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.


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, not related to *this* post but related to the blog's general topic, I wonder how many neurodiversity activists will rally behind LaShawn Hill and his alleged actions (see ) in the name of autistics and Aspies getting laid (see including the comments thread).

Guilie Castillo said...

Hey Jonathan :) Thanks for popping over to my blog and for the sweet comment you left me--glad to find you're on Blogger too. I know next to nothing about autism, so I'm in dire need of an education. I think you'll see me skulking around in here, browsing through older posts to become a bit more familiar with the subject.

jonathan said...

Guillie, thanks so much for reciprocating and reading my blog. Best of luck with your novel

lurker said...

I wish I had kept up on what's been going on recently. I've had so much that I've been worrying about on my mind. I hope things have been ok with you. This seems like a chilling turn of events. I think it's starting to sink in among some like Sullivan, that the ASAN is serious about halting progress through actively attempting to prevent a cure from being researched, and could be why they're questioning their actions. I wonder how much damage they will do with their connections to federal funders as they handpick possible grant reviewers who ask to be involved. I bet they're going to recruit worse individuals than Robison, who have a higher aggression, to sabotage the funding of research.