Saturday, December 10, 2011

We Don't Need Anymore Autism Ideological Extremism


In Colorado the prosecution has announced that it will not pursue charges against a woman who killed her child because she feared that her child was autistic.  Unfortunately some in the ever controversial world of "autism awareness", including Shannon Des Roches Rosa aka Squid Rosenberg of the ironically named Thinking Person's Guide to Autism have chosen to use this tragedy to promote their particular ideology and viciously attack those with whom they disagree. 

A defense psychiatrist and a prosecution psychiatrist in Colorado each found the woman to be insane. The hospital in which she is detained refuse to release her for a  court appearance and when she did appear it was in a suicide preventing smock. The details are of her killing of her  child, as reported at Daily Camera online are  gut wrenching. 

"Child would 'ruin' her life


During the initial investigation last summer, Rochester told detectives that she believed her baby, Rylan, was autistic, and that having an autistic child would emotionally and financially "ruin" her life.


According to a police report, she told detectives that she placed a plastic bag over Rylan's head. When the infant was still breathing some time later, she told police she placed blankets over his face.


When Rylan was unresponsive in the morning, his parents rushed him to Avista Hospital in Louisville, where he was declared dead June 1, 2010.


Since pleading not guilty by reason of insanity late last year, Rochester has spent much of her time at the state hospital in Pueblo.


On one occasion, doctors there refused to release her for a court appearance in Boulder. They said she was too unstable to travel. Rochester frequently has appeared in court wearing a suicide-prevention smock."


Out of this tragedy Shannon des Roches Rosa was inspired to  advocate ... not for improved services, and help, for mothers with serious mental health issues and post partum depression but to attack "negative portrayals of autism" in the media, parents and parent organizations that paint negative pictures of autism. She attacks Age of Autism,   Adventures in Autism, AnneDachel, and SafeMinds and describes them as "evil":


"Vanquish the Forces of Autism Evil! Declare Your #AutismPride!

I also blame autism organizations and websites like Age of Autism, Adventures in Autism, AnneDachel, and SafeMinds, which have made unilateral demonization of autism their mission; which do no outreach whatsoever based on building positive supports and communities; and which use calculated cult-like "us or them" mindsets, attack dog techniques, misinformation, and censorship practices to keep their almost exclusively autism parent and grandparent faithfuls' righteous indignation and self-pity at a roiling boil.

It doesn't matter how much you love someone with autism -- if you continuously and publicly declare them damaged goods, you are hurting them. And their peers. And telling everyone else it is acceptable to hurt Autistics."



Ms Des Roches Rosa is not content to attack anyone who presents the negative realities of autism disorders. I suspect she would take great offence and declare me evil for referring to autism as a disorder or group of disorders. She does, however, find the wherewithal in her anguish and anger to pat herself, and her fellow "Thinking Persons", on the back and promote their forthcoming book:

"this latest tragedy makes me frantic to get our TPGA book out (I'm marking up the proof right now, if there are no more hiccups with the publication process and thanks to the superhero manuscript powers of Jen Myers, it should be available in one week)."

For Des Roches Rosa, judging by the content of her blog page, autism is not a serious mental disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association.  For her autism does not include intellectual disability, serious self injury, injury to family members and caregivers. When an autistic person goes wandering and drowns or dies in a snow storm in Nova Scotia that is not autism.  When a 50 year old severely autistic woman is abused in a facility in New York state by her attendants who are caught only because of a surveillance camera and a conscientious co-worker that is not autism. The adult autistics that, in my capacity as an autism organization representative, I have visited in psychiatric hospital facilities where they live out their lives, are not autism. For Ms Des Roches Rosa my severely autistic son who has limited understanding of the world, has limited communication skills, has bitten his hands and wrists and slapped and hit his head is not autism.  For her talking honestly about my son's autism realities makes me evil. 

For Des Roches Rosa autism is not a disorder. For her it is just some proudly quirky people fighting against the forces of evil including parents struggling to help their autistic children live the best lives they can.

I do not agree with Ms Des Roches Rosa and her fluffy, feel good, very high functioning autism advocacy.  I find her claim to be a "Thinking Person" capable of guiding others on autism subjects to be ... amusing.  But, unlike her, I do not , because of our differing perspectives about autism disorders describe her as "evil".

Shannon Des Roches Rosa is misguided, seriously misguided in her views about autism disorders.  In her essay on the Colorado infanticide she has engaged in ideological extremism. She apparently harbors much hatred towards parents who view autism disorders as ... disorders ... but I have no reason to describe her as "evil".  And I do not intend to follow her example and  declare war on her or any other member of the world autism "community" with whom I disagree about autism disorders.

To Shannon Des Roches Rosa, I wish you and your loved ones happiness during the  approaching holiday season and beyond.  

13 comments:

Jim said...

I know this cause is one about which you're passionate. That said, I think you're putting word in "TPGA's" mouth. I read the article. I don't necessarily agree with it. But I also don't agree with the tone you're attributing to it.

Autism Reality NB said...

Thanks for your feedback Jim. I am not sure what your disagreement is though with the "tone that I am attributing" to the TGPA advocates article when she expressly refers to the referenced autism advocacy organizations and individuals as "evil". Or when she reels off a string of hostile insults:

"calculated cult-like "us or them" mindsets, attack dog techniques, misinformation, and censorship practices to keep their almost exclusively autism parent and grandparent faithfuls' righteous indignation and self-pity at a roiling boil."

Her tone, with all respect, is crystal clear ... and very jarring.

jonathan said...

This is nothing new. playing the murder card is something the neurodiversity movement does every time something like this happens. Blaming those of us who wish a cure for autism, saying it is our ideology that causes these people to murder their autistic children.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Well, obstectric (sic) reports from the UK show that advocated abortions for those determined to have neurodiversity of any kind was over 90% in the last 20 years. When talking to a doctor at the central intake, I found that abortion is not just allowed but advocated into the third trimester of pregnancy. This I assume is not the 'cure' you advocate.

However, I don't understand in this what you do advocate except to generate animosity toward an individual. You hold Shannon accountable for not advocating for " mothers with serious mental health issues and post partum depression".

But you don't either.

So what is the difference? Is it that you disagree about Autism treatment or cure with her and are using this as a smear tactic? I have seen political commercials like this (what is her stance on criminals in our neighborhoods? And did she raise our taxes?).

If a child is dead, if a family is destroyed, is it not enough to mourn that? And if someone sees it another way: so what?

I guess this is where I wish you and your loved ones a happy Saturnalia. Except that seems a very odd end to 'child dead, mother insane' start. But, hey, happy shopping.

Autism Reality NB said...

Elizabeth your comment is difficult to understand. SDRR calls parents advocating for autism cures evil and throws together a string of insults at them effectively declaring war. I pointed out those facts. You simply ignore her angry, hostile rhetoric and throw insults at me. Cool off think about what you are saying and try again. Try to be consistent.


"I don't understand in this what you do advocate except to generate animosity toward an individual. You hold Shannon accountable for not advocating for " mothers with serious mental health issues and post partum depression"."

But you don't either."

farmwifetwo said...

I haven't read it. I just read Jonathon's post. It explain's Kim's post.

I have little respect for TTPGTA. I have little respect for those that claim to be all and know all about any "thing" (politics, religion, disease etc). Opinions... yes and we all know I have mine :) But, claiming to be better or know more or anyone that doesn't agree with our POV that makes me a racist, horrible person etc.... they I don't respect and it happens daily on all topics.

That woman killed her child.. what about the one that murdered her's over food stamps. People do things when they hit the "wall" and everyone's "wall" is in a different place. Compassion is required at all times.... not stones.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

http://adiaryofamom.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/the-unthinkable-again/

This one is just as misguided as Shannon. Jessica Wilson just says the same thing in a more passive-aggressive manner. In reality she is just another one who has a high functioning child (Kendall Wilson), no clue and has convinced herself she walks on water in the blogging world. Some of these mom bloggers are stomach turning.

Bullet said...

This case is a tremendously sad one, for everyone concerned. I'm afraid I haven't read it in great detail, so I don't know whether it was a matter of post puerpal psychosis, or something different, but it is upsetting that she wasn't given the help she desperately needed.

Anonymous said...

Shannon Des Roches Rosa-truly a repulsive person in so many ways. Not surprised she is ranting about this.

Stephanie said...

I can't speak for her and wouldn't even try, but I do think the people who promote themselves in the autism community for profit without offering anything but quackery in return are evil. I think parents who fantasize about killing their autistic child, on video and in front of their child, need psychological help. (It happens; I've seen it.) If they do so purposely to harm their child, that's evil.

But, as much as we don't see eye to eye on many things, I can't imagine anyone honestly calling you evil. You're a loving father. You express your love in very meaningful ways here and in your other online presence, and I can only assume it carries over into your personal life. Whether you accept autism or not, you accept your son as a person and treat him as a human being. That shows through in so much of what you do and that's one of the reasons, disagreements aside, I have a great deal of respect for you and the work you do in the autism community.

Anonymous said...

This zero Des Roches Rosa just edited a book, TPGA? I can't imagine this bitter, opinionated jerk should be the person involved with books regarding autism. Hopefully it gets panned on Amazon.

Anonymous said...

You have to scratch your head at the hypocrisy of TPGA and all the cohorts. Diary of a Mom wrote some very recent posts on how wonderful Rosa was and how accepting all of them are at TPGA. Is she kidding? Rosa is the most unaccepting and closed minded mothers I have come across in the world of autism.

Clearly someone challenged Diary of a Mom on this so she wrote another post basically blasting everyone else for not being accepting while apologizing to Rosa beforehand making sure she knows she isn't referring to her. What is quite ironic is that Shannon Rosa is the most critical, hateful person (she calls herself an "advocate"? Oh please.) there is if the thinking does not match her own. She has written endless negative, bitter rants about people who believe in vaccine damage and biomed (after all, Shannon tried them and they didn't work for her son Leo so apparently anyone is nuts who actually believes in biomed now).

So the message is this apparently, if your thnking is not exactly in line with those at places like TPGA then you just need to change and become a more "accepting person" just like them. The egos seem so huge I am surprised their kids are even mentioned anymore.