Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Which side am I on?

I'll admit that, being new to the online Autism blogging community, I'm a little slow on certain aspects of things. So I am a little confused. I guess in my mind, there were two camps, so to speak... The pro-vacc folks, and the anti-vacc folks. So what's with the Neurodiversity folks? Am I automatically one of those because I am pro-vaccine?

I know very little about ND except that I cannot login to their site by using the link on Squid's page. LOL.

From what I have read, it looks like ND is opposing research for a cure for Autism? Or is this incorrect? I -did- read it from a blog that doesn't like the ND people...

Anyone care to explain it to me?


Liz Ditz said...

I don't know that there are "sides" other than the vaccine question.

Some examples of blogs written by people who (a) do not associate autism and vaccination (b) do not believe their children have been "stolen" or "ruined" by autism (c) are not seeking "a cure" for autism through "therapies" that do no have a scientific rationale (d) advocate for their children for more services, better educational opportunities, etc.

Autism Vox

Out in Left Field

A Life Less Ordinary

Asperger Square 8


Natural Variation

One Dad's Opinion

And of course, Kathleen Seidel's website, Neurodiversity, including the neurodiversity blog

Timelord said...

To try and help, Amber, Neurodiversity is a form of diversity that recognises that the brain functions differently for a great many number of reasons. The Autistic Spectrum is one of them. The ND movement basically seeks to have this recognised.

Now to do this, the ND movement opposes anything that fails to recognise this basic fact. For example, anyone who seeks to blame the Spectrum on anything other than a simple difference in the wiring of the brain, which leads to learning whatever you care to name in a different way.

Those who oppose ND demand several things - that the Spectrum is a disease, it's brain damage, it's worse than death etc etc. They try to put it over as an absolutely bad thing that requires a cure. It's pure BS.

Where the vaccines fit in is that some blame the vaccines for creating the problem. Anyone who is pro vaccine (like you, Amber) and has an Autistic child (Jaymes) is immediately told "The vaccine did it! Sue! Cure your child!"

But on treatment, the short answer is no - we don't oppose it. I'm a part of the movement. What we oppose is the wrong treatment, and there are some stupid ones around.

We also don't oppose research, just as long as it doesn't go down the same path at Downs Syndrome has. Research into Downs has led to an identifying gene that can be detected early in a pregancy, and it has led to abortions. There's a word for that path - eugenics. We oppose that. It's probably why what you saw with regards to research may have been confusing.

Hope that helped!

(PS - What happened to the TMI blog?)

Amber DBTD said...

thank you, Timelord. That was a wonderful explanation. By your explanation, I would definately say that I share your views.

Twyla said...

Autism is a broad spectrum. Some people with autism are very high functioning - able to read, write, speak in full sentences - often even able to drive a car, go grocery shopping, have a job.

Other people with autism have a severe level of impairment of daily life skills, often accompanied by health issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, seizures, and allergies.

There are people with high functioning autism who (if I am understanding correctly) feel that their main problem is that society does not accept differences. Society expects everyone to behave a certain way, understand subtle social skills, make "small talk", know how to communicate indirectly. Why shouldn't an extremely intelligent person who communicates in a direct fashion be accepted for who he/she is? Why do we all have to be politically astute and charismatic? Why is there anything wrong with being a "nerd" or a "geek"? I sympathize with this viewpoint as I myself am a bit aspie-ish.

On the other hand, there are parents whose kids with autism are nonverbal, unable to communicate or to learn at school, prone to shrieking tantrums, and suffering from great discomfort and even pain due to health conditions. Some of these parents have found treatments to help their children. For many of these children, when digestion is improved through dietary intervention and digestive enzymes and probiotics, the child is much happier, able to get toilet trained, and may even show improvement in communication, social skills, and cognitive function. Sometimes other treatments such as nutritional supplements and detoxification help tremendously as well. It is often difficult to find what treatments are effective for a particular child, but with some trial and error many parents report success.

What is wrong with treating one's child's health problems? This does not show disrespect for the child. For more information, go to

If a person diagnosed with autism is happy as he is, that is great. But he should not judge others who may have a different sort of autism.

Regarding vaccines, there are those who believe that vaccines may cause autism, and there are those who do not. A growing number of parents are very concerned about the current vaccine program. There are so many more vaccines than were given 25 years ago. We believe that the safety of ingredients such as mercury and aluminum has not been adequately studied, and the combined effect of injecting multiple live viruses has also not been adequately studied.

Many parents have witnessed serious vaccine reactions in their babies and children, sometimes followed by loss of speech and skills and regression into autism. These adverse reactions are also not being adequately studied.

Vaccines have risks as well as benefits. Currently more and more vaccines are being added without sufficient attention paid to the risks. The majority of us who have concerns are not "anti-vaccine". We understand the need for vaccines. We are not recommending doing away with all vaccines. But we believe that the vaccine program is causing serious problems which must be addressed.

I don't know which web site you are referring to when you said that someone thought your daughter's vaccine reaction was funny. I hope you don't mean Age of Autism. My impression was that the AoA posters were/are very concerned for your daughter.

My daughter had a febrile seizure after receiving the MMR and varicela vaccines at the same time. I wrote about it at, in case your are interested.

I truly wish you and your family all the very very best.



Amber DBTD said...

No, Twyla, I was referring to John Best's Hating Autism blog.

Did not realize sierra was being discussed on AOA, I haven't read that one I don't think.