Some geneticists are busy looking at parts of chromosomes 7 and 21 for a connection to so-called regressive autism. I’m still dubious about it being that simple, given that there are many possible causes for the things being dubbed ‘regression’. But if these are truly the main genes involved in this expression, then they’re probably talking about me: I lost prior speech abilities in early childhood and have lost a number of other abilities (including the speech I’d regained) later in life.
Meanwhile, the push is getting greater to detect autistic people before we’re born, so that we don’t have to be born. Eugenic abortion — as one person put it not the right to choose whether, but the right to choose who — is already so commonplace towards people with Down’s syndrome that one activist with Down’s syndrome, Astra Milberg, has commented that she feels like one of an endangered species, and several activists with Down’s syndrome protested at an international genetic screening conference for their right to speak out against this a few years ago.
I wish I could say I felt much of anything, but I’m more sort of numb. I know exactly where things are headed, and I will work as hard as I can to stop them just as I have been all along for people who already peg some people’s “don’t even get a chance at life” meters, but I guess I got the strong freaked-out emotions out of the way when I saw where this was going years ago. It’s just… weird… to know they’re getting this close to identifying the genes, and that they’re zeroing in on subtypes that sound suspiciously like mine.