Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Brief History of Cassandra

As Tony Attwood begins his US speaking tour at a conference in Hartford, Connecticut, where he is scheduled to appear tomorrow, autistic rights advocates from ASAN New England are making it clear that the bogus concept of "Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder" is discrimination based entirely on neurology and that the autistic community cannot stand for that.

Because some people are still wondering what the controversy is about, I'm providing a brief explanation of the history and nature of this purported disorder, directly from a primary source: The Asperger Couple's Workbook (Maxine Aston, Tony Attwood; Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2009).

Chapter 9 of the book (viewable in part through Google Books) explains that the term "Cassandra" comes from a Greek myth and refers to a prophet who was cursed with never being believed. You can find more information here about the Cassandra story and the actual characteristics that were attributed to Cassandra and Apollo in classical mythology. I've quoted a short excerpt (which is fair use under US copyright law) from the book below:


"This feeling of not being believed is typical of how many NTs feel when living with a person with undiagnosed Asperger Syndrome.

Over the years the terminology for the effect of Cassandra has changed. Before Cassandra it was referred to as the mirror syndrome by the Families of Adults Affected by Asperger Syndrome (FAAAS) and then referred to as the Cassandra phenomenon (Rodman 2003). Terminology has since progressed from Cassandra affective disorder and now more appropriately Cassandra affective. The Cassandra phenomenon was first made public at the Families of Adults Affected by Asperger Syndrome (FAAAS) conference in 2003 as Cassandra affective disorder (CAD) (Aston 2003b) and finally Cassandra affective deprivation disorder (CADD) (Aston 2007).

…CADD is the result of emotional deprivation due to the fact that one partner, affected by Asperger syndrome, is unable to provide the emotional support the NT partner needs to stay healthy within the relationship."



It bears repeating that no legitimate research has ever been conducted to support "Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder." Maxine Aston simply made it up. Although it's likely that she never would have gotten into print and would have been widely dismissed as a crank if she had made such claims on her own, her association with Tony Attwood over the years has enabled her to feed off his professional reputation and thereby gain an appearance of credibility.

And sadly, judging by Attwood's continued unwillingness to repudiate the crankery and bigotry of Aston and FAAAS, it seems he's a willing participant in their schemes.

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86 Comments:

  • Tony Attwood did NOT co-write that book. He wrote the foreword.

    He did that for whatever reason. But that you suggest that it was co-written is a libel.

    Please remove it.

    I shall forward your post to Tony.

    And to anyone who is on my 'friends' list on Facebook, you may hear evidence from others that this campaign against Tony Attwood is, to say the least, ill-informed and misguided. You can fill your boots with the real history, which NONE of you was party to.

    OK?

    There is an old adage, 'Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer' Some of you haven't listened to the first half of the message.

    Tony Attwood is now ill. Pat yourselves on the back.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 5:07 PM  

  • Barbara, the author listing provided by the publisher and shown on various online book sites is "Maxine Aston, Tony Attwood." Just because multiple authors wrote separate parts of a book does not mean that they did not co-write the book. The definition of co-write is "to write jointly or in collaboration with another author." Although each person wrote separately, the book as a whole was produced through a collaborative effort. Therefore my use of the word is correct.

    I suggest that you get off your high horse. And when you forward my post to Tony, you can also convey to him my sympathy regarding his illness. If he is under too much stress because of the predictable consequences of his failure to respond to the autistic community's concerns, he knows what he needs to do...

    By Blogger abfh, at 6:32 PM  

  • abfh, you have NO idea about author listings. That's a publisher issue.

    This is a book by Maxine Aston. Tony Attwood wrote the foreword.

    This is NOT co-authored, and any suggestion that it is is a libel. A serious libel.

    Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

    And please don't make enemies of those who are your friends, just because we disagree with you on certain issues.

    Disagreement is human. Libel is, well, libel. Be guided by friends. Please. This is not personal. It took me well over a year to teach my best friend who is AS that argument should NEVER and is NEVER personal. It's just an issues thing.

    No one is getting at you, trying to hurt you, and it's not about you. OK? It's objective. I know how defensive you are. But honestly and truthfully, and objectively, and without any intention to hurt you personally, saying that this book is co-written, is libel.

    I am trying to be helpful, and trying to stop you being sued.

    Please try to understand this. I know it's difficult. Check it out with knowledgeable others if you have any problem with what I'm telling you.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 7:00 PM  

  • Personally, I think the history of the thing is largely irrelevant - Tony still actively allows his name to be used in supporting FAAAS and its viewpoint (as per this, this, and numerous other references). He could change this with a word, and consistently chooses not to. There has not even been an attempt to justify this (as the "response" does not mention the FAAAS link at all).

    That's what the whole campaign boils down to, and it's right there in print.

    While I'm here (on the off chance that there's any other Brisbanites reading along), I just wanted to add that I'll be continuing the offline campaign in Brisbane once Tony's returned from his US/UK tour, and I could really use some help...

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 7:00 PM  

  • Barbara, I'm sure you know what a libel is. It must, among other things, cause serious damage to a person's reputation. In light of the extensive evidence of Tony Attwood's associations with Aston, FAAAS, etc., going back so many years, it's obvious that the cold hard facts are what has damaged his reputation. Your quibbling over my choice of words is ludicrous.

    By Blogger abfh, at 7:16 PM  

  • Oh, and I'm totally rolling on the floor laughing at your claim that arguments are never personal with you.

    I've edited the post to put the author names into the publisher's format. Happy now? Sheesh.

    By Blogger abfh, at 7:28 PM  

  • Amazon lists Aston as the author and Attwood as the author of the foreword. So perhaps "co-written" isn't the most accurate descriptor, but in any case Attwood is clearly endorsing the book by writing the foreword. In the past, Attwood has also written introductions for similar books. These are facts.

    Barbara, if what ASAN and other ND advocates are saying is so false, why don't you/Attwood/FAAAS/others explain our errors? Simply telling us that we are wrong and misguided does not an argument make.

    Also, you perhaps might be interested to learn that the standards for libel differ for public figures as opposed to private citizens. In any case, I doubt any jury would call anything abfh has written libel.

    No one is "happy" that Dr. Attwood is ill. We simply wish to engage with dialogue with him and his defenders over the issues at hand--which your constant threats of libel lawsuits do not exactly help facilitate.

    By Blogger Sarah, at 7:30 PM  

  • and abfh, can you do the second order of TOM test?

    Yeah I know it's crap. But the 'intentional stance' theory is useful sometimes when we have to work out why people do some things we don't like.

    It's just a theory. It means nothing. Except that it's useful in understanding that other people are real, and can be hurt by what we do, sometimes. And they can be badly hurt. And our actions may contribute to that.

    Other people are REAL.They have real lives, and real feelings and real pain in part because of our actions. Other people are not just objects, whoever they are. Other people deserve our understanding.

    x

    By Blogger Barbara, at 7:30 PM  

  • "Barbara, if what ASAN and other ND advocates are saying is so false, why don't you/Attwood/FAAAS/others explain our errors? Simply telling us that we are wrong and misguided does not an argument make."

    Don't you bloody dare position me with FAAAS.

    What are you? Who are you? Don't you have any clue what I stand for?

    By Blogger Barbara, at 7:33 PM  

  • Barbara, while you're throwing around TOM crap, you may want to think about all the autistic people who are being badly hurt by the CADD scam.

    Or are they not real to you?

    By Blogger abfh, at 7:36 PM  

  • Barbara said, "Tony Attwood is now ill. Pat yourselves on the back."

    Oh no! Looks like we've done it again, gone and made someone else sick!

    Seriously, this is ridiculous. I am sorry to hear Attwood is sick, but to blame this on autistic people who are calling for him to be accountable is really unfair. Yes, I know that stress contributes to many illnesses, and being called out in public contributes to stress. But he has the power to ressurect his reputation by dealing honestly with the criticism. This is just one more example of placing the blame on one side of a difficult interaction.

    As for the libel accusation...the same principle applies. If someone willingly contributes to a book, allowing his name to be associated with it, how can one be offended (on his behalf) by the idea that he is a co-author? Legalistic grandstanding aside, it doesn't make a lot of sense to draw these lines.

    By Blogger Bev, at 7:38 PM  

  • "No one is "happy" that Dr. Attwood is ill. We simply wish to engage with dialogue with him and his defenders over the issues at hand--which your constant threats of libel lawsuits do not exactly help facilitate."

    Grow up. You hurt someone, big time. Live with it. You can't do dialogue, I learned that when I had to negotiate with Carol Grigg over 3 weeks.

    Whoops, sorry, of course the wonder of ASAN did that. Meg Evans says.

    How silly of me to claim any input. I did nothing, of course. I must do this Orwellian reductionist version of my role. Yup. Four legs bad, two legs good. I agree. I am an animal for thinking otherwise.

    :)

    By Blogger Barbara, at 7:44 PM  

  • "Or are they not real to you?"

    Oh God give me grace! However often do I have to say that I deplore the entire fabrication of CADD, how often, for you, do I have to lay my credentials on the floor, how often do I have to say I've fought this damned thing all my published life. AND YOU'RE NOT LISTENING, are you?

    It's like talking to enemies when it should be talking to friends.

    This hurts. It really hurts.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 7:51 PM  

  • "Seriously, this is ridiculous. I am sorry to hear Attwood is sick, but to blame this on autistic people who are calling for him to be accountable is really unfair. Yes, I know that stress contributes to many illnesses, and being called out in public contributes to stress. But he has the power to ressurect his reputation by dealing honestly with the criticism. This is just one more example of placing the blame on one side of a difficult interaction."


    You know, Bev, do it some more. Like take the knife and turn it, know what I mean? Like,this guy isn't real, is he? He doesn't have a life. He's just a name.He's a nothing. He's something you have every right to destroy. And go ahead. No one deserves respect, do they?

    But Bev, before you do that, and turn the knife, as you can, let me take you back to January/February. OK? Are you there now? With me? Then hold my hand and we'll look together at autistic monsters, shall we?

    There was a turning point. And it was a major turning point. It was Tony Attwood saying that this child had been brainwashed.It moved the entire campaign into celeb mode.

    We were together in that. I really couldn't care if you want to turn your back on it - it's your choice.

    But I bloody hate hypocrisy. I really do.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 8:05 PM  

  • "While I'm here (on the off chance that there's any other Brisbanites reading along), I just wanted to add that I'll be continuing the offline campaign in Brisbane once Tony's returned from his US/UK tour, and I could really use some help..."

    Yeah mate. So you were the one outside the conference who hadn't got a clue who Tony Attwood was and hadn't got a signature on your petition? And he came up to you, didn't he? And what did you say to him, Mr Evil? Nothing.

    So, who's been gossiping then in Brisbane? And why?

    By Blogger Barbara, at 8:11 PM  

  • Nice to see that you had the nouse to change your original post abfn.

    Thank you.

    You've almost got it right.

    You have a lot to learn about the way Amazon and JKP operate.

    Small steps, eh?

    I took a screen shot of your original post, just in case. No hard feelings?

    x

    By Blogger Barbara, at 8:27 PM  

  • Of course he is real. Of course he has feelings. This isn't about Tony Attwood being a bad person. Yes, he has done some good things. I don't deny it. He is still responsible for endorsing anti-autistic speech. I would like for him to renounce CADD and disassociate himself from FAAAS. It is not wrong for me to say this. I would not "destroy" him, even if I had the power to do so, which I do not.

    By Blogger Bev, at 8:32 PM  

  • Gee, Barbara, I didn't know you were such a big fan of my blog. Will you frame the screen shot and hang it on your wall? Will that make me a celeb like Tony?

    I wanna be a rock star...

    ;)

    By Blogger abfh, at 8:45 PM  

  • "Of course he is real. Of course he has feelings. This isn't about Tony Attwood being a bad person. Yes, he has done some good things. I don't deny it. He is still responsible for endorsing anti-autistic speech."

    No, Bev, he isn't. That's spin and hype. That's what ASAN is trying to make you think. It isn't true. He got himself involved in FAAAS thanks to the NAS.

    And this campaign is total bolleaux. Never campaign against a person, because all people have life, which you can destroy by hurting them, and it's just not fair. Only campaign against an issue.

    What's the issue? Do you know?

    By Blogger Barbara, at 8:47 PM  

  • "Will that make me a celeb like Tony?"

    If that's your problem, then you really do have a problem.

    Is it THAT personal? Really?

    Could I ask you to go into a chill chamber with Victoria Beckham? That usually is a desensitising treatment for all ills and works in 5 seconds. People who think they have problems come out screaming and never wear Jimmy Choos again.....

    :)

    By Blogger Barbara, at 8:54 PM  

  • "Yeah mate. So you were the one outside the conference who hadn't got a clue who Tony Attwood was and hadn't got a signature on your petition? And he came up to you, didn't he? And what did you say to him, Mr Evil? Nothing."

    If by "hadn't got a clue" you mean "didn't recognise his face" then yep, that's me. He was one of the first people to arrive at the conference (hence no signatures), and we did have a detailed discussion about the issues.

    He indicated his strong disagreement with the position of FAAAS, and his intent to denounce the group via email response - after which I went away satisfied, not realising that he was lying through his teeth.

    Suffice it to say, the next time we meet face to face, I'll be carrying a tape recorder...

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 9:22 PM  

  • "Never campaign against a person, because all people have life, which you can destroy by hurting them, and it's just not fair. "

    Can I campaign against Matthew Israel? He's been killing and torturing autistic people for 4 decades. Is it ok if I campaign against him? Do I need to care about hurting his feelings?

    "Could I ask you to go into a chill chamber with Victoria Beckham?" You can ask me, I'll gladly go.

    By Anonymous K, at 9:27 PM  

  • Let's put it a bit more simply - which step in
    this entirely reasonable method of dealing with the issue is considered objectionable, or "hurtful"?

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 9:36 PM  

  • The issue is that FAAAS promotes false and harmful stereotypes about autistic people. One of these ideas is that living with someone with AS causes mental and physical illnesses in the NT partner.

    The reason Attwood is being discussed as an individual is that he is well known and respected throughout the world. His association with FAAAS lends credibility to harmful ideas. As someone who has made his reputation based on knowledge of AS, he must be held to a high standard of accountability.

    Again, I don't wish to see any harm come to him. I do not think he is evil. I am asking for him to stop lending his name and reputation to FAAAS, because the ideas promoted by FAAAS are harmful to many people. Real people, just like your friend Tony Attwood.

    As for this being spin and hype, I don't believe it is. The association is well known and easily verifiable.

    This will be my last comment on this post. I don't make a habit of holding court on someone else's blog. My apologies, ABFH.

    By Blogger Bev, at 9:36 PM  

  • Bev: No worries.

    Zakkie: Cool flow chart. It clearly illustrates the situation.

    By Blogger abfh, at 9:28 AM  

  • I'm amazed that so much bullcrap can be written in such a short time. I go out to do errands and shopping, and I come back and look at the comments, and it's like an entire dairy herd has DROPPED by. If only I could get this stuff onto my rose beds!

    For whatever it's worth, in library cataloguing notable figures who write forewords or afterwords or introductions to books are often listed in library cataloguing as "other authors" or an "added author". One example would be library cataloguing for the book "Lucy's story : autism & other adventures". Dr Attwood wrote the foreword and afterword and is listed as a secondary author. Go sue those wicked libellous aspie spinster librarians Barb!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 10:46 AM  

  • O.O

    is my only reaction to Barb. Really now

    What are you? Who are you? Don't you have any clue what I stand for?

    I AM BARBARA HEAR ME MOAN AND COMPLAIN.

    Oh jeez if you don't agree with the campaign or the fact many autists think that Attwood is on the wrong side here then stop having a shitfest in AFBH blog, especially if it's on a topic that infuriates you then why do you work your blood pressure up by making over personal statments and watch as people disagree and roll their eyes (in my case at least)

    I can't take you seriously if you going to throw temper tanturms. Learn to speak objectivly and with out the melodrama.

    NightStorm the AspieWolf

    By Blogger NightStorm, at 8:07 PM  

  • I have a question for Barbara. Is Jelibean.com a nonprofit organization?

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 12:38 AM  

  • And ... for anyone who says that Maxine Aston is not a psychologist...

    From her own site (the Counselling pdf document):

    "As a psychologist and author of two books on Asperger syndrome in
    relationships, Maxine is appropriately qualified."

    Yes, she is - by training - a psychologist: a health psychologist. She has training as a counsellor, true; but her degrees are in psychology. As for writing two books making her 'appropriately qualified' on the issue of Asperger syndrome, um... fuck that!

    I have two specialist courses in my MEd that deal with autism issues in adult life. The work was marked by people with recognised expertise on autism issues, and it is that marking and evaluation that makes me 'appropriately qualified' to open my mouth on the issue of autism generally, including Asperger-autism issues. The lack of any such training or supervised clinical/educational experience in this area makes her not qualified at all on this topic. She may well have some very useful knowledge on a number of topics but Asperger syndrome is not one of them.

    Case in point:

    'Due to the nature of Asperger syndrome people may find themselves travelling long distances. It is suggested, in these circumstances, that a two or even three hour session be arranged.' (source: same pdf document)

    A two or even three hour session??? Does she not know that the sort of sessions involved in counselling are intensive and can be very gruelling for anyone, let alone someone who would qualify for an autism spectrum diagnosis???? The concentration required in such a session as she prposes would leave someone on the spectrum exhausted and shattered. Clearly she has fuck all clue!

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 11:52 AM  

  • From MA's site:

    "What does an Asperger assessment involve?

    An Asperger assessment will take up to three hours and it will involve answering questions and carrying out various tests. The focus of the assessment will be on-

    communication, <-a
    social interaction, <-b
    special interests, <-c
    routines, <-d
    motor coordination <-e
    and
    sensory sensitivity. <-f"

    She's not exactly qualified to administer tests, since she has not taken any courses of study in that particular skill: I took that sort of study during my MEd, on a practice-based learning project, where I had to cover the syllabus for the BPS CCET/CCOT level A courses, and I also covered much of the work required for the CCOT level B Intermediate Plus courses (assessed in the course work since BPS courses are not deliviered in Finland). I had to deal with statistics specifically used in standardising tests, and statistical tests that tell about the reliability of tests and the validity of the inferences one can make on the basis of the results of tests. I was also assessed on my use of tests and my skills in giving feedback to an examinee. On a degree in psychology at BA/BSc level, this is not done; and on a MSc course in Health Psychology, it is not even part of the syllabus to use ability/personality/social development/other tests; they use a totally different set of tests in health psychology, but I'll spare the details here.

    And when I've done any assessments for adults or adolescents... they've been a lot longer than three bloody hours. One cannot get all the necessary information in a three hour block of time, however one arranges it! My MEd thesis was one guy's diagnosis, and it took 8 fucking weeks!!!!!*

    And yes, I do split the time up into Autie/Aspie-friendly chunks of time.

    * (Actually, the writing up did... the rest of the work was done over a number of months before that)

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 12:09 PM  

  • "My MEd thesis was one guy's diagnosis, and it took 8 fucking weeks!!!!!*"

    That sounds about the time it took for my diagnosis, which lasted a bit longer I think, maybe 10 weeks.

    By Anonymous K, at 12:41 PM  

  • David: I'm sure that is why Aston very carefully uses the word "assessment" instead of claiming that she is qualified to give a diagnosis. She knows full well that she isn't, and she also knows that the average client won't have a clue that her abbreviated "assessment" is not a genuine diagnosis.

    Or at least they won't find out until they try to use her "assessment" to get disability accommodations, services, or benefits, and then discover that they don't qualify...

    By Blogger abfh, at 12:55 PM  

  • Barbera, in your book "Loving Mr Spock" you appear to endorse "Cassandra Syndrome" and praise Karen Rodman of FAAAS.

    Of course people change their opinions over time and revise them.

    Have you revised yours then?

    Please make this clear.

    Alas it does not appear that Dr Attwood ill or not, has revised his.

    I see no logic or merit in your arguments whatever, all I see is open intimidation of the autistic community.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 PM  

  • "Or at least they won't find out until they try to use her "assessment" to get disability accommodations, services, or benefits, and then discover that they don't qualify..."

    Mine don't qualify for any benefits from the Social Insurance Institution, but that's because they require a medical statement called a B-1 statement. But my reports are psycho-educational diagnoses based on a thorough assessment, and I'm trained in diagnostics. So they are suitable for anything that goes in as an advocacy statement package for the National Matriculation Certificate Examination Board. And for any organisation that applies that exam body's rules in getting accommodations.

    One diagnostic assessment I made ended up with a change in policy and practice in one department of a Finnish polytechnic.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 4:50 PM  

  • "I have a question for Barbara. Is Jelibean.com a nonprofit organization?"

    Lili, it's not even an organisation. So far, everything we do is pro bono, including advocating for mums in court. They need us, and it's desperate. I spend my own credit cards on this work.

    I am skint. Totally. I am doing a PhD without funding and living on state pension and my credit cards which are getting scary. I can't pay my mortgage, which has another 4 years to run.I have maybe another 3 months of non-bankruptcy left.

    But, you know what,I don't care and I don't whinge. Not my style. What I have I share. What I don't have, I keep stumm about.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:19 PM  

  • "Barbera, in your book "Loving Mr Spock" you appear to endorse "Cassandra Syndrome" and praise Karen Rodman of FAAAS."

    What evidence do you have of that?

    I say NOTHING in my book about Cassandra Syndrome, which is an invention by Maxine Aston, and I try to be balanced about FAAAS.

    Did you read my book on Google, like Lili?

    Just get a copy out of a skip somewhere and read the whole thing. You might learn something from Marc Segar, Jane Meyerding, Joel Smith, Wendy Lawson, Kevin Phillips, George Handley, and all the other people on the spectrum who I first put into mainstream print and who were enabled for the first time ever to tell their amazing stories.

    Oh sadly, that's not in the Google version, is it? That's how I tell if people actually read the book. If they can quote from Jane Meyerding's amazing contributions, or the brilliantly perceptive sections I had permission to quote from the late Marc Segar, I know they read it. If they go on about some damned love story, I know they haven't got a clue what the book's about. At all.

    It's about Asperger's Syndrome, how I found out about it, and how I found the voices of AS, and their partners.

    And if you'd read it, you'd know how much I despise and reject the notion of CADD.

    However, you'll find out more about that in the next few days, as several of us have got together to blow CADD out of the water, big time.

    And you know what? You didn't help, did you? None of you did. You just tried to declare war. It's not on. Let's do this together, because some of us have always been in this together. Pro bono.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:38 PM  

  • "NightStorm the AspieWolf"

    No, darling. The Aspie pussie. To do wolf, you have to have more than hirsutism and bad teeth. You have to have DONE summat. :) So what did you do? And if you did summat you have to answer to the likes of Lili and various Anons.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:48 PM  

  • "Can I campaign against Matthew Israel?"

    Yes, and can I join you? What a total smack in the face is the Judge Rotenberg Center to any human living being? Now THAT's a cause, and THAT'S a filth man, and why is it still in existence?

    Ari's brilliance should be set against that denial of the human soul and the human right to life. And then EVERYONE in the entire world would be on Ari's side. We'd all create a storm that would blow that evil down for ever. Children are not less than animals. But that's how Israel treats them. Less than vermin.

    If Ari had taken on Israel, he could have had the whole world on his side. Why didn't he fight that battle?

    Hmmmmmmmmm. It's the real fight. It's honour. It's truth. It's about life. But hey ho, it's a bit too political, eh?

    By Blogger Barbara, at 7:00 PM  

  • "If Ari had taken on Israel, he could have had the whole world on his side. Why didn't he fight that battle?"

    Thats a good question. Perhaps its easier to focus and get a win with Attwood, meanwhile children and adults spend decades getting tortured there.

    I don't get the big deal with the whole Cassandra thing. I'm a good spouse, been married 10 years and I do my best being a father. Why do I care if some woman's group decides they don't care for men with Aspergers Syndrome. No right minded person will take this seriously. Ari does a lot of good. I think the high profile stuff she be done against something that the whole world could get behind. Send protestors to meet Israel when he goes shopping, to temple, or to work. Protest him and get some media attention. The whole Cassandra thing is insider stuff that can be handled when bigger issues are solved.

    By Anonymous K, at 7:22 PM  

  • Hey ho, Barbara, you don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about, as usual. Ari has not only campaigned against the JRC here in the United States, he also campaigned against it abroad last year.

    Just did a Google search for "Barbara Jacobs" and "Judge Rotenberg Center." There wasn't a trace of anti-JRC activism by you to be found anywhere. Why am I not surprised?

    By Blogger abfh, at 7:38 PM  

  • "The whole Cassandra thing is insider stuff that can be handled when bigger issues are solved."

    I think most would agree that the JRC is a much more disturbing issue - But it's not always realistic to act in strict priority order. If we did nothing until the JRC was shut down, then nothing would be done for a very long time.

    And when it boils down to it, all these issues are interrelated in some way - the negative stereotyping put out there by groups like FAAAS is what makes places like the JRC possible.

    It only really makes sense to speak out against this campaign if you consider endorsement of FAAAS to be no problem at all - if it is just considered it to be "not unimportant, but less important than another issue", then it still has merit.

    After all, if we all used our resources to perfect best effect, we'd all have better things to do than debate on blogs - yet here we are... *grins*

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 7:44 PM  

  • "It only really makes sense to speak out against this campaign if you consider endorsement of FAAAS to be no problem at all - if it is just considered it to be "not unimportant, but less important than another issue", then it still has merit."

    Hi Zakkie, you make a good point. Just because JRC is more important to me, doesn't mean FAAAS isn't an issue as well and has merit. I also do somewhat agree with you that it is things like FAAAS that contributes in very minute ways at making JRC possible.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful though if something could be done to protest M. Israel? I think even the pro cure side could join in that. Ari also serves on TASH's board. Has he brought JRC up at a board meeting? TASH would seem a good organization to join in protests.

    By Anonymous K, at 7:59 PM  

  • "Wouldn't it be wonderful though if something could be done to protest M. Israel?"

    Absolutely. A while ago, I tracked down the schematic for the GED, with the intention of recording it being used, and describing the effect for a reference. When I get back on my feet money-wise, I'll have to resurrect the idea...

    No idea if it's been raised with TASH or not...

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 8:30 PM  

  • Zakkie wrote:

    "No idea if it's been raised with TASH or not..."

    Yes, on many, many occasions. TASH started campaigning to shut down JRC (which was previously called BRI) before Ari was born. A Google search for TASH and "Judge Rotenberg Center" shows 22,300 results.

    By Blogger abfh, at 10:20 PM  

  • omg.........

    some of the comments here remind me of middle school.

    The Integral

    By OpenID athenivanidx, at 11:47 PM  

  • "I have a question for Barbara. Is Jelibean.com a nonprofit organization?"

    "Lili, it's not even an organisation. So far, everything we do is pro bono, including advocating for mums in court. They need us, and it's desperate. I spend my own credit cards on this work."

    Well, if this non-organization ever turns a profit you will have to change the way you have described it at your profile at Change.org

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 1:02 AM  

  • "Well, if this non-organization ever turns a profit you will have to change the way you have described it at your profile at Change.org."

    Hmm... didn't Barbara say that the non-organisation doesn't make a profit?

    Actually, the way she described it makes it look like it will never make a profit.

    Makes your little quip there a bit... redundant, doesn't it?

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 1:51 AM  

  • Barbara said:
    You might learn something from Marc Segar, Jane Meyerding, Joel Smith, Wendy Lawson, Kevin Phillips, George Handley, and all the other people on the spectrum who I first put into mainstream print and who were enabled for the first time ever to tell their amazing stories.

    I have a book here by Jane Meyerding, "Everywhere House" 1994, New Victoria Publishers. Got it on eBay, 'cause Jane is a Listmate of mine from several Lists. She was also a major contributor to "Women From Another Planet?" 2003, edited by Jean Kearns Miller. Got that one too.

    I think she'd be surprised to hear that you gave her her first break.

    By Blogger Clay, at 2:33 PM  

  • Google or not, you did describe Karen Rodman as "inspirational", and you did recommend Maxine Aston.

    If that was not a signification of approval what is?

    As for Dr Attwood, he did not mention anything about being ill in his recent interview with Donna Williams, where he is attempting to wriggle out of this snake pit. We have only your word for it, and I do not think your word carries much credibility any longer.

    And another matter, you have an odd idea of what libel is.

    There would appear to be more than one convention regarding the attribution of authorship, and if anyone were to make a genuine mistake given the possibilities that exist for confusion, I would hardly call the publishing of that to be libel.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:02 PM  

  • At the very end of that interview, (about 53 minutes into a 56 minute interview), Donna mentions that Ari and Tony should have a dialogue. Tony replied that he wasn't aware that Ari would like to speak with him, and would call him if he knew how, saying he didn't even know where in the states Ari lived.

    Tony is in Baltimore today. Donna said that if Ari wrote her and gave his phone number, she would pass it on to Tony.

    By Blogger Clay, at 5:13 PM  

  • Sorry, forgot the address:

    http://oddpod.donnawilliams.net/

    By Blogger Clay, at 5:15 PM  

  • Clay, the Donna Williams interview is under discussion by ASAN's board, and I'll post more details when I learn more.

    By Blogger abfh, at 5:42 PM  

  • "Tony is in Baltimore today. Donna said that if Ari wrote her and gave his phone number, she would pass it on to Tony."

    Yes Clay. So she did. It makes a bit of a lie of the 'fact' that Ari had tried to contact him and had left his phone number, and the 'lie' that I was fed, by ASAN, that this had happened, and that a number had been given.

    Tony was clearly surprised by Donna's news that Ari was trying to get in touch with him, and made it clear that he was prepared to talk.

    In the next couple of days, I'm interviewing Donna about her views on the crap that is CADD. Gisela and Christopher Slater Walker have also expressed a need for me to interview them on the issue, as they don't believe in it, either.

    Some of us - Donna, who has been with me since day one in 1997, and knows how I feel and think and how honest I am about everything, even if I have to diss things and people I believe are wrong - and several others whose names I won't mention because some get arsey, are in this for the long haul. It's mainly the women who see how stupid this battle is. Sorry to be sexist. It's a 'Flowers of The Forest' issue.

    Donna and I have always shared the same mindset, although not the same diagnosis. We are both honest, upfront, blunt and forthright and eccentric, and can't be doing with idiots or bullies or men who want to wave willies. Donna was one of my first contacts in ASCs, in 1998. She still is a good friend, who won't be pushed into any corner, as I won't.

    I hope that my interview with her, in which she has some strong views that don't accord with mine on CADD, but are interesting,and my interview with the Slater-Walkers on CADD, will clarify some issues.

    Nothing is accomplished through confrontation. All is accomplished by negotiation.

    Clay, Jane had a book published before I met her. Not on ASCs. The book published with her contributions, on ASCs, was later than mine. What's up with you? Spit it out, please.

    Thanks, David. I do nothing for money with ASC kids and their parents, and just give everything for free, and have an unfunded PhD which is becoming a financial nightmare. I can't even survive. I find this point difficult to talk about, but I'm glad you understand.


    http://oddpod.donnawilliams.net/call

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:13 PM  

  • Barbara you are nothing but a liar and a media whore

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:18 PM  

  • "Yes Clay. So she did. It makes a bit of a lie of the 'fact' that Ari had tried to contact him and had left his phone number, and the 'lie' that I was fed, by ASAN, that this had happened, and that a number had been given.

    Tony was clearly surprised by Donna's news that Ari was trying to get in touch with him, and made it clear that he was prepared to talk.
    "

    The fact that ASAN was attempting to discuss the issue with Tony was something that I touched on during our face-to-face meeting, many months earlier.

    Not to mention that many other people have attempted to start a dialogue about the issue, with no response.

    As such, all it really shows is that Tony's responses need to be taken with a grain of salt...

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 6:30 PM  

  • "Just did a Google search for "Barbara Jacobs" and "Judge Rotenberg Center." There wasn't a trace of anti-JRC activism by you to be found anywhere. Why am I not surprised?"

    Because not everything that people do is recorded on Google. This might come as a shock to you. I often worry that people believe all human activity is somehow accessible on the internet. It's not. The internet is only a record of what people MAY have put into print in their own name. And even then, it's subject to its own laws.

    Speaking of which, what is in print under your own name?

    Or don't you want anyone to know who you are and what you do in RL?

    Some of us put ourselves totally on the line, wherever that line is. We get slaughtered because of it and relentlessly stalked because of it, and evilly harrassed because of it. But we are upfront. We are who we are. We admit it. We are ourselves. And you can poke us and take pot shots at us, and we allow this, because that's part of who we are. And part of who you are is covert and that's OK. Whatever.

    Some choose to hide under pseudonyms, for whatever reason of their own. Not a problem.

    All the best.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:34 PM  

  • Delete
    "Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Barbara you are nothing but a liar and a media whore"

    And that is a kind of QED.

    Thanks.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:35 PM  

  • The fact that ASAN was attempting to discuss the issue with Tony was something that I touched on during our face-to-face meeting, many months earlier.

    Not to mention that many other people have attempted to start a dialogue about the issue, with no response.

    As such, all it really shows is that Tony's responses need to be taken with a grain of salt..."


    Zakkie, I have a record of your meeting with Tony Attwood, as and when it happened, as I had an email from him about the meeting, on that very same day.

    We have a reality check issue here. We really do. Late April. You with a petition? Not recognising Tony? What's all this with bigging yourself up? He spoke to you. You accepted what he said and walked away. That was the email message I got. He was a bit confuddled.

    Hmm. I'm sure you have an alternative story. So here's the deal. I love honesty. It's what I live for. So, scan the petition of that day to us. Eh? Let's see what you actually did. Because so far you've fed the most amazingly inaccurate gossip about Dr Attwood to someone who has taken your word as gospel.

    Not good. Gossip/Gospel does not compute. :)

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:51 PM  

  • This is the amazing thing about the liar isn't it, that they can without shame continue to turn truth on it's head and make claims they can never substantiate, because they do not believe that their bluff will ever be called.

    Let us see the color of your money Barbara.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:14 PM  

  • "We have a reality check issue here. We really do. Late April. You with a petition? Not recognising Tony? What's all this with bigging yourself up? He spoke to you. You accepted what he said and walked away. That was the email message I got. He was a bit confuddled."

    That's fairly accurate - I was out the front with a petition, he approached me (and yes, I didn't immediately recognise his face), we talked, and I left satisfied with what he had to say.

    Perhaps you have a very specific definition of the word "meeting", and that is your point of contention? Otherwise, our two accounts of the events are a match.

    One of the things I mentioned during this meeting was that ASAN had been unable to elicit a response from him, to which he replied that he'd been very busy. This is what was being referred to in my last reply.

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 7:16 PM  

  • Oh, and here's a link to the handout used on the day, as requested:

    http://www.spectrumites.com/pdf/Tony%20Attwood%20Flier.pdf

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 7:22 PM  

  • If Ari had taken on Israel, he could have had the whole world on his side. Why didn't he fight that battle?

    I can answer that, Barbara. Ari prefers to concentrate on positives and not "fight" (as such). He avoids confrontation with negative people because he sees that as justifying their existence and he won't do that. That's his choice and it should be respected - despite the fact that I don't agree with the tactic.

    If he was the sort of fighter that you want - he would have sued the arse off John Best Junior and the defamatory material he's been launching against Ari.

    If he does meet up with Tony, I hope he puts the case that supporting the idea of Cassandra is hurting us and not helping us.

    By Blogger Timelord, at 7:33 PM  

  • No, darling. The Aspie pussie. To do wolf, you have to have more than hirsutism and bad teeth. You have to have DONE summat. :) So what did you do? And if you did summat you have to answer to the likes of Lili and various Anons.

    Can you write that in clear English please? I didn't understand word you just typed.

    By Blogger NightStorm, at 7:47 PM  

  • "Otherwise, our two accounts of the events are a match."

    Good. that's not the impression you're trying to give, though, is it? Tony said there was no animosity, and that you were perfectly happy with his responses.

    So wassup? What's the big deal?

    By Blogger Barbara, at 8:54 PM  

  • Barbara, if you know anything about autism, surely you must be aware that faceblindness is very common among autistics.

    Mocking Zakkie's disability shows your true colors, Barbara.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:55 PM  

  • " Anonymous said...

    This is the amazing thing about the liar isn't it, that they can without shame continue to turn truth on it's head and make claims they can never substantiate, because they do not believe that their bluff will ever be called.

    Let us see the color of your money Barbara."

    I don't have any money. I really don't. I do the best I can for parents without anything at all, and I use my up-to-the-hilt credit cards for that. What IS your problem? Why are you so angry that you hide under anonymity? Who or what made you so angsty against the world?

    Chill. Get your blood pressure down, eh? :)

    By Blogger Barbara, at 9:01 PM  

  • Barbara, if you know anything about autism, surely you must be aware that faceblindness is very common among autistics.

    I thought she knew that he was faceblind

    By Blogger NightStorm The Aspiewolf, at 9:13 PM  

  • Barbara said:
    "What's up with you? Spit it out, please."

    I suppose I should have been flattered, might have been, had it not caused problems with friends. What I mean is that, I've seen "name-droppers" before, but this was the first and only instance when it was my name that had been "dropped"! I felt I was "set up" for that, after I learned how my response had been used. *I* had been used.

    Donna didn't ask all of the right questions. She should have asked, "Are you ready repudiate Ms Aston's
    'raison d'etre', her career as author and counselor against all things Asperger?" (Worded differently, of course.)

    By Blogger Clay, at 9:13 PM  

  • "If he does meet up with Tony, I hope he puts the case that supporting the idea of Cassandra is hurting us and not helping us."

    So do I. With all my heart. CADD is an insult to every human being who has ever loved.

    But you know what? From my emails with Ari, I don't have a snowball's hope in hell that Ari can do that.

    He's just wanting a fight. Not a negotiation. Everything he's said, every Twitter he's written, confirms that. He's arrogant and defensive. If you have any doubts, check out his Twitters.

    He's a clever kid. I don't doubt it. But my kid was clever, too, in fact, fairly incandescently brilliant - but he was kind, and generous, and considerate, and still is.

    Only kindness is going to see this through.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 9:14 PM  

  • "
    I suppose I should have been flattered, might have been, had it not caused problems with friends. What I mean is that, I've seen "name-droppers" before, but this was the first and only instance when it was my name that had been "dropped"!"

    And how was that, Clay? In an illegally forwarded email, eh? That is against every legislation and every moral law.

    Get real. Go for those who sent you that information which was totally illegally sent. They're the bad guys.

    And don't worry about your concerns. I'll bring them up with Donna in our interview.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 9:21 PM  

  • Only kindness is going to see this through

    what would that do?

    By Blogger NightStorm The Aspiewolf, at 9:34 PM  

  • "Good. that's not the impression you're trying to give, though, is it? Tony said there was no animosity, and that you were perfectly happy with his responses.

    So wassup? What's the big deal?
    "

    I was happy with his responses because he indicated his intent to denounce FAAAS via an email response.

    This did not occur.

    I was also left with the impression that FAAAS was using his name without his permission, and this would shortly be resolved - although that part may have been due to clever word usage rather than a direct lie...

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 10:09 PM  

  • "Barbara, if you know anything about autism, surely you must be aware that faceblindness is very common among autistics."

    Just for clarity's sake, I should mention that I'm not 100% faceblind - but I do have trouble translating faces from photos into real life, and recognising people out of context (i.e. meeting someone from work in the street).

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 10:14 PM  

  • Oh Zakkie, btw this is BardWolf

    By Blogger NightStorm The Aspiewolf, at 10:17 PM  

  • *grins and waves* Good to see you!

    By Blogger Zakkie, at 10:53 PM  

  • although that part may have been due to clever word usage rather than a direct lie...


    No, Zakkie, it was a lie. Just a lie to save face.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:23 AM  

  • Barbara said:
    "And how was that, Clay? In an illegally forwarded email, eh? That is against every legislation and every moral law."

    No, just the cut and pasted sentence that pertained to me. I don't know, but doubt that that's illegal, or immoral. Just a friend letting me know what was being said about me.

    And "set up" is correct. You initiated that conversation with me, saying (paraphrasing here), "This person is running amuck, look at this and this and this. I'm worried about him." And I responded, "You have don't have to sell Me, I've seen some strange things too." And from that, you extrapolate and gush about how supportive of You I had been. Please, leave me out of it.

    By Blogger Clay, at 2:02 PM  

  • Barbara, can I ask you a simple question? Including Clay, have you been accused on three separate occasions, by three separate autistic men, of behaving in such a way as for them all, individually and independently to accuse you of 'using' them?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:20 PM  

  • Only kindness is going to see this through.

    Only in a fantasy world, Barbara. When one is battling extremists, kindness goes in one ear and out the other.

    And why haven't you provided the links I asked for? You're avoiding the hard questions and that's not going to win you any respect from anyone let alone me.

    By Blogger Timelord, at 7:29 AM  

  • " Anonymous said...

    Barbara, can I ask you a simple question? Including Clay, have you been accused on three separate occasions, by three separate autistic men, of behaving in such a way as for them all, individually and independently to accuse you of 'using' them?"

    YES. And isn't it a bit strange that it's all 'anonymous'?

    I find that spooky.

    And I find it very weird that three men can think like this, without any prior conferencing :)

    I've been in media too long to believe this kind of silly organised crap.

    I know what and who is behind it. It's been reported to the police as a maybe mild harrassment issue, but to keep it low profile.

    Not a problem. Have had very many similar attempts for very many years - more when I was on telly. I only bite if it gets too irritating. I like to keep this online stuff low key. It's pathetic.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 8:06 PM  

  • Barbara wrote:

    "I know what and who is behind it. It's been reported to the police as a maybe mild harrassment issue, but to keep it low profile."

    Oooh! Better get Interpol on it, Barbara, because it's obviously a vast international left-wing conspiracy against you and the Clown Prince! I'm in the US, another is in UK, and (I'm guessing) the other is in OZ. I haven't heard from the cops yet, but if I do, I hope they won't keep my computer for too long.

    By Blogger Clay, at 4:38 PM  

  • "Oooh! Better get Interpol on it, Barbara, because it's obviously a vast international left-wing conspiracy against you and the Clown Prince! I'm in the US, another is in UK, and (I'm guessing) the other is in OZ. I haven't heard from the cops yet, but if I do, I hope they won't keep my computer for too long."

    Clay, calm down. I'm a red hot socialist. You don't have the likes of us in the US, do you? My dad was a political agent for the Communist Party, which is why I was denied a visa into the USA in 1964. I refused any invitations to speak in the USA, because of that. I only dropped that opposition in 2004

    I have never been anything but a left wing radical, in the whole of my life. It's what my life's about. Fortunately, in the UK, being a socialist is perfectly acceptable, although I did fight against my dad's Marxism/Stalinism which I never agreed with. I'm a libertarian socialist. I often feel sorry for those of you in the US who have to deal with the typology 'socialist' in the same frame as the typology 'terrorist'.

    Clay, when I came to the US in 2004 I found it an alien culture - repressive, extremist, childish and naive, and completely cut off from what we, in the UK, had endured under two world wars.

    I discovered that the US had never had rationing. That you had never known mass bombing in your cities. That you had lived without hunger and homelessness, while the bombs dropped on our homes, and our crops were blitzed.

    Clay - we had no food. I didn't see a banana until I was 11. Eggs were powdered until I was 6. I didn't know there was such a thing as a real pineapple. There was no chocolate or any candy, without rationing, until I was 11.

    DON"T YOU DARE judge my life, as a child born in 1945, in the UK, in the throes of bombing war which destroyed my city of Liverpool.

    You don't have a clue about what made me, and my dirt-poor dad ( a graduate, despite all odds) a socialist, do you? And why I can't stand those who preen and posture and claim victim status, when actually the welfare state which we have in the UK, pays for their habits.

    Don't ever attempt to judge my life. Or my far-left politics. You don't have far-left, or even left, in the USA.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:11 PM  

  • " And I responded, "You have don't have to sell Me, I've seen some strange things too."

    Nope. You lie. I have your email. It was specific.

    Trust me,I won't send it out to anyone, now that I've seen the hype that's been made of it by the would-be politicians, and those anxious to guard their bums.

    It's bloody sad.

    It's been passed on, Clay.

    Soz. Really.

    Did you actually say that I'd 'done a number' on you? If so, I'd really like to hear what that was.

    It could help the police sort this out.

    I need to known what your problem is.

    Thanks
    :)

    By Blogger Barbara, at 6:50 PM  

  • You haven't gone to the police, because nothing happened.

    I don't believe you, and neither does anyone else - Clay obviously included. Because you have failed to provide us with the evidence.

    So either give on the evidence (the links etc) or BE QUIET!

    By Blogger Timelord, at 7:39 PM  

  • Barbara said:
    "Nope. You lie. I have your email. It was specific."

    Yes, I was paraphrasing myself as well, as I didn't want to go look up exactly what was said. (And not exactly good netiquette either). Yes, I said I had seen a couple of strange blog posts, and I really didn't know what to make of that one addressed to you, an "Open Letter" as I recall. I had no knowledge of what transpired between you, and didn't really want to get involved either, so I said that little bit just to brush you off.

    "Trust me, I won't send it out to anyone, now that I've seen the hype that's been made of it by the would-be politicians, and those anxious to guard their bums."

    You won't send it out to anyone? Then what was that post I got from you earlier this evening, saying that you would wait 48 hours, and then send posts from me on to Harry and Ari? You go ahead and send them, I think they'll understand being manipulated. And I sent your posts to another friend, a lawyer who knows that I've already asked you not to email me personally. Stop it!

    "It's been passed on, Clay."

    Not sure what you mean by that, but don't really care.

    "Did you actually say that I'd 'done a number' on you? If so, I'd really like to hear what that was."

    No, that was someone else said that. What I said was that you "set me up", saying, "I'm worried about _____. There's this and this and this." (Paraphrasing again.)

    I don't think you were "worried" about him, not for His sake, anyway. I think you were just trying to drum up some support, and then quickly used it (and me), in a post to Mike's blog.

    Was it worth it? Again, you go ahead and send my posts to Ari and Harry. I won't be blackmailed by the likes of you.

    By Blogger Clay, at 5:04 AM  

  • Barbara, if you don't like having your e-mails forwarded and publicly quoted, then it might be a good idea to refrain from doing it to others.

    BTW, rationing in the United States during WWII was actually quite extensive:

    World War II Rationing

    Fact checking can be a useful thing...

    By Blogger abfh, at 11:22 AM  

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