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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Is Autism an Illness?

By some estimates, around 1% of the population has been diagnosed with autism. It appears that an entire personality type has been characterized as a mental illness. I'm offended, because that's the personality type I have. Some people say I have "high functioning autism" or Asperger's syndrome.

When they highlight the problem of autism, they highlight people who have trouble talking or other basic skills. Those are the extreme cases. The label of "autism" can be applied to anyone who doesn't fit in to the mold of a school/brainwashing center. It's much easier to say "these people have a disease" instead of saying "the standard school system isn't working for a large class of students".

In many cases, the students labeled as autistic are the ones that are the most intelligent. In the US economic and political system, it's important to suppress the most intelligent people. People need to be denied the ability to think for themselves. People who have natural resistance to this brainwashing are a problem.

A lot of "mental illness patient support groups" are really fronts for drug companies. Similarly, a lot of "autism support groups" advocate doping the child into submission. If you drug your child, they'll be more submissive, but you're really damaging them.

I resent the concept that someone with a non-standard personality type is defective. Anybody who is different is labeled as having an illness.


CorkyAgain said...

"In the Psychological Society, social conflicts of all kinds are automatically shifted to the level of psychic problems, in order that they can be charged to individuals as private matters. Schooling produces near-universal resistance, which is classified, for example, as 'hyperkinesis' and dealt with by drugs and/or psychiatric ideology. Rather than recognize the child's protest, his or her life is invaded still further, to ensure that no one eludes the therapeutic net."

-- John Zerzan, "The Mass Psychology of Misery." Emphasis added.

Zerzan's point, and I think it's a correct one, is that labeling dissenting opinions or attitudes as a kind of mental disease is a way of marginalizing and evading the implicit social criticism.

At the same time, this kind of talk allows them to maintain their own posture as exemplars of "mental health" aka "maturity", "sanity" or "right thinking".

barry b. said...


I realized you were super human some time ago. I told a friend the other day when I logged onto your blog to read your latest post that 'this guy is a machine'. Whatever negative traits you may possess compared to someones opinion of normality - I'd just like to say has endowed you with the ability to construct a great blog. I enjoy reading your posts because they are a reflection of your mind, which earned my respect some time ago.

Also, when I first started to blog i submitted a post to your carnival. After coming to my blog you gave me a couple of tips which I implemented. Just wanted to say 'Thanks'.


gilliganscorner said...

I am going to have to agree with barry b., FSK.

If I were to try and write a blog like you write, it would be a full time job for me, not just writing it, but reading/researching articles as well.

I too, want to say thanks. Like you, I was aware of many of the defects you point out in many posts (some I wasn't of course). However, I didn't know what to do with my awareness of that. Your blog has given me direction on that, so again, thanks.

When I was a kid, was diagnosed with hyperactivity. Today, the trend is to call it "AD/HD". I was forced (I was 4 years old - how could I resist?) to take Ritalin for about 2 years. My parents stopped giving me Ritalin when I asked them to. I can't remember why I told them to stop. I think I was tired of feeling, for lack of better phrase, "slower". However, as I was older, I had more control. I probably would have done that without Ritalin.

I saw a T-shirt the other day. A kid who was about 11-12 years old was wearing it. It stated:

Back in Bla..."Hey look! A squirrel!"

If you are familiar with the band AC/DC, this will make sense.

I laughed so hard, tears were running out of my eyes...and that's rare.

Mike said...

Dear FSK, I recommend reading even if just for the mention of autism in the context.

Me? "Multiple brain dysfunction" then later "ADD" and "ADHD" when those terms gained currency. A decade of ritalin. And a daughter with an Asperger's diagnosis and a dextroamphetamine habit. Ain't life grand?

Anonymous said...

That came out a bit oversimplified, but I can see what you're trying to say and I agree.


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