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EzraS
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13 Sep 2016, 9:33 pm

I have been around several with cerebral palsy. Some just have some difficulty with one side of their body. Like this one kid I knew, he would hold his arm up bent and the elbow and had some trouble with moving is leg while walking. Then there are others I have seen who have no use of their arms and legs always in a wheelchair and can't talk.

But far as I know they are all just considered as having CP. There isn't any talk about it being a spectrum or whatever like there is with autism and the whole classic, PDD, Asperger's, spectrum, disorder, condition etc thing.

Shouldn't autism just be autism? I mean as far as basic terminology goes, not what is in a person's personal medical file. But as saying what we have, why not just autism instead of all these other names and subtitles?



kraftiekortie
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13 Sep 2016, 9:39 pm

Cerebral Palsy, I believe, covers A LOT. Perhaps even more than autism.

There are at least five kinds of Cerebral Palsy that I know of.

And the functioning of people with Cerebral Palsy varies quite a bit. It can range from hardly being noticeable at all, to rendering a person virtually a "vegetable."

There's a person with slight Cerebral Palsy here on WP. She also has Asperger's. Her name is Kitty. She has stated this publicly, so I believe it's okay to mention that.

You can have a genius with Cerebral Palsy, actually. Who looks like Stephen Hawking (who doesn't have Cerebral Palsy, but looks like he does).



naturalplastic
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13 Sep 2016, 9:52 pm

"Pervasive Delayed Development Not Otherwise Specified."

Thats what it stands for.

The name sounds like "we dont know what to call you". And thats basically what it means.

Aspergers is an actual thing discovered by Hans Asperger (discovered prior to autism being discovered by Kanner), and autism is an actual thing.

PDD was the afterthought diagnosis - the hopper they toss you into if you dont fit the other two categories.

But actaully all three are just labels for conditions the blend into each other like the colors of the sunset.



EzraS
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13 Sep 2016, 10:47 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Cerebral Palsy, I believe, covers A LOT. Perhaps even more than autism.

There are at least five kinds of Cerebral Palsy that I know of.


Right. But usually it's just referred to as CP in the general population.

kraftiekortie wrote:
And the functioning of people with Cerebral Palsy varies quite a bit. It can range from hardly being noticeable at all, to rendering a person virtually a "vegetable."


Right, which makes it similar to autism in the different degrees it has.

kraftiekortie wrote:
There's a person with slight Cerebral Palsy here on WP. She also has Asperger's. Her name is Kitty. She has stated this publicly, so I believe it's okay to mention that.


Right, the kid I was talking about with mild CP also has autism. I have dyspraxia that's severe enough it looks like mild CP.

kraftiekortie wrote:
You can have a genius with Cerebral Palsy, actually. Who looks like Stephen Hawking (who doesn't have Cerebral Palsy, but looks like he does).


I have used the Hawking analogy for more severe autism too. How looks can be deceiving.



ASPartOfMe
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14 Sep 2016, 4:38 am

There is just Cerebral Palsy, but there are numorous official diagnostic sub catagories of cancer and official levels of diagnostic severity called stages (exp. Stage 2 lymphoma). With autism as knowledge increases the labeling will change.


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kraftiekortie
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14 Sep 2016, 5:29 am

There are at least five types of Cerebral Palsy, and the severity level for each absolutely runs the gamut: from barely noticeable to the person being rendered a virtual vegetable.



kraftiekortie
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14 Sep 2016, 9:30 am

I agree with Ezra that both autism and Cerebral Palsy are "spectrum disorders."



animalcrackers
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14 Sep 2016, 3:03 pm

I think we should just call it autism.


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14 Sep 2016, 3:19 pm

EzraS nailed it!

If the autism spectrum is based on the severity of several behaviors and characteristics, why shouldn't other conditions be seen as a spectrum, too?

When I lived in Studio City, Calif., Geri Jewell ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geri_Jewell ) was a neighbor and acquaintance of mine. She has made a part of her comedy career about her cerebral palsy and its many manifestations. In her comedy she describes how some of her behaviors are actually beneficial while others aren't so much. I have a feeling she would agree with EzraS and his idea.


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14 Sep 2016, 3:30 pm

Autism, plain and simple nothing else, gets my vote.


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Ettina
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14 Sep 2016, 9:23 pm

Another parallel is that people with both conditions don't necessarily vary on a single spectrum of severity. With cerebral palsy, for example, speech, hand use and leg function can vary independently - one guy with CP I know of has very badly slurred speech and walks with a limp, while a girl I know uses a wheelchair but has only a very subtle 'CP accent'. She can also use her hands fairly well, though she's slower and more awkward than normal, while a friend of hers has no hint of CP in her speech, but can't use her hands at all (her hands are stuck in fists all the time) - she also uses a wheelchair.

Similarly, speech, social skills, executive function, obsessiveness and sensory issues all seem to vary independently in autism. One kid I knew was echolalic, very stimmy and tended to be very aloof, while another kid had no speech at all but was sociable and mischievous and had intense interests but only fairly subtle stims. I have no trouble with formal theory of mind tests and pass the mind in the eyes test, so my social issues are fairly mild, but I can't live independently due to executive dysfunction.

As for why people don't act like 'mild cerebral palsy' and 'severe cerebral palsy' are so very different like they do with autism, my view is it's politics. Parents in the CP community mostly don't seem to have this strong feeling that they deserve a non-disabled child and that having a disabled child is ruining their lives - even though objectively parenting a kid with severe CP is at least as hard as parenting a low functioning autistic kid. Plus, it seems to be more generally understood that adults with CP exist who can speak for themselves and that they deserve to be heard in discussions about CP. Whereas with autism, the dominant discourse is about an epidemic of low-functioning kids who will never do XYZ and that's so awful. And since part of the thing they're supposed to never be able to do is speak for themselves, any autistic adult who objects to that narrative gets shut down with the argument "you're not like our kids!" Which means that people have to draw an imaginary (but very rigid) line between the autistics who are "like their kids" and the ones who aren't.



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14 Sep 2016, 9:34 pm

EzraS wrote:
I have been around several with cerebral palsy. Some just have some difficulty with one side of their body. Like this one kid I knew, he would hold his arm up bent and the elbow and had some trouble with moving is leg while walking. Then there are others I have seen who have no use of their arms and legs always in a wheelchair and can't talk.

But far as I know they are all just considered as having CP. There isn't any talk about it being a spectrum or whatever like there is with autism and the whole classic, PDD, Asperger's, spectrum, disorder, condition etc thing.

Shouldn't autism just be autism? I mean as far as basic terminology goes, not what is in a person's personal medical file. But as saying what we have, why not just autism instead of all these other names and subtitles?


In short, Yes. The spectrum is all just one thing and we need to start living with that and stop hanging onto high/low functioning as a badge of honor.

How we got here has to do with the eugenics movement and how early autism researchers tried to keep some of their young patients safe from the Nazi death hospitals by emphasizing how different high functioning autistics are from low functioning. Your question is the subject of that book you've probably seen talked about, Neurotribes.