Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Autistic Parents: Not Such Rare Birds

Melody, the administrator of the AS Parenting website and forum, has announced that she is seeking new members and contributors. The site had been inactive for the past few months because of her family's move to Dallas. She says that she envisions the site as "all encompassing. Not only for parenting tips, but general life tips and for policy/politics."

I hope that those of my autistic readers who are parents will consider participating in this very worthwhile effort to provide an online community and positive resources for parents on the spectrum. At present there is a great dearth of such resources, not because autistic parents are uninterested in them or exist in numbers too small to benefit from them, but because the widespread stereotypes to that effect have discouraged their development.

We've all seen claims that autistic parents are as rare as unicorns, but it's actually quite common for a parent to be identified as autistic after his or her child has been so identified. The flourishing autistic community on the Internet has made autistic parents, through their presence on websites, much more visible; I'll note that the Autism Hub alone has at least ten autistic bloggers who are parents. As for the small but vociferous group of haters in the Maxine Aston/FAAAS orbit who contend that many children are growing up neglected by autistic parents, their unfounded stereotypes also can be effectively rebutted by the existence of positive parenting communities like AS Parenting.

It's pretty hard to stereotype autistic parents either as near-nonexistent or as cold and unfeeling when many of them are actively posting on parent community forums and seeking advice on their kids' playdates and homework, just like their non-autistic neighbors in suburbia.

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  • "I'll note that the Autism Hub alone has at least ten autistic bloggers who are parents."

    Huh? I count 4 that are self identified, 2 have identified as officially diagnosed and only 2 of the 6 are male (including 1 of the 2 without an "official diagnosis).

    Yes, yes, I know, self diagnosed are suppose to be the same but based on the criteria that the one self identified male autistic parent uses to diagnose (having no friends is sufficient according to him) leaves me with little confidence. I was, to my knowledge, the only male, officially diagnosed autistic male to ever be on the Hub, other than the newly minted father (still in the first trimester). Why is the male to female autistic ratio so out of whack on the Hub?

    Of course, I could be just full of sh*t as the Hub administrator told me.

    By Anonymous K, at 9:02 PM  

  • "I was, to my knowledge, the only male, officially diagnosed "

    Sorry, that should read "I was, to my knowledge, the only male parent, officially diagnosed"

    By Anonymous K, at 9:04 PM  

  • By my count, the autistic fathers on the Hub are Joseph, Aspie Dad, and Jeff Gitchel. I don't recall any of them saying that they had no friends. Did I overlook someone else?

    The autistic moms are Andrea, Aspie Mama, Sheila Schoonmaker, Mum is Thinking, Paula Durbin-Westby, Autism Diva, and me.

    I did not count people who contribute to group blogs.

    By Blogger abfh, at 9:47 PM  

  • Autism is genetic. Of course there are Autistic parents. I'm Autistic, my mother is Autistic, and so is my adult son. Now I'm eagerly anticipating Autistic grandchildren.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 PM  

  • All of these alleged parents claim to have Asperger's so you do not have any autistic parents on the Hub of Insanity.

    By Blogger John Best, at 10:02 PM  

  • Dear Mr. John "Foresam" Best,

    I have a thought, something you and I could do to raise awareness of autism. It's a sort of gambit -- call it the "Autism Awareness Challenge," if you will. Here's how it will work:

    1. You gather together all of your knowledge -- that which is both internally and externally consistent and demonstrably true according to the historically agreed-upon classical rules of logic -- everything you truly know about "pervasive developmental disorders." You then type it up and submit it to me.

    2. Once that's done, I will then write every last word of it on the head of a pin with a paint roller.

    SRSLY, after musing about this "gambit," I find I am utterly fascinated to learn which of us, you or I, will have the easier job.

    So. Whaddaya say, Sparky? Are you up to the challenge?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 PM  

  • DKM,
    The object of this exercise is merely to disrupt the propaganda that tries to claim Asperger's is the same as autism. Why don't you produce one adult with autism who is a parent and name them so I can interview them and confirm that one actualy exists.

    Remember that they must have autism, not Asperger's. Good luck.

    By Blogger John Best, at 12:49 AM  

  • My father was autistic. Didn't speak for a long time and then came out with complete sentences, spent most of his life working on computers and was pretty much socially aloof. He died when I was little. My mom's almost textbook Aspie but hasn't been diagnosed. They're both good parents.

    By Blogger Chaoticidealism, at 2:27 AM  

  • Forescam,

    You want me to send an adult/parent autistic to be "interviewed" by you? You mean, kind of like the people in the Holocaust museum were recently "interviewed" by James von Brunn? John, no-one with so much as a crumb of human decency would send even their worst enemy to be "interviewed" by the likes of you. But, of course, you know that -- that's why it seems such a "safe" ploy for you to pull. But to those of us who know your rhetoric, it's just another cheap evasion.

    So, instead of sending a living interviewee for you to abuse, I'll send you to two dead ones you can't harm: Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. Find their works and do a careful side-by-side comparison of their observations and hypotheses. That way you can come back and tell us all just which one of them is the original "liar," and why.

    You go do that, John, if you have the nads. Meanwhile, I'll go do a quick review of the literature on "Munchausen's by Proxy"...just for fun.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:54 AM  

  • For the sake of completion, I'm also gonna mention my dad, who's Autistic like me.
    And just in case that Maxine Aston cow lurks here: he has a heart of gold, and I love him dearly.

    By Blogger Gonzo, at 7:37 AM  

  • Most of the individuals on my forum AsPlanet.info are autistic parents and many autistics I know are parents, its not that uncommon. I feel we make brilliant parents as often more in tuned with our children's needs and as we are often home bugs tend to be there more for our children, if any thing we tend to over parent, wanting to get it so right as so often we have been so misunderstood ourselves growing up.

    By Anonymous Aspergers Parallel Planet, at 8:35 AM  

  • Gonzo,
    Does your father flap, scream for no reason, laugh hysterically for no reason, bite himself, bash his head through walls, speak, write, read, dress himself, toilet himself, work, jump up and down, make eye contact, spin around in circles all day, watch only cartoons on TV, run into traffic, smear feces, rock, eat with his fingers, throw food, have intestinal problems, eat bugs, dirt and leaves, have an IQ below 70, have no fear of dangeror respond to his name being called?
    Does the above description of autism apply to you?

    Will Gonzo do as a subject? Asperger and Kanner described two distinct conditions. That's why they have different codes in the DSM. My son with Asperger's was not severely impacted by mercury poisoning and it was easy to cure him. Now he's fine. I was advised that I could collect social security for him but I didn't apply for it because I would have felt like a thief. He was not disabled.
    My other son was severely impacted. His condition is markedly different. I think it's important to mainatin that distinction so we can be sure to cure all of those severely affected people who can't function like anything resembling a human being.

    By Blogger John Best, at 8:35 AM  

  • It is so sad that autistic parents have to hide who they are or face judgement (and possibly even losing custody of their kids.)

    By Anonymous sanabituranima, at 8:54 AM  

  • ABFH,

    Yes, your count is correct, mine was wrong. 7 female and 3 male parents. I didn't count Autism Diva because she hasn't had a new blog post in 2 years, which I considered inactive. It would be nice to have her back. I sure miss her humor.

    Thanks for the correction.

    By Anonymous K, at 11:44 AM  

  • I miss Autism Diva's excellent posts too, and I hope she will get back into blogging someday.

    By Blogger abfh, at 12:39 PM  

  • Yes, yes, I know, self diagnosed are suppose to be the same but based on the criteria that the one self identified male autistic parent uses to diagnose (having no friends is sufficient according to him) leaves me with little confidence.

    Complete bullshit, Kent. You're nothing but an asshole - I hereby diagnose you so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 PM  

  • Joseph,
    Ad hominem arguments are bad.

    By Blogger John Best, at 5:26 PM  

  • "Yes, yes, I know, self diagnosed are suppose to be the same but based on the criteria that the one self identified male autistic parent uses to diagnose (having no friends is sufficient according to him) leaves me with little confidence."

    "Complete bullshit, Kent. You're nothing but an asshole - I hereby diagnose you so."

    Joseph, you shouldn't have written it (having no friends is sufficient for an AS diagnosis) if you didn't mean it. You only wrote it because you were angry with me and trying to belittle the hardships I experienced growing up and trying to belittle the fact that autistic people need accommodations. My point is/was is that if you don't/didn't need accommodations, your not autistic and your symptoms don't rise to a clinically significant level to warrant the diagnosis. You claimed you didn't need any and I claimed that if you didn't, you can't have AS. If you had gone through a proper diagnosis as an adult, you would know how extensive childhood records and experiences are to that diagnosis. I have 3 pages of single page type delving into my childhood in the clinical report and it was critical to my diagnosis.

    Joseph, you stay classy.

    By Anonymous K, at 6:33 PM  

  • "3 pages of single page " should read "3 pages of single space")

    By Anonymous K, at 6:51 PM  

  • K,
    Don't autism hub bloggers diagnose each other to try to give themselves credibility?

    By Blogger John Best, at 7:08 PM  

  • Foresam, ICD-10 clearly indicates that Asperger's Syndrome and classic/Kanner's autism are closely related. It also has a clear and reasonably precise definition of the two, which I think you could do with learning (the description you have given doesn't cohere with itself, let alone any widely-accepted description).

    Although Kanner and Asperger described different degrees of symptomology, the symptoms themselves were the same, as has been demonstrated by many researchers, starting with Lorna Wing. To say Asperger's syndrome cannot be the same as (Kanner's) autism simply because of degree is like saying a pear tree producing a vast crop of pears is a different species from a pear tree that only produces a few pears or some blossom each year. They are both the same species of tree and in some cases can be the same tree at different points in life. But calling the blossoming tree "cured" or "not a pear tree" because it's started producing the vast quantity of pears deemed socially acceptable for pear trees doesn't make it an orange tree.

    I also know from my clinical notes that I fit more of the classic autism symptoms than Asperger's ones at the time of diagnosis and that I carry the latter one because the diagnosers reckoned having me in the local special school would cause more problems than it solved (it wasn't equipped to handle children who wouldn't engage in the physical/social activities that formed its modus operandi). At the time, it was suspected I could read, though I later discovered that it was only apparent to them when I started school - some time after I was diagnosed - a) that I could read and b) it was well beyond the expected class level.

    To the professional diagnosis team, classic autism would have been a perfectly valid diagnosis in another environment because it was a closer fit than the one I received. Even though my diagnosis preceded the formal adoption of the autism spectrum, the diagnosis team could see that the two conditions formed part of the same category. There was also no evidence I had ever had any form of poisoning, which shows that autism cannot be entirely down to that (if at all - personally I suspect that the mercury poisoning you talk about is a co-morbid condition at best).

    The Asperger's syndrome = (part of) autism hypothesis isn't propaganda - it's a sensible theory based upon empiric experience, medical research and indeed the way nature works (that most natural things appear in a sliding scale and that it is human language/perception that forces arbitrary divisions between such sliding scale states).

    The latter point is also why it makes sense that there would be a lot of autistic parents (and also a lot of parents that have autistic traits while remaining largely neurotypical). If traits are coded into genetics (whether they are fixed at that point or activated to varied extents by epigenetic factors), then it would make sense that small movements in each trait was the norm rather than the exception (evolutionary theory is like that). It would make more sense for an autistic individual to have parents who have at least some, if not all traits, that approximate the level of the same traits the child has than the random movements suggested by the "on/off" theory implied by Foresam.

    By Anonymous Alianora La Canta, at 7:16 PM  

  • Also, a lot of people older than me self-diagnose or peer-diagnose because it was only at the time when I was of an age to be diagnosed that pediatric specialists were routinely taught how to recognise any form of autism that wasn't an absolutely stereotypical Kanner case. That isn't a special feature of Autism Hub; that's a feature of scientific ignorance at the time when such diagnoses would normally have been handed out.

    Note that even now, doctors are reluctant to diagnose any form of developmental disability in adulthood. It sometimes happens, but mostly doctors tell such people they need a raft of evidence from a time those people didn't expect that evidence to be interesting to anyone.

    By Anonymous Alianora La Canta, at 7:21 PM  

  • Joseph, you shouldn't have written it (having no friends is sufficient for an AS diagnosis) if you didn't mean it.

    @Kent: It's absurd for you to think I stated that's basically the diagnostic criteria. If you look at what I said, in context, I was talking about what might be required to meet 'clinical significance' after you've met all other criteria.

    Of course I know there's more than a socialization impairment in autism. I've made clear that the science of autism is an area of interest for me. Plus I have an autistic son. How could I not know that? It's very insulting for you to insinuate that I do not.

    I specifically stated I was talking about criteria III of the DSM-IV: "The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning."

    One way to meet this is if autism is causing trouble in academics or employment. But 'social' is also mentioned there. So I argued that you can be someone who does well at work and academically, and still meet clinical significance.

    Additionally, you have exactly zero right to be undiagnosing people - whom you've never met - over the internet.

    You don't know anything about me. You don't know how well I speak. You don't know how I handle myself in a group conversation or a social gathering. You have no idea how my behavior is at home.

    You simply make assumptions based on what I write, and based on the fact that I said I did OK in school. FYI, it's entirely 'normal' for autistics who go to college to do well. The autistics from Szatmari et al. (1989) graduated at a greater rate than the general population. There's no shame in that. It's not my fault that you struggled, and I frankly don't give a damn. What I sense from you is basically envy and resentment.

    BTW, your presumption that I'm entirely self-diagnosed is mistaken. I've made this clear previously. While I don't have "official papers," I did talk to the psychiatrist who diagnosed my son about my history, about my dad (who was mute to the age of 4), and a bunch of other things, and she agreed that I'm likely on the spectrum.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:51 PM  

  • Part 1

    Don't autism hub bloggers diagnose each other to try to give themselves credibility?"

    No, I don't think they do. However, my experience with being an "insider Hub member" left me with disappointment because I found nothing that resembled the autism I'm familiar with either personally, with my child, or in my support group. I find too much time, again, in my opinion, is written about things that really have nothing to do with promoting a progressive agenda for autistic people. I, despite being diagnosed with AS, feel much more aligned with the needs of autistic disorder folks and that is largely due to being a parent to one.

    But, I'm not sure why you would care about my opinion anyway, considering you created several posts 2 years ago on your blog outlining how I was a "faggot" neuroinsane something or the other. I note its no longer on your blog thus I guess you had 2nd thoughts and for that you should be commended.

    My idea of neurodiversity is different than many. It doesn't follow the Hub administrator's idea nor many of the Hub's members and it certainly doesn't fit neurodiversity's critics idea of what neurodiversity is either. But, none of this matters anyway. "I am what I is and is what I am"

    Though I'm not completely familiar with Thomas McKean's full beliefs, I find myself more in line with what I know of his beliefs.

    Autistic people are disabled, need accommodations and there is nothing mysterious about how I am nor how my son is. I don't speak in my "own language" nor does my son. I find little comfort in any camp on either side and I find too much dogma surrounds both camps.

    I think some Hub bloggers aren't committed to the same goals I am and I think many in the cure camp don't care enough to step outside that mindset to support services, accommodations and opportunity that some Hub members promote. I'm basically saying "POX" on both houses.

    There are Hub bloggers that are racist, homophobic, aspie supremists and reactionary to the needs of autistic folks. My communication style did not fit with the Hub. That's not a knock on the Hub, I just didn't feel as comfortable here as I do in other venues like my support group, which by the way, really opened my eyes to what most people with AS deal with everyday. On some days, I'm a bit embarrassed that my issues in no way rise to the level of some of my new friends in the support group. Though I love fellow autistic women, I think that there simply isn't enough male autistic voices on the Hub in proportion to the actual autistic population that I'm familiar with both in my adult support group and my son's autistic classroom.

    I'm extremely high functioning compared to those in my support group (about 2 dozen), yet, even my high functioning status doesn't mean I don't have extreme difficulties functioning in certain environments, even more so when I was younger and couldn't find ways to self accommodate. Anyone that claims as a young person they had no need for some sort of help or accommodations simply doesn't understand the existence that autistics I know live everyday. Most of those (people with AS) I know live very unstable lives, are at times homeless, addicted to drugs as a result of needing to self medicate, being drugged by parents or psychologists, unemployed or underemployed, suffer from extreme anxiety and depression.

    By Anonymous K, at 8:39 PM  

  • Part 2

    I support the idea of what I believe is true neurodiversity and that is something I don't find in every Hub blogger, though I would say some do fit my definition but oddly enough, most are parents like me and not the autistic members. There is too much representation of folks with mild and female AS on the Hub. I don't think female AS represents the same way that male AS does, as would be expected in any population including males and females. The male/female autistic ratio on the HUB is simply out of whack and in my opinion, which I suspect is only held by me, unrepresentative of what most autistic people, on a 4 or 5 to 1 ratio, is. The Hub administrator is not willing to entertain an autistic being the administrator nor does he actively seek out male autistic voices. At least he wasn't when I was a member. He is raising children that don't have autistic disorder, like I am. Therefore, I don't think he can truly understand the issues surrounding kids like mine. However, this is all my opinion. What do I know. I don't know him, I've never met him etc. I do know that he is very intolerant of my views and doesn't handle my "meltdowns" very well. I'd love for him to spend a week in the life of my child or visit an AS support group which would really open his eyes to how most male autistics communicate.

    But, John, your side doesn't get off "scott" free either. Your side has, in it's zeal to deal with their grief and their own sense of injustice, demeaned people that are trying to do good things. You lump everyone into a box and try to fit every thought and argument into your dogma. No one is an individual to you, but a representative of a collective idea that you despise. They are either with you or against you. I offered support to you, when you needed it on your blog, despite the hateful things you said about me because I recognize you first as a human being, not as the ugly persona you insist on portraying.

    By Anonymous K, at 8:40 PM  

  • Part 3

    You are on the spectrum, I have no doubt in my mind. Therefore, I understand your need to spout your views in sometimes crude and offensive ways. I understand why you, at times, state that you believe in things that are black and white. It is a compulsion, a gut reaction. It comes out ugly and hateful but I don't believe its truly who you are. I think you have regrets, you don't like yourself sometimes for the things you write (i.e. why you erased what you wrote about me). I recognize your speech, because it is at times my own speech. I recognize Jonathan Mitchell's "speech" because it is at times like mine, not the content but the style and the emotions expressed.

    You are on the spectrum, I have no doubt. Your writing style is much more similar to what I experience in my support group. There is no subtlety in your views or writings. They are concrete, direct and to the point, many might claim your views are those of an asshole, much the same way my views are considered at times to be that of an asshole. The way you write is very much full of emotion, over emotion for most folks. That is one aspect I find common with AS in my support group. You are not careful with your language like so many others who are claiming to actually be autistic (and that includes those who claim to be autistic on your side as well who also don't need any accommodations nor have communication issues that would immediately identify them as outside the "norm" or rise to clinically significant levels). Your not careful because you don't always take into account how your words might not really match the nuance in your mind. In many ways you and I are very much alike, with the exception that I believe in the opposite of what you write in most circumstances, though you do occasionally write things I agree with, though I think it is an accident on your part.

    Part of the disorder of AS includes communication difficulties. You, like me, have had a number of run ins with groups. You, like me, don't often fit in with any group and eventually we're asked to leave the group. We also both have sons with autistic disorder and we can both become angry when we see that their needs are being ignored. However, I believe the way forward, the quicker way to effectuate change is much different than yours. Nevertheless, the methods we utilize to further our views are similar.

    Yes, autistic disorder is much more challenging than AS, there is no doubt from my experience. But, folks with true AS have as many but perhaps in some ways, different challenges. Neither group has fared well in our society. We need to find common ground, and there is a lot of it believe it or not, to move the discussion beyond cure vs. anti-cure. We all want to do what is best for autistics.

    I apologize for any grammatical errors.

    By Anonymous K, at 8:40 PM  

  • Joseph,

    I know what you wrote, in the context of what you were writing and the assumptions you made about my son (without knowing him and by your standard in which to measure severity) and my life struggles and how I was somehow atypical. That's not been my experience ( that I'm atypical) and I'll leave this the way I left it the last time. Visit an adult AS support group in your local area for an edifying experience and evidence of the typical challenges faced by folks with AS.

    By Anonymous K, at 8:55 PM  

  • John, just because your children are so extremely different doesn't mean they typically represent the Autism spectrum.
    I don't know why I have to state the obvious, but you can't compare children with adults.

    And another thing:
    When Autistics scream, they don't do it for no reason.
    You just don't understand the reason.

    By Blogger Gonzo, at 9:04 PM  

  • "Note that even now, doctors are reluctant to diagnose any form of developmental disability in adulthood. It sometimes happens, but mostly doctors tell such people they need a raft of evidence from a time those people didn't expect that evidence to be interesting to anyone."

    Yes, I would agree with this because that has been my experience. Nearly everyone in my family was interviewed in length, my school records were examined and fortunately, psychiatry reports were still available from the time I was 7-10 years old. The psychiatrist had died, but his practice had been sold and my records were included in the sale. It was quite a lengthy process, for the psychiatrist (a NC TEEACH center psychiatrist) to de-tangle who I am today and who I was then.

    "absolutely stereotypical Kanner case" Having read Kanner's paper, I don't think there was any stereotypical Kanner case. Some presented as having autistic disorder and some presented as having AS. Both tended to present similarly at a young age.

    By Anonymous K, at 9:07 PM  

  • Visit an adult AS support group in your local area for an edifying experience and evidence of the typical challenges faced by folks with AS.

    @Kent: But you see, you keep making assumptions that have absolutely no foundation. I've noticed you do this on a regular basis.

    When you last suggested this, you posted a video of a support group. For some reason, you seem to be under the impression that the people in those groups are more obviously autistic than I. How can you know this, if you've never met me in person?

    In reality, the people in those videos seem rather comfortable speaking about their personal issues in front of other people. They even socialize among themselves. They can speak fine. I would be nowhere near comfortable doing that, to the point that I would not want to go to any such support group. They look too much like social gatherings.

    Additionally, you assume that there is such a thing as an Autism/Asperger's support group where I live. I'm not going to go into details, but there isn't and there just couldn't be.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 PM  

  • @Kent "Additionally, you have exactly zero right to be undiagnosing people - whom you've never met - over the internet."

    Joseph, do you mean undiagnosing over the internet like following example?:

    @Kent: First of all, I'm surprised you describe your son as having "severe" autism. I've seen videos of your son, and I recall, for example, Erik Nanstiel (I think it was) saying that your son doesn't even appear classically autistic.

    I have just as much right as you do,as the example above illustrates, to speak to my experiences.

    I feel no need to defend my diagnosis nor my son's. Why would I care? I have the luxury of knowing the truth.

    By Anonymous K, at 9:50 PM  

  • Gonzo and Aliahora,
    My son used to be exactly like the autistic adults I worked with in an asylum. Those adults had never been able to learn anything except that a few could dress themselves and use a toilet.

    Yes Gonzo, I know there's a reason for the screaming but, without speech, I'll never know what it was.

    By Blogger John Best, at 10:13 PM  

  • Joseph, do you mean undiagnosing over the internet like following example?

    @Kent: I never undiagnosed your son. You keep misrepresenting and making stuff up.

    I simply noted that I had seen video of your son, and compared to other autistic children I know, including my own son, he did not seem as "severe." I further noted what Erik Nanstiel had said. I fail to see why these observations are invalid.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 PM  

  • K,
    I'm not certain who you are and I don't recall the comments you mentioned but I probably wrote them. I see the Autism Hub as a collection of propaganda wizards, each promoting slight variations on the theme.

    I admitted I had a form of AS with my obsessive golfing fixation. It was sometimes a problem when I went golfing instead of going to the race track. This would lead to criminal behavior when I couldn't afford my greens fees and would sneak onto the golf course without paying.

    I think you misread me. I choose my words very carefully. They are designed to counter propaganda, not to promote any other position. It so happens that the camp you believe I am a part of is also promoting a different brand of propaganda that has the same effect. I believe the leaders on both sides are working in unison. That's why I'm thrown out of so many groups. I don't agree with either side. It took me a while to see the propaganda from the pro cure side so I have not been bashing them as wildly as I have been bashing the anti-cure people, or for as long.

    I agree that people with actual AS have real problems. My other son had it before I cured him. I empathize with the sane people like Jonathan who would like his problems solved. I also empathize with people like Timelord who's so brainwashed and lacking in cognitive ability to ever see that he needs some help. How do help someone like Timelord unless you lock him up and force a cure on him? You certainly can't agree with him and, unless you're his caretaker, you can't help him.

    Now we see that Joseph doesn't even have a diagnosis. He's just a propagandist and he makes anyone who actually wants to assist anyone on the spectrum look like a jackass by association.

    By Blogger John Best, at 10:32 PM  

  • John,

    My name is Kent Adams.

    By Anonymous K, at 6:46 AM  

  • Here is the school psychologist's report on my son. Just for you Joseph.


    You stay classy, ya' hear?

    By Anonymous K, at 11:08 AM  

  • Kent,
    Here's a better answer for you. I'm not on any spectrum. But, I'm just as much on it as are a lot of phonies associated with the Autism Hub. Being an ex military officer, I learned to write and speak publicly by being concise and direct, no BS.

    My friends are hockey players, golfers, racetrack afficianados, poker players, baseball fans and two-fisted Irish drinkers. With them, I fit in just fine. If I hadn't had my kid poisoned, I never would have learned anything about autism and never would have given it a second thought.

    Some of the people I hung around with at the racetrack may have had the right mix of symptoms to have been diagnosed with Asperger's. I knew people who had gone to MIT and Harvard and between us, we could analyze races from different perspectives and made quite a bit of money. It's more of an intellectual pride thing than it is about money. Those guys never would consider seeking a daignosis because they were comfortable with who they were. They weren't your average loudmouth, drunken horseplayers but they also weren't crybabies who wanted the world to take care of them. We're all different but we aren't all nearly as screwed up these kids of ours who had their brains damaged by mercury.

    You can find all sorts of people with high IQ's who could fit into an AS dx. You can also determine that they're simply smarter than most people and don't feel like engaging in the same mindless banter. That doesn't make any of them AS.

    By Blogger John Best, at 6:53 PM  

  • Foresam, speech is only one of several ways of communicating. Some forms of communication aren't even formal systems, yet to someone who takes the time and has the talent to learn whichever system(s) any given individual is using will be able to communicate with them just as surely as you and I are communicating through recognised grammatical English text.

    Not knowing how to communicate with someone is fine - nobody knows how to communicate with everyone and there are some people who perhaps will only ever be understood by a few. Sticking an arbitrary diagnostic division on someone because of said lack of knowledge doesn't make sense.

    This is probably a large part of the reason why you and I disagree on the concept of "curing" autism. If you're OK with the concept of people with Asperger's Syndrome around, then the reason I can't agree with you on the issue of cure is because the substance of your "cure" is finding/providing a method (or methods) of communication comprehensible to both neurotypical and autistic people (so that the autistic people can learn certain skills, or at least learn how to hide the lack of those skills from people who don't understand). A good goal with a challenging implementation ahead, but not what I or a lot of people sympathising with the pro-neurodiversity argument would consider "cure".

    Someone who has gone through that process would no longer fit your apparent definition of autism - but their thought patterns would still go through the neural architecture associated with autism, still think in a pattern associated with autism (as modified by the different experiential data received from having a different range of options opened to that individual) and still find a considerable number of things difficult, particularly when going to an environment with a different (read less accepting) social context. As a result, such an individual is still autistic from a neurological perspective (and therefore medically) even if nobody believes they fit the behavioural definition.

    Since in the real world some people will always notice the differences being on the autistic spectrum results in, pragmatically what you propose will also mean it will remain a disability, albeit a much less visible one.

    By Anonymous Alianora La Canta, at 4:30 PM  

  • For the benefit of Best - yet again;

    Autism and Aspergers are on the Autistic Spectrum and ARE THE SAME THING AT THE ROOT.

    You can throw around the differences all you want. The reality is us Aspies know what is going on because we are within the Spectrum range that is tolerable. Those at the other end (like your son) can move up to our end if given the right treatment. That's what you fell over and didn't realise it (and mistaken it for a cure). And of course the variety of treatments is almost endless because the cause of regression can come from a plethora of different sources.

    To put it simply, Best - pay attention to the DSM-IV. Not your own experience exclusively. That's your whole problem. It's all about YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU.

    And you never worked in an asylum. You've been asked for evidence of this and you've never delivered, so I for one don't believe you and I'll bet I'm not the only one.

    PS - Thank you for the confession to your Aspergers incidentally. How about you have the courage to get yourself properly checked for it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:53 PM  

  • "Those at the other end (like your son) can move up to our end if given the right treatment."

    What makes you think they want to? What is the right "treatment" your describing?

    By Anonymous K, at 1:31 PM  

  • Timenut,
    Do you want my paystubs for proof?

    True, autism and AS have the same root, mercury poisoning. That can't help you though, since your genetic stupidity can't be cured. AS is easy to cure since all it is is minor mercury poisoning, same as ADD.

    I took that stupid online test for AS twice and scored around 7 or 8. It's an inane test and doesn't prove anything.

    By Blogger John Best, at 4:35 PM  

  • Kent, there is no one "right treatment" for a start. And I did say "can" - not "must". It's all about reducing sensory overload so that general coping ability is better and the rest is easier to adjust to as a result. Hope that helps.

    As for you, Best - why would anyone be interested in payslips that are bogus? And mercury poisoning has nothing to do with the Autistic Spectrum. The more you say that - the more stupid you look. Especially when you talk about cure, which is impossible.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:18 AM  

  • Timenut,
    Your problem could be genetic. Were your parents also dumb as rocks?

    By Blogger John Best, at 12:24 PM  

  • Autistic people are disabled, need accommodations and there is nothing mysterious about how I am nor how my son is. I don't speak in my "own language" nor does my son. I find little comfort in any camp on either side and I find too much dogma surrounds both camps.

    Cookie for you K. You said what I was thinking.

    My only issue with self-DX is the fact those that do, base it on personal bias and not objectivly. Anyone can look up the DSM-IV and claim this and this critera and then hoist the DX upon themselves in hopes to feel included into a social group. That is my personal experiance, so don't rip my overies out.

    I have two friends that are Self-DX one is reserching in hopes to get a offi. DX and the other is over fifty and her insurance won't cover it. My dad and I both agree he also has "Aspie-like" behaviors. And since many of our DXs in life overlap we assume that this one does as well.

    So in my book indivuals over fifty or can't afford it or those working for a Offi. DX are the ones I give a lot of grace, everyone else I just go "Uh huh, ok..." I have personal rule on the internet and that is you take "everyone's" Dignosis with a grain of salt. The internet is full of bullshit, and you can't believe everyone. Even if they say "IM TOTES OFFIC GUISE" This goes for any DX, Cancer, AIDS, Whatever.

    Hey Foresam, should't you be out lyching some minority?

    Anyway thats just my 2 drachmas feel free to bitch me out. It's been a long day talking to Ohio Legislators with my ASAN chapter...and I am socially drained.

    Oh Happy Autism Pride Day ABFH <3

    NightStorm (AKA Autie-Wolf)

    By Blogger Bard, at 2:10 PM  

  • I see the Autism Hub as a collection of propaganda wizards,


    Oh wait....

    By Blogger Bard, at 2:34 PM  

  • Were your parents also dumb as rocks?

    No - that's your parents.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 AM  

  • MY definition of "Neurodiversity" is: The acceptance of the fact that people can be different neurologically, but all have the same basic human rights, because they're people.

    By Blogger Clay, at 4:24 AM  

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