At first glance eradicating autism appears to be a noble and worthwhile cause. Autism can be extremely difficult for individuals and families to deal with. After all, no one thinks "Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder." However, many of the world's most gifted artists and scientists were probably on the autism spectrum. How much poorer would human civilisation have been without many of these people?
With a prenatal test for autism being developed, a world without the beauty of autism is what some would have us aspire to.
I find it difficult to articulate how sickened this makes me feel. Someone is assuming that perhaps our life would have been better if we were able to choose to abort our children with ASD.
What will be next, a test to predetermine a persons propensity towards mental illness so that those people will not have to burden society?
With prenatal tests for Downs Syndrome we have seen the numbers of abortions skyrocket for children with Downs. There is little doubt that when a similar test for ASD becomes available many families will choose to abort because they will be led to assume that having a child with autism is too difficult. Increasingly we as a society are continually looking for the easy way out without questioning what we loose when we take the easy road.
When did we start to believe the lie that only a perfect child is worth having?