Friday, July 13, 2007

Remote Diagnoses and "Advocacy"

"Did you know Bill Gates and Tim Burton are probably on the spectrum?"

Can we please stop such nonsense? I wouldn't want anyone to claim to know my various mental and physical conditions, much less publicize such assumptions. We have no right to try to associate someone else with an advocacy position, as if having some celebrity with a medical
condition is essential to "the cause" (meaning fundraising, usually).

The more people try to associate famous people with autism, ADHD, seizure disorders, and a host of other conditions, the more I hope I'm just a intellectual oddity with some creativity -- no disorders, injuries, or special conditions involved. I think attempts to find indicators for various conditions is getting so ridiculous that every geek, techie, goth, cyberpunk, loner, poet will be classified as disabled. Not that I'm currently all of the preceding, but the checklists presented for "the spectrum" is getting absurd.

Simplifying autism spectrum disorders to the point anyone and everyone can be classified as autistic works against what I consider legitimate research and social advocacy. This same problem occurred with ADHD. Not everyone with a high IQ is disabled. Not every entrepreneur is disabled.

Having different motivations and interests than the majority of Americans is not a disability. We need to appreciate that. And we need to stop trying to find "role models" as if those with official diagnoses aren't impressive enough. A lot of successful people with autism should be role models.

Remote diagnoses are probably flawed. They certainly shouldn't be taken too seriously.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments violating the policies of this blog will not be approved for posting. Language and content should be appropriate for all readers and maintain a polite tone. Thank you.