Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dancing Around Neurodiversity

Originally posted January 2006

We've got the psychs running scared.

It looks like the hottest subject of discussion at continuing education seminars for autism specialists in 2006 will be neurodiversity, or more specifically, how to keep those uppity autistics in their place. The agenda for
this seminar includes a topic called "Dancing Around Neurodiversity," which makes it all too obvious how the psychs are planning to deal with the unexpected shitstorm they've landed in.

The metaphorical phrase "dancing around" generally means making a careful choice of words to avoid mentioning a controversial topic. In this case, the psychs want to avoid using any language suggesting that autistics are worthy of social acceptance and equality (or their clients might wise up, develop some self-respect, and give their worthless asses the boot), but at the same time, the growing public awareness of the neurodiversity movement prevents them from blatantly using the disease terminology of previous years (or their clients might get pissed off at their bigoted attitudes and give their worthless asses the boot).

So they're going to try to extricate themselves from this dilemma by doing some verbal "dancing." Presumably they have so little respect for their autistic clients that they actually believe a few politically correct weasel-words will be enough to bamboozle what they see as a group of pitiful mindblind communication-impaired sufferers.

Yeah right, and I just saw a nice fat pig flying over my neighborhood, too.

Here's what I have to say to the Dirty Dancers of Disorderland: I don't care if you can moonwalk like Michael Jackson or waltz like Fred Astaire, the jig is up. You had cozy careers planned for yourselves, teaching self-hate to millions of autistic people, telling us that we were mentally defective so that we would all flock to your offices, pleading to be made normal. It was a clever scam, and I'll tip a virtual hat to your manipulative talents. But it's time for you to find another line of work, because we are going to put you out of business. And that is not a threat, but a promise.

Don't worry, though, I'm sure you can find other jobs. I hear there's a big demand for social skills instructors at Bangalore's call centers, teaching new hires all about typical American conversational behavior and telephone etiquette. That's a perfect fit for your expertise. I hope you like curry.

(Edit, February 2006: Apparently the seminar presenters noticed my post, or perhaps someone else commented on their wording, because the agenda now reads "Dancing With Neurodiversity.")

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