McGuire writes in more depth about the influence of capitalism in producing childhood and children as sites of ‘investment’ in potential futures (McGuire 2016 119-133). This in turn creates pressure for parents to produce optimal futures for their children by embracing interventions aimed at preventing, curing, or at least mitigating, disability (Carey, Block, and Scotch 2019).

In this conception of childhood, neuro-developmental disabilities, like autism, are constructed as an information-commodities. They are both a justification for clinical intervention, and a framework for understanding which interventions should be prescribed. In this process Autistic bodies and experiences are abstracted and objectified. Far from being an economic burden, Autistic people’s lives, and experiences of disability, become the grist that form the basis of an industry (Mallett and Runswick-Cole 2012; McGuire 2016, 126).

Manidoo Makwa Kwe


I think therapy can be a great thing for kids, even a life-changing thing. What I object to is the attitude that all kids with disabilities need therapy, and they all need it from the start, and they all need as much as they can get.

Garden of My Heart


Lovaas’s rhetorical construct of “recovery [to normalcy]” has proven to be so powerful and so culturally resonant for nearly 25 years […]

This explicit linking of the rhetorical construct of recovery [to normalcy] with a particular intervention methodology […] functions ideologically […] foregrounding and naturalizing the notion of ‘intervention’ as the only commonsense response

[…] Implicit in the testimony of both Carmen and Maurice is the assumption that one must do something upon coming to understand that one is the parent of an autistic child, one must intervene in some sort of active way, and that this intervention must involve changing or altering the child in some way.

The question considered by the parents above appears not to be whether to intervene, but rather, how to do so.

Alicia A. Broderick



Truth Beacon – Research & Authority

[N]o matter what you do in the disability community, you will ruffle feathers just because it’s such a huge community, and it’s heterogeneous. It’s full of very different opinions and backgrounds because disability affects everyone and anyone in any culture. So there’s gonna be, of course, dissent and disagreement.

Caitlin Wood


[O]ne of the biggest dangers that the culture of the autistic community faces is the allure of a single story told from within.



To be an autistic in a minority culture is to realise that we are not all standing on the same ground when it comes to our experiences as autistics.

Dream Walden


But autism researchers are not geologists, to paraphrase @aneeman. We’re not rocks. We talk back. If autism researchers don’t want to work with people, they should study something else.

Sara Luterman


Both [the personal experience and the scientific literature] provide insights. But these insights are qualitatively different, and no universal standard sets one above the other.

William Mandy


The four kingdoms [Illness, Identity, Injury, Insight] may not capture the entire universe of the autism spectrum, but they describe largely non-overlapping perspectives that now divide the world of autism.

Thomas Insel


No one autism story takes every single perspective into account. […]

Many of the perspectives conflict […] and there are just so many that it’s nearly impossible to remember to include them all.

Stuart Duncan


[T]here are, I think, many versions of disability pride

Susan Wendell


We don’t all agree. You don’t have to agree with all of us. You can’t possibly agree with all of us anyway. A lot of times people embroiled in identity politics get really wrapped up in the idea that the oppressed person is always right about their oppression. That’s bullshit. We can be as wrong as anyone.

However, we have on average thought more deeply and for longer about our oppression than other people have, so you can benefit from our experience when dealing with the way your own oppression takes the same shape as ours.

You can learn a lot more about ableism by looking into what disabled people have already figured out about it

Mel Baggs


…the erroneous presupposition that observation of human performance is an exact science, that performance is evidence of ability, or simply is ability.

Idea and keywords by C.F. Goodey


[A]utism research […] a mix of insights and insults.



In non-autism areas, poor quality research and its harms – its waste of resources, its misleading findings – are vigorously condemned. There is recognition that even the best existing research standards are flawed and need always to be improved.

But when it comes to autism, standards have instead been lowered or discarded to accommodate the extremely poor autism intervention literature.

Poor standards in intervention research are seen not as harmful and wasteful, which they are, but as what autistics need and deserve. Resources have poured not into improving these abysmal standards, but into making the very poor quality autism intervention literature more powerful and influential.

Michelle Dawson


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