When Inclusion Means So Little: NC Teen Shamed with Inappropriate Photo
Sidelined No More

Tonic Offers a Tonic as Antidote to the Unrealistic and Downright Insulting Nonsense of The Good Doctor

Suited-man-head-in-sandNote: If your child or friend or even yourself with autism is a genius who can or could function in a high pressure, snap decision, life or death job like surgery please let us know.  We never want to insult our readers - especially those who are on the spectrum.  Are there savants? Yes of course. But the trend to portraying autism as a desirable gift is troubling to us here at AofA.   I know children with amazing splinter skills. Math and calendar geniuses, for instance. "What day was April 4, 1874?" And my friend's son can answer. I can't and I'm too tired to Google it.

This week the FBI report on Sandy Hook mass murderer Adam Lanza was released and reported on in many media outlets. Adam had Asperger's, but the report indicates almost what I could consider full autism. He could not stand light. He could not stand sound. He could not wear clothes. He weighed 111 pounds at his death, so clearly he did not or could not eat. He perseverated on mass shootings. Hadn't left his room in 3 months according to the report. Communicated with his enabling "gun nut" mother  (that's the report's language) via email only during those 3 months.  And he also had an indication of pedophilia. Is he also an aberration? Hell yes. Adam Lanza is NOT the face of Asperger's.  And neither is the Good Doctor.

There's a reason for my outrage, our outrage. If autism is seen as a gift and not a life shattering (for many) diagnosis, who will fund research? Who will pass laws protecting our loved ones? Who will make sure social security benefits and Medicaid stay around to help our kids survive? This is the USA.  We are a short term nation. Remember Houston's floods?  Aw heck that was how many tragedies ago? Autism will disappear as a voting issue. We'll lose clout such as we have any. Our kids will lose a lot more.  KIM

By Sarah Bradley Read the full article here.

A few weeks ago, ABC premiered a new drama called The Good Doctor, about a young surgical resident with high-functioning autism. Dr. Shaun Murphy has a traumatic past and many challenges to overcome, but clear talent in his chosen profession.


He's also a genius. It says so right there in the promotional trailer for the series. In the first episode, audiences can see the visual representation of his brain working overtime as he taps into a bank of memorized facts and manipulates anatomical diagrams in his head, all before synthesizing that information in superheroic fashion during medical crises.

This is not a show I want to watch. I'm tired of what the entertainment business thinks autism looks like—it's a perception that's far removed from reality.

The well-known pop culture motif of the "autistic savant" likely started with the release of the film Rain Man in 1988. While savant syndrome is real, it's actually quite rare—only 10 percent of people with autism are estimated to have savant abilities. But the stereotype has hung around stubbornly since then, appearing in film and television to spread the misconception that autism—despite its varying degrees of impairment—is something that can also bear desirable or even enviable gifts.

That message is damaging in more ways than one. It's insulting to the large percentage of people on the spectrum without savant abilities, because it implies their stories aren't as valuable or worth telling. It also promotes the falsehood that an autism diagnosis nearly always comes pre-packaged with extreme giftedness.

"It's true that many individuals with high-functioning autism have very high levels of intelligence and savant-like abilities," says Harry Voulgarakis, a psychologist and director of the Shoreline Center for Social Learning in Connecticut. "But it's important to remember that this is a small percentage of individuals on the spectrum…in fact, about 40 percent of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder [ASD] have an intellectual disability, or a lower range IQ. So while the media representations of ASD are not necessarily inaccurate, they are limited in the many aspects of ASD that they are portraying."

Comments

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Barry

Barry

It certainly looks weird but I think maybe the guy is just trying to compose himself and then breaks down - I have certainly seen things like this.
********

Maybe John.

But in my experience, but when someone in a situation like this tries to 'compose' themselves, it's usually to get their grief under control . Not to conjure it up.

Hera

Hi Vicki,
Most people here, including Grace, I am sure, have their own challenges to face. Not many of us are living on easy street, for one reason or other, and it is nice to find and share a kindness here that can be lacking in the outside world..
While my own opinion on the Sandy Hook shooting is probably closer to yours, if the only people who I shared activism ( or friendship ) with held the same opinions as me on every subject, there would be no one else to talk with at all.
My own Sandy Hook opinion, for what it is worth:
Many people who dissociate in times of disaster can indeed laugh, tell jokes etc until reality hits.
It's why nurses, firemen, the military and policemen often have really bad senses of humor.Autism families sometimes have the same thing; laughing at poop jokes etc.
You could not hide missing teachers and children and then convince a whole school full of people and all their families to consistently go along with a lie for years. Graves, funerals, grieving families, these things can't get faked on such a large scale.
Could Adam have had help with the shooting, been on pharma drugs, or are other pertinent facts not being shared? Yes, quite possibly.
Is the media notoriously lazy; yes. Photographing the wrong school, or using earlier footage of kids getting on a bus; par for the course if it is easier and they don't think anyone would notice anyway.
I had a friend whose house was portrayed on national media ( many years ago, in the midst of a wildfire.) The voice over said solemnly that firefighters had fought to save the house, which was later engulfed in flames. The reality was it was only her family fighting the fire, and they saved their house.
( Imo, never underestimate the basic incompetence/laziness of reporters :) )

Vicki

Grace- you have the ability to write your comments and claim the UK and US govts are persecuting you? Are you kidding me? Talk to me when you have to wipe your 17 year old's poopy butt and have your hair pulled out of your head by your suffering child.

I don't give a crap about conspiracies
I want someone to help my son.

Jenny

Re the Sandy Hook side discussion.
Can anyone beside me see the irony in the situation here - that someone is crying conspiracy based on what someone thinks should be an appropriate reaction to a tragic situation, can't possibly think of any other contributing factors about how a person should appear or act, but doesn't? On an autism site that regularly discusses the behaviorally based side effects of vaccination?

Look at the age of that father in the video. Rather on the younger side of things - i.e. most likely born in the 80's, I would guess. Has probably been way more vaccinated than anyone in the 60s or earlier. Having to make small talk with folks around him at the same time knowing he is about to be on camera (both stressful situations for some folks). Couldn't possibly be nervous laughter, right? Not enough tears for you? Well, maybe the guy has aspbergers and is socially awkward, which could include laughing at the wrong time and not physically showing his emotions/empathy correctly - how many visual apps are out there teaching kids with aspbergers and autism how to act appropriately in certaiin situations. How many people are just barely avoiding avoiding a diagnosis in our society? Not to mention TV anchormen and women and war correspondents regularly report on horrific horrific events without crying and they are allowed to not cry on camera, even expected to not cry on camera. (hey - new employment opportunity for those on the spectrum?) And in reality, some parents are naturally better at containing tears when its necessary - most likely this man has a wife or ex wife or partner who is weeping and broken somewhere and he took it upon himself to respond to an interview request. How often do we witness couples in hospitals in tragic situations where the mother is crying uncontrollably while the father comforts her and tries to "hold the family together."

Maybe the people who watch the video and insist it can only be interpreted in one way have also been over vaccinated (which in some cases means even one vaccine) and have lost the capacity to express or think in an empathetic fashion - can't envision an alternate but equally real reality. It's to be expected because vaccine damage happens on a spectrum, doesn't it? And it helps explain why so many people seem to have such a hard time getting along with each other any more.

Grace Green

Vicki, this item is about an alleged mass shooting by someone with high-functioning autism. I am another such person, aged sixty-four, and I have experienced in my lifetime the most horrendous persecution by the UK government, possibly backed up by the USA government, which was totally inexplicable to me until I discovered my autism, and then, this website. If it looks like a crazy conspiracy, feels like a crazy conspiracy and sounds like a crazy conspiracy, perhaps it is a crazy conspiracy. I only speak of what I've experienced.

John Stone

Vicki

Yes, I deleted it because it was a piece of ad hominem. The site editors don't necessarily agree with all the comments. I didn't think it was alright for you to say that these were the views of AoA.

Vicki

Funny how you didn't post my earlier comment. This site has slowly been taken over by the crazy conspiracy bloggers and has lost its credibility as a voice of reason trying to expose vaccine injury. You are alienating the people who are reasonable but know that pharma has bought off the medical establishment, the govt, the media, etc.
This current political poison has ruined
the AoA website.

John Stone

Barry

It certainly looks weird but I think maybe the guy is just trying to compose himself and then breaks down - I have certainly seen things like this. I don't think there is any reasonable doubt that the incident happened, the doubt is over the background although a considerable amount has been published in non-mainstream sources too.

Aimee Doyle

@Someone

There may well be unanswered questions about Sandy Hook - and I doubt the liberal media, the conservative media, or the alternative media ever gets everything right.

But I believe parents. I believe parents when they talk about their children's vaccine injury. And I believe the parents at Sandy Hook who talk about the deaths of their children.

Barry

Sandy Hook denial IS disgusting. It's like denying the Holocaust. There's no reason for it other than being so pathologically enraged at the notion of gun control that one outright refuses to live in reality.

***********

If you can watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKWgCRBR5qE , and honestly believe that the guy in it is the father of a child who was killed the day before..... then you have no right to accuse anyone of refusing to live in reality.

Someone

Sorry for opening up the can of worms regarding Adam and the Sandy Hook event. My bad. I have heard both sides of the argument, even what Rich Halbig had to say about it, and I have to say that there are many troubling questions that he and others raised. If the media is so lazy they cannot photograph the right school, say, or any of the emergency vehicles that surely must have gone to the school considering we are told that so many kids and teachers were shot and killed, I don't know what to think about that kind of sloppiness. We have been so misled by the media regarding just about every single event that has occurred in recent memory, I don't know what the truth really resembles any longer, if I don't see something happen with my own eyes. We were all lied to about "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, weren't we? And we even went to war on the basis of outright lies, too. Wasn't that the Grand Ole' New York Times doing that reporting? I read so many fresh new lies each day, I don't trust anything other than my own eyes and instincts any longer. To blindly trust anything in the news seems really dumb these days. People like Edward Bernays really do exist, and I am quite positive some like him are quite active behind the scenes even today.

Aimee Doyle

@Grace -

I don't just read the MSM - but parents of Sandy Hook students were interviewed across a variety of media and I just don't think that kind of grief can be faked or bought.

Pharma, media, government and doctors lying about vaccines is different from parents lying about the deaths of their children.

arawn

Sandy Hook denial IS disgusting. It's like denying the Holocaust. There's no reason for it other than being so pathologically enraged at the notion of gun control that one outright refuses to live in reality. Blathering about Russia being a distraction is just the icing on the narcissistic cake.

Jeannette Bishop

You have to want to hear the skeptics out (and take quite some time probably) to have an idea of why they are skeptical, but I don't want to attempt to convince anyone that Sandy Hook was/is the op that I believe it is.

But with that somewhat unappealing perspective, this report on the FBI report seems aimed to demonize parents of individuals on the spectrum and those on the spectrum themselves, especially those who don't drug and/or institutionalize their children or themselves, and pretty much everyone with a diagnosis is going to find run into some "professional" pretty motivated to recommend at least some pharmaceutical or other. No one is talking about "missed opportunities" to identify cause, detox and heal, and maybe even financially compensate Adam to help him, in the event he was one of many unrecognized as polluted into disability as an infant (assuming he's not an imaginary persona).

It's particularly disturbing that this event was on the heels of the conviction by the media and authorities of a young man, reportedly high functioning also, in the Aurora, Colorado shooting before trial. I can speculate that some might particularly want to target the 2nd Amendment protections of those on the higher end of the spectrum, for their own sense of security, or maybe they just find these individuals an easy target.

On the other hand, it is perplexing to watch high functioning autism incorporated into professed as fictional medical roles. Do these programs get good ratings? (I don't watch much TV lately.) If anyone high-functioning were able to enter "healthcare" and felt the need to challenge/improve some aspect of the system, how quickly would they rather be relegated to the receiving end of the drugging and/or institutionalizing? Is this "programming" really aimed at the rest of us? Maybe trying to get us to associate "quirkiness" and a disconnected bedside manner (or something like that) with genius and innovation? Maybe even if such a bedside manner is recommending 12 vaccines at once, along with a round of chemo-therapy and a dozen or so other prescriptions for the side effects? Another frightening speculation that comes to mind (maybe just mine) is that some are projecting that a significant percentage of those capable of completing medical school, such as it will be in the future with whatever demand for "healthcare" workers hundreds of vaccines might create, will be on the spectrum.

On a tangent, some say they want to have robots delivering healthcare, certain aspects of it at least to cut costs and reduce errors. Others say that's not going to happen, people won't really accept it. But doctors are already rather locked into various treatment algorithms ("programs") it seems to me . I want to suggest to them they might be in trouble in terms of job security, if they don't stop robotically (word?) vaccinating and prescribing, etc. even if with a great bedside manner.

John Stone

Thomas

If newsmedia used old footage of the school bus that would perhaps in itself not be anywhere near falsification. I have also seen grieving people put on an urbane show one minute in a social situation - perhaps it is an automatic reflex - and break down in uncontrolled tears the next. I don't suppose we have anything like the full truth about Adam Lanza but the question is which bits of the story are really suspect.

John Stone

Adam Lanza and medication

http://ablechild.org/2014/03/11/new-information-about-adam-lanzas-mental-health-treatment-reveals-multiple-drugs/

John Stone

AnneS

Well, it didn't stop Uta Frith

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/01/utter-froth-autism-epidemic-caused-by-the-film-rain-man.html

AnneS

Here's what they say about Rain Man - not autism, but FG syndrom (from wikipedia):
Laurence Kim Peek (November 11, 1951 – December 19, 2009) was an American savant. Known as a "megasavant", he had an exceptional memory, but he also experienced social difficulties, possibly resulting from a developmental disability related to congenital brain abnormalities. He was the inspiration for the autistic savant character Raymond Babbitt in the movie Rain Man. While Peek was previously diagnosed with autism, it is now thought that he instead had FG syndrome.

Grace Green

Aimee, it's possible. Everyone's lying about vaccines, are they not, and that must be costing someone a lot more in bribery than a few local parents and teachers. Keep an open mind, and don't just read the MSM.

Aimee Doyle

@Tom -

You think all the parents at Sandy Hook - who lost children - are lying? And the staff and teachers at the school? And the police officers who responded?

Thomas C Petrie

I once offered a friend 17 videos that proved--beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Sandy Hook was a falseflag event in order to assist our government in their gun control efforts. Our gov't--so into "gun control," managed to amass 4 billion rounds of ammunition just a few years back. And everyone knows about the "Fast and Furious" scandal where thousands of guns were sent by OUR GOV'T into Mexico, to see which drug cartels they traveled through. One such gun "came near the border," and killed one of our border control agents. NOT a funny story.

So the hypocrisy of our gov't on gun control is amazing. As to the question about the 17 videos about Sandy Hook (and the photo showing children getting on buses was for a school outing six months before Sandy Hook--but you knew that, right?), my friend said, "I wouldn't watch them, because I wouldn't believe what they say anyway!" At least she was honest about her NOT wanting to know the truth--because the truth might be uncomfortable.

So, whether it's the famous "crisis actor," who miraculously appeared sobbing at Boston (another False Flag), AND Sandy Hook or the ridiculous "skills" of Adam Lanza who had a "97 percent" kill rate (absurd to the extreme), those who believe the official story are really closed minded--and idiots too. This is not the place for an analysis, but these "shootings--real or fake, generated by psychiatric drugs if they're real, or sick "falseflags" if they're fake, are a symptom of what's wrong with this country. We're lied to so often, it's almost like we LIKE being lied to. Folks if it's print in ANY major newspaper, it's likely to be a lie on some level, whether by errors of omission or errors of commission. Mostly it's what they DON'T tell us that's a lie. The do NOT tell us that the non-stop reporting of "Russia Interferring with our Elections," is but a distraction of how they're killing our climate, our food, our health and...our children. Yup, stupid stories are NOT about the stories, but about keeping us away from what is REALLY the news.

Global Research (.ca, in Canada), is a good way to catch up folks on how we're being lied to constantly. Alex Jones is also ok, but he's too "crazy" in his rants to know when he is being accurate or not. But his attitude of questioning everything is a good lesson for all of us.

A few years ago, I was on a radio broadcast out in Western New York about the Sandy Hook events and I was called "disgusting" for questioning the official story. No wonder folks don't want to question the official story about any falseflag event NO ONE likes to be put down. And so too is this true whenever anyone questions the official story about vaccines. Look at the grief Dr. Jim Meehan is taking for just his letter to Pediatricians about their neglect of their patients re Autism. Beautiful and heart-felt letter, but all the usual idiots (and vaccine profiteers) are slamming him for daring to question official dogma.

No wonder it's gonna take another five years before "it's obvious" that vaccines, other environmental triggers AND Pediatricians CAUSE and have caused the awful Autism epidemic here and around the world. Then it'll be like tobacco and lung cancer: "Everyone knows that Vaccines cause A.S.D's" like everyone knows how tobacco can cause lung cancer.

Martha Moyer

I believe there are doctors with asperger's but they never have worn the label and perhaps don't realize they are in the spectrum. I still recall one physician who I am sure was an asperger. He was indeed quite good at being a doctor and even came up with some unique remedies for his patients and he cured them with what he prescribed. I had a primary care doctor who knew this doctor and he said, "This doctor is one of the finest doctor's I have ever seen but he is so odd! He says these odd things and does these odd things." The doctors played golf together sometimes I was told.

Barry

I have to wonder about the depiction of Adam Lanza. I do not understand how anyone, with or without autism, with an aversion to loud noises could go shoot off a gun, repeatedly, when gun shots make a lot of very loud noises. How could someone who could not stand noise shoot a gun once, much less repeatedly?

***********
Here's a video of a parent, who supposedly lost a child that day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKWgCRBR5qE

Pretty disturbing actually, how he comes across as a happy looking guy (??...!! ). Until he thought the camera was about to roll, and he realized it was time to 'get into character'.

There's plenty about this narrative that doesn't add up.

Angus Files

He seemingly was wearing plugs at the time of the shooting

US school killer Adam Lanza wore earplugs 'to drown out screams of victims'
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sandy-hook-adam-lanza-wore-1524092

Seemingly his mother used to take him to the ranges as it was one of the few activities that she could bond with him...

Three shooting ranges frequented by the Sandy Hook shooter
https://sandyhooklighthouse.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/three-shooting-ranges-frequented-by-the-sandy-hook-shooter/

We all know what its like to have someone on the spectrum refusing not to do something and the`positive reinforcement` hoops and side way inventiveness in approach you have to go through to achieve the simplistic of things ( getting our son to eat a pea springs to mind it took us 6 months of sweat and tears).In Adams case it seems the parents are the ones to blame for allowing him to refuse to attend school,therapy involving drugs etc.Once again the authorities see normal activities through the eyes of a normal person and not through the eyes of a mentally disabled person.They dont mention to any degree what EXTRA assistance or methods of help or a specific itemized plan a `program of needs` its called here in the UK where the child gets involved in activity's it can do and activities they think they might work towards gradually. All this damming of the parents from one psychiatric report done years before the carnage and a very few well meaning poor attempts in between to assist the family Its a pity they never dealt with the facts son with Autism single mother coping on her own what can be done.What has been put in place since?

Pharma for Prison

MMR RIP

ldb

My son has an aversion to noise, sometimes even soft sounds, but when it is made by him, the noise does not seem to bother him as much. I also resisted in watching the "Good Doctor", but finally watched and agree with the above comments, but....my HFA adult son joined me in watching and identified with some of the behaviors and...I think made him feel even better about his own intelligence. Yes, we worked hard to educate him. My low functioning grandson worked hard too, but at nineteen, he won't make it out of his world.
Sadly, the one thing my son identified most with, was the way some of the hospital employees treated the good doctor. I would say, most people on the spectrum would not be able to handle this type of behavior aim at them...My son gets it when people don't like him. In grade school, he would say, "Why do all my friends hate me."

Someone

I have to wonder about the depiction of Adam Lanza. I do not understand how anyone, with or without autism, with an aversion to loud noises could go shoot off a gun, repeatedly, when gun shots make a lot of very loud noises. How could someone who could not stand noise shoot a gun once, much less repeatedly? I truly don't understand how that is possible, and it is the first time, right here in print at AOA, that I have heard that Adam Lanza had a problem with noise. Can anyone here explain this? Was Adam wearing ear protection when he fired his gun?

Aimee Doyle

I wish those in the neurodiversity movement would actually offer hands-on, practical help to those of us who have severely impacted kids and young adults. Help - like spending some substantial time in the homes - whether a group home or a family home - with their severely impacted brethren. I've never read about anyone in the ND movement actually doing this.

I'm sure that Adam Lanza, his mother, his father, and his brother could have used help and support - and since the ND movement are the ones who claim the sole right to "understand" autism - where were they? For that matter - where was the ND movement when Skye Walker beat his mother to death? Where was the ND movement for Alex Spourdalakis and his family?

Seems that the ND movement is mostly about criticizing parents - and blaming the parents if their kid isn't high functioning. I know that no one in the neurodiversity movement has ever wanted to spend any time with my son. He is consistently shunned at events geared toward those with Aspergers and HFA.

cherry Misra

Just curious- Has anyone here ever heard of an autistic person becoming a physician or surgeon? Has anyone heard of an autistic person who had interest in biology?
I am reminded of a sad incident about 20 years ago. I met a young doctor in pediatric residency who told me that a young surgeon had committed suicide . Why? He was going to be dropped from the program . Why ? apparently because he did not fit the "image" of a surgeon as was expected by his seniors. The young resident felt that in fact he was the only one who understood the pediatric patients well. Kinda makes you wonder if any autistic young person is going to travel that long road to become a physician or surgeon.
Why should anyone be surprised. All of us in the autism world learned long ago that the truth is a moving target.

Linda1

"Communicated with his enabling "gun nut" (that's the report's language) via email only during those 3 months. "

Who was that?

Angus Files

When good meaning friends mention the usual savants Rain Man et-al with a well meaning touch of the song "always look on the bright side of life'da-dum, da-da da-da da-dum') :) I just inform them that my son is never ever x100 going to do anything for himself unsupervised (on here you know its not because we haven't tried.Then I try to explain even the savants cant get out of the bed in the morning , get dressed etc without supervision- very few friends really get Autism simply because there has never been anything comparable in the creation of mankind before its beyond imagination and rationale discussion its genocide.

Pharma for Prison

MMR RIP.

bob moffit

"But the trend to portraying autism as a desirable gift is troubling to us here at AofA."

Unfortunately .. "portraying autism as a desirable gift" .. is not just a "trend" .. it is a determined effort to create a false perception .. which has become .. in effect .. "reality" in the court of public opinion.

Consider .. if autism is widely believed to be a "gift" .. as most entertainment and media sources present it to be .. any credible, scientific research seeking to identify both .. "cause and cure" for autism .. such as .. that long overdue vaccinated v. unvaccinated study .. can easily be dismissed as simply the ramblings of anti-vaccine crackpots ..

It is no accident the "spectrum of autism" is so widely described to include both .. the savant as well as the severely regressed child/adult .. who cannot speak or independently live without constant supervision .. 24 hours a day .. seven days a week ..

Common sense dictates the "spectrum" as presently defined .. is more "problem" than "solution" .. when seeking to identify cause and cure .. which is exactly how the powers that be want it to be.


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