When language fails we fail. That is the lesson Wittgenstein taught us. We must resist the temptation to accommodate the failure, account for it somehow as you do. There is a reason it failed and it is simple, because the concept it was trying to explain is flawed. Rescuing a failed concept through shifting definitions and recontextulization is no rescue it is simply a life raft given in the hopes of rescue. The life raft (accommodation) can be grabbed and the sinking swimmer (flawed concept, in this case autism spectrum) can be pulled closer but in the end he still sinks if the people pulling him aboard (the concepts) are not sturdy.

Rather than try and save what can’t be saved we would be better served spending our time building new concepts that are sturdy and strong and cannot sink. The term autism spectrum served a purpose once but it no longer does.

Some might say so what, what’s the harm? It is good enough, close enough, people are used to it, they understand it. A flawed concept allowed to stand is an offense against logic, which is an offense against what is true, what is real. I will always fight to defend the true and the real, and I will never surrender to what is false, to what is unreal and fake. There is no autism spectrum and most likely there never was.

Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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