Thursday, January 03, 2008

Offensive Autism Language at "Aspies for Freedom"

On December 29 I commented on the offensive language and hypocrisy demonstrated by neurodiversity blogger Do'C at Autism Street in Offensive Language On Autism Street where he referred to Donald Trump and Jenny McCarthy as "celebrity idiots". Now another neurodiversity blogger fresh off the suppression of the Ransom Notes campaign is insulting Autism Speaks with the following caption: autism speaks are retarded.

The blogger MATTHE was quick to receive chuckles from his fellow "Aspies for Freedom":

autism speaks are retarded Author Message matthe

Posts: 37
Group: Registered
Joined: Dec 2007
Status: Offline
Post: #1 autism speaks are retarded
any comments? Today 01:14 PM Lestat

Posts: 502
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Joined: Apr 2006
Status: Online
Post: #2 RE: autism speaks are retarded
No need for comment, you are preaching to the choir here mate The light blinds
So behold darkness as our new light
In our darkness we can see
So with others blindness
We take flight. Today 03:28 PM flardox

Posts: 767
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Post: #3 RE: autism speaks are retarded
Lestat Wrote:No need for comment, you are preaching to the choir here mate

I like the comment!

short and simple yet profound
I'm watching always watching..... Today 08:03 PM shamshir1218

Posts: 233
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Post: #4 RE: autism speaks are retarded
*chuckles at the thread*

It is funny because it is true!!! This person's views are not representative (Gareth)
Please do not remove this notice
The way of the warrior is my path.

Apparently mocking those with intellectual disabilities, by using terms used to describe them in the past as insults, is OK with the neurodiversity blogging crowd. Don't hold your breath waiting for Ari Ne'eman , Estee Klar-Wolfond, and Kristina Chew, all of whom condemned the Ransom Notes language, to express their outrage at their fellow neurodiversity bloggers derogatory mocking of the intellectually impaired. Pomposity they can do. Sincerity, genuine concern for the intellectually disabled; even those who are autistic? Not so good.


Anonymous said...

Mr Doherty--as a parent reading you blog, I have to say that I find your personal stories about what you've done with Conor (like the previous post) much more interesting to read than the usual arguments against neurodiversity. You would consider my 4 year old Autistic son "high functioning" (reading, some language, precocious "splinter/borderline savant" math skills, all developed without benefit of any ABA), so I don't know if my opinion, as a parent has any weight in your world. Nevertheless, it's much more interesting to hear about Conor himself than your battle with neurodiversity/autism bloggers. He's a beautiful kid.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the kind words about Conor.

As for my battles with the neurodiversity bloggers those will continue as long as they obscure the realities of autism as experienced by lower functioning autistic persons, lobby against ABA and other beneficial treatments for autistic children and try to convince the world that parents should not try to cure their children's autism, and mock the intellectually disabled.

My son has some of the skills you mention in describing your son, because he has received some ABA.

I wish your son well.

Judith U. said...

My severely affected son Jack definitely needs a cure. The bottom line for me is that one day I will die and I can't be sure what will become of him. Given the autism prevents him from communicating, the door is wide open for abuse, etc. This prospect alone frightens me. I don't want that for him. I want him to be able to communicate. A cure for autism would allow that.

That is just one of many reasons that I will work for the cure as long as I'm able...If there are those on the spectrum who don't want to take advantage of that cure, then that is certainly their prerogative.

Unknown said...


Thank you for dropping by and offering your perspective.

John Best said...

Can you imagine Conner becoming associated with the nitwits at AFF? I think I'd prefer my son got into drugs than hanging around with these people.

jypsy said...

I do not condone name calling.

I thought you might find the following of interest. In my New Years house cleaning/sorting/organizing I came across a paper titled "Watch Your Language" by Francis Strong. It lists & explains "negative words" and suggests alternatives. I agree with most, but not all, of his suggestions.
"Idiot" made the list. - "Moron, imbecile, idiot - Although these are recognized medical terms, they are also very stigmatizing labels to attach to a person. Instead say - mental disability, mentally disabled, mildly, severely."
Here's the rest of his list of his negative words:
Cripple, crippled
Cerebral palsied, spinal cord injured
Defective, deformed, vegetable
Deaf & dumb
Blind as a bat
Restricted to, confined to - a wheelchair or crutches
Healthy (when used to contrast to "disabled")
Normal (when used as the opposite of "disabled")
Disease (unless referring to an actual disease)
Afflicted with, suffering from

"Francis Strong is a spokeswoman for the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. She is severely disabled and has been a full-time wheelchair user for over 25 years, since polio at age 14"

Anonymous said...

I'm part of the neurodiversity movement, and when we talk about "Autism Speaks", we are NOT referring to Autistic people with intellectual impairments, but to the organization itself.
"Autism Speaks" is an organization founded by Neurotypicals: i.e. doctors, researchers and parents of autistic chilren, who like to speak for us, instead of letting us speak for ourselves.
Also "retarded" is just slang for "stupid", it does not mean intellectually impaired.
A lot of us do not care about politically correct terminology, because we just hate to be patronized like that, kay?

Unknown said...


"retarded" does mean intellectually impaired.

Parents, whether you like it or not, do speak for their autistic children when their children are unable to speak for themselves. My son can not speak for himself in these discussions. I speak for him, YOU do not.