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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Plea for Common Ground

The New York Times reports on a plea for common ground, which originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

I've experienced this war in the autism community firsthand. I recently published an essay called "Cure du Jour", expressing my frustration with snake oil salesmen who prey on the desperation of parents with unfounded promises. People who disagreed with what I wrote vilified me in the autism blogosphere, calling me a selfish, bitter and bad mother. But the next day I received a heartening email from Paul Offit, M.D., author of Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine and the Search for a Cure, who said, " A brave, clear, forthright opinion. For which, no doubt, you will be hammered by those who hold a different opinion and, instead of engaging in honest debate, make things personal and mean. Hang in there... Sometimes doing the right thing isn't the easy thing." This is a man who knows a thing or two about "personal and mean"; since the publication of his book, he has received death threats.

Yeah. Death threats.

So on the eve of World Autism Awareness Day, where do we go from here? Where is our community's common ground?