Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Accomplices in Abuse

In a notorious child abuse case involving a couple who adopted a large number of special-needs children and kept them in cages, a social worker who knew of the abuse and failed to report it has been charged as an accomplice to the crime.

It's about time. On far too many occasions, the most horrendous abuses have been ignored or even sanctioned at all levels of government, just because the victims had some sort of disability label and therefore were seen as less worthy of human rights. The infamous Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, which routinely administers electric shocks to autistic children and deprives them of food for prolonged periods, does so under the authority of court orders obtained pursuant to state regulations.

A more insidious form of abuse often occurs when doctors and psychologists make extremely negative and unfounded statements upon diagnosing a child. Parents may be told that their infant or toddler will never be able to communicate or to live independently, although of course there is no way anyone can accurately predict a small child's future. Traditional IQ tests, which rely heavily on spoken language, grossly underestimate the intelligence of autistic children. As a result, many children are denied educational opportunities and are forced to lead segregated and restricted lives.

There are strong parallels between our society's current attitude toward autistics and its treatment of the Deaf in previous generations. Historically, many Deaf children were thought to be mentally retarded because they could not communicate orally. They made easy targets for eugenics schemes. In 1925, a deaf-mute black teenager in North Carolina was accused of rape. Because he could not speak in his own defense, he was found to be incompetent, castrated under the state's eugenics laws, and locked up in a state mental hospital for 69 years. It wasn't until the 1990s that the authorities realized he could not hear.

Just a horror story from the bad old days? I really wish I could believe we're all more civilized nowadays, but frankly, I doubt it. The latest disgusting quackery being promoted by the biomed cultists is the use of chemical castration drugs on autistic children in conjunction with chelation treatments. The more things change...

Every one of the chelation doctors ought to be in prison for child abuse, as well as health care fraud and other crimes. (I was going to compare them to voodoo doctors, but on second thought, that comparison would be an insult to voodoo doctors. If the chelationists were practicing good old-fashioned voodoo, they wouldn't be doing nearly as much harm.)

Ultimately, the blame has to fall on the mainstream medical profession for creating an environment in which autism is dreaded as an incurable plague. If doctors and psychologists gave truthful and unbiased information to parents of newly diagnosed children, these parents would not feel the shock and desperation that drive them into the greedy clutches of the quacks.

Physicians, heal thy ignorant selves.

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4 Comments:

  • Again...

    Bravo.

    Estee

    By Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond, at 9:40 AM  

  • Great post. I love your blog, by the way.

    I think a lot of the responsibility has to lie with the mercury moms and dads too. Sure, physicians and healthcare professionals (mainstream and alternative) are largely to blame, but for different reasons.

    In my experience, mainstream medicine falls short not in what it says or does but in what it can't say or do. Obviously there is great room for improvement but doctors aren't supposed to provide false hope. They also aren't supposed to predict the unpredictable like telling parents what to expect with an autism diagnosis.

    Putting those shortcomings aside, it's the parents, who don't like what they hear from conventional doctors and seek out alternative doctors, who are creating an ideal climate for alternative therapies to germinate and thrive.

    I'm sure someone would have tried to sell chelation therapy to parents of autistic children eventually but parents were the first to suggest autism as mercury poisoning and chelation as treatment. The chelation doctors saw an opportunity and seized it. Most of the other biomed therapies are extensions of the mercury hypothesis and every parent involved with thimerosal activism is an active contributor to the constantly expanding envelope of risky and experimental child abuse.

    There will always be unethical or simply bad doctors and quacks willing to profit from desperation. Parents have created the market place and invited the vendors in with open arms. Blame the vendors, of course, but let's be honest about the roles of parents.

    By Blogger notmercury, at 11:20 AM  

  • Personally, I would be thrilled if all the chelationists for autism (and heart disease and cancer while we're at it) would lose their medical licenses, maybe their passports, too. Seems perfectly reasonable.

    Jail for child abuse would be good too, but I'd be happy if they had to go to work at McDonald's or something to support themselves.

    Thanks for this essay.

    By Anonymous Camille, at 9:03 PM  

  • It seems to be the acceptable custom thatpeople in authority can do whatever the fuck they want to autistic people, but should an autistic person ever have the balls to take a stand against this treatment, they're slapped down hard to the ground. I should know. I've had this kind of experience. When I was young, I went to a special-needs school. I had a really bad fit once, and the teacher of the class stared tipping everything out of the cupboards and made me clear up all the stuff into the appropriate cupbaords. The next day, it was found that pieces of a jigsaw were missing, and I got the blame for it.

    Also, in this school, if one pupil misbehaved badly, the other pupils in the class would be punished as well, even though they hadn't done everything wrong.

    Now, I don't want to come accross as self-pitying, and I was no angel back then, but even to this day, I am really pretty bitter about how I was treated

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 PM  

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