I don’t think autism should be considered as a developmental disability. Yet most people think that autistic people are delayed throughout their lives. I wouldn’t say that people with autism are considered developmentally disabled. The reason I think this is because people with autism are in fact…
It isn’t called a developmental disability because autistic people are non-intelligent. It’s called a developmental disability because autism affects your ability to reach normal developmental milestones at the correct times.
My husband is autistic and he was definitely developmentally delayed. He was a very late speaker (took him until his teens), had a lot of problems with toilet training and bladder control (again, took him until his teens) etc. Speaking and toilet training are developmental milestones that most people reach at a very young age. My husband is however extremely intelligent.
I have asperger syndrome, and although I was actually quite advanced at hitting certain developmental milestones (like talking, toilet training etc), I was delayed in hitting social and emotional developmental milestones. In fact, I don’t think I was just delayed, I think I stopped developing in some areas completely. As an example, I never really developed beyond parallel play and I think I still possess the emotional abilities of a young child. I also feel like a child inside, even though I’m in an adult body. I feel like I never even became a teenager, emotionally or socially, and do not relate at all to anything people refer to when they talk about the life of a teenager. I do however have the intellectual maturity of an adult.
As far as I was aware, people do think of autism as being something like down syndrome and cerebral palsy. People are certainly trying to cure autism in the same way that they ‘cure’ down syndrome (eugenics).
I’m sure that there are people with down syndrome etc who do want to be cured, just as there are people with autism who do want to be cured.