Accomplices in Abuse
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.