Yuval Levental at Scientific American:
The autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen published an article, “The Concept of Neurodiversity Is Dividing the Autism Community,” where he defends the neurodiversity perspective. There are several specific arguments in his article, but overall, he views autism as a biological difference, not a disability.
Aiyana Bailin, a disability rights advocate, wrote a response titled “Clearing Up Some Misconceptions about Neurodiversity,” where she claims that while she supports neurodiversity, she believes that autism is best understood through the social model of disability. This means that the negative aspects of autism are caused by a lack of external accommodations, such as in improper work environments.
Advocating for medical research, former president of Autism Speaks Liz Feld has stated that one third of people with autism also have a seizure disorder, half suffer serious digestive complications, 49 percent wander, and more than 30 percent are nonverbal. Feld claims that no accommodation could solve those specific difficulties, and that they interfere with their quality of life. In 2018, the National Council on Severe Autism was founded to take action regarding those concerns, with its founder, Jill Escher, stating that “For countless families devoted to the well-being of their disabled loved ones, the daily challenges can be overwhelming, and the prospects for the future extremely bleak.”