Stephen Wiltshire's memory for details that aid in his being an artistic savant might be partially explained by his autism.
If Derek's blindness and Stephen's autism were taken away, would their quality of life be benefited or harmed? If they would be harmed, would it be ethical to treat them for these conditions? Who decides?
In the deaf community, no treatment was available and an identity of being deaf emerged. One had to accept that this was one's reality and would remain so. In combination with being unjustly connected with insanity or mental deficiencies, those who were deaf could not function within the larger community because the larger community rejected them. It was only through schools like Gaullaudet University that deaf students were empowered to become fully functioning members of society. There, they learned deaf culture among their other studies to learn to be proud of who they were and the great people through history who were deaf, who helped shape a community they could belong to with pride, and their own language--American Sign Language.
With the advent of cochlear implants, controversy arose. Was deafness something needing to be fixed? Was a parent denying a child his heritage if the child was removed from the deaf community by becoming a hearing person? Were those with cochlear implants traitors? Some high schools and colleges began removing ASL from their approved foreign language credits. In some circles, the treatment for deafness led to the deaf community being expected to fully integrate and not maintain a separate culture. Many (most?) in the deaf community did not and rejected any calls that expected them to do so. They said they didn't need or want to be fixed--there was nothing wrong with being deaf.
Following on its heels, autism diagnoses are on the rise. What is widely established as an incurable syndrome that must be accepted as one's reality is now being challenged with people like Jenny McCarthy claiming to have cured her son of autism through intensive therapy.
Did her son have autism? Was it caused by vaccines as she believes? Should she have tried to cure him of it? Are some or all forms of autism curable? Numerous treatment models, adaptations, diets, modified vaccination schedules, and other ways of trying to treat autism have arisen, but enough information isn't available yet for any consensus.