Monday, April 2, 2012

IACC appointees: A sick April fools joke or ???

Ironically, right around the time of April Fools day,the federal government announced the names of the new appointees to the public membership of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. This is the agency that was created under the combating autism act where members of the general public, along with federal government members are appointed to give input and vote on autism policy. In the past(though I'm not certain about now) the Federal members outnumbered the public members. They voted on what they wanted, and I doubt the public members actually had much power to make meaningful contributions.

Three of the appointees' names particularly stood out for me:

1. Matthew Carey
2. John Elder Robison
3. (Last but certainly not least) Scott Robertson.

The combating autism act was designed with the intent of actually curing and eradicating autism. I'd like to discuss the incredible incongruity of appointing these three individuals to this position.

Nearly three years ago, I wrote a blog post explaining why I did not believe that members of the neurodiversity movement should be allowed to be heard by the IACC. This was in response to a post one of the three aforementioned appointees wrote.

Now in what I hope was either an early April Fools joke or a nightmare from which I'll awake tomorrow morning, it's happened. We now have three individuals from this movement who are not only being heard by the IACC but are actually on the board themselves.

Matt Carey, AKA "Sullivan", is at least a somewhat pro neurodiversity blogger who has a propensity to make numerous factual errors in posts that try to rebut those of us who have an intense dislike for the neurodiversity movement. He has gotten it wrong on special education law, gotten it wrong on whether or not Ari Ne'eman said that autism was not a disability and gotten it wrong about a certain individual who does not like ND, falsely claiming this person threatened Ne'eman with death. Carey has consistently stated the strawman that those of us who don't like neurodiversity are against civil and human rights. As this is one of their standard lines, I won't bother to comment on the absurdity of this. Carey has been very pro special ed and the IDEA law, yet apparently is against curing autism. He apparently believes the taxpayers should foot the bill for his son's disability which he is opposed to curing.

John Robison is another individual who has stated there is no need for a cure for autism. To his credit, he has acknowledged that autism is a disability that needs research for remediation. Though quite wealthy, he has accepted funding from autism speaks for his son's and Alex Plank's autism talk TV, while most persons with autism are crippled and sick and languish in poverty. He has suggested studying geek success as a legitimate scientific endeavor. He seems to either not understand that a newborn has a nearly equal chance of being a boy or a girl or comes up with some strange theory that parents of autistic children are at least four times more likely to have a son as their firstborn and then an equal chance of either sex with subsequent children. Though he has not even completed the tenth grade in school, he serves on scientific advisory boards with M.D. and Ph.D. scientists. Most notable of all, his friend, Alex Plank, whom he has helped secure funding for, has stated that autism is a good thing. So, though Robison has stated that many facets of autism are disabling and need research for remediation, I wonder if we can judge him by the company he keeps.

As I said before, last but not least is Scott Robertson, one of the top executives in the autistic self-advocacy network, second-in-command to Ari Ne'eman. Though ASAN has publically opposed the combating autism act, they apparently feel it is okay to be the beneficiaries of tax dollars paid for created out of a law that they disagree with. They have stated that curing autism (the purpose for which the combating autism act and the IACC which they now have a seat on was enacted) would be morally rephrensible. ASAN or their representatives have used murder of autistic children as a political tool, they have stated that autism and Asperger's are not disabilities, and they have implied that autistic people who are unable to hold jobs who disagree with what they are doing are welfare bums who in their words should be strangled to death and turned into cat food or taken out, lined up against a wall and be shot.

To date, not a single person on the spectrum who favors curing autism has been appointed as a public member of the IACC. Though it would seem we are the primary individuals for whom the CAA was passed by congress and signed into law by two different presidents. I wonder why Kathleen Sebelius and other powers that be, think that these individuals are better suited for the job than we are. Guess because of my disability, there are just some mysteries that I'm not sophisticated enough to understand.