Hodge Podge #1

Three things have happened in the Autism world. Parenthoodstarted airing on NBC last week. Last night was the second episode. The episodes are also available to watch online if you’re like me and don’t want to admit you’ve watched it. One of the three families has a son that was diagnosed with Asperger’s in the first episode. A lot of parents of Asperger’s kids said they really identified with the parents. What became apparent was that Asperger’s children are still seen as not having acceptable ‘behaviors’ to stay in their placement. The boy was being kicked out of a private school in the same episode. Just another place where Asperger’s is not accepted and accommodated.

Next up is the character known as Michael E Robinson, Jr. (link to original article) He is an acquaintance and all of his ‘facts’ are what he professes to be true. As you take a look at the article, the fact checking shows that most if not all his facts to be false. He has great zeal and passion about what he’s doing. The problem is, he has been alleged to have scammed money from parents, taking others work as his own, and tends to over-embellish his abilities. His numerous claims identifying him as an ally to the Neurodiversity community are false.

It does leave the question, why would he do such things?

Lastly, Autism Speaks has nominated John Elder Robison to their Scientific Advisory Board. J.E. Robison is most famous for writing the memoir Look Me In The Eye: My Life with Asperger’s. On the surface, this looks promising. Autism Speaks is finally accepting a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder into their community.

But what looks good on the surface is not so widely accepted by the Neurodiversity community at large. Mr. Robison states in his acceptance:

Research into causes of autism is important, but I want to see more research aimed at remediation of specific components of autistic disability.

While he sees remediation as a goal, the troubling part is that he wants to still research in causation. The subject has been rehashed again and again. The only true reason to research causation is to find a cure. A cure many do not want for themselves.

To go on, this is just one appointment. The Scientific Advisory Committee has 30 members. He can make an impact in the committee. Perhaps another 5% of research grants will go to Quality of Life research. This does not help their Awareness campaigns that show Autistics to be trapped and hopeless. They do not preach Acceptance. If they did, more than just one Autistic person would have been nominated. They continue to take desperately needed donations out of the communities. What little they do for the Adult Autistic community is hold online “townhalls” that cost $100s to get into which circumvents most Autistic Adults attendance!

This is very displeasing to many. To try to work from within is a noble cause, Mr. John Elder Robison, but the naivety that just one man can change the whole of a community so rooted in fear, anger, deceit and hate could be damaging for us all.

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