Friday, April 17, 2009

Autism's Gadfly Does Some Neurodiversity Myth Busting

Jonathan Mitchell does some Neurodiversity myth busting in his recent post More mythology from neurodiversity. Jonathan is commenting on the Dan Marino promoted video by Ari Ne'eman, a gentleman with Aspergers Disorder, and some other persons, at least one of whom is hard to believe has any type of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, and their creation of new Neurodiversity flavored autism myths.

Jonathan suffers from a mild autism spectrum disorder. While he and I do not agree on all autism related issues I have great respect for his honesty. Jonathan's honesty is not held in the same esteem though by Neurodiversity ideologues who are angry at him, as an autistic person, for refusing to drink the Neurodiversity Kool-Aid.

Jonathan addresses a number of ND Myths in this comment, including one of my often repeated criticism's: the insistence of someone like Ari Ne'eman, a very intelligent, highly articulate, high functioning individual, diagnosed at age 12 with Aspergers Disorder after initially being diagnosed with ADHD, to pretend to be able to speak on behalf of ALL persons on the autism spectrum of disorders even the most severely affected by Autistic Disorder. Ari Ne'eman uses the royal "we" to pretend to speak about autism disorders on behalf of people he has never met, with whom he has nothing in common and, as in the case of my son, with whom he does not have the same autism spectrum diagnosis.

My son Conor has Autistic Disorder, assessed with profound developmental delays. He has absolutely nothing in common with Ari Ne'eman, previously diagnosed with ADHD, and now diagnosed with Aspergers Disorder. Conor's Autistic Disorder deficits include limited communication and understanding of abstract concepts. He engages in self injurious and occasionally aggressive behavior and he will NOT, like Mr. Ne'eman, live an independent life, attend college and pose in numerous media interviews in which he purports to speak on behalf of anyone, including himself.

Read Jonathan Mitchell's More mythology from neurodiversity comment if you want an honest, informed analysis of Neurodiversity myth making nonsense.

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Anonymous said...

I really don't believe that many of these supposed adult ND advocates are autistic whatsoever. I do beleive that some of them have some sort of serious mental illness and are outcasts of society and this is one way for them to get attention while remaining hidden behind a computer. This Kasianne is one of the sicker ones if you have ever read her history. I think most of them are just completely full of it and have no clue what severe autism really involves. I also think they could really care less about speaking for all autistic people because, as I said, I truly believe they are so deranged they pretend to be something they are because they're lives are so pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Meant to say "they pretend to be something they are NOT." I really wish they would get a life as they say and stop speaking about something which does not affect their lives at all.

Terri Lewis said...

I think the essential problem is that we have one word (autism) used to describe too many conditions.

It's as if we used a single word to describe both deadly pneumonia and the common cold.

Thank you for blogging about the actual disability of autism and continuing to expose the lie that autism is just a difference.

When it is just a difference, in my opinion, there is no longer a need to use the word autism to describe a person's condition!

Anonymous said...

So true Terri. One word to describe too many parts of a spectrum disorder. With that said however, I think some of this ND crowd are not on the autism spectrum at all but truly do have some kind of other issue involving serious mental health problems. For these people to suddenly decide that they are "autistic" and use that as a platform to speak for those who truly are is a disgrace.

RAJ said...

These are the same people who say autism is not curable and and anyone who 'claims' that their child has had a normal outcome or a child diagnosed with an ASD in childhood and has had a normal outcome are simply trying to 'pass' as NT's.

Ari Ne'eman and all of the members of his organization are not autistic. For example, John Robertson desribes himself as a 'self-diagnosed autistic'.

These are all NT's who have either self-diagnosed themselves as being 'on the spectrum' or who have shopped around until finding a psychologist or psychiatrist willing to offer an ASD diagnosis.

Rather than seek help for their psychological problems they have wrapped themselves in a new fashionable label... 'Asperger'

What they have managed to accomplish is simply trivalizing a profoundly handicapping condition.