Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Autism Cures and Amazing Spider-Man Spoilers

Because I’m sick of hearing the ongoing Tumblr debate about how a cure for autism would be such a great thing and we are terrible people if we’re not all for it, let me try my hand at an extremely nerdy metaphor:

Remember The Amazing Spider-Man?  Remember Dr. Connors, who had lost an arm and would give the world to have it back?

Good for him.  If that’s what he wants for himself, more power to him, and if he were a real person, I would sincerely hope that his quest to restore that arm would be successful.  I would feel nothing but happiness for him if he succeeded, just as I would feel nothing but happiness for a person who lost an arm and felt perfectly whole without it.

However.

Remember when Dr. Connors shot himself up with lizard DNA that ended up completely altering his mind and his body?

That, minus the lizard genetics, is basically what a cure for autism would entail.  Completely rewriting a person’s brain.  Our brains being the things that give us our personalities/interests/ways of behaving.  Basically, everything that makes us what we are.

Now, if there were a drug that could cure a person of their disability, that would rewrite their mind in the process, well, again, if that’s what they want, that is their choice.  If they truly believe their lives would be changed for the better by changing everything about themselves, I’m in no position to tell them otherwise.  If Dr. Connors felt his life as a lizard-human hybrid was much improved over his life as a human, then he can feel free to enjoy living his own life that way.

But that’s not what he did.

Instead, he decided the world didn’t know what was best for themselves.  He decided that his superior condition gave him the power to make that choice for everyone else, and he tried to inflict his cure on humanity, without giving anyone a chance to opt out.

That is what groups like Autism Speaks wants.  They don’t want to help us, they don’t want to make our lives easier, they want to force us into their way of living without considering what would be lost or if we want it.  They want to rid the world of people like us and make a world of just people like them, because they “know better.”

So don’t talk to me about curing autism unless you are autistic and speaking of a cure for yourself and yourself only.

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