Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Articles of Impoverishment

For non-impoverished replies (mine might be) please read the Diva's Autism Speaks and GRASP: Speak Without Understanding and Amanda's text and video response. See also Articles of Tasty Prey and Art of Understanding.

Sparseness is the first thing I saw in the "Articles of Understanding" between Autism Speaks and GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership). Alison Tepper-Singer's offering is rigid, predictable in singling out a certain number of autistics. Michael John Carley's is too abortive for me to understand.

Both Tepper-Singer's and Carley's articles are "gut" reactions. Both refer to science but don't address it. Science is not emotion or gut based. Science is objective.

I've only recently understood the scientific need to study autism and Asperger's separately. Accurate measurement of cognitive processes or intelligence in either group isn't possible if data from both groups are mixed. Example: lumping data from six cows and six cabbages will give you serious problems in addressing the functional characteristics of either. Before tampering with anything we need a precise understanding of what it is.

"Autistic" describes the autistic community, which includes all of us. Obviously autistic children become autistic adults and it's true autistic adults are nothing like autistic children. Usually we're taller, to start with. See above discussion of data mixing (children and adults, in this case). Most autistic adults speak (regardless of diagnosis) and some don't. Some of us adults have been taught that who we are is wrong. The rest of us adults value who we are and ask society to aknowledge our differences including education and opportunities that are appropriate to who we are.

Most importantly: no one gets left behind. This is what needs to be understood. Everyone has a place in society no matter what their relative strengths and limitations.

Note: this post was originally called "Clash of the Gitterati" referring to yet another "tiara tussle". If you're not a Diva afficionado, think "autism royalty". If you haven't read Michelle Dawson - that's what the links in the side bar are for. Happy reading.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Correct Defintion of Autism

In her new blog, The Autism Crisis Michelle Dawson reprints a correct definition of autism:

Autism is a neurological difference classified as a developmental disability. Autistic people have atypical behaviours in three areas: social interaction, communication, and restricted interests or repetitive behaviours. Autistics are different at the most basic level available: how we experience the world, and how we learn from it.

Read the full text here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Autism Circus

Like tabloid newspapers (or any newspaper), radio stations need public interest to keep producing. In the case of tabloids, if there isn't controversy or scandal or a hidden camera angle many readers or listeners won't pay attention. In the Autism Feeding Frenzy (TM), CFRB Radio joins CBC Radio and the National Post (and Autism Society Canada and so many others) in the quest for well crafted spectacle.

About her CFRB radio interview and "autism spectacle" Estee Klar writes: "I was also told that this wasn't going to be a phone-in and I was the only person being interviewed about The Joy of Autism: Redefining Abiltiy and Quality of Life event"

As in this recent TMoB post ("Does television cause autism?") it seems media organizations *do* cause autism. At least the horrific, life-destroying, spectacular kind of autism.

In the Autism Circus spectacle is paramount. Disagree and you'll be fed to the lions.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Quirks, Quarks and Quacks

In the big pond of slippery, slimy, dubious science, Autism Diva dons her snorkeling gear in pursuit of:

Bottom Feeders in the Autism Ecosystem
[not the article's actual title]

One more time...

Many people (including me) noticed that the Quirks and Quarks interview was short on science content. Michelle has summarized the science (and lack of science) several times, as apparently she did (again) for Quirks and Quarks journalist Alison Motluk. These other summaries are online where anyone can read them (including Ms Motluk)...

Since spoon feeding seems all the rage in autism science (see Autism Society Canada asking for a mouthful), here's another summary specially made for Quirks and Quarks - yet again.

Also I noticed the Q&Q host, Bob McDonald, was surprised to hear homosexuality was once considered a mental illness. As a gay male I've been wondering: where did CBC Radio find this person?

I can't help thinking "California valley girl": gag me with a spoon.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hoot

Thanks to TMoB for this little chuckle:



Apologies (if required) to Dr. Gernsbacher and Autism Diva for capturing and emblazoning the moment.