Microsoft suspends autistic boy's X-box account for "cheating," which apparently means being too good at gaming.
Oy vey. Not that this kind of ridiculousness is unexpected from Microsoft, but still. I disagree, however, with the implication made by someone quoted in the article claiming that it wouldn't occur to an autistic child to cheat. Uh, no. And as for the commentators who don't think it's possible for an autistic kid to be good at video games? Ha. Ha. And also, ha.
North Carolina Disability rights groups quite rightly object to a new state policy allowing community colleges to refuse admission to applicants deemed "threatening to campus security."
This policy is pretty gross, but sadly not very surprising given the surveillance that neuro-atypical students on college campuses are subjected to. I have to wonder if the Arizona shootings played a role in this. Way to let the terrorists win, guys. This is particularly distressing because community colleges are supposed to be open to everyone, and can be particularly helpful in helping low-income students and/or people with disabilities to access higher education. But in North Carolina the policy of open admissions is now being revoked in favor of the ever-nebulous concept of "security."
New DSM V criteria for autism revealed, including explanation of severity levels.
I think the criteria themselves are better than the previous criteria which was proposed, as well as the current DSM IV, largely because it is so much more specific and therefore less open to misinterpretation. Still far from perfect and does not, I think, really capture all of the major aspects of the autistic experience. And I am really not a fan of the "severity" labels, which I don't think are very useful for describing individuals. The information that someone has, say, a "level two autism diagnosis," doesn't really tell you much about that person as an individual, what their specific challenges and strengths are, etc. I can easily see how this system can be used to put autistic people in particular boxes, with all sorts of consequences, without any regards to individual needs. "Sorry, we don't provide x service to Level One autistics." "A level three autistic cannot be mainstreamed." This could very well happen, and it is scary. I would hate to think that one system of ranking autistic people according to perceived worth and ability is going to be dismantled only to put another, arguably more rigid one, in its place. Why can't we just have individualized diagnoses? Yes, it is "harder" (for diagnosticians, service providers, etc.) but that fact should not prevent autistic people from receiving the best possible services according to individual needs.