Wednesday, May 21, 2014

For CNN and Francesca Happé Adult Autism Is A Bouquet of Pretty Pink Flowers

Update: CNN refused, on its comment section,  my brief criticism of its exclusion from its 
"autism is growing up" presentation of  severe,  low functioning autism.

CNN which loves to portray high functioning autism and Aspergers as autism has done it again with a feature called "Autism Is Growing Up" which ... of course ... features only adult persons with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers.  In fact CNN and its accomplice Francesca Happé present 7 full stories of persons with high functioning autism and Aspergers. In addition an 8th adult with Aspergers, Canadian Zoey Roberts, is featured on the opening page of this creative portrayal of Aspergers as autism telling people that "autism is not a tragedy" which of course it isn't if you happen to exist on the very high functioning end of the spectrum, if you are not one of the 50% of persons with autism disorders estimated by the World Health Organization to also  suffer from intellectual disability, or if you are not one of the many who suffer from seizures, self injurious behavior, wandering into traffic or ill physical health that many with severe autism suffer from.

CNN has done this wonders of  autism stuff before and it is not surprise that it is at it again.  In order to lend the presentation credibility though it has brought in a collaborator Francesca Happé whose credentials are well known to anyone familiar with autism research to any extent and which are presented by CNN:

"Editor's note: Francesca Happé is president of the International Society for Autism Research, a professor of cognitive neuroscience, and director of the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London. Opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author."

For Francesca Happé and CNN autism is no longer just about autistic children it is also about adults ... but only adults with Aspergers and Very High Functioning Autism. 

For Happé and CNN the severely autistic who do not live independent lives or have high IQ's or special talents, who live in the care of others, including in institutional care, remain invisible, they remain the unwashed, the  unwanted, about whom the public must not know.

For Happé and CNN adult autism is not a disorder ... it is a bouquet of pretty, pink flowers.


Anonymous said...

The article did mention adults with intellectual disabilities.
Th potential relation to Parkensons. As well as the lack of studies on adults with ASD. It's too bad that the pictures of adults width autism did not include any that are more severely effected,

H L Doherty said...

"Mention" is accurate. The content though featured 8 out of 8 who were High Functioning Autism or Aspergers. Clearly misrepresenting the nature of autism spectrum disorders to the public.

Ginger Willsen said...

Don't you ever choose to not post comments?
Your blog says "All comments must be approved by the blog author."
You are no different than CNN

w ford said...

I am legit high functioning autistic and have health problems. When will the media mention issues like seizure and Gastro problems in high functioning autistics instead of making autism seem happy? It is not a fun thing to have Autism high or low functioning.

H L Doherty said...

"Ginger Wilsen" yes I do choose not to post some comments. It is not the fact that some posts are not published either here or at CNN that are significant. What is significant is the reason for non publication. I will not publish comments with profanity, racist, sexist or homophobic remarks for example. Nor will I publish spam posts in which someone posts as a means to advertise a product or is not discussing the topic at issue.

In the case of CNN I object to their inclusion of ONLY HFA/Aspergers profiles in a feature presenting 8 "autism" growing up profiles.

My criticism on that point is legitimate and should have been published. I also, unlike you have done here, included my email and means for CNN to contact me if they had any issues with what I said.

Anonymous said...

They didn't post my entry either. We call that editorial bias where I come from... In class (Maters - Disability Studies) "neuro-diversity" came up - and whether they misrepresent autism. Everyone looked at me, knowing this is one of my hot-button issues, and jaws dropped when I said no: reasoning: it's the APA that screwed the pooch; the ND people presumably have a diagnosis...