All opinions and views stated on this site belong solely to Corina Lynn Becker, and do not represent or reflects the views and opinions of any organizations, unless otherwise specified.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Children Learn What They Live

For as long as I can remember, my mother has kept this saying on a wooden plaque in the laundry room, which is also the entrance from the garage. So we would go past it every time we went into that room. It doesn't say who it's by, so forgive me for not referencing. If someone does know, send a comment my way and I'll check it out.

According to Alexander Cheezem, the poem was written by Dorothy Law Nolte, and is the 1969 version of her poem, which the many versions can be seen Here

Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to by shy.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Anna Kennedy on AoA

Anna Kennedy has written a very fine article on her fight to her son's special education, which was posted on (Surprise!) AoA. I am pleased, because it is a positive-attitude mother who demonstrates strength and determination to ensure that her sons have a high quality education and life, without the dramatic flair that I have often found on AoA. In short, an inspirational piece on making a difference.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


You know how they say that great minds think alike? Well, I just became aware today that this blog, No Stereotypes Here, has a similar url as well as the same layout theme as Sirenity's "Tragedy? Not in this house!", or http://notragedyhere.blogspot.com/

I was TOTALLY unaware of this when I started this up. Now I'm going to go have my giggle fit, okay? :D

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Upcoming posts

Just wanted to post a line about what I'm currently doing.

Right now, I'm reading Dr. Paul Offit's book "Autism's False Prophets".

I am composing an article on what self-advocacy means in the disability community, especially in post-secondary education.

I am putting together the introduction to a series to define terms in Neurodiversity.

I am trying to make contacts in the local Autism Ontario chapter to try and get a screening of "Adam" sometime. I don't know whether it is possible at the Cineplex, so I am going to try at the screening room. If both fails, I will wait until it is out on DVD and book a theater, most likely out of my own pocket.

Also, tomorrow I go to the sleep clinic for my entry appointment (I have sleep apnea, moderate-severe) and an exam. This weekend, I go visit my brother in New Brunswick.

I have been asked by an autism service provider, Kerry's Place Autism Services, whether I'd like to display some of my artwork at a meeting(?) in October. I look forward to it. They also are very interested in my articles here. To those from KPAS who are reading this **waves** THANKS!!

edit: oops. fixed the broken link to Kerry's Place. Thanks Karen! :D

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friendly, agreeing comment to Estée

Estée Klar wrote a piece on her blog about the Ontario Accessibility Act. I quote her on the specifics:
By 2012, accommodating disabled persons in Ontario will become mandatory for all non profit organizations. Accommodating people with disabilities will be enforced, and this will make it necessary for all not for profit agencies — which includes hospitals, schools, religious organizations, transportation services and the like — to be able to utilize and/or make available Assistive Devices for non verbal individuals as well as other equipment, environmental provisions and the deliverance of the “products and services” (which entails what we commonly refer to as accommodation) for a diverse population of individuals with various needs.

Under the Ontarian Accessibiltiy Act which became law in 2005, non profits will all have to comply by 2012 and other businesses by 2025.

Her entry can be found here as "Ontario’s Accessibility Act"

Being in agreement, I felt little need to comment, but then decided that putting in my two cents is part of what I do. :D

Hi. I’m looking forward to this. I am one of those that had a hard time accepting accommodations in school settings. I saw it as singling me out for bullying, as well as “cheating”, since I didn’t understand that accommodations are to help “level the playing field” so that it’s fair and so that I have the tools to be able to show that I did learn what was being taught in class.

Accommodations outside of the classroom allow people to communicate in a manner that better suits them, be able to access the same services as others, and be able to interact in society. That’s what accommodations are.

For a more visible disability, it is widely accepted to accommodate for them. I’m talking about ramps and lowered sinks for wheelchair users, allowing blind dogs into restaurants, malls and other settings, hearing aids and communication devices for people with impaired hearing (please note, I do not know the preferred terms that these people would rather I use, so please excuse my ignorance and maybe, could you educate me?).
For less obvious disabilities, such as Learning Disabilities, parts of autism and others, accommodations should be just as acceptable. However, we have a habit of being made invisible because we don’t look very disabled. But we are. For example, it is a lot easier for me to type this than it is for me to say it, even though I am considered a verbal autistic. So this computer and keyboard that I’m using is an accommodation. Accommodations aren’t to be used as excuses to not try, but rather, to build on strengths to overcome weaknesses that otherwise impair ability.

So. I am looking forward to this, and hope that this will help to make changes in society to be more accepting and understanding for people with disabilities.

Now that I think about it, I should probably have included hearing impaired and maybe blind in the invisible disability category. Without their devices and, in the case of the blind, walking stick-thing-I-don't-know-the-name-of and/or seeing dog, these people look "normal".

And I should know better too. One of my roommates was legally blind, meaning her sight was so bad that even corrective lenses could not fully help. If I remember correctly, it was one eye, so she also had very very little, if any, depth perception. To those who didn't know, she looked "normal". Well, normal in that she didn't look disabled or blind; we're all geeks in that apartment.

Anyways. But the point of my comment remains.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dear Crystal Engler

Also posted on LJ. Edited for grammar

This is a response to the post on the Age of Autism that Crystal Engler wrote called United We Stand, Divided We Fall" on August 2, 2009. Or, as her blog has titled "Don't Fuck With Me Fellas, This Ain't My First Time at the Rodeo".

Dear Crystal Engler,

In your post, you ask about the "great divide that sets the autism community apart", stating that you don't want to fight, and want us all to get along since we are all working in the best interests for autistic family members. To quote:

"On various levels, we're extremely different. But at the root of it all, like it or not, we share something. We share autism. No matter our differences, we should cast the weapons aside and ceasefire for the "greater good." By that, I mean the health and welfare of the autism generation to come."

This is very admirable. I hate fighting too and dislike the conflict in the autism community. Autism can be very challenging, both for the parents and family members, and for the children. The old saying "It takes a village to raise a child" comes to mind. As a community, we should be working together.

However, as an ND, I do feel compelled to point out the reasons why there is a conflict. This is so that you can understand "the parents who blast those of us who are working for a recovery", and those whom you did not acknowledge in your article, the autistic people who also embrace Neurodiversity. This is so that you can understand where we are coming from, as the first step to overcoming conflict is understanding.

The main and obvious difference is our beliefs in what causes autism. Basically, it is a difference between believing that vaccines and/or toxins/heavy metals causes autism and that genetics causes autism. Your side believes autism is a physical illness, we believe it's a natural wiring of the human brain. I'm very sure that we are both very much aware in the particulars, so I won't go into great detail about this.

To me, this belief is not an issue of conflict. At least, it shouldn't be. It is a belief. It is like comparing the different beliefs in Christian churches. One church believes that communion bread and "wine" actually becomes the flesh and blood of Christ once swallowed. Another church believes that it is a metaphor, but acts as a reminder to the sacrifice that Jesus gave for them. While maintaining different beliefs, both churches are still Christian.

The point I'm trying to make from the above example is that we need to focus on precisely why we each believe that the others' belief is wrong. So stepping past the differences in causation beliefs to the result of these beliefs. This is what most likely causes "many anti-biomed parents who are hell-bent on trashing Jenny McCarthy and others like her" to post the "foaming at the mouth" and "ranting" blogs you mentioned.

The result: the actions we take in our beliefs.

Now, I don't doubt that you, Crystal, or any other "biomed" parents, love their children. Of course you love your children. That's why we all are working so hard, and why both of our sides are so heated in this conflict. We want our precious children to be happy. We want them to be healthy. We want them to be safe. We want to help them learn, to grow up as good people and live long, happy lives.

The difference is "How" we go about this.

In your article, you describe "mixing a month's worth of supplements for my son's biomedical interventions" in your kitchen, while your "hands bled from crushing hundreds of supplements" and wearing protective equipment. The question you ask while doing this is "How far would you go to recover your child?" and you answer yourself with "Me? I'm going all the way."

You portray the image of a valiant, courageous and determined mother, who loves her child so very much to put everything she has into "recovering" your "physically ill" son.


We watch as you mix those supplements, donned in your protective gear, as your hands bleed. We watched as Francesco Martinizi died in an HBOT chamber explosion, HBOT being a treatment also used to help "recover" autistic children. We watched as Abubakar Tariq Nadama died from Chelation. We watch as many parents write articles and blog entries that describe their lives as being a complete nightmare, blaming it on autism.

And we ask, "How does this help an autistic person?"

This is the question that we are always asking "How does this help an autistic person?" When we look into the various resources, when we read studies (both the ones you claim to suppose your beliefs as well as the ones that support ours), purchase expensive therapy tools, pay for expensive services and find sometimes complicated ways to teach and help our children, we ask "How does this help my child?"

We ask "How does this help an autistic person" when autism is compared to cancer and diabetes, especially in response to our own posts, articles and blogs. You have done this, in particular:

I'm going to explain my side of the story once, and only once. This is why I do what I do. This is why I'm a biomed mom. I recently read a blog entry from a ranting ND. I pictured her foaming at the mouth, saying something about accepting our children the way they are. Shouldn't we be happy with our healthy kids? Remember the "up" side of autism.
Oh, that's special. Is there an "up" side to childhood cancer? What about juvenile diabetes? Yes, I believe my son's autism stems from the vaccines. He's physically ill. Chronic viruses, bacteria, yeast, heavy metals...you know the list.

This is what we do, what we ask, when we read articles such as yours, when we read comments and blog posts of biomed parents who slander and insults us, and who do, actually, publicly rave on a regular basis "about how neurodiverse mothers should be fighting for their children."

We ask "How does this help autistic people?"

That is the judging line in which we hold all treatments, therapies, accommodations, supports and tools up to, including your "biomed" supplements and whatnot. And we find your "biomed" treatments to be very lacking.

You see, the difference between our beliefs have lead us to different attitudes about autism, which then result in our different actions towards autism. While you, as loving parents, do everything you can to "recover" your children from being "physically ill", we as loving parents and individuals do everything we can to help our children and fellow autistics to overcome and navigate around the particular challenges we have. Yes, we have a common interest, which is autism, but other than that, we share very little.

So, if we are to both "cast the weapons aside and ceasefire", we need to be able to have resources that we can offer each other and share. While your professed desire to end the conflict between the two sides is very nice, a serious attempt to unify the community would be able to point out the qualities and resources that each side can offer to the other. After being able to understand each other, mutual offerings is the next step.

Therefore, Crystal, the question is this: what can each side offer the other?

signed with hope,

Playing with the Scam bots

Originally posted on LJ on August 1, 2009

So I found this post on Twitter through Autisable:

"Dr. Newmark reveals the truth about autism causes, symptoms & treatments ---> http://bit.ly/bmh7H"

Followed it to http://autismsymptoms1.com, which I've checked out before. It's a total scam. It mixes standard information you can get from the library with "bio-medical" quackery, such as Thimerosal causing autism, the whole sch-bang. And of course, it comes with ALL these extras. Never mind it never tells you who these people actually are, or gives ANY sort of information into their qualifications, just a general anecdote story with a "good news! WE KNOW THE TRUTH THAT CAN HELP YOU!!!"

aka, SCAM!!!!!!

So I go to close the tab, and this lovely little "DON'T LEEEEEEEEEAVE" window pops up, as well as a "live chat" window. ha ha, riiiiiiight. First time, I watch the program run through it's dialogue, and then close. I post this post on my Twitter:

"a warning to all autism & autistic people; this site is a scam: http://autismsymptoms1.com/ DON'T TRUST IT!!!"

then I think, "let's see whether I can mess with it a little", because I'm in that kind of mood.

I go back and not even read through the page again, click to leave... window!!

okay, to be honest, my first response that I typed in was "fuck off you scam" to which it replied: "This is absolutely not any type of scam in any way shape or form. Also, this is not a "get rich quick" scheme. Simply apply yourself as instructed and you will succeed."

I leave. Then come back, half wondering whether I've been logged or something... nope. Here's the chat in it's entirety:

Scott Says: Today only, you get $10 off Autism Symptoms & Treatments Ebook. Isn't your child's future worth $9? But this is only available today, so get yours here now! Simply CLICK HERE to take advantage of this special offer. AND this offer is only available through this chat.

Scott Says: But you better hurry! This offer won't last very long. Simply CLICK HERE to get your special offer.

Scott Says: Just to let you know, we offer a full 100% money back guarantee so you can purchase with complete and total confidence. If you don't like our product, we will refund the full purchase price! Are you interested?

Scott Says: Okay, I have to move on now ... here's your last chance! CLICK HERE to get your special offer.

You: um, I think this is a scam

Scott Says: This is absolutely not any type of scam in any way shape or form. Also, this is not a "get rich quick" scheme. Simply apply yourself as instructed and you will succeed.

You: no, it's a scam since Thimerosal doesn't cause autism

Scott Says: This is absolutely not any type of scam in any way shape or form. Also, this is not a "get rich quick" scheme. Simply apply yourself as instructed and you will succeed.

You: and Thimerosal still doesn't cause autism

Scott Says: Sorry, I cannot find an answer to your question. But if you enter your name and email below and type the word "help" into the chat, I will have Scott contact you as soon, usually within an hour during business hours in EST.

You: you're a computer, aren't you?

Scott Says: Sorry, I cannot find an answer to your question. But if you enter your name and email below and type the word "help" into the chat, I will have Scott contact you as soon, usually within an hour during business hours in EST.

You: night computer!

Scott Says: Sorry, I cannot find an answer to your question. But if you enter your name and email below and type the word "help" into the chat, I will have Scott contact you as soon, usually within an hour during business hours in EST.

:D I WIN!!

Neurodiversity flamer part 2

Originally posted on LiveJournal as Troll response on July 7, 2009. What's fun now is that, thanks to a commenter on my LJ, I now know what possibly is his real name and the city he possibly lives in, as well as his email. So a general note of caution to people: people can find you. Not me. But they can.

For everyone who decides to send me emails like this, let this be a warning. I WILL post them for everyone to see, because honestly, I think that your own words speak for themselves.

remember Billy from this post: http://neko-no-baka.livejournal.com/302226.htm ?

Well, apparently he found my blog, and decided to email me again:

"Yeah, it was me, nutsndoltz. And I think I saw your email on deviantart. I think it's really silly that you call someone a troll for daring to disagree with you, which is what the rest of you creeps do. If only you could actually debate the merits of what your opponents say. But you backward social oppressors can't, and can't think of anything else to label your detractors as besides "trolls". You don't have the balls to directly contrdict some of the things I say so you don't acknowledge them. I like how you think you're so tough for posting what someone said to you in an email on your blog so your pansy-ass friends can take shots at me. You want the "troll" that is me to go away from those like you? Quit trying to proselytize others into following your despotic ambitions. Think about who the real fucking flamer is."

doltz is a good name for him....

apparently someone needs to look up the definition of a troll.

Thank you for telling me where you got my email though.

Have a nice day Billy.

Regarding Success

Posted as regarding success on July 5, 2009

What is success, anyways?

According to Dictionary.com Success is:

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. a successful performance or achievement: The play was an instant success.
4. a person or thing that is successful: She was a great success on the talk show.

In other words, it's the completion or accomplishment of a goal with favorable or prosperous results.

Everyone has different goals that they want to attain, so to measure each of us, to compare us to others, doesn't really make sense.

Like, I'm (fairly) successful in that I've completed my B.A. However, I'm not successful because I have yet to have a novel published (working on it...). Yes, I suppose the short comics that I've published with Kerry's Place Autism Services counts a little, and that I've had Amhelaki Misadventures online for six years now. Still, my goal is to finish my two main manuscripts and get them published.

At the same time, I have a goal of finishing Amhelaki Misadventures and then going back and writing the entire history of Amhelaki out, including the comic, in novel form. I never intended Amhelaki Misadventures to 1) be anything but a random episodes of silliness; 2) be this long and 3) be anything but the bare bones of the novel. AM, from the beginning of the plot, was intended to be a rough draft of sorts. And yet, six years later...

Anyways. Bringing me back to success. I have an other goal now, to write a comic for a secret secret project. (working on it! working on it!)

Also to finish my Library Technician course. This, of course, leads me to pursue a stable job in a career that I actually care about and feel comfortable, while still pursuing my writing goals.

And somewhere in all that is the goal to become more independent and live separately from my parents. The seemingly independence and functionality of the last six-ish years has been carefully constructed and maintained by a few simple and invisible supports.

For one, if anything goes wrong, like I have a panic attack, feel that I'm sick, etc, I call my parents and ask for help. Even though I'm not living with them, they still support me from afar. In one instance, they have immediately jumped into the car and drove to my dorm unannounced (startled the crap out of me when I opened the door and found them there).

Second, I rely on the presence of others, from the nearly two hundred other dorm-mates (I lived in a small Mennonite university college, Conrad Grebel, for the first three years of university), to the two-to-three roommates in my apartment, to keep me conscious of my living space, how my habits affect others as well as myself. Also, the presence of others keep me grounded, as my imagination has a habit of running away on me, and keeps me socially interactive offline.

Without these supports, I am all too aware that my ability to "function" is decreased. I am predicting a return to more online social interaction once I move back home. However, this is compared to the complete breakdown of being able to care for myself that would happen if I chose to stay where I am now, attempt to live by myself with my current skills (never mind that I probably wouldn't be able to make rent anyways). I need to develop more of those skills, or else admit that I will never be able to live completely by myself (I won't say independently, because as humans are homosocial creatures, none of us are really independent).

While this isn't such a big deal right now, when I have people who can help me take care of myself, I am also all too aware that it won't always be the case. I won't always have my parents to take care of me, and at some point, I will have to take care of them. I don't like thinking about it, but that's reality. In a way, I need to develop grown-up skills, especially while I still can. Then, I suppose, I will have successfully "grown up". As if there really is a goal for such thing.

But let's put this all in perspective; we have goals to do things. To accomplish something. What are we really trying to accomplish? To do something that no one else hasn't? To survive? To be happy?

Success is relative, I think, to one's perspective and attitudes. For example, I could believe that I failed because I didn't finish my Honors degree, or I can believe that I succeeded because I completed my B.A. I could be depressed about how I'm moving back home and how I am reliant on others, or I could look back at what I've done, look at where I've come from and the accomplishments I've made so far. It's no fair to others and it's no fair to myself to compare myself to others. As much as I have gotten help and others have aided me, in the end, it's MY accomplishments, that *I*'ve done in MY life, no one else.

And besides, I've become the person I wanted to be when I was a kid. That's gotta count as a success, right?

Neurodiversity flamer part 1

originally posted here Neurodiversity flamer on June 26, 2009.

Also, I would like to note, this is the first of two emails I received from this... man, both of which I linked to on WrongPlanet. A woman describing herself as low-functioning autistic commented that she was utterly disgusted, insulted and offended that this man has attempted to speak on her behalf about things he knows nothing about. So there you go, Neurodiversity isn't just "high functioning" autistics

Current mood: curious

Neurodiversity flamer
I was going through my inbox today, cleaning up the mass of emails from... 5 different accounts. And I found this flame:

[start troll]

I saw that video that you put up recently with the ridiculous thoughts in it. I don't trust anyone who tells not to focus on negative aspects. Where do you get off saying "us" and "we" like you represent all autistics when expressing your views? There is no refuting that the vast majority of your "movement" is by HFAs and aspies. Who the hell else would argue against measures that would increase mental ability, other than those who already have lots of it and want to keep their own from being distributed to others? Especially considering a lot of the super HFA have such higher aptitude than the average person. So I don't wonder what you're holding on to. I hate that selfishness.

Just cause some of you grew from LFAs to be HFAs doesn't mean growing up will solve enough of the impairments or that all on the spectrum will be that lucky. Don't pretend it's a childhood condition. Don't you dare ignore the many severely impaired adults who are chained into dependence and huge deficits of ability. Supports, accommodations, positive attitudes, and all that sappy shit, won't enable many highly impaired autistics to sufficiently communicate or contribute to society. The problem of lack of capability to learn needs to be stopped.

I'm disgusted at you for complaining about low/high functioning labels. I detest that attempt to ignore the unfair vile reality. I loathe the idea that some would pretend things could be just and equitable, while LFAs are tied to incapability, dependence, and deprivation from many activities, while so many HFAs have the world by the balls, getting the choice of many things to do and accomplishing all kinds of things through academic and employment endeavors. I loathe the lies and phony perceptions that come out of lack of comparing one person to another. It's not harmful to self-esteem. The reality of being low-functioning hurts self-esteem. No lie and patronization will cover that up. Nobody is nuts enough to think that comparing themselves to others is needless. There should be no developing and growing separately. It should be done together.

Competition and its motivation will not stop until the conditions that make it necessary stop, which are the unequal and private distribution of mental capacity. It's not about competing to be worth anything. It's not enough that all are worth the same. I don't think you smart poindexter creeps are worth more. Your abilities are worth a lot for use but the individuals themselves who have them aren't extra worthwhile for inheriting them through conditions that were out of their control, that they didn't work to get. Being worth something doesn't stop the pain that comes from being deprived of the dignity of independence and having basic skills, and from seeing all the goodies and privileges of high intellectual ability go to someone else. Having someone remind one of having value isn't going to stop the vile way it feels to have to be dependent on others, and be inevitably precluded from many activities others get to do.

Why should those MANY low-functioning indivduals put up with your bullshit, trying so hard with lots of exertion to do/learn basic tasks, while not even succeeding in learning/doing all of them enough of the time, with minimal hope of doing a lot besides that, while the super high-functioning end up having to put hardly any effort at all into basic tasks and get to have an easy time working on intellectual pursuits and other abilities? If those LFA were to have more abiilties brought to them, besides what little they may get as they grow up and develop, think of how much total accomplishment would go up for the spectrum as a whole. Think of how much more time they would and could use to work on tasks/learning and how much more they could come up with using that time, if they had a much better chance at getting ahead with such things, if they could appropriate a large deal more in proportion to their exertion.

I want the future to deal with the uneven distribution of ability within the spectrum to make it equal. I want the determinants of cognitive functioning to be identified to distinguish which ones cause low-functionality and which ones cause the huge mental gifts of high-functionality. I want there to be a cure rigorously pursued to make it possible to alter the aspects of individuals' brains that determine functioning level/ability, using methods to augment mental capacity, using the determinants of functioning that cause high mental capacity in some, and ridding aspects of brains that are known to decrease mental capacity. That's what I'd like to see happen to make everyone on the spectrum have sufficient ability. I don't think all involved in the issue agree on what the definition of cure is. But bashing cure outright isn't acceptable and it isn't honest either.

Cure isn't about eliminating a group of individuals, or about "intolerance" of diversity, or making someone a different person. I refuse to sit back while you all try to obfuscate the issue with those concerns. I don't see how it can't be obvious that guaranteeing ability is what is mostly intended about cure by most involved in the issue.. I don't hope to leave any doubt that I indulge in my own extreme envy against many who are smarter/extra capable than me and that I endorse and don't disapprove of such sentiment. I'm someone who is severely mentally impaired myself, so I have an intense hate for the subjugation that the people you defend bring on those who are on the bottom of the hierarchy to keep them down.

[end troll]

What's interesting is that this email, from a "Billy" at yahoo.com, sounds very much like a previous troll I've had. Anyone else remember nutsndoltz?

Edit: oh hey, looks like this guy has popped up on left brain/right brain. He goes by the username "kyngdingxx"

Here's something a little more concerning. This email was sent directly to my Zika_Silver email. I don't post that email as contact information. The only place he could have gotten it is fanfiction.net, cause I haven't updated my account too often there. But in order to get that information, he would have to have an account there too. It's a lot easier to follow my links and whatnot to email me, but then, those would have shown up in one of my nekonobaka emails.

So where did he get my email? puzzle puzzle, ponder ponder

Tony Attwood on Twitter is Fake

originally posted on June 26, 2009 on LJ

Dr. Tony Attwood on Twitter is fake
Twitter user, alphabetania, suspicious of the Tony_Attwood account that was created on June 22, 2009, contracted Dawn Sheahan, the Personal Assistant to Professor Tony Attwood to confirm the identity of the account.

She received this response:

"Professor Tony Attwood, Clinical Psychologist specializing in autism and Asperger's syndrome definitely DOES NOT have a Twitter profile.

Thank you for alerting us to this fact, we are not in the process of closing down this Twitter link."

.... alphabetania and I think that Mz. Sheahan meant "now" instead of "not".

In any case, the fake account has been closed. yay for internet justice!

Let's Talk Neurodiversity

Originally posted on LJ June 10th, 2009 as Neurodiversity and Autism YouTube Video

I just posted my youtube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vrSM-CwLwY

Just a warning, apparently it's being blocked in some countries due to copyright.

So what do you all think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Neurodiversity Mission Statement

This is my mission statement as a Neurodiversity activist. Originally posted on my LiveJournal June 7, 2009 as Mission Statements?

I think I might have made something like a mission statement:

"Neurodiversity is about accepting that there is no normal human brain, that being different is okay,and to work together to discover how we all can participate to the best of our abilities in our lives...

...We are optimistic that with the proper supports and accommodations, positive attitudes, acceptance, inclusion and encouragement, that every (autistic) person is able to communicate, interact and contribute to society while meeting individual needs and respecting one's sense of self and personal rights."

(heh, my spellchecker wants to replace Neurodiversity into biodiversity)

On Neurodiversity

Originally posted on LJ May 28, 2009 as On Neurodiversity

I want to talk a little about Neurodiversity, at least, what it means to me.
This is something that I particularly want parents with newly diagnosed autistic children, of any age, to understand.

What Neurodiversity is:
take the two roots of the word, Neuro and diversity.
Neuro, standing for Neurological, basically, the brain.
Diversity: "1. the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness. 2. variety; multiformity. 3. a point of difference." (http://dictionary.reference.com)

In other words, the diversity of the brain. In Anthropology, there is no one normal human society and culture. We have the same needs, but different ways of getting support and the form of those needs. We think differently depending on our culture and society, our environment. We also think differently because our brains aren't all the same. What Neurodiversity is about is to accept that there is no normal brain, that being different is okay, and to work together to discover how we all can participate to the best of our abilities in our lives.

We've been depicted as an overly-positive movement, determined to make everything about being autistic as good and okay. While yes, we are zealous in our efforts to promote the positive sides of autism and to convince the public that autism isn't a scary soul-stealing disease, we also understand that it's TOUGH parenting an autistic. It's tough parenting/teaching a NT child as it is; it can be extremely tough to parent/teach one of us. So yeah, we realize it's not all sunshine and roses. But hear us out when we say it's not all misery and that we don't want to focus on negative aspects, but think positively about ourselves.

And yeah, we're not your child/student. To be frank, NO ONE is. But we've BEEN there. We STILL ARE. It might just be that we can help to understand and support, even give aid. After all, even though we all have had different experiences, we think and respond very similar.

I've seen parents claim that we are a movement of only Aspergereans/"high functioning" autistics who cannot possibly relate to their "poor low-functioning" child (direct quote, actually). This is not true. ASD is a spectrum disorder and it's a developmental disorder. This means that there is an extremely wide range of abilities and disabilities. This also means that we develop differently than what is typical. The development of our skills can come slowly and may need some help. Childhood is the time when we LEARN the most, after all. But none of us are STATIC.
This means that many of us who once were labeled as "low-functioning" developed skills and became "high-functioning". As we grow, we develop. There are also many reasons for what is perceived as fluctuating "functionality", or "regressing" and becoming "more autistic". (More info here)

So to repeat myself, we WERE there. And we'd like to help.

It may be optimistic of us, but we believe that with the proper supports and accommodations, as well as positive attitudes, acceptance, inclusion and encouragement, that every autistic person is able to communicate, interact and contribute to society while meeting individual needs and respecting one's sense of self.

This isn't to say that getting to these goals for everyone won't be hard. But we think it's better than the alternative view of seeing ourselves as defective, diseased or broken. Many of us don't like to be labeled as Low/High Functioning. It's comparing us to each other, which really isn't a good way since we all develop and grow separately. It's also harmful to our self-esteem, as it puts a limiting label on us. It makes us feel like we have to compete in order to be worth anything, or that we won't ever be anything more than the label. When the latter happens, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

One last point; some have argued that Neurodiversity is about just us, and is not about "the rest" of autistic people. Mainly, the children who are labeled as low functioning. I think this is because parents, teachers and caregivers see us as "high functioning" or at a level where we don't need supports. This isn't true. Life is not a matter of static levels, where things remain the same once you get to a certain point. Life changes, and even though we dislike it, we are all too aware about the changes that life takes us.

But the point is this; think of us as your children that have come before, who have faced and been subjected to the past and present treatments and therapies. Or those who have slipped through the cracks of the medical community. Many of us have faced bullying, neglect, incorrect treatments, misdiagnosis, and various forms of abuse. Yes, we feel pain and want to lash out at those who hurt us. But not at your children. If anything, what we want is that what happened to us does not happen to your children.

And so, nothing about us, without us. All of us.

edited August 8th for accuracy. "It's extremely tough" to "It can be extremely tough to parent/teach". Thanks jypsy!

Explaining Asperger's as Autistic

Original post on LJ May 28, 2008 as Explaining self-definition

For those who don't follow my Twitter or Facebook, I've started to get a little more involved with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and related Autism Rights Movement groups, even commenting on the recent profile piece on Ari Ne'eman by Newsweek, found HERE.

So if you look at the comments for that article, I define myself as autistic, and then the rather infamous John Best makes attacks my person, claiming that since I do not act in the manner of his autistic son, that I couldn't possibly be autistic, and therefore am a child abuser and harming autistic children.

Actually, you can't see that post of his anymore: a friend of mine on Twitter had it reported as abuse and it's been removed But if you scroll down to his attack on Ari Ne'eman and read that, just add a description of his son (being nonverbal, mentally disabled, smearing feces on the walls, unable to pass kindergarten, and mercury-poisoned) as being the criteria for autism, and you pretty much have it. Edit: Oh, he's reposted it again.

His other post about me is still there, proving that John Best is at least as capable of internet research as Jenny McCarthy in finding recent information. He links to the Kerry's Place page from three years ago, which is a very small local newspaper article interviewing me, more or less to promote the Spectrum Art show that I started up. In the actual interview, I did describe the specifics of my diagnosis more thoroughly, but since it was a small newspaper, the focus was on our goals with the art show, which was to promote more positive awareness of autism.

Oh, a note to my potential defenders: Do not engage John Best in a confrontation. There's really no point. He makes himself look ridiculous without our help. He's just annoying because he's a very active TROLL in the autism community, dedicated to trolling Aspies and Neurodiversity advocates. And curing his son with Chelation, leeches and exorcism. That's right, he looked up exorcism to cure his son. And selling his brand of Chelation, apparently. Because we're all mercury-poisoned, according to him.

Anyways. I refrained from commenting on his posts about on the sites itself. But I thought it would be a good idea to address the issue of my self-definition of an autistic adult, for the curious and those who actually take the time to look me up properly.

It's rather simple. I consider myself to be autistic. As pointed out, I'm diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, not Autism Disorder. Well, yes, I don't have AD.
However, Autism Disorder, or "classic autism", Asperger Syndrome and PDD: Not Otherwise Specified are grouped together under the heading of Autism Spectrum Disorders. So it is perfectly reasonable that I label myself as autistic, as my specific dx falls under a category with Autism in the name. And if you REALLY want to be specific, one will notice that I'm purposely using lowercase letters to refer to my as autistic, as opposed to referring that I am Autistic.

To me, the difference is a matter of the specific diagnosis. I am not Autistic, meaning that I don't have Autism Disorder, but I am autistic in that I am diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. So, I am Aspie and I'm autistic. I use the term autistic because I'm not sure whether everyone knows that the term Aspie is a nickname that some Aspergeans(?) refer to ourselves. Never mind that not all of us even like the name Aspie, and so it's not consistently used. Thus, the term autistic.

Edit: I couldn't resist. John Best showed up on the Autube website, and I decided to address him at least once. My comment, should it be removed from the site:

(Edited for clarity, both here and on the site)

Yeah, that was funny, what you said about me on the Newsweek piece. Your views on autism is quite well-known, so I see little reason for your persistent commenting and attacking of persons on this site, and politely ask you to remain on topic with the issue being discussed.

However, since you have taken the time to repost your comments concerning me on Newsweek and on here, I will address some of them. This will be the first and last time; no matter what you say from here on, my opinion on the matter will remain unchanged.
This may not be the place to do so, so I understand if the moderators of this site do delete this post.

About your insistence that I stop for referring to myself as autistic: you seem to forget that Asperger Syndrome is under the category of Autism Spectrum Disoders, as well as Autism Disorder and PDD: NOS. Therefore, it is accurate as well as acceptable that I consider myself autistic. In my definition, I would call your son Autistic, as, if I am reading your blog correctly, your son is diagnosed with Autism Disorder, also known as Autistic Disorder.


No. I will not stop referring to myself as autistic, and I'm no where near abusing your son, given that I've never said a word to, physically touched or even been in the same city as your son. And if you'll notice in my Newsweek comment, I say "I can speak for myself". I have never stated that I speak for your son. Rather, I speak for myself and for/with like-minded autistic individuals. Whether your son agrees or disagrees with me is his choice.

Also, even if you are a properly educated expert on ASD, it is very inappropriate for you to try diagnosing a complete stranger on the internet without knowing their complete background and behavioural history, just as it would be completely inappropriate of me to diagnose yourself with Asperger's given your obsessiveness of these issues and narrow-minded focus, as well as taking your theories of mercury-poisoning at face value and pointing out that by your own theories, you too are mercury poisoned.

And at any rate, we've both have been distracted from the issue at hand here. So now that you have sparked a reaction from me, please do address the matter of whether you think autism is accurately portrayed in the media.

Have a nice day,

You can look up the exchange here: http://www.autube.tv/

There you go.

Girls and Asperger's Book

Originally posted on LJ May 12, 2009

Girls and Asperger's Book
I'm reviewing it, and it's making me cry because it's what the psychiatrist told me 6 years ago.


I'm so picking this book up.

aspie social anxiety article review

Originally posted on LJ May 12, 2009 as commenting on aspie social anxiety article

commenting on aspie social anxiety article
So I came across this article on Twitter: http://www.aspergers.com/Adolesc.htm

Just wanted to make some comments on it.

(for the record, I'm using a gender-free pronoun "xe" and variants of, instead of genderizing, like the article is)

It starts out explaining that adolescence is a hard time for an NT kid, and is of course, a hard time for an autistic kid as well. As if we don't have identity trouble before adolescence, the teen years certainly spark up more angst and drama about it.

Good quote: "Adolescents yearn to develop a unique and independent identity, separate from their parents’. Yes, they love their parents, but they don’t simply want to follow their foot steps."

That is pretty much true, I think. A teen will rebel and push in order to discover what xe can get away with and learn about how things work in order to learn about xir self. In our society now, I don't think there is as much support for a teen's self-discovery quest, in that things aren't as clear and stable as a long time ago. We live in a very changing environment, and as adolescence, we become hyper-aware of how this affects ourselves. In this setting, we yearn to become self-reliant people.

Anyways, I have rants about that. Moving on.

I love it how the writer of this article needs to break down social anxiety/avoidance and social interaction/competency into measurable parts. Like the divisions of autism into "low functioning" and "high functioning", I guess it helps parents to understand the kid. But honestly, even the best of us can be pretty annoyed at social interaction or have a really bad day that just shuts down the social skills.

Here's a hint: My social interaction is directly related to how interested I am in the social sphere. In the past six years, I've developed a pretty decent-sized social community and have been social active, to the point of becoming an exec member for a campus club. And I've enjoyed every minute of it.
However, I think this is due to the fact that I've actively sought out a social group of people with the same interests and disregard to norms that I have. I found a place where it's okay to be weird and odd and occasionally be socially awkward. Everyone has heard of the socially awkward nerds, right? In university, it's less of an inability to be socially correct, and more of one's personal identity to not give up what one loves, and generally a contempt for social pressure to be "normal".

I predict, when I move away from Laurier and go back home, where I don't have that strong geek community, that I will relapse into becoming more socially awkward, socially nervous and will spend more time on the internet. For my internet friend, this is a plus. However, a lot of doctors might see this as me "regressing back into autism". That isn't true. It's simply that I see no need or anything of interest to maintain social competency. When I do find something, that will change. My skills tend to be flexible that way.

But what gets me about this article is that, from what I'm reading, the rate of social anxiety/avoidance seems to relational to the "functioning" level of am autistic.
to quote: "As autism gets less severe, the level of interest in peers usually increases."
Which simply isn't true from my experiences.
I have great social anxiety that keeps me from initiating many social interactions, most noticeably when trying to find a job, or contacting a doctor, or setting up an appointment. Or approaching a new group of potential social peers (that's going to be a fun one when I get back to Kingston). And I'm considered moderately-to-high functioning.

What I'm getting at is social anxiety isn't limited to any level of "functioning". The same is true for the level of interest. My mother will attest, that I will tune out any and everything that I am uninterested in, to the point of withdrawing completely into my own mind (I refuse to say my own world, as world is another word for planet). In fact, up to university, I more or less spent half of my waking hours in my own head, more or less ignoring what was going on around me. Yet I was functioning enough not to be diagnosed until I was almost 18.
Considering the many autistics not diagnosed until much older than I was, I doubt that I'm the exception.

Moving on, the part where the writer says: "Regardless of the individual developmental route, most children with autism start realizing that they are not quite like others at some point during their adolescence."

I'd argue that this realization actually occurs earlier, but a kid won't noticeably act upon it until adolescence. From a very early age, I realized that I was "different" from the other kids. Words had different meanings, different usage. Actions were different, etc. A thousand little unsaid things that pointed to one fact: I was different.
I only had these feelings of difference when I was at school; otherwise I was with my family, and things were normal. To my eyes, we were normal. It was only by interacting outside of the family that this changed.
It's amazing how much internal drama a kid can have about this, but it was only in adolescence that it began to matter. As a part of identity, to be different is a big thing and leads to a lot of angst. What's fun is when one realizes that autism is a developmental disorder; meaning that most of us, at any given time, are mental and/or emotionally operating at a developmental level that is about two thirds of our physical age. At average.

So as I'm writing this, I am 23 years old, physically, and operating, at average, at a mental/emotional age of approximately 15-16 years old. I say at average because the more tired/stressed and worn out I get, the more that number tends to drop. I've worked at my job as a cashier with a mental age of about 7-10 years old.
In 2002, I wrote THIS ARTICLE when I was 17, and operating at a level of about 11 years old mentally/emotionally. This was when I wasn't diagnosed with AS yet, just ADHD.
No, we realize we are different earlier. And it doesn't take a genius to figure that out. It just becomes more important and we act upon it when we enter physical adolescence. The nice part is that for females, we tend to stabilize around 16 years of age, physical and mentally. So in the next year or so, I'll be mentally stabilizing. Don't ask me about boys. I don't know.

next quote: "Once the adolescent realizes that he has significant difficulties in conducting social relationships compared to his peers, he needs deal with this loss, just like dealing with another loss."

Okay, yeah. There can be quite a bit of angst with realizing that one has difficulties socially. But to the point of mourning? Sheesh, it's not that bad. Personally, I fit this revelation to be relieving and freeing. Instead of struggling to reach an unrealistic goal of normalcy, I can make more realistic goals to consciously understand human behaviour and society, and develop the skills that allow me to interact socially. I'm not perfect at it, but then I can argue from my personal experience that neither are NTs!! Even social butterflies face challenges in society. Just because they have a different set of challenges doesn't deny the fact that they are challenges.

Seriously, don't mourn for us, and don't let us mourn for us. I don't want your pity. I want your support.

oh, I love this bit of advice: "Don’t try to minimize his difficulties, but also don’t let him exaggerate, providing gentle reality testing"
uh-huh. And how would a parent really know? If we are exaggerating, it's because the feeling is at least that big. So don't dismiss that even though an autistic teen isn't as socially incompetent as xe feels, that the FEELING isn't as real. Feelings are real, no matter what, and you need to take that into account.
Better advice: Validate xe's feelings and difficulties and ask questions that will allow xir to realize xier own strengths and true difficulties.

and then: "Offer the option of counseling, since sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger"
Sometimes. But let's look at it this way. If an autistic teen trusts YOU enough to open up about this stuff, you don't offer to let xe talk to a stranger. Xe wants YOUR help. You think xe is going to talk to a stranger?

This isn't to say that I haven't talked to counselors. Some of them have been helpful in some areas. But every time, after the immediate reason why I started seeing them was addressed, I saw it as pointless and resisted attempts to continue. Nevermind that meeting a new one meant having to decide whether or not to trust them. Just because a person is a counselor doesn't mean they're automatically trustworthy. And a teen is more likely NOT to trust an adult.
So. An autistic teen trusts you to help xe with xeir problems. What do you do? A lot of factors there.

oooh, this is a good one: "Sometimes you have to be very political trying to sell an idea to a teenager. The mere fact that the idea is coming from his parents may make him refuse it. Let the idea come from a family friend, teacher, or a neighbor he trusts. Give him time to think about it. He may come back to the suggestion when he feels he is ready"

and, for the LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT LECTURE!!!!!
No teen likes to be lectured at. period. that's just setting up for an automatic rebellion, just from the PRINCIPLE of it. Instead, engage in conversation that allows the teen to think and come to xeir own conclusions. It's tough and requires a saints load of patience, but it tells the teen that you value xe making xeir own decisions and respect xem. The teen may not show it, but will be a lot more appreciative.

This doesn't just apply to autistic teens; I had this issue happen at the youth group at my church, where the youth pastor started to lecture us. It made us all really upset and the pastor was in danger of losing our respect for him. Our respect for him also made it hard for us to approach him, so I asked about the general feelings of the youth group and addressed the matter directly to him. In the end, a major youth rebellion was avoid and mutual respect for both sides was maintained, as well as our friendships.
Six years later, I'm still in contact with him and we're planning a youth group reunion.

Handle this right, and not only do you get respect, you get friendship.

Okay, the part about Clinical Depression. I forget where Christschool on youtube got the stats, but the leading cause of death among autistic adults is suicide. Like everyone else, we get depressed, we get anxious, and like everyone else, adolescence plays merry on our emotions.
side note, I believe studies have shown that clinical, all teens are insane due to the instability with chemicals in the brain. Everyone is equal in this.
So please please please, YES, get help if there is suspected Depression. Handle it well though, so you don't get the refusal to treatment that's in the case study the writer brings up.

Funny thing about that case study, actually. About 2002ish, I went to a psychologist to help with a major panic disorder, which I've described in previous posts. This is the same psychologist who diagnosed me with ADHD and Learning Disabilities in grade 9, and I fairly liked her. So I went back to her after a fairly traumatic panic attack in my evening shower that lead to me rushing out of the shower and immediately taking over a computer to type up what happened and a plea for help. It was so bad I couldn't say it; I had to type it. (I think my mom still has what I typed; she keeps those things as documentation)
But I went back to her, and worked on things as they came, until an exploding incident at Christmas of what we now know was me withdrawing and recharging being intruded on, that escalated into a situation where my psychologist, upon hearing about it, was ready to call Children's Aid had I been younger.

As the situation settled, the psychologist concluded that I was experiencing "rapid mood swings that can occur in females with ADHD" and referred me to a child psychiatrist at the hospital outpatient for medication. I was put on a light dosage of Zoloft, and continued seeing the psychiatrist for follow up. To be honest, I liked her. She was kind. She asked the RIGHT questions. Unbeknown to me, she was also talking to my mother, who provided her with the documentation of my past behaviour. The result, a working diagnosis of Asperger's which was confirmed by other specialists at the hospital. One of the best things to have happened in my life.

Funny how these things happen. Anyways.

Good points on encouraging specializations in interests. About the contacting the Autism Society of America, though. I'd rather you contact WrongPlanet.net. There's over 14,000 autistic members on the forum and growing and has all sorts of handy resources. I could be paranoid, but I don't trust Autism Societies, as a lot of them have curebie mentalities, and I believe that is more harmful to autistic people that is constructive.

Last point of the article: yeah, just cause we're autistic doesn't mean we don't have the very human desire to reproduce. Actually, there's very few cases in which I would not argue that an individual feels the need to reproduce. Although, sex ed is a fun topic for any parent. My parents got around it by giving me a book called "what's happening to my body" and letting my private Christian elementary school handle it.

seriously. sex ed for autistics doesn't have to be complicated.

aaaaand, that wraps up the article. huh, I spent two days writing this. Back to writing my assignment and finding MLA handbooks, and hey, I need to do laundry and get my brows done... **wanders off**

cause they do it better

Originally posted on LJ April 25, 2009

I love scientists:

Generation Rescue Survey Results

oh yes, big storm going on. During the downpour, I danced outside. It was awesome and I got soaked to the bone. :D

in which logic is flawed

originally posted on LJ April 23, 2009. Please note, I am not a scientist, so this is all my disdain for badly reasoned opinions being presented as fact.

so, Jim Carey writes a little about the judgment on vaccines NOT causing autism.


some of my favorite quotes

"This is a huge leap of logic by anyone's standards. Not everyone gets cancer from smoking, but cigarettes do cause cancer."

Yeah, cancer from cigarettes is caused by consistent exposure to the chemicals in cigarettes. Other than us asthmatics who cough like crazy and whatnot, minimum exposure to cigarettes won't cause cancer.

"The truth is that no one without a vested interest in the profitability of vaccines has studied all 36 of them in depth."

Sooooo, if everyone who studies the vaccines has a vested interest in their profit, then all the results are therefore bogus and no matter what they say, will be rejected by the antivaccine/green vaccine crowd. You gotta have at least some trust in people.
Also, I don't know, but aren't there studies done in other countries that aren't American? hmmmmm, rather dismissive of all doctors there, Jim.

"f we are to believe that the ruling of the 'vaccine court' in these cases mean that all vaccines are safe, then we must also consider the rulings of that same court in the Hannah Polling and Bailey Banks cases, which ruled vaccines were the cause of autism and therefore assume that all vaccines are unsafe. "

Wasn't that the case where it was discovered that Hannah had an underlining condition that reacted with the vaccines to develop 3 autistic-like behaviours? Big difference, there. Edit: and it wasn't the vaccine court that ruled that case.

"The legitimate concern they and many in the scientific community have that environmental toxins, including those found in vaccines, may be causing autism and other disorders (Aspergers, ADD, ADHD), cannot be dissuaded by a show of sympathy and a friendly invitation to look for the 'real' cause of autism anywhere but within the lucrative vaccine program."

The funny part is that some of the apparent toxins in the vaccines, like mercury, can be found in larger quantities in perfectly natural and healthy sources. Like fish.
Also, it has been proven that the major study which claims that vaccines cause those disorders had been falsified.
Also, Aperger's IS autism. AS is an Autism Spectrum Disorder under the Pervasive Developmental Disorders in the DSM-IV. Facts are fun to ignore, aren't they Jim?

"With many states like Minnesota now reporting the number at 1 in 80 children affected with autism, can we afford to trust those who serve two masters or their logic that tells us "one size fits all" when it comes to vaccines?"

Apparently, no one. So until someone in "them" says that yes, all of you vaccine nuts are right, you won't believe anything we say. But that won't happen, because it would be lying, and that's wrong.

"Can we afford to ignore vaccines as a possible cause of these rising numbers when they are one of the fastest growing elements in our children's environment?"

And more diagnostic tools mean nothing, huh? Education means nothing too, huh? Apparently so, since Jim, an actor of comedy, is now a self-proclaimed expert on autism causes without opening a textbook when scientists and doctors have been working on this for a good long while.

"With all the doubt that's left hanging on this topic, how can anyone in the media or medical profession, boldly demand that all parents march out and give their kids 36 of these shots, six at a time in dosage levels equal to that given a 200 pound man?"

There's more dangerous toxins and chemicals in CHELATION than there is in the vaccines. They tried to do a study on Chelation; they stopped it before it started because it was too dangerous for the adult human subjects. And DAN! says it's a way to cure autism. In children. (sure, if they don't DIE first!)

"This is a bias of the most dangerous kind."

You know, bias is a two way street, Jim.

"I've also heard it said that no evidence of a link between vaccines and autism has ever been found. That statement is only true for the CDC, the AAP and the vaccine makers who've been ignoring mountains of scientific information and testimony."

From whom, your wife sorry, your girlfriend? Sooooo, what about the non-American governments, who also still use the MMR vaccines and the same vaccine schedule? Also, they've been developing these vaccines for years now. While there was a cause of concern some couple decades ago about the amount of Mercury in the vaccines, they've improved on the vaccines, and those vaccines don't exist anymore. They would have been either discarded or used by now. Sorry, but vaccines don't have a century-long shelf life.

"We have never argued that people shouldn't be immunized for the most serious threats including measles and polio, but surely there's a limit as to how many viruses and toxins can be introduced into the body of a small child"

I repeat my comment about Chelation. Strangely enough, apparently the cause for toxins in vaccines causing autism is a digestive problems like Leaky Gut that allows the toxins to reach the brain. Otherwise, those toxins would leave the body within a 24 hour period, or abouts.
So what about the people with autism who got the vaccines, and don't have digestive problems?

The rest of what Jim says seems to be based on old facts. Which, of course, are old and therefore only apply to the time period in which they were new.

So really, the main problem is the schedule.
Edit: Also, the UK has a lower amount of vaccines in their schedule and a higher rate of autism than in either Canada or the US, so the argument that reducing the vaccines is stupidly flawed.

You know, when I was a baby, I had most of the blood in my body taken out for blood testing. My mother couldn't believe how much blood they were taking, and was sure that I couldn't survive that much blood loss. And yet, here I am.

Humans are amazing things, really. Yes, when we're babies and children, we're still developing and don't have all our defenses up and are vulnerable. When we're fully grown, we're pretty pathetic compared to all the other critters in the world. And yet, we're tough and we survive.

So, I think I'm going to trust in humanity, and give my child the damn shots.

ASAN letter to Attwood

originally posted on LJ on April 20, 2009

taken from the Asperger LJ community:


I'm writing to ask you to sign our petition, calling on Dr. Tony Attwood and Dr. Isabelle Hénault, two respected experts in the world of Autism, to disassociate themselves from hate groups promoting stereotypes and libels that seek to encourage discrimination against Autistic people in family law and relationships. We in the disability community have long suffered from many forms of discrimination, stereotyping and discrimination. Historically, one of the most pervasive forms of this type of discrimination has come from those who use stereotypes and psuedo-science to try and deprive us of one of the most common ways of expressing membership in the human community - the right to have a family, to marry and to raise children on an equal basis with any other citizen. The eugenics movement is one of the most well known examples of this dangerous and unethical means of discriminating against people with disabilities, as is the related idea that disabled people are inherently unfit as spouses or parents. In the name of these kinds of stereotypes, people with disabilities have been deprived of parental rights and discriminated against in divorce and child custody cases for generations. In the Autistic community, we face opponents who seek to propogate these same forms of hatred, often claiming to do so either for our own good or wrapped in the guise of the same types of false science that justified the involuntary sterilization of hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide who were deemed unfit to raise children.

For the last decade, groups like Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome (FAAAS) have been promoting the idea that prolonged family contact with Autistic adults in romantic or family relationships is harmful to "normal" people. Amongst other methods, they have done this by promoting "Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder," a term invented by British psychologist Maxine Aston. Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder, a condition developed by Aston and which serves as the basis for much of her marketing and income, is claimed by Aston to be a depressive disorder caused by romantic involvement with an Autistic person. CADD is based entirely upon pseudoscience, personal grudges, and stereotypes rather than any form of accurate research or evidence. CADD has never been recognised by any psychological association and is not supported by any peer-reviewed scientific research. Aston and others involved with such groups have purported to diagnose clients with CADD, despite having no legitimate authority for doing so. In CADD support groups, clients are encouraged to "vent" about the failures of their partners and to characterise Autistics in general as unsuitable for family life.

Attwood and Hénault have, despite respected professional activities and scholarships in other contexts, consistently appeared and promoted Cassandra-related events and organizations. Over the past decade, both Attwood and Hénault have been regular presenters at events sponsored by FAAAS, which actively promotes the Cassandra concept. Attwood and Hénault are closely associated with FAAAS through their membership in the FAAAS Professional Advisory Panel. The founder of FAAAS, Karen Rodman, has publicly described Autistics as randomly violent and has suggested that Autistic children ought to be excluded from public schools. Through its activities, FAAAS has sought to influence social workers and family law courts to make biased decisions removing custody of children from Autistic parents and discriminating against Autistic adults in other family law contexts, as detailed in a paper by FAAAS member Sheila Jennings Linehan, who also has levied this libel against other neurological disability groups. Several articles by ASPIA, a group in Australia with the same goals and objectives as FAAAS, founder Carol Grigg appear prominently on the FAAAS website, and the content of Grigg's articles clearly shows that she also promotes the false accusation that autistic people and others with disabilities are likely to abuse their family members. She explicitly makes this claim in an article entitled Asperger's Syndrome in Adults: Potential for Abuse?

Though Autistic adults now face discrimination in family law settings, all credible research on the topic states that Autistic people are far more vulnerable to being abused than the general population and have no natural predisposition towards abusive behaviour. By promoting a libel that places Autistic people at a disadvantage in family law contexts, FAAAS, ASPIA and other promoters of CADD have decreased opportunities for Autistic people to seek protection against abuse. Due to the presumption of fault promoted by these groups, Autistic adults are at risk of being discriminated against if they attempt to terminate abusive marriages and other relationships. Furthermore, these libels threaten the rights of Autistic people and all people with disabilities to fully participate in society by marrying, having children and enjoying the right to be judged on the basis of ones actions not by ones medical diagnosis.

We're asking you, regardless of your background or interest in Autism or cross-disability issues, to join us in signing this petition to help secure the rights of all people to be treated equally under the law. Our petition can be found at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/AttwoodHenault/ and if you are interested in e-mailing directly tony@tonyattwood.com.au is the e-mail address for Dr. Attwood and ihenault@internet.uqam.ca is the e-mail address for Dr. Hénault. Thank you for your support. Together, we can mobilize our community and stop discrimination wherever it rears its ugly head.

As always, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

Ari Ne'eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
1660 L Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

Petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/AttwoodHenault/index.html

Please sign!

Real Autism Awareness

Originally posted on LJ as Real Autism Awareness April 16, 2009

I've finished my Autism Awareness video, since it's Autism Awareness month in the States.


Sometime around April 2, 2009, I posted this on LJ

Things Ranka has passed on:

An interesting entry on living with face blindness by someone born neurologically typical, but had an injury that resulted in prosopognosia.

Jenny McCarthy being an idiot again, but the article is so much fun:

same blogsite, about video games that improve eyesight. Reminds me that I should find more shooter games to play.

same blogsite again, this one about a study done with autistic children that suggests that autistics are less sensitive to movements of living things, unless accompanied by matching sound. This study suggests reasoning for us staring at people's mouths when they talk rather than making eye contact, as well as potential for new learning materials.

The Cure to Autism video

This was originally posted on LiveJournal February 10, 2009 as The Cure to Autism video

A bit morbid, for a little shock value.

Even the best of us has a temper, and this is a part of mine.

This is a response to EVERY and ANY claim to CURING or HEALING autism spectrum disorders EVER MADE.

ASD is neurological and genetic. Meaning, it's the way the brain works, and pretty much the way your family's brains work, with varying differences. It's a difference, not a disease. You don't cure or heal diversity. To try and do so is to commit a murder upon human diversity and innovation.

And sometimes it takes a little shock to prove my point. Human diversity and difference is beautiful. Let's accept, include, accommodate and delight in all people.


Later, I had to make another post on Feb 12th

oh joy!! TROLLS!!!!
so yeah, interesting "discussion" about my anti-curebie video on YouTube. one valiant guy from Wrongplanet.net is fighting in my name, with Noyer joining in.

If any of you want to follow or jump in, go for it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFmi1o0JEaM


fun fun fun.

The troll, as I've named him, seems to be concerned about autism as a mental impairment that is incurable, that those of us who are "high functioning" are not impaired. Basically, he's belittling "high-functioning" autistics and aspies, saying that those "low functioning" cannot get jobs, go to college/university or be anything other than disabled and have no gifts or strengths, and so must be cured

And then on the 15th:

oh perious me!!
If I were Catholic, my next confession would be something like this:

"Bless me Father for I have sinned, I have committed an original sin. I have poked a troll with a spork."

I also just called him arrogant, since he was setting himself up as being representative of the vast majority of opinion, when a few arguments ago he was accusing my allies and I of maintaining and justifying social stratification.

Let me just say, that I don't really take trolls all that seriously, but I obsess over them, so I had to approve-only comments for this video

Communicating Love

original post published on LiveJournal, January 20, 2009 as Communicating Love

So I made another video.


Speaking is not Communication - Autism does not Speak

Originally posted on November 23, 2008, on Livejournal here as "Adding my Voice"