The author of the lauded best seller “Neurotribes” is coming to Australia as a keynote speaker of Autism Victoria’s bi annual Victorian Autism Conference on September 1 – the first day of a two day conference in Melbourne. And he will be here.
The Change.org petition started by Yuval Levental (under the name “Y L”) is a complete waste of time, and amounts to bullying, harassment and also libel.
I’m not going to link to that petition, but here are the lowlights of what was said;
1. Steve does NOT trivialise Autism. He pays it the proper and correct respect. Levental does not.
2. Disability IS part of the human experience. The human experience is all about diversity, and Levental opposes diversity. His editing on Wikipedia is proof that he is a racist.
3. There is plenty of evidence that many famous figures in history were Autistic. If Steve chose to be vague about it that would have been because it wasn’t really important to the present day.
4. Employment of Autistics rely on the employers, and Levental trying to shut Silberman down will have an adverse effect on an already serious problem with attitude towards Autism.
5. The rise in the prevalence of Autism in Silicon Valley is not about birth rate. It is about those who live there, but were born elsewhere.
6. Autism Victoria AKA AMAZE does recognise the negative effects of Autism. It also recognises the positive effects and provides balance. Levental opposes that balance.
Levental is trying to create the same fear for Autism as the late Suzanne Wright did. He is the one who should be stopped and he will be. I have reported the petition to Change.org for a policy violation (bullying and harassment) especially given that this is the second time Levental has tried to stop Steve from speaking. He has every right to speak on Autism, and Levental has no right to stop him. He is speaking the truth about it, and Levental is a biased narrow minded bigot who doesn’t want to know about the positives. All he wants is a cure and he’s not going to get it. Neither is anyone else who wants it, because it is impossible.
I welcome Steve to Australia. He has an important message to give and I would have been there if the Conference wasn’t so expensive to attend. I was only able to attend in Ballarat in 2012 thanks to some free tickets being available through the local group. He doesn’t trivialise Autism. He tells the truth about it. He is worth listening to for the understanding of the Spectrum as a whole. Any parent who claims that Autism is a struggle needs help, and is harming their own child with that attitude.