Tag Archives: Neurotribes

PETITION: Remove Steve Silberman as the Closing Keynote Speaker from the 47th National ASA Conference.

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Sign the petition here.

Steve Silberman is an autism writer that trivializes the disabilities that autistics face.  When he was criticized for not including descriptions of low functioning autistics that wear diapers and bang their heads in his book Neurotribes, he said in an interview “Disability is Part of the Human Experience”.

The book Neurotribes claims that famous figures in history were autistic, but does not give much evidence to support those claims.  Additionally, the book only offers vague and questionable solutions for employment among Autistics.  He claims that the largest rise of the rate of Autism in California was in Silicon Valley, but this is actually no larger compared to most of California.

He will be speaking at the annual Autism Society of America conference on Saturday, July 16, 2016.  He must be stopped, as the Autism Society of America must openly recognize the extent of the negative effects of Autism.

Here is what commenters to the petition had to say about Silberman speaking there:

Low-functioning autistics matter, and for someone as influential in the autistic community as Mr. Silberman to imply that they don’t, is not only lacking in any sort of empathy, but it’s also harmful in terms of refusing to try to help those autistic people.

My 10 year old sister is severely autistic, and will never have the normal future other kids will. She’s been robbed. I do believe that this man should NOT be speaking for ones like her.

Acknowledgement of the significant negative impact on the lives of severely autistic individuals and their lives must be included in any discussion about autism. Mr Silberman misrepresents the condition.