Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Sullivan's" odd views on neurodiversity, respect, human rights and dignity

I see that the well-known pro-neurodiversity blogger, Matt Carey (AKA "Sullivan"), is at it again  trotting out an abstract of a paper which I doubt he's even bothered to read to bolster the strawman argument he repeatedly makes that those of us who oppose neurodiversity are opposed to dignity and human rights for persons with autism.

The paper deals with the views of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities who want dignity and respect in research that involves them.  Though the abstract of the article does not mention either autism nor neurodiversity, Carey vis-a-vis some sort of possibly convoluted logic which I'm not nearly sophisticated enough to understand ties this publication into one of his pet topics, i.e. neurodiversity equals respect and dignity and human rights.

We can see from wikipedia's definition that they give a different meaning from Carey: Neurodiversity is a "controversial concept [that] ... regards atypical neurological development as a normal human difference"

Carey states:

Call it “human rights and dignity” and it isn’t a controversial concept. It may not be always followed but it isn’t controversial. Call it “neurodiversity” and somehow it’s a big deal.  

Mr. Carey, I realize a prestigious blogger and public member of the IACC probably won't take the time to read my piddling gadfly blog.  However, I wonder how you can equate claiming that the atypical neurologic development is not an impairment, but rather a human normal difference to dignity and respect?

Also, the on-line behavior of  those involved in neurodiversity seems to involve denying anyone with an autism spectrum disorder or possibly other neurologic or psychiatric impairment a cure if one is available and they so desire one.  The motto of Kevin Leitch who created the autism hub and in fact is Mr. Carey's predecessor as the main author of the blog that Carey now writes for was "We don't need no stinkin' cure".  Well, in response, I say, "We don't need no stinkin' neurodiversity."  That is not about human or civil rights.  I want a cure for autism.  I believe that autism is a disability, defect and disease and not a normal human difference or variation.  Does this mean I am opposed to civil rights for others or dignity or respect as both Michelle Dawson and Mr. Carey have stated?  Not at all.  I am all for human rights, dignity and respect.  Can the same thing be said of neurodiversity proponents?  Continue reading this post for the answer to that.   

He also states that people are mistaken that neurodiversity is a concept only involving high functioning autism and they are mistaken about his son's functioning level.  I don't know how high-functioning Carey's son is, yet I've never heard any pro-neurodiversity arguments from someone on the spectrum who was not high functioning.  In fact, it would appear the majority of them are far higher functioning than anyone else who has autism.  They can marry, have children, have good jobs, go to graduate school and pursue ph.d's, etc.  I would be curious if Mr. Carey's son/daughter holds the same point of view as he does or if Carey has even inquired.  If his offspring is too low functioning to understand or answer, then I don't understand how Carey can speak for him. 

How about dignity and respect?  What of the ND who emailed brain researcher Matthew Belmonte calling him a nazi?  What about those who have called me Goebels, Mitchell-shite, and have written libelous posts about me and spent time harassing me.  What of one ND who stated that parents of children don't give a fuck about their autistic kids and wish they would drop dead.  What of your fellow IACC public member Noah Britton who has equated parents who wish a cure for their autistic children and support autism speaks with members of the Ku Klux Klan?  Do proponents of the neurodiversity movement treat people with dignity and respect?  No, I don't think so.

No, Mr. Carey, human rights and dignity are not controversial topics.  I don't see how you or anyone else can deny whether or not autism is a disability and a disease or whether or not it's a normal human variation isn't a controversial opinion.  I don't comprehend how stating that persons who can't speak, can't dress themselves, let alone work and who engage in self-injurious behavior should not only be denied a cure if one were available, but also be labeled racists if their parents desire a cure for them is not controversial.  Again, Mr. Carey, your convoluted logic is way too sophisticated for me to follow.     

The fact this individual is a member of a publicly funded body that gives recommendations to the federal govermnent regarding autism policy concerns me deeply.



Anonymous said...

I can see how, if someone sees themselves as normal, but other people don't, then they would feel disrespected. You see yourself as abnormal so it doesn't feel disrespectful when other people agree with you. It all depends on how you see yourself.

Anonymous said...

"How about dignity and respect? What of the ND who emailed brain researcher Matthew Belmonte calling him a nazi? What about those who have called me Goebels, Mitchell-shite, and have written libelous posts about me and spent time harassing me."

I bet they'd claim that this behavior *is* dignified and respectful, that they just express it differently (a la the usual "when your Aspie boyfriend treats you the same way your NT ex did, he's not a jerk like your NT ex, he's just loving you in a different love language so don't break up with the poor guy!!!"), and that if you don't think so it's only because you're applying neurotypical standards to them.

A better future for all said...


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jonathan said...

thanks for the kind words, cube.

hdlmatchette said...

you ever heard of Amy Sequenzia or Amanda Baggs? both are neurodiversity advocates who are autistic and not "higher functioning".