Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Murderous Thoughts

Autism Diva has a post about the memorial grove for Katie McCarron, who was killed by her mother in May. Katie, who loved to play outdoors, would have been four years old this summer.

Sadly, there are still many people who do not understand that irresponsible news articles, such as the one I mentioned in my previous post, can lead directly to actual murders by depicting parents who fantasize about killing an autistic child in a sympathetic light. I got a comment yesterday that defended the article as follows:

"In no way was the author of the article condoning the parent's impulsive thoughts, but rather she was illustrating the incredible depth of the frustration and pain that loved ones feel for their family member... It was a horrific event, and it hurt me to read it, knowing the intense emotional pain that the parent had to be experiencing in order to be driven to that point of desperate thinking."

What the author of that comment (and probably the author of the article, as well) doesn't get is that such "desperate thinking" is not a rare, isolated occurrence. It's part of a broad social pattern of devaluing the lives of autistics and people with disabilities. Although people who have strong feelings of emotional pain may indeed have a need to talk about their feelings, that doesn't justify shooting them off like the proverbial loose cannon, with no regard for their effects on society. If you are a parent who has thought about murdering your child, then you should be talking about those feelings with a therapist, a support group, and perhaps a minister or other member of the clergy. You may need to ask a psychiatrist for medication or consult with a lawyer or social worker about placing your child in someone else's custody for his protection. But for God's sake, don't give an interview telling the world that you think it would be easier for both you and your child if you killed him. Real people are dying because of attitudes like that.

And if you are a journalist writing about autism, be careful how you frame your story. You have an ethical responsibility to avoid inciting prejudice and violence against a minority group. A century ago, many journalists contributed to the lynch mob mentality by writing lurid stories about lynching that described the feelings of the participants. Don't write the modern-day equivalent of those stories.

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  • Well put.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:21 AM  

  • Don't you see how you contribute to these attitudes by telling people there is no hope to cure their kids? Don't you understand that accepting autism is accepting defeat? I sure wouldn't want any of you on a baseball team that was losing by one run going into the ninth inning. You're nothing but a bunch of quitters.

    By Blogger John Best, at 9:01 AM  

  • sam: we don't say there is no hope to cure autistics. we say there is no NEED to cure autistics. we also don't speak against autistics learning a way of communicating with others, and adapting some to society: everyone, NT or autistic or whatever, has to learn many things and adapt to society as they grow up. but we think society should be more accepting of us also, because we are this way and this way of being is as valid as other ways of being.

    By Blogger n., at 10:05 AM  

  • "If you are a parent who has thought about murdering your child, then you should be talking about those feelings with a therapist, a support group, and perhaps a minister or other member of the clergy."

    I would add; Do not, under any circumstances, contact Rescue Angel John Best Jr.

    By Blogger notmercury, at 10:51 AM  

  • MOST NTs have a TOM problem. They just don't realize it. But my autistic friends and I have better theories of each others' minds than NTs have of our minds or of each others.

    Behavior analyst shouldn't be allowed near a child, ever. Neither should Mr Best. They are both perpetuating horrific violence. NTs are just violent for no reason. Didn't'ch'all know?

    By Blogger Neurodivergent K, at 6:21 PM  

  • Kassiane;
    You can communicate (unfortunately). My son and many like him can't. They need help to allow their brains to handle that task. Why do you want these children to suffer?
    Not mercury;
    I suppose you think the minister will pray the autism out of the kid. If parents contact me, they might find out how to help their kids and make your pals in the drug industry look bad. Why are you so afraid that GR will cure children?

    By Blogger John Best, at 6:42 PM  

  • He's nothing but a troll, and you'd make better use of your time by watching paint dry instead of debating with him.

    True but he represents the finest and brightest of the mercury militia, or at least he's the only one attempting to debate. All of the others have scampered off with their tails between their legs.

    By Blogger clone3g, at 8:03 PM  

  • ABFH,

    I agree with Camille. Very well put. I couldn't add one jot or tittle to what you just said.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:52 PM  

  • "Behavior analyst shouldn't be allowed near a child, ever. Neither should Mr Best. They are both perpetuating horrific violence."

    Agree that Best would be a very poor choice to work with kids, but as for Behaviour Analyst, that I think depends on what he is doing. I've got mixed feelings about him as I indicated in an earlier comment on the previous post.

    By Blogger Redaspie, at 5:41 AM  

  • I'll just shamelessly plug my blog while I'm here.


    Just blogged on autism rights for the first time in ages, specifically about the need for more activism and what kind of activism etc.

    By Blogger Redaspie, at 6:32 AM  

  • Redaspie;
    To me, most of you are kids. It's very difficult to teach you anything because you seem to be stimming upon your disability rather than focusing on broadening your horizons.
    You are like lousy golfers who make themselves feel good by using high handicaps to compete in tournaments with top notch players. (For non golfers, the handicap system in golf allows poor players to subtract strokes so that, in theory, whoever plays their best possible game can win.) It's not healthy to wallow in your misery by expecting the rest of the world to adapt to your shortcomings, especially when we now know the cause of your disability. Many of you could help yourselves by seeking treatment.
    Is one a troll who challenges you to wake up and discover the fact that you were poisoned as babies? You have all made the mistake of listening to the professionals who poisoned you and told you autism is a lifelong disability with no cure. That was true when you heard it as children but you are not keeping pace with progress.
    You have spent your lives struggling with your condition and, with new information that could change all of that for the better, are trapped with the obsolete notion that your only hope is to ask society to understand.
    You are defending the people who poisoned you when you should be out for their blood. You knock the "mercury militia" who are all on your side and would like to help you. Many of you complain of trouble with employment when you should be joining the "mercury militia" to sue the bastards who poisoned you and caused those problems for you. You are your own worst enemies and, while you may not want to hear it from me because I give you so much grief, I hope you wake up and learn to help yourselves with the truth the "mercury militia" has discovered that can only help you.

    By Blogger John Best, at 6:54 AM  

  • Hi redaspie,

    I blogged on this article, too:


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 AM  

  • Amen. 'nuff said.

    By Blogger Attila the Mom, at 10:05 AM  

  • Fore Sam,

    Your rant might have a tiny shred of validity if you could prove that autism was caused in any way by mercury. Until such time as you have reasonable evidence that is the case AND reasonable evidence that you can cure kids of autism through things like chelation, then you're doing nothing more than ranting like the lunatic you are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:04 AM  

  • Anonimouse;
    I've given you the proof many times. Why don't you buy Evidence of Harm so you can look it up for yourself since it doesn't seem to be sinking into your head?
    What disability do you think I have?

    By Blogger John Best, at 1:36 PM  

  • FS:What disability do you think I have?

    You lack the ability to:
    1) Empathize
    2) Transition
    3) Speak intelligently
    4) Form coherent thoughts
    5) Show Emotion through vocal inflection
    6) Break a cycle of perseveration*
    7) Interact with peers in a socially appropriate manner
    8) Over-ride impulsive thoughts or utterances.

    * per·sev·er·a·tion (pr-sv-rshn)
    1. Psychology
    a. Uncontrollable repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.
    b. The tendency to continue or repeat an act or activity after the cessation of the original stimulus.
    2. The act or an instance of persevering; perseverance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:19 PM  

  • Anon;
    None of that applies to me. Why don't you act like an adult and put your name on your idioyic innuendos?

    By Blogger John Best, at 4:03 PM  

  • Fore Sam---on the miniscule chance that you aren't a Persistent Troll (which I believe should have it's own special entry in the next edition of the DSMV), I'll make a comment.

    Not anonymously, and as a NT parent.

    For some reason, you don't seem to want to listen to what people who have autism have to say. They live. They blog. They're politically vocal.

    No matter how you try, you can't shout them down.

    They have so much knowledge to share to NT parents like me (and presumably you) that will help us help our children navigate the minefields of their futures.

    If you don't give a crap about that, why are you here? I mean really?

    I'm here to have my misconceptions about autism challenged by people who live it. I'm here to help my son be a better advocate for himself, and to learn how to be an advocate for him myself when he's unable to do so.

    Most especially I'm here to learn to know that what I might think is the "right" thing for him, and what he feels is the "right" thing for him are different and respect/accept that.

    Plus there's some brilliant and entertaining commentary, but that's just icing on the cake.

    If you truly have a son who has autism, why in the hell are you wasting so much time and effort worrying and arguing online about where "it" came from?

    The child YOU brought into this world is already HERE. It's a done deal. You can't turn the clock back.

    Are you so invested in proving his autism didn't come from you or wifey's NT gene pool that you have to desperately search out some/any cause?

    Trust me. It's fruitless. And crazy-making.

    If your son is not the cookie-cutter child you dreamed of having, spend some time grieving for that non-existent dream child. It's ok. Really, it is.

    But then, get the f**k over it. You're the parent.

    What in the world is going to be YOUR legacy out of all this?

    "I spent my son's life boo-hooing about the loss of "my dream" and searched the world over to prove it wasn't "my" fault"?


    "I spent my time and energy appreciating what a fabulously unique person my son is and helping him adapt to the world and helping the world adapt to him?"

    The clock is ticking, my friend.

    ABFH, sorry about hogging the soapbox....

    By Blogger Attila the Mom, at 2:08 AM  

  • No prob, Attila, and I agree with you that diagnostic criteria for persistent trolls would be very useful indeed.

    By Blogger abfh, at 12:34 PM  

  • Why do these NTs write unreadable rants? Why can't they use paragraph breaks like we do? If they really wanted to communicate with us, they would use better language skills.

    fore sam and Behavior Analyst should hire Aspies to edit their posts, if they are unable to write standard English.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:33 AM  

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