It was brought to my attention today that Neil Greenspan had written an article in the Huffington Post back in March and then updated in May, in the wake of Newsweek’s unfortunate article on Jonathan Mitchell – an article I maintain to this day should not have been written as it gave Mitchell publicity that he didn’t deserve.
Greenspan firstly gets it wrong by claiming critics of Mitchell are attacking him because he is supporting “effective autism therapy”. That is not the case. Mitchell is only interested in a cure and nothing else. He is in fact a critic of therapy for Autism. Greenspan also gets it wrong thus;
…because they fear that public acknowledgment of his quest will undermine their efforts to achieve acceptance for themselves or, in the case of parents of affected individuals, their children.
Remembering that Greenspan got the previous point wrong, the reality is that Mitchell’s pursuit of a cure plays right into the hands of a society that still fears Autism. This fear plays out in all the legal discrimination that goes on, and on top of that there are the anti vaccine proponents who insist that vaccines cause Autism. Mitchell’s desire for a cure also plays to them.
The attitude appears to be that JM’s right to pursue his life aims as he sees fit should be held hostage to the needs of others seeking greater acceptance of autism-associated traits or behaviors.
This is misleading. Greenspan obviously hasn’t read Mitchell’s blog. It is a litany of whining and complaining – and doing nothing positive about it. We aren’t holding him hostage. He’s holding himself hostage. He can do better, but he won’t.
The good news is that Greenspan supports the proper concept of neurodiversity as it should be (further proving that he hasn’t read Mitchell’s blog and seen his favourite saying “we don’t need no stinkin neurodiversity”). But;
However, the critics of JM do not take sufficient account of the extraordinary range of autism-related manifestations when they presume, based on rather limited knowledge of JM’s condition and circumstances, to tell him the source of his problems and what he is permitted to think or say about his own needs and desires.
Limited my arse, and don’t tell me (one of the said critics) that I’m not taking the entire Spectrum into account! Every single negative trait can be treated – if it is caught early enough. That is what I’m about. It was made clear in the Newsweek article that Norma Mitchell was accused of being a bad parent. She responded by taking the blame – instead of rejecting it as every other parent of an Autistic at the time did. In every single Autistic on the planet (no exceptions) that first twelve years of life is crucial, as are the next three or four. The adjustment process has to be done during that period. If it isn’t there are issues. I can talk about that as I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 31. But even at 31, I knew to adjust. And I have and I am better for it. So are others who have adjusted. Mitchell hasn’t. No matter his specific condition and circumstances, there is no excuse for that.
I do not believe he has any intentions of demanding that other affected individuals must seek the same treatments, should they materialize in the future, that he would gladly try.
He doesn’t need to. Others will do that, and that is the real danger – and the core of it is this desire for a cure. It’s a desire that HAS to be silenced because it is murder. There is no other word for it – murder. There is no room for people like Mitchell because he has no respect for the condition he has. In order to be a part of the solution, the first thing that has to happen is to understand and respect the condition. Mitchell does neither, so he is part of the problem, not the solution.
I’ll finish with this;
Otherwise, these activists will undercut their important mission by demonstrating their own inability to tolerate diversity in perceptions or goals.
You, Neil Greenspan, need to understand that collusion to murder is not tolerance towards diversity. It’s opposing hatred of diversity. Mitchell hates neurodiversity, therefore he hates diversity. To oppose that does not undermine the mission. It supports it by recognising and silencing threats. Mitchell is a threat.