Amy Wallace discusses the responses she got to the WIRED article

28 Oct

A recent article in WIRED magazine took a close look at the vaccine/autism discussion. I discussed it briefly in a previous post. The article took a very science-oriented stance which, you can imagine, did not please the vaccines-cause-autism organizations.

For example, the “vaccines-cause-autism” organizations are listed by WIRED as “anti-vaccine” organizations.

The WIRED piece has caused a stir, even outside of the autism communities. Ms. Wallace’s piece has been noticed by Time Magazine, MinnPost.com, and The Atlantic. Oh, and some of the “anti-vaccine” orgs blogged about it too.

Not surprisingly the author of that piece, Ms. Amy Wallace, received a lot of responses to her article. In an interesting move, she has discussed many of the responses on Twitter. These have been compiled on the “bastard sheep” blog.

In addition to the WIRED article getting noticed, the responses are getting noticed. The Terra Sigillata blog has a piece up. The LA Times LA Observed has a piece on their blog.

Let’s take a closer look at the responses. She got about 250 so far, with about 3:1 in favor of the article. Some of the responses from her twitter feed: Some responses, like the one noted in Terra Sigillata, were quite harsh. Here are a couple:

I’ve been told I’ll think differently “if you live to grow up.” I’ve been warned that “this article will haunt you for a long time.”

“If she lives to grow up”? Pretty clear threat there.

She has every right to complain. Instead Ms. Wallace has reported on these comments, but for the most part she hasn’t added commentary. This hasn’t stopped her detractors from calling her a “cry baby”.

I’ve been called stupid, greedy, a whore, a prostitute, and a “fking lib.” I’ve been called the author of “heinous tripe.”

This is one view the outside world is getting of the autism communities. Does anyone think this is helping? OK, there are the small minority. So, to be more precise, does anyone reasonable disagree with the idea that this hurts the autism communities?

Here are some more comments she received that focus more on the autism communites:

In his book, Autism’s False Prophets, Dr. Offit writes about scientists who have been intimidated into staying silent about autism/vaccines. If scientists – who are armed with facts and trained to interpret them – are afraid, can it be any surprise that a lot of parents are, too?

No, it isn’t a surprise. Sad, yes. Surprise, no.

One persistent theme in their emails is the idea that vaccination policies abridge our civil rights. As one reader put it, “Me and mine are not a herd. Human beings are capable and entitled to decide for themselves what to put in our bodies.” Another mom wrote, “The PARENT knows their child more than anyone in the world. The PARENTS, Ms. Wallace, NOT Mr. Offit.” Another said, “I have a Son that needs Me – not another needle.”

To which Ms. Wallace responded rather well:

This idea – which we discuss in the Wired story – is powerful: that parents, not medical experts, should be the ultimate authority on their children’s health. To which I say, with all due respect, and as a parent myself: loving your child doesn’t make you an expert. It makes you a devoted parent.

Ms. Wallace goes on to state:

The dominant emotion in even the angriest emails to me is despair. Forget the vitriol, the slurs, the insults. The despair is what I find truly painful to read.

Which she follows with this comment from a parent:

“Those of us with autistic children are really sick of you know-it-alls,” one mom wrote me. Then she delivered the best description of what a loving parent wishes for their child that I have received so far. “I want my daughter to feel like a ‘typical’ child,” she wrote. “I want her to experience ONE day of no GI pain or headaches. I want my daughter to be able to gain weight and be able to have enough energy to play on the playground with her friends. So, in between therapies, doctors’ appointments, crying, diarrhea, no friends, trouble with school, countless vitamins to keep her tiny body going and being near bankrupt, you think I want to be in this fight?”

Ms. Wallace responds:

No, I don’t think she wants to be in that fight. Who would? Autism can be truly devastating to families. There is no debate about that. Which is why – as so many parents have said — every available research dollar should be aimed at finding the causes of the disorder

Leaving aside the discussion of whether autism is a medical condition for the moment (although I expect and welcome comments on this):

With all due respect, here Ms. Wallace made a common mistake in equating understanding causation with progress towards therapies. Ms. Wallace seems to have bought into the assumption that if we know the causes, we will automatically know treatments. Well, yes and no. Yes, understanding causation may help in many cases. At the same time, in many cases it likely will not.

Take, for example, the idea that autism is vaccine injury. The alternative medical community already assumes autism is a vaccine injury. They already claim to be treating autism as vaccine injury. Do they have a “cure”? No. Do they even have any proven therapies? No. For that matter, are any of their therapies really based on treating vaccine injury, as they claim? No. As a simple example: can anyone point to a truly innovative therapy that Andrew Wakefield (father of the MMR-causes-autism theory) has developed?

Consider HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy). Can anyone give a clear explanation how that ties into vaccine injury? The closest “therapy” based on vaccine injury proposed so far is chelation. The removal of mercury from a body supposedly mercury poisoned from vaccines. The latest study, from their own researchers mind you, shows it is as effective as a placebo. Which is a nice way of saying: chelation doesn’t work.

I am not saying that causation research is useless. Far from it. However, it is neither necessary nor sufficient to produce the medical therapies many parents are searching for to treat their children.

I’ve gone off track from reporting the responses Ms. Wallace received to her piece. I’ve probably also sidetracked the discussion that will happen here.

Today Ms. Wallace added some comments she has received from autistics.

n the past week or so, I’ve heard from several people who said they were on the autism spectrum. They all said they enjoyed the article. What they don’t enjoy, however, is hearing themselves described as people that no one wants to be.

I’ll end with one comment out of those tweets:

“I have Autism. But: I am a person, not a problem. I am an asset, not a subject. I’m not a lab mouse, I am human.

105 Responses to “Amy Wallace discusses the responses she got to the WIRED article”

  1. Joseph October 29, 2009 at 21:52 #

    @bensmyson: Out of curiosity, how did you find out your son is autistic? Did you wake up one day, saw him flapping his hands, and said “OMG! he’s autistic” ?

    Or did you have to see an specialist? Did you do some research on the internet to find out? Who was the first to suggest the diagnosis?

  2. Joseph October 29, 2009 at 22:16 #

    People who discover autism as an adult trouble me. It’s like someone saying they now remember being sexually abused as a child, 30 years later.

    @bensmyson: You trouble me. You don’t listen, first of all. You favor your intuition over evidence. That mis/undiagnosed autistic adults exist is not a matter of opinion. You need me to cite the literature or something?

    You don’t address arguments, and then you repeat your views just the same as if they haven’t been dealt with already.

    Your analogies make no sense. Realizing one is autistic is not like remembering something you should’ve known all along.

    Consider this. A child with Fragile X is born in 1900. Why doesn’t anyone notice that the child is Fragile X? Why doesn’t the person with Fragile X themselves realize they are Fragile X?

    Are you aware that the diagnosis of Asperger’s didn’t exist until 1994? I first heard the term “Asperger’s Syndrome” in 1998. Were you always aware or its existence or did you have to read about it somewhere?

  3. Dedj October 29, 2009 at 22:19 #

    “People who discover autism as an adult trouble me. It’s like someone saying they now remember being sexually abused as a child, 30 years later.”

    This isn’t about a sudden realisation that you have these traits.

    Adult diagnosed autistics may have experienced several other diagnosis, may have a pre-exisiting diagnosis of severe mental illness or other intellectual disability, may have spent time in institutions and may have been experiencing difficulties for years.

    Your analogies are in no way comparable to the experiences of adult diagnosed autistics that exists in the academic, clinical or biographic literature that I am aware of. This literature stretches back several decades.

    I’m not sure why you continously attempt to paint this as a either/or scenario. Has anyone suggested the possibility of yourself having autistic traits?

  4. Dwight F October 29, 2009 at 22:31 #

    >> I don’t know about anything other than what I experience with my son.

    When I find myself saying/thinking something like that I usually make sure to listen. I even go out of my way to find someone to listen to. Someone that is likely in a much better position to know a lot more. Autistic teenagers and adults are likely the BEST source you’ll have of peering into your son’s future, perhaps even gaining a better understanding of him right now. Not all of them want to talk, and you do need to work hard to understand them and where they are coming from.

    But really that’s a self-fulfilling goal, right? Work on understanding so you can understand.

    >> Things like this are easy to ignore unless it effects someone you love.

    Isn’t that even more the case of autism and you? You haven’t experienced it directly from the other side.

    >> I would never want my son to be ashamed of autism, I would hope he will never have a need to justify his disorder in any manner.

    Acceptance that this is truely who he is is going to do releave such a load off you, and ultimately him. It also frees you up to get down to the positive business at hand, how to accomidate your son’s specific needs and build on and from his specific strengths. If you keep focusing on the negatives they get bigger in your mind and the positives get disregarded. Switch it around and suddenly solutions and the positive path forward becomes easier to find and travel.

    Remember, it DOES affect someone I love and I can tell you acceptance is very liberating with very good things coming from it. That is not the case for getting stuck in the blame game, the despair, and wishing for something that isn’t and never will be. I refuse to entertain the question “Would you remove/cure your son of autism if you could?” It is a hypothetical question that has no meaning in my life, so how could I sensibily answer it?

  5. Calli Arcale October 29, 2009 at 22:47 #

    “People who discover autism as an adult trouble me. It’s like someone saying they now remember being sexually abused as a child, 30 years later. Im not saying it isnt possible, I just have a hard time grabbing it. Many of us look desperately for answers to our own short comings. We try on various things to explain why we are a certain way. The average age of diagnosis for autism is 6 years of age. Adults finding out they have autism and seeking money are taking money away from the children.”

    In my experience, autistic adults who were not diagnosed as children are not going to take any money away from children. This is because the only autistic adults likely to get any kind of funding (apart from what might be provided by some private insurance plans) are the ones who are not able to care for themselves and were therefore likely diagnosed as children — or misdiagnosed as something else, such as mental retardation, which would’ve qualified for services anyway. If they can take care of themselves, there probably won’t be much public funding (if any) for them in any case.

    I think most of the adults who are diagnosed as autistic tend to have had their peculiarities written off as something else in childhood, even something as benign as just “eccentric”. I actually know two adults who were diagnosed, as adults, with Asperger’s Syndrome. They’re not people who are just desperately seeking affirmation for their peculiarities, although they are seeking help with various social or behavioral problems. Both function very well, but have trouble in social gatherings.

    I agree that autism is an either-or-thing; a person isn’t “slightly autistic”. But it is very possible for it to go undiagnosed for long periods. You have to remember several things:

    a) mental disorders of any kind carry a stigma

    b) not all parents believe in the existence of psychiatric conditions

    c) not all parents will consider that their kid’s oddities are anything that needs a diagnosis

    d) some parents will consider it a personal failure if their child has a learning disorder; they will find it hard to even acknowledge their kid’s oddities

    e) tragically, some parents just aren’t sufficiently involved in their kids’ lives to notice that the kid might need some different help.

    Those factors combine to mean that a lot of parents won’t take their kid in to see a psychologist, for good or ill, unless the situation is really, really bad.

    E is hard for good parents like you to imagine. You love your kid; how could you imagine just not caring? But it does happen.

  6. Dwight F October 29, 2009 at 23:11 #

    The stigma is huge. I have a friend who said he was uncomfortable in me suggesting he was autistic because, direct quote here, “I’m not a retard”. Well no, I wouldn’t suggest that he is (in those words or otherwise). He is a very bright person that I am happy to know. He certainly has had a good deal of professional and monetary success, the later more than the vast majority of people. But he does have to work extremely hard dealing with people of any sort and has an even harder time establishing or maintaining anything resembling a romatic relationship.

    He also doesn’t need a diagnosis for “handouts” or even really for that much for accomidation at this point. He has a fairly good understanding of who and what he is, although not in clinical terms. However a diagnosis might still be helpful in explaining to others who he is, how he sees things differetly, and acceptance of that…at least to others that don’t think “retard” when they hear autism.

  7. bensmyson October 29, 2009 at 23:45 #

    “@bensmyson: Out of curiosity, how did you find out your son is autistic? Did you wake up one day, saw him flapping his hands, and said “OMG! he’s autistic” ?

    Or did you have to see an specialist? Did you do some research on the internet to find out? Who was the first to suggest the diagnosis?”

    Pretty much he screamed and cried the entire day and night after his 8 vaccinations at 366 days of age. He instantly lost his ability to speak, over the next 3 months he exhibited unusual behavior. I wrote it all off as some stage of development. It progressively became worse. We didn’t know what it was until we took him to specialists 5 months after his vaccines. In reviewing home movies it is obvious looking back when it occurred. There is no way this could have been overlooked. Seizures, fevers, chronic gut problems, and many many bruises due to a lack of a sensation to pain. This was a child picking colors at 3 months of age. Following directions, mimicking sounds and songs, at 10 months using the “L” sound, saying cow says moo etc. all to go away at 366 days of age.

    I do not suggest that I know for certain anything about adults living with autism or any other form of autism other than what I have experienced first hand. My science is in my house and it has been diagnosed as autism. My son suffered from encephalitis, this was caused by a virus, since my son has 15 times the high norm of measles titers it has been suggested to me that the brain injury was caused by measles. To prove that my son would have to undergo some extremely invasive procedures which neither my wife or I are willing to sing off on. His immune system was once comparable to that of a person with AIDS. As his immune system improved so did he. There is one other person within my extended family that has a child with autism. No mental retardation, no mental illness save alcoholism. We all survive until we are in our 80’s. Very little cancer, some dementia in later years. Nothing to indicate this is a genetic problem. Of the 20 or so doctors one has actually released Ben from the diagnosis after seeing him once then again a year later. He has come a long way but he is still presenting with characteristics of autism.

    Offitt and this article harm my son by denying that vaccines caused a brain injury to my son which as a result caused him to present with autism. My son is not the only child that this has happened to.

    What I accept is that my son was injured, I accept that there is a slight chance that he will improve enough to someday marry and live his life independently. I accept my responsibility as a parent to do whatever it takes to work towards his independence.

    I am here on this blog to learn from some of those who are posting here. I am 50 years old, majored in psychology, I knew nothing of autism except that those diagnosed with it had to wear helmets to keep from hurting themselves by beating their heads on the floor. They were all institutionalized by the time they were teens.

    It is hard for me to accept that someone able to live life independently could be diagnosed with autism for the first time as an adult. If so we need a new label or two.

  8. David N. Brown October 29, 2009 at 23:59 #

    “The majority of those diagnosed with autism have an IQ lower than average.”

    It should be a lesson of history (see 1918 Yerkes-Army test) that standardized IQ tests don’t provide meaningful data when there is a barrier to communication between the subject and those administering the test.

  9. bensmyson October 30, 2009 at 00:08 #

    Understood David, my son’s IQ was scored at 93, in my review of the test I discovered he failed to correctly pick the difference between a square and a circle and could only count to 8. My son knows shapes has for a couple of years and can count to 20 in English and Spanish front and back, when he wants to. But half the population also scores less than average right? My point is that not all those suffering from autism can blog, much less figure out how to read. Some actually suffer some form of lesser intelligence.

  10. Joseph October 30, 2009 at 01:00 #

    My point is that not all those suffering from autism can blog, much less figure out how to read. Some actually suffer some form of lesser intelligence.

    True. Does that mean blogging should be an exclusion criteria in your view? It wouldn’t surprise me if you think that.

    As an FYI, a large majority of autistic children diagnosed these days are not “low functioning” (IQ < 70). Your son obviously is not low functioning. (You can’t use that canard going forward.) Actually, you can probably find lots of autistic adults online with an IQ around that of your son, and lots who had a very similar childhood to your son’s. Also, the IQ of autistics can change over time.

  11. Mike Stanton October 30, 2009 at 01:10 #

    Just catching up here and have caught an enormous misunderstanding between Bensmyson and the autistic adults posting here.

    I assume that Bensmyson meant “Who would want to be autistic?” when they asked “Who would want a diagnosis?”

    Autistic adults welcome the diagnosis because it explains so much about their previous difficulties, makes sense of their present and helps them to plan their future. It can be especially important if you have been misdiagnosed in the past e.g as schizophrenic (cf Wendy Lawson or Ed Schneider) and subject to inappropriate medication and therapies.

    Would any of us choose to be autistic? I would not. And I would not choose it for my children. If I was autistic would I wish to be otherwise? I do not know. But we do not have a choice. Not yet anyway. One of my roles, as a member of the Consultative Panel of the Human Genetics Commission, is to think about the possible ramifications if we ever do get a choice.

    Meanwhile, I have noticed that some parents love and accept their autistic kids and get really fed up with other people who do not understand autism and give them all sorts of grief. They are naturally defensive and quick to take offence. There are autistic adults here who feel exactly the same about their own lives. Put the two together in a forum like this and watch the sparks fly.

    I am not autistic. I do try and give autistic adults the same sort of understanding I expect for my son. I am supposed to be the one with the superior mind reading skills and all the empathy. So I try and use it. I am not perfect. Just ask my son about all the stupid rows we have got into that were my fault. Or so he tells me.

    And if Bensmyson thinks this is criticism, it is, but in a friendly way.

  12. bensmyson October 30, 2009 at 01:41 #

    Mike I hear you, however it is my experience that those that fight rather than give in and let what may fall fall have a better chance at recovering their children.

    And Joseph said, “a large majority of autistic children diagnosed these days are not “low functioning” (IQ < 70).”

    I would not disagree with that. Never have. But couldn’t someone with a 120 or 130 IQ be low functioning?

  13. Dedj October 30, 2009 at 03:01 #

    Certainly, it’s possible to have a high IQ and be ‘low functioning’ in one or more areas according to a MOHOST or AMPS assessment or similar assessment tool. Executive dysfunction and difficulty with working memory and episodic memory are not unknown in ‘higher functioning’ people.

    However, many services define ‘low functioning’ as having an IQ below 70 (sometimes 80), so it becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling definition.

  14. Dwight F October 30, 2009 at 04:58 #

    >> Mike I hear you, however it is my experience that those that fight rather than give in and let what may fall fall have a better chance at recovering their children.

    False dichotomy. Acceptance of your son as intrinsicly autistic has nothing to do with inaction.

  15. Kassiane October 30, 2009 at 08:43 #

    @kwombles: yes, please, post! share!

  16. Science Mom October 30, 2009 at 14:29 #

    Pretty much he screamed and cried the entire day and night after his 8 vaccinations at 366 days of age.

    Eight vaccinations at one year is highly unusual even as per the CDC schedule. Do you mean vaccinations for 8 diseases?

    My science is in my house and it has been diagnosed as autism. My son suffered from encephalitis, this was caused by a virus, since my son has 15 times the high norm of measles titers it has been suggested to me that the brain injury was caused by measles. To prove that my son would have to undergo some extremely invasive procedures which neither my wife or I are willing to sing off on. His immune system was once comparable to that of a person with AIDS.

    It sounds like you are channeling Jenny McC. Was your son diagnosed with encephalitis? Measles titres has nothing to do with autism: http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=172 I’m certainly glad that you didn’t choose an invasive course of action as that wouldn’t have demonstrated systemic measles vaccine virus infection anyhow, that is, with the proper testing. Also, what kind of specialist performed the immune system profile and compared it to AIDS?

  17. Joseph October 30, 2009 at 15:12 #

    I assume that Bensmyson meant “Who would want to be autistic?” when they asked “Who would want a diagnosis?”

    @Mike: He was asking both, actually, and acting like a troll, to be honest. He was basically alleging that autistic adults who can’t work are defrauding the system or some such. I think everyone here has been overly polite to bensmyson under the circumstances.

  18. bensmyson October 30, 2009 at 18:53 #

    Joseph, I was “alleging” that autistic adults who CAN work are defrauding the system. Actually I’m not even sure I was talking about “autistic adults” I was talking about people seeking a diagnosis that are NOT autistic in the classical sense of the word. I find it hard to believe that a 40 year old adult is just getting around to finding out he/she is autistic.

  19. Shanna October 30, 2009 at 19:05 #

    Bensmyson,

    I find it odd that you had an IQ test given to your 3 year old. How does one possibly assess an IQ of a 3 year old with autism and why would you even try? I say that as a mother of another 3 year old(nearly 4) who has ASD. A mother who would be over joyed to hear a first word much less for Logan to be able to count to 20 in both Spanish and Engish.

  20. bensmyson October 30, 2009 at 19:13 #

    Science mom, 3 shots, against 8 diseases.

    Encephalitis was diagnosed by a neurologist, MRI shows brain injury.

    The investigation into the cause of the measles would have required a brain biopsy.

    The immune system was checked by a series of blood work at a University setting as well as by Ben’s pediatric doctor. When we were told he had a weak immune system I asked the doctor, since I had no idea what that meant other than he could easily catch a cold, and the doctor said, “His immune system is as bad as someone with AIDS.” Remember now he had a 107 fever a few months earlier.

    Please understand me, I know nothing, I knew nothing, I come from a family of smart people who serve on Boards of hospitals, built hospitals, practice medicine, work for pharmaceutical companies, are nurses with masters degrees, I didn’t go on the internet and find some doctor operating in some basement someplace. I went to the very best in the Country, this is my son that was suffering and at the time I had the resources to afford to do whatever it took to find out what was changing him and making him so sick.

    Jenny McCarthy, whoever, we all have our own stories, my son was doing great until he was 366 days old, then the wheels fell off. How that happened who knows? All of us can suspect one thing or another, right now I am sticking with a vaccine injury. How hard is that to be the case? Vaccines cause encephalitis, cause liver failure, cause death, why then can’t they cause a brain injury that presents itself with characteristics of autism? Is that really such a stretch?

  21. bensmyson October 30, 2009 at 19:35 #

    Shanna, the IQ test was given to Ben by his psychologist I guess to determine whether or not he had any serious problems. The test was mostly square pegs in square holes mostly I guess. The test was repeated by the school system for their own reasons. I took very little stock in it. I know he is bright. The counting was a part of his therapy. “How many chips you want?” “One, two, three chips” “Look at the geese, how many are there, one, two, three…” Anything that had a number, you got to understand that for 6 hours a day we worked him for over a year and a half. All the time we fed him suggestions, activity, pictures, flash cards, books, music, dance, songs, anything to work his brain, force that dead area to rework new pathways and guess what, it worked. He began to talk, began answering questions properly, he still scripts and has echolalia, can do entire Thomas the Train episodes, not that he gets the words right but they sound like the words.

    We worked on building his immune system and from the start just kept working him, day in and day out, over and over. I’m not talking ABA although it was apart of his routine, I’m talking about allowing him to lead after a while, and when he picked something up to play with we would engage him, “what color is that block, is it square or a triangle, can you stack this one on top, how many blocks are there?” Dora the Explorer on TV taught him Spanish I’m embarrassed to say.

    His speech was zero and now he is at a 6-8 month delay. The question is is he gaining, or making progress enough to catch up.

    I know people who have worked just as hard as we have and not seen the results, Ben is maybe less problematic or something, maybe it is a different kind of injury, as I said before his progress as well as his regression has been used as case studies by more than one professional that has treated him. I guess what Im saying is what worked for Ben may be an anomaly.

  22. Dedj October 30, 2009 at 20:22 #

    “I find it hard to believe that a 40 year old adult is just getting around to finding out he/she is autistic.”

    Perhaps you should visit a few more websites for adult autistics, or maybe work for an adult autism service for a while.

    It’s not unknown for adults with learning disabilities (mental retardation) to recieve autism diagnosis later in life even though they’ve been in contact with services for their autistic traits since childhood. Some of these people may not even be able to form an idea of what autism is.

    Simarily, some adult-diagnosed people, myself included, have had these traits since childhood and have had repeated contact with health and education services in relation to these traits throughout childhood and often adulthood too.

    Personally, I’m not aware of a single adult-diagnosed autistic who ‘suddenly’ became aware of their ‘autism-ness’ only in adulthood (except for those lacking insight of course). For most those traits are something they’ve been living with for years. They just never had a name for it, except the names other people gave them. ‘Simple’, ‘creepy’, ‘touched in the head’, ‘nice but dim’, ‘loser’, ‘loner’, ‘freak’ etc.

    I’m aware of people with Down Syndrome who didn’t even get put in for testing until they’d failed school, been in and out (and in and out) of prison and had multiple Sections (admissal to psych hospital), yet their traits have been present since birth (obviously).

    I’m not sure why you’re not getting it, but your constant misrtepresentations of the situation are getting tedious and offensive. It’s only because of the possibility that you may have some autistic traits yourself that it is not being assumed that you are a timewaster trying to yank our chains.

    It’s utterly baffling why you still don’t understand the situation.

  23. Joseph October 30, 2009 at 20:47 #

    @Dedj: I doubt bensmyson can be reasoned with. We’ll see. The undeniable reality of late-diagnosed adults has been explained to him repeatedly in many different ways, but he still doesn’t think they should exist, based on his intuition I’m guessing. He’s impervious to facts.

  24. Dwight F October 30, 2009 at 21:25 #

    >> maybe it is a different kind of injury,

    Like a non-injury? 🙂 It sounds like you are just describing someone that is learning slowly. That needs a lot of work to learn things that typical people learn very quickly, often without direct, purposeful instruction. ((BTW that’s great that you worked so hard with him, it really does make a difference.))

    Keep in mind that speaking words is NOT language. My ASC son spoke a few words before he was one, earlier than any of my other three kids. He too ‘lost’ them in that he stopped saying them. They likely weren’t even words to him in the language sense.

    He will always be written word orientated. That is what he excels at. He literally learned language through reading rather than speech. Letters by name and sound by 2nd birthday, including by himself figuring out to string together letter sounds of words on signs. ‘Real’ reading shortly after he turned 3 (though it was hard to determine, he seems to have been aware of actual meaning, not just decoding the words). Even now at 7 he continues to learn language structure, and other things, primarily through reading and writing/typing (he internalized sentence structure by spending hours upon hours creating short little stories in Keynote). He has difficulty putting his ideas into speech.

    This is who he is. This is how the world is going to have to accomidate him, and how he will have to approach making his way in the world.

    You want Ben to “fit in”? If you haven’t already, I suggest you start redefining what “fit in” means. Because even IF it is an “injury”, if he was somehow drastically changed shortly after his first birthday (outside the normal drastic changes that happen during those years) don’t expect him to stop being autistic. You are just setting yourself up for disappointment and/or denial. You want to think of him has having had the equivalent of his leg chopped off? *shrug* If that works for you, I guess. But it’s crazy talk to expect him to grow his leg back.

    P.S. G and we also had a much easier time of things for the first year and a bit, nothing like the shitstorm (I mean that both figuratively and literally 😉 ) that was 1 1/2 to 4. Probably even easier than today, in spite of the huge progress he’s made. Dora The Explorer? HAHA, well I think that was one of the first signs where it occured to me “I wonder if this is like autism” (note not “IS autism”, because at that point I was in a world of ignorance of what autism really constituted). He watched a lot of movies on DVD. We bought Dora, turned it on, and as soon as the theme song came on he covered his ears and rang from the room screaming. That was probably the first solid sign we noticed of an auditory sensitivity, though it was also around the same time he started reacting negatively to jet planes passing far overhead.

  25. Mike Stanton October 30, 2009 at 21:49 #

    Bensmyson

    from what I can gather your son received his usual shots age one year old and had a bad reaction which made him autistic. He has had lots of therapy and now he is recovering.

    But such cases are very rare. The substance of this discussion is about an article in Wired which defends vaccines against those who believe vaccines are generally bad and are contributing to an epidemic of autism. As a result the author has been on the receiving end of a lot of abuse.

    I can agree with Amy Wallace’s defence of vaccines and decry the abuse she has received and still accept that in rare individual cases an extreme reaction to vaccines can cause extreme harm.

    But you seem obliged to deny other people’s experiences if they contradict your own. Whenever you are challenged on frankly wrong statements about what constitutes autism or late diagnosis or your unfounded allegations about adults milking the system you respond with sarcasm and angry tales about what happened to your son which are irrelevant to this discussion.

  26. daedalus2u October 30, 2009 at 22:00 #

    bensmyson, not to be harsh, but who’s fault is it if (as you say)

    “ALL of those diagnosed with autism ALL have a common trait, they can not “fit in” one of the reasons Im not fond of the puzzle piece idea associated with autism, it’s as if it has a place and it doesn’t in my world.”

    If your world doesn’t allow people with autism to “fit in”, if people with autism don’t “have a place” in your world, is that a problem of people with autism, or is that a problem of your world and how you are deciding who fits in and who doesn’t?

  27. bensmyson October 30, 2009 at 22:29 #

    First of all, if this is the only characteristics defining your problem with the world “‘Simple’, ‘creepy’, ‘touched in the head’, ‘nice but dim’, ‘loser’, ‘loner’, ‘freak’ etc.” then that sort of covers half of the idiots posing as goth, punk, jocks, whatever in school. This hardly convinces me a person with such labels would turn out to be autistic. If so then this is a great injustice to my son’s diagnosis.

    Secondly daedalus2u fitting in is what makes our species survive, fitting in is belonging to a community, do I not allow someone with differences into my “world”, of course I do, why wouldn’t I? Do I call them up and ask them to go to a football game with me or have them over for supper, no, why, because they make for a boring and frustrating time. But I also do not invite politically conservative ideologists or drug addicts or strippers or transexuals, it is my prejudicial opinion that they too will be a bore. I tend to spend time with like-minded people because that is what I am familiar with. Perhaps that is why you frequent this blog rather than hang out in a pub or coffee house. I decide who fits in based on what I am comfortable with, has little to do with autism or bad breath or whatever, it has to do with me, my socialital norms, as does everyone else. Fitting in for my son is the ability to start a conversation, to understand the subtleties of expression and to learn from experiences in a manner in which to engage someone else later on. Realizing that not everyone is thinking the same thoughts and sensing the same sensations. Controlling emotions, following through, sticking with a plan. To me fitting in is being a part of a family, a congregation, a fraternity, a club, an organization, a gang, a klan, a team. Fitting in is surviving.

    Being a loser, a geek, loner, creep is still fitting in, there are rooms full of them at Star Trek conventions and Harry Potter book signings. Being autistic is an isolation you can not escape from.

    If this is not how you see autism then you have not met my son. This is how Autism is in my house.

    As I said, perhaps the spectrum is much too broad, perhaps there are people who are losers, booger eaters, mouth breathers that fit at one end, and kids with 12 bowel movements and chronic fevers and fits of rage that scare the bejesus out of anyone near by that can’t do much more then grunt at 11 years of age. Maybe one is autistic and one is something else. It’s hard enough to try to get people to understand my son when autism represents Rainman or Einstein to them.

    • Sullivan October 30, 2009 at 22:47 #

      If this is not how you see autism then you have not met my son. This is how Autism is in my house.

      Your son is not all of autism.

      I would also suggest you spell clan with a “c” from now on.

  28. Socrates October 30, 2009 at 22:32 #

    On reflection, I can’t say that I would’ve liked to have fitted-in, in any of the places where I’ve not.

    I don’t feel that the world doesn’t have a place for me. Unlike Autism Speaks.

  29. bensmyson October 30, 2009 at 22:53 #

    LOL at myself, hey I’m from the South 🙂

    Sullivan I realize my son is not all of autism, that’s the problem with blanket statements such as those in the article. It is not what I experience at home.

  30. Shanna October 30, 2009 at 23:14 #

    It seems like such a ridiculous thing to be concerned with to me. Whether your son will “fit in”. He’s three. There are no gaurantees in life that any of our children will “fit in”. Even if your child was NT there is a chance that he would not want to watch sports with you, get married, have kids, ect… And him having autism most certianly doesn’t exclude him from those possiblites either.

  31. Dedj October 30, 2009 at 23:17 #

    “This hardly convinces me a person with such labels would turn out to be autistic.”

    It’s not meant to.

    That people with autism may be mislabelled with other clinical diagnosis, and/or labelled with negative social labels, is not a suggestion that people with those labels are therefore autistic.

    Nothing in my post suggested that the labels ‘autistic’ and ‘creep’/’freak’ etc are synonyms or transposable.

    It’s pretty obvious that you are trying to argue that your view – and only your view – of autism is the only correct one. This, despite being informed that several of the participants have experience in autism services, and that several people here have formal diagnosis. There are people here, myself included, who have seen and worked with people with autism who require constant supervision, right up to those who can hold down jobs and live in their own homes.

    No one has said that your son doesn’t have autism, or that your experience with him isn’t real. Please have the decency to stop attempting to negate our experiences.

  32. Dwight F October 30, 2009 at 23:18 #

    >> First of all, if this is the only characteristics defining your problem with the world “‘Simple’, ‘creepy’, ‘touched in the head’, ‘nice but dim’, ‘loser’, ‘loner’, ‘freak’ etc.” then that sort of covers half of the idiots posing as goth, punk, jocks, whatever in school. This hardly convinces me a person with such labels would turn out to be autistic.

    It should however give you some idea as to how they’d blend in. 🙂

    >> I tend to spend time with like-minded people because that is what I am familiar with.

    Time to expand your interests … or be bored by your son.

    >> Being autistic is an isolation you can not escape from.

    Or perhaps a semi-isolation that you are comfortable with? At 5 my son was already looking forward to becoming an adult so he could move out. It isn’t that he doesn’t love us, it isn’t that he doesn’t enjoy himself around us at times. He simply has different, deeply ingrained preferences and physiological needs, one of which is more space and time to himself.

    Again, your son is NOT you. If you try to unbendingly project your own values and view of the world onto him, assume he’s broken until something you like is also equally enjoyed by him, bad, unhappy things WILL happen.

  33. Joseph October 30, 2009 at 23:32 #

    If so then this is a great injustice to my son’s diagnosis.

    Your son is 3. Your complaints stating “you’re nothing like my son” are meaningless and will most likely turn out to be wrong. Is that really difficult to get?

  34. Joseph October 30, 2009 at 23:45 #

    Are you guys familiar with the definition of curebie from the Curebie Bingo?

    n. A person who wants nothing more than to teach child autistics to speak and adult autistics to shut up.

    Who does that remind you of?

  35. Clay October 30, 2009 at 23:47 #

    bensmyson said:
    “why, because they make for a boring and frustrating time.”

    And I think we’re all getting really bored and frustrated with you.

    I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 53, yeah, the Dx was Asperger’s Syndrome, but I had had problems all my life, though no one was looking for them, or knew what they meant. Getting a Dx was a huge relief, but it didn’t relieve me of anything, certainly not of continuing to earn a living, and I worked for another 10 years for the same place I had already worked for 6 years before the Dx. You’re really taking the wrong approach if you want to learn what autism is about.

  36. Joseph October 31, 2009 at 00:09 #

    @bensmyson: The following is a post where I discuss adult outcomes from several studies. They are mostly outcomes of autistic children without mental retardation, like your son.

    http://autismnaturalvariation.blogspot.com/2009/04/adult-outcomes-from-toronto-and-utah.html

    I sincerely hope you learn something. It’s the last time I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

  37. bensmyson October 31, 2009 at 00:35 #

    Clay I find it hard to believe you are autistic. Holding a job for 10 years immediately disqualifies you in my opinion.

    “If you try to unbendingly project your own values and view of the world onto him, assume he’s broken until something you like is also equally enjoyed by him, bad, unhappy things WILL happen.”

    If you say so Dwight.

    “There are no gaurantees in life that any of our children will “fit in”.”

    I may not be the brightest bulb in the box but I do know the odds are a heck of a lot better than the ones my son’s got presently.

    And yes he’s 3 years old. How old does he have to be before you try to correct the problem? Put him in a room with 12 other kids his age and he stands out, not hard to tell he is different than all 12 of them. Put him in a room with 100 or 91 others and there may be one that seems to be as different. It’s not rocket science, its something very obvious.

    And Joseph, you know what’s difficult to get, giving up on a child. If that means I’m crazy, a woo woo, a “curebie” whatever, fine, great, but when my son looks at me I want him to know I’m trying. I don’t expect you to understand, it takes one to know one I guess and you obviously don’t know me or my son, you are foreign to me and my world so I guess we will never quite understand each other. I would hope that you would refrain from using words like “curebie” to try to belittle me and my efforts to help my son find a future where he will one day live a happy independent life that includes all the opportunities the majority of the people in this part of the world can have, including love, work, companionship, conversation, plans, dreams, ambitions, and the ability to communicate feelings, thoughts and wishes in a manner that attracts others to his way of thinking without having a need to make fun of people and attempt to humiliate them in public. I want him to be self confident and proud of who he is. He will need no excuses, no cause for denial, no reason to feel self-righteous at the expense of others. Most importantly I want him to know love means sacrifice and life is all about responsibility to those around you. As I said, I do not expect you to understand but I feel it is something that needs to be said.

  38. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. October 31, 2009 at 00:45 #

    @BMS: “Holding a job for 10 years immediately disqualifies you in my opinion.”

    This is what I meant about the John Best thing that goes on.

    Being able to hold a job for ten years is not a contra-indicator of an autism diagnosis. As I know well, being a specialist in this field.

    Gonna stop talking bollocks?

    I’ve been very nice to you in the past, because I didn’t see that sort of thing that JBJr was wont to do where-ever he decided to lay his mangy foot. But in this thread I’ve seen too much that looks like it.

    You have a problem. Get it bloody sorted and stop insulting people. You’re making no friends here.

  39. Joseph October 31, 2009 at 00:46 #

    I would hope that you would refrain from using words like “curebie” to try to belittle me

    That’s just unbelievable. So you come here accusing autistic adults of fraud without one shred of evidence, and you don’t want people to belittle you? Get off your high horse, you effing asshole.

  40. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. October 31, 2009 at 00:56 #

    “You’re really taking the wrong approach if you want to learn what autism is about.”

    I’m no longer sure that BMS actually wants to do that … there’s too much prejudice to give up if the aim is to actually learn something.

  41. Clay October 31, 2009 at 01:04 #

    bensmyson said:
    Clay I find it hard to believe you are autistic. Holding a job for 10 years immediately disqualifies you in my opinion.”

    I worked for 45 years altogether, from 17 to 63, and I held that last job for 16 years, 6 years before, and 10 years after diagnosis, since you don’t seem to comprehend very well. I have a written Dx, and YOU are not entitled to a fucking opinion! Click on my name there, go to my blog, where I tell about some of the many jobs I had,
    starting with serving in the Navy for two enlistments in the Viet Nam era.

    I am so sorry I don’t meet your criteria for being autistic, but then, it makes everyone else realize that you don’t know jack-shit about it, except what you learned from Jenny McCarthy!

    • Sullivan October 31, 2009 at 01:19 #

      For what it is worth–

      I find the concept of challenging an adult autistic’s diagnosis to be exceedingly rude. Two people have been banned from this site. Both have participated in that sort of behavior.

  42. Clay October 31, 2009 at 01:19 #

    bensmyson said:
    Clay I find it hard to believe you are autistic. Holding a job for 10 years immediately disqualifies you in my opinion.”

    I worked for 45 years altogether, from 17 to 63, and I held that last job for 16 years, 6 years before, and 10 years after diagnosis, since you don’t seem to comprehend very well. I have a written Dx, and YOU are not entitled to an effing opinion! Click on my name there, go to my blog, where I tell about some of the many jobs I had, starting with serving in the Navy for two enlistments in the Viet Nam era.

    I am so sorry I don’t meet your criteria for being autistic, but then, it makes everyone else realize that you don’t know jack-shit about it, except what you learned from Jenny McCarthy!

  43. Mike Stanton October 31, 2009 at 01:32 #

    Bensmyson

    So, If you hold a job for ten years you are not autistic. Somebody better tell Temple Grandin.

    Accepting autism is not the same as giving up on a child. It does mean giving up on belittling any autistic adult who does not satisfy your preconceptions.

    I applaud your aims for your son. I do not understand why you have to be so mean to the people here. Most of them are autistic. They have managed to make something of their lives, often against the odds. They have done what you want for your son. Yet this seems to threaten you.

    To my mind you are the only person here acting self righteous at the expense of others.

  44. Joseph October 31, 2009 at 01:58 #

    You know what’s amazing? If an autistic adult shows up and says, “hey, I’ve been employed for years and I haven’t applied for benefits,” bensmyson will say “but you’re not autistic, because you can work.” But then if an autistic adult shows up and says, “I can’t work – I’m unemployable because of my disability,” then bensmyson will say “you’re also not autistic – you’re just making up a diagnosis in order to defraud the system.”

    He’s a classic crank. There’s no possible data that would cause him to acknowledge being wrong. The guy is a piece of work. I wouldn’t blame you if you ban him, Sullivan.

  45. Dwight F October 31, 2009 at 04:02 #

    >> And Joseph, you know what’s difficult to get, giving up on a child.

    Actually it would seem to be that it’s very difficult for you to get that nobody here, nobody, is suggesting giving up on Ben.

    Truth is Ben is the reason I’m bothering to respond to you. In the hope that because of my words that it dawns on you that it isn’t a good idea to try make Ben into something he isn’t. After all it’s very likely he’ll assemble some social grace skills over time. Good gravy, only 3 and he TALKS already?

    The one thing that you run into over and over again with late-diagnosed autistic adults is a childhood (and sometimes adulthood) of well intentioned parents trying to force them into being “normal”, and great rifts and unhappiness coming from that. Of course those parents didn’t have a diagnosis to help guide the way, to give some explicit explaination of what was going on. You have no excuse, stop the willful self-imposed ignorance.

  46. Chris October 31, 2009 at 04:29 #

    My son has never been diagnosed with autism, but has several medical and communication disorders (something to with having a seizure disorder, which was not helped with the more severe seizures while ill with a now vaccine preventable disease). He is 21 and has not ever worked, and is suspended from the community college for lack of grades. He has received disability services from the community college, and is a client of the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.

    Does that make him autistic in the expert opinion of BMS?

  47. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. October 31, 2009 at 12:13 #

    (With apologies to the LBRB team)

    BMS: “I am here on this blog to learn from some of those who are posting here.”

    The hell you are! We tell you things and you still insist on behaving in an objectionable way… like when we tell you our experiences, you still tell us that you don’t believe them, or when you make a criterion out of a prejudice… like it or not, you behave exactly like a troll. A concern troll, is the type, I believe.

    BMS: “I am 50 years old, majored in psychology,”

    Then a lot of things should be clear to you with that background:

    1- development is not linear… even clinical/abnormal psychology texts talk of this thing called the principle of equifinality, in which it is seen that people can get to the same developmental point as each other having gone by different developmental routes;
    2- development is not lead by a person’s biology: this is not to say that biological factors have no impact on development (of course they do), but there are many other factors involved as well;
    3- diagnosis of autism is based on behaviour, and diagnosis cancer is made on the basis of a medical investigation that includes biopsies and blood tests; in a number of decades of medical and biological investigations into “what it is in the brain that causes autism”, there has been nothing consistent in the findings… this is not to say that there are no biological influences on whether or not someone develops along an autistic trajectory (obviously, there must be), but it does mean that it is not simply a matter of biological causation… and it is certainly important to be aware that – just because a given behavioural result (such as a difficulty in fine motor control, such as is required for manipulating a pen in the action of writing) can be brought about by, for example, a lesion in the motor cortex – the converse does not necessarily apply: such a difficulty is not necessarily the result of a lesion in the motor cortex of the brain… and this means that comparing autism and cancer is (apart from being offensive to anyone who has a diagnosis of either and/or both) not a sensible act (scientifically speaking);
    4- comparison of autism and alcoholism is actually a better one but still has no merit scientifically, since the issues are different; the good point here is that neither is actually a “disease” (unlike in the autism-cancer comparison) and that both are indeed multifactorial in their aetiologies… but… they are still different issues; and – sadly – you still think of alcoholism as a disease… and – as Joseph points out – being autistic is like being drunk… NOT!

    There’s probably more, but I’m not your tutor and you basically cut yourself off from my sense of goodwill… as you will see later.

    BMS: “I honestly mean no harm, just talking, trying to learn a thing or two.”

    So far you haven’t taken anything on board… you behaviour hasn’t changed since you started posting… you still disregard people’s experiences (many of which are actually very painful, at an emotional level, for us to tell about because of the impact that these experiences have had on our lives), and call us liars, in effect… that is doing harm (in that it reinforces the very negative self-concepts that most of us have had to find ways to rid outselves of and that were brought about by that very sort of behaviour in which you are engaging – namely, ignoring what we say and assuming that we have nothing to say when we say it), and it certainly isn’t convincing evidence of a will to learn anything from our experiences.

    BMS: “most of you seem to be looking for some sort of justification for being total asses”

    So, someone tells you that your behaviour is like that of those who have no empathy at all (e. g., John Best Junior – who is known to go round behaving in an offensive and arrogant manner, with the intention of causing upset for people who have largely had way more than enough upset in their lives anyway) and you react like that … even when the person saying somethign to you has asked you politely (very politely… I believe the word “please” was used in the comment) not to behave in that way! Who died and made you god? You are arrogant and you are being offensive and I doubt that you really have any empathy in you… if you did have, you’d certainly understand why such questions and statements as “who in their right mind would want to be diagnosed with autism?” and “as the above comment illustrates, most of you seem to be looking for some sort of justification for being total asses” actually are as offensive as we perceive them to be. Seems to me that you’re projecting your own personality deficiencies onto us there… and the best is that you ask us to “understand where you are coming from” and we try to understand that and we recognise that you have experiences of being the parent of an autistic son… we get it! But then you refuse point blank to understand us and our experiences! So, with this “empathy” thing… you’re being all take and no give. That is the behaviour of and arrogant arse, who doesn’t care about the feelings of those against whom his makes statements such as “as the above comment illustrates, most of you seem to be looking for some sort of justification for being total asses” … clearly you are using your own child’s autism diagnosis as an excuse for being a total arse on this blog. And I’m not the only one who thinks so:

    Joseph has noted it:

    “I’m really not being an asshat when I confuse “my son is not autism” with “my son is not autistic.” I don’t mean to be insulting when I claim being autistic is like being drunk. Finally, I don’t really mean to question the diagnoses of autistic adults, except maybe I do.”

    “You trouble me. You don’t listen, first of all. You favor your intuition over evidence. That mis/undiagnosed autistic adults exist is not a matter of opinion. You need me to cite the literature or something?

    You don’t address arguments, and then you repeat your views just the same as if they haven’t been dealt with already.

    Your analogies make no sense. Realizing one is autistic is not like remembering something you should’ve known all along.”

    “Does that mean blogging should be an exclusion criteria in your view? It wouldn’t surprise me if you think that.”

    Looks like Joseph’s spotted it BIG time:

    “He was asking both, actually, and acting like a troll, to be honest. He was basically alleging that autistic adults who can’t work are defrauding the system or some such. I think everyone here has been overly polite to bensmyson under the circumstances.”

    Socrates has also noted it:

    “But if you ask someone with high functioning Autism – “What use is Autism?” – with the implicit view that it is of no use – people are obviously going to snap back at you.”

    Dedj has seen it too:

    “The ‘above comment’ was quite reasonable in its tone and content. You did make the implicit accusation that one would have to be mentally unbalanced and/or irrational to actively seek a diagnosis.

    You have compounded your error by attempting to claim that any offence taken at your quite openly offensive comment is indicative of ‘issues’ in the reader.”

    And we’re supposed to believe that you are here to discuss, and debate and to … learn? What have you learned from us while you’ve been shouting us down all this time?

    I used a considerable amount of my training and expertise – as a psychology major, at Bachelor level, and as a professional psychologist with a Master of Education degree in Special education (Educational Psychology) – in another post, if I recall correctly.

    And in making your statement about “as the above comment illustrates, most of you seem to be looking for some sort of justification for being total asses” (which seems strongly to have been directed at me, since I am the one who made the comment – which Dedj says was “quite reasonable in its tone and content”) … could you please explain to me how I am not supposed to see that as just a fucking great big kick in the teeth from someone who chooses to be an ungrateful bastard?

    And of course … you reserve for yourself the right to judge all autistic adults on our behaviour (and blame it on our “issues”) … whilst (when told about your own behaviour) you choose to engage in some sort of passive-aggressive shit… such as:

    “I have found it incredibly tiring to have a genuine, informative conversation with the lot of you in that every post that spews my way seems to have been scooped out of a pile of poop and intentionally meant to hurt”

    and

    “Thanks Joseph, feel free to post for me from now on, you got skills brother. Your mindful perception of the truthful intent is spot on.”

    What would you like us to think about you, BMS?
    Do you think your behaviour is going to get you that result?
    What will you have to do with your thinking and actions in order to get us to actually not feel antagonised by the things you post here?
    You have a major in psychology…. telling me that you can’t use it to figure out the answers to these questions?

    As Sullivan said: “I find the concept of challenging an adult autistic’s diagnosis to be exceedingly rude.” He’s right, and this is exactly what you’ve been doing. When you say things like:

    “Clay I find it hard to believe you are autistic. Holding a job for 10 years immediately disqualifies you in my opinion”

    and Clay then responds:

    “I have a written Dx, and YOU are not entitled to an effing opinion!”

    … can you not see from a simple exchange like that what it is you’re doing?

    This is all the same as JBJr likes to do! Provoking responses! You think we perceive your comments as being designed to hurt, yes? Can you STILL not see why we think that? Because if you CAN see why, you shouldn’t be making such comments. And if you CAN’T see why, then you actually ARE lacking in empathy.

    Which one is it?

    Meantime… having been as helpful as I possibly could be to you, and having been kicked in the bollocks for it (by you!), I’m going to concur with Joseph now:

    “So you come here accusing autistic adults of fraud without one shred of evidence, and you don’t want people to belittle you? Get off your high horse, you effing asshole.”

    P. S.,

    Clay asked:

    “I thought there was some question about that. Did you follow up on the suggestion of another diagnosis that was made by David Andrews awhile ago?”

    Bet you haven’t!

    Because to go and investigate that routte more thoroughly, you’d actually end up with the CDD/Heller’s diagnosis (there is no loss of anything in the autism diagnoses… being a specialist in this area, I must insist that I know far more than you ever will about this unless you also take a master’s degree in psychology and theme it towards autism… all 1800 hours of it!). And with a Heller’s dx for Ben, you would not be able to come back here and bully the living fuck out of us, would you?

    And here’s a huge clue for you:

    “I do not understand why you have to be so mean to the people here. Most of them are autistic. They have managed to make something of their lives, often against the odds. They have done what you want for your son. Yet this seems to threaten you.

    To my mind you are the only person here acting self righteous at the expense of others.”

    Mike is a really nice chap… has no axes to grind with anyone, and really isn’t out for conflict or trying to put anybody down or “in their place”. He’s a Bachelor of Education, and that’s a lower degree than mine; but I have a lot of respect for Mike and for his expertise. He’s been using the content of his degree all of his professional life, and in his personal life too, I’ll wager, since he has an autistic son. So, you can take it from this that I’m not dissing your ‘knowledge’ on the basis of you having a lower degree than me (hell, I don’t know if you did or didn’t do a higher one… so why would my disdain for you be based on the issue of who has the highest degree… this is not a pissing competition, and I’m going to pre-empt that argument, just in case you try to use it). My disdain is based on the fact that what you say and what you do are totally different, and what you do has been found to be extremely arrogant and offensive to the vast majority of us here… especially those of us who have written diagnoses on the autism spectrum that you are trying to un-diagnose.

    “I could say more, but you get the general idea”
    (S. P. Morrissey, “Dagenham Dave”, from the CD Southpaw Grammar)

  48. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. October 31, 2009 at 12:33 #

    Chris: “Does that make him autistic in the expert opinion of BMS?”

    Probably, since BMS apparently thinks he’s the only person who knows what autism is, and that the rest of us (who DO know … like… ed-psychs and whatever!) should STFU.

    He’s a concern troll, here for no other reason than to derail the discussion. He’s taken it far from the actual topic posted in the beginning. He’s made it all about him!

  49. Socrates (Dead) October 31, 2009 at 15:43 #

    PMS,

    Once again David Andrews has given someone the benefit of his patently self-evident experience. If anything you say about wanting to learn is true you should go through what he said with a fine-toothed comb.

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