A Disturbing Timepiece
Eugenics is a scary word for anyone who believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, the term becomes especially scary for me when it's used in reference to my own children.
"The possible elimination of the autism genotype is a significant political issue in the autism rights movement which claims autism is a form of neurodiversity."
The autism rights movement, as wikipedia calls it, is something that's fairly new to me. I really didn't think there was anyone else out there who wasn't looking for a "cure" for their children with autism. However, due to developing my own blog and my search for other bloggers to converse with, I found Estee and Zilari, among others, who have helped me realize that my husband and I are far from alone in our belief that autism is not a disease to be cured, but another way of functioning. As for myself, I don't know where I fit as per the autism rights movement. My views have been developed while pursuing what's best for my children. But I do know that I don't want other women, soon to be mothers of children with autism, to be pressured into aborting their child, because some scientist believes it will "lessen human suffering." My boys are precious individuals who's quality of life is determined by their joy, not their neurological differences from their peers.
The truly sad part is that autism is already under-funded:
"But NIH spending per afflicted individual still lags well behind most other diseases — with only $66 spent per person with autism."
To add insult to injury, the bulk of this very limited funding goes to genetic research! This isn't to help my children, or the many other individuals with autism in the world, it's to prevent them!
The article I've found that describes the ambitious pursuit for a prenatal autism test calls for a pharmaceutical answer to eliminate autism. However, there are many in the autism community who seriously fear that developing a prenatal autism test is a major step towards eliminating autism through abortion, "impolitely" called eugenics.
Whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, please realize that autism is not a disease. It doesn't need a cure and it certainly doesn't need a eugenics program; it needs researchers to seek ways to help individuals with autism learn to cope with their differences, use them to their advantage and, where detrimental, overcome them. If an autistic individual is uncomfortable, help them reach a better level of comfort, don't abort their future peers out of existence.
Please help me say "NO!" to eugenics!