In a recent new york times article we see that the united states senate may be showing some good common sense and may be delaying a vote on confirming Ari Ne'eman's appointment to the national disabilities council due to his controversial neurodiversity views. A hold has been placed on Mr. Ne’eman’s nomination, which requires Senate confirmation.
Whether the hold is related to the criticism of Mr. Ne’eman (pronounced NAY-men) and what it might take to lift it is unclear. the article stated.
I have noticed on looking at the stats of my blog that I was getting some hits from the United States senate seargent at arms URL. I can only hope that gadfly's pointing out that Ne'eman is being nominated to a disabilities council in spite of the fact he clearly does not even believe that autism is a disability or he considers himself disabled, yet presents himself as a disabled stakeholder could be the reason. Of course greater powers that be, such as autism speaks board member Jonathan Shestack may also realize that this is a bad nomination and may be intervening Shestack stated:
“Why people have gotten upset is, he doesn’t seem to represent, understand or have great sympathy for all the people who are truly, deeply affected in a way that he isn’t,” said Jonathan Shestack, a co-founder of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, whose mission is to help finance research to find a cure.
This statement on Jon Shestack's part is interesting in light of the fact that he is on the board of directors of autism speaks, an organization that solicits for donations and advertises that it will go for a cure for autism, yet has helped authorized nearly half a million dollar funding for rogue neurodiversity researcher Laurent Mottron who has said that curing autism is nonsensical and has also said that autism is not a defect but merely a difference and has even said that autism is not harmful. Shestack justified Mottron's grant by saying that although the man made statements that were politically annoying he was doing work that was very important for nonverbal autistic persons. This is likely nothing more than wishful thinking on Shestack's part as he has a nonverbal son with autism who is about age 18.
One possibility is some very right wing republicans who have contempt for Obama are merely holding up the nomination for political reasons and it has nothing to do with Ne'eman's neurodiversity beliefs. However, another line from the article makes that scenario less plausible:
Mr. Obama’s seven other nominees to the council were confirmed this month. But parliamentary procedure in the Senate allows one or more members to prevent a motion from reaching the floor for a vote by placing an anonymous hold on the action, which an official with knowledge of the proceedings said had been done in Mr. Ne’eman’s case
This likely is a propitious sign that perhaps at least a few senators have seen the light, and see what a scam ND is and how harmful it is for persons with autism and their families. Had it just been a republican rebellion against Obama the other seven nominees most likely would not have been confirmed.
The article goes on:
Mr. Ne’eman, who grew up in East Brunswick, N.J., has said his condition caused him to be bullied in high school. His social stress was so great, he sometimes picked at his face until it bled. He was eventually transferred to a school for students with developmental disabilities.
This is interesting in light of the fact that we can judge Ne'eman by the company he keeps, such as ASAN members in good standing Harry Williams and Clay Adams who have spent extensive time bullying me on the internet yet Ne'eman has never censured these individuals in any way let alone expelling them from ASAN internet lists and other ASAN activities. I do know that Ne'eman had some sort of special education experience during my correspondence with him a couple of years ago, but I don't remember the exact circumstances. The statement that he was transferred to a school with developmental disabilities makes me wonder if he was ever mainstreamed before the age of 14 unlike myself, excluding one regular education private school that I was expelled from after about a half a semester due to my serious behavioral problems. So I wonder if Ne'eman could know what it was like to have gone to special ed schools for the greater portion of his childhood.
I can only hope that this is an omen for a longshot senate rejection of Ne'eman's confirmation. I expected Ne'eman to be confirmed routinely, as I did not think anyone (not even John Shestack or individuals at Age of autism) had the stature or the numbers to actually affect the senate's vote on this type is appointment. NDC appointments are probably rubberstamped in most cases.
I suspect Ne'eman will be confirmed in the end, but I can only hope that I am wrong. I certainly hope that during this hold up of Ne'eman's appointment that the senate will ask Ne'eman about his "difference is not disability" statement which he later edited. He will have a harder time covering up or editing his post that I pasted a couple of blog posts ago where he stated that he did not believe that Asperger's (which he has) is a disability. I certainly hope the senate asks him how he can legitimately present himself as a disabled stakeholder on the council on light of those statements. If this were a confirmation to the supreme court rather than the NDC I can imagine the hardball questions a number of senators would be asking him.
I suspect the miracle of the senate rejecting Ne'eman's appointment won't happen, but I guess in light of this new development I can still hope and dream.
Addendum: In light of this new development, I have once again written to senators Boxer and Feinstein urging them to reject Ne'eman's appointment to the council