autism Information That Will Help You, I noted that a key factor for evaluating an autism resource is: Who does the approach primarily benefit? Autistic people themselves, or people affiliated with autistic people, such as families or teachers? It’s important to identify this aim, because approaches that support autistic people in living lives of maximized happiness and potential can be very different from the parent-centered approaches—which too often portray autistic people as problems to be managed and controlled. We at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism support the helping approach, and routinely criticize the problem/control approach—an ongoing effort as the latter remains pervasive both in popular culture, and in research. The problem/control approach is also a theme…

Why Did Amy S.F. Lutz Attack the Neurodiversity Movement?

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.Squidalicious.com Autism parent Amy Lutz did her damnedest to verbally maul the Neurodiversity movement last week, at Slate.com. I’m still trying to understand her rationale, because why would she publicly attack disabled people for the crime of appearing less disabled than her own child? Especially the very advocates who are fighting to ensure a better future for all autistic people — including her son? I’m used to seeing questionable writing at The Huffington Post, but was surprised to see Lutz’s baldly biased reporting in the Slate.com Medical Examiner section. She only cited sources — outraged parents like herself, mostly — who also believe “…that those who argue the Neurodiversity position do so out of ignorance.” A statement which is not merely offensive but untrue: those who support Neurodiversity tend do so because Neurodiversity is their reality, and the neurodiverse their community. Autistic adults are not the…