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to think that Chris Huhne's son was very wrong to call him 'autistic'

(358 Posts)
Sallyingforth Mon 04-Feb-13 17:03:34

He is may be an unpleasant creature but that word should never be used as an insult.

Spero Fri 08-Feb-13 15:09:16

I would rather have face palming than the particularly obnoxious response that used to be quite common on this site a few years back by constantly linking me to a site called 'derailing for dummies' whenever I asked (in my view) a genuine and sensible question about an issue, wishing to know more.

Well actually, I would rather that neither response was used because it is just annoying and shuts down a debate rather than opens it up.

Alittlestranger Fri 08-Feb-13 15:56:28

@bedhopper, no I would not feel the same if he'd used "black". PH clearly doesn't think his father is or may be black. I'm not saying it's a sensitive or sensible use of the word or the right way to bring up someone's potential health issues (as there is very obviously an implied criticism), but I am prepared to believe that PH thinks his father is on the spectrum, so wasn't just using it as the go-to insult.

Pagwatch Fri 08-Feb-13 17:35:27

Thats fair enough Alittlestranger.
I absoloutely think it was meant as an insult.
So we must agree to differ.

megandraper Sun 10-Feb-13 09:49:52

But if his father WAS black? Would you think saying 'you black piece of shit' was purely descriptive (with regard to his colour). Or would you feel that he was using 'black' as an insult?

Wasn't there a case recently with another footballer insulting Rio Ferdinand in that sort of way? Calling him a 'black **' I believe Rio Ferdinand (and everyone else) took that as a racist insult, not as a neutral description of his colour combined with a separate insult. I can't see how this is different.

Alittlestranger Sun 10-Feb-13 10:51:35

BTW there's a really interesting article in yesterday's Times for anyone who can get behind the paywall. It argues that the terms autistic and aspergers are over-used precisely because they have lost their stigma.

Spero Sun 10-Feb-13 12:30:21

I read that article - it seems to be repeating a lot of what this thread is angry about as misinformed stereotypes for eg awkwardness in social situations, not able to read others emotions.

Allinadaze Sun 10-Feb-13 20:09:52

That sounds interesting. I've often wondered if the growth in use of the terms (mostly by younger people ime) has been due to an increased recognition of a "spectrum" (and therefore more diagnoses?) and more "inclusion" in mainstream schools.

I wouldn't necessarily associate that with a "loss" of stigma or misunderstanding though.

Not the only reason by any stretch, but a lot of stigma exists because we generally like to define people by their condition - a "diabetic", an "aspie" a "pschizophrenic" etc, rather than a person diagnosed with "x,y or z".

Allinadaze Sun 10-Feb-13 20:40:41


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