Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Matt Carey's bizarre take on the cause of bullying of autistics

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. 


Roger Kulp said...

Kids just like to victimize someone who they feel is odd and get some sort of kick out of it.

That's pretty much it,but what Carey no doubt has in mind,is for parents of nonautistic children,or for schools,to indoctrinate kids with neurodiversity claptrap,on the belief this would stop them from going around bullying autistic kids.

He also no doubt subscribes to the neurodiversity lies about curing or treating the autism would destroy who the person is.

jonathan said...

@Roger: Well said, I couldn't agree more.

leventa2 said...

The ND activists are the real bullies here, and are violating our rights. They tend to condescendingly put down autistics that seek treatment, although the ND supporters are far less autistic than the pro-treatment crowd. It's like telling somebody in a wheelchair that they're gifted.

jonathan said...

@Leventa, yes I agree.

Anonymous said...

>he neglects to cite even a specific example

And then your whole argument breaks all its bones and falls on the floor from your pure hypocrisy

So here's the argument

> that bullies just happened to see negative images

does not lead to bullying? Of course, because gay or black children's bullying never got worse because of the negative image parts of society made about them.

I know you have a sadistic streak towards fellow autistics, but I need to go no further than your blog to prove that opposition to acceptance encourages autistic bullying.

>There is no doubt that bullying would be done regardless of what images parents or the media portray of autism

It is ludicrous to imply that carey ever said that. It's a straw man. to wit you even have to use an alt account to defensively claim ND people are bullies.

yes, that's it. You accuse people who think autistics are equal to nts are bullies, even whilst it seems your blog is just one big bullying site.

>I wonder why the federal government would appoint this individual to a post that came about under the Combating Autism Act

because in the end the struggle for equality wont ever be put down by one corrupt act to destroy us.

jonathan said...

to wit you even have to use an alt account to defensively claim ND people are bullies.

Ummm, no, I've never used an alt account. All my posts and comments on this blog and anywhere else on the 'net is under my real name. Just 'cause you don't like it if someone agrees with me is your problem.

Anonymous said...

jonathan, your word on this matter is worthless. why would I take at his word a person who hides behind alt accounts to promote his views?

And I do not mind roger kulp agreeing with you, being as he is a GI-vaccine conspiracy theorist I relish that such people are the kind who accuse neurodiversity of indoctrinating anyone.

I think your whole blog can be reduced to subtly undermining slurs and passive-aggression.

And I am thankful that a man who say autistics are incapable compared to other human beings accidentally shows himself to be a fluent speaker, a book-writer and to have most of his personal issues never to be connected with autism at all. Autistics could not ask for a more potent totem of hypocrisy to guard themselves against.

jonathan said...

I welcome any proof you could offer that I've ever used an "alt" account ever in my life. The burden of proof is on you. If you're so certain I've ever used an "alt" account whatever that means (i'm assuming you mean that I forge other people's names in the comments section and/or i've posted things publically under false name), then I challenge you to prove it. You can't prove it because it never happened. It's a pretty serious allegation you're making that I'm dishonest and that I'm a liar which is essentially what you're saying. If you offer any proof of what you say, bring it on, I'm happy to publish it here on autim's gadfly. In the meantime, this debate is over and I'm no longer going to post your comments.

Foresam said...

What happened to the Wicked Witch of Neurodiversity, Kathleen Seidel? Her blog vanished. Did someone melt her?

jonathan said...

Don't know what happened to either of the Seidel's (Kathleen or Dave) have not heard anything about them in a long time.

Jake Crosby said...

Kathleen Seidel's homepage still exists but whenever you click on one of her blog entries, the result is a 404.

TLM said...

I love your blog because you nail it every time. My favorite quote from this one is "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?" NDs love to think that with some parental acceptance all the other problems with float away!

cubeangel said...


In the home, a child's parents can have subtle influence on the child's development and personality. Inadvertently, parents of children could be raising their own children to be bullies. I'm not just talking autism here.

For example, if a parent is an alcoholic the child has more of a propensity to become one. If the father in the home is abusive the child has the propensity to become abusive.

This is what Matt was trying to get at. It is the nature vs. nurture argument.

Anonymous said...

...and then there's the cases of kids getting accused of bullying other kids when they didn't.

Invite just your 5 friends to your 9th birthday party, instead of inviting the other 20 girls in your class too?

"Not inviting someone to a party is how girls bully!!! She bullied my daughter!!!"

Don't hang out with another boy after he gives you the creeps by going on and on and on in Forensics class about how to commit the perfect murder?

"They're all bullying him!!! He bullied the poor kid!!!"