I am not a savant or genius. I’m no good at maths or science, so I don’t meet the criteria of the special gifts that might be lost if prenatal testing enabled parents to terminate foetuses deemed likely to develop autism. But I find it disturbing that no one yet seems to have seen fit to seek the opinion of individuals on the autistic spectrum.
As someone on that spectrum, I strongly oppose any kind of “cure” for autism; I also oppose prenatal testing and the eugenic elimination of autistics, as well as any research that could lead to these outcomes.
The autistic rights movement, which is allied to the wider disability rights movement, believes that people on the autistic spectrum are disabled more by society than by their autism. Like many members of this movement, I consider autism to be a part of natural human variation that should be accepted and respected, as with any other human difference.
Sadly, autism is often portrayed as a tragedy for both individuals on the spectrum (who are often said to be “suffering” from autism) and also their families. Interestingly, the organisations and individuals who disseminate and promote this image tend [...]