Friday, June 18, 2021

Comments by MGO

Showing 6 of 6 comments.

  • I apologize for just now seeing your response as I have been ill.

    I agree with you that no one has the right to police your body and brain, and I’m sorry you have had that experience. (That’s a genuine “I’m sorry” and not intended to be a patronizing nor sarcastice one.) However, I still fail to see how you felt it was acceptable to attribute the censorship and attacks you have endured from selected autistics in online forums to a sizeable, heterogeneous community.

    There are Autistic forums and groups that I avoid because I find some of the content/members/perspectives not to be to my liking. But I can’t fairly generalize the entire group, or the majority of a group, because of those unpleasant experiences. Neither can nor should you. Those groups are not representative of everyone and they shouldn’t be treated as such.

    I am an Autistic parent of Autistic and non-Autistic children. I’m a POC. I’m a first-generation American. There are a number of factors about me personally that differ from an individual who might be more readily perceived as the “face” of Autistic advocacy. So I do relate to possessing views that others in a particular group might not share.

    Not being aware of the guidelines and philosophy of some of the groups you’ve been banned from, I cannot really provide much helpful context to how you were personally treated. Perhaps it was indeed an excessive and unethical way to deal with an individual who had views that dissented from the majority. I don’t have enough information to make that determination.

    But I do know that there ARE people who I have personally seen isolated not for something as minimal as a different opinion, but for legitimate reasons such as harassment, stalking, threats, slander, and abusive behavior. I don’t consider it tyrannical for a group of marginalized individuals to take steps to protect themselves. (I’m not insinuating at all that your behavior fell into one of these unacceptable categories of behavior; just sharing the standard reasons why an individual would typically be banned.)

    This was coming together more coherently in my head than it seems to be in this comment. Perhaps my current state of sleep deprivation is a factor…I’ll end now before my thought devolve further. Thanks for replying.

  • Typo. Should state: “Note: ASAN leadership has had at least one Autistic individual who would be considered “severely disabled” per the author’s definition; this individual is nonspeaking and has full-time staff support as well as a number of health ailments including seizures.”

    The word “leadership” was missing above. My apologies.

  • Please review the post author’s closing words in comparison to quotes from Autistic proponents of neurodiversity.

    The author’s words have asterisks in front of them to help distinguish them from the other quotes contained below.

    *I propose that autistic people move beyond tyrannical groupthink.

    (My commentary) Some of the terms used to describe tyranny, from which tyrannical is derived, include: “cruel, oppressive, harsh, unjust, arbitrary.”

    (My commentary) With regard to groupthink, a formal definition is that of “a group that makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of ‘mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment.’ Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups.”

    (My commentary) Neither of these are “humanistic and supportive” ways to describe others.

    *We should balance promotion of our talents and skills with honest acknowledgements of our environmentally induced challenges.

    “There are real challenges associated with autism and other neurological differences. The social model draws a distinction between the underlying condition, which exists regardless of cultural attitudes, and the disability, which consists of everything that goes into society’s representation of the condition. In advocating recognition of the civil rights and dignity of Autistics and others with disabilities, we are not overlooking the existence of such challenges. Rather, we are seeking to create a world in which all people can benefit from whatever supports, services, therapies, educational tools, and assistive technologies may be necessary to empower them to participate fully in society, with respect and self-determination as the guiding principles.” (This and the rest of the quotes listed under that of the author throughout this passage are all taken directly from ASAN policy statement. NOT intended to be an endorsement of ASAN in any way; the points made are fairly universal among Autistic proponents of neurodiversity, including those who dislike ASAN.

    Note: ASAN has had at least one Autistic individual who would be considered “severely disabled” per the author’s definition; this individual is nonspeaking and has full-time staff support as well as a number of health ailments including seizures. And is one of many people I personally know with a similar “presentation” who believe in the concept of neurodiversity and in their inherent worth as human beings with both strengths and challenges.)

    *We should make room for more perspectives.

    “When the message of autism awareness becomes one of stigma, dehumanization, and public hysteria rather than one of civil rights, inclusion, and support, we face a grave threat to our efforts to be recognized as full and equal citizens in our communities.”

    *We should support more research into the environmental risk factors for autism so that the most incapacitating presentations can be prevented.

    “More research is needed in areas such as communication, service delivery, education, and community supports that will have practical applications for improving the quality of life of Autistic people and our families. Autism research grants in recent years have gone mainly toward genetic and other causation-oriented studies with potential eugenic consequences, while studies focusing on educational practices, assistive technology, best practices in providing services and supports, and effective supports for community inclusion have received far less funding. These skewed priorities are unacceptable.”

    *We should also support more research into modalities that can heal the most severely disabled among us, or any among us who choose healing.

    “No neurological type is superior or inferior to any other. We do not discriminate against or exclude any Autistic person because of their diagnostic category, support needs, or disabilities. We oppose the practice of separating Autistics into high- and low-functioning groups, which incorrectly suggests that people function at the same level across all areas. Each of us has a unique set of skills and challenges; a person who requires assistance in one area does not necessarily lack ability in another. Functioning labels significantly downplay the uniqueness of each individual, leading to artificial and inaccurate classifications that can cause Autistic people to be denied either services or opportunities. The Autistic Community includes all people on the spectrum regardless of their diagnostic category or their support needs.”

    *We should move towards unity with the rest of the human race rather than division, by emphasizing our humanity over our autism.

    “Like any other minority group, we have the right to respectful and equal treatment in all aspects of society. Although offensive depictions of autism and disability are not the only barrier that must be confronted in the struggle for inclusion, quality of life, and opportunity for all people with disabilities, the issue is a significant one because cultural perceptions shape the reality of our lives. By challenging harmful and inaccurate representations of autism and disability, we can advance a broader and more effective agenda for our community as we seek to bring about a world in which all people with disabilities are fully included and accepted in school, at work, and in society at large.”

    That’s the end of that paragraph. Before we go to the final paragraph, let’s revisit what the author wrote in the paragraph immediately preceding this one:

    *But we have to recognize that not all environmentally modified brains turn out well. Some of us can’t perform the fundamental activities of daily living independently. Some of us have are caught in a loop of sickness and self-harm and engage in biting or other types of violence against other people.

    Let’s contrast that with the policy statement, which declares:

    “The United States Supreme Court has declared that every American with a disability has the right to live in the most integrated setting. This requires that sufficient funds must be made available for services and supports to enable community participation.

    Many therapies and products for Autistic children and adults are helpful and should be made more widely available, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and augmentative and assistive communication technology (including supported typing, facilitated communication and other methodologies that support communications access).”

    Here is the author’s final paragraph:

    *We are beautiful, we are complex, we are worthy of love, and we are entitled to integration into our communities and workplaces. We must move forward with a commitment to truth and a dedication to not only our own well-being, but also to the well-being of those with whom we interact. In embracing truth, we embrace a commitment to growth, maturity, and harmony.

    And the policy statement reads:

    “Every person is worthy of inclusion and respect, whatever their support needs may be. We view the Autistic community as one community, encourage self-advocacy among all people on the spectrum, and also work with parents and other allies who share our goals in the interest of ensuring for everyone the rights of communication and self-determination.

    We advocate for greater support and understanding for adults and children on the autism spectrum. Within the broader context of the disability rights movement, we seek to bring about more accommodation and acceptance of neurological diversity in our society. We believe that self-advocacy is essential to this process and that there must be meaningful involvement of Autistic individuals in making policy at all levels: Nothing About Us Without Us.”