Matt Carey writes blog posts for the well-known blog Left Brain Right Brain. He appears to have at least some neurodiverse leanings. It would appear that Mr. Carey has a penchant for making factual errors in blog posts or writing things that don't jive with any established facts. For some reason, he at one time anonymously posted under the pseudonym "Sullivan". In addition to regularly writing this blog, he's also a public figure in that he's a citizen member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, a group that gives policy recommendations to the federal government.
He's concerned (as am I) with the fact that autistic kids are often bullied and that bullying can lead to a variety of psychologic problems in the victims and even suicide in some cases. He's written a post on the subject. However, he has a rather strange explanation for the reason autistic children are often bullied:
Having recently seen some pretty horrible anti-acceptance images I feel
compelled to make this statement: yes, the portrayal of autism by many parent
advocates contributes to bullying. If we don’t accept our own children, with
their differences and disabilities, if we promote a message that our children
and adults like them are not to be accepted, we contribute many problems,
bullying being one. Yes, I understand the argument that when some reject
acceptance “it’s the autism not the person”. I reject that logic. It’s damaging
the way we as parents often portray our kids. It contributes to bullying, and
bullying contributes to many bad outcomes.
As is par for the course for Carey, he neglects to cite even a specific example of a negative image and how it could lead to bullying.
I grew up as a child who was frequently bullied. It was in the 1960's, decades before hardly anyone had heard of autism, let alone publically produced anything that could be construed as a negative image of it. Somehow I don't think nondisabled children or even other special education children who might bully someone go around reading the blogs and the internet and whatever it is that Carey construes as "anti-acceptance images". Kids just like to victimize someone who they feel is odd and get some sort of kick out of it.
As someone who grew up during the Bettelheim era and actually lived through it, I resent Carey implying that somehow bullying is the parents fault, his baseless statement that parents don't accept their own kids, and that bullies just happened to see negative images and that is one of the explanations for their behavior.
There is no doubt that bullying would be done regardless of what images parents or the media portray of autism. It is ridiculous to think that prejudice or animus toward a person with autism is because of parents.
I wonder what Carey's explanation is for bullying of kids who are short, overweight or have acne. Are they not accepted by their parents and/or are negative images made of them?
Finally, I am also curious as to what Carey regards as a negative image since he's so vague about it. Is it that autism is a disease that should be cured? That it's a disadvantage in life that causes incredible pain for the children and their families? Or is it just that a cure for autism would be a good thing, since he seems to have at least somewhat of a neurodiversity perspective? If this is the case, then I wonder why the federal government would appoint this individual to a post that came about under the Combating Autism Act whose purpose is to ultimately eradicate autism and who looks at autism as a negative thing that needs a cure.