Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ransom notes article in disabilities studies quarterly

In my previous post I blogged about Ari Ne'eman's article in the latest issue of Disabilities studies quarterly and the problems with a lot of Ne'eman's contentions in his piece. This was not the only proneurodiversity article in the current issue. There have been several pro neurodiversity articles published including an article with an interesting take about the ransom notes campain a couple of years ago. For those who don't remember the New York University child study center had an ad campaign which talked about how we have your son, he has autism we will make sure he does not take care of himself or interact socially as long as he lives, etc.

The neurodiversity movement, lead by Ari Ne'eman took umbrage to this and lead a successful campaign to have these advertisements expunged. I was also offended by the ransom notes but for a different reason than Ne'eman. I believe the NYU study center was engaged in deceptive advertsing claiming there was an easy release from the abyss of autism, which as regular gadfly readers know, I don't buy into. Ne'eman and his pals took offense because they felt it was making autism look bad. I in turn was offended by ASAN and other disability groups campaign because I do not believe eliminating the ransom notes advertising did anything to better the lives of persons with autism. Persons with autism in many cases still can't speak, they are most likely largely unemployed and have to be in special education schools or classes because of bad behavior. It does nothing to eliminate the hardships of autism. I do not believe bothering about the ransom notes campaign was time well spent. It made no difference in the lives of an autistic person or lead them to make friends, find employment, be able to perform tasks, etc.

The article has an interesting take. First of all, it extols the social model of disability over the medical model, the belief that Ne'eman and others have is that the medical aspects of autism are not as impairing to the individual as sociological barriers or false expectations that prevent them from doing the things in life that typical persons take for granted.

It starts off with an interesting quote from well-known neurodiversity blogger "the autistic bitch from hell" she states:

From day one, the consistent message put forth by Autism Speaks has been that autistic people are tragically defective burdens on society and that a child would be better off dead than autistic. Ms. Wright describes the most notable accomplishment of Autism Speaks in these words: "We produced a movie, Autism Every Day, and it was accepted into Sundance for a special screening... [I]n this movie a father talks about hoping that a little boy would go into the pond on his property and drown." ("ABFH," 2007a)

This complaint from ABFH about the lack of respect for the lives of autistic people is interesting in light of another post she wrote about previously to her 2007 post griping about autism speaks disregard of autistic lives.

She stated on the subject of pro-cure autistics such as myself:

Make no mistake about it, these slimeballs know exactly what they're doing. They're very well aware that they are still autistic and that there is no such thing as a cure. They gulp down anti-anxiety meds by the bucketful to ensure that they won't jeopardize their endorsement contract by having an inconvenient twitch or tic in public. For them, it's all about the money. They don't care how much harm they're doing to vulnerable families. They ought to be lined up against a wall and shot, but in lieu thereof, they can all kiss my autistic ass.

Later in the same post ABFH states about autistics she does not agree with:

This group can also be excused from kissing my bodacious booty. I wouldn't let their nasty keyboard-pecking beaks anywhere near me. About the only thing I'd do with them is wring their scrawny feathery necks and turn them into cat food.

One wonders about the totally inconsistent statements ABFH makes about the value of lives of autistic people. One explaination is that she believes that the persons autism speaks refers to will grow up to be neurodiversity proponents, yet the lives of pro-cure autistics such as myself are worthless and we should be shot or strangled to death and turned into cat food. Though ABFH complains about her perception that autism speaks claims that autistic children would be better of dead than autistic, it would seem to me she is making the claim that autistics whom she does not agree with, particularly those like myself who wish a cure are better off dead than alive.

The article goes on to make the analogies for the social model of disability in that we don't consider ourselves disabled because we can't run 70 miles per hour or fly but the invention of trains and airplanes helped us overcome those barriers and in the same vein the social model of disability by this specious reasoning can save the day for those with autism.

In the same vein it could be argued that people should have protested persons such as the Wright Brothers who were doing research to invent airplanes or persons who invented trains they way that they protest autism speaks. After all the invention of planes and trains degrade our humanity and our beautiful running ability and our humaness that would just reduce us to the lower form of life of birds if we were able to have flight.

The author of this article also invokes the "do no harm" part of the Hippocratic oath claiming that somehow the doctors behind the ransom notes campaign violated theirs.

Of course no mention is made of Laurent Mottron who has claimed that autism is harmless, that autism is merely a difference and posthumously diagnosis Niklos Tesla with autism or at least autistic traits, therefore trivializing autism. Also, his questionable claims when applying for research grants that got him half a million dollars funding by autism speaks and additional funding by the Canadian government. Except for the fact that French doctors may not required to take this oath as are their American counterparts, neurodiversity does not seem to mind that Mottron may be violating his oath.

Author Joseph Kras also objects to the fact that autistic people were not consulted when the Ransom notes campaign was instituted. He also claims that they do not provide a fair picture of their subjects which they are ethically obligated to do.

Conversely could it be claimed that just consulting Ari Ne'eman and his colleagues, most of them either students in major colleges, some with advanced degrees, virtually all of the board of ASAN having Asperger's syndrome and not autism with a speech delay proper as I had are really consulting autistic people as a whole or if these people as well as other neurodiversity proponents are really representative of autistic people.

Is Ari Ne'eman ethically obligated to admit that at least 99.9999% of the autistic populace, myself included, will never function at his level, be able to get a high paying job in disabilities policy making at the highest level of government at age 22, will be able to think of being a Rhoades Scholar or going to law school in a major university. Perhaps Kras and Ari Ne'eman can question their own ethics before they question Harold Koplewicz and others behind the failed ransom notes campaign.

I see some real problems in this article as well as the previous article in the DQS issue by Ari Ne'eman which I blogged about earlier. I am not sure if gadfly will take the time to read the other articles and comment on those. These are the only two I have read so far, but I suspect most of these other articles are bullpucky also, I may or may not report on them. Normally I had not planned on blogging so much but this is a very interesting time in the history of neurodiversity and as I have said before: We don't need no stinkin' neurodiversity!

15 comments:

Stephanie Lynn Keil said...

We know that Neurodiversity likes to make up words to describe people (e.g. "curbie.")

Personally, I find this incredibly childish but everyone in ND wants to play along!

Larry Arnold's explanation about Neurodiversity advocates making up words:

"The word police always get my goat, because any word that has currency and is exchanged and understood is real.

One could suppose that modern English is not a real language because it is not identical to what King James and Shakespeare spoke.

A word does not have to appear in a dictionary to be real. Eventually it does appear in the dictionary if it survives.

Dictionaries follow, not lead.

Every word we now speak, every word that was ever spoken, written down, carved into a tablet of stone, was once ‘made up’ by somebody."

So, new rule, new word:

Everyone who doesn’t want a cure for autism is now called a curbite.

Go and tell everyone to call everyone who doesn’t want a cure for autism a curbite.

Kent Adams said...

You should note that ABFH is self diagnosed. So when she is calling for autistic people that don't agree with her to be lined up and shot, she is talking about people who actually have the disorder, not people with self diagnoses.

JediKnight2 said...

"We know that Neurodiversity likes to make up words to describe people (e.g. "curbie.")

Personally, I find this incredibly childish but everyone in ND wants to play along!"

That's because if someone doesn't play along, he/she will risk getting banned. If anyone feels that way, that's a signal that should tell someone to stay far, far away yet fear there will be no where else to go. Although it's childish and they probably know it subconsciously, it seems people who are a part of ND are insecure individuals who haven't fully identified themselves and feel "trapped",
so they join ND because they find it to be the coolest cult of others like themselves who they feel they can "fit in" with, only they don't realize the negative consequences they get themselves into. They may not be committing any crime a street gang would committ except many verbally abuse individuals online who actually do have autism or who aren't as disabled as themselves because they love to discriminate anyone or any opinion one expresses they're biased towards due to the fact that they "forget" not one person with autism is identical to another.

Foresam said...

Jedi,
The same thing is true on my side of the propaganda. If you don't follow along like sheep, you get banned from places. Neither side wants anyone who can think for themselves.

The whole confrontation has been staged to have us at each other's throats. That way, nothing ever gets accomplished.

JediKnight2 said...

The same thing happened to victims of the Holocaust and the Germans.

Droopy said...

@JediKnight2,
well said (responding to specific parts):

yes, I am one who's been banned.

and by the way to both my knowledge and personal experience 'groupthink' and excessive desire and striving to social conformity and obsession with social acceptance were never considered symptoms or hallmarks of Autism but rather the opposite to be true

which by the way doesn't equate or mean that Autism is a blank check to disregard and dismiss self control and responsibility for your own behavior especially when its obvious you do have the tools and ability to master and take control of them

(people can't be so aware as to find 5,000 ways to elaborate with such finesse on how they feel unloved and the world should adapt itself around them only to turn claim forfeiture of 'knowing any better' when they wax constantly obnoxious and maliciously attack disabled people, their parents and essentially that same world they admittedly know so much about)

anyway,
Its quite a world we live in when Autistic people get banned from the various "Autism Clubs" (and maybe even our own "Spectrum") for both our innate lack of desire to just 'fit in' to and join up with something, anything, but most of all for our actually being Autistic.

a phrase like "Autistic gang" was an oxymoron, that is, until Neurodiversity appeared.


as its an event (Autistics banding together to move as one to do anything, much less target another individual) is not something you'll ever see in our schools, sheltered workshop, day program or institution where real autistics tend to be congregated)

I still think its an oxymoron


and yes, whenever you see the 'identical autistic' (people who not only must think alike but must take it a step farther in even adapting their claimed life's experiences, stories and entire identities and existence so that replicates that of another)

please let it be your first clue that something's very, very wrong with this picture.

John Best is quite right about the 'infighting' and I have observed individuals and tactics who indeed have come even to this, our small group (those of us who actively resist Neurodiversity) with express intent to disrupt discredit distract and divide.

There are moles among us.

Jedi, at least the exception with the camps (what you're referring to and my ancestors survived) is that to my knowledge (never heard my grandpapa speak of it) is that (at the camp level you're referring to where some Jews were intentionally give tasks of power and brutality over others in exchange/reward for privilege) is that

at very least no one had to fake being a Jew (non-Jews weren't exactly lining up to 'infiltrate' or gain entry to the camps).

Walt said...

Wow.

I love the use of the phrase "self diagnosed" here. I'm an Aspergerian. I haven't been diagnosed with it. And I haven't diagnosed myself with it. Why would I? I don't have anything wrong with me.
The DSM listed homosexuality as a disorder until 1973. Could someone not figure out for themselves before 1973 that they were a homosexual without receiving a doctor's diagnosis? Did people feel the need to deny that someone was a homosexual merely because they were "self diagnosed?" When it was taken out of the DSM, did homosexuality cease to exist as an identity because no doctor could issue such a diagnosis anymore?
Merely being somewhere on the autistic spectrum is not, in itself, a disorder. I no more need a certificate from a doctor to validate my membership in a culture and a community than does the average Autism Speaks mother to prove her claimed neuro-typicalism.

Kent Adams said...

"Merely being somewhere on the autistic spectrum is not, in itself, a disorder."

Walt, you need to read the DSM. In order to have an ASD, it has to rise to a clinically significant level that impedes daily functioning. If the person's 3 cores of functioning does not interfere with some form of daily functioning, it ain't an ASD. Its that simple. Homosexuality was removed because it did not interfere with daily functioning. The DSM in its current form primarily addresses disorders that interfere with daily functioning. The homosexual argument is now 40 years old and far removed from where the DSM is today.

Glad you let Walt's comment through Jonathan. He demonstrates what is wrong today.

I have no clue what an Aspergerian is, but it ain't autism.

Foresam said...

Walt,
Being queer is still a disorder. The whole world agrees with me, even the queers. If some gorgeous woman offers oral sex to queers, I'll bet they'd all accept. They know they're screwed up and they settle for sex with anything they can get.

In your case, if you actually had any sort of autism, you would also have some problems associated with it. You might be a mental case who needs some psychiatric intervention but you don't have autism. You should probably try to ameliorate your faults instead of looking for someone to enable you in your delusions of brain damage.

The brain damage autistic kids face is real. And, you're an asshole.

jonathan said...

I want readers of my comments section to know that I was hesitant about printing John Best's last comment and for those who think I have a best bud's relationship with Best, I have rejected some of his comments that I felt went over the line.

Though I do not approve of his using the Q word and though I do think his name calling in the last paragraph was not quite appropriate I do agree with the sentiments and I have the same distaste and contempt for people like Walt that John Best has who figuratively spit on his son who has severe autism as well as persons on the milder end of the spectrum who suffer nonetheless. I also published Walt's comment because I believe in free expression of ideas no matter how repulsive I find them if they are not expressed to me in an abusive fashion.

It was in that spirit that both Walt's comments and John Best's comments were published.

Walt said...

Kent,

"Walt, you need to read the DSM. In order to have an ASD, it has to rise to a clinically significant level that impedes daily functioning. If the person's 3 cores of functioning does not interfere with some form of daily functioning, it ain't an ASD. Its that simple."

Ah, so autism is DEFINITIONALLY dysfunctional then. If that person's way of thinking and seeing and comprehending the world gives him strengths and advantages rather than weaknesses and disadvantages (or a combination where the former outweighs the later) then that person cannot be on the autistic spectrum.
Autism has no strengths or advantages because if one has strengths or advantages that person will not be counted as autistic. SCIENCE!

And homosexuality was initially included in the DSM because it reflected the prejudices of society at that time. There was no way then, or now, to prove that it, or any set of unpopular behaviors or conduct, by themselves, is a "disorder." It was removed because society's view on homosexuality had changed. Both the inclusion and the removal had nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics.
The DSM has been, is, and will always be, a political document masquerading as medical science.

Droopy said...

Kent nailed it right on the head with this post:


"Walt, you need to read the DSM. In order to have an ASD, it has to rise to a clinically significant level that impedes daily functioning. If the person's 3 cores of functioning does not interfere with some form of daily functioning, it ain't an ASD. Its that simple. Homosexuality was removed because it did not interfere with daily functioning. The DSM in its current form primarily addresses disorders that interfere with daily functioning. The homosexual argument is now 40 years old and far removed from where the DSM is today.

Glad you let Walt's comment through Jonathan. He demonstrates what is wrong today.

I have no clue what an Aspergerian is, but it ain't autism.
"

Anonymous said...

"This complaint from ABFH about the lack of respect for the lives of autistic people is interesting in light of another post she wrote about previously to her 2007 post griping about autism speaks disregard of autistic lives."

Is she afraid that having regard for the lives of other autistic people would be too social and neurotypical for her?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant point!

"(people can't be so aware as to find 5,000 ways to elaborate with such finesse on how they feel unloved and the world should adapt itself around them only to turn claim forfeiture of 'knowing any better' when they wax constantly obnoxious and maliciously attack disabled people, their parents and essentially that same world they admittedly know so much about)"

...maliciously attack
* disabled people
* their parents
* coworkers who use small talk at work
* employers who don't hire people who appear threatening
* people who won't give them casual sex automatically
* spouses who want to get something out of their marriages instead of merely being convenient and getting no affection back
* anyone who does have the ability to read social cues, uses it, and thinks they actually mean what they say and do (hint: If you won't make eye contact with someone and you give him the silent treatment, and he avoids you, he's not discriminating against you for having ASD - you shunned him first! Him using his ability to read your social cues isn't discriminating against you for your inability to read social cues, the same way your walking on two feet if possible isn't discriminating against wheelchair users for their inability to walk on two feet).

Foresam said...

Walt,
The cure for autism is chelation.

The cure for homosexuality is sanity.