Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Left brain, right brain, or no brain?

I have decided to make a belated response (better late than never) to Kev Leitch's
absurd post defending the neurodiversity movement. First off, I am glad that Kev says he has a great deal of respect for me. I am not glad that he has chosen to misrepresent what I posted on Lisa Jo Rudy's autism about site, where he claims I equate autism with sexual abuse. This is totally untrue. I just stated that there are some individuals with autism who make untoward sexual advances towards woman due to their autism and that this presents a problem and asking why this behavior should be accepted. I never said that all autistics sexual abused people, just things I have seen from first hand experience, like a almost nonverbal man who acosted a job coach in an organization which many years ago i was on the board of directors of. Also, one member of our AGUA support group who would often make untoward advances towards females who would come to meetings, kissing them or touching them in inappropriate manners. He was asked to either come to the meetings with an aide in attendance or leave AGUA because of this behavior. He chose to do the latter. I also did a post about an autistic man hitting a baby some time ago. Why should this behavior be accepted under the ND rubric. I also see that the "autistic bitch from hell" who is perpetually confused about most everything involved in autism claiming on zach lassiter's blog that I am some sort of bigot for stating the truth and quoting some obscure study claiming the majority of persons with autism don't commit violent crimes in an attempt to obsfucate the truth. Undoubtedly the people who did these behaviors did so because they had autism, no matter how much spin the ND's want to put on the matter.

Since Kev has now instituted a registration policy for commenting on left brain/right brain which makes it more of a hassle to comment, and, on top of that, he has banned Harold Doherty and Billy Cresp (Lurker) just because they have made polite anti-ND commentary that Kev does not agree with, I am not going to refute his nonsense on the comment section of his blog. I will do my best to do so here.

First he tries to claim that anti-ND does not mean anti-parent but only cites ND parents as examples. However, ND is basically anti-parent towards parents who wish to cure their children. Parents are constantly insulted, called names and told they don't really love their children. My own mother has been insulted by various NDs on various occasions. It is not an inaccurate statement to claim that NDs are basically trying to bring back the Bettleheim era.
So basically if you are an anti-cure parent or parent like janet bain (jypsy) who would just say "no thank you" to a cure if one were available then you are fine. But want to cure your kid and incur the wrath of hell from ND's.

He also says that the cure at all costs is a north american phenomena. Well just a little over 200 years ago having a country which was the only country that did not have a king or a similar monarchy where if you said something the king did not agree with he would chop your head off was also a phenomena exclusively the province of the USA. Perhaps our forefathers revolted against Kev's forefathers for a reason if the UK is such a backward place that they would actually embrace an ND philosophy.

He then goes on to claim that NDs want to treat their kids by talking about GI problems and other comorbidities saying that because parents want to treat those and not treat the autism that means that somehow they are helping the kids. Well when we say anti-treatment we mean the autism, the self-stimulatory behaviors, inability to do things, social problems, not speaking, self-mutiliation etc. That is what we mean by ND parents not wanting to treat their kids, so the point still stands. Kev then goes on to talk about his daughter receiving PECS and speech therapy. So, does this mean that he wants his daughter to only partially talk and not have her speech problems cured? What sort of nonsense is this? Why wouldn't he want his daughter fully cured of her language impairments with speech therapy if he is using it, makes no sense at all.

He goes on to deny that ND's are intoxicated with hate because of a few anti-vax people who happened to be abusive to him on some occasions. So basically Kev's argments against ND's like David Andrews calling me "mitchell-shite" cussing me out and Cubed Demon and Phil Gluyas calling me Joseph Goebels and Harry Williams (AKA socrates) calling me lord haha and taking cheap shots at my celibacy and Clay Adams and Phil Gluyas saying abusive things about my mother is okay because two wrongs make a right. That is basically the gist of his argument.

He tries to deny that ND's with autism are different than the sons of harold doherty and john best. He just claims that there is progress for these kids that won't stop and basically the only difference is that maybe conor doherty and sam best will grow up to be functioning adults who can function at the level of Ari Nee'man or the "autistic bitch from hell" who claims to be autistic. But realistically what is the chance of that. What is the prognosis of 13 year old kids who can't speak or have cognitive levels way below their age ever functioning at that level. Come on, Kev, be real!

Kev then tries to justify Harold Doherty's "royal we" phenomena by claiming because ND's are autistic that they can best share in the experience of someone like Harold Doherty's son or John Best's son whose problems are far more severe than theirs. Well, unlike most ND's, I went to special education schools, I have had problems with celibacy, unemployment anhd the like, I had a diagnosis of autism in the 1970s. Also, I am a male and a very disproportionate number of autistic ND's are females. So, I have these problems and I long for a cure and I totally reject neurodiversity, but not much chance of my voice being heard in newsweek or good morning america to refute any of Nee'man's nonsense. At one time, I was told that I was very severely autistic, no speech at age 3, smearing feces on the wall, the whole works. I partially recovered, but far from 100%. So maybe I have more of a kinship the the Conor Doherty's and Sam Best's of the autism world but maybe not. But certainly ND's who are predominantly female, never were in special ed a minute of their life. Never had after school tutoring for their handwriting and perceptual motor impairments have no common ground with the severely autistic people, so Kev's argument is really specious.

Again, Kev wants to claim that ND's are not spewing hate filled rhetoric towards parents. But that is pure baloney. They try to bring back the Bettleheim era back by insulting people's mothers and they are constantly abusive to anyone who does not agree with their absurd agenda. They even play the murder card blaming us for Katie McCarron's murder as well as possibly the murder of others as some of them have done. If people did not want a cure Katie McCarron would be alive they claim. Their main current spokesman, Ari Nee'man has even stooped to stating that autism speaks is morally complicit with murder.

One wonders if Left brain/right brain's name should be changed to no brain.


Jake Crosby said...

On multiple occasions Kev on "leftbrain/rightbrain" misrepresented my articles, after my first AoA contribution back in September, and most recently following Ari's Newsweek interview.

This is a common attack tactic from people like Jake Crosy at AoA or Harold Doherty
Read more: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=2349#ixzz0FzhnkQyf&B

Aside from spelling my name wrong, he also characterizes my opposition letter wrongly by implying I somehow downplayed or worse yet, denied, Ari Ne'eman's diagnosis. That is not true at all,in fact in my letter I stated that I cannot speak for Ari. I did say he did not have a speech delay but that was only to rebut his claim that his late Aspergers diagnosis is proof of "better awareness," not to trivialize any of his early experiences. As for denying him having an ASD, that is dead wrong. I wrote in the first paragraph that he has my same diagnosis. So unless I'm denying having an ASD myself, this potential allegation is worthless.

Then he writes something that really confuses me:

"Well done Ari, I’m proud to think that you are representing all manner of people on the spectrum, from the very high functioning Jake Crosby to the very low functioning such as my daughter. Thank you."
Read more: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=2349#ixzz0FzeQQTZl&B

That does not seem to make sense, it seems the purpose of this sentence changes halfway from claiming Ari represents people with my diagnosis to representing me personally. It could just be that it is a very awkward sentence, which it is, the one two sentences before that was downright incomprehensible:

"They demean the efforts that autistic people such as Ari have needed and still need to put into their lives to advocate for their own beliefs in favour of the promotion of their own limited and limiting set of autism related beliefs."
Read more: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=2349#ixzz0Fzgt7qS9&B

Or it could just be a rude jab, albeit a grammatically incorrect and confusing one, to provoke a response. Either way, it appears Kev's true message got diluted somewhere in between the thought process and the keyboard.

jonathan said...

Kent Adams: Your rude and off topic comment towards Jake was rejected. You are welcome to comment here, but I don't want you attacking people personally here as you seem to have a predeliction to do sometimes. I think you have your own blog or platform where you can level these attacks. If you have issues with Jake for some reason, you can address them elsewhere and I suggest you provide proof of everything you say, but I don't want these axes you seem to have to grind aired on autism's gadfly.

jypsy said...

"He then goes on to claim that NDs want to treat their kids by talking about GI problems and other comorbidities saying that because parents want to treat those and not treat the autism that means that somehow they are helping the kids. Well when we say anti-treatment we mean the autism, the self-stimulatory behaviors, inability to do things, social problems, not speaking, self-mutiliation etc. That is what we mean by ND parents not wanting to treat their kids, so the point still stands."Who is this, as you would say, "Royal we" that you are speaking for here?

jonathan said...

You know how to read jypsy and I am sure you are bright enough to figure it out for yourself.

jypsy said...

No, I'm sorry, I'm obviously not "bright enough" or I wouldn't have asked.

However, if you don't want to answer my question that's fine and entirely your right, choice etc.

jonathan said...

Ok, Jypsy, I apologize. I guess I did not read the post carefully enough to understand what you meant Now that I re-read more carefully I realize I should have given you a more direct answer. There was no "royal we" intended here. by "we" I meant those of us who are talking about treating the autism per se who wish that the non-existent cure existed and want to treat the autistic symptoms itself. This would include people like myself, Jake Crosby, John Best, Harold Doherty, Stephanie Keitel, etc. This applies to a subset of all people who are interested in autism I therefore believe this is different than Harold Doherty's "royal we" where certain people with ASD's attempt to speak for all persons on the spectrum with such statements as "we don't want to be cured" etc. Sorry again for the curt response and I hope this answers your question.

SM69 said...

I’d like to comment on what you says here Jonathan

He then goes on to claim that NDs want to treat their kids by talking about GI problems and other comorbidities saying that because parents want to treat those and not treat the autism that means that somehow they are helping the kids.

and I guess I am also confused about the we in the following sentence, but leaving this aside, this is exactly what a Biomedical/ Medical approach to autism does. Treating the symptoms (not of behavioral nature), but the abnormalities that can be identified, being for example with a weakened immune system (difficulties to fight a whole range of infections, including gut pathogenic flora), increased likeliness to allergies, or auto-immune problems, or even excessive inflammation, depending on the child. Most parents would reports worsening of behaviours with infection for example. Some individuals even reports worsening of fine motor skills with a flare up of allergies. Gut problems too etc. There are other abnormalities that can be detected that relates more directly to metabolism. The point is by dealing with these we have a reduction of stimming, improvement of socialization and communication, reduction of various repetitive behaviors, Improvement of attention, more possibilities for complex reasoning, central coherence etc. No need to say that these improvements open huge potential avenues to the child, allowing him to benefit more from education or various natural/social setting. This is exactly what is seen as an outcome of an intervention.

So what is autism, as defined from the triad of impairments in these children?: A range of behaviours that results from an imbalance between genetic and the environment.

But there are also some autistic individuals who have more “hardwire” (i.e. genetic) autism.

And of course there are some timing limitations to an effective intervention, thought this is still pretty unknown at the moment.

Roger Kulp said...

Actually anybody with a Google,Yahoo ,or AOL account can post there http://tinyurl.com/o3qq27 I encourage as many anti ND people to do so,in the interest of the spirit of free speech they claim is so central to neurodiversity.

jonathan said...

Hi Roger I don't think Kev Leitch or anyone else in the ND movement ever claimed it was about free speech. Actually it does not really matter because, as I said in this post, Kev Leitch has banned Harold Doherty who has always engaged in polite discourse and I remember he threatened banning Billy Cresp when Alyric suggested it and Billy also claimed on John Best's blog that he was banned there a couple of times, so not sure what the point of posting there is if you want to make an anti-ND post.

Roger Kulp said...

April 18th, 2009

Roger, what do you actually mean when you say most members of the Neurodiversity movement are unwilling to listen to autistics who want a “cure”? Are you saying that Neurodiversity bloggers have banned autistics who advocate for a “cure” and censor their comments? As someone who has followed this for a while, that is an incredible and (I think) disingenuous statement. It is the anti-Neurodiverse who advocate for a “cure” and who censor all dissenting views.

I think you are confusing “listening to” with “agreeing with”.

Listening to and respecting everyone’s perspective is one of the founding principles of the Neurodiversity movement, and something which everyone who subscribes to it takes very seriously. Censoring someone because of the content of their comment is anathema to the Neurodiverse. My understanding is that individuals have (virtually) only been censored not because of the content of their ideas but because their comments have been abusive, bullying, threatening, or spam. To make the claim you have made without being able to back it up is analogous to a blood libel.
Read more: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=2155#comments#ixzz0G6WuKfCB&B

jypsy said...

Thank you Mr. Mitchell,
With all due respect, I see no difference between your "we" and anyone else's. (Perhaps I am not bright enough in which case I hope you or someone can explain).

You "intend" no "Royal we" but your remarks "applies to a subset...". You said "by "we" I meant those of us who..."

Cannot that be said for these people you accuse of using a "Royal we"? That they do not "intend" the "Royal we"? That their remarks apply to a subset? That they "mean" those who agree with the statement?

For the record - I don't think "anti-cure" accurately describes my position on cure. If you offered me a house in California I'd also say "No thank you" - That doesn't make me "anti-American". A better analogy might be offering me a house on the moon (something that doesn't exist) - choosing not to strive to live on the moon does not make me "anti-moon". Stating I would not choose to live on the moon if I could does not make me "anti-moon".

jonathan said...

No Ms. Bain, it is quite clear to me that the royal we as Harold Doherty originally used the term which I borrowed from him, the persons are certainly describing most or all autistic persons and not just the persons who are a subset of ASD persons who have a certain position. I explained to you last year about how there are at least some persons on the spectrum who claim that the desire not to be cured is close to universal among persons on the spectrum and I gave you some specific examples when you requested them. There are also several more since then.

Watching the no myths film, I did not get the feeling that Nee'man was speaking for a subset of persons, just a few high functioning aspies when he said,
"our lives are not tragedies". There can be little question that he was talking about the entire spectrum. You can have your own interpretation if you like that disagrees with mine, but that is how i interpret it and several readers of autism's gadfly seem to have agreed with me.

If you feel a cure is not right for you or Alex assuming it existed that is fine. Unfortunately you go further than that since if I am not misunderstanding your position you do not believe that Harold Doherty should have a right to cure his severely autistic minor son if there were a cure available, even if you reject a cure for yourself and Alex (or maybe Ben also). You seem to believe that autism speaks is just out to murder autistics by aborting them prenatally. So your position to me seems to go much further than you just not wanting a cure for yourself or your children

jypsy said...

"Unfortunately you go further than that since if I am not misunderstanding your position you do not believe that Harold Doherty should have a right to cure his severely autistic minor son if there were a cure available"You absolutely do misunderstand my position. I thought I was pretty clear here:
"We don't want a cure, thank you, you are free to pursue one. I'm not sure what your definition of "treatment" is but it's likely things you consider "treatments" have been part of my sons' lives as well as my own.

I absolutely recognize Mr. Doherty's rights and every other parent's rights, whether I agree with them or not."
We'll agree to disagree on the "we", I see no difference.