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The Age of Neurodiversity

Flect-mirror By Jake Crosby
 
Neurodiversity, albeit not accepted by the medical mainstream, is making its way into prominent consideration by university intellectuals. It's even starting to be supported by scientific studies and doctors within the mainstream medical monolith. As we've entered the Age of Autism, we're also descending into a new dark age of neurodiversity where more people are seeing autism as neutral or even positive.

In his own book "Autism's False Prophets,” Paul Offit, while using the "no medical background" excuse on any non-doctor who disagrees with him, specifically attacks the credentials of those who do. He disregards what prominent groups such as SafeMinds have to say on this same excuse. Yet, he strangely cites two neurodiversity moms, Kathleen Seidel and Camille Clark for medical evidence, neither of whom have any medical background. Clark's experience doesn't go beyond a BA in psychology while Seidel is a librarian. Not only is he revealing what a hypocrite he is, Offit is also supporting one view very much rejected within the consensus, denial that autism is even a problem.

These actions reveal the true cherry-picking nature of Offit's motives which support any ideology, however non-medical, to push his agenda. He would simultaneously oppose any alternative therapy or pathological theory for autism, however effective or true, even if it is on the basis of what a few ND moms say. In his final chapter, "A Place for Autism," Offit continuously touts the views of the five autism parents he dedicates his book to, the majority of whom believe in neurodiversity while the remaining have pharmaceutical industry ties.

In my last two articles, I've concentrated primarily on the effects neurodiversity has had on believing autism is entirely genetic and opposing a cure. What has not been discussed, however, is how neurodiversity affects confidence and career ambition. A recent study done at De Montfort University as part of the BRAINHE project, according to an article posted on this website (HERE), suggests that autistic people who support neurodiversity are positively effected in this way by their beliefs.

This is strange, as apparent confidence or career ambition does not dictate real success or happiness. There was no evaluation of why the neurodiversity students felt the way they felt, or whether or not their ambitions were anymore realistic than the delusion of neurodiversity itself.

After a closer look of the study, “Student experiences of neurodiversity in higher education: insights from the BRAINHE project,” I quickly noticed that not all the people in the study were autistic. For one, it was published not in a journal about autism, but dyslexia. In fact "Dyslexia" is the name of the journal. It was not even focused on autism. Furthermore, the sample size consisted of a mere 27 students, hardly an accurate representation of the student masses. Plus, it did not say these students have ASDs but were rather LD (had learning differences).

After taking a closer look at the study itself accessed at my university science library, I found only six were autistic (Asperger Syndrome). The rest were of a variety of other disorders, such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADD, ADHD, depression, and strokes. What really struck me was that it did not refer to the attitudes of Neurodiversity participants as Neurodiversity, but their conditions themselves. This is the first time I’ve heard of a stroke being referred to as “neurodiversity.”

Although the study examined other unrelated issues concerning disability services accessibility, learning strategies, general education experiences, social life etc., the portion of it that dealt with neurodiversity seemed to have a bias in the way the ideology was presented.

One quote said:

When previous educational experiences included the use of negative
epithets by teachers, participants often reported a determination to prove
them wrong. These participants mainly held a ‘difference’ view of their
neurodiversity. P. 32

The implication of this quote that neurodiversity equals more motivation is shot down by the previous quote:

Six of the seven participants who reported experiencing unpleasant epithets from
teachers and/or lecturers were from this group. P. 31

So participants in the ND group expressed more of a desire to disprove negative feedback simply because more people in that group, perhaps as a denial mechanism, reported such feedback to state their opposition to it. “Prove wrong,” does not equate to motivation. It could just mean flat out denial without further action.

Furthermore, I had been told, “you need to listen” by teachers my whole life up to ninth grade. I was determined to prove them wrong but not once did I deny my Auditory Processing Impairment, as part of my Aspergers, was anything but a hindrance.

One line in the abstract of this study states:

"The former view was associated with expressions of greater career ambition and academic self-esteem, while the latter view was associated more with processes for obtaining the Disabled Students' Allowance."

The idea was perplexing, as I then started thinking about my own experiences regarding my condition. I never considered autism a positive way of life or even as a neutral way of being, nor do I take accommodations for having an ASD. Even after openly accepting that I have Aspergers, I did not take academic accommodations; I don't even take shortcuts neurotypical students often take like asking for extensions. ASD is not something I enjoy having, but my attitude towards it doesn't make me any more inclined to seek support.
The study also said:

Twenty-one of these participants had been or were funded by the DSA and received assistance from their institution’s disability department. (p. 33)

So most of the students involved in the study had received DSA support, anyway. It could’ve been that non-NDs happened to fall more into that category. What it also didn't say was whether or not students who took support needed it more, nor did it give any insights into the real success of each student and post-graduate surveyed. While it did attempt to address how long the neurodiversity idea would last by looking at both students and ex-students, although only 8 (<1/3 of the study) were in the workforce, it was not time-oriented. That is, it did not follow the same set of students from school into the real world.

What it also does not mention is whether neurodiversity beliefs in certain students have anything to do with autism. Although it did touch on the idea in one sentence out of the entire 19 page analysis:

When they(non-ND students) did identify strengths, they tended to claim that these were not directly related to their neurodiversity. (p. 31)

Temple Grandin, for example, is a rare case in which her autistic spectrum disorder allegedly did not get in the way of immense success. Grandin's story is primarily the result of a superior visual memory, which like all other fallacious neurodiversity claims of alleged autism-induced success, is not related to autism. The closest trait one would find to this in the DSM-IV is "rote learning," or rather learning based on memorization due to a lack of ability to make sense of the information and derive concepts. That is not a "difference," that's a disability.

One fault in the study was that it did not consider how a student feels about their condition based on their label. However, the one example provided of a negative view expressed by a student towards his diagnosis suggests how autistic students in this study felt:

Jack (Asperger ’s syndrome) was very negative about his neurodiversity. He only talked about his weaknesses and held a medical/deficit view of his label.

Beforehand you’d think I wouldn’t want to have this or I wouldn’t want to suffer from that, but when you’re told you have it, you can’t really do anything about it. He also displayed negativity and minimal optimism about his future  you’ve had this structure, this school structure for twenty years or so and then you’ve got this empty, there’s nothing to look forward to, you’ve got to get a job for yourself and look after yourself and speak for yourself and take yourself more seriously and just, change the, different mindset really it’s a bit of a struggle, I’m thinking, I’m not really looking forward to it that much (p. 31)

Furthermore, this study does not contribute to how prevalent the idea of "Neurodiversity" is within the autistic community because this study examines six autistic people. Presenting it as if it reported that autistic students and graduates adhere to neurodiversity is a misrepresentation within the article that cited it. The one autistic account quoted in the study write-up revealed autism for what it is, a disability.
--

Jake Crosby is a student with Asperger Syndrome at Brandeis University who plans to major in history, and a Contributing Editor at Age of Autism.

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Also I am sick and tired of perents saying, " You/They not/isn't speaking for child(ren)/son(s)/duaghter(s) or I speaking for myself because it is also wearing me down. It's freedom of speech right? I just speak against the Nurodiversity and the Pro-Cure movement because their augerments and their views are pointless and have no interest of helping people with ASD inculding myself and they don't care anything but trying to force their views on people.

I want nothing to do with the Autistic/Auitsm community because it is so bad and it is wearing me down. Also the ND and the Curebies communities are also wearing me down by fighting like cats and dogs and I also don’t want to spned my time and engery watching and reading their augurments and nether one of them have any interest of helping with people on the autism spectrum but fighting and they don’t care. I don’t wont to be a part of any both sides whatsoever. I am autistic and my life in not all about autism because there are more life is more focus than autism.

Lead us into the fray, my good man!! You are not neurodiverse!!! We are !!! Society can be distorted and it was not until I had my son that I finally became a "neurodiverse". Jake may have something that has a name....
What do the call biomed. mom's who have become more REAL since having a Doctor slap her in the face with the word, "Autism". ??? What diagnosis should we get ?

"Mom-pergian" - Mom's who think differently about ASD, who seek the truth and do something about it!!

"Vaccination Anger Syndrome" - self explanatory

"Biomedical Psychosis" - parents who realize their children are actually sick .... and go to the edge of the universe to find them the help they need...even if it almost pushes them over the edge.

We are now honored to be in the same "neurodiverse" status as Jake. Amen. I have finally "arrived"!!

There is no room here for a diagnosis .... it is just some word someone created. Think about it....

"

Thanks for all your support, and thanks to Jon Mitchell for advising I read the full study, not merely the abstract.

I wish Asperger's were listed as a distinct condition from classic autism in the DSMV. As a matter of degree these are two distinct conditions along a spectrum. This would be like myself, a person with the spectrum condition of ADD saying I know what it is like to have Asperger's.

Now, I don't say any of this to diminish the challenges that people with Asperger's live with. I suspect in some ways their challenges are greater than those further down the spectrum because more is expected of Aspie's in terms of living in the world and they are often not equiped socially to meet those expectations. However, they cannot possibly speak for the entire Autism spectrum, as many from the Neurodiversity perspective try to do.

The condition of Autism is different from person to person. For some Autism is mild sensory issues, social awkwardness, and attentional issues......and for others Autism is all of those things to the extreme plus a severe bowel disorder, seizures, not being able to communicate needs verbally. These are two distinct conditions in my view.

As an Aspie mom to a son with severe autism, I say kudos, Jake! I enjoy reading all of your submissions, and this one was particularly thought-provoking.

Rozagy, how is your post at all RELEVANT to this article? There are several outlets available to you where they welcome this kind of nonsense. This isn't one of them. How about staying on topic...

Furthermore, you stated "I just chose the give them a more appropriate education taking into consideration their autism to help them have the best tools to live their lives to the full. And I'm sure they will do that."

What you consider to be "appropriate" and what "the best tools" are differs greatly from my choices. Nonetheless, we are both striving to ensure that our children have the best possible shot at life. But wait, I thought you accepted your kids the way they were?

Get over yourself already!


Jake thank you for another fabulous piece. Your insights continue to inspire us.

Rozagy,
Forgive me for posting so emotionally earlier. It is wonderful that you have such a confidence and pride for your life. Life is beautiful, and differences are a big reason that life is interesting. But I am having a difficult time understanding your position. Certainly there are many people with autism that lead very good lives. But you blanket statement of believing autism is to be celebrated and not considered a disability baffles me. You have autism..so surley you know a lot about it...how can you say that it is not a disability when you should know that the problem is...it is a spectrum. And unfortunatley that spectrum includes lives that do not have much qualtiy, if any, that is enjoyable. When you critize parents for wanting to "cure" their children, that isn't fair. Heck, you can use a computer...that's huge in my book. I can't speak for anyone else, but I want to see my nephew and neices live's be easier, that's not simply mental, it's physical, they both have a lot of pain. How could a parent not want that "fixed". It is terrific that your life is full and complete, I pray that my lived ones know that, too, one day.

Rozagy -

WOW - you know 3 different languages and you equate that with autism. Pssst - were all trying to get a a "few" words out of our autistic kids so they can tell us their basic needs.

Jake -

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can only hope that one day my kiddo will grow up and be as informed as you!

Rozagy,
God did not give my son his vaccine damage. Nor did he give my nephew or neice their vaccine damage. I love my family. Right now, our family is really having a difficult time with our nephew, and quite honestly I am tired of crying about his problems. Should he be put on medicine? Or not? Will he ever know a day that he is not completely lonely. His family loves him. He has no friends. And if asked, he would do anything to fit in. The one thing he wants he'll never have. The one thing he has....no one would ever want....for him, that is sheer and utter lonliness. He is beautiful and perfect in his own way. But he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders...and he always will.
Okay, how about my niece? Well, she doesn't know anyone. She has no speech outside of repetative jargon. She has no understanding of language, joy, sadness, anger, happiness...nothing. She will never be free from diapers. She doesn't know what a hug is, nor what it means to say I love you. SHe does know how to bite a plug our of your arm, and never realizes that is causes pain. She has more than 20 seizures a day, and that is with meds. If you would like to live her life...be my guest. If you would consider her life one worth living....then please feel free to try to reach her and know her and attempt to live the catastrophy that is her life. There is NOTHING about her life that has a positive slant AT ALL...and NEVER will. This is not because no one cares for her. It is because there has never been a day that we have ever impacted her in a way that she communicates to us. How do I put into words the very worthless life of a child so completely loved. And that child will die without us EVER knowing if she knew we loved her...heck, she will die witout us ever knowing if she even realizes we are her family.
As for my son....the least affected of my trio. We are blessed, he now has some speech. But for him, my sadness is great because he knows without a doubt that he is different. ANd yes, I understand that you think these differences are to be celebrated. ANd you can celebrate...but I doubt Ellis will ever want to celebrate his being different. I pray that I am wrong one day...and maybe he will find a great deal of strength in being the "unusual" kid in class. But he is NOT what God gave me, and I take issue with your putting it that way. I allowed him to be damaged because my backbone didn't come into play until he was harmed. I have to live with that for the reast of my life, and I have to watch him LIVE that wewakness. It is wonderful for you that you seem to have a gift in your level of functioning....but my goodness...do you really see most people with autism as being that lucky? Really? Do you have other HFA or Aspie friends? Or do you hang out with the crowd my neice would run with if she could? That would be the LFA with the need for a diaper bag and helmet. Are youy good at diaper changing? And do you help your friends with this? Being different because you choose to march to the beat of a different drum is far different in my book than choosing an alternative lifestyle.

Rozagy,

What you continually seem to ignore in your postings here is the fact that our children are seriously ill. My son, who is just starting to become verbal after a year of biomed treatment, is now able to tell me that his head hurts, or that he feels sick, or that his belly hurts. A year of treatment before he was even able to tell me how he feels. Maybe you take for granted being able to broadcast your feelings and your opinions all over the internet, but as a mother to a child with autism, it is not something I will ever take for granted. Remember when you are speaking for yourself, that our children do not have that ability. Before you tell us again how we should feel about our children, try for a moment to remember that no one here gives a rat's ass what you think. All I have to do is watch my son wake up with a smile and tell me that he feels happy. It's all I ever wanted. Every child with autism is different, and you know no better how to raise mine than I know how to raise yours. If you take anything from this debate, let it be this: Mind your own business.

I do think we were meant to be but we weren't meant to be sick. I like the descendant of the Neanderthals theory. But because we have different genes we have less ability to handle heavy metals, other toxins, and the measles virus and trouble handling gluten and MSG and sometimes Casein. But we also are more intellectual, more creative and less social t he way the bigger brained, more creative Neanderthals were who invented cave panting, burying their dead with flowers and practically every ancient invention but sewing. Some of us do have some fantastic gifts. I got into an interesting discussion with a fellow Aspergian the other day. What if from conception we had not been exposed to heavy metals, toxins, gluten or casein? We believe we would still be different from Neurotypicals/Cro magnons but we would be less sick and more functional. The goal should be to make us healthy Aspergians and help us with our areas of dumbness but not to turn us into over social, less introspective, less deep thinking Neurotypicals. We do have gifts and we want to keep them. There are those among us badly impaired and then there is Einstein, Tesla, Bill Gates and Stephen Spielberg. But those were not as sick as modern Aspergians. The things in the modern environment making my generation of Aspies sick has got to go!

Roza in so many ways I agree with you.
Yet if I did not treat my son for heavy metal poisoning, mitochondria disorder, food allergies and lipid peroxide, he would be a very sick child today.
He has recovered. Recovered from damage, from GI disease, from neuro issues.
Because we love him we want him to be free from pain. Free from metabolic disorders.
Free from things that poison his body.
His life is a million times better today than 5 years ago at diagnosis.
He can talk, make friends, read and write.
He is free now to be the best he can be.
Any parent would want that for their child.
Whoever has stereotyped parents treating biomedically to you is dead wrong.
Our children aren't just a little Aspie.
They are very sick kids.

Roza, I applaud your great success and that of your children, but I think you are missing a key fact:
"our autism is not 'faulty' because it cannot be fixed"

Perhaps that is true for you, circular though the thought is (an inoperable brain tumor is not "faulty" because it cannot be fixed?). However, I and many other parents on this board have found otherwise with "our" autism. Maybe "our" autism is etiologically, qualitatively different from your own, because we have found that in many cases it actually can be fixed. Maybe your autism and ours are not the same thing at all. My son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Now at age 7 he is not diagnosed with autism. Did I love and accept him any less then, or love and accept him any more now? No, I have always loved him with all my heart.

My son wasn't born with autism. Something happened to him that caused it. In my view, it would have been irresponsible not to try to reverse the damage done to my son. I agree with Harry -- you can have the term autism. It doesn't fit my son. He was injured by vaccines and exhibited autism-like symptoms. Now he's better.

Jake, Thanks for another great article. Your insight is invaluable.Your honesty refreshing.

Jake,

You offer very insightful observations about autism and its detractors like Offit. Thanks and looking forward to hearing more from you.

Rozagy, we do love our children. And we accept them. We do. Did you read the post yesterday about 16 year old Megan?

Perhaps one day my three autistic daughters will be able to "get into it" on a blog like you can. I sure hope so.

Thanks.

Kim

Neurodiversity? And what's cancer, cytodiversity?

My son has autism. At least thats' what the MD's, the PhD's and the educators call it.

He's low functioning and cannot speak, cannot go to the bathroom, and has a host of biomedical issues that can fill a book. He will probably never live on his own, or live anything that might be called a normal life.

He started out normally, like his older sisters did, until he got assaulted by a boatload of vaccines. Then he stopped talking and stopped trying to go to the bathroom. He stopped running and playing and began to jump up and down and flap his hands wildly when he got excited.

He can't Blog about his condition, and can't defend his "uniqueness" or his "diversity".

I prefer to say he has vaccine damage, since the word autism seems so divisive.

As far as I'm concerned, the ND crowd can have the word "Autism". It sucks.

You can all be as sarcastic as you like but because I don't 'get' your sarcasm being autistic it won't affect me nor do I care.

I say that you should love the child you are given by God not try to change them to suit your lifestyle, not try to 'cure' autism out of it.

I did not insult anybody - whoever 'read' into something that was not there did what we, autistic people, do not do as we're straight to the point and don't write things to be read 'between the lines'. So if I didn't write - it's not there.

I did not insult anyone, get it out of your mind.

Just because you don't like a grown up autistic woman telling you that inside your autistic child there is a person who deserves to be loved and accepted just as they are, doesn't mean it's not a valid point.

What you're doing by dismissing my view is exactly what you're doing by trying to 'cure' your autistic children: you're DISMISSING THEM as human beings, you're branding them faulty and not good enough.

That is what I stand up to and always will.

I love my autistic children and accept them the way they are. I just chose the give them a more appropriate education taking into consideration their autism to help them have the best tools to live their lives to the full. And I'm sure they will do that.

My parents never tried to change me, only supported and helped me and I thank them and God for that.

Even people with missing limbs train hard to compete in sports and win as long as they get the appropriate support and encouragement and someone believes in them, even if it's just themselves. My autism is not even an illness or an injury - I certainly can measure up and so can millions of autistic kids worldwide. And to Jake, sorry if it came across as attacking you - I was not. I was merely expressing sadness and disappointment and couldn't believe that someone with autism could sell out and give in to peer pressure of ignorant society and throw us under a bus. C'mon, man, you KNOW you're not 'faulty'.

I'm not being insulting at all but 'faulty' implies needing to be fixed. When people lose limbs they become 'faulty' and can be fixed with use of prosthesis or wheelchairs but our autism is not 'faulty' because it cannot be fixed and I don't think it should be. Other co-morbid conditions that often develop alongside autism when it is unsupported do need to be fixed, very well may be. But autism itself does not.

That's what I was saying. Don't be scared, stand up tall and be proud of yourself, man. And give hope to others with autism. The greatest gift my parents gave me is self-belief and no matter how crap things have been (and they have, many, many times, I've been through a lot in my short 38 years) my self-belief was the only thing that helped me pull through. If you don't have that, if you surrender - that's it, game over. It doesn't have to be though that's my point.

love, peace and creativity to you all, folks,

Roza Rozagy
the beautiful autistic gal x

from TD

"My son won't be able to survive without accommodations so I'm not sure who Jake is speaking for but he sure isn't speaking for my LFA son."

You have a good point but it is ironic that what you are describing is precisely what the Neurodiversity "movement" is notorious for, and what Jake is actively trying to combat.

TD said:
"So, let me get this straight Mark and Kim. It is ok to listen to autistic voices like Jake when they eschew the beliefs of AoA, but its also ok to dismiss autistic voices when they disagree with you like those in ND?"

No, TD. I, for one, encourage everyone's individuality and sense of self. However, I object when someone tells me to shut up and accept my kid for who or what she is and deal with her "special gift." I do that every day. But they have no right to tell myself or anyone else who is struggling with their child's needs to not seek a cure. My child is not comfortable with her disability. Many parents who frequent this site are not comfortable with letting their non-verbal child continue to suffer.

Saying the Jake is not autistic is kind of the same thing. He happens to look at it from a different perspective than the rest of the neurodiverse. I'm sure Kim and Mark are fine with the neurodiverse having their beliefs. However, like me, I'm sure they draw the line when they are called bad parents for wanting to cure their children.

Taking down Jake a few notches does nothing for your grandson.

Kim

In a way, the affected children who function well have a special responsibility to help us understand and interpret what's going on. Unlike a lot of the ND silliness that comes out of the wackosphere, Jake is dealing with the issues with directness, honesty and courage.
Mark Blaxill

So, let me get this straight Mark and Kim. It is ok to listen to autistic voices like Jake when they eschew the beliefs of AoA, but its also ok to dismiss autistic voices when they disagree with you like those in ND?

Jake,

Thank you for your article and your openness about your Asperger's. While I do enjoy reading the variety of opinions on this blog and others, I sincerely hope that it doesn't discourage you and other authors from doing what you love and are quite good at.

Sometimes people need to be reminded that autism is a SPECTRUM disorder.

Mark, Jake has a wonderful Mom already, but I'll add my name as an honorary den mother to the Jake Crosby fan club.

Kim

TD, I disagree with you. People with all sorts of disabilities eschew accommodations for a variety of reasons. If I limped up a staircase with a cast on my leg that wouldn't negate my broken leg one bit.

Taking down Jake a few notches does nothing for your grandson.

Kim

Jake obviously functions extremely well, but alongside that obviously welcome fact, his openness about his personal challenges (not to mention that autism is a SPECTRUM folks) gives him a special legitimacy in commenting on the challenges of autism that our children face. In a way, the affected children who function well have a special responsibility to help us understand and interpret what's going on. Unlike a lot of the ND silliness that comes out of the wackosphere, Jake is dealing with the issues with directness, honesty and courage. No disrespect intended to the warrior moms of our community, but Jake is dealing with these issues like a man. A strong man.

Count me a member of the Jake Crosby fan club. No whiners allowed. No special favors sought. No excuses. No bullshit. Just the truth.

Bravo Jake.

Jake, excellent piece.

I've seen Temple Grandin lecture in person and CBC Sunday just ran a segment with her. You stated that her ASD didn't seem to get in the way of her success but just in case you weren't aware, Temple has spoken on how she relies on meds for anxiety. She described her life before meds as being in a constant state of anxiety and that the anxiety was like having an auditorium filled with people, locking the doors, turning out the lights and then throwing rattlesnakes in.

Rozagy, your post is filled with stereotypes. All people with autism are innately opposed to violence and war? They don't gossip? They are all bloody smart?

You state: "but I find it hard to believe that anyone would attack their own kind" and yet you opened with "especially seeing that the author claims to be autistic himself". Why did you use "claims" instead of "is"?

"nor do I take accommodations for having an ASD. Even after openly accepting that I have Aspergers, I did not take academic accommodations;"

I would suggest that Jake doesn't have AS if he doesn't need accomodations. People with true AS have a disability. If they don't need accommodations, they don't have a disability.

My son won't be able to survive without accommodations so I'm not sure who Jake is speaking for but he sure isn't speaking for my LFA son. My son won't ever attend Brandeis University or any university for that matter so Jake doesn't know real autism.

Thank you so much to Jake Crosby for using his intelligence in such a productive way.
Rogazy is perhaps more disabled than they think. There is a complete lack of ability to show compassion or understand anyone else's problems.
My son who cannot read or self generate writing, has more compassion for others than many who think Autism is a gift.
I wonder if presented with the sliding scale of the Autism Spectrum in a visual format, they might understand why we want a change for our kids.

Someone (else) came along and slapped the label on my son. I thought the diagnosis had something to do with the fact that he's severely impaired in a dozen different directions. Silly me. Thanks to Rozagy, we're all better now, 'cause Autism is a gift, and my son is so lucky to be what he is. That's not poop on his clothes, it's a fashion statement.

to Justgivethemtheword"Autism" - your handle says it all.

"I never figured the Logan County Coal Operators Association could afford Martin MB-1 bombers *and* Baldwin Felts. WTF?!?!?! Over." - Bill Blizzard, Branch Davidian Katrina Survivor

http://www.wolfsonchildrens.org/about-us/news-events/2009/0213_autism.html

News & Events - Autism Symposium Presented by Wolfson and UF Features National Experts


Jacksonville, Florida, February 13, 2009 -- Three national experts on autism will speak in Jacksonville at the Inaugural Autism Symposium: Current Medical Evidence and Interventions Regarding Autism. The public is invited to attend the symposium, set for Wednesday, March 11, 9 am to 4 pm, at the University Center at the University of North Florida.

The symposium will address medical evidence about the causes of autism as well as strategies in treating children with the disorder. Guest lecturers are:

Nancy Minshew, MD, professor of psychiatry and neurology and director of the Center for Excellence in Autism Research at the University of Pittsburgh. The center seeks to understand underlying causes of autism, improve practice standards and develop public policy.
Paul Offit, MD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. A vaccine researcher, Dr. Offit also has been a member of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. He co-invented a vaccine for the rotavirus.
Serena Wieder, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author who co-developed the DIR and Floortime Approach for treating children with complex developmental problems. She is founder and associate chair of the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning Disorders, and is director of the DIR Institute.


Wolfson Children's Hospital and the University of Florida are presenting the symposium, with support from Nemours Children's Clinic.

Parents, caregivers, special needs teachers, social workers and medical professionals are encouraged to attend. Lunch is included in the $25 registration fee. Pre-registration is required and will be accepted through Wednesday, March 4.

For general questions, call 904.202.6039. Online registration is available at www.wolfsonchildrens.org/autism.

I wonder if Rogazy is self-diagnosed. That is what many of these people who claim to have Aspergers do. Not that I am demeaning those that truly do have Asperger's Syndrome, but those that self diagnose see it as a badge of honor. The reality is far worse.

Many parents of ASD children don't have children who are high functioning. Many of them have to live every day with their children's self injurious behavior and cleaning up shit-smeared walls. Many of them live every day with the fact that their children are unable to speak, unable to communicate and live with horrible GI pain. Why wouldn't these kids want to feel better? Why wouldn't these kids want to tell their parents "I love you?" The self-absorbed arrogance of the self-diagnosed "aspies" is disgusting and demeans those that truly do have Asperger's Syndrome, like Jake here and my daughter. My daughter has told me numerous times that she would like to have friends, but doesn't know how to relate to them. She has told me numerous times that she wishes she could be normal like everyone else. I tell her it is ok that she's different, but the Neurodiverse nitwits can't tell her that all people with Aspergers don't want to be cured.

Hi, Kim here. In case you're wondering why I let through the comment by Rogazy... I think it's important to remember that some people with HFA/Asperger's autism who are not as self aware as Jake, are hobbled by their diagnosis from seeing that it is a problem at all.

So Rozagy came into A of A, was immediately rude and insulted Jake. You and I saw that right off the bat. In a pub or store, we'd have made a face at him and walked away - and probably mumbled a rude name under our breath. That's likely how he lives. Constantly turned away by virtue of the fact that his autism blinds him from seeing.... his autism.

I'm proud that we have a person with Asperger's writing for us. I find it interesting that since he does not subscribe to neurodiversity, "his kind" (to use a Rozagian term) turn on him immediately.

I'll alert Sky Walker in his jail cell in Ohio, under charges of having beaten his mother to death, that he should be happy and proud of his autism. There's no problem at all. And please, tell every school district to stop services. Early intervention? Poof! Special help in college for kids with HFA? Gone. Social security for people with autism who can not live alone or hold a job? History - we'll balance the budget in no time! Insurance coverage for autism? Why? All you need are lollipops and a smile - autism is joy!

I am going on, aren't I?

Anyway, I let Rogazy in to let him prove Jake's point. And he did. I hope he is as content as he tells us. I do.

Kim

Wise insights, Jake. I hope that others on the spectrum try to understand your words without reflexively criticizing. When you use the term "disability" you are not attaching shame to it, but simply stating a clinical reality just as one would when mentioning abilities.

It's unfortunate that term "Neurodiversity" has been co-opted by negative people with an agenda that includes obfuscating information on potentially helpful medical treatments. Who wouldn't want to reduce light sensitivity, gastrointestinal pain and other physical ailments? When you feel well physically, it's easier to feel well emotionally.

Let it be known the very eccentric Camille Clark is so ASD, she is photographed making friends with locals on a trip to Russia. Her impeded ability to socialize must have provoked this and the subsequent uploading to her many "friends" on the web. How very social of the ol'Autism Diva, if I don't say.

She also does not have a child on the Spectrum, her 20 something child is still in diapers (God Bless him) and has a formal dx of Spina bifida. Another fact she shared with her many Internet friends.

Therefore this loony has no legitimate "dog in the race" not with her own diagnosis or her child's. Not to mention the craggy grey haired picture (she also shares with her many friends) hardly makes her out to be any kind of Diva for that matter.
(OK, well maybe for the AARP.)
May I inject here, that after experiencing the horrors of Autism firsthand, I fail to find anything the least bit glamorous about it.

My point is that these people know absolutely nothing about what families have endured post vaccine damage. My kid was NOT some sort of child protege.
He was a sweet, perfectly developing, baby until we vaccinated him with Thimerosal hundreds of times over the EPA's allowable ammount.
At which point he cascaded in to severe chronic illness. I would take brainiac, any day of the week, in place of my 18 month old screaming in pain, losing his speech, pooping dozens of loose runny stools,refusing to eat or wear clothes,smearing feces, running off.
AKA Autism.

I'm glad Paul Offit spelled out so clearly in his book that these fringe WACKOS are part of *his* army.
Unfortunately there are many more of us than them.


I wonder why Rozagy doesn't accept that some with ASD would like to improve their health and well-being. Perhaps some who are not able to "read" other people feel like they're missing out on something. Perhaps they don't have the full range of perception, and justify it with being smarter than others. Well that works for Rozagy, it may not be enough for Jake.

Jake, I loved this piece. I strive to improve my health, my son's health and spread the word that the diagnosis is reversable for some through hard word and dedication. While the diagnosis is accepted as-is by some, those who look to reverse it should not be discouraged. The pathways that cause ASD also cause heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, IBS. If one is comfortable with this, so be it.

It's just not my choice.

Rozagy,

How nice for you, and your father, and your son. You all claim to have "autism" and you love it!

My son has "autism" and he bites himself, has put holes in walls with his head, and he does not speak and he is thirteen years old.

Celebrate your "autism". Try and shove your kind of "autism" in our faces- you won't convince me that the "autism" my son lives with is anything but a disability.

Not a good article at all, especially seeing that the author claims to be autistic himself.

Autism ISN'T bad, but those who are trying to normalise us are wasting their time as it's like trying to change the cat into becoming a dog - pointless and will never be successful. We are here for a reason and it's not to be 'cured' of being ourselves.

I am autistic and I certainly do not want or need a cure. My father and my son were both diagnosed with autism (we all have Asperger's) and my father was a famous classical music composer with huge portfolio of work (despite dying young, of a heart failure) which I believe he would not have produced had he not been autistic. My son is 9 and is way ahead of his peers in maths, physics and art and I'm not going to blow my own trumpet but if I were to mention just one positive to my having autism is that English is my third language and took me 3 months to learn.

I hope that more autistic people find each other, marry and have autistic children so the world will become more evenly balanced and more autism-friendly. It won't be a bad thing as we're innately opposed to abuse, violence and war - any injustice in fact.

At least with an autistic you know where you stand because we'll just tell you, as we think it - no bullshit and no diplomatic crap, no back stubbing and no gossip.

I accept that the author's views may be genuine but I find it hard to believe that anyone would attack their own kind. Autism is not a disability in itself - but people's negativity, prejudice and discrimination against us is.

Rozagy


autistic culture movement UK co-founder

Another great article Jake. It's amazing what one can find out when one goes beyond the title.

Autism is a disabilty. The end.

Thanks Jake. I look at Neurodiveristy like Psych Ops. They (our government and pharma) are trying to convince us that autism is not really that bad. I use to work in law enforcement and I would "screw" with people's thinking to get them to do and say what I wanted. I had lots of government paid for training in psych ops. Neurodiversity is the same thing. They want us to shut up and just accept autism.

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