Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Repecting and Preserving Personhood

Bill recently wrote an article for Huffington Post, "Autism: The Last Civil Rights Movement" that caused an unexpected response,at least unexpected to me.

Why do people associate respect for the human condition of autism as equating to the reprehensible refusal to treat that condition to develop it to full personhood? The two are different issues entirely; The first, addresses a means used to reach the ends, the second, refusing to address an ends. Why is cure, which equates in my own mind to a denial of self, the only answer offered by so many. Are they so blind to the child they are given as a gift, the potential of the child they are given that lies deeply hidden? Why are they so quick to want to trade that gift for another?

When I had my car accident and coma there was another girl on the hospital unit who my mother still frequently speaks of. Her accident was to her front temporal lobe, the area of the brain which controls our personality. Her mother was in grieving, but too guilty with her feelings of loss, because her child still stood physically before her. Only it was not her child. The girl had a new personhood because of the accident. Autism is like that. Treatment improper can rob one's personhood. The shame is that you celebrate it, oblivious to the loss. You fail to see what that woman saw in recognizing her lost child; NOT the undeveloped autist, but the never to be seen developed one had treatment taken a more respectful course.

What Bill asks is that we honor and develop the person present in respectful manner, not trade them in for a new model of false creation. The only thing that is worse than dealing with the binds of autism is dealing with the binds of a false persona. It is my opinion.

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