Thomas Clements is out of touch

On the back of Yuval Levental’s overdue blocking from editing Wikipedia I thought it would be an idea to do an update on his friend Thomas Clements. The draft Levental did on him will be deleted per Wikipedia procedure in the next month or so and thank goodness for that.

Yes, and I think liberalism is in part to blame. We need something more robust if the West is to revive as a civilization.
https://twitter.com/tclementsuk/status/1274424316084531207

This was in reply to someone who was looking for balance between liberalism and conservatism. It’s clear that Clements, judging by this reply, wants nothing to do with liberty. He’s against freedom. Think about that.

How long will it take people to twig that #BlackLivesMatter is just another woke-capitalist scam?
https://twitter.com/tclementsuk/status/1274233741314011145

Excuse me? Capitalist? I suppose you think it’s a government cover up as well like that maniac John Best Junior? That is sheer ignorance and borderline racist in my opinion.

Curiously the only other counter-protester at my local #BlackLivesMatter demo was an old-school Marxist who regards the very concept of race as “purely reactionary”. He, like me, was denounced by the crowd as a “racist knuckle-dragger”.
https://twitter.com/tclementsuk/status/1274335649601073155

Good. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that they were right. That comment by Clements’ friend was in effect saying that the Klu Klux Klan didn’t exist.

Trolling the local white middle-class #BlackLivesMatter protest. Police threatened me with a “breach of the peace” if I didn’t leave.
https://twitter.com/tclementsuk/status/1274326118380769280

Quite right. The police knew a provocational presence when they saw it and were heading it off.

Polite middle-class liberals in suburbia couldn’t give a damn about black kids shooting each other in the inner-cities.
https://twitter.com/tclementsuk/status/1274259497113006080

Oh yes they do! The real reason they shoot each other is out of frustration of the general situation they are in and some cope better than others leading to clashs. Solution? All black lives matter. Oh and when someone called the comment harsh, Clements called it the truth. BS.

The reason I oppose #BlackLivesMatter is the same reason I oppose #Neurodiversity. Both movements exploit the sufferings of struggling communities for their own selfish agendas, trampling on the most vulnerable in the process. Who is #DefundThePolice going to hurt the most?
https://twitter.com/tclementsuk/status/1274235696232923137

BULL! Neurodiversity is about ALL Autistics! Clements is against this – he wants no help whatsoever from those of us at the higher end who have been treated badly. I for one want to help struggling Autistics and their parents. If they don’t want to be helped that’s a different matter entirely, but you can’t tell Clements that. He and people like him are the ones trampling on the most vulnerable by keeping Autism in the conversation as an all world bad thing. Aside from the fact that Neurodiversity and Black Lives Matter are not the same thing. The Defund the Police hash tag only applies in the US by the way (remember, Clements is British).

Neurodiversity has been co-opted by PoMo neo-Marxists, mate.
https://twitter.com/tclementsuk/status/1274242754600751105

This was in reply to someone IDing his comments that I just buried accusing Clements of comparing neurodiversity to a neo Marxist movement, and it’s downright offensive to say the least! Marxism is a version of Communism that has no place in a free society. Clements is only making that comparison for his own right wing restrictive agenda to – as I just said – keep Autism recognised as a bad thing. It’s a stigma that needs to be put in it’s place and that starts with laws against hate speech against the Autistic community.

The paradox of modern ‘liberalism’ in one tweet. Preach kindness and tolerance, superficially at least, only to treat those with different views with the utmost unkindness and intolerance.
https://twitter.com/tclementsuk/status/1274216264865587200

There is a difference between agreeing to disagree and having a crack at someone, when that other person is being racist and every other hateful belief and railing against the real truth. Clements is a hypocrite saying this because he is unkind and intolerant to the max, and I have every right to call him out on that.

That’ll do I think.

Levental can’t handle the truth

For a long time now I’ve been watching Yuval Levental’s editing on Wikipedia. He has been biased from the moment he started, blatantly promoting Jonathan Mitchell on there and adding other people who believe as he does that Autism is a bad thing and all negative. One thing I never did though was edit myself. A long time ago my account – my core account and I admit that – Curse of Fenric, was blocked indefinitely. I have a blog on Word Press all about what happened, but I digress. I have not edited on Wikipedia since as promised. Levental though – without proof and out of sheer paranoia – insists that it’s me that has being attacking him on Wikipedia. The only interaction we have ever had on Wikimedia has been on Wikiquote. My user name there is TLPG.

Recently though, I noticed that Levental was in trouble for paying someone to edit articles. This came to the attention of admins when said paid editor starting working on the article on Shain Neumeier, seemingly as part of an effort by Levental to get the article deleted. This smacked of the very same thing he had tried to do years ago to John Elder Robison, Jim Sinclair, Autism Network International, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Aspies for Freedom, Wrong Planet and Autistic Pride Day. He’d also tried it more recently with Julia Bascom. Trying to get rid of people who promoted Autism in a positive way. His editing of other articles were also slanted – Neurodiversity is one example of this.

His editing more recently hasn’t been as bad as it was, but the Neumeier thing was a clear demonstration of bias – and I’d had enough. But I couldn’t do anything about it on Wikipedia because I was blocked and editing on my IP would have been block evasion. I saw a chance on the back of this paid editing to get him blocked from editing lock stock and barrel. So I sent an email to Wikipedia’s general info address.

The result was that I was given access to my talk page so I could put it there instead. I was happy about that and this is what I put – and I would point out that with a couple of exceptions this is the exact content of my email;

I have been given a temporary unblock on my talk page access to address this to @Cabayi: per an email communication with WP. Thank you to @Sphilbrick:.

I have been watching User:Ylevental’s contributions for some time to my frustration as he blatantly promoted his friend Jonathan Mitchell (writer) and pressed his point of view that Autism is a bad thing. This has reflected over a long period of time including attempts in bad faith to delete the articles on John Elder Robison, Jim Sinclair (activist), Autism Network International, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Aspies for Freedom, Wrong Planet, Autistic Pride Day, Julia Bascom and most recently Shain Neumeier (twice with the second leading to the current SPI). Ylevental has created biased articles also supporting his point of view on Jill Escher, National Council on Severe Autism, Thomas A. McKean, David Miedzianik, Matthew Belmonte, Alison Singer and Jonathan Shestack as well as rejected drafts on another friend Thomas Clements and Marty Murphy.

The SPI notes that this is the fourth time he has been caught under SPI. As Shain is an activist in the same vein as those he has previously tried to delete, this represents Ylevental’s continued crusade to undermine Autism positivity and press Autism negativity against WP:WEIGHT. He is trying to game the system as this paid editor effort clearly proves. As an aside he has also been biased in the political sphere trying to downplay bias in the media coverage of Bernie Sanders, even trying to get an article on it deleted.

I therefore put it to you that he be blocked from editing for a substantive period of time. I am in the process of a long winded full examination of his editing in readiness for a page on a blog I am working on, but it is a long job. I’d show it to you but even in it’s present form it is huge and I wouldn’t put you through that – along with the fact that I am only up to the beginning of February 2019 on it.

The period of blocking should be left to the responsible admins of course. I would prefer it to be indefinite, but I recognise that could be seen as harsh and biased on my part. Honestly – I think it should be no less than six months, not just for the SPI but also for his lack of a NPOV despite his user page disclaimer (which he has clearly lied on). Oh, and his excuse of mental health issues is a claim for leniency which I think he has tried before. He has a history of backpedalling in order to try and stay active on WP.

The only parts that weren’t in the email were the mention of Matthew Belmonte (which I missed) and the last sentence. And of course I did add wiki links to either the articles or the deletion attempts as appropriate, and the drafts and the rules I mentioned (ie WP:WEIGHT).

I then emailed Wikipedia and let them know it was there.

Somehow, Levental found out about it and he got cut! He knew I had him and started making excuses!

@Curse of Fenric: 95% of what you said is completely unrelated to the case, and is just WP:PERSONALATTACKS. I simply consulted with someone who I thought was an expert for guidance, who may apparently have been banned multiple times in the past Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Safaque. Not sure that this is on-topic for Wikpedia, but creating all those articles helped me be in touch with myself, as their perspective really helped me. Maybe some of these articles will be deleted, but I am fine with my work. The situation in America is really messed up now. I could be in quarantine for years, and the protests are getting out of hand. I am isolated a lot, but nothing like this. I did add to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion “Check to see if enough time has passed since previous nominations before renominating.” I know that I have made some mistakes, given the political tension surrounding everything, but I really want to do better eventually.

After the tag the first sentence was bolded. I don’t think the admin who gave me access expected this to happen, but it was both proof of my point and more excuses and I responded accordingly;

It is absolutely related to the case because the admin on the SPI made reference to three previous SPI’s, all of which were related to POV editing. Telling the truth with links is not a personal attack. Stop making excuses with what is happening in America. You haven’t adjusted to being Autistic. That’s the real problem and it is up to you to correct that as I have said to you previously off wiki. If you want to do better, that is what you should be doing instead of pressing this POV that Autism has no positive attributes – completely against Shain’s position which is the real reason you want that article deleted, just like all the previous ones. No you are not in touch with yourself – in fact you’ve gone off the rails hence the real reason for any issues you are currently having. To other readers, apologies for the seemingly tangential commentary but it did need to be said. There is a lot more going on here than anyone realises, but we should concentrate on the wiki editing and the combination of the SPI (the fourth) and the POV editing warrants an extended block. That is the point. For the record I would prefer the articles he created to stay, if anything for my blog page that I mentioned. Even the drafts although I’ll understand the deletion upon six months being up on non editing.

Now I admit that this may be more personal, but I stand by it. I was provoked, and what I said was true anyway. I could have got even more personal than this, referencing the lack of adjustment is what happened to Adam Lanza and he went mad and we all know what happened then. But that wasn’t for the Wikipedia effort.

Meanwhile Levental lodged a complaint at WP:ANI;

95% of User talk:Curse of Fenric’s arguments against me on his talkpage are WP:PERSONALATTACKS. He requested being unblocked over an issue I am involved in just so he could attack me. This user is notorious for attacking others on Wikipedia for years now: For instance, this is another attack against me https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?diff=946421018&oldid=946401455&title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Edit_warring As a result, the IP range of this user, Special:Contributions/2001:8003:4000:0:0:0:0:0/35, is now blocked.

He mostly complains about articles I created, disputes from many years ago, and even goes into detail about a blog that he is working on against me: “I am in the process of a long winded full examination of his editing in readiness for a page on a blog I am working on, but it is a long job. I’d show it to you but even in it’s present form it is huge and I wouldn’t put you through that – along with the fact that I am only up to the beginning of February 2019 on it”. Completely unnecessary.

As for accusations of bias, I have also deleted articles of activists that are critical of neurodiversity, such as Benjamin_Alexander and Sue_Rubin. I did successfully delete many other autism related articles such as Judy_Endow, Birger_Sellin and so on. I can be biased, but that is because there is a lot of tension in the autism field for the past few years and it gets to me.

He did notify me of the ANI on my talk page and I responded on my talk page thus;

I have nothing whatsoever to do with those IP’s. Special permission was given for access to my talk page for my report and only my talk page is available.

He then noticed my previous edit on my talk page and added this to the ANI;

Unbelievable, he just threw more personal attacks against me at User talk:Curse of Fenric “You haven’t adjusted to being Autistic. That’s the real problem and it is up to you to correct that as I have said to you previously off wiki. No you are not in touch with yourself – in fact you’ve gone off the rails hence the real reason for any issues you are currently having.”

After that he added this to my talk page;

Additionally, I overreacted because another user flooded the Shain Neumeier page with numerous passing mention sources at https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shain_Neumeier&type=revision&diff=957111320&oldid=956115039. Clearly, the article needed to be trimmed, and still needs to be trimmed, regardless of whether it should be deleted or not Talk:Shain_Neumeier

The ANI addition helped me again and I added the following to my talk page in the original section;

Additional Here have a number of admissions such as “I can be biased, but that is because there is a lot of tension in the autism field for the past few years and it gets to me.” That is an admission of guilt and also proves my point that he is complaining about calling it a personal attack erroneously. If it gets to him, he should be totally disengaging , but he won’t because of his long term determination to promote Autism as a bad thing and only a bad thing, when he has got it totally wrong.

I didn’t address the addition to his comment on my talk page – no it does not need to be trimmed. That trimming is the bias I was talking about. I failed to notice it but I did notice this reply to my denial of IP editing;

All the admins know by now that you have been going after me for years with the exact same arguments. You can’t hide it anymore.

He italicised “exact same argument”, which in reality is a reflection on many people holding the same position I do on Autism positivity. I have discussed Levental’s editing elsewhere on social media and those other people would be behind those edits. It is not me, and I responded thus;

No they don’t. I haven’t edited on here for years and you can’t prove otherwise. I know who it has been recently. He’s on Fandom and admitted it and I told him to stop and he has done so. The most recent block you mentioned (I just looked) has nothing to do with even that. I have no clue who Nathan Phillips is and never even heard of him before seeing that stuff.

Unfortunately another admin then revoked my talk page access and removed the conversation stating;

Talk page access removed again. That was just picking up where the feud left off.

It wasn’t because there was no feud on Wikipedia to begin with between me and Levental. I emailed Wikipedia advising of this stating;

{redacted}, another admin has revoked the access to my talk page after Levental attacked me and I responded I felt appropriately. He has proven me right. He shouldn’t be editing on Wikipedia due to self confessed bias – and I had nothing to do with the IP editing. I know who it was and I did tell them to stop and they have done so. See the following off wiki link

I won’t put the link here, and maybe on second thoughts as I said it might not have been appropriate in reply. But it was provoked. I then noticed the conversation removal and added again in email;

Oh and the blocking admin removed the material entirely. I did nothing wrong and the accusation made by the admin on my talk page is false. If anything Levental was provocational and further proves that he should be blocked.

Here’s a fun fact. Most Autistics are enjoying social distancing. I know I am. It works for me as it does most Autistics as we are experts at it. We do it naturally. Levental isn’t because it’s like I said on Wikipedia. He isn’t adjusting to being Autistic. Instead he has found people who treat it as a bad thing and attachs himself to them. He is hurting himself and doesn’t know it. Mitchell and Clements in particular are bad news, but the others have their place as well.

I will say this though – Levental lives in Michigan and wasn’t far from that really bad and vicious protest in Michigan’s capital building over a month ago. So there is a lot of angst about. But it is simple to avoid. Just adjust to being Autistic and use it’s strengths. They are there. The fact that Levental rejects this is why he is having mental health issues. And as I said it is a bloody good reason to disengage not just from Wikipedia, but from social media lock stock and barrel. He should just admit that he needs help, he’s in the wrong company and needs to make corrections.

That is the truth.

And at present Levental can’t handle it. That is on him.

(Side note – I should known better than to think Wikipedia would pay any attention to the issue. I don’t know why I even bothered. They should have got rid of him long ago when that first batch of AfD’s popped up. The admin who re-blocked me said in his reasons “Removing talk page access; they posted their info, and it wasn’t really relevant information about an SPI case, it was just attacking the editor in question”. It was perfectly relevant because the socking was done in order to further his biased editing. Consequently I saw the admin who started the SPI claim the whole thing went awry but apologised to Levental! Screw them. I’ll just go back to looking as I was before. No skin off my nose.)

Manuel Casanova is looking for trouble

This title for a blog entry says it all;
“Steve Silberman and his Tribe of Nazi Sympathizers”

In the blog entry (which I refuse to link from here) Casanova tries to write off the title saying;

“I realize that the title of this blog is worded in strong terms and that the same may be misconstrued by some readers. The title was meant as a play on words with “Neurotribe” and the fact that his anointed saint of the Neurodiversity movement was a Nazi sympathizer.”

Play on words or not, it’s not on because it insinuates that everyone who agrees with Steve is by default a Nazi sympathiser. I for one repudiate that 1000 percent (that’s not a misprint – 1000). In the entry he went on to paint Hans Asperger in the same way John Donvan and Caren Zucker did, in the process also attacking Steve’s journalistic intergrity – even claiming in effect that Steve didn’t deserve the Samuel Johnson Award for Neurotribes. Not to mention taking a quote from Steve in the Financial Times back in June 2015 out of context!

This continued hate towards Asperger and known enemies in Jonathan Mitchell and Yuval Levental in the comments caused me to write the following comment;

This is ridiculous. Everyone – STOP using the word “Neurodiversity” in the manner you are! It’s the “Autism RIghts Movement”. Neurodiversity is brain difference. Neuro. Diversity. It’s not a bloody movement for crying out loud! That’s the first thing.

Second thing – if Kanner copied Asperger how come they came to different conclusions? Not only that – they worked on two different areas of the Spectrum; Kanner on the mid zone (classic Autism) and Asperger on the high end. Remember as well – no one based in Austria was anywhere near the upper reaches of the Third Reich. They were all in Berlin – no exceptions. So there should be no overplaying of any role Asperger had in it. Any death warrant he signed was forced. He deliberately promoted his main group of patients as “little professors” precisely to PROTECT them from Hitler and his cronies. Those kids would have been killed like the others otherwise. Asperger SAVED lives. Never ever do a body count and think that’s the whole story. It’s lazy and plays to the hate and fear of the whole Spectrum.

And you, Manuel, are playing right into the hands of the haters. The two authors of A Different Key are established haters. Steve has seen that hence the argument that has ensued. See that the haters within the Autistic community (Mitchell, Levental and Clements amongst others) sway to them out of comfort. Those who do the real research and truly understand Autism for what it really is side with Steve Silberman.

We need to be unified. Clements said on Twitter that he opposes that – supporting in the process the “divide and conquer” mentality of the haters. It’s not on, anti-diversity to the point of bigotry along the same lines of the hate aimed at people with coloured skin and/or are a part of the LGBTIQ+ community.

You have the educational background, Manuel. Please use it and understand that you need to distance yourself from the haters, not become one of them.

I was prepared to give Casanova the benefit of the doubt as this went into the moderation queue.

Then it was modded out.

I’m glad I recorded it because by modding it out, Casanova showed his true colours. He’s not part of the solution. He’s part of the problem. And with this blog entry I expose the problem for the world to see. This is what happens when you play with fire, Casanova – you get burnt. The Autism Rights Movement will remain. There is no such thing as the Neurodiversity Movement – there never has been and there never will be.

Thomas Clements at work with his lies

I’ve decided to keep track of Thomas Clements on Twitter, and there is some right royal rubbish being said there. For example;

“Autistic people should be helped into suitable work if they’re able, but the promotion of ‘neurodiverse’ conditions as a competitive advantage is highly misguided, not least because it marginalises those with profound levels of cognitive impairment.
https://www.theguardian.com/global/2020/feb/03/autism-to-adhd-thinking-differently-about-recruitment”

The article in the Guardian is an excellent one and promotes the potential of Autism appropriately. So Clements is out of line trying to make this about those at the other end of the Autistic spectrum – when those Autistics can’t work. Is Clements claiming they can? If he is then he needs to get his head out of the sand and quit this nonsense. The issue of those at that end of the spectrum is totally separate and should not even be brought up in this context.

Clements is doing this because he sees us getting a job as a non issue compared to those who have profound needs. That’s offensive to say the least. What is needed is EVERYTHING! Jobs AND supports. It’s not one or the other, Clements!

Meanwhile, Clements also tweeted this link;
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-13-8437-0_21

I’ll have to have a proper look at this. It uses Jonathan Mitchell as a source to my fury, but conversely also uses Steve Silberman. Manuel Casanova (who I’m not sure of at present) is also sourced. It may be worth a separate blog entry.

But I loved this conversation!

Dr Kate Cushing;
“Note you’re an ‘autism advocate’, thought this wld mean you’d b supportive of @DaleksGamertag, a lovely young man w autism & who’s made great strides in his interactions w 000s of us on Twitter/in person. Whilst r some on @Twitter w mean/odious opinions, James isn’t one of them!”
Thomas Clements
“I know, James is all about love and kindness. So much so that if you don’t agree with him, he’ll quote-tweet you and set an army of middle-aged #FBPE sycophants on you to teach you otherwise. ??”
Mrs Karen Hoyles
“Good for him.”
Thomas Clements
“I know. Nothing like having a baying mob of boomers fighting your corner. ????”
Chris Walmsley
“I think this an appropriate moment to say “Suck it up ,snowflake””

Round of applause for Chris! I’ll bet that all James did was call Clements out on his lies as I’m doing here, and Clements had a sarcastic whine about it. Chris got it absolutely right!

More to come hopefully. How many times have I said that before? I’m a seriously disorganised procrastinator, but I try!

The dangerous myths of Yuval Levental

Two days ago on Spiked Online, Yuval Levental had another inaccurate and misleading piece about Autism published. This one, titled “The dangerous myth of neurodiversity” tries to slam Steve Silberman’s contribution to Autism Rights. Read that again – Autism Rights. Not neurodoversity.

Neurodiversity is defined on another page on this blog, and it’s fact. Levental’s translation in this article is inherently wrong.

Let’s break this down piece by piece;

Steve Silberman, an author and writer for Wired magazine, is a controversial writer whose articles have covered many different kinds of subjects. But he is now probably best known for calling for autism to be unconditionally celebrated.

This is Levental expressing an opinion. Steve isn’t controversial, except in the eyes of those who hate Autism. I don’t recall Steve saying the words “unconditionally celebrated”. My view is that is should be tolerated a whole lot. You don’t have to love it. But you have to tolerate it because it is a human difference and you can’t change human difference.

His promotion of autism began in 2001, when he wrote an article entitled ‘The geek syndrome’. He claimed that autism was associated with a talent for maths, science and technology.

And it is. Autistics are logical and have strengths in all three of these categories. Levental is having a go at this by stealth calling it a “claim”. All because he thought because of these skills which he does have would make him a genius. When that didn’t happen, he turned on the Autistic community.

In 2015, he followed up ‘The geek syndrome’ with the publication of Neurotribes, a book which promotes the idea of neurodiversity. This is the idea that autism indicates merely a difference in neurological functioning rather than, in some cases, a disability.

Note that he says “in some cases”. By the letter of the law, certainly in Australia, Autism is by definition a disability. This is because the law defines ‘normal’ (when there is no such thing). In Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act, one of the definitions of disability reads as follows;

(f) a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
(g) a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;

Now I’ll be the first to say that the wording isn’t great, mainly because it presents Autism as a “malfunction”. This is the current view in law, and I would suggest not just in Australia either. But having said that, Autism does result in a person learning differently from someone who isn’t Autistic. It does also affect one’s thought processes, perceptions of reality, emotions or judgment. But these can all be adjusted to and are not in the cold hard light of day “disturbed behaviour”. Remember that a difference in neurological functioning is the very definition of neurodiversity.

There are many problems with Silberman’s work on autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

In Levental’s opinion, and the opinion of others like him.

In ‘The geek syndrome’, he noted the high incidence of Asperger’s syndrome diagnoses in Silicon Valley during the 1990s. This, he suggested, was because many of the engineers and programmers attracted to working there were precisely the type of people who were more likely to be carrying autism genes. Many ended up marrying one another, and consequently gave birth to children who were therefore also more likely to be carrying autism genes.

I’m pretty sure that view has changed, given that the book Levental refers to there was from 2001. The reality is that Silicon Valley is the hub of computer technology – a science that Autistics are attracted to by nature. There is no proof of the actual Autism genes yet so it is presumptive to claim a connection like that there.

But, as Kenneth Roberson, a psychologist, says, there are other plausible reasons for the rise in autism diagnoses among Silicon Valley workers. For a start, many of the Silicon Valley parents were having children later in life.

This claim is not relevant and has been bunked as far as I know. I certainly reject it, given that my parents were 24 and 23 respectively when I was born – and I’m Autistic. And I doubt I’m the only example of that as well.

And studies show that doing so puts parents at a higher risk of having children with developmental delays.

Developmental delay is not a catch all term for Autism. The DSM-V makes clear that Global Developmental Delay precludes an Autism diagnosis as one example. And the said delays have to be in certain areas for an Autism diagnosis.

Furthermore, parents who are more educated, like those in Silicon Valley, are also, as Roberson puts it, more likely to be aware of the symptoms of autism, and to seek a diagnosis, and consequent services, for their children.

Correction. Education has nothing to do with self awareness. Roberson it would appear has an agenda against the Autistic spectrum judging by this.

In Neurotribes, Silberman retrospectively diagnoses autism in many famous figures in science and technology, such as Henry Cavendish and Hugo Gernsback. It makes for a one-sided history. After all, it is very hard to diagnose someone with a mental condition based on selective historical accounts of that person’s behaviour.

Selective accounts that repeat themselves over and over and over. You can’t ignore that. It’s not one sided history being made. It’s correcting history that is already one sided. That’s what learning about the Autistic spectrum has done.

Neurotribes also claims that Hans Asperger, one of the first autism researchers, attempted to resist Nazi rule in Austria during the Second World War. Recent research, however, has actually indicated that Asperger willingly collaborated with the Nazis, even sending children to the Am Spiegelgrund clinic, where they were euthanised. Silberman later admitted this was true, but said Nazism compelled ‘even well-intentioned people to do monstrous things’.

I am of the belief that Asperger had no choice in order to protect those who were NOT executed by the Nazis. It is for this reason that he should be remembered as a hero. He saved the “little professors” (as Asperger called them) and learned a great deal from them as a result as his 1943 paper indicated. Not to mention the work already done in 1935 by Anni Weiss before she escaped to America (she was Jewish after all).

Manuel Casanova, a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Carolina, angrily refuted Silberman’s defence in an article entitled ‘Steve Silberman and his tribe of Nazi sympathisers’. ‘Contrary to Mr Silberman’, he wrote, ‘I do not defend or condone [Asperger’s] murderous actions’.

That goes against Casanova because it means he is dismissing Asperger’s work.

Elsewhere, Silberman falsely claims that Leo Kanner, another famous autism researcher, often blamed parents for their child’s autism and plagiarised other researchers. In reality, Kanner believed that autism was more innate in nature, and emphasised both strengths and weaknesses of autistic individuals. James Harris, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, worked with Kanner. He criticised Silberman’s portrayal as an attempt to promote his own personal agenda.

Harris has an agenda obviously. And so does Levental because he is misreading Kanner’s work. Kanner’s blame situation was merely a starting point because while he’d written about the condition he had claimed it had never been seen before – which is not true but then he didn’t know that at the time. What he did know – and this is where the plagiarism accusation comes from – was about schizophrenia. Remember, it was Eugene Bleuler, who wrote the first paper on schizophrenia in 1912, who first used the term “Autistic”. It was all part of the learning process. And yet Levental and Harris are in effect trying to stop that same learning curve and that’s wrong and it’s why Steve I believe said the things that he said – if he did that is!

What stands out above all, however, is Silberman’s refusal to acknowledge that severe autism can be disabling. He writes merely that ‘disability is a part of the human experience’.

Disability is how you handle it. It’s not “that’s there” and that’s it. What’s disabling is a person’s response to the condition. In the case of low functioning Autism, it’s about sensory overload. I will stand by that until it is proven otherwise and it hasn’t. I am certain that sensory overload is behind low functioning Autism via a regression down the spectrum. Levental doesn’t get that and refuses to get that as well.

He does not respond kindly to critics. In response to one article criticising Neurotribes, he used the comments section to say he does actually view autism as a significant disability. Yet he refuses to provide any evidence that Neurotribes does accept that autism can be a disability. Although it discusses some individuals with severe autism, Silberman writes that those individuals should not be labelled as having severe autism, since labels are detrimental.

Levental is showing his bias here yet again – preferring to translate Neurotribes in his own way instead of understanding what it is actually saying. The book DOES accept Autism can be a disability – if one allows it to be as Levental has done. That’s not Autism’s fault. And it’s society that labels Autism (that is – the definition by law as an example as I said earlier which I said had it’s issues).

He also unjustifiably puts down people who question his portrait of neurodiversity, accusing them of deliberately lying. He has outright blocked many people on Twitter who oppose his viewpoints.

If Steve is promoting neurodiversity by it’s correct definition, then yes those who question that definition are indeed lying. I’m with Steve on that one. And if they persist in lying and being ignorant of the facts, blocking is the appropriate response. That is distinct from just having a different viewpoint.

His approach is unhelpful. Autism is a complex condition in need of medical research. His simplistic but highly influential advocacy of neurodiversity does not aid such research. Rather, it stands in its way.

No, Levental, people like you are the ones who are standing in the way. No medical research is needed into Autism. The research must be psychological and based in the behaviours. Medical research – if there is any – should be about conditions reacting to Autism. That must always be kept separate because that has nothing to do with the core condition of Autism. Yes, Autism is complex, but Levental and his fellow Autism haters Thomas Clements and Jonathan Mitchell are insisting on society not moving forward into tolerance and understanding. Instead, they want society to go back to the old ways of treating Autism as a disease to be cured. Levental himself stated;

A better amendment would be to make Autism illegal, and the punishment would be a forcible cure or attempted cure.

That’s Levental in a nutshell, and he can’t deny he said it. The comment was made on November 29, 2015 and remains online today in it’s original form and has been copied once (twice now with my use of it).
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?postID=6268111200737468191&blogID=661725879842021314&isPopup=false&page=2&bpli=1
(Original form – Search for the comment on the page by the date)
https://lockolivercanbyup.wordpress.com/responses-pt-7/
(Copy number 1 – down near the bottom of the entry)

What is Autism? Not what Clements says

On Tuesday August 27, 2019, Thomas Clements wrote an opinion piece in the Guardian claiming that the term “Autism” has become too broad a definition and assumes that the application of neurodiversity ignores those at the lower end of the Autistic spectrum. This is far from the truth as are many others assertions Mr Clements made. I feel the need, as a formally diagnosed Autistic adult, to correct the record and in the process maybe re-educate him on what Autism truly is.

The Autistic spectrum as such is an interpretation of the core condition of Autism. This is what Mr Clements does not understand. He is trying to define the lower end of the spectrum as real Autism and anything elsewhere on the spectrum is not. This is not true. Every person diagnosed on the Autistic spectrum has the same core traits. The difference lies in the next step – how those traits present. In high functioning Autistics such as myself, the traits are mild. In low functioning Autistics they are severe. But they are the same traits. Traits that need to be recognised and adjusted to. Those that do not adjust are the ones are generally of the ilk of Mr Clements – speaking negatively about the same traits but failing to recognise the behaviours also exist elsewhere on the spectrum.

Let’s look at the DSM-V, published in May 2013 and responsible primarily for the merger that Mr Clements is complaining about. Autism Spectrum Disorder 299.00 presents five diagnostic points. Part A speaks of deficits. These deficits are the same in all diagnosed Autistics, but as part of this there is a requirement for “severity”. That covers the difference that Mr Clements appears to believe isn’t being taken into account. Part B speaks of other behaviours where two of the four criteria need only exist for a potential ASD diagnosis. Again, “severity” is also mentioned as part of the process so the differences of Part A are also covered for. Part C speaks of the timeline of symptoms and takes note of delays in diagnosis due to delayed social demands in some instances. That is more likely in high functioning Autistics, but it still picks it up – simply because it is the same trait. Part D uses the term “significant” but even then severity would still be widely variable. Significant is not an objective work in psychiatry and so forth, and yet it would appear Mr Clements wants a narrowing of that definition. This would impact poorly on those at the higher end of the spectrum such as myself who have fallen through the cracks of the system. Part E presents the exceptions of Intellectual Developmental Disorder (although that can be co-morbid with Autism as the criteria actually notes) or a Global Developmental Delay from an entirely different source (deprivation springs to mind as one example). It is my view that some self identifications of Autism are errors that are actually better explained by a Global delay and are therefore not Autistic.

So the DSM-V clearly shows that the traits are the same but the levels of severity can vary widely. This is the correct interpretation of the Autistic spectrum. Not the version Mr Clements is promoting in his piece.

Another error that Mr Clements makes is identifying neurodiversity as a movement, and not it’s original and correct meaning of brain difference. His criticisms are in fact directed at the Autism Rights Movement – our right to be who we are and not what society wants us to be. His opposition to this is counter productive as it is restricting his own rights and those of his brother who is lower on the spectrum than he is. I have never seen anyone in the Autism Rights Movement oppose treatment for ADHD, dyslexia or dyspraxia – or even Autism. The point is those treatments in the case of Autism at least should not be described as treatments. They should be described as supports – no different to the supports rights groups give marginalised people based on race, religion and so on. Anything that is co-morbid to the Autistic spectrum should be treated separately.

I put this to Mr Clements and his supporters – those who are at the lower end of the spectrum can be brought up said spectrum. However there is a restriction – it can only be done in childhood, and the earlier the better. The key to it though is to find what is causing the extreme behaviours, and I believe the cause to be sensory overload. Autistics are sensory sensitive, but it varies between hyposensitive and hypersensitive. And the lower on the spectrum the Autistic is, the more pronounced the sensory sensitivity. But again – this is all based in one fact. Autism is a single condition.

Mr Clements wants the spectrum broken up. He will not get his way if I have any say in it because his view is demonstrably wrong. He claims to have an “eyes wide open” (my words) view of the Spectrum. His attitude contradicts this claim. He has not adjusted to the condition as he does not accept it as a part of being human. It is. Low functioning Autistics need support and lots of it, especially the adults who have been trapped by a sensory overload that has become ingrained – the one negative for them that doesn’t apply to the higher end of the spectrum. But this can be avoided in the future. And more importantly, coping mechanisms can be put in place based in tempering sensory overload as best as possible. The key is to find the source. That’s the hard part and requires trial and error. But it will not help anyone if the spectrum is divided up. It can’t be, because at the root it is the same condition. The claim that the lower functioning is being ignored by the higher functioning is totally wrong and offensive – and reflects on the people claiming it as having their own agenda to keep society fearful of Autism and of Autistics. And that we can not have.

Autism is not a medical disability

There is a war on at present within the Autistic community. One side advocates Autism as a disability requiring medical treatment. The other side advocates Autism as a human difference. Both sides insist the other is wrong in all respects and are holding the community back and hurting Autistics everywhere.

The reality is that both sides have a point. There are disabling aspects of Autism. We wouldn’t have low functioning Autistics if this wasn’t true. The real explanation lies in the fact that there is a difference between an origin and a symptom. The origins of Autism are genetic. The disability aspect is the next step – the difference between the higher end of the Spectrum and the lower end. This is the one mistake that those advocating medical intervention are making – intermingling the two.

On July 17, 2019, Yuval Levental wrote a piece titled “The Neurodiversity Movement Should Acknowledge Autism as a Medical Disability”. His position, from the position of a self proclaimed critic of Autism advocacy, is not tenable. He quotes a former Autism Speaks president over disabling aspects that are not a part of Autism itself, but rather co-morbid conditions with separate medical explanations that can and should be treated separately. Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, have medications available and can also be subject to excess stress in the same way. Digestive complications have many different causes that are also medically amenable. Both link to Autism via one genetic factor – sensory sensitivity. This leads to sensory overload and pushes the young Autistic down the Spectrum. The way to reverse that overload is to treat the co-morbid condition. It has nothing to do with Autism at the core. That can not be touched.

The issue of wandering and being non verbal also have non Autism origins, but react against Autism in the same way as the medical co-morbid conditions. Wandering is caused by sensory overload in the home in general – parents doing the wrong thing and the child wanting to just get out of there. Autistics need space and depriving them of that space is a sensory overload. Being non verbal is a symptom of a sensory overload, and that overload could come from anywhere. We have six senses – the basic five, plus instinct. Instinct is the sense that is treated with ignorance. Autistics have instinct issues that have to be learned manually. It’s not automatic, especially in the social sense. And when that non existent instinct is called upon, a sensory overload is possible if not likely. And again, that can come from anywhere.

The National Council on Severe Autism is a misguided group. It’s leader, Jill Escher, holds to the view that Autism is DNA damage – a claim that has not been verified except through wholly unreliable anecdotal evidence. While most argue the idea of supports for Autistics at the lower end of the Spectrum has value (and it does) this has to be done from an angle of knowledge. If the knowledge isn’t there, or the “knowledge” isn’t correct, mistakes are inevitable leading to a worsening of conditions for the Autistics concerned. That can’t be allowed to happen. The challenge that Escher spoke of in the article written by Levental regarding challenges daily is correct. But going in the wrong direction will just make those challenges even worse than they already are. The answer to Escher’s question “if my kids don’t have autism, what do they have?” is “Your kids are Autistic and are suffering from a sensory overload. You need to find that sensory overload”.

Levental claims that there is no evidence of the co-morbidity factor and it’s all about Autism. He is equally coming from a knowledge-less base as Escher is – biased for his own personal reasons and experience, and drawing on the experience of those who are equally biased against Autism due to the same factor – the lack of knowledge. Autism is defined in the behaviours. A set of five of them – all of which need to be fulfilled to be diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum. But there is a strong belief that each individual behaviour can be found in all human beings without exception. That is the genetic connection that should be researched and confirmed as the true origin of Autism. This is how having a genetic history is not always an accurate indicator.

Levental also spoke of high unemployment and social isolation among Autistics as being bad compared to other disabilities. It isn’t great, but there is a reason for this. It’s all about fear. The community fears Autism – a factor far more pronounced than other conditions. And people like Levental, Escher, Thomas Clements and the others aren’t helping with this negative perception. We need to stop the fear. And that starts with true understanding of Autism. All Levental wants to do is criticise. He has no answers. And that is because he doesn’t really understand. Neither do the others. True solutions to all parts of the Autistic Spectrum lie in understanding and acceptance. The rewards will follow. That is not fascist or eugenicist. They are the fear factors that the aforementioned people thrive on, not those who appeal for the rights of Autistics to be who they are – Autistic and proud. We are different, not less.

This article was originally written and submitted to the Scientific American for publication there at the end of July. For reasons unknown it has not been published – so I have published it here instead.

Can there be a truce in the Autism War?

I skimmed an article on the Spectrum News website yesterday, which Michael John Carley in the comments called “naive”. I tend to agree even though the facts given were more or less right. The trouble was there was a lot missing from the war.

Michael identified one – the lack of mention of Autism Speaks. Bob and Suzanne Wright did huge amounts of damage to the Autism “brand” (for want of a better word) playing to people’s fears and trying to garner money for research to find a cure. And it worked. Money came rolling in, and people started to believe that Autism could and should be cured as a disease when it shouldn’t and isn’t.

Naturally this got many who understood Autism at the coal face angry. Ari Ne’eman led the charge in the United States, and it’s a shame that Autism Speaks at that time didn’t have their charity status taken off them as a hate group – something that apparently could have been done. But no one bothered. And now since Suzanne’s passing and Bob’s departure from the board things have improved somewhat, even though they still have a long way to go – certainly to eliminate the stench they have left in their wake. At least the money is now going to support services and not research into a cure.

One of the big errors that those who support a cure make about neurodiversity is that it’s a “movement”. It’s not. It’s practical fact. All human brains are different as seen on the page on it on this blog. They go down that track because they see the claim as trying to normalise Autism into something not to worry about. That’s not true at all. In fact speaking for myself I find that offensive to the max. What people don’t get is Autism is not all about what you see in a person on the Spectrum. It’s about what’s underneath. The base of the condition. It’s all the same in every Autistic. What’s different is the next step – the expression. And this is where the variations come in with a single factor at the source of it – sensory sensitivity. No or little sensory overload means high functioning (ie like my good self). Major sensory overload means low functioning. And all points in between.

The base condition is what needs to be understood first and the lack of understanding is at the very core of the war Spectrum News is talking about. People don’t want to understand and prefer their own interpretation or that of quacks who don’t understand either. That brings in the anti vaccine fools claiming vaccines cause Autism, or other fools who make other environmental claims. The one that irks me the most aside from the vaccine BS is the claim of DNA damage – and that’s where the criticism is coming for the National Council on Severe Autism, courtesy of their co-founder Jill Escher. She’s not the only one. Another co-founder, Feda Almaliti, insists that the only treatment for low functioning Autism is Applied Behavioural Analysis, and that’s not true either – especially if it is used as an aversive. It can also be used in reverse which is possible, but the bottom line is that it does nothing to fix the problem that caused the regression down the Spectrum in the first place – the sensory overload. Then of course there’s Alison Singer, who has never revoked her claim in the Autism Speaks video “Autism Every Day” about wanting to drive herself and her Autistic child off a bridge. Amy Lutz should choose better company.

What Amy wants herself is admirable – better supports for low functioning Autistics. I’m all for that and so should everyone else. Yes, even at the expense of the high functioning because the fact is they need it more. I’m not saying the high functioning should be ignored (heck no!) but put it this way. In 2007 Australian organisation AEIOU did a study identifying the expense of bringing up an Autistic child and helping an Autistic adult across the Spectrum averages out to $5.8 billion a year. Based on Australia’s population at the time and the then prevalence rate of Autism that came to about $29,000 per Autistic per year. Now I could do with a leg up financially but I don’t need that much. About $10,000 would be about right. And there are those who don’t need it at all because they’ve found their niche and have a job and so on. Now on that basis, my lower amount would push $19,000 to a lower functioning Autistic making $48,000. And remembering those that don’t need anything, low functioning Autistic need even more. And that is fair enough.

The trouble is Amy must think that no one on our side of the war supports what she wants. There are some who are opposing guardianship orders for low functioning Autistics, with the reason being “Were they consulted?” What if they can’t communicate at all? Those Autistics do exist. By all means try to find a way, but the first part of that is to find the cause of the sensory overload that put them there to begin with. With adults at the lower end of the Spectrum, this is almost impossible. If one can’t communicate with the Autistic, what choice does one have? As long as all points of the law are followed through to the conclusion, no one has any reason to object.

Will there be a truce? At present the answer is no. Simply because there are a lot of stubborn people who just refuse to fully understand the whole deal. I have tried. I have identified the bad people and the good people, and made a couple of changes over the years when I find out something about someone that I didn’t know before – such as the person’s true commitment to diversity and respect for it. One thing I’ve found in common with those on the wrong side of the fence is that they have very little tolerance in diversity in general. Homophobia is present. So it misogyny. There is even racism. It’s not something you find on the right side of the fence although as I said there are exceptions as I have found. But those exceptions are always limited to just one aspect and not the whole mess of them.

I believe I have the answers. My problem right now is getting that message out there. It’s improving, but I won’t stand for people (looking at one in particular) trying to gag me. Those people are scared of me because I’m telling the truth about Autism, and about the people I have criticised over the years. I don’t believe I can win the war by myself. That’s idealistic to the max. But I can do my bit. And it’s going to take time.

Meanwhile – there will be no truce. Not while Autistics are suffering at the hands of idiots who think they know better when they have no idea what they are doing.

Here’s the article I’m talking about from Spectrum News;

In search of truce in the autism wars

Calling out Yuval Levental

This is really getting out of hand. I can’t stand people who lie about Autism, and the latest fool who has to be brought down a peg or ten is East Lansing, Michigan resident Yuval Levental.

My focus in this blog entry is about his tweets on Twitter. Now I can only see his original tweets and retweets (some of which had replies that could be seen I would point out) and not his responses due to the fact that I am not on Twitter, but there’s been enough there since the beginning of 2019 to know that he is dangerous.

It achieves what it says! Inclusion in the American university system for Autistics who otherwise could not get a look in! Levental is opposed to this obviously!

Here we go again trying to undermine the Bill Gates Autism DX. And another user got him a beauty with proof and he ignored it!

It was proof he has Autistic traits! And when these specific traits were pointed out?

Yes – for an Autistic person!!

I only caught this reply because Levental retweeted it, and Steve Silberman did NOT lie! Levental hasn’t proven his case in that regard at all!

He never said that! He said and I quote “Remember when America was capable of doing truly awesome things, instead of blundering and blathering across the world stage and exporting racist lies?” And don’t forget – given his Wikipedia conduct from awhile back over the White Pride and Black Pride articles, Levental has already shown himself to be a closet racist!

I’ll have a look at this blog entry if I have time, and as some may know I’m not much of a fan of Attwood nowadays due to his support of hate speech (calling it “venting”) and his support of the non existent Cassandra Syndrome. But he has got a number of things right.

Hopefully Attwood ignores him.

The link goes to an article on the National Library of Medicine website in America which Levental willfully misinterprets. It speaks of genetic conditions that are NOT part of humanity’s natural variation. Autism IS part of that natural variation!

No, it’s because you should not be eating gluten free food without the help of a nutritionist! Lowering energy is a bad response that should not be treated like he has! Gluten Free is a quack treatment for Autism and should not be used for that purpose as it is inviting nutritional difficulties that can be avoided with proper guidance.

I put this here because I want Levental to see it. I’m calling you out. It’s time you learned the truth about Autism because as of right now, you don’t. You’re promoting the wrong people as reliable sources about Autism, when you should be listening to those who have taken the time to understand what it really is. People like Steve Silbermen, Ari Ne’eman, the rest of the ASAN executive, John Elder Robison……and me. Not biased bitter unresponsive fools like Mitchell, Clements and their ilk. Neurodiversity exists (see the page on this blog for the correct definition) and that is that.

(And I know you’re looking, Levental! Defend yourself in the comments! Stop hiding like a coward!)

Stop the bullying – properly

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;
https://fionaolearyblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/stand-strong-a-tale-of-abuse-and-control/

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 like this will be stopped. I guarantee it, if I have anything to do with it.