Friday, October 20, 2006

Neurodiversity Trying to Steal "Autism" from the Disabled

Michelle Dawson and Laurent Mottron recently participated in an excellent radio segment titled Rethinking Autism in a CBC radio show called Quirks and Quarks. In it they discussed a new model of autism as a type of person, in contrast to the prevailing model of autism as a broken normal person.

Lenny Schafer, posting on Tue Oct 17, 2006, in the mailing list EOHarm, reacted to the program as follows:

The neuro diversity campaigners continue their efforts to redefine autism as not a disability, but a personality trait we just all need to learn to live with. This is nothing more than the crass exploitation of the disabled and needs to be called out as such. They are trying to steal "autism" from the disabled.


My first reaction to this was to think that Lenny Schafer is trying to steal "semantics" from grammar. No, seriously, I'm not sure I understand what he's trying to say.

Maybe he is saying that all anti-cure autistics are not disabled, but all pro-cure autistics are disabled? And that we are trying to steal the "autism" label from pro-cure autistics?

Or perhaps he thinks the autism rights movement is at odds with the disability rights movement? Is it? I wonder what deaf people think of autism rights, for example.

35 comments:

  1. Mr. Schaefer doesn't seem to understand a whole lot about disability. From his comments, it sounds like he considers all difficulties experienced by autistic people to be the result of intrinsic defects. Which isn't the case at all. Whenever a society accomodates some configurations by default and does not accomodate others (or only does so after complaining a lot about the expense), the non-default configurations are going to be viewed as disabilities. And that doesn't mean they're not disabilities; it just means that the problems associated with the disability are externally-sourced.

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  2. Lenny the pisswit: "They are trying to steal 'autism' from the disabled."

    For a guy with a psych-BA, he's another JBJr-type waiting to be ignored.

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  3. Sounds like Lenny Schaeffer thinks that all "disabled" autistics can't think for themsleves. It comes across as "if they had an opinion it would be to agree with us".

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  4. Unless this Lenny Schaefer dude is providing more self esteem to people with autism than than those advocating for seeing autism as a neurodiversity rather than a disease, I really dont see what service hes providing anyone.
    Then again I miss alot.

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  5. If a person who has a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder calls herself autistic, I wouldn't consider that stealing. Even if it were possible to "steal autism" from autistic people.

    If Lenny wants to discuss stealing, lets talk about that governmental special needs subsidy, and whether it should be used for services/savings for the child, or for the parent's own purposes.

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  6. For Ed and others who might not be familiar with Lenny, he's got some history of conflict against autistic self-advocates. See for example Lenny Schafer's Inquisition over at Neurodiversity.com.

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  7. Michelle Dawson has never said that autism is not "disabling." She says outright that it is a disability. So how could she "steal" autism from the disabled? It's Lenny who is putting words in her mouth (and Mottron's) when he implies that Michelle is saying that autism is merely a collection of quirks and mental gifts....

    Lenny's stupid attempts at defining "neurodiversity" get repeated all over the place. He's been told point-blank that the people who are for neurodiversity are NOT against therapy and they are NOT all "high functioning." By Lenny's definition of "autism" Temple Grandin is not autistic. I asked him directly by email (like 2 years ago) if Temple Grandin was autistic and he refused to answer. I guess Temple Grandin is "stealing autism from the disabled," too.

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  8. Maybe he means 'Trying to steal the big prize money from the Omnibus autism proceedings.'

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  9. Lenny doesn't want autism to be thought of as anything more than "damnation". It makes the jury pool less sympathetic and brings in less money to his good quack doctor friends.

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  10. Thanks for the reference Joseph. Ive been considered disabled(on disability) my entire adult life. While its still blurry where the definition of autism stops, and co-existing and brain injury stuff begins, theres one thing Im pretty sure of. If it werent for autistic self advocates, there would be more guys like Lenny Schaefer determining my future.I REALLY dont want that.

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  11. People with brain damage are not competent enough to realize that their brains don't work right. Responsible parents know that their kid's brains are not working properly. That's why we're trying to remove the mercury that caused the brain damage.
    Michelle Dawson will realize her folly if she gets herself cured.
    I hope this helps you all understand. And, Andrews, you'll receive better treatment from people if you clean yourself up so you don't look like Aqualung.

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  12. Pity for sam10/20/2006 6:55 PM

    Fore Sam,

    You are one of the neurodiverse aren't you? By your own admission then your "brain doesn't work right." Which in your case is patently obvious.

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  13. JBJr: "And, Andrews, you'll receive better treatment from people if you clean yourself up so you don't look like Aqualung."

    That the best you can do?

    As far as I recall, I have never looked like Aqualung, just like I have never offered to send you (or anyone) pictures of my genitals; those are the workings of your putrid little ... well, I was going to say 'mind', but to have a mind you need a brain, and you evidently don't have one.

    All you're doing is showing people why you get the piss ripped out of you by just about everybody who reads anything you say. You have absolutely nothing useful or intelligent to say on any matter; you're so desperate for people to believe your wack-job hypothesis about mercury that you have to be aggressive to people in order to force them to accept it. Highly intelligent behaviour. Not.

    Now run along and play with your ALA tubes and your little golf clubs, and leave the discussion to those with brains.

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  14. PFS, to JBJr: "By your own admission then your "brain doesn't work right." Which in your case is patently obvious."

    Sorry to tell you, but you're wrong: Johnny-boy has no brain at all.

    Would anyone with a brain believe rubbish to the extent that he does?

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  15. I have to answer this...

    JBJr: "That's why we're trying to remove the mercury that caused the brain damage."

    No it isn't, John.

    Because the damage, once done, remains done. And it's not like there's any truth in the rumour that mercury poisoning causes autism; that bag of shite was laid to rest quite recently.

    Your repetitive denial of this truth does not make it any the less true. It just makes you look like an imbecile.

    Which is not very encouraging, really...

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  16. Aqualung; You don't understand how autism is caused. Mercury does not simply kill brain cells. It prevents methylation. When it's removed, methylation works and the body makes MB-12. Lack of MB-12 is the root of the autism. If they didn't teach you that in school, you should ask for a refund. The proof of this is that over 90% improve when MB-12 is added. Why don't you try some and see if your brain starts working right?

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  17. Lack of MB-12 is the root of the autism

    Autism: A novel form of B-12 deficiency. Autistics would become normal during supplementation. That's silly, even for you John.

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  18. It's the same old bullshit that Schafer has been spouting for years -- that the only real autistics are those who are too disabled to communicate, and that the rest of us should shut up and stop taking resources away from them.

    He isn't talking about anti-cure vs. pro-cure autistics. Rather, he actually believes that anyone who is capable of forming an opinion, one way or the other, isn't really autistic, no matter what their diagnosis says.

    You might say he's trying to steal autism from the psychologists.

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  19. ABFH; By lumping yourselves in with those "train wrecks" like my son, you maker it look to the rest of the uninformed world that autism isn't that bad. It's not about services. It's about solving a 100% crippling condition and making the people who caused it stop it so not one more kid has to go through life with no speech, no literacy and no toilet training or ability to recognize danger. Of course, we know that lowlifes like Seidel are well aware of this and she takes her position to enjoy watching these kids suffer. Do you also enjoy watching kids suffer?

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  20. Fore Sam: So, you agree with your pal Lenny that the only real autistics are those who are mute, illiterate, incontinent, and oblivious to danger? Even though none of that is in the DSM-IV criteria for diagnosing autism? Looks like y'all are having a good old time making up your own definitions, the same way you made up your bogus science.

    I'm reminded of Humpty Dumpty, who declared in Alice in Wonderland that words meant whatever he wanted them to mean.

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  21. ABFH; Okay, you don't agree that there's a big difference between you adults who can function and children who can not. That puts you in the same category with Kathleen who is the lowest scum on earth for her efforts to deny these kids help.

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  22. There's a difference between adults and children, who would've thought.

    It seems that John and Lenny would like to redefine autism in such a way that it is by definition impossible for an autistic person to self-advocate. What a better way to ensure you can experiment on a group of people without them protesting back.

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  23. ForeSkin: "Aqualung; You don't understand how autism is caused."

    Nobody does.

    ForeSkin: "Mercury does not simply kill brain cells. It prevents methylation. When it's removed, methylation works and the body makes MB-12. Lack of MB-12 is the root of the autism."

    According to whom? Nobody reputable, that's for sure....

    ForeSkin: "If they didn't teach you that in school, you should ask for a refund."

    Why would they want to teach me bullshit that you believe out of convenience rather than out of veracity, imbecile? Had they tried to tell me that shite, I'd have sued under English law... for reckless endangerment!

    ForeSkin: "The proof of this is that over 90% improve when MB-12 is added."

    You don't know the difference between proof and a claim, do you?

    ForeSkin: "Why don't you try some and see if your brain starts working right?"

    You what? You're a medic all of a sudden? Yeh, right...

    Grow up, John... you're looking really stupid now.

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Appled Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  24. A 'loving' father: "By lumping yourselves in with those 'train wrecks' like my son"...

    What the fuck kind of loving father calls his kid a bloody 'train wreck'?

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  25. ABFH: "You might say he's trying to steal autism from the psychologists."

    Sadly, no.

    He's trying to steal it from autistics.

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  26. Aqualung; He's not a "train wreck" anymore bonehead, because I helped him. Too bad your parents didn't care enough about you to help you.

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  27. John, you wrote: "By lumping yourselves in with those "train wrecks" like my son..."

    And then: "He's not a "train wreck" anymore bonehead"

    At least get your story together.

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  28. Joseph (to someone with memory problems): "At least get your story together."

    Indeed. He changes his story on lots of things more often than a baby needs its nappy changed. Hard not to get dizzy trying to communicate with him.

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  29. ForeSkin: "Too bad your parents didn't care enough about you to help you."

    Did better than you have with Sam.

    Cared more, too. No way that I was going into an institution. No matter what.

    You still wanna send Sam away of he doesn't meet your expectations?

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  30. oops... if, that is... time for bed. meeting at school in the morning.

    DNA-MEd-AEP
    Kotka, Finland

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  31. aqualung;
    If your parents cared about you, they would've learned about mercury and chelated you. They must figure you're hopeless. Because I love my son and chelate him, he won't end up as an unkempt slob like you who has to stay in school until he's 40.

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  32. ForeSkin: "aqualung;
    If your parents cared about you, they would've learned about mercury and chelated you."

    Boring, boring, boring... somebody nudge the record player... needle's stuck again!

    ForeSkin: "They must figure you're hopeless."

    Far from it. And I'd say than most people realise by now that you're hopeless. Your parents seem to have set you a very poor example: your behaviour is renouned as being incredibly obnoxious. And your parents taught it to you. Bet they're really pleased with the monster they created!

    ForeSkin: "Because I love my son and chelate him, he won't end up as an unkempt slob like you who has to stay in school until he's 40.

    You ridiculous imbecile. Many people take longer to get their degrees because of worklife and other commitments. At least I got my degree; your behaviour suggests that everything you said about having even been to university was a lie. That would be a sad position to be in, I'd say.

    Time to grow up John. Something you never did. About time you conquered that task now, John.

    David N. Andrews MEd
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  33. I may be a bit late in giving my opinion.

    I live in Europe, the mercury saga hasn't really hit us, I hope it will stay at your end of the ocean.

    As history tells us, autism is of all times, if one of your parent has it, big chance you will inherit it. If it is as old as mankind, what has mercury to do with it??

    My son has what we prefer to call Aperger Syndrome, as people are not reponding to well to the word autism. They consider it being something like Rainman.

    He's a bright kid that looks to the world in a different way. He's a younger copy of my ex-husband.

    I only found out that my son had Asperger after the divorce, suddenly my ex's weird behaviour began to make sense...

    I refuse the idea that my son is handicaped or disabled. He's a different, why can't we see that as a value added to society? That would be true neurodiversity...

    proud mother of an aspie

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  34. Is it a deficit or disability if a child - actually diagnosed by 2 pediatricians - after testing - as having classic Autism Disorder - does not understand the dangers posed by automobile traffic or house currents?

    Or am I just a misguided parent wrongly concerned about my (diagnosed) autistic son?

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  35. NB: Autism is a disability. Is your question, once again, related to the post in any way?

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