Offit and Critics - Part Five
Montana: Oro Y Plata But Not For Vaxxed The Movie

The Notion of Historical Neurodiversity Hurts Autistics

Inside scoopNOTE: Below is a insightful piece from an adult with autism that's a great read in advance of Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted's new book, Denial:How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future, from Skyhorse Publishing. This post by Twilah Hiari sheds light on a personal perspective on Neurodiversity.  Many of us have our point of view - as parents.  We've excerpted her blog post. Please visit A Thinking Patient for more.

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I’m no stranger to lies and conditional acceptance. As a child, my mother insisted my brown skin was white like hers. When I asked her why I saw a brown face in the mirror, she spun stunning tales of a Cherokee grandfather and a mysterious group of forebears called the Black Irish.

Thirty some years later, when I finally gazed upon the brown face of my African-American father, I felt liberated. Vindicated.

I watch my history repeat itself as I interact with adult autistics. After I blogged about When Modern Medicine Made Me More Autistic, I gingerly shared the link to my story with my local Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) chapter. I feared rejection and judgment, because my story flies in the face of popular autistic assertions that autism is an exclusively congenital state that exists and persists independently of harm caused by pharmaceuticals or environmental agents.

The rejection and judgment I feared didn’t materialize from my local chapter, but I took some heat from a few autistics around the world. With this post, I’m going to liberate myself from fear of rejection and conditional acceptance and make my position clear.

The notion of historical neurodiversity hurts autistics.

The figures in history whose behaviors allegedly corresponded to what may now loosely be within the bounds of an autism diagnosis—men like Henry Cavendish, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin, don’t much resemble the autistics we see today.

These historical figures were reported to be introverted and solitary—their intellects logical and brilliant. They don’t look a bit like today’s “level 2 and 3” autistics who sit glued to screens, earbuds planted firmly in ears because the slightest noise will trigger a meltdown.

Was there a cadre of autistic lesser characters who didn’t make it into the history books? A quiet contingent of autistics who sat rocking in living rooms and classrooms with the same frequency as young autistics today? Any honest person over age forty will answer that question with a resounding no. Any school teacher who has been teaching for over twenty years will say absolutely not.

I’m only 41-years-old, but I can assure you I was usually the only child with blatantly autistic behaviors at any of the five densely populated urban and suburban high schools I attended. My behavior was so far outside of the norm that staff had no idea what to make of me. They’d never seen a child who acted like me before. I’d become so overwhelmed by my surroundings that I’d opt to sit in hallways rather than enter my assigned classrooms. I’d likewise refuse to enter the cavernous and intimidating cafeterias. In the 80s and 90s, I was the only child like that out of hundreds of children.

At home, I’d sit and throw light bulbs and glassware against the wall of my bedroom. I’d lapse into a meltdown at the least disruption to my environment. At the home of my only friend, I’d hide away upstairs, face buried in a book, because the play of other children downstairs overwhelmed me. Read more here.

Comments

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michael

Twilah's voice is desperately needed at the IACC. IACC has been a waste and Twilah should be chairing it.

Grace Green

When will this end? Good question. Thank you for sharing your story. This must be so familiar to so many of us here. And I so agree with you that it has affected each generation worse than the last. This is why They can get away with saying we've always had autism. Yes - but - not so badly!

When will this end?

Here is what happened in our family:
In the late 1930's, early 1940's: My uncle as a toddler went catatonic after a shot that I later found out would have had mercury. He recovered, but was very ADD. He lined up all the shoes in the house, he married at 19, had 7 children, drove a truck, read novels, created beautiful art. He was a wonderful story teller who could light up a room. He was an alchoholic from age 12 (the silent kind who just slept) but overcame it with the help of his loving family.
My uncle's little brother never got the shots because back then, doctors paid attention to reactions. He became a lawyer, very prosperous, with an amazing career, top schools.
My mother who was older, did get the shots. She did not react overtly, but as a child was so out of control she would sit on the roof at age 3, and ended up being sent to live with cousins on a farm (which caused its own traumas til they returned her). She recovered to marry my Dad and was fine until, working at a nursing home, she was forced to get flu shots every year. Now she is in the same nursing home, with alzheimers.
My sister, at age 4, was incubating chicken pox when she got whatever was standard back in 1962 for age 4. She was so sick for a week from the shot the doctor almost hospitalized her. She recovered, but they skipped the small pox shot for me, because of my eczema as well. Becaause doctors at that time were empowered to see patterns. (By the way, eczema is a reaction to heavy metals. There's a pubmed to that and I think its the marker we are all looking for as far as--don't vaccinate a child who develops eczema).
I was born with an eye that 'wandered' which I now know can be a sign of mercury poisoning. Given my Mom played with mercury from thermometers as a child, and had a mouth full of fillings, of course.
Later, I get all the vaccines they tell me to when pregnant. I can't even get contractions with the drugs they give me to induce. Finally, a C section. Baby perfect. He gets the hep B shot hours later, and ends up in the NICU. But I don't put the pieces together. He is put on IV antibiotics for something they never do figure out. Because it's the shots! He recovers, over and over, each 2 months, from the shots that make him sick, until the MMR puts him over into autism land. Finally, I listen to all the voices that have warned me. Finally I stop his shots and start him on the path to recovery. Finally, my mother tells me all these family stories that she had forgotten might still be relevant.
My point: The dose makes the poison. Each generation is more grieviously harmed. As some of the children of the 40s and 50s grew up, their bodies gradually chelated the mercury and they "grew out of it". Others never did, but if they got reinjured with amalgams or other shots or toxic exposures . . here we go again. My other point: Had we been told the truth so long ago, that some families should not vaccinate, so very many of us with these histories, would have seen signs so much sooner or avoided this to begin with.


Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, AoA, for directing us to this post

L  Land

Good till the last paragraph. Seemed like the writer was doing the same things that she commented on others doing

Anna Quandt

Great article. I will show it to my son who has never believed the neuro diversity argument. After refusing drugs for years he has been put on adderal. His anxiety has increased and he has days when he will not go out. Drugs are toxic. Scary.

kws

I really like this article for a couple reasons. First, it's written in the first person which provides a special credibility and second it possesses a serious depth of thought. Nice work

Maureen McDonnell,RN

What an absolutely brilliant piece! For years, those of us trying to expose the truth about the causes of autism have been thwarted or in some cases stopped dead in our tracks by a small but vocal group of individuals who claim that their autism should be celebrated & our search for causes, cures & methods of prevention are insulting them!
Although we need to respect these individuals, we should not allow them to deter us from speaking the truth about the real culprits involved in causing this disorder & how to prevent more children from this affliction.

Michael S.

IMO, one of the most profound articles on the subject I have ever read. It should be required reading for all persons that do work in the public sector - Doctors, lawyers, educators, elected public officials etc. Thanks to the author for writing it and this site for posting it.

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