The League to Fight Neurelitism
Position Statement on Unity in Diversity

For Immediate Release [first published on December 17, 2008]

A vibrant, transnational autistic culture has emerged with the expansion of the Internet. Prior to that time, the chances of autistics coming into social contact were, outside of psychiatric hospitals, remote. Penpal clubs, if indeed they were ever used for this purpose, would not have allowed for the growth of community.

By comparison, deaf culture and LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual transgendered) culture, though still resisted in some quarters, have both seen increasing societal acceptance. Many people have, at least to some degree, accepted the identity politics that deaf and LGPT persons, those whose live have been directly impacted by each of these constructions, should be permitted to speak for themselves.

The same has not as often been true for autistic culture. Autistic self-advocates and activists are regularly challenged by many, though certainly not all, parents of autistic children. There is a large, and mostly parent-led, movement, which advocates curing autism. To many autistics, talk of a cure is practically, if not literally, tantamount to promoting genocide. Autism, while not without its challenges, is, from a neurodiversity standpoint, a neurology to be treasured; and autistics, like other members of a society, should receive accommodations appropriate to their circumstances.

It is the stated position of The League to Fight Neurelitism that contemporary conceptualizations of multiculturalism should be extended to autistics and to autistic culture. "Unity in Neurodiversity" must, we feel, express a category of human, including civil, rights which has, till now, been largely neglected.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
Founding Director,
The League to Fight Neurelitism