Sunday 4 July 2021

A letter in the Observer

 I was very pleased to have a letter in today's issue of The ObserverIt may be read by clicking this link (scroll to the bottom after doing so) or by looking at the image below: 

The many sides of autism Your article, “‘We don’t need to be cured or fixed’: writers speak out on autism”, was a manifestation of the privilege that those with high-functioning autism (myself included) enjoy. My autism, by random luck, does not prevent me from taking part in the world of language but there are many autistic people who are utterly unable to communicate, and thus cannot give chatty interviews. Why was there no mention of these voiceless?  To take another example, in the UK, autism is reason enough to deprive someone of their liberty; there are thousands of people whose autism has deprived them of their legal capacity, and who are otherwise detained for their own protection. Do these people not need a cure or treatment, or are they simply to be left to rot?  Like those interviewed, I regard my autism as an asset, but constructing a myth of autistic people as a “model minority”, based on a self-selecting group of high-functioning individuals, is to erase and marginalise the countless people rendered profoundly vulnerable, incapacitated, imprisoned or dead on account of their autism or consequences stemming from it. Elijah Granet San Diego, California
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