Saturday, April 26, 2008

Another new nonfiction piece on my web page

I have just uploaded a new article on my web page. It concerns some ironies about the Lovaas Institute for early development and the social security administration office. the article is at: I submitted this article to My Turn column in Newsweek magazine last October. I never heard back from them. They said in the submission guidelines that they receive about 200 submissions for every piece they publish in this column and that if a writer did not hear back from them in two months this meant they were not under consideration. Well, apparently, I did not beat the 200 to 1 odds of getting the piece published in Newsweek. It is sort of an interesting irony and as some of my older readers may remember, before I moved my blogging over here from Jonathan's Journal on my web page, I blogged about this topic there, so I guess you can go there and read it there too if you like. don't think I need to provide the URL as I am pretty sure any interested reader can navigate from the lovaas-related article to the journal section of my webpage and find it there.

Since I did not beat those 200 to 1 odds I decided to publish it in the non-fiction part of my web page in case anyone gives a shit and is interested in reading it. Well, thanks in advance to anyone who happens to read it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mercury Militia versus Neurodiversity, an ironic war between two adversaries

Lately, I have been reading the multiple blog entries by those in the neurodiversity camp protesting the subpoena of owner Kathleen Seidel, by one of the lawyers involved in anti-vaccine litigation for one of the members of the mercury militia. I was also reading a blog by someone who calls themselves Axinar who was blogging about this ongoing feud. I really have no comment on the subpoena one way or the other as I don't really know all the details as I do not know whether or not this attorney is really just trying to harass Ms. Seidel as some proponents of neurodiversity seem to believe. I have also been reading the famous John Best's vitriolically profane diatribes on the matter also. He seems to want nothing less than the electric chair for any member of neurodiversity.

What I am more interested in commenting about is the irony of the whole situation. Those in the mercury militia and neurodiversity seem very much alike to me in many respects.

Those who belong to the mercury militia, particularly people like Best, J.B. Handley and others who are part of the organization Generation Rescue have it all figured out, or at least so they think. The answer is really easy. Autism is just another name for mercury poisoning. Autistic people are not really permanently damaged, they just have too much mercury floating about in their brains from vaccines, pollution from coal burning plants dental amalgams or other mercury-containing sources. The solution we are told is easy. Autism is curable through a treatment called chelation where chemical agents bind to the mercury that is in the autistic's brain and removes it. When this occurs they are cured, problem solved. A vexing problem which scientists have been researching for a few decades has an easy answer that those working in these labs and receiving millions of dollars in taxpayer and private sector grants were apparently too moronic to think of. If we only listen to JB, and the rest of the generation rescue entourage. Autism will no longer be a problem, everyone with the condition will be cured by chelation.

Those in neurodiversity have their own easy simple solution. Autism is not really a disability, at least not a medical one. It is only a societal disability in that society is too prejudiced to accommodate these people who are only just wired slightly differently. These same scientists, and organizations like autism speaks who are so despised by the mercury militia are equally abhorred by those who advocate neurodiversity. They are just wasting their time. If society would only make the necessary accommodations for these people, would stop being so bigoted and would only forget their genocidal ambitions to cure autism, autistic people would no longer be at a disadvantage. They would be able to do everything that the neurotypical can do, problem solved.

These groups have much more in common then they ever dreamed of. This is why both opposing camps have so much animosity towards autism speaks and other neuroscientists and geneticists struggling so hard to find answers for this baffling disorder. What a bunch of cretins these geneticists and neuroscientists who are working their asses off for nothing are!! All this work and money flushed down the toilet. After all, two groups of people have these easy solutions that make their jobs and their grants utterly superfluous. one group says that if chelation is done all this is unnecessary. The other says, societal acceptance will solve everything. If either side is correct, these scientists will be out of a job.

As the few regular readers of my writings and the few fans I do have know, I don't agree with either camp. But I can't help getting a kick of the irony of how similar the two organizations are.

One organization spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising in USA today and other newspapers just to convert lost souls who are first learning that their 3 year old child has this condition.

Neurodiversity, as I have mentioned before, are not unlike christian missionaries, trying to find lost souls, disaffected by society to convert to their viewpoint.

Is it possible that both groups manage to get members on one side or the other because both provide easy, albeit different, answers to this problem?

I wonder who is wasting time, the geneticists and neuroscientists who are trying to find some real answers for autism, hoping that they can find a real cure once and for all or these two groups of people so diametrically opposed to each other but ironically enough so similar in so many respects.

In some ways I envy the two groups. My life has been made so hard by this disability. I have had to accept many times that my tears for toasted snow of having a better life have not been answered. These two groups in their convictions know that things could be so much easier if only people would be converted to their positions. Autism would never be a problem for anyone.

I feel though I must be realistic in assessing the situation. I do not believe there are quick fixes or easy answers to autism, so I am going to have to be frustrated. However, my frustration can be mitigated slightly by laughing at the humor of the similarities between these two warring entities.

Friday, April 4, 2008

damn it, Alex, some of us want to be cured

Wrong Planet founder, Alex Plank, was recently interviewed and stated what is the point of view of at least some (if you are reading this Jypsy I am qualifying my statements with some so as not to be misleading) persons with autism spectrum disorders that all or at least most persons with autism do not want to be cured. I am not sure where he gets that number unless it is the relatively small sample of persons who congregate on his web page out of all the autistics in the whole world most of whom are far more severely disabled than probably most of the denizens of wrong

Plank, is going to college doing well and has a girfriend. I am 52, never had one, probably never will. I suspect my other problems aside from the girl situation are more severe than his. I must disagree with him. I do want to be cured. I also know of sue rubin, someone who calls herself droopy, tom mckean and others who want to be cured. There are some others who I won't name as they may not want their privacy violated who also want a cure and reject the notion of neurodiversity.

I am quite curious where Plank gets the idea that all or most don't want a cure. Again, I will use the analogy that i used in my article, neurodiversity just say no, of the poller taking a poll in Biloxi, Mississippi and coming to the conclusion that at least 99% of all Americans want John McCain to be president of the United States, want to bring back a military draft, want to outlaw abortion and bring back prayer in the schools. This is the type of reasoning Plank and the other persons who make this claim are using.

One of the sad truths is that most of the autistics who do want a cure have never had an internet blog or have no way of posting on the internet and never will. They don't have the education or functioning level or inclination to write blog posts or post comments on other people's blogs. If Plank thinks that no one on the spectrum will rebut his claims he is sadly mistaken. I am on record of saying I wish there could be a cure for autism. Again, I urge anyone who is proposed by a neurodiversity adherent to just say no to neurodiversity.

In the event that you happen to read this, Alex, perhaps you can tell me where you get your figure of "most" autistics not wanting to be cured. Have you taken any sort of scientific poll of a cross section of autistics. Even if you have. What about all of the autistics who are unable to talk or communicate in any way? How can they tell you, they want a cure? My friend, neuroscientist Matthew Belmonte's brother has a very limited ability to communicate using facilited communcation. He has communicated to Matthew that he does not like his autism and wants to be cured. You have to factor this in also, Alex. I am still waiting to find out where this idea comes from, from at least some persons on the spectrum that most or all don't want a cure.