I see that Ari Ne'eman and ASAN have yet a new crusade and that is to exonerate and free Zakhqurey Price, an 11-year-old autistic boy who was being restrained by some special educators due to some behavioral issues and in the process injured the special educators and is now facing felony charges. One of Ne'eman's and ASAN's recommendations is that the charges against the young boy be dropped. They are crusading other ND's to write letters to the principal of the school and to have legislation passed that would give protections to handicapped children such as these in future situations.
Normally, autism's gadfly would be praising Ne'eman and saying perhaps this is a rare example of ASAN actually doing something good, as in the past when they have criticized the judge Rottenberg center (of course this is aside from the issue that ASAN does not do much more than give lip service opposing Matthew Israel and his ilk and spends more time protesting autism speaks than the electric shocks and other aversives that Israel and his colleagues dispense). I would agree this boy was too impaired to know what he was doing, had a disability/disorder/disease which would not make him culpable of these actions and though I don't know all the circumstances, I would probably be in favor of dropping the charges. It is likely a diminished capacity defense would be warranted under the circumstances.
However, in this case, it is my opinion that attention needs to be brought to inconsistencies on Ne'eman's part (seemingly so common for him) in regards to this issue which at the very least reduces his and ASAN's credibility.
Ne'eman has written an essay ,entitled 'equality demands responsibility', in which he completely digresses from the tenets that he is currently expounding upon to help protect and give rights to Zakh.
Ne'eman complains of a Dr. Phil show in which a case similar to Zakh's is presented and Ne'eman feels this puts people with ASD in a bad light:
Dr. Phil portrays those of our neurology as unstable, aggressive and out of control. As a community, we can probably agree that this alarmist ratings ploy is not the face we want to present to the public.
Of course Ne'eman wants to make a public case out of this 11-year-old boy.
Ne'eman goes on with other interesting statements in this essay, describing a character with an ASD in a television show who commits a crime and then has charges against him dropped:
it arguably paints almost as insulting a picture as Dr. Phil. When Jerry’s threatened colleague agrees to drop the charges against him—after learning about his unfortunate “disorder” and ensuring that he leaves the firm for “treatment”—the message sent is a simple one: his actions were simply outside of his control. This makes for good television, but does it really benefit our community as a whole if autistic identity is portrayed as a defense against assault? The resulting implication is not a positive one.
Ne'eman goes on to make other baffling statements in light of his new position about this 11-year- old boy's situation:
Yes, we are autistics living in a neurotypical society. Undoubtedly, that brings about certain pressures and problems. But if we are to demand equal legitimacy, if we are to assert that a “cure” is not only unnecessary and undesirable but also morally reprehensible,(emphasis added) then we must accept for ourselves equal responsibilities. Accommodation within the law can be sought when reasonable, exemption from the law cannot be.
Ne'eman then goes on with a homily about how terrible it is that there is a trend among persons with Asperger's syndrome to use this as a defense when charged with crimes. So apparently it would seem he is opposed to a diminished capacity defense for criminal behavior under any circumstance for persons on the spectrum.
He claims that curing this 11-year-old boy of this neurological condition that caused him to be charged with felonies is not only unnecessary but is morally reprehensible.
One wonders why Ne'eman is not more consistent in his thinking. Based on the essay he wrote about equal responsibility, one would think that Ne'eman would be helping to prosecute the young man accused rather than saying that the charges should be dropped. Ne'eman would be recommending juvenile hall or institutionalization for this boy. After all, this young man should be living up to his responsibilities if he wants to be treated as an equal. A cure for his condition would destroy who he is, it would be totally undesirable, so instead one would think Ne'eman would want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and have the book thrown at him.
Instead Ne'eman not only recommends dropping the charges but he is recommending accommodations under the IDEA and behavioral support which constitutes "treatment" for this "disorder" which Ne'eman put in quotes in the example from the television show.
Well, I continued to be baffled by the logic of neurodiversitites.