In my post ‘Not-quite-Asperger’s-Syndrome Syndrome‘ I intentionally kept the satirical/sarcastic tone of the original article, my only acknowledgment of the true nature of that article being an emoticon at the end and a ‘satire’ technorati tag. Most of the conversation I’ve seen on this article – some resulting from my original post – has been critical of the intent and execution of the article. I must admit, though, that I found it – if not humorous – entertaining and well-aimed. (For more discussion on the original article, check out How DARE They! What Do NTs Know Anyway?)
But my real thoughts were along the lines of, “Wow, now we know that autism awareness is increasing. If someone can make fun of autism and autistics in such a knowledgeable way, that means they are aware of the issues.” Or, as griffen quotes Gandhi
First they ignore you. Then they fight you. Then they laugh at you. Then you win.
I’m not sure this means that we ‘win,’ whatever that may mean in the context of autism awareness, but I see this as progress in our fight. As an individual, it is sometimes painful to be at the butt of a satire. But solid, well-informed satire is good for society. And this, I think, gets to the heart of some of the key issues surrounding autism (and disabilities in general), at least in my mind.
At what point do the needs/rights of society at large outweigh the needs/rights of individual members of that society? Or, maybe even more to the point, do the needs/rights of society ever outweigh the needs/rights of an individual?
No answers from me, at least not this year.
Happy New Year everyone, and keep up the good fight!