Tuesday, June 18, 2013

who's defending Alex Spourdalakis' murder?

In their latest cause celebre The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is calling for the prosecution of Alex Spourdalakis' mother, Dorothy, and his godmother  for his murder under federal hate crime laws. 

Alex was a  14-year-old 200 pound nonverbal severely autistic boy, so violent he often had to be put in four point restraints during hospitalizations. 

His mother and godmother apparently murdered him by stabbing him to death and slitting his wrists.  I agree with ASAN that his autism and even it's great severity and the fact that he was so difficult to handle does not justify his homicide. 

However, I do question ASAN in their infinite wisdom about how wise it is to spend federal tax dollars prosecuting him for a federal hate crime when his mother and her accomplice are being charged with first degree murder at the state level.  If there is ample evidence they did murder him in a premeditated fashion it is likely they will be convicted and sent to prison. It's possible they'll even receive the death penalty.  I know there have been some isolated instances of caretakers murdering autistic children and then getting light sentences.  However, even if they were prosecuted by the federal government, what guarantee is there, they would not get a lenient or even suspended sentence?  It seems much more viable to prosecute these people at the state level.  Of course, playing the murder card is nothing new for the neurodiversity movement. 

Most intriguing to this blogger is the following statement from ASAN: 

Many in the media have attempted to excuse Alex’s murder or sympathize with his killers, citing the challenges of his disability and the need to improve the quality and availability of service-provision. Such justifications are not unusual in the aftermath of such atrocities and they remain as inappropriate as ever

ASAN neglects to cite one specific example of this.  I perused a number of the media reports that I could find on Google news and, as far as I could tell, not one of them justified or attempted to defend this individual's murder. 

I'm curious as to where ASAN gets their sources and who in this instance (or any other for that matter) justified the murder of anyone who was autistic. 

I guess it's possible someone can enlighten me in the comments section (even anonymously) and I wait to hear any specific examples. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Manuel Casanova gives my novel a plug

I'm very gratified that neuroscientist and neuropathologist extraordinaire, Manuel Casanova, has given  my novel, the mu rhythm bluff, a plug in his latest blog entry on his blog, cortical chauvinism.

Dr. Casanova's blog is one of my favorites.  Very few scientists pursuing research in the neurophysiology of autism are interested in writing blogs for the lay person so they can have a better how understanding of the latest brain research issues in autism.  Dr. Casanova is an exception to this rule.

So far I've only sold about 19 books and had 125 downloads the week I offered it for free.  I've tried to plug it in various ways but to not much avail.

Thanks to Dr. Casanova for helping me out.