One of the potential co-authors for my book asked me to answer this question: What do you believe about autism? She wants to find out what I believe about it before she agrees to work with me. She's very involved with the Autism Self Advocacy Network and advocacy within the autism community, and she wants to work with someone who thinks like she does. Fair enough.
Having been out in the community for the last 10 hours, however, (is anyone else just dancing at the fact that I lasted that long? No? Okay, then.), I'm not really up for a nice, concise paragraph about my beliefs. Not even a nice, semi-concise blog post. So I wrote a list. It's totally off the top of my head. It's not a nice, rounded-off 10 things. It's an awkward 7, I think. But here it is.
So, in case you were wondering...
I do believe that autism is a spectrum of ability and disability.
I do believe that each individual on the spectrum has unique needs.
I don't believe that there is a simple answer to the cure issue. It's not inherently good or bad.
I do believe that treatment has to be tailored to the individual. No treatment is all good or all bad.
I don't believe in sitting back and letting others do what we can do for ourselves: advocate.
I don't believe that Autism Speaks is the devil.
I do believe that many individuals with autism are capable of much more than people give them credit for.
I don't believe in autism cure-alls, except maybe in very rare cases.