Saturday, October 03, 2009

Michelle Dawson's False and Absurd Anti-Parent Rhetoric

I have always been amazed that any one takes seriously the absurd autism rhetoric of Michelle Dawson. She engages in angry rhetoric aimed at the parents who advocate for ABA intervention for their own children. And she is continuing to do do so with her most recent post on her blog site in which she falsely states that ABA advocates in Canada deny the humanity of autistic persons, including their own children. Ms Dawson's latest false and absurd rant can be found on her blog site in Autistic people are persons: An anniversary where she states:

"In ABA-related litigation, autism advocates have used Canada's major human rights laws, including our highest law, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to deny the humanity, personhood, equality and human rights of most autistics in Canada.

This wholesale denial and dehumanization is exemplified in the Auton and Wynberg trial decisions. These two decisions have been universally revered and promoted by autism advocates, as representing what autistics deserve.

Autism advocates also universally opposed my
intervention in Auton, which sought to inform the Supreme Court of Canada that, contrary to the positions of both sides, autistics are human beings with human rights, and this status should not be denied to most autistics in Canada."

Contrary to Ms Dawson's nonsensical rhetoric Canadian ABA advocates, meaning Canadian parents seeking ABA services for their own autistic children, have never advocated for those services on the basis that their children, or any autistic persons, are not human beings. Ms Dawson has never published a single statement that I have seen where any parent or other ABA advocate, or any party involved in the Auton or Wynberg cases, has ever done so by denying that their children were not human or did not enjoy human rights. To the contrary their claims have been advanced on the basis that their children's basic human rights include the right to treatment for their medical disorders, their autism disorders.

Michelle Dawson also wrongly claims that the CHRT decision in which some of her complaints against Canada Post were accepted, and others dismissed, established that autistic persons were human beings with basic human rights. That is not a correct interpretation of the decision.

In Canada a Court, or a Tribunal, has authority to decide the issues that are properly before it based on the facts and the positions taken by the parties. The issue of whether autistic persons were "persons" with equality before the law, and with basic human rights, was not before the Tribunal in the case of Dawson v Canada Post. What was before the Tribunal were Ms Dawson's allegations that as an employee of Canada Post she had been discriminated against, harassed and suffered retaliation as a result of her disability ... which in her case was her "autism".

All Canadians by definition under our Constitution are persons enjoying equality before the law and basic human rights. Our Charter of Rights and our various Human Rights statutes all recognize the right of every Canadian to enjoy protection against discrimination on a variety of grounds including that of disability, the ground on which Ms Dawson's claim proceeded.

Furthermore, as would be expected, Canada Post did not take, or argue, the absurd position that autistic persons are not persons, or that they do not enjoy basic human rights. Since the matter was not in issue a gratuitous remark by the Tribunal member who decided her case that he agrees that autistic persons are persons does not mean that the decision itself established that autistic persons are persons. It did not have to be decided based on Canadian law or based on the arguments in that specific case. The comment was obiter dicta, outside the scope of what had to be decided in the case.

Michelle Dawson continues to falsely claim that Canadian parents advocating for ABA services for their autistic children are denying their basic humanity. She is wrong and she is doing a disservice to autistic children by interfering with parents' efforts to help their children. It is she who is denying a basic element of the humanity of autistic children ... the right recognized by the United Nations to enjoy the fullest protection and assistance their parents can provide.

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Marius Filip said...

I left a comment to Ms. Dawson on her blog.

I the stead of congratulating her, I stated, plain and simple, that her work is harmful to the autistics in the first place, because it hinders the most basic right - the one to get rid of a disability.

Unknown said...

Marius, thank you for speaking out against Ms Dawson's horrendous nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Harold. I also left a comment on Ms. Dawson's site. No congratulations from this Mom, either.


Unknown said...

Good stuff Dawn. People have to start making Michelle Dawson accountable for her nonsense.

farmwifetwo said...

Which just proves either she doesn't understand the ruling or she doesn't understand the Charter or she simply exaggerating to her fellow "autism warriors" claiming to change the Charter single handedly. Which is the truth??

I'm anti-ABA in the sense that it is not regulated in this province - that is what my initial "epic" that I sent to all 4 Federal Parties said and my current one is re-repeating along with the discourse on Neurodiversity - 75pgs and many more to go. How's yours coming Harold?? :) My FSW and I had a talk on the phone prior to our IEP mtgs in Sept, and she says less and less children are going into our local program = IMO PROBLEM!!!! I do like, and appreciate Ont PPM 140, EVERYONE, autistic or not MUST learn appropriate behaviour and social skills. EVERYONE deserves protection under the law from the Skye Walkers and the man who murdered the other man on the Bus in Manitoba (not going to look for it at the moment online). Mental illnesses or not... EVERYONE deserves protection from them and those people DESERVE the ability to be taught to control their behaviours and be protected from them as well.

This is not brainwashing, it's survival. Nobody is talking about stopping flapping, stimming, changing lighting in the work place, poor grammar and using 1 to 3 word sentences... They're talking abusive, excessive, behaviours.

The ASAN and ND crowd don't get it. All they do is claim those people are not autistic and ignore them.

I find that worst of all, to ignore those that need you most. What kind of lobby organization are they to ignore the most vulnerable of them??

Sandy Crux said...

Thanks Harold. You nailed it.

shakingsystem said...

After attending a seminar at the school board on: Autism Intervention Research: Good and Bad news ,in Montreal, by Michelle Dawson, I left the building in complete shock. Michelle Dawson basically called current and past research on ABA biased, unethical and inhumane. This causes a huge disservice to parents struggling with the day to day harsh autism realities.

She spoke for 1 hour and a half with only 20 minutes allocated for Q and A period. There were various questions brought to the table relating mostly to her ongoing rhetoric. When it was my turn I asked her "What would you say to the parent who has seen substantial progress through ABA therapy including language acquisition, social and adaptive behaviour,etc... also their child looks forward to this therapy on a weekly basis?

She looked at me with a blank face...and proceeded to say that this is unethical....

Go figure...As far as we're concerned, she's full of hot air.



Unknown said...

Hello Litsa and Lea (shakingsystem).

Did Ms Dawson indicate the basis of her ABA expertise if any?

shakingsystem said...

No, Harold she did not indicate any expertise in ABA. She only mentioned that she was an autism researcher ,collaborating with Dr. Laurent Mottron.

Michelle Dawson is a perfect example of an autistic person who has an obsessiveness of seeing things one-sided. In other words she can't see that parents are trying to help their children. She only sees the negative aspect of things. I could have turned blue in the face trying to convince her otherwise.

Gotta go....we are working on our Autism November 3rd Conference at the Beaconsfield Library.

Regards to Conor and your wife,