I am typing this entry having just had my personal account on Facebook suspended for 30 days. I know why. Someone just didn’t like being called out. It happened just because I linked a blog entry by Fiona O’Leary calling out John Greally and his cronies as bullies trying to control the Autism advocacy sphere by banning functioning labels. You can’t do that, because functioning labels have a legal purpose. It’s why we have various versions across the western world of disability discrimination law, and the UN declaration on the rights of the disabled.
Here is Fiona’s blog entry;
There is nothing Greally can say to defend that. It’s not on. He calls himself an advocate, and yet he bullies people who are on the same side. Never ever do that. The only Autistics who need to be bullied are those who bully, and those who are a genuine threat to the community (that is – those who are demanding a cure as an example) although that has to be handled correctly. You start by correcting them on crucial points. That’s not bullying. But Greally doesn’t take that first step – he goes straight to bullying out of sheer paranoia – again as ably demonstrated by Fiona’s blog entry.
But let’s go more recent – when Fiona published this screenshot;
Absolutely clear. Fiona asked the question on her timeline who was on her friends list that couldn’t be trusted. That screenshot IDed the moll without a doubt.
When I first found out about the nonsense with Greally I unfriended him and blocked him. I also unfriended his partner – guess who? Emma Dalmayne. Here’s the proof.
See the red boxes. Trouble was I forgot to block her as well, leading to this;
As indicated I blocked her.
I also told the owner of the Neurophobia page to be wary of her. The co-owner, Lindsay Mohler, quickly wanted proof and I linked her to Fiona’s blog entry adding that Dalmayne was giving tacit approval to it. That is what got Dalmayne upset and led to my 30 day suspension from Facebook. I had time to follow up with Mohler even putting a screenshot to show Dalmayne lying.
The call out was the blog entry above – clearly Dalmayne was lying. Result – I was blocked from the page. That makes Mohler part of the problem as well, although it could have been Greally who is a co-owner as well. Doesn’t matter – Mohler is complicit.
On Fiona’s timeline someone tried to say that The Greally Team had nothing to do with it all. She didn’t believe it and wanted proof. As of now there is none, and someone else pointed out that if there was any truth to the tale, Greally and Dalmayne would be falling over themselves trying to clear their names. But they aren’t. That’s tacit approval at best. At worst it’s an admission of guilt. And it’s bullying within the Autistic community that our haters will be loving.
So here’s the deal. Greally needs to be isolated. So do everyone who supported this attack on Fiona, and remember that saying nothing and supporting Greally in other respects is support of this attack. Like it or not. Autism is a Spectrum. It is neurodiverse. True support of neurodiversity includes acknowledging the existence of labels and using them to our advantage. Do not push them aside like they don’t exist, because that’s a win for the haters. We are different. Nothing can change that, and that in itself is a label. Wear it with pride.
Attacking this will be stopped. I guarantee it, if I have anything to do with it.
I did a recce on Twitter through Jonathan Mitchell’s account just to see where things were on his January argument with Samantha Crane and I came across his replies to Thomas Clements – and what I read from Thomas was disturbing and something we can do without in the Autistic community.
What about those who can’t speak for themselves? What about those who can but lack the borders required not to offend others? I for one will speak on behalf of them – and against them in the process because they need to be put in their box. Thomas is in effect wanting to allow those who want a cure to be able to speak without being attacked for it. For instance, in reply to the above tweet;
Not to mention, when looking further;
They won’t speak out because of this non existent cult! That’s disgraceful, Thomas! They’re afraid to speak out because of the hate that exists for Autism outside amongst the neurotypicals. The very hate that anything negative about Autism (whether it’s true or not) that lot thrive on. It has to stop! We need positivity within the entire Autistic community and no exceptions. Having people pop up with negativity sets that effort back – and that’s why some go down the path of ostracising. Now as a general rule I’m against that, but there are individual exceptions – not withstanding the fact that many basically put themselves in that position by just being stupid (cases in point – Jonathan Mitchell, Yuval Levental, Oliver Canby and worst of the lot Christian Chandler).
This hate has to be stopped, Thomas. It’s harming all of us ultimately. And yet you want it to continue by default by trying to promote an individual upon individual thing – which in theory would be fine, but like all things in practice it’s not. Far from it. Like it or not we are being put in a box. That’s how society works. Now putting us in the wrong box (that is – something to fear and to be cured et al) should be fought. We are human beings. We are different, not less. Society wants us to be less and we should fight that – side by side. You have the right to be yourself, and no one can take that away from you. That’s always been my saying since before I was even diagnosed in 1997. I was saying that as far back as 1988! But being yourself does come with a caveat. Do not break the law (civil or criminal) and do not upset others in the first instance and learn from your mistakes. If others upset you that changes the playing field and you have every right to strike back. But only if that is justified.
Bottom line – stop allowing haters the room to talk. They are harming us. Yes I mean all of us including you – like it or not. If you want to take that as me talking for you then fine – because that means you aren’t willing to listen and learn from your mistakes. It’s a mistake to allow hate for Autism to fester in the community, and nothing can change that fact.
It was recently brought to my attention that a number of people are giving credence to the idea that the MTHFR gene is a player in the genetic make up of Autism.
The basis of this claim derives from the racist view that Autism is damage. It’s not. It is human difference, difference that commands respect. Anyone who goes down this damage path is therefore a racist as it shows zero respect for our rights as human beings.
MTHFR AKA Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase is the coding for the gene. A deficiency in this gene is rare, but it can be treated easily and quickly. There have been people who have blamed this gene on every disease on the planet, which is frankly a joke and makes no sense because that makes a mockery of the claim that exists that it is only present in 50 percent on the population.
According to the ever reliable Science Based Medicine website, this rubbish started with a naturopath named Ben Lynch. A naturopath. Of course. Up there with all the quacks of the planet who think they know better than properly trained scientists. He runs a site called “mthfr.net” and runs through a plethora of lies about what the gene is responsible for. He only has an undergraduate degree in cell and molecular biology, which by itself is worthless. It needs back up and all Lynch has is a degree in Naturopathic Medicine from well known alternative medicine institution, Bastyr University. He has no fellowships, and has done no residencies or post undergraduate studies in genetics. He has never published anything in the field that has been peer reviewed. All he has in the dreaded anecdotal “evidence”, which as we know is worthless without proper back up and investigation.
There is an Australian website that needs to be called out as well; “mthfrsupport.com.au”. It supports the view that Autism is damage and not difference. Not only that, it support Methyl B12 as a treatment, consistent with the deranged view of John Best Junior! So much for that for credibility! If it wasn’t for the fact that Autism is not recognised as a protected group by hate laws (something I am trying to find a way to change) I’d be reporting this site as a hate group to the Human Rights Commission.
As there is nothing else to back this up by anyone independent of Lynch, this has to be put down as rubbish. Autism stands as is – a genetic difference. I am still yet to get a counter to my theory of the true origins of Autism – the behaviours. To repeat; a diagnosis on the Autistic spectrum requires a certain number of behaviours (five). It is possible to have less than five and not be Autistic. I firmly believe that every single human being on the face of the Earth has at least one of the behavioural traits. No one has none of them. I stand by that as the true genetic origin of Autism and – as Stone Cold Steve Austin would say – that’s all I got to say about that!
It came to my attention that William Shatner – Captain/Admiral Kirk from Star Trek, the title role of TJ Hooker and most recently Denny Crane in Boston Legal – had posted his support for Autism Speaks on Twitter and attracted quite the reaction from those who know that Autism Speaks is not the supporter of Autism that he thinks they are. I asked someone to tweet this to Mr Shatner and I hope he reads this and understands (I have left Twitter myself).
Many in the Autistic community are offended by Autism Speaks. They have a history of hate ridden conduct, misrepresenting Autism as all world bad and needing to be cured and prevented. They claimed that Autism holds families prisoner (the Ransom Notes campaign), and causes many other family issues including divorce and other related issues (see the I am Autism video). These are offensive claims that are 100 percent false and they are claims that Autism Speaks have never apologised for.
Shatner claimed that we should report Autism Speaks to the IRS. Why? What can the IRS do? They are powerless because of something called the First Amendment. Further, the fact that Autism Speaks removed the words “cure” and “prevention” from their mission statement will now protect them if action could be taken. The reality is that the previous campaigns I mentioned were not withdrawn because of orders from authorities. They were withdrawn because of the backlash from people like those who have criticised Shatner on Twitter.
Now some of the language that was used wasn’t appropriate – such as this from Samantha Barnett;
@WilliamShatner And Autistic people have been opposing them for a decade. Shut the [beep!] up and listen to the people who actually have to deal with this shit
Now I can understand why Shatner would treat this with contempt and the same applies to anyone who dropped the F bomb or the S word. But this tweet from Latino Sci-Fi Geek was spot on;
@WilliamShatner That #AutismSpeaks Puzzle symbol is kind of the autism equivalent of a nazi swastika to jews.But people aren’t aware of that
Now here Shatner got it wrong, calling the analogy “offensive”. What’s offensive is the past history of Autism Speaks openly encouraging the eugenic elimination of the Autistic community. That’s exactly what the Nazi’s tried to do to the Jews. It’s historical fact. Looking for a cure and trying to prevent Autism is attempting to eliminate a section of the community. We are human beings and we are different in our own way. The Jews are human beings as well and different in their own way. It’s the same with every different aspect of the human race, and Autism Speaks wanted to wipe us out. That’s the reason why the analogy is correct.
Ari Ne’eman then tweeted this;
@WilliamShatner is yelling at Autistic people for trying to educate him about Autism Speaks. Not a good look, Bill.
I wouldn’t agree necessarily that Shatner yelled, but many would have seen his responses to those who tweeted him in the vein of anger and contempt. Words on a screen can be seen as yelling even though it isn’t intended. That’s the Autistic mind making a different interpretation, and Shatner didn’t see it – and blocked Ari in reply after accusing others of bullying him. As long as bad language wasn’t used, he wasn’t bullied. People were exercising their right to free speech and to educate as many tried to – and indeed as I am trying to now. Fellow ASAN member Amy Caraballo saw the issue and said this;
@WilliamShatner Yelling is necessary because history has proven many aren’t listening otherwise. Point in case. #learnsomething #nothingaboutthemwithoutthem
I can attest to that. There are many who are not listening and are harming the Autistic community. Again, this is the history of Autism Speaks – they have caused anger with their contemptible conduct, particularly from their co-founder the late Suzanne Wright. She produced videos that lied about Autism and promoted fear for the condition. Autism Speaks have relied on the fear factor to gain the donations they have. Fear creates hate, and hate leads to suffering. (Yes I’m quoting Yoda from Star Wars but it’s spot on)
Shatner queried “neurodiversity’s” tactics. A correction, Bill – neurodiversity is not a movement. Please don’t make that mistake. Neurodiversity is a concept, meaning “neuro” (as in brain) and “diversity” (as in difference). Also note that the vast majority of people on Twitter who had a crack at you were NOT members of ASAN. The goal of ASAN is to promote Autism in the correct manner, making it a competitor to Autism Speaks. Attacking Autism Speaks is just part of the job that is needed to stop the hate they have promoted, and it appears to be working as Autism Speaks is showing signs of change. And other organisations have also been attacked by ASAN, such as the Judge Rotenburg Center.
This tweet was Shatner was disappointing;
Complete misrepresentation of what actually happened but apparently they learn from the founder that if you misrepresent; you get sympathy.??
Bill, with all due respect you missed the point. This is a mess that started when you provided a symbol that is seen by many as offensive. It happens. Please understand that Autism Speaks has a history of misrepresenting Autism and that is what this is all about. You were seen as supporting said misrepresentation, and there are many who get angry automatically as a result. Anger doesn’t look good obviously, but I ask that you understand the anger. You don’t need to agree with it. That’s up to you. But if you understand it you’ll get the idea and realise why you were jumped on. Your late Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy portrayed a character that is seen to represent Autistic traits. Data from Star Trek Next Generation is seen in a similar light. Autism Speaks sees Autism only as low functioning and doesn’t recognise the sum of us who carry ourselves in similar ways to Spock and Data.
It’s a shame you felt you were being bullied. We have been bullied by Autism Speaks, and we’ve been sick of it for many years and know only one way to fight back. You got caught in the cross fire and I plead with you to review your support of Autism Speaks. I hope I have your understanding with this blog entry.
I’m doing a majority cross post on this one on both my Autism and my political blogs, with only difference being that on the political blog I’m talking about two issues whereas on the Autism blog it’s just the one – Hillary’s policy on Autism.
I finally got the link to the policy that I thought I’d lost. It was given to me by Cube Demon, and it’s also on Jonathan Mitchell’s blog but I forgot about it. It would of course been easier if Nick Walker had just given the link. I can safely say that his belief that Hillary is against Autism is 99 percent wrong, and that’s good enough for me. The Autistic community should vote for Hillary, and I’ll show her positives shortly.
But let’s put the other candidates in their box, and it naturally starts with Donald Trump. That idiot supports the bunked idea that vaccines cause Autism. Those of us with a brain know that it’s not true. He thinks that changing the vaccine structure will make a difference. It won’t – not one iota. Autism is genetic in origin and that is a fact that he ignores totally. He has nothing for us – at all.
Jill Stein, the Greens candidate, doesn’t have a specific platform on Autism it would appear. But she has used one word to describe it that makes her an enemy – “epidemic”. That’s the same as calling Autism as disease, which it’s not. So at present at least she is a threat to us. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, also doesn’t have a specific platform on Autism. Unlike Stein there’s nothing at all as a guide. It’s the same with Darrell Castle, from the Constitution Party. He though may have some understanding at least as a lawyer who has a policy within that structure on getting Autistics Social Security Disability Insurance. Mind you having said that he has Asperger Syndrome listed separately when it shouldn’t be because of the DSM-5.
So the only person with a detailed policy on Autism is Hillary Clinton. And it’s a winner.
- Screening and Awareness – Boost early screening rates with a nationwide outreach campaign; and Promote multi-sector awareness campaign.
- Autism Treatment and Insurance Coverage – Improve access to autism services in the ACA marketplace and through private health insurance; Increase state compliance with Medicaid coverage requirements for children with autism and other developmental disabilities and create an autism-service-access scorecard that makes state Medicaid compliance publicly accessible; and Work with the Department of Defense to ensure military families have full access to autism services through TRICARE, the health care program dedicated to service members, veterans, and their families.
- Safety and Services for Children and Youth – Enact the Keeping All Students Safe Act; and Protect children with autism from bullying in their classrooms.
- Community Supports and Services for Individuals Transitioning into Adulthood – Launch a new Autism Works Initiative consisting of a post-graduation transition plan for every student with autism aging out of school-based services and a public-private partnership with employers; The importance of a transition plan; The importance of public-private partnerships; Combine the Autism Works Initiative with new legislation to fund employment demonstration grants for individuals with autism and other disabilities; and Increase housing opportunities for autistic youth and adults.
- Caregiving – Encourage all states to enact ABLE legislation and ensure consumer protection for ABLE account beneficiaries; and Provide new support to caregivers.
- Research – Significantly increase funding so that the government can invest more in autism research; and Call for the first-ever adult autism prevalence and needs study.
- Enforcement – Ensure states meet their obligations under IDEA’s Child Find Program to identify, screen, and refer children with disabilities for services; Ensure access to assistive technologies; Enforce mental health parity protections; Continue vigorous enforcement of Olmstead; and Dedicate new funding to autism protection and advocacy.
This is all fantastic, but there is a single hole. In Safety and Services, the protection factor for children is limited to the classroom. It should include the Internet as well. Not only that, bullying is not limited to children on the Spectrum – there should be protection for adults as well.
Nick Walker claimed the Hillary Clinton called Autism a burden. The only mention of “burden” in the policy was the financial burden Autism places on families. And that burden is not caused by Autism itself. It is caused by societal and governmental neglect, and in the case of certainly the latter Hillary is covering that. In 2007 AEIOU valued that burden in Australia at an average of $5.8 billion AUD a year. Based in pure population that would put the US at $75.4 billion AUD or about $56 billion USD. Actual spending at present in both countries is well below that level, but in America at least Hillary seems to be committing to that. Any mention of the word “burden” in future by Hillary has to be taken in that context.
I also want to talk about the research. It does talk about genetic markers which can be dangerous, but as there is no mention of any particular target that’s not a problem. There is certainly no mention of pursuing a cure as a result of said research.
Bottom line – Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who is serious about Autism.
The author of the lauded best seller “Neurotribes” is coming to Australia as a keynote speaker of Autism Victoria’s bi annual Victorian Autism Conference on September 1 – the first day of a two day conference in Melbourne. And he will be here.
The Change.org petition started by Yuval Levental (under the name “Y L”) is a complete waste of time, and amounts to bullying, harassment and also libel.
I’m not going to link to that petition, but here are the lowlights of what was said;
1. Steve does NOT trivialise Autism. He pays it the proper and correct respect. Levental does not.
2. Disability IS part of the human experience. The human experience is all about diversity, and Levental opposes diversity. His editing on Wikipedia is proof that he is a racist.
3. There is plenty of evidence that many famous figures in history were Autistic. If Steve chose to be vague about it that would have been because it wasn’t really important to the present day.
4. Employment of Autistics rely on the employers, and Levental trying to shut Silberman down will have an adverse effect on an already serious problem with attitude towards Autism.
5. The rise in the prevalence of Autism in Silicon Valley is not about birth rate. It is about those who live there, but were born elsewhere.
6. Autism Victoria AKA AMAZE does recognise the negative effects of Autism. It also recognises the positive effects and provides balance. Levental opposes that balance.
Levental is trying to create the same fear for Autism as the late Suzanne Wright did. He is the one who should be stopped and he will be. I have reported the petition to Change.org for a policy violation (bullying and harassment) especially given that this is the second time Levental has tried to stop Steve from speaking. He has every right to speak on Autism, and Levental has no right to stop him. He is speaking the truth about it, and Levental is a biased narrow minded bigot who doesn’t want to know about the positives. All he wants is a cure and he’s not going to get it. Neither is anyone else who wants it, because it is impossible.
I welcome Steve to Australia. He has an important message to give and I would have been there if the Conference wasn’t so expensive to attend. I was only able to attend in Ballarat in 2012 thanks to some free tickets being available through the local group. He doesn’t trivialise Autism. He tells the truth about it. He is worth listening to for the understanding of the Spectrum as a whole. Any parent who claims that Autism is a struggle needs help, and is harming their own child with that attitude.
I have to put this here and I have asked either the other admins at All About Anti Vaxxers or Sam Redfern to link this – as from what I’ve been told she has bailed after being given quite the bake on Facebook. Jodie, you need to read this and understand what you are doing wrong.
First off, here is what she said;
I think it’s a possibility that regression is a separate issue to autism and the cause of regression is different to the cause of autism.
I think it’s also possible that people with a genetic predisposition to autism may be more likely to experience regression.
Another possibility is that this subgroup of children who regress are not born autistic and the regression coincides with the onset of autism.
Unfortunately none of the research that I have read focuses solely on the regressive group or the ID group other than Dr Deisher’s research, which excludes the high functioning group and shows a link between autism and vaccines that contain human DNA contaminants due to the use of fetal cell lines in the manufacture. I understand that this theory cannot explain autism in the older generation of autistics although both viral and autoimmune encephalitis can also be caused by some wild viruses and explain regression. Some live viral vaccines can cause encephalitis too regardless of DNA contaminants.
I would like to see more research that focuses on the ID group and/or the recessive group.
I agree that vaccines are not proven to cause regressions to the frequency claimed. Like my son, there are many who experienced a recognised regression that is currently considered ‘of unknown cause’. While a cause remains unestablished it’s unproven one way or the other if vaccination has or hasn’t played a part or caused the regression. The vaccine my son received prior to the regression can cause regression due to viral or autoimmune encephalitis. You are correct in saying there may be another cause but since vaccination is the most obvious cause due to the temporal association I am pursuing that possibility further at the moment and the medical professionals recognise it is a possibility. The geneticist we saw last year said after finding no abnormalities during genetic testing that my sons condition may not have a genetic cause, and this geneticist is aware of the ASD in our family. When I go back later this year I will question him further about whether he means the ASD, the ID or both. I, like you, see the ID as a severe form of autism rather than a separate condition which would mean that a regression is either the cause of the autism or making a very mild case of autism much worse.
Your sensory overload theory is only a theory and not a proven possibility like the theory I have mentioned. For that reason and the reasons I already mentioned I find it hard to seriously consider. Could you explain how you came up with the theory? I’m trying to establish why it would be any more credible than past theories like refrigerator mothers that are now known to be incorrect. I have given it some thought but I still don’t fully understand whether you mean something psychological, physical or either as a source of regression and why you even believe this to begin with. I also don’t know what you mean by reversing it. I’m interested in your mention of the sixth sense as I remember my eldest telling me to look at a man that wasn’t there when he was little. My severely affected son can be in fits of laughter like he is being tickled to death even though he is alone. I’m not sure if it’s a surge of brain chemicals because doctors just say that’s common with these kids. Do you have any thoughts you’re happy to share?
Now before I go to my response, there was some interim material. It started with one of the AAAV admins calling her out on the comment that “Another possibility is that this subgroup of children who regress are not born autistic and the regression coincides with the onset of autism” calling it rubbish and that there was no possibility of it at all. I repeated that in my reply as you’ll shortly see. Jodie asked if AAAV felt the geneticist was wrong and referenced this person as “highly trained” and AAAV answered “Yes” and added that Autism has no genetic identity so the geneticist wouldn’t know. Jodie agreed that there was no genetic identity and used that to assume that the whole thing was still up in the air, causing Sam Redfern to roar in and tell her that there was no alternative explanation that was valid – and that “Wild speculation based in emotional anecdotes don’t count”. Jodie countered by suggesting she had provided other valid explanations – totally ignoring Sam’s note about anecdotes, and AAAV shot back that she’d provided no valid explanations. She tried to counter again by claiming that genetics didn’t explain developmental regression, and AAAV rightly pointed her to my sensory overload theory and told her to read it again and this time pay attention to it. Jodie is yet to respond and I suspect she has indeed left the thread. Steve Pemberton linked a superb article from The Conversation to back up the genetics argument and AAAV advised that I would be told about it – and of course I have been.
So here is my response to what she said.
This comment I’m responding to is utterly offensive in so many ways. For a start, AAAV is right. That is impossible. Autism is genetic, and no exceptions. Steve’s link is superb. If Deisher is saying otherwise, then that means she is another in a long line of quacks who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Vaccines are a compound and have no such contents in that compound form. That is basic chemistry. Just like salt and water. You don’t judge them on their chemical content, so you don’t judge vaccines on their chemical content either. Your son did not get encephalitis from the vaccine you think caused the regression. That’s impossible. It is NOT the most obvious cause. The most obvious cause is sensory overload and you really have to wrap your mind around it because again – it makes the most sense.
You wasted your time going to a geneticist, because that sort of person can not possibly see any obvious difference without knowing where to look. All brains are different. There is no brain that is exactly the same in any human being – Autistic or neurotypical. A regression is impossible without the existing presence of Autism. It can not be created in that way. No Autism – no regression. Simple.
You will consider sensory overload, because you have already accepted the existence of sensory sensitivity, right? The two go together – cause and effect. The more sensory sensitive one is, the more likely a sensory overload. Again – that’s where you need to be looking. It’s so simple I just can’t understand why you can’t see it. Or is it a case of you won’t? Sensory overload has nothing to do with the bunked fridge mother rubbish – if anything that idea would cause a “sensory underload”. Yes I made that up in order for you to get the idea. It’s all about one of the six senses being overloaded and the brain can’t take it. Stress is an example of the sixth sense being overloaded. What happens when you are stressed? It hurts right? Multiply that a few times for your high functioning kids. Multiply it thirty times for your youngest. Brain chemicals have nothing to do with it. It’s the brain itself. Your youngest may be laughing without an apparent reason because he has simply thought about something and loves it. It’s random because his brain is still overloaded so there’s no way of telling what actually he was laughing at.
It looks to me like you’ve got a lot to learn about Autism. Just looking at your kids clearly hasn’t taught you enough, and you’re clearly reading the wrong material.
And that is that.
It’s been brought to my attention that there are people who expect me to be able to get a job, and complain that I am a cheat. This is false and requires a further explanation.
This isn’t a new subject. ASAN founder Ari Ne’eman has already called for social pleasantries to be eliminated as an employment requirement across the board – due to the fact that everyone on the Autistic Spectrum has issues of some description in this area. We have no social instinct. What we have at best is a robotic social skill set, which is seen as restricted by the public at large. It is not uncommon for us to be rude without knowing we have been rude, and upset people in the process. And what’s worse, we never get a full explanation as to why this happened. We are expected to work it out for ourselves. Without answers to questions, we can’t. That is the lack of instinct at work. Answering the questions is too much for many employers and that’s why they get rid of us – claiming unjustfiable hardship. That’s what the Defence Department did to me (forgetting for the moment that they had to set something up to make it look legal!). It also happened with Australia Post and I couldn’t react any other way then because I didn’t know that I was on the Autistic Spectrum.
Now I disagree with Ari on one point. Social pleasantries have to stay for jobs where the general public is inherently involved – jobs in sales and hospitality for example. Jobs in call centres are also like this. These are jobs that Autistics generally can not do – unless a special interest is involved. For example, an Autistic who is excellent at electronics would do okay in an electronics store (I was going to say Dick Smith, but that’s not appropriately any more!).
But when the general public is not involved, social pleasantries should be a two way street. The other members of staff should be expected to adjust. This is the problem – they don’t have to at present. So it doesn’t matter if the Autistic can do the actual job. If they can’t work in a team they won’t be employed. We are solitary people. We function best autonomously. We don’t function well when we are taken out of our routine – whether it be a base routine for those of us higher up the Spectrum (like me) or the total routine on the lower end. We can only be employed if this sort of environment is provided. If it is we are productive employees. It’s not an unreasonable demand, and yet for the sake of the team and the social atmosphere, employers don’t want to know.
For myself, I do have other issues – such as my present lifestyle routine which has developed to a pretty stringent level after 17 years of unemployment. That does not make me a bludger. It makes me a victim of a system that needs to change. I am entitled to the Disability Support Pension under these circumstances, and to say otherwise is against the facts of my life, and the lives of any other Autistic.
I have been told that there are two Autistics who go against this apparently. The first one has to be someone involved in a special interest. I’m pretty sure I know who they are talking about with the second example, and that person is not Autistic.
So don’t listen to anyone who calls me a cheat and a “dole bludger”. It’s defamation and I can easily prove it so.
If these people really do want me to work, they should stop trying to bully and bait me and start calling on employers to stop demanding social skills when they aren’t compulsory, and provide a base routine and relative autonomy. They can do it – they just don’t want to. And that’s their fault and not mine.
The following link crossed my bows today while doing some other searching;
I’m not going to quote anything from it because it would take too long, but there are some important points to make.
The first is that it is now becoming clear that the Autistic Spectrum was first written about in 1935, not 1943, and by Anni Weiss – a colleague of Hans Asperger – and not Leo Kanner. That led to Asperger having a wider range of children to examine (and as a side note there was no indication that any of the children could have been as young as four, which is the cut off for thiomersal being introduced into vaccines in 1931) and had the whole Spectrum in front of him – not just one section like Kanner did.
The second is the controversial part. Now as we all know, Hitler and his fascist Nazi regime preached the Aryan Race. This precluded anyone with a disability, who were targeted for death as much as the Jews were. So when Austria was annexed by Germany in 1938, Asperger had to know his subjects were in danger. He didn’t have much support as many of his colleagues were Jewish and sought to flee the country – or they committed suicide. Those that didn’t fall into that category fell into line behind Hitler and his cronies.
The controversial book “In A Different Key” tries to paint Asperger as a Nazi sympathiser at best and a blatant Nazi at worst. If the latter was correct he would have allowed all his subjects to be killed, and he didn’t. So that idea can be blasted out of the water. What he did do was in effect put on two faces – the outward sympathiser face (which the writers on In A Different Key have focused on it appears) and the inward researcher continuing his work.
Steve Silberman has gone up in my estimation with this piece. The writers of that book, John Donvan and Caren Zucker, are clearly on the warpath trying to discredit Asperger’s work by slapping a Nazi tag on it. That’s BS and Silberman rightly called them out on it, especially when his research contradicted theirs in so many ways. This was because Steve actually took the time to look at everything. It’s just so typical of a society that fears Autism so much that such lazy rubbish comes out to try and undermine the real and full understanding of the Spectrum.
And it also adds validity to the argument that any demands that Autism be cured, wiped out and so on should be seen in the same light as wiping out the Jews. We are people. We are human. We are not animals, we are not diseased and we should not be cured. We should be accepted, nurtured properly, supported and valued – and be given the room to adjust to our respective conditions. Adam Lanza refused to have anything to do with his condition at all, and look what happened to him. He went mad. A refusal to accept and adjust is asking for mental health issues on a major scale, and there’s one right now living in Los Angeles who is nearly the same age as Lanza who is heading in the same direction, and owns an AK-47 (or so he says).
As a final note, there was this from erstwhile loudmouth Jonathan Mitchell;
Perhaps Czech won’t give Steve Silberman information because he has the good common sense to see how absurd neurodiversity is.
No, he won’t give it because he knows Steve has him by the proverbials and doesn’t have the courage to admit it. Everyone with common sense knows that neurodiversity is not absurd, and Mitchell is the last person to be criticising that given how he was brought up to hate Autism and therefore doesn’t have the tools to understand what neurodiversity really is. Nor the courage to admit his error.
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.