Kevin Leitch from Left Brain/Right Brain asks us to remember that 10% of those people who have an intellectual disability also have autism:
On Autism Awareness day please be aware that people with autism often – very often – have other challenges, including Learning Disabilities, that significantly affect their daily lives. I’m aware that governments in the UK, in the USA and in Canada are implementing deep cuts to disability related spending. This does not exclude the most vulnerable members of our society, those with Learning Disabilities. Maybe, as we form an alliance to deal with the situation in Libya, and we come together to help the people of Japan (both things I wholeheartedly agree we should do) we might come together as an international body to make a pledge that on World Autism Awareness Day we will strive to not leave these world citizens behind and we will not take away their very means by which they can help themselves and be helped by others.
If you are not a regular reader of Left Brain/Right Brain, and have any interest in the science of autism, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I've moved away from covering science here, in part because I'd rather have you go there for that sort of information.
But also because I think science is too often the only lens we use to look at autism. I have a Masters of Science in education-- I understand enough to know that the data we are looking at when we study something as complex as autism is mostly bad data. And the sample sizes in experiments that make the news are often absurdly small, and should not be paid attention to except by other researchers, until results are replicated.
It is wrong when people with autism are defined by behavioral scientists who have a very limited idea of what it means to be a person. The people at Left Brain/Right Brain understand the science of autism, but they also value the humanity of people who have it.