RFK Jr. Is Right: Hg Causes Autism

As people attack RFK Jr.'s new book and say a link between ethylmercury (thimerosal) in vaccines and autism has been disproven, tell them this: the second child ever diagnosed with autism (1943) had a father who was experimenting with ethylmercury...

How Mercury Triggered The Age of Autism

Autism Public Service Announcement

Canary Party Vaccine Court Video

A Glimpse into Autism

Meet Our Advertisers


Olmsted's Original UPI Series

  • The Age of Autism Tag

« CBS Uncovers Third Autism Vaccine Injury Award | Main | New York Times on Gardasil Vaccine's Meteoric Rise »

Olmsted on Autism: "Retards" and "Autistics"

Mouth_with_soapBy Dan Olmsted

You've probably heard the controversy over the nation's Number One movie this past weekend that uses the R word in an ATTEMPT to send up actors who take roles playing disabled persons because they are "Oscar bait." Timothy Shriver of Special Olympics was on Good Morning America Monday decrying the movie and saying it's time to stop having fun with mental retardation, whatever the larger purpose may be.

No one wants to be accused of not "getting" the joke, but I have to say I agree with Shriver on this one. The N word is no longer fair game for white people, no matter their motive for using it, and people like Bill Cosby have tried to stamp out its use as a hip self-reference among young blacks as well. If for no other reason than that we want to model tolerance and inclusiveness for our kids without leaving any shades of gray, I'm with Bill and Timothy. There are lots of funny things in this world; let's leave other people's stereotyped differences out of it.

Which reminds me about the discussion over the use of the word autism. When I first started writing my column for United Press International, I got mail from readers who were trying to educate me on this point. You don't want to confuse the disability -- or different ability, or however one may choose to describe it -- with the person. That makes perfect sense to me, and (I hope) it's been a long time since I said someone was "autistic" (I sense someone googling "Olmsted and autistic" right this very minute). It's even easier to fall into its use as a preceding adjective -- an "autistic person" -- instead of keeping the order and priority straight -- a PERSON "with autism" or "who has autism."

I've also seen the point made that given the depth of the autism crisis -- you know, the epidemic that the CDC says it's not sure about, the full-court press to exonerate vaccines and mercury once and for all as the rate keeps skyrocketing -- it's more important to encourage awareness and investigation than to make too much over how it is used in a sentence. There's one way to employ the word that I really can't stand, however -- when people with autism are referred to as "autistics." How is that not a corollary of "retards"?
An example from Art Allen's book Vaccine: on page 283 he notes that "Leo Kanner wrote that the parents of autistics were generally 'mechanistic. …'" It's p-Art and parcel of Art's contempt for anyone concerned about vaccines and autism; you know you're in unfriendly territory when the book describes Bernie Rimland as "the original bitter parent" and titles one chapter "People Who Prefer Whooping Cough."

But the issue gets complicated. I see there is a site called autistics.org -- The Real Voice of Autism, which describes itself as "a  project by volunteers, most of them autistic, to create a global database of information and services for persons with autism." I'm not going to get into an argument if people with autism choose to call themselves autistics, but I can't help but say I wish they would rethink the matter.

Overall, I'm not in favor of turning a condition or a description of a human being into a noun. And here's the best argument of all: In my Webster's, at least, there is no such use of the word. "Autistics" simply do not exist. So if for no other reason that it's not good English, let's say good-bye to the A word.
--
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8357f3f2969e200e5540faffd8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Olmsted on Autism: "Retards" and "Autistics":

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"You don't want to confuse the disability -- or different ability, or however one may choose to describe it -- with the person. That makes perfect sense to me, and (I hope) it's been a long time since I said someone was "autistic" (I sense someone googling "Olmsted and autistic" right this very minute). It's even easier to fall into its use as a preceding adjective -- an "autistic person" -- instead of keeping the order and priority straight -- a PERSON "with autism" or "who has autism.""

I call myself a blond, or a white person, or a Canadian. Does that mean I'm saying that defines me as a person?
Why should there be different rules for disability labels? I think it just makes them stand out and increase the stigma. Why not treat disability labels like any other descriptor of a person?

"There's one way to employ the word that I really can't stand, however -- when people with autism are referred to as "autistics." How is that not a corollary of "retards"?"

Because very few, if any, developmentally disabled people call themselves 'retards' and are not offended by it? Because 'retard' has a long history of being used as a school-child insult?

[...]Dan Olmsted, over at Age of Autism has been ruffling feathers because he believes we need to abolish the use of the word, "autistic." He is on the right track.


I have two children, as you know. They have autism. They are not autistic.[...]

http://tinyurl.com/4pyuzw

Dear Alex, you might say, "hello" when you come in to correct us and call us "YOU guys." Really, where are your manners? And to compare autism to being gay? I fail to see the connection and I have no intention of letting that conversation continue here.

I wrote a piece for HuffPo on the Retard word here:

http://tinyurl.com/5jz3t4

Rethink the use of the word 'autistics'? Have you even talked to an autistic who describes himself as autistic? I refer to myself autistic and it's not a derogatory term. Self advocates have used the term autistic to describe ourselves and we have quite a few reasons to do so.

Since autism is a neurological difference (and no one would deny this, even you guys), the word "autistic" makes the most sense. Another group of people with neurological differences is the gay community. I've never heard an accepting person describe a gay person as "a person with gayness."

This reminds me of another 'war of the words' we were introduced to 7 years ago when my son was born. My son also has achondroplasia - which is the most common form of dwarfism. It occurs typically in average heights parents, through a spontaneous genetic mutation, does not effect mental capabilities, and has a range of it's own physical limitations depending on the individual. Shortly (no pun intended) after his arrival, we became aware of how important wording is in the LP (Little People/Persons) community. "He has dwarfism - he is affected by dwarfism - he is a dwarf - he is a little person...." every family struggles with their way to describe their family member's 'disability' or 'difference'. Some people feel very strongly - some people couldn't care less. Autism has it's own problems - not one known cause, no predictable course of treatment, toxic secrets, etc. but I find the debates circle around the same issue...using one word to describe a wonderful, complex being.

I tell people my son has vaccine-induced autism.

I don't have children with autism and always agreed that all of us should say "child with autism" etc...but after reading AutisticLiving.com's strong response I would tend to agree with her. Let's not take issue with the families that are affected by autism. Let them describe it the way they feel is best.

I was recently in my health food store here in Florida, where we live 3 months out of a year, and I have a relationship with the owner of the store. I was there with my completely perfect 6 year old who was diagonsed PDD-NOS at age 4 1/2 after returning from living 3 years in Europe (didn't receive MMR at target age... instead age 4 to start preschool- she tanked)...and I was loaning out my DVDs from the Autism One conference (which I attended) and a lady standing in line saw the DVDs as the HFS lady and I were talking and she said... "Oh,... do you have an autistic child??" I cringed and replied..."No, I am blessed to have 3 very healthy, perfect children". Liv, my oldest and recovered beyond belief child responded..."and you can take that to the bank." I about lost it. I have no idea where she got that phrase from. But I think that she could see in my eyes that I wasn't happy about what someone had said about someone and somehow she just backed me up. I think that if the lady had said... "Oh dear Lord, did you have a child that was toxic and loaded with viruses and was Dx with autism?" Or even... "is your family effected by autism?" I would have been okay... but I know I froze when I heard "autistic"...

I've never understood the hub-bub about wording. I actually get a little insulted when folks "correct" me. He's my child. If I want to say he has autism, is autistic, vaccine injured, has a vaccine injury, that is my prerogative. I find it very insulting that anyone should be so bold as to decide what terms one can and cannot use to describe their own children.

Depending on the conversation, the point in the conversation, etc, I will use any one of those things.

Autistic is a word that basically means "having autism". This is why I chose it for the site AutisticLiving.com. Our lives, like it or not, are autistic. We have autism in our lives. It's nothing more than a noun vs. an adjective.

I have never heard of the word "autistic" being used in a disparaging way. I've heard "retard" used, but never autistic. I've also heard of Asperger's being used negatively, pronounced "ass-burgers" by kids, taunting kids on the spectrum. Never the word "autistic".

My son is autistic. Why? Because he has autism. That's what the word means. Folks have told me to say "I have a child with autism." Au contraire, my child is not with autism. As he opens his mouth, unable to utter a word, with his jaw locked open, trying to speak, I say he is very much against autism. So should I say "I have a child against autism"? Of course not.

Dan, I agree with 99.9% of everything you've ever written. This is a first. I'm sorry, but the "person first" language just turns my stomach. No, not because there is anything really wrong with the words themselves. Because it's an attempt to soften an issue with language. You know, remember layoffs? Now they're "resource actions". Remember "rebels" or "guerillas"? Now we call them "insurgents". How about children with autism? Now they call them "special needs".

My son doesn't have special needs. I go to a hotel and order a 6am wake-up call. That's a special need. My son is autistic, has autism, was injured by the combination of MMR and Varivax, and people want to say he has "special needs". Where I come from we call that dire need. He is in dire need of therapy. He is in dire need of supplements and treatments that our clusterf*** of a government says don't work in order to hide the misdeeds of pharmaceutical companies. He is in dire need of a special education beyond what they just throw at everyone who doesn't fit the mold. He is in dire need of the love and understanding that society OWES him for their uninformed voting choices, and intense apathy when it comes to our government and the dangerous choices they have been allowed to make for us.

My son is also in dire need of justice. No, not some monetary settlement of a few hundred thousand dollars, or a few million dollars, but justice. We have a pharmaceutical company named MERCK that is out there killing, maiming, and otherwise destroying people's lives in the name of corporate profits, and our government allows it to continue. We have rallies on the steps of Capitol Hill when we should be rallying 20 miles from my home on the front lawn of MERCK shouting "shut the **ckers down!", literally carrying torches and pitchforks. These people should be in jail, period.

Yet, my son doesn't get his justice. Instead, we not only have MERCK, but we have Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Autism Speaks, two organizations that have PARTNERED WITH MERCK on SEVERAL occasions, either directly or indirectly, and nobody seems to care. Nobody seems to notice. CHOP even has one of their little dirt bags, Paul Offit, running around playing marketing rep for these bastards.....and still, nobody cares, at least nobody who can do anything about it. Tomorrow morning there will be at least 3 families in the waiting room at CHOP awaiting an autism evaluation. It makes me want to puke.

So you say that using the word "autistic" is somehow a problem? I don't give a rat's ass what my son is called, if the choices are "autistic" and "autism". In the grand scheme of things, this has to be one of, if not THE most unimportant issue imaginable in our community. A moment of energy on this topic, is a moment of energy wasted that could have been spent on dealing with the REAL issues at hand.

I'm sorry Dan, I am just not in the mood to read about this nonsense again.

Not now, not ever.

Dan, you're great. This is just one non-issue that I cannot stand to see more time wasted on.

"'Autistics' simply do not exist."

Dan, wouldn't that be, "Autistics" simply does not exist? Not to be pedantic or anything. But autistics do exist, even if the word "autistics" doesn't.

We use descriptions of people as nouns all the time - I might be referred to as a woman, a mother, or a lawyer, though that doesn't mean I'm not also a human being. Well, except maybe for the lawyer part.

To me, the issue isn't using descriptions of people as nouns, it's using pejorative descriptions, like "retard." The description "autistic" isn't pejorative. Or is it?

I agree with Ms. Hines that there is a possibility that some people, not being familiar with autism, may think of autistic folks in a dehumanizing way. However, I don't think person-first language goes very far to remedy that. To me, it would go further for a non-autistic journalist to get some opinions from people with autism diagnoses about what they want to be called.

Although you had some fun ridiculing Dr. Chew, the issue she raised wasn't irrelevant. If you had corresponded with the people at autistics.org to get their opinion about the use of the word "autistics," you would have been treating them as people first rather than just giving lip service to the idea. Those people are worth talking to. Their opinions matter. They really are people first.

JB,
Excellent way to put it. If you don't mind, I'm going to borrow that phrase.

"My son is recovering from iatrogenic autism."

Yes, interesting conversations would ensue, I'm sure.

Thanks, JB.

I only describe my son one way to people when in public or when the need arises:

"He's recovering from autism."

It alwasy sparks an interesting conversation, and it feels appropriate and respectful to my son who was born NT and regressed after vaccines.

JB

Kev,

Please be kind and professional. We don't go on your blog and disrespect the Editors. Besides, he has spoken to more adults and children with Autism than you have. I would also like to add that I was very surprised to see you comment at all on this Blog! Its great to see that you are very interested in seeing what the Right Brain (as in Correct) is doing. We hope to hear from you again soon.

Sincerely,

Elucidatus

Most times I feel I need to defend my son. Within our school district, community, medical community...heck even within my family...I feel I have to 'fight' to get people to think of my son as a little boy first...autism second...if a child is diabetic, the general population thinks of a child...who suffers from diabetes...my experience with the general public has been the vast majority thinks of the autism first...which dehumanizes individuals...additionally, the general population is aware of what diabetes is...whereas they believe what they watch on Lifetime regarding autism...I agree with this article completely...thank you, Dan!

I think we should call people what they want to be called. If someone wants to be called "a person with autism," they should be called a "person with autism." If someone wants to be called an "autistic person" or an "autistic," that's what they should be called.

I don't think preferring the adjective means identifying oneself solely by one's diagnosis. It can be one adjective among many to describe a person. (My disability is as much a part of me as my gender, culture, or anything else I identify as--no more, no less).

Timely article... I spoke to the new person who is transporting my son (who has Autism) to his Adult program. I was explaining about his Autism and some of the things Andy likes or how he might react if confused or frightened. They guy interupted me and said "don't worry I have experience... I drive Autistics on the school bus."
My only thought was "Oh great! he has experience with 'Autistics'"
I can honestly say that I felt less secure not more.

I wonder whether there's actually a semantic or grammar-related issue here? For example, it would NOT be correct to say that a person is "cancerous," as it would be confusing and hard to understand (do you mean the whole person is filled with cancer? are you using the expression as a metaphor?). Same goes for many diseases (is there an adjectival form of psoriasis?).

I actually ran a poll on my autism.about.com site at one point and asked for people's opinions on this very issue. Interestingly, the result was an almost even split for and against the use of "autistic" versus "person with autism." I was glad - only because, while I try to use person-first language as much as possible (and you really can't offend anyone saying "person with autism"), About.com limits character count in many of its headlines! "Person with autism" is just awfully long when you need a snappy 30-character headline...

In short, while I think Dan is correct in his assessment that people-first language is always preferable - it's not all that horrendous to occasionally bend the rule!

Lisa
www.autism.about.com

"Autistics" categorizes our children. It defines them by their condition. Then it becomes easy to assign characteristics to this group and see them as different.

While there are stories in the news today about affected children being forced off planes, banned from church, and asked to leave restaurants, we can only guess what the future will hold for the upcoming adults on the spectrum. Will "autistics" be seen as unwanted burdens or as victims of unsafe vaccines?

Anne Dachel
Media editor

Hi Jenny,

You said-

"If it becomes an insult, sure, but right now that is just not the case."

I would disagree. As we have seen in the news, Savage, airplanes, churches, restaurants,classrooms, etc, are not seeing people with an autism diagnosis as individuals who are either ill with vaccine injuries-mitochondria issues(environmental) or creative adults with a twist on social skills ("aspies"-as they have called themselves). I don't see lots of compassion.

and this-

"FOR OTHER REASONS I am for ditching the word. Let's call this disorder what it is... metabolic disorder."

I am not sure what the other reasons might be but metabolic is more than likely a downstream issue. How do you feel about the roman numeral I as vaccine injured or poisoned? Under that would be many of the biomedical issues seen, including mitochondria, calcium/glutamates, oxidative stress, etc--

"If Mr. Olmsted has spoken to an autistic individual at autistics.org, it would be well of him (if he chooses, of course), to indicate such." -- from Kristina Chew.

What is it with Kristina Chew? She seems to be drawn like a homing pigeon to false and irrelevant issues and to pose them in the most precious, accusatory and upside-down-and-backward way possible. Here we are instructed that IF I had talked to an individual at autistics.org, it would be well of me to say so, IF I so chose. OK, Kristina, I think I can tease out the point here: I didn't talk to anyone at autistics.org. I guess this has something to do with anything because ... well, why, exactly? The only way I can cope with this kind of rhetorical reverse-back-flip sniping is to say, Since I did not talk to anyone at autistics.org in exercising my first Amendment Rights to discuss my own views about the proper use of a word that does not appear in my dictionary, I would be unable, well of me as it might be, to indicate such, even if I so chose. Can we now talk about something that really matters? For example, is calling people "autistics" actually fine with Kristina Chew? That is the issue at hand. It would be well of her, if she believed that it is, and if she so chose, to say so. -- dan olmsted

Usually, when I bring up my son, I say that he has iatrogenic autism.

Because at this point in time, "autistic" is used to describe individuals with autism, whereas the word "retarded" is said in a way to mean "stupid" --not "a stunting of growth or development".

There is a big difference.
If it catches on that calling someone "autistic" is a way to make fun of their behavior, then I will reconsider my opinion of it. If it becomes an insult, sure, but right now that is just not the case.

FOR OTHER REASONS I am for ditching the word. Let's call this disorder what it is... metabolic disorder.

I must admit, I really don't get it on the "autistic" part. "Diabetic" is the same type of thing. I guess "has diabetes" is politically correct. "Paraplegic" would be "with paraplegia". So, "autistic" is not unique.

I do try to say "has autism", but find myself using the term "autistic" too.

I do think it is a good thing that we are having this discussion. I am sure there are adults with autism (or autistic adults) on both sides of this discussion.

FJH
http://autismparents.net

Whenever I'm obliged to describe Michaela's condition, I say "she has a diagnosis of autism." But she is not defined by that diagnosis, she is her own person and autism is something, as we all know here, that happened to her. Unfortunately, some rather sad folks have decided that they like having autism as their identity. That's their business, but just like the rappers who like to use the N word, that doesn't make their conduct something that the rest of us should accept as respectable.

True success in the science of this issue will come when we can put the Kanner/Rutter formulation of this developmenal brain injury behind us and define the problem more precisely in terms of its causation and biology. In the meantime, the notion that there is a single disease entity here (and not an amorphous set of genetic mutations tha produce "autisms") is the one durable concept in autism science, so we'll need to stick with Kanner a while longer and just make sure we get the grammar right when we use the A word.

*Dan, I have mentioned your well written piece on my blog.

Given that the title of my blog is The A Word:A Mother Confronts Autism, I am conflicted by Dan Olmsted's suggestion. This cover name was intended to highlight the elephant in the room, better known as autism, autistic, or autistic like tendencies. I originated this title due to my initial fear of the diagnosis for my son; in fact, my "flagship" piece for this blog conjured every A word appropriate to define my Agony (yes, another A word). I pledged to be my son's Ally and Advocate for him. Twenty years later my passion is enhanced by my Allegiance to him. Perhaps it is in my nature to cling to a word, like a comfort zone, more for explanation than excuse.

I do, however cringe at references to the "R" word. Earlier this year, I blogged about the comedian Chris Rock, who's monologue on Saturday Night Live was highly offensive. He talked about the notion of having a minority in the White House; his response was that "we already do have a minority in the White House, a retard." I ask how was this okay? Was it because the general public is disgruntled with Bush? Should a political satire mock innocent human beings? Why should a population of people who cannot defend themselves be the brunt of that joke? Where was Lorne Michaels, producer of SNL? Where was NBC? There was no outrage, no CNN coverage, no blame.

Do we, as a nation contour our responses to politically correct “nouns du jour”? Does the movie industry stretch poetic license for financial gain? You betcha, because in this world “money talks, nobody walks”, and if the hype for Tropic Thunder induces ticket sales, it's a win win. Now, if some of those proceeds would be donated to autism research, my judge and jury would deem that the quintessential community service!

Our son does not have Autism...Autism has him. He is not "Autistic" he has been damaged. I would say this to the Neurologist everytime we saw him. I would also tell the Dr. "look into his eyes he is in there, I can see him, he is in there."
Last year after 10 years of treating our son and watching us with our son the Neurologist took my hand and told me I was right that he was in there.
We did not ask for this title "Autistic" or "Autism", it was placed on our son by those supposedly smarter than us. It is not the Autism that our parents heard about. If the rate of Autism continues to climb, there will be few families unaffected. It is not something to make fun of, it is not something that should be the butt of a joke. Your are so correct there is plenty of humor our there without using the most vulnerable of our citizens as the joke.

Slightly off topic, but I wanted to share this with you guys. This is about the funniest thing I've ever read. I don't know if you've seen it or not, but it sums up the Vaccine-Thugs to a "T"

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/46032

We now know what Ken Reibel and the rest of the Vaccine Thugs are on!

After reading some posts, I have to add to mine. I would even say that the description-"she/he has autism" is not correct. There is "no autism" as Dan said, it is a list of behaviors. My daughter does not have autism. It is a term for having the behaviors--but that's the issue. The behaviors really describe an injury for many. For most, a vaccine or environmental assault.

My daughter is a redhead which is a description of her hair color. Calling her a term, like autistic is naming her for a group of behavioral descriptions-
It also does not describe the biological mechanisms going on inside the body. Like addiction..the "disease concept" vs a "mental disorder" of the weak willed. Behaviors unfortunately do not give justice to the real illness. Recovery from both is the goal.

Dan,

Thank you for continuing to defend our children, no matter what their age, their lack of speech or idiosyncratic speech, their odd and stereotypical movements, their physical pain and emotional pain, their sensory bombardments, and their inability to defend themselves.

The paradigm shift needs to keep shifting right out of DSM.

gratefully,

Teresa

I understand the idea behind person first language, and I often do use it to describe my son out of sensitivity to the audience I'm addressing, but calling him autistic doesn't make me view him as a disability instead of a person any more than calling him a blondie means I'm ignoring his personhood for the sake of his hair color.

I think in this case, it's parents and care givers that are setting the terminology agenda, not the people in question. Every adult with autism I've asked about this (and I've asked a lot) is just fine with the term autistic. In fact, most of them are even ok with "Aspie" and "Autie," which are words I have a hard time getting behind.

I don't think it's the same as the word "retard" which has become so charged with negative connotations that even people who fit the clinical definition are now referred to as having "MR."

But at the end of the day, I do still have an adorable person with childhood, person of Caucasian, person with blondness, person with maleness, person with autism to hug and kiss - no matter how you want to refer to him.

If Mr. Olmsted has spoken to an autistic individual at autistics.org, it would be well of him (if he chooses, of course), to indicate such.

"Why don't you try contacting the people who own autistics.org and ask their opinion?"

The true real autistics can choose to call themselves whatever they want. My son is vaccine-injured, NOT autistic, and as a parent, I strongly object to ANYONE referring to him this way. See the comment made by the 10 year old? He's not autistic, he is vaccine-injured and by golly he objects!! Point taken??

Dan, I was first corrected on my usage in this vein about 10 years ago. At the time I thought it was nonsense -- being a very non-PC person myself. But now that you've described the issue so succinctly I think I'll change my position and stop using the phrase "he's autistic" when describing my son with autism.

I visited autistics.org, the ‘Voice of Autism’, and looked around a little bit.

I notice they talk about ASA referring to themselves as the voice of autism. ASA isn’t the voice of autism. They’re the voice of Autism Speaks. Which is, in turn, the voice of pharma and the public health bureaucracies. They’re sort of like the little scrawny kids that do the bidding of the big bully partly because they benefit (to a lesser degree than the bully, but a little) and partly because they’re afraid not to. If I’m able to see eye to eye about anything with most of the people who’ve created the page—they are self proclaimed of the ‘neurodiversity movement’—I suspect that this is as far as it goes.

I did also like ‘the real meaning of autism prevention’.

But right below that I see a green poster on the page which I really don’t like at all that says ‘odds of an autistic person feeling like garbage when reading autism epidemic hype’.

I’ve never really cared much about the use of the term ‘autistic’, versus saying ‘a person with autism’. Seems to me there’s too much else to be really angry about. Lord knows I don’t speak for all people with autism. I don’t believe that any one does, or any organization. I don’t think they all think all that much alike. What follows are just my own personal thoughts on the matter.

As one who strongly believes that environmental triggers contribute greatly to autism, I can’t help but draw a parallel between this situation and that of the discovery, widely publicized when I was a child back in the sixties, that cigarettes contributed greatly to lung cancer. I can’t help but ask myself “would anyone with lung cancer have ever pretended that it was a perfectly normal thing.” Oh sure, there were people whose cancer wasn’t so severe at first. In that sense, there was the same spectrum as you have with autism. But who would have said, to themselves or to anyone, “there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m just different.”

So much of what I see those in the neurodiversity movement doing involves assuring themselves, over and over again, that they’re fine. That there’s nothing wrong with them. They can tell themselves, it seems to me, that it’s normal for a toddler to be non-verbal, to bang their head against the walls, to smear their feces on the walls. I guess I’m just not autly enough but I’m sorry, I just can not and will not go there.

Would you ever have heard of a person with lung cancer, especially after discovering that the two packs of cigarettes they smoked for twenty years was the major cause of their lung cancer, going on about how it’s only their own genes that should be considered—“and oh by the way, there’s nothing at all wrong with my genes and there’s nothing at all wrong with me and anyway we’re not sick at all”? I don’t remember ever seeing or hearing people like that.

Were there people with lung cancer who felt like garbage because there were those who were upset about the fact that cigarettes cause cancer and that there were so very many people being diagnosed with it, more and more as years went by? I don’t remember them. It seems to me that it would be absurd. If I had lung cancer and knew that I’d gotten it from the cigarettes I’d smoked all those years, I would say that the people who made me feel like garbage were the people who’d profitted from the sale of cigarettes. Not the people who were upset about it.

STOP USING THE R-WORD IT IS HURTFUL, RUDE AND DISRESPECTFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the r-word needs to be banned!!!!!!!

"Thus speaks a man who has not spoken to one autistic adult on the subject."

Kev, how could you possibly *KNOW* whether Dan has done this or not, unless of course, you have All-Knowing-I-See-Everything-And-That-Includes-You-Dan-Olmsted Superhero powers we don't know about.

"Why don't you try contacting the people who own autistics.org and ask their opinion?"

Why should he? Dan also has an opinion and he just expressed it.

Ain't the First Amendment grand?

Thank you, Dan. My son, who is ten years old, has autism. He explained to us one day, after a visit to the neurologist who often says things like "autistics have been shown to...", that he hates being described that way. He says that we don't call people with ADD "hypers" or people with dyslexia "dyslexics" so why does he have to be lumped under a name like that?
He certainly convinced me and we changed the way we speak about it.
Even if you believe the argument of the neurodiversity movement, why boil your entire existance down to one word? Doesn't that negate their other traits - what if they are also musical, artistic, joyous, terse...It is simply another label that is not needed and segregates people. Autistic is an adjective...we should use it as such.

Thus speaks a man who has not spoken to one autistic adult on the subject.

Why don't you try contacting the people who own autistics.org and ask their opinion?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

@AgeofAutism Tweets

follow me on Twitter

SPONSORS

  • Health Choice Square
  • Canary final logo
  • active healing
  • VOR logo sidebar
  • Safeminds 2014 Logo
Age of Autism's Facebook Page