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The author of this post has suggested that autism and mutism are defects.

“Extremism” sounds like an ideology, by analogy with Marxism for example; or possibly it’s more akin to a behavioural state like mutism or autism - a kind of pathology or defect.

Might I remind the rest of the community that this is offensive to many of us. In fact, Greta Thunberg has said that ASD is her "super power".

The OP has been warned by none other than diamond star user (Mod) Andrew Leach that the question must be edited.

I concur with Cascabel. While I hesitate at the 100-rep penalty, you must edit this question.

So far, that has not happened. Can we please edit, or close / delete this post?

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    Cascabel, can you suggest alternate wording? What are words that are acceptable to describe 'mutism' or 'autism' (separately and together)? Are those words themselves objectionable and can you suggest replacements? – Mitch Oct 15 at 15:46
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    Why exactly is defect so much worse than disorder In this context? Going by the dictionary definitions they seem to be pretty close in meaning, so whatever subtle difference in the implications there may be between them, it cannot be assumed that it would be obvious to everyone. – jsw29 Oct 15 at 19:38
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    @jsw29 Disorder is the "accepted" terminology. What do you do with a defective machine? It's bad, so you either junk it, or repair it. Autism cannot be "fixed", any more than homosexuality. That is why it is offensive. Just because it is not obvious to everybody is no excuse. Not long ago we had quite a controversy over LGBTQ pronouns; before that not many were aware of the differences... – Cascabel Oct 15 at 19:49
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    [cont] A defect is "a shortcoming, imperfection, or lack." A disorder is a "is a functional abnormality or disturbance". Abnormal only means that it falls outside of the statistical range. Equating the two is unfair. – Cascabel Oct 15 at 20:00
  • Yes, I would not call a pathology a defect. It seems also to imply that the person soffering is defective. If there is any word that is offensive toward a group of people, that can be edited by any user. It's when the OP keeps re-adding that word that is required a moderator's action. – kiamlaluno Oct 20 at 7:40
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    Parasitism isn't a disease, it's a way of existence/sustenance, one organism feeding off another, which is sometimes harmful, and sometimes goes completely unnoticed. As you have wandered into medical territory advancing misinformation, I'm a bit offended. See how unknowingly people give offense and how easily offense is taken? Please delete this question. Or at least edit it to reflect reality. (Medically speaking, is hemophilia a disease? A disorder? A "condition"? It's certainly atypical. ) – anongoodnurse Oct 23 at 23:43
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    @kiamlaluno - What if a defective enzyme causes autism? Defective enzymes cause many disorders, a lot of them so disordered that embryos die in utero. Should we describe the protein as alternatately functioning? – anongoodnurse Oct 24 at 0:07
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    @Cascabel - Btw, my request was purposely overly dramatic, although I sincerely do dislike medical or scientific misinformation. – anongoodnurse Oct 24 at 1:07
  • @anongoodnurse I am speaking of pathology as "defect" of a person. That doesn't mean defective cannot be used. – kiamlaluno Oct 24 at 6:54
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    @Cascabel - I am a doctor, and "parasitism" is not a disease, no matter what the encyclopedia says. There are parasitic diseases, e.g. schistosomiasis. But is it a disease, a condition, or just atypical? Brouhaha? You're missing the point. I was imitating your words, tone, and dramatic reaction. Look to yourself, Cascabel. Again, though, I sincerely do dislike medical or scientific misinformation. – anongoodnurse Oct 24 at 18:29
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    @anongoodnurse It is generally agreed here (including among the moderators) that calling autism a defect is exclusionary language. As Matt E. Эллен♦ said, "They should not refer to autism or mutism as defects. It's rude and exclusionary language." Why do you take offense with that? And now you say that you are mocking me. Look to your own reaction. I'm done with this. Do not reply. – Cascabel Oct 24 at 18:41
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    @Cascabel - You may be done with this, but that doesn't control my actions. I also challenged Matt's answer. You really are missing the point entirely. And trust me on parasitism; I'm a doctor. I even practiced for a couple of months in Africa, where parasitic diseases (or illnesses, e.g. malaria) are absolutely rampant! – anongoodnurse Oct 24 at 18:51
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    @Cascabel - You are missing the point, entirely. One can be offended to a reasonable or an unreasonable degree (forgive the bifurcation.) One can flag for mod attention/action, or scream at the top of one's lungs, and everything in between. // I don't have a favorable opinion of parasites; illness in anyone doesn't make me in the least bit happy. But your numerous and unpleasant experiences with parasites doesn't mean you get to pin a new definition on the word parasitism. You're incorrect. There's irony in your condemnation in this post yet inability to admit to a simple error. – anongoodnurse Oct 24 at 23:20
  • @anongoodnurse How do your numerous and excessive comments about parasites invalidate my post on exclusionary language towards autistic people? I deleted the "offending" comment, so you no longer have anything to complain about. – Cascabel Oct 25 at 17:01
  • I suggest that you take a look at this article: Many autistic scholars and self-advocates view autism as a form of diversity rather than pathology, and an increasing number of researchers similarly conceptualize autism in terms of strengths and weaknesses rather than only deficits The question was intended to raise awareness..for some reason there is much resistance to the idea here... – Cascabel Oct 25 at 17:07
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I have deleted it until the content is changed.

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    What is meant by changing its "content"? Is the question on topic (ignoring the OP's definition of autism and mutism as defects) or not? If the author of the question replaced the term defect with say, condition or disorder, would that make it acceptable? Does the author have to remove them? What exactly does the author have to change? – Mari-Lou A Oct 15 at 9:43
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    They should not refer to autism or mutism as defects. It's rude and exclusionary language. Once that is changed I (or someone else if they feel happy to) will undelete the question. It's on topic nature is not why it has been deleted – Matt E. Эллен Oct 15 at 9:56
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    Thank you, it is good to hear that the question is on topic. Would replacing "defects" with "disorders" or "condition” be more respectful? Should the OP (or editor) also remove "pathology"? Should the two terms, mutism and autism, be replaced? – Mari-Lou A Oct 15 at 10:03
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    Maybe replacing the offensive terms (defects and pathology) with negative connotations would not only be an improvement but would help clarify the question. – Mari-Lou A Oct 15 at 10:11
  • @Mari-LouA "Negative connotations" of autism / "mutism" an improvement? Really? – Cascabel Oct 15 at 20:49
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    @Cascabel Sometimes, we have to assume good faith, is that fair. I have suggested other solutions, please tell me which you think are more acceptable? – Mari-Lou A Oct 15 at 21:14
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    OP edited to remove the offense. Please undelete. – Mitch Oct 16 at 13:04
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    @Mitch I'm not sure it has removed the offence; even the word disorder is loaded. And in any case, the question is off-topic. – Andrew Leach Oct 16 at 14:05
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    @AndrewLeach 1) I changed it to a word that was acceptable to the OP on this meta question. Specifically, autism also goes by the term 'autistic spectrum disorder'. While the latter may be loaded or objectionable to you it is pretty standard. 2) I think it is questionable that the question is off-topic, so I think we should go through the usual procedure of close voting to check that. – Mitch Oct 16 at 14:16
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    Happy to undelete once the content is changed to not refer to autism or mutism as defects. What else needs to be done? – Mari-Lou A Oct 17 at 0:08
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    Is all this worth it? – Cascabel Oct 17 at 0:37
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    @Cascabel I removed what I think is any kind of offense entirely. It may still be an underspecified question and very closable, but I thought I'd try to make it available to anybody who could tackle it. It's not as much about the single word 'extremism' but about the meaning of '-ism' as a suffix. – Mitch Oct 17 at 17:29
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    @Cascabel Who knows what down- (or up-) voters are really thinking (there were also 3 upvotes here). Maybe they just disagree that it is as big an issue as you (downvoting is much freer on meta) because they just don't see it (it's not as well-represented in the media). Like with any kind of awareness of offense, it doesn't happen to a majority of people so they think it doesn't exist. – Mitch Oct 18 at 23:51
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    @MattE.Эллен - Good grief! Is neuroatypical also rude and exclusionary? I can see how someone who is neuroatypical could be offended by that – anongoodnurse Oct 24 at 0:01
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    @anongoodnurse i don't know. In this context defect is, as people in the group being labelled such have said so. I'm afraid, unless I already know, I can only react as things are brought to light. – Matt E. Эллен Oct 24 at 0:33

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