Wednesday, March 18, 2009

jake crosby takes NDs to task again

I have just read another work of jake crosby . At some point, I may not publicize his individual essays as he certainly does not need my help given the relatively large circulation at age of autism and thankfully they are publishing even more of his essays; therefore it might be hard to keep up.

But once again, he writes of the struggles of a high functioning autistic, the fact he only got a C on one of his college term papers because his autism impairs his ability to multitask. I realize this is trivial in comparison to the problems of the connor dohertys, russell rollens, dov shestacks and john belmontes, who barring an improbable miracle, will never be able to dream of going to a university like Brandeis that Jake attends and never be able to take care of themselves or live independent lives or be able to communicate at anything but the most rudimentary level. I am thankful to Jake for both letting us know about how flawed a concept neurodiversity is in a forum that will get good exposure and for the final line of his essay discussing about the antipathy that society has towards those of us on the spectrum and our delegation to the figurative wood pile.

One thing that I would like to elaborate on and slightly take Jake to task for is not being specific enough. What I mean by this is that often the problems of persons at the less severe end of the spectrum such as Jake and myself are not acknowledged. I agree with Harold Doherty when he criticizes the NDs who want to speak for all autistics, including his son whose problems are far more severe than theirs. However, this does not mean that those of us at the upper end don't suffer. I agree barely passing a history term paper might seem trivial compared to other issues that befall certain autistics on the spectrum, but it still hurts me (and apparently Jake also) that we can't do as well at things as those without a disability.

Joseph (one of the more prominent ND bloggers) has apparently felt that I am making a big deal about my mediocre academic performance in college claiming that I should be content with being average. This is in spite of the fact that I nearly flunked out of college, my ambitions to go to graduate school did not pan out, so I could not be an autism researcher like Matthew Belmonte or Lindsay Oberman and the others, he and the rest of the ND crowd just want to trivialize that. Yet Joseph in one of his old posts comes up with some figures projecting a 70% employment rate for all autistics at some future point. When there will be a 70% employment rate for autistics, I am not sure and Joseph not surprisingly is quite vague about the timeline. Also I am not sure where Joseph gets this figure, other than the fact that maybe 70% of autistics diagnosed today are not intellectually retarded and then a tacit assumption that all autistics without retardation will be able to work. Then Joseph goes on with the disclaimer that he is not claiming all nonretarded autistics will be able to work. So I am mystified where Joseph comes up with this figure. So, he seems to think I complain about nothing, yet my problems have impaired me from making a living and I have not been employed for some time, so according to Joseph's projections I am in the bottom 30th percentile.

Temple Grandin has a similar attitude about mildly versus severely autistic persons. She favors a cure for those on the severe end of the spectrum, but apparently wants to preserve autism in mildly autistic people, because she believes that autism genes are responsible for invention and creativity.

Simon Baron Cohen also wrote an essay claiming that high functioning autism should not be considered a disability as opposed to low functioning autism. The demarcation between functioning levels is not made clear by SBC. I notice he consulted David Andrews for this essay, someone who stoops to the nastiest insults and most abusive language you could imagine towards anyone who dares to disagree with his view on autism. Andrews' participation in this essay should certainly diminish its credibility.

SBC also takes a view about autism genes being advantageous in society that is similar to Grandins. I have refuted their reasoning in this essay.

So don't forget those of us with mild autism. Even if our problems are not as bad as Connor Doherty's and John Belmonte's, they are still bad enough. The inability to do well academically and in employment and in romantic relationships does make life hard for at least some of us. This is a fact that should not be forgotten.

15 comments:

Joseph said...

the fact he only got a C on one of his college term papers

That's baffling in how nonsensical and irrelevant it is. I'm sure I've had C's in college term papers. I would never have thought it has anything to do with autism. Whenever anyone gets a C, is it because they are autistic? Or could it be, I don't know, because they didn't do very good work?

Whenever an autistic gets anything below a B, is it acceptable to blame it on autism every time?

Where are all these associations between autism and college performance coming from?

jonathan said...

Hi Joseph, Jake talks about how difficult multitasking is for him. I talked about it in my post and Jake went into more depth about it in his post, perhaps you should read jake's post on AoA if you have not already.

I have not lived Jake's life and can't know first hand what his life is like, but he seems to feel having autism impaired his performance on that particular paper. Guess you would have to take it up with him the basis for his feelings his autism has impaired his performance. I truly believe my autism has impaired my performance academically and in other areas. But this is the typical ND response sweeping it under the rug, just saying it is the person and not their autism that is impairing their ability to do things well

Kev said...

OK Jonathon, lets say it is Jake's autism that has meant he can't add footnotes to an essay.

Does that mean that autism negatively affects every aspect of his life? Does autism negatively affect every aspect of your life? You don't enjoy who you are at all?

Yourself, Harold and now Jake Crosby have an absolutely bizarre take on what neurodiversity is.

Let me be totally clear.

Autism negatively affects many, many autistic people. Autism is a disorder. Autistic people need help in a variety of educational, social and sometimes medical ways.

Have I left anything out? Is there anything you claim neurodiversity won't say that I haven't said?

And whilst you're mulling that over, autism also positively affects many, many people. Autism is not just a disorder. Autistic people don't always need educational and/or social and/or medical ways.

Is there any possibility that you, Harold Doherty or Jake Crosby can see that what you are saying is simply not true?

And lastly, given that we agree with you that autism is not always hunky dory, what is that you hate about us so much? Why are you so determined to not see any positives at all when they clearly exist?

jonathan said...

well, Kev, maybe you can state what some of those positives are, so far all i see you writing is a take that is pretty much different than anything else I have seen from anyone writing about ND before, other than the fact you as an individual have not said whether you would be for or against a cure if one were available.

I have taken loads of crap online from the ND movement, they only want to permeate propaganda like claiming autism speaks is out to deliberately abort people or that I hate myself or that my parents taught me to hate myself. They fabricate lies, they harasss people and pose as sock puppets on my blog. You could be clay adams or phil gluyas in disguise for all i know but i still published your comment. In a nutshell those are some of the reasons I dislike the ND movement so much

Autism Reality NB said...

Jonathan

I understand that persons with HFA and Aspergers have challenges. As you point out my concern is that those who have different challenges then people like my son, who is severely autistic, should not pretend to speak for them. I thank you for expressing your views and challenges as a person at the high functioning end of the spectrum without doing that.

Kev does not see what he does not want to see. On my blog I speak often about the joy that my son brings me each day. But I do not, like Kev, try to hide the reality that mty son's severe autism challenges present.

A person with HFA or Aspergers has every right in the world to refuse treatment and cure should one become available.

What Kev fails to understand,and refuses to see, is that no one with HFA or Aspergers has the right to speak on behalf of low functioning autistic persons like my son and declare that they do not want to be cured and should not be cured.

When the ND ideologues do that they help oppress severely autistic persons by helping suppress their right to seek treatment, via parents or other legal guardians, for their disorder.

Joseph said...

At what point do you take responsibility for poor performance, though?

Jake is probably not the only one who got a C or worse in that term paper, I bet. What excuse can the other students give? Are autistics never lazy or careless?

Is that an appropriate message? 'Never take responsibility for anything because you can blame it on autism.'

How is he ever going to make it through college with that attitude?

Sure, there are some deficits that you can directly link to autism. But now I see people not only blaming college performance on autism, but even murder and such; the evidence does not say you can blame such things on autism.

Kev said...

"well, Kev, maybe you can state what some of those positives are"

Here's a few stories I particularly enjoyed:

http://tinyurl.com/ccmpa9
http://tinyurl.com/c65dca
http://tinyurl.com/c3ca9c
http://tinyurl.com/deoset
http://tinyurl.com/ck9hxx

In general, the ability to concentrate to the exclusion of other input on a particular subject, the ability to communicate with a massive variety of people of various neurologies easily and quickly, the ability to see things differently.

In particular I enjoy the way my autistic child has quickly taken to the computer due in part to her intense interest in its workings, her uncaring nature in relation to what others think of how she presents herself to the world...goodness. Too many things to go through really.

"so far all i see you writing is a take that is pretty much different than anything else I have seen from anyone writing about ND before"

Really? Are you absolutely sure about that? Have you asked them specifically? How many people have you asked? I'm aware that most of the well known names in the neurodiversity community feel very similar to me.

"other than the fact you as an individual have not said whether you would be for or against a cure if one were available."

I've made my opinion clear plenty of times but I'm happy to do so again. I feel its pretty pointless being for or against anything that is a scientific endeavour. Its like being for or against electricity. If enough scientists put enough time and effort into it, it will happen. If you want a cure or Jake Crosby or my daughter then so be it. Good luck to you, I'd stand by your right to choose for yourself.

Speaking for myself, I don't think a cure should be necessary to make autistic people acceptable. To me they are acceptable exactly as they are. You, Jake Crosby, my daughter. I think you're pretty fine.

"I have taken loads of crap online from the ND movement, they only want to permeate propaganda like claiming autism speaks is out to deliberately abort people or that I hate myself or that my parents taught me to hate myself. They fabricate lies, they harasss people and pose as sock puppets on my blog. You could be clay adams or phil gluyas in disguise for all i know but i still published your comment. In a nutshell those are some of the reasons I dislike the ND movement so much."

So you're painting a whole movement as misguided because of the actions of a few? Should we kill every Muslim for the actions of Al Quaeda?

If you feel these people have wronged you then I understand you being annoyed with them. I think Harold is a hypocrite without equal but I don't think everyone who thinks ABA is brilliant is a hypocrite just because I think he is.

Kev said...

"Kev does not see what he does not want to see. On my blog I speak often about the joy that my son brings me each day. But I do not, like Kev, try to hide the reality that mty son's severe autism challenges present."

Harold I try not speak about my autistic child at all. However I do not deny and never have and have told you before on numerous blogs that autism can present severe challenges. Please print this off, frame it and hang it above your monitor for next time you feel tempted to present this red herring.

"What Kev fails to understand,and refuses to see, is that no one with HFA or Aspergers has the right to speak on behalf of low functioning autistic persons like my son and declare that they do not want to be cured and should not be cured."

Who - and I mean name them and link to the statement - has said they have the authority to say your child should not be cured?

No one has that authority Harold. I think what you'll find is that people say that their experiences with autism lead them to believe that it is not necessary to cure autism and that a cure should not be a necessary component of a life lived with/out autism. Does your sons and my daughters life only assume value when they're cured?

And consider this Harold. Do you not think that someone who is autistic might have more of an insight about what it means to be autistic then you or I?

"When the ND ideologues do that they help oppress severely autistic persons by helping suppress their right to seek treatment, via parents or other legal guardians, for their disorder."

No Harold. There is a world of difference between 'cure' and 'treatment'. I admire how you always attempt to slip seamlessly from concept to concept but the two are not equal. Even if you were absolutely 100% right that the neurodiverse concept included the idea that no autistic person should ever be cured then you are still being purposefully misleading. I do not oppose PECS. I do not oppose Speech Therapy, I do not oppose what I understand ABA to be as practised by (for example) Steve Dionne or Kristina Chew, two card carrying ND's in your eyes. I do not oppose Autism educational units, I do not oppose mandated special schools, I do not oppose water therapy, play therapy...do I need to go on?

When you try to equate 'cure' with 'treatment' Harold you expose your hypocrisy. Its really beneath you and unnecessary. Surely you aren't so worried about your ground that you need to falsify others beliefs?

jonathan said...

interesting, autism has made it very difficult for me to concentrate, difficult for me to hold down jobs due to lack of concentration though part of the problem were people's prejudice against me but small part. I was under the impression your daughter was nonverbal, I find it hard to believey you feel she is just fine that way and you would reject a cure if one were offered (hypothetical of course). You have never met me, I don't think you have ever met jake so you can't judge whether or not we are fine.

I have read the writings of the anti-cure, ND people on the internet for years, seen interviews on TV. As far as I know you are the only one who has acknowledged autism as being a disorder. Some have acknowledged it as a disability, but have qualified that statement with a social model of disability rather than a medical model of disability.

The muslims who are part of Al Quaeda are the exception rather than the rule. Some NDs, including yourself have been courteous to me, but those are the minority. The majority of them resort to name calling, abuse and propaganda, and I do consider the nasty rhetoric against parents like harold who want to help their children even if they don't necessarily go about it the right way to be abuse. Also, the mean spirited things about the people at autism speaks who mostly have children far more severely handicapped than just about anyone in the ND movement is propaganda. This is the way most persons in the anti-cure neurodiversity movement operate.

If you have an alternative to a cure, you ought to present it to the world. I am sure Harold and many other parents would greet you with open arms if you had such a thing or even if it were something less than a cure but still something that would help their children function better, they would be glad to have it. But I doubt very much you have anything like that or you would have been shouting about it from the rooftops and everyone with an autistic child would be practicing what you suggest.

Unless you and others in the ND movement have an alterative to cure then I will certainly wish for a cure, no matter how unrealistic and if impossible for myself, certainly for future generations of autistics so they won't suffer as I have suffered not to mention persons much more severely autistic than i am.

Foresam said...

Kev,
The patriarch of Neuroinsanity, Frank Klein, said autism should not be cured as do Amanda (sham) Baggs and Ari (sham) Ne'eman. Do you deny these are your spokesmodels who present your deranged view of autism to the world?

Do you still train your daughter like a monkey or have you figured out how to teach her to use her human brain?

Kev said...

"I was under the impression your daughter was nonverbal, I find it hard to believey you feel she is just fine that way and you would reject a cure if one were offered (hypothetical of course). "

You are (in my opinion) conflating treatment with cure, like Harold. My daughter undergoes speech therapy like most autistic kids so patently I don't want her to be without a means to communicate. I still think she's fine as an autistic person.

"You have never met me, I don't think you have ever met jake so you can't judge whether or not we are fine."

I'm not judging Jonathan I'm offering my opinion based on what I've read. Its not an opinion on how you function but an opinion of my respect for your opinions. I have the same respect for any autistic person who self advocates regardless of the direction of their advocacy.

"I have read the writings of the anti-cure, ND people on the internet for years, seen interviews on TV. As far as I know you are the only one who has acknowledged autism as being a disorder."

Can you offer me a few examples of these people saying autism is solely a disorder/disability?

"Some have acknowledged it as a disability, but have qualified that statement with a social model of disability rather than a medical model of disability."

I think both are true to some extent. In my experience of neurodiversity that seems by far the most commonaly held view.

"The muslims who are part of Al Quaeda are the exception rather than the rule. Some NDs, including yourself have been courteous to me, but those are the minority. The majority of them resort to name calling, abuse and propaganda, and I do consider the nasty rhetoric against parents like harold who want to help their children even if they don't necessarily go about it the right way to be abuse. Also, the mean spirited things about the people at autism speaks who mostly have children far more severely handicapped than just about anyone in the ND movement is propaganda. This is the way most persons in the anti-cure neurodiversity movement operate."

Well, I was responding to the paragraph where you named a few people.

Name calling and abuse goes 2 ways Jonathon. I'm more than happy to dish it out if it comes my way. Do you have any concern for members of the neurodiversity community who receive or whos children receive abuse?

I really think that your idea about what neurodiversity is is incorrect. At its core it is about respect for the condition of being neurologically different. Some people might be anti cure, some might be pro ABA. Some are not autistic but have some other kind of neurological difference. I'm not asking you to join in (although you'd be welcome) but I am asking you to see that the issue of neurodiversity is not black and white.

As far as what neurodiversity can offer instead of a cure, thats a false dichotomy. There is no cure so theres nothing to offer 'instead of'. What I think neurodiversity can offer is the chance to see that not everything about neurological differences is always and automatically bad. That working with these differences can bear fruit often and in a long lasting way. That it should be the right of every individual to be who they are free from moral judgements such as good or bad because of their neurology.

Joseph said...

I posted this at the autisticcats blog, and I think it's pertinent to the discussion here...

“Do I add citations while writing the paper, greatly slowing down my progress, or add them in later, having to retrace to where I left off?” Neither solution seemed desirable, so as a result I typically never added in more than two or three footnotes a paper. This challenge coupled by a lack of decisiveness impeded my functioning!

Interestingly, Jake recently wrote a 26-point rebuttal to a post of mine. (The rebuttal was crap - I'd give him an F - but that's neither here nor there.) To do that, you need to be able to know where you are in the post at the same time you think of arguments to rebutt the post. You need functioning short-term memory and so forth.

You will note I basically did the same thing in the comment that followed. But as evidenced by the comment after that one, I had inadvertently skipped a number of points that were important.

I often go back to things I've written to double-check them, and I do find errors sometimes. I'd image it's the same for most people. I guess the difference is that I don't go "ahhh shucks, it's the damn autism again! oh, poor me!"

I do have to wonder, though. Did he get a C because of the lack of citations, or was it because the paper was not a very good paper?

Foresam said...

Joseph,
He got a "C" because you and the other lying weasels who are covering up the truth about autism have conditioned the public to accept being poisoned by deceit instead of ordering the politicians to resolve the problem.

We can also fault the people in the "mercury militia" who don't agree that every word you utter needs to be shoved back down your miserable, lying throat.

JediKnight2 said...

I have the same exact problem. That's why I take frequent breaks to give my short-term working memory a rest so by the time I get back to writing a paper, e-mail, computer program, web site, you name it, I'll be able to spot errors and alter anything until the task needed to be completed looks and feels just right.

While having an attention deficit disorder and mixed expressive-receptive language disorder makes things even more challenging for me, Jake makes a brutal point about multi-tasking which relates to executive dysfunctioning, a typical problem autistics have and AD(H)Ders always have.

If you want to read some examples of what parents had to say about their children with MERLD and a problem a girl has due to it, go to this site:

http://www.psychforums.com/viewforum.php?f=191

Once anyone reads through this stuff, hopefully he/she will understand the reality of problems I've faced all my life. Luckily I have good parents who were able to help me get into the right schools (when my autism was only known about), and I improved in my reading comprehension and study skills from a couple special ed. programs and taking a remedial reading class at my local community college (due to a below average Verbal SAT score) before I started University while even duel-enrolling in certain classes between the community college near my university during the Fall and Spring semesters, and back at home during the summer for two years (not including the summer I took the remedial class). Ratemyprofessors.com is also a huge plus!

Ender said...

For anyone wanting to know what the positives are:

"tony's perspective
From my clinical experience I consider that children and adults with Aspergers Syndrome have a different, not defective, way of thinking.

The person usually has a strong desire to seek knowledge, truth and perfection with a different set of priorities than would be expected with other people. There is also a different perception of situations and sensory experiences. The overriding priority may be to solve a problem rather than satisfy the social or emotional needs of others.

The person values being creative rather than co-operative.

The person with Aspergers syndrome may perceive errors that are not apparent to others, giving considerable attention to detail, rather than noticing the “big picture”.

The person is usually renowned for being direct, speaking their mind and being honest and determined and having a strong sense of social justice.

The person may actively seek and enjoy solitude, be a loyal friend and have a distinct sense of humour.

However, the person with Aspergers Syndrome can have difficulty with the management and expression of emotions.

Children and adults with Aspergers syndrome may have levels of anxiety, sadness or anger that indicate a secondary mood disorder. There may also be problems expressing the degree of love and affection expected by others. Fortunately, we now have successful psychological treatment programs to help manage and express emotions.

Tony Attwood"

Is anyone (other then Foresam) going to try telling me he isn't a diffenative source on autism.

Beyond that you people to seem to recognize that HFA/AS people should deserve the right to refuse a cure... the question I have always had is when do they gain such a right? At the age of 8... 12... 16? A cure will be forced on kids of those ages... but would one really deny that they don't understand and respect who they are at those ages. Something makes me highly doubt it. So what should be done then?