Who are least,
Teach us the most,
In their own,
Two Tasmanian men, Adam Maxwell Cox, 34 and Mark Paul Phillips, 25, have been charged with committing several counts of aggravated sexual assault on an intellectually disabled man.
The sexual assaults were described by the Tasmanian Police as being “particularly serious and particularly nasty” assaults that took place over the course of several days.
With the first round of sexual assaults lasting for a period of eight hours.
The second over a period of 17 hours.
According to court documents, the nature of these aggravated attacks included, but were not limited to;
” sexually assaulting him by penetrating his rectum with a broom handle and a glass beer bottle.”
“Assault by setting fire to the man’s body using flammable liquid and tying him to a punching bag.”
“Assaulting the man by tying him to a pole for several hours and hitting him with a baseball bat, machete and fists”.
“Loading a double-barrel shotgun to his leg while he was tied to a pole.”
As a result of these attacks, the victim suffered severe internal injuries, particularly to his bowel, which required immediate surgery and will no doubt cause him significant ongoing health problems for the rest of his life.
Despite the heinous nature of the charges against them, both Cox and Phillips refused to enter a plea and were released on bail pending a future court date.
Given the vileness of the crimes that both Cox and Phillips have been charged with perpetrating against this trusting and vulnerable, disabled man, and the undeniable nature of his injuries, one has to wonder why it is, that although they were both charged with aggravated sexual assault, which to my mind should also include, “occasioning grievous bodily harm”, they were both released on bail and allowed to walk freely back into society.
Why are men like these, who have been charged by the police with committing such unforgivable and life altering acts, effectively being allowed to buy themselves a temporary reprieve from jail?
And why are we as a society constantly being expected to put up with the knowledge that the likes of such men are walking around our cities and towns, doing God knows what, to God knows who, just because the justice system needs time to set all of its wheels in motion?
Clearly whatever the bail limit was set at, it wasn’t high enough to prevent either of these perverts from being able to pay their way out of jail.
In instances such as these, one has to question why they were even given the option of bail in the first place.
Clearly the police found enough evidence to arrest and charge them with the crime, so why let them go?
On a more profoundly disturbing level, it also makes me wonder whether or not the fact that the victim was a disabled man and not (heaven forbid) a child or a woman, had anything to do with the rational for offering up bail as an option at all.
Were these maggots somehow viewed as being less of a threat to the community specifically because they had targeted a disabled man and not a woman or a child?
If that was the rational behind furnishing them with the option for bail, then it should be viewed as being an extremely flawed and precarious, one indeed.
For who among us in society could possibly be more vulnerable than the profoundly intellectually disabled?
Cases like this really make me question just how effective our so-called justice system can be seen to operate in either its role of metering out justice or protecting any of us from those who are known to cause harm.
Let alone protecting those who are already the most vulnerable within our society.
“A feature of Asperger’s syndrome that can be advantageous to society is a concern with social justice and discrimination against minority groups.
This can sometimes be strikingly developed in Asperger’s cases, often because of their characteristic impatience with conventional hypocrisy and publicly accepted double standards (not to mention the fact that they sometimes feel the victims of discrimination themselves).
Modern societies have canonized such concerns in law and public attitudes, and a number of famous campaigners for equal rights and social justice have been posthumously proposed as Asperger’s cases.
Autistics tend to be loners, who are poor at participating in group activities of the kind that exploit social justice and anti-discrimination sentiment for self-serving political and social advantage.
Modern authorities on autism have described autistics as “truth-tellers” and, thanks to their bottom-up, devil-in-the-detail style of cognition, are often the first to see that the emperor has no clothes or that the great idol has feet of clay.
Furthermore, they are also likely to be the ones to blurt out the truth, and draw attention to the inconvenient fact, irrespective of what others may think.
I do believe that autistic antagonism to lies and deception of all kinds is not only the most redeeming feature of the so-called disorder, but one which autism shares increasingly with modern societies—and very much to their benefit.” Original Article by Christopher Badcock http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-imprinted-brain/201006/the-big-plus-the-outsider-society-truth-challenges-lies
I have often wondered whether or not the world would be a much better, fairer place, if it were being run by people who felt a burning need for social justice… aka…Aspies.
The above abstract is from a much larger article by Christopher Badcock which makes some strikingly good points regarding the ways in which the strengths of those with Asperger’s could be put to good use within our societies.
So what do you think?
Have your say on whether or not you think the world be a better, fairer place if it were being run by Aspies in the comment section below.
Deletions of chromosome 19 p13, in any form, are rare. Due to this, little is known about their effects on the human body within the scientific community.
Because there’s so little understanding of the effects of these deletions within the scientific community, there’s even less understanding, awareness and support for those who experience them, within the broader community.
My son has two chromosome 19 deletions which are found on the cytogenetic band p13.13 and p13.12.
This makes him a genetic rarity.
But my son would be the first to tell you that being rare is no fun at all when it comes at such a high physical and emotional price.
So this post is aimed at raising awareness of chromosome 19 p13 deletions within the broader community by providing information about their symptoms and the impacts they have for those, who like my son, live with their effects every day.
From the few studies that have been conducted on individuals with chromosome 19 p13.13 deletions, geneticists have been able to accumulate a list of conditions and symptoms that arise as a consequence of these deletions.
Known symptoms and conditions include nystagmus, vertigo/extreme dizziness, ataxia psychomotor delay, intellectual delay, gastrointestinal abdominal pain, vomiting, hypotonia, dyspraxia, epilepsy, and other neurological symptoms and a wide range of developmental and speech delays.
To put this list of symptoms into some form of context, my son has all these conditions.
Several, like vertigo, nystagmus, ataxia, dyspraxia, and abdominal pain, he experiences on a daily basis
Others, such as Migraines, vomiting and other neurological symptoms, he experiences weekly or even monthly.
All of these conditions, with the exception of epilepsy, which ceased affecting his life at the age of 7 for no apparent reason, are expected to affect him for the rest of his life.
In other words, his chromosome 19 deletions create health conditions for him that will never go away.
Which is why it’s vitally important that our society as a whole begin to develop an understanding of the way in which these deletions impact on the lives of all those who carry them.
Yet, I have found, that despite being able to list his symptoms and provide verification of their existence, trying to get others to understand and support my son in his daily life, is another matter entirely.
So, in order to try and increase awareness and understanding, here’s my attempt at providing a few hopefully, easily relatable examples of what it’s like to live a life with chromosome 19 p13 deletions.
Okay, here we go.
Have you ever tried to watch a movie or a TV show when the image keeps jumping up and down on the screen?
It usually ends up making you feel like you have motion sickness, right?
So you either turn the movie off, or fix the tracking so that you can see it clearly.
But, what if it’s not the tracking on the screen that’s the problem but the inability of your own eyes to accurately track everything you see?
How would you turn your tracking problem off?
Well, you could try closing your eyes and choosing never to look at anything ever again.
Apart from that, there’s absolutely nothing what so ever you can do to try and turn your tracking problem off because although nystagmus affects the eyes, it’s actually a neurological condition.
So, short of wearing a blindfold, you’ll have to accept that no matter what you do, or how much you want it to stop, your life will always be flicking before your very eyes.
This is what it’s like for my son to live with vertical nystagmus.
His world quite literally jumps about on him.
On a bad day, his rapid eye movements cause him a great deal of pain and he’ll often press his fingertips into his eyes until they pop, just to try to relieve the sense of pressure and pain it causes him.
Have you ever had that awful sensation of ‘light headedness’ that you get sometimes when you stand up too quickly and the world seems to swim and spin beneath you?
You know, the kind of dizzyingly disorienting sensation that makes you have to stop what you are doing for a few minutes, close your eyes, and wait until the feeling passes before you can go about your day?
Well for my son, that feeling of dizzy, light headedness or vertigo never goes away.
So on any given day, his vision is impaired; he’s dizzy, feeling light-headed and perhaps just a bit nauseous.
Then there’s the ataxia. The inability to control fine and gross motor muscle coordination.
So now, if you’re trying to imagine what it’s like to be my son, – you can’t see straight, you’re dizzy, feeling light-headed, nauseous and you can’t control your limbs.
If you’ve imagined yourself experiencing all of those things, then you’ll now have some idea of how the first triad of conditions, listed as being symptoms of p13.13 deletions, affect my son every day of his life.
Now imagine how difficult the combination of these symptoms make carrying out, even the simplest of tasks, for him?
Some mornings his vertigo and ataxia are so extreme that he cannot even manage to coordinate his limbs well enough to feed himself.
Given this, maybe you can also begin to imagine how much of a challenge attending college is for him.
The amount of effort and determination required just to be able to walk, talk, navigate and participate in college classes, while feeling this way, is enormous.
Yet every day he says that he wants to go to college.
Even though he gets growled at by staff and laughed at by other students for having to lean against the walls just to get from class to class.
Can you imagine how it must feel for him to be growled at for doing the best that he can?
Can you imagine how it must feel to know that no matter how hard you try, sometimes you just can’t do what’s being asked of you by your teachers because your body simply won’t let allow your limbs to coordinate themselves enough to even pick up a pen, let alone write anything down?
Then imagine what it would feel like if, while experiencing all of these things , instead of being offered any form of compassion, understanding or support, you’re told to go and sit outside, alone, in the corridor, until you feel better?
Great, now perhaps you can imagine exactly how frustrated, confused and let down my son feels every time his teachers respond to his difficulties in this way.
Not only does he have to deal with all of his health conditions, he also has to deal with ridiculous levels of ignorance and intolerance, from those who are supposed to be supporting him.
Yet it’s not just his teachers who show him such a lack of compassion and support.
It surrounds him virtually everywhere he goes.
His classmates accuse him of “bunging it on” to try and get out of school work.
His friends get angry with him for being “dizzy” all the time and ruining their fun.
Strangers stare and glare at him as if he’s doing something criminally wrong whenever he can’t walk a straight line and has to hold my arm for support.
Yet worst of all for him, is the level of constant negation that he experiences at the hands of health care professionals, who know nothing at all about chromosome 19 deletions, let alone understand the severity of the migraines he experiences or comprehend just how draining it is for him to suffer constant abdominal pains, for which, in their ignorance, they can find no cause for.
He cannot understand why the doctors aren’t helping him.
He cannot understand why his eye doctor can’t find any reason for his eye pain, let alone treat it.
He cannot understand why he’s being told that they can’t find a reason for his abdominal pain, when he knows for a fact that his abdomen hurts.
Some days a lot.
He cannot understand why, when he has so many health conditions to contend with, he see’s other people, with lesser issues, getting the help, support, understanding and acknowledgement for their issues, when he gets none.
He gets upset when he see’s reports on TV about children with rare conditions because he wants to know why no one cares about him and his rare condition.
And I, for my part, have no answers to give him.
All I can do is console him and remind him that I am doing my best to help others understand his needs.
But I’m just one person and so far, I’m not making much of a dent in the wall of ignorance, which surrounds his condition.
I am doing my best but progress is slow.
I know that my son is growing ever so tired of constantly feeling like he’s the only one.
So maybe, just maybe, this will help, a little.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you or anyone that you love or know, has a chromosome 19 p13.13 or p13.12 deletion, then please feel free to make contact.
Remember those awkward,
As an adolescent,
When you were trying,
To fit in,
But didn’t really know,
What was in?
Or what was expected?
So you stood there,
In conspicuous silence,
Rehearsing everything ,
You wanted to say,
Waiting for the chance,
Then blurted out,
Some untimely statement.
Than you really intended,
Not knowing when,
Or how to stop?
Imagine having those moments,
And strangers alike.
Your best defense,
Is to memorize small talk,
Or keep your mouth shut,
And let others talk,
Meanwhile you struggle,
To filter out,
The background noise,
They so easily,
Seem to ignore,
Processing about 50%,
Of what they say.
Then there’s the feeling of panic,
When the dreaded question appears,
Requiring you to suddenly shift,
From processing to productive,
Without the time you need,
To do it.
It makes you wonder,
When it’s so difficult,
So many people,
Different on the Inside by Susan Golubock
“To look at us,
You and I appear very much the same.
Yet I have learned that we experience life,
And therefore view our experiences,
I have learned that I just don’t think like you,
No matter how hard I try,
And believe me I have.
My nervous system seems to be,
I’ve learned to do,
What you do,
At least the mechanics of it,
But I don’t understand,
Why you do it.
I’ve memorized the words you use,
And can repeat them fluently.
Figuring out what you mean,
And why you say them,
Is the hard part.
I process words literally,
Which often leaves me baffled,
I thought that by pretending,
To BE you,
I would someday,
But I don’t.
Any more than you understand me.
There are times when I join in,
And truly enjoy,
Interacting with you,
But I rarely feel that I belong.
I can focus on you,
Or I can focus on me,
But understanding the complexity,
Is very much beyond me.
There are times when I can connect,
With my feelings or yours,
But never both,
At the same time.
And some emotions not at all.
There are times when,
I really think,
I understand you,
Then you change,
And I don’t.
And even though,
I have stopped,
To BE like you,
I haven’t stopped,
To understand you.
It would mean a lot to me,
If you would try,
Just for a little while,
What it must be like,
To be ME.”
This is an abstract from the poem “Different on the Inside” by Susan Golubock.