Truthdig Digs Itself a Very Deep Hole.

I have never thought that such a “progressive” website like Truthdig would lower itself. I have never thought that Truthdig would post such an ableist article like what they have posted about Autism Spectrum Disorder (AKA Autism). The article makes all sorts of claims and also misses a lot of important information about Autism and its symptoms. Let’s take a look at it.

The article starts of by claiming that a minority of children that are diagnosed with Autism only carry the diagnosis “temporarily.” Didn’t know that Autism was similar to the common cold. I must have missed the memo on that one. Anyway the author states that

A minority of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)—conditions that are generally considered lifelong—may carry the diagnosis only temporarily, researchers say.

MedPage Today reports:

“Among 34 children who were no longer classified as having an ASD by ratings scales and clinical assessment, most had similar scores on socialization, communication, and language as their typically-developing peers, Deborah Fein, PhD, of the University of Connecticut, and colleagues reported in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.”

Call me biased but I can’t take an author seriously if his sentence ends with the word “psychiatry.” Sorry These are the same people who take their teachings from a guy who sawed off his patients limbs in order to “cure their madness” and is considered the “godfather of psychiatry.” I am not joking. This article also never makes the distinction between high-functioning and low-functioning autistic people when the article says “may carry the diagnosis temporarily.” The article might possibly be talking about high-functioning autistic/Asperger’s syndrome. But in the eyes of psychiatrists all autistic people are the same! The author continues by stating the obvious and also missing the point that therapy often does help autistic children when trying to control some of their more harmful behaviors, like biting or bashing your head into the wall.

“The results clearly demonstrate the existence of a group of individuals with an early history of ASD, who no longer meet criteria for any ASD, and whose communication and socialization skills … are on par with that of typically-developing individuals,” researchers wrote.

“How often this happens—and whether it truly does—is still controversial. Some studies have put that figure between 3% and 25%,” the site reported.

Researchers conducted tests in language, face recognition, socialization, communication and other areas in youth ages 8 to 21 who appeared to be free of symptoms.

JUST BECAUSE THEY MIGHT NOT BE DISPLAYING SOME OF THE STEREOTYPICAL SYMPTOMS THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY ARE CURED OF IT! Like I have previously mentioned, therapy does help with some of the symptoms of Autism. It doesn’t cure the person of it nor is that autistic child a neurotypical adult when he/she grows up. Also, autistic adults are very self aware of ableism and in the case of autistic women, misogyny. So, it would be fucking stupid to claim that if they are not displaying some of the more noticeable symptoms then they are cured. If that was true then I would not be easily distracted by background noises every time I am trying to have a conversation with someone. I would not be having difficulty writing exams with the other class and needing extra time to prepare.  Of course, that is not the definition of Autism to the neurotypicals, isn’t it? Autism is not an internal illness that has an effect on how the individual will interact with people and how they will react to stressful situations. Hell naw! Autism is just some phase according to these eggheads here!

Needless to say, I am shocked that they would post something so ableist and ridiculous. Well, they are gonna lose one reader today.

OP here

Truthdig Article here

And Logic Has Left the Building……..

If there was ever a point where I am so flabbergasted by the idiocy of human beings that I have no idea what to type, this would be one of those times. Jessica, a writer on ImperfectParent, demonstrates her complete lack of trying to understand the complexities of society and the gender roles that Patriarchy enforces on children. Her article about a book called “My Princess Boy” is a classic example of people stifling the spirit of children. Not only is her post offensive but the comments in the article are equally offensive but first, let’s focus on the article.

Jessica starts off by titling her article “My Princess Boy: Must our children be burdened with this?” And this is where I facepalm myself really badly. The author is implying that the author of My Princess Boy is trying to torment the poor children by telling them that it is okay to be different. To wear a dress and because a boy is wearing a dress, that doesn’t mean that he deserves to be bullied for it. Same with little girls who are into “guy things.” There should be no double standards here. How hard a concept is that to understand?

Apparently for Jessica, it is very difficult. She cannot seem to understand for the life of her why a boy would want to wear a dress. Here in the following quote, she decides to go the “gender roles are natural” route and falls flat on her face in the process of reaching that conclusion.

The problem as I see it is this — gender roles are a NORMAL part of growing up. It’s a healthy distinction and children are who are not born with a gender identity issue or who are comfortable with their gender, as most people are, shouldn’t be made to feel that gender is interchangeable and something that is only imposed by big, bad people in a big, bad society.

I guess she must have a problem with women with short hair and *gasp* pants? I mean, that is what MEN wear! Men are naturally inclined to beat women to a pulp. Right? Right?!? No, Jessica, social constructs are not “natural.” You are confusing gender with sex. A girl wearing pants and t-shirt does not mean that she thinks that she is male. She is wearing clothes that are COMFORTABLE. The same with the boy wearing the dress or maybe because he likes wearing dresses? But, oh, that is impossible, isn’t it? How could children not always fall in line with Patriarchy? I mean, we are raising them to be the dead soldiers in our society, correct? Those little fags should be muscular and macho guys! Take off that dress! You are a boy, not a girl! *wags a scolding finger*

She also does not seem to understand that, yes, it IS society that is forcing gender roles on children. Unless she has living under a rock for the past century, you cannot go anywhere without some advertisement selling toys to specific children based on “gender.” (Barbies for girls. Trucks for boys, remember?). You cannot go anywhere without some asshole making a misogynistic or homophobic comment and people enabling it. These are not isolated incidents and it is also not “natural” for people to be total jackasses. These events plus many more are a symptom of a very screwed up society. A society built on the degradation and humiliation of the oppressed classes. We make excuses for why we oppress them and it is perfectly accepted and toted a “natural.” To say so, is excusing bad behavior and saying that it is completely okay to bully people. I guess it was perfectly “natural” for Neurotypical people to bully me because I am Autistic? That it is perfectly okay and that it is not the fault of the parents for not teaching their children to not bully other children?

She continues on her very short rant on those silly boys in dresses by stating that “gender roles are a complex idea for children.” Didn’t she say a while ago that gender roles are a “normal part of growing up”? If the concept of gender was so darn complex then why the claim that gender roles are a natural part of growing up?

That is a big, complex idea for children. While my heart goes out to this child and I hope he can find peace and understanding amongst the world of cruel children, however, if you’re going to test the boundaries and celebrate it, you can’t expect to have the world join you. Good, bad or indifferent, there will be emotional consequences as with most choices in life.

Here is something that will blow Jessica’s mind: children are not naturally cruel, they are not some separate alien race that just landed on this planet and decided to be nasty people. You want to know who taught them to be that way? I will give you a hint: It has nothing to do with “gender” and it is not incredibly complicated. Their parents taught them to be that way. Children do not just inherent awful ideas about people out of thin air, they learn some of their behavior from their parents and society. I am pretty sure the boy in the story is just asking the mean kids to, I don’t know, let him be himself? Let him to do what he wants? What? Granting children the same basic human rights is too much work for parents? I am also pretty certain that the boy is not asking the world to “join him.” Whatever the fuck that means. He is saying “I am here. I like dresses. I am no different from you. I am a human being and I deserve to be treated with respect.” I am also 100% certain that he is at peace with himself and other gender non-conforming children. Thank you very much. Is that such an awful burden on children? Doesn’t sound like it to me. Would you, also care to explain “emotional consequences”?

She finishes off her short rant with a phrase that would need a “no shit, Sherlock” button. Her claims that allowing a child of either sex to wear the clothing of their choosing is “politically correct” is nonsense. Her claim is attempting to erase the issue of bullying by blaming the victim for their suffering and not the people and the society that shaped those bullies in the first place. First off, asking children to be accepting of another child is not “putting a burden on them.” How hard could it be to teach children to be compassionate unless you are a walking cold stone yourself, it is not that hard to teach your kids the “golden rule.”

One thing that our children need to learn is not everybody is going to like them and accept them and that’s okay, however, my real issue with all of this is that we’ve come into such a politically correct society that everyone, every parent, thinks that their children’s “problems” need to be every child’s burden to bear and I don’t see how that’s helpful. The world does not revolve around any child. The world does not revolve around bullies, it doesn’t revolve around the child who gets everything she wants and it doesn’t revolve around a preschool boy who chooses to wear dresses.

Wearing clothing of the opposite sex does not equal wanting the world to revolve around them. Wearing is just that, wearing a dress. No hidden agenda or secret plot to turn the world into a gay mardi gras! The book is about a boy living his life as he chooses and his parents giving him the respect her deserves. This book is also about breaking away from the rules of society. If that message is too much for Jessica to handle then I have nothing else to tell her.

Yes, You ARE a Bigot!

I have received word from an autism awareness group on Facebook that a mother of an autistic child wrote a blog post about how her 10 year autistic son learned to write for the first time and telling autism to “suck it.” I find attitudes like that to be extremely offensive and dangerous to autistic people such as myself. It brings up the image that autism is some sort of disease or monster that needs to be eliminated. Of course, the author of the post makes it obvious that she is neurologically typical by the way she talks about her son and his identity as an autistic person.

She also said some extremely offensive and ableist things such as:

 I watched the light go out from his eyes at 12 months of age and I have fought tooth and nail since then to turn it back on, even when others told me there was little hope, even when I spent the first few years drinking myself numb, even when he didn’t even know I was in the room with him.

I absolutely HATE phrases like “I watched the light go out from his eyes….” because it implies that autistic people are lifeless of which they are not! Autistic people have as much life as non-autistic people and it is incredibly offensive to autistic people.

Another disgusting phrase:

This is NOT THE SAME as saying that people with autism suck. My son has autism. My son most definitely does not suck. In fact, he’s amazing, funny, loving, beautiful, inspiring. But he’s also being held hostage by a disorder that comes in many shapes and sizes, a disorder that in our house, is not a welcome guest but rather a selfish and thoughtless intruder. The fact that I do not embrace autism as something to be romanticized or adored does not mean I do not love the bejezus out of my son. I also realize that autism is a part of who he is, has shaped a portion of the person he has become and continues to be. But if someone handed me a guaranteed cure tomorrow, I wouldn’t hesitate one nanosecond before shoving it down his throat. I would risk losing a portion of the little boy I love so fiercely and unequivocally if it meant that he would have a chance at navigating this life without the bondage of autism.

Oh noes, my son has autism! He is being held hostage by who he is! I am gonna pretend that my autistic son does not understand how words like that is extremely offensive and hurtful TO HIM and other AUTISTIC PEOPLE because of my ableist/sanist/mentalist privilege! Of course, she is not gonna give a shit about her son’s feelings! It’s all about how the awesome neurotypical mother battled against her son’s autism in order for him to be “normal.”

There is nothing wrong with being proud of your autistic child for his/her accomplishments but if you are going to imply that accomplishment somehow defeated autism then you are displaying ableism! You are saying that autism is curable if you force a certain type of normalcy on them! If an autistic person tells you that certain phrase if offensive, don’t shrug it off! Listen to them! Do not dismiss them! They know more about living with autism then you do.  If you go around dismissing them for bullshit reasons then expect people to react and be angry at you.

Another quote which dismisses the people who point out her ableism:

I invite those of you who consider me an ableist for telling autism to SUCK IT to come into my home and spend a day with me and Andrew. I invite you to see the reality that my child lives with as he struggles against the silence that blankets him, falls apart when those around him don’t understand his needs, and begs for mercy when the sights and sounds of life come bearing down upon his ears and nervous system. I want you to see the drooling, hear the teeth grinding and the desperate wails, watch as he wills his body to keep up with his younger brother even though he doesn’t stand a chance.

I just love how external experiences with autism are somehow the same as internal experiences with autism from this woman’s perspective. I would invite this woman to walk in MY SHOES for a while and see how it is like to LIVE as an autistic person! Of course, she is unable to do this since her bigotry clouds her empathy. Funny how NTs claim that autistic people lack empathy/emotions and yet they display lack of empathy towards autistic people! I would imply that these curebies display symptoms of a sociopath but I’m too nice for that.

Low functioning autistic people such as Amanda Baggs  can speak her thoughts through a talking keyboard, when the keyboard is speaking her words, the words are incredibly eloquent and intelligent. Is she being held hostage by her autism? Is she lifeless? Of course not! She is perfectly happy with her identity as an autistic person. She doesn’t want to be cured and neither do I, a high functioning autistic.

Ashline wrote a response which is even more offensive than the last post:

So if that makes me a curebie, or a bigot or a child abuser or an ableist or whatever other fucking word du jour you come up with, so be it. You guys are just a bunch of bullies. You bully parents like me who want more for their kids and you do it all from the comfort of a life we would give anything to be able to promise our own children.

You took my message out of context and used it to make yourselves look like the victims, when the real victims here are the very children parents like me are trying to save; children who are easily overlooked, children who are in physical and emotional pain,  children who will someday be adults that society will have no idea what to do with so it’s OUR JOB TO FUCKING FIGURE IT OUT.

So pointing out your ableist privilege and stating that what you are saying about your son’s autism is extremely dangerous AND offensive to autistic people is bullying? That’s a laugh riot! Autistic children do not need to be saved from their autism! They need to be taught how to cope with the world, to teach them problem solving skills. Not to hate themselves for being autistic. That is what you are doing to your son! You are teaching him that him being autistic is BAD! No one just made up words like “ableist” just to “bully” you. Words like that have existed for as long as ableism has existed and you are dismissing these words even though you are raising a disabled child?

Autistic people are NOT suffering from their autism, they are suffering from discrimination, abuse, neglect, ignorance and self-hatred because of people like Ashline who force their domination on their autistic children. They expect autistic people such as myself to feel sorry for them when they dismiss us for pointing out their bigotry? Sorry ma’am but that is not how it works. You have to LISTEN to the autistic people and LEARN from them! If you don’t take in what the autistic community is trying to tell you then we will not waste our time with you.

Ashline needs to realize that autistic people like myself-and quite possibly her son-will fight against such bigotry and hatred against them because they deserve to be treated better! Ashline is not considering things from her son’s perspective, she is only looking at things through HER perspective which is not only ableist but dangerous for her son who in his current state of affairs is dependent on her mother’s approval and guidance! I would hate to see how he turns out if he adopts her way of thinking about neurologically diverse people.

Post I am responding to