Saturday, September 14, 2013

bizarre rhetoric from Ari Ne'eman: Neurodiversity plays the "murder card" once again

Lenny Schafer alerted me to an article written about the alleged attempted murder of Isabelle Stapleton by her mother, Kelly, on his facebook page.  In the article, prominent neurodiversity activist Ari Ne'eman once again resorts to one of the oldest dirty tricks in the book the ND's resort to any time a parent murders their autistic offspring or allegedly attempts to do so.  He writes:

I think there certainly is a divide, and there has been for some time," said Ari Ne'eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network in Washington, D.C. “The picture of autism that has been presented in the public eye is not consistent with how we see ourselves.

Note that this is part of a pattern on Ne'eman's part to resort to a phenomenon that renowned blogger Harold Doherty has referred to as "The Royal We".  Where Ne'eman attempts to speak for all autistic people, though his Asperger's or autism is nowhere near typical of the vast majority of those on the spectrum, myself included.  No, Ari, I am an individual, you can't get away with speaking for me or anyone else who may happen to disagree with your way of thinking. 

He goes on to say: 

Autistic people deserve the same protection under law, he said, and “we are profoundly concerned when groups try to present murder as justified or understandable on the basis of the victim’s disability.”

What person with autism has not received the same protection under the law?  The article goes on to say that Kelly Stapleton will be arrainged for attempted murder.  She will be prosecuted.  Even though Ne'eman may not like this, the U.S.A. is not nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.  Ms. Stapleton is legally entitled to a trial by a jury of her peers.  Until she is convicted, she's innocent until proven guilty or at least found guilty in a court of law.  The law is applied in the same manner as the attempted murder of a non-handicapped child by their parent(s). 

It is not surprising that Ne'eman's most astute statement is saved for last:

Parents do not kill kids because a service system is inadequate," Ne'eman added. "They kill their children because media and a disturbing number of people send them the message that that is OK or at least understandable

No, I don't think so, parents do not kill their children because they happen to read reports in the media that Ne'eman alleges exist saying it is okay or understandable for them to do so.  It seems implausible that most parents who kill or attempt to kill their autistic kids just happen to read media reports and then say to themselves, "oh, okay, guess it's okay for me to put my kid to sleep."  They do it out of insanity exacerbated by the frustration of having to raise an autistic child. In fact Ms. Stapleton has authored a blog documenting her frustration in dealing with her child's disability.  Autism is a horrible disability that brings out the worst in desperate people.  Of course, thankfully, the vast majority of parents, no matter how far they're pushed off the deep end don't go as far as murder.  This is not to say that the murder of autistic children is ever justified or even understandable. 

As Lenny correctly pointed out in his facebook article, Ne'eman ( and probably other ND's) are just projecting their own anger and hatred onto all parents of autistic kids. ND is the 21st century incarnation of Bettelheim.