Monday, December 12, 2011

Amazingly LBRB's Sullivan actually gets something right

One of the most well-known and widely read autism blogs is Kevin Leitch's creation ,Left Brain/Right Brain. For good reason, I've sometimes referred to them as Left Brain/Right Brain/No Brain. The blog's main author, Matt Carey (AKA "Sullivan"), appears to have a track record for not doing his homework and getting things wrong. As has been seen in the past, "Sullivan" has gotten his facts wrong about special education. When autism's Gadfly exposed Ari Ne'eman for being less than truthful when he claimed that he never said that autism was not a disability Sully made some pathetic attempts at damage control along with factual errors. He also made numerous factual errors about a Newsweek article that featured Ne'eman and the proactive stance against this article that was undertaken by a number of persons who wish to cure autism and don't believe in neurodiverse bull.

Well I'm happy to report actually for once he got something right. Ari and the autistic self advocacy network are apparently requesting that person's with autism be reviewers for federal research grants. They apparently only want people who have their warped ideology:

As a result, we’re issuing a call for resumes from Autistic adults and other people with disabilities who believe in the civil rights/social model approach to disability and want to ensure that self-advocates are represented in grantmaking. Please include any areas of expertise within your resume.

You can note the bolded part which is certainly bigoted and discriminatory. Apparently I don't qualify because I don't agree with ASAN's belief in the social model of disability. They only want people with their own warped ideology and not everyone's perspective.

Aside from this Gadfly wonders why it is necessary to have autistic reviewers and what this accomplishes. Steven Jobs was a very intelligent and talented individual who made great technological contributions to society, yet he was never appointed to a board that reviewed research grants to study cancer. I doubt that just because a person gets an infection that there is a call for them to be research reviewers on antibiotics.

Yet, in the world of autism this does not appear to be the case. Stephen Shore, a man with extremely mild autism, has been a reviewer of federal grants in the past. Though he has a doctorate in education, he has no formal background in science and has limited knowledge of the scientific issues of autism. Even worse, John Robison, a man whose claims to having autism are dubious, at least to me, has also been a reviewer of federal research grants. Robison, dropped out of school in the tenth grade, yet gets to review grants along with M.D.s and Ph.Ds. He has admitted that he is not a disabled person, so Gadfly wonders why he even qualifies for a diagnosis.

In light of this, I was pleasantly surprised to see this comment from "Sullivan":

I applaud ASAN for actively working to pull autistics into the research grant approvals. But, I am very curious as to how people respond to this sentence:

“As a result, we’re issuing a call for resumes from Autistic adults and other people with disabilities who believe in the civil rights/social model approach to disability and want to ensure that self-advocates are represented in grantmaking. ”

This is a place where I think ASAN tripped up. “...who believe in the civil rights/social model approach to disability…” shouldn’t be there.

Autistics of various beliefs should be recruited and represented

Thanks Sullivan for finally getting something right, and for having the tolerance, unlike ASAN, to be willing to go to bat for people who have beliefs that don't necessarily agree with yours. You are curious as to how people will respond, this is my response.

However, perfect records are indeed rare, and in a sense it is regrettable that yours for not getting it right is no longer intact.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Neurodiversity Plays the Murder Card once again

Persons who believe in the philosophy known as neurodiversity, that autism is not a disease or devastating disorder or in some cases state it is not even a disability, are full of nastiness and dirty tricks. They insult people they disagree with, calling them Nazis, they insult the mothers of autistic people who desire a cure, and even essentially bring back the Bettelheim era, claiming the person's disability comes from a mother who taught them to hate themselves. They even stoop to making fun of the person's disability in some instances.

One of the dirtiest tricks they play is the murder card. From time to time autistic children are murdered by their parents. In one recent instance a woman smothered her 6 month old child, believing the child was autistic and claiming she could not bear the thought of having an autistic child because of the costs to society and the inconvenience to herself. Without fail, whenever that happens, those of us who want a cure and/or state the truth about what a devastating disability autism is or present figures about the monetary costs of this disability are blamed for these murders. We are told these murders would not happen if everyone felt the same way neurodiversitites did and we just accepted autism as a natural variation of genetics and brain wiring.

Autism self-advocacy network stalwart Paula C. Durbin-Westby does not fail to disappoint. On a blog ironically titled The thinking person's guide to autism she writes a propaganda laden post at how terrible we are and how it is all our fault that these kids are murdered. She trots out some of the most ludicrous arguments imaginable, including quoting the post Joseph of the Natural variation blog wrote more than four years ago which was a pathetic attempt at debunking the costs of autism to society. He quoted employment statistics that he could not give the source to when I asked him, but assuring me he did not make it up. He also gave Vernon Smith and Bill Gates as examples of autistic persons. I have shown that Vernon Smith has no diagnosis of an ASD, but rather diagnosed himself by taking an AQ test, a nonstandardized instrument that in no way can be used to give a legitimate diagnosis. I have covered the problems with diagnosing Bill Gates in a variety of places, so I won't repeat those arguments here.

All I want to say to members of the neurodiversity movement and the autistic self advocacy network is that you're hurting your own cause by using such nasty propaganda tactics. You're only making yourselves look like the nasty people that you are. You accomplish nothing. It is an absolute disgrace that you have to insult people and use murder to bolster your positions because you have no facts to back up your deranged philosophy.