Saturday, September 14, 2013

bizarre rhetoric from Ari Ne'eman: Neurodiversity plays the "murder card" once again

Lenny Schafer alerted me to an article written about the alleged attempted murder of Isabelle Stapleton by her mother, Kelly, on his facebook page.  In the article, prominent neurodiversity activist Ari Ne'eman once again resorts to one of the oldest dirty tricks in the book the ND's resort to any time a parent murders their autistic offspring or allegedly attempts to do so.  He writes:

I think there certainly is a divide, and there has been for some time," said Ari Ne'eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network in Washington, D.C. “The picture of autism that has been presented in the public eye is not consistent with how we see ourselves.

Note that this is part of a pattern on Ne'eman's part to resort to a phenomenon that renowned blogger Harold Doherty has referred to as "The Royal We".  Where Ne'eman attempts to speak for all autistic people, though his Asperger's or autism is nowhere near typical of the vast majority of those on the spectrum, myself included.  No, Ari, I am an individual, you can't get away with speaking for me or anyone else who may happen to disagree with your way of thinking. 

He goes on to say: 

Autistic people deserve the same protection under law, he said, and “we are profoundly concerned when groups try to present murder as justified or understandable on the basis of the victim’s disability.”

What person with autism has not received the same protection under the law?  The article goes on to say that Kelly Stapleton will be arrainged for attempted murder.  She will be prosecuted.  Even though Ne'eman may not like this, the U.S.A. is not nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.  Ms. Stapleton is legally entitled to a trial by a jury of her peers.  Until she is convicted, she's innocent until proven guilty or at least found guilty in a court of law.  The law is applied in the same manner as the attempted murder of a non-handicapped child by their parent(s). 

It is not surprising that Ne'eman's most astute statement is saved for last:

Parents do not kill kids because a service system is inadequate," Ne'eman added. "They kill their children because media and a disturbing number of people send them the message that that is OK or at least understandable

No, I don't think so, parents do not kill their children because they happen to read reports in the media that Ne'eman alleges exist saying it is okay or understandable for them to do so.  It seems implausible that most parents who kill or attempt to kill their autistic kids just happen to read media reports and then say to themselves, "oh, okay, guess it's okay for me to put my kid to sleep."  They do it out of insanity exacerbated by the frustration of having to raise an autistic child. In fact Ms. Stapleton has authored a blog documenting her frustration in dealing with her child's disability.  Autism is a horrible disability that brings out the worst in desperate people.  Of course, thankfully, the vast majority of parents, no matter how far they're pushed off the deep end don't go as far as murder.  This is not to say that the murder of autistic children is ever justified or even understandable. 

As Lenny correctly pointed out in his facebook article, Ne'eman ( and probably other ND's) are just projecting their own anger and hatred onto all parents of autistic kids. ND is the 21st century incarnation of Bettelheim.


Unknown said...

Keep telling it like it is. All parents of autistic child do NOT hate their kids, but it sure can be frustrating some days. Izzy routinely abused her mother and even sent her to the hospital. If she hadn't had autism, they probably would have locked up Izzy, but because she had autism, Kelli was just expected to deal with it.

Unknown said...

The fact that Kelli would coerce her child into having "quiet hands and feet" and discourage her special interests, gives you a clue as to where her daughter's anger has come from. Also, one more thing, you DO NOT EVER restrain an autistic person who is having a meltdown, ever! Personal space becomes even more vital when someone is overwhelmed. But it was shown in video evidence that Kelli and the workers either did not understand, or did not care to put themselves in Issy's shoes.

I just hope Issy has something epic to say after recovering from such a brutal crime committed by mother.

jonathan said...

Chelsea, all I can say is I hope you never have to come into contact with a low functioning extremely violent autistic person whose caretaker you've instructed not to restrain them. You'll end up very severely injured.

From what i've read about Issy I don't think she's really high functioning enough to say anything about what her mother did, allegedly or not.

As is typical of most youthful ASAN supporters you have no understanding of the problems that more severely autistic people and their parents face day to day.

Ian MacGregor said...

I believe there is a real danger a person who is low-functioning will not be seen to have the same worth as a neurotypical or someone who is high-functioning. I don't expect stiff punishment will deter anyone. I am afraid that a hand-slap may serve as a green light

At the same time if these cases can show the daily lives of those with low-functioning autism and there caregivers perhaps services will improve.

If this happens the deaths of the children will not have been in vain

jonathan said...

@ Roger here's one example of what you are talking about:

I'm not sure if Autism Speaks has anything like this. I seemed to recall that they did, but maybe I was thinking of the one above. If I see something like this from AS, I'll post it in a separate comment. I doubt anything like this is really helpful and there is an easy quick fix solultion to this.

jonathan said...

Roger: This is what AS has to offer

John Best said...

Please tell Ne'eman's parents that we don't care if they kill him. Maybe they'll tell us in advance so we can buy life insurance on him.

jonathan said...

@John: Be careful, Ne'eman and neurodiversity might construe that as a threat and call the cops on you, like that time his newsweek article came out and you wrote the inflammatory headline and a lot of ND's, including Ne'eman claimed you had actually threatened him with death and he had some cops escorting him when he was travelling through New Hampshire.

Of course, I don't see how life insurance is relevant since I think you're about the last person in the world Ne'eman would make a beneficiary.

Trance said...


Issy was most likely provoked, by things like sensory overload and an intrusive, unempathetic mother and therapist. I'd say all but Issy deserved what they got.

Do you want people mad?