I have a hangover, that's not relevant, but I am awash with ideas, and I feel after commenting in the same fashion on two blogs within the autism hub which deal with different theories of Autism, the one from our old friend and bogey Simon Baron Cohen, the other from the laughably named "Mind Institute", that it is worth repeating on my blog.
Essentially so many theories of Autism are being advanced that they are mutually insupportable.
One might claim that one is right and the other is not, but in doing so one is not really making a scientific choice so much as a personal preference given that the mutually insupportable theories when taken as separate entities all appear in peer reviewed journals and are internally consistent with the notions of scientific investigation and statistical validation.
I have approached this topic before when I quoted from Dermot Bowler's book.
And if one wants to follow such ideas further one gets into the difficult territory of Wittgenstein, Quine and others as this critique of scientific method has a good grounding in philosophy (from whence science springs anyway).
Well to turn aside and get back to the main track, I will soon find myself teaching a module on a course constructed by my supervisor which investigates the position of autism in society. This is part of the Uni's BA in Childhood Culture and Education. Although this course is intended for undergraduates who do not have much of a background in Autism, it would be just as relevant to the likes of Simon Baron Cohen, Jenny McCarthy, David Kirby, and all the other popular pundits of autism who all mutually fail to understand just what they are really on about, who think they know all about autism when they only ever see the aspect they are dealing with directly.
And so for the third time today I will quote myself again: -
There is no single gene/cause for the categories "Artist" or "Scientist" each condition is contingent upon multiple factors because they are a human category not a natural one, in essence the reason why a single gene or cause will not be found is because "Autism" is also a human category, and as such is not "watertight" it leaks all over the place because that which is called autism is the confluence of many rivers and depending where you stand in the lake you might feel the influence and currents of any one of them more than another.
Therefore those who pin the argument for autistic's rights on the outcome of a science which can describe us in a positive way are on a hiding to nothing as the remedies are societal and to hope for a scientific justification is to bend science according to ones will, which of course is what all scientists and philosophers do anyway.
Autism finds itself wholly within the social model of disability for an explanation of how it is studied, valued, devalued or otherwise debated.