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Wendell Wallach


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IEET > Rights > Neuroethics > Staff > Kris Notaro

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IEET Readers are split on Aspergers Question


Posted: Nov 1, 2012

IEET Readers are split on the question “When Aspergers is curable, will parents be morally obliged to cure it in their children”? One reason readers may be split is because there is such a huge variety of personalities someone with Asperger syndrome can take on. It can affect how one acts towards others, however theres many cases where Asperger syndrome increases compassion. Who is to say what the social norm should be? There is such a broad “norm” for symptoms of Asperger syndrome that it takes great expertise to identify it in some people.

Therefore the “social norm” of everyday culture is not much different then some patients with Asperger syndrome. However, in the end modern culture can only learn from people who have been diagnosed who are proud that they have it and the benefits of having it. We might even want to add some aspects of the syndrome to ourselves for example the ability of some to focus just on one subject for a long period of time.

In a future world where every brain is enhanced however, someone born with a “normal” brain will be looked at like they have a “disability.” We may be more likely to learn from Asperger syndrome than to treat it.

From Wikipedia:

Autistic people have advocated a shift in perception of autism spectrum disorders as complex syndromes rather than diseases that must be cured. Proponents of this view reject the notion that there is an “ideal” brain configuration. and that any deviation from the norm is pathological; they promote tolerance for what they call neurodiversity. There is a contrast between the attitude of adults with self-identified AS, who typically do not want to be cured and are proud of their identity, and parents of children with AS, who typically seek assistance and a cure for their children.

This may also explain the split between the IEET readers.
392 readers responded to this poll


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