Sunday, February 18, 2007

Neurodiversity's Hidden Truths

When I posted yesterday about "Neurodiversity's" attempts to downplay the existence of severely autistic persons I expected, and received, some heated comments although some were civil and on topic enough to post. But none of the comments that I received acknowledged a central reality that the Neurodiversity movement seems ashamed to admit - that there are many autistic persons in the world whoin fact are severely disabled, who are dangerous to themselves and who require 24/7 care and attendance to ensure their safety. I am still waiting for one of the Neurodiversity advocates to admit these truths - but I am not holding my breath while I wait.

The ugly truth is that many in the Neurodiversity movement seem ashamed to acknowledge the existence of severely autistic persons - like my son.


Alyric said...

OK Harold

I'll bite . So there are adult autistics in need of 24/7 care because of profound disability self care issues etc etc. And there are no 'normal' adults in need of same? And your point would be?

That autism is terrible - all of it and every single minute of the day? That your son is unending gloom and doom from the minute he wakes up in the morning. That without this intensive one on one treatment, which you see as the holy grail and I see as that bit of psychology that the rest of the world left behind a very long time ago but still lives on in autism therapy along with all the other unproven therapies. It's certainly no better and no worse that secretin, B12 and HBOT, all instituted on the grounds of nothing more than plausibilty, not a randomised controlled study in sight before they inflicted this lot on autistic children.

Don't you think autistic children deserve better than to always be guinea pigs for every speculative therapy coming down the pike along with therapies that people don't want to let go. How about a little evidence in the mix. How about autism therapy joins the cognitive revolution. How about we actually try to work out what autism really is before we try something.

Heavens - how about we get the evidence before we institute the therapy or is that too avant garde for you?

Unknown said...


Yes there are adult and youths with autism who are in need of care. That IS the point, the point which the Neurodiversity movement glosses over. it is a serious disability which requires that something effective be done to improve the lives of those who are severely disabled by autism. The fact that there other adults with other severe disabilities requiring care is irrelevant to this discussion. And I think you know that.

Just for future reference, I have never said that my son is "unending gloom and doom from the minute he wakes up in the morning". Why don't you stick to what I said and refrain from making up such gross and offensive distortions?

You are an anonymous internet poster who disapproves of ABA. In fact hundreds of studies and hundreds of actual named experts disagree with you. These experts include the advisory board of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, The office of the US Surgeon General and the experts who provided advice to the state agencies in New York, California and Maine all of whom endorse ABA as, to date, the ONLY, evidence based proven effective intervention for autism.

You can make rhetorical comments about guinea pigs. They are unfounded. In the Auton decision even the government expert called to cast doubt on ABA acknowledged at trial that ABA is the treatment of choice. There are no other options - at present.

To the extent that parents of newly diagnosed autistic children take your comments seriously you are giving them bad advice, very bad advice.

Anonymous said...

How do I contact you?

John Best said...

Harold, You're starting to realize what Neurodiversity is. They attempt to glamorize autism to make the general public think it's not so bad.
Have you asked yourself why any sane parents would go to so much trouble to make this nightmare called autism seem less horrible than it is?
I know, you don't believe thimerosal caused the epidemic even though thousands of kids have been cured by removing the mercury. Would you believe drug companies would take the trouble to sway public opinion, a public who will undoubtedly wind up on juries? What's easier to believe, that insane parents want to harm other parent's kids with bad information or that drug companies would hire shills to write nonsense on blogs to help sway public opinion? Why do you think these idiots spend all their blogging time knocking everyone who has proven the thimerosal connection?

Unknown said...

anonymous 10:53 PM

I can be reached by email at

Unknown said...

Fore Sam

My beliefs on the thimerosal issue are simply based on the scientific consensus today. If that changes then I will also change my view on that.

As for the Neurodiversity posters I think it is unfortunate that they try so hard to convince people that autism is wonderful. Autism is a disorder and in severe cases a life restricting disability. If it is not taken seriously it is the person with severe autism who will be deprived of the opportunity to enjoy life more fully.

I marvel at the accomplishments of some autistic persons. But for many autistic persons glamourous feats are not what life has in store for them. And they can be helped by being provided with evidence based pre-school, school AND adult interventions and decent residential accommodations. The Neurodiversity commentators don't spend much time on these matters though they prefer to criticize parents and others who are trying to make real changes for the better in the lives of their loved ones with autism.

Unknown said...

kevin and other ND commentators

Many of your comments are repetitive, unduly inflammatory or assert mis-characterizations of what I have posted.

I am pleased though that some of you have written to say that you do acknowledge the existence of severe autism. I haven't seen that on "Neurodiversity" sites before but will look for such acknowledgements when I visit your sites.

I look forward to visiting and reading your own sites and seeing what you propose about how to deal with the realities of those for whom autism is a life restricting disability.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking out on behalf of these children. I have a family member who also is severely affected by autism. He is also 11 years old and thanks to ABA is learning and able to function in a more normal way.
KEEP ON speaking and fighting for the truth for the sake of these little one's. God bless you Mr. Doherty