A message from Alyric RE:consumer driven services
Professor Mulick wrote the following.

“if taken seriously, because autistic people would not, by definition, be interested in a career in communication!) and a self-appointed expert on the “autistic perspective on life”. People who have had difficulties making a living are not considered experts in economics. People who have psychiatric disorders are not considered experts in psychiatry. Why is this? This is because learned fields are not, we should hope, be based on idiosyncratic experiences and personal biases alone, but rather on a demonstration of acquired knowledge and on experience of effectively working in the learned discipline.”

Professor Kathy Eager had this to say about the role of the consumer in mental health issues – ‘Not about us without us’.

In every field of study (at least in mental health) the role of the consumer is considered paramount in fine-tuning programs, methods of delivery and methods of program evaluation, but not in the field of neurology apparently as it applies to autism. Professor Mulick’s approach smacks of a rather old-fashioned paternalism.

How is it possible, regardless of the ‘acquired knowledge and … experience of effectively working in the learned discipline’, for someone on the outside and every non-autistic person is on the outside to proclaim so confidently that they know what is going on inside an autistic person? No matter how expert the ‘expert’, there will always be a gap in understanding, one that the input of the views of autistics could remedy.

Michelle is arguing and doing it well that ABA is not the be all and end all of autistic treatments. Other card-carrying members of the autistic community and some of them are the real ‘experts’ having undergone these treatments, are supporting her view and also doing it well. Curiously, no one, including Professor Mulick, has put up anything like a credible argument that addresses the ideas Ms Dawson raises. Therefore, one has to conclude that there is no credible counter-argument to what Ms Dawson had to say. It is one valid viewpoint, however contrary to the views of others.

Furthermore, this meager refutation of Ms Dawson’s arguments highlights the need for those working in the autistic field to get with the times and include the consumer viewpoint as a matter of course. Why, that is not currently the reality is a matter deserving of immediate attention.