NPR logo Open Thread: The Autism Rights Movement

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Open Thread: The Autism Rights Movement

On today's show, we heard from the president of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. Ari Ne'eman, 20, has Asperger's, sometimes described as a milder former of autism. Ne'eman argues that people with so-called spectrum disorders have a right to exist as they are. Activists for neurodiversity say society needs to worry less about "fixing" people with diagnoses and concentrate more on making a place for them in society. "We are proud of who we are," he says. "We're proud of the community we are building."

In the U.K., the National Autistic Society has been running public service announcements for a couple of years now. The idea is to show more normal people the view through an autistic person's eyes. The clip above comes from "Think Differently" (check out parts two and three). The new campaign, " I Exist," focuses on autistic adults.

Take a look. Think it over. And tell us, can you relate to the autistic or Asperger's experience? Should society make more room for neurodiversity? Is the Autism Rights Movement onto something?

Bonus:
How neurotypical are you?
New York magazine on the Autism Rights Movement.

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