Disgusted and Offended by some in the Autism Community

I pride myself on being able to exist on both sides of the fence… not just straddle the fence, but to have my feet planted firmly on each side. But sometimes, someone or some group comes along and says something that really makes me seriously question my resolve.

I understand where the tensions, the frustrations and even the hatred can come from when people begin arguing over what they feel is best for their children. I also understand how hurt people can be when they feel violated.

However, understanding it does not mean that I feel they are validated in making some statements or in taking some actions… such as chemically castrating children in an effort to cure Autism. That’s not ok.

When discourse fails, make them your enemy

So one group has recently been quoted as saying:

“We need to get militant, and I mean in a way that scares those in power. You know what I’m talking about.”

I am hoping that this is just strong wording to make a strong point but still, really… do we need military terminology and “you know what I’m talking about” (nudge nudge, wink wink) insinuations?

What exactly is it that you’re talking about? Combat? War? Is it really logical that if someone doesn’t do as you ask, that you become their enemy? Will that make them listen to you? Probably…. not.

Those in power” are not your enemies. No matter what you think. And if you want people to work with you, maybe getting “militant” is not the best option.

If you can’t convince them, call them baby killers

July 10th must have been a particularly bad day for this person, that tweeted not once, but three times:

autism divide 1

Immaculate huh? My guess is you just made that up rather than use a word that any sane person would have used.

autism divide 2

Is that so? I support autism the way a father supports a child that is growing up in a society and school system that is not yet equipped to understand or accommodate him. Granted, all of that doesn’t fit into 140 characters, I still can’t help but think you were going a different way with your meaning.

autism divide 3

I’m not sure I have the time nor web server space available to explain all the ways this is just so wrong…  but I have to question, what exactly would you propose? That all research just halt, ignore any findings that suggest genetics as a cause and declare environmental factors as the sole cause?

Oh wait, that must be it. You’re so certain that if they do discover the genes, if they do discover an actual definitive cause… that parents may get the option of detecting it in their unborn children and thus, have an abortion. Which means that you’d rather silence science and avoid the (possible) truth for fear of abortions.

Because if you truly cared about science or the truth or our children… you’d want the answers. 

By the way, just to finish the point, abortion is not the “end game.” But there’s very little point in explaining that. Those who know it, know it and those who think it, can’t be convinced otherwise.

So disappointed

I just can’t believe that people write this… I more so can’t believe that they not only share it but try to get others to think likewise… and the absolute worst is that this is from an organization that is in the position of influence over parents.

I don’t care if you believe vaccines are the culprit, I don’t care if you believe doctors really are out to hurt our children….. statements like this are just not ok.

There are no “camps”, we’re all on the same side!! We’re not at war and no one is out to abort children. We can’t just stop science because it might result in an answer that we don’t want to hear.

If statements like these were made by individuals as an opinion, I’d just roll my eyes because as I said, I can understand what drove them to it. I don’t approve, but I understand.

But because these types of statements are made by organizations with actual influence over people, I have to voice my objection to this. It is not acceptable to encourage others to think this way.

What are your thoughts??

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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22 Responses to Disgusted and Offended by some in the Autism Community

  1. jillsmo July 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Really, really well said, and I completely agree with you on all of it!!

  2. Joel Arnold July 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Well said, Stuart.

  3. Tarasview July 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    preach it!!

  4. Jean Nicol July 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Stuart, I totally agree with you. Sometimes it takes all I can do not to respond to these sick people but I pray I can continue to ignore them. I know they aren’t going to go away if I ignore them but I won’t be fueling their fire. Maybe we can just keep reaching out to those who are so vulnerable to be taken in by this very angry bunch!

  5. Kathy Kelly July 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    There are always those who delight in stirring the pot… lets not empower them!

  6. Deborah S P July 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    You continue to provide a voice of rational reason in what can, at times, be a difficult area to navigate through. I couldn’t agree with you more and I appreciate you’re ability to voice what many of us think and feel but can’t put into words. Thank you.

  7. Kelly M July 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Thank you for being a voice of reason. And for standing up for all our children who have been diagnosed with ASD.

    It is true that some people believe that scare tactics and harsh words will justify their argument. I do not beleive there is one exact cause of Autism, but if Joe Schmoo believes that Autism was caused by eating too much jelly, then hey that’s his beleif. Who am I to argue?

    Namaste’

  8. Claire July 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    You have a gift of reason, logic and writing. Great words!

  9. Stuart Duncan July 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Thank you for the support everyone. I let a lot roll off my back too, I don’t get offended easily.
    But this time, I just felt that I had to say something.

  10. Eliane Fonceca July 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Reading your post I thought that maybe some people follow the ideas of Peter Singer, and this can be very very scary.

    Nice blog and nice tweets. Thanks!

  11. Alicia July 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    I didn’t understand at first what was so terrible about the second part, I know it is too radical and ilogical, but I understand better when you said it comes from an organization (I don’t like most orgs, too much tactics to scare people).

    Medical science is not evil (I disagree with the way it’s used some times, but very good things come from it, and research is not the problem) and I think too much cause/cure research is used when helping in others way would be best, but stopping all research leads nowhere.

    I do think that if autism was tested before birth, people would abort, like with down syndrome, it’s painful to know that, but many parents hardly can be parents of typical kids, imagine someone saying their kid will be autistic? Especialy since all doctors will say bad news.

    We need less radical views, less fear and more understanding of others.

    What is an “End game”? The final goal or something?

  12. Jen July 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    I applaud you for writing this. This is exactly how I feel about it all.

    I’ve gone toe to toe trying to open the eyes of people who held very strong opinions. And learned very quickly that they have taken their opinions off the deep end.

    I’ve also taken the personal full circle journey when it comes to the blame of my two autistic children. The result I came to is that I’m done wasting my time trying to place blame and I’m focusing my energies on helping them work with it instead.

    I do see both sides of the fence so to speak as I’ve been on both sides. Right now I just simply don’t have any more energy to waste…I’m too dang busy the way it is! LOL.

  13. Lynn July 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    This brings up something I always thought kind of fascinating. When it comes to those who are already politically conservative and/or Christian and/or anti-choice generally, they find a way to back into that whole anti-abortion stance from BOTH the anti-biomed AND the anti-genetic camps. Your friend is an example of the latter, e.g.: people want to find the genetic answer just so they can abort. And I’ve seen staunchly anti-biomed people argue the whole “leave them alone, they are perfect, they are all God’s children, why are you trying to fix them, they are perfect just the way they are” shpiel. I find them all to be generally ignoramuses who will find any excuse to advance their agendas.

  14. Heather July 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    We’ve become a society of the best “burn”, the best comeback, the one that cuts to the core and leaves our “opponent” wounded and unable to fight back. Only in most cases it is an imaginary opponent, simply because the person doing the biting needs someone to be angry at, someone to put all this blame and hurt that they can’t put in appropriate places, because there are none.So they last out at anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with them. This is true in anything in our society–sports, politics, NASCAR drivers, social issues, religion, tv shows, and sadly, autism. It is more important to be RIGHT than it is to be loving, kind, patient or pursuing justice and wholeness. The problem is that we have to call it out and say NO to it, in a loud, clear voice. We cannot let it invade our communities any more, because there is enough pain, confusion and damage within them as it is.

  15. Karen July 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    I’m applauding you on my end. I agree with everything that you have said.

  16. Sherry Foster July 15, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    Stuart Your wisdom and views on Autism are Asstounding. You always have a objective point of view and I wrote a blog a while back on the very same subject. http://sher82278.wordpress.com
    and i found this posted on Lance ArmStrongs website that gives a total explaination of Intimidation.
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/14742-eliminating-intimidation/

  17. Elise Ronan (@RaisingASDKids) July 15, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    Agree with this post. The divisions in the autism community will only end up hurting our children. People are entitled to their opinions and how they view issues and themselves, but to want to deny someone medical help and support or call them terrible names is destructive. But this is also the culture we live in when dealing with all divisive issues. Civility is dead. Of course if we want respect and disocurse to return all we have to do is start with ourselves.

  18. Kirsten Jessiman July 15, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    I actually had a self-righteous person telling me that Children’s Aid should remove my kids from me, because I told her that I’d chosen to vaccinate my second son even after my firstborn was diagnosed with autism. There are people (and yes, organizations) who think that their opinions are actually facts, and they can be brutally cruel to anyone who thinks differently.
    This is a great post about an issue that I think is very important.

  19. Robert Hutchins July 15, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Stuart:

    I totally agree. Putting certain extreme things into words on the internet, to me, takes away the credibility of the person saying them. At the end of the day we all need to slow our roll and think about what we post.

    I do believe that genetics play a role in many cases as well as vaccine injury, but threats and harsh talk tends to fall on deaf ears. We need to find a cause or causes as well as a cure for autism, but we need to not go over board with our comments and we need to also focus on what we currently have. Bring awareness, assist those families who have been impacted and keep looking at finding resolutions to the cause and a cure.

  20. Beth B July 17, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Hi, Stuart. I am a parent of two children on the spectrum. I agree that people must be more thoughtful of what they write on any website, as the internet is “forever” and any typed words can come back to haunt the writer of those words. Violence is not the answer, facts and statistics and sound, unbiased science are what is necessary to find the root source of autism. I believe it is a combination of genetics and environment (including mercury from coal burning power plants, other environmental poisons, and mercury and aluminum and viral/bacterial antigens in the vaccines, and animal DNA/RNA contaminants during the manufacturing process) that causes autism in our children. Those children that are the most genetically susceptible (i.e. have less glutathione in their bodies because they produce less than others, or who are more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria) are far more likely to succumb to autism. There are others who’s brains are attacked by a live, but attenuated viral antigen (such as in the MMR or chicken pox vaccines) that reassorts and inflames their brain. To me, the word “autism” means “brain damage” and that is why there is such a spectrum. Some are more severely affected than others. We are all genetically different. I wish us all luck in helping our children to live the most productive lives possible.

  21. paul5of6 July 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    The criticism of genetics research in autism is pretty solid.

    * Each study into the genetic origin of autism seems to discard the findings of previous studies, and instead propose new area of interest.

    * The phrase immaculate autism may be in reference to the idea that the incidence of genetic disorders should not increase without an environmental factor. In other words, if you believe that autism is genetic, you end up having to explain its increase with arguments like better awareness and diagnosis.

    * The topic of abortion may be a reference to the fact that most pregnancies where a pre-natal test indicates Down Syndrome end in abortion.

    The fear is that there is a sub-population of children genetically susceptible to vaccine injury (in the form of regressive autism), and that geneticists will develop a pre-natal test that mistakes this genetic susceptibility to vaccine injury as autism.

    In fact, some tests are already available: see http://www.lineagen.com.

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