This is… well. It’s one thing to know that the only major “charity” (I use the term loosely) that most people have heard of that has anything to do with you is dedicated to eradicating you and everyone like you. It’s another thing entirely to hear that some doctors think they might be making progress towards doing that.
I am aware that some autistics are a lot less functional than I am, but then, so are a lot of non-autistics. The vast majority of the ways in which I function “poorly” can be categorized in one of two ways:
1. ADHD, not autism. Separate issue.
2. Things that are a problem only because they’re abnormal.
Imagine, if you will, the general category of “ways in which someone’s identity could be radically altered by biological interventions”. Imagine a treatment that makes people self-identify as male, or female, rather than as whatever they might otherwise. Most people would be pretty upset about this; I certainly wouldn’t be super enthused about “ceasing to be autistic”, simply because that’s a fancy way of saying “ceasing to exist, and being replaced by someone else”.
Thing is. This is clearly being done to kids who cannot possibly give informed consent. Should consent be required? Usually we assume that parents can consent on their kids’ behalf, but does that apply in cases where the treatment involved utterly changes who the kid is?
I have no idea.
I do, however, think it is pretty clear that there is a lot of benefit that could be had much more cheaply, and with much less risk of unmaking people, or damaging them severely, simply through education and support services. And maybe doing that would be a good first step towards thinking about whether we need to “cure” autism any more than we need to “cure” blackness, femaleness, or any of the other things that have historically left people poorly-equipped to function in a society dominated by white males…