Autism – Absurdities and Atrocities

Artwork by JudasArt

Artwork by JudasArt

Voltaire once wrote: “ Those who can induce you to believe in absurdities, can induce you to commit atrocities.”

Nowhere is this statement more relevant than when looking at the many perceptions of the causes of Autism.

For example, consider the following two statements regarding Autism.

  • People with Autism experience the world differently due to the impacts of a disease process. This disease process can be cured. Therefore Autism is a condition that we, as a society, have a duty to either eradicate or overcome.

  • People with Autism experience the world differently due to neurological variances that are hard-wired within them at birth. Autism is not the result of a disease process which can be cured. Therefore Autism is an aspect of life that we, as a society, have a duty to seek to understand, respect and accommodate.

Which of the above statements do you believe to be the least absurd?

If you agree that the first statement is the least absurd and therefore, (in your eyes, most likely to be true), then chances are that you will do and try almost anything to either cure or rid yourself or your child of Autism.

The past 50 years have shown that attempts to cure “the autism” out of a child or an adult have had disastrous results.

Yet attempts to cure “the autism” out of a child or adult continue. Some involve relatively harmless and repetitive therapies that do appear to help assimilation.

However, some attempts involve subjecting children and adults with Autism to debilitating, humiliating and ultimately mentally and physically harmful forms of abuse.

Such as forcing persons with Autism to drink bleach, delivering painful punishments, such as kicking, punching, whipping or starvation, to persons with Autism for displaying undesirable behaviors or subjecting them to intense isolation and deprivation of liberty by locking them in rooms or cages.

All of which should be considered crimes against humanity and therefore seen as atrocities.

If you agree that the second statement  is the least absurd and therefore, ( in your eyes), the most likely to be true, then chances are that you will do and try everything you can to be better understand and accommodate for either your own or your child’s Autism.

Over the last 50 years the voices of those with Autism have continuously cried out for understanding and acceptance.

A key aspect of accepting the potential that children and adults with Autism process the world differently involves making the attempt to understand what those differences are, how they impact the individual with Autism and then accommodating for them respectfully.

Accepting and making accommodations for adults and children with Autism , whether that be providing them with safe, quiet places , pressure blankets, clothing without tags, or specialized educational programs, is both respectful and beneficial.

The practice of providing acceptance, respect and accommodation breaks no laws, perpetrates no crimes against humanity and therefore does not induce anyone to commit atrocities.

I prefer statement 2.

How about you?

P.S  I am aware that some may argue the possibility of a third statement in which Autism could be considered a curable disease whose sufferers should be treated with both consideration and respect whilst they are experiencing its disease effects. However, the propensity of those who support statement 1 toward the overall aim of ‘curing autism’ places many adults with Autism, who not only accept their differences but are increasingly proud of them, at odds with such beliefs.

Simple Truth or Twisted Logic?

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This supposedly simple truth is one that I’m not at all sure I agree with.

No matter how logical statements like these first appear to be, there’s always something about them that pulls at that questioning part inside of me.

The part that makes me wonder whether or not we should accept statements like these too easily, and if we do accept them, what is it exactly that we are buying into when we do?

Saying that one shouldn’t expect a lion not to eat a person just because a person wouldn’t eat a lion, which is indeed a true statement, is one thing, but to then use this truth as a justification for saying that we shouldn’t expect the world, (which really means the people in it as the world itself is an inanimate object), to treat us fairly just because we treat others fairly, is another issue entirely.

After all, people are not lions….. and now that we’ve established that fact……

Just why is it again that we’re not to expect others to treat us fairly if we do the same to them?

Oh that’s right, it’s because being preyed upon, ripped off, taken advantage of, lied too, stolen from, beaten up or maimed in some way by others in life, is supposedly all part of the natural order of things, therefore we should just accept and expect it.

Well it may be the natural order of things for lion’s to behave in this way, but once again, people are not lions and I’m still far from convinced that behaving like a wild animal, in any way, should constitute what’s considered to be the natural order of behavior for human beings.

I don’t truly think that many people would, upon rational reflection, agree to the statement that we should all expect to be preyed upon by others.

Nor accept the idea that being nice to others automatically  means that we deserve to become the victims of human predators.

Especially considering that the validation of such ideas are based on little more than the observation that lions in the wild, hunt to survive.

Or perhaps I’m just being foolish.

What do you think?

 

When the benefits of the many outweigh the good of the few….

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These days, those who are considered the most successful in life, are also those who hold the dual abilities of being able to commit the most atrocious of actions whilst  instantly providing themselves with a sense of justification for doing so.

If  you look at those who have made it to the top of their fields, regardless of whether or not those fields are considered prestigious or dubious in nature,  very few of them, if any, could honestly claim to have never once used, abused or in any other way taken advantage of another, in order to get there.

Given that our society consistently tells us that it’s okay to lie, cheat or steal the pants off a business competitor if it better suits our own purposes to do so, it’s little wonder that this same message has begun to transfer over into everyday life.

Where often all it takes to make it okay to rip off strangers, friends, or even family, is the ability to convince yourself that your needs outweigh the needs of those you are taking advantage.

We’ve all heard of the stories of con men that convince their own elderly parents, without any remorse what so ever, to invest in their bogus business schemes, for no reason other than to enable them to get their hands on the family’s money sooner, rather later.

Or the drug addicts who think nothing of stealing from their friends, family or complete strangers in order to feed a habit which also provides them with a built-in sense of justification in that their “immediate needs” are more important than the needs of whomever they’re stealing from.

The saying that “all is fair in love and war” appears to have become the justification for almost any form of malevolent behaviour that one can think of.

This used to be a saying that was predominantly  applied to the dubious behaviours of those in the business world.

Where many of those in positions of power have been known to do things such as releasing harmful products, most notably pharmaceuticals, onto the worldwide market , in the belief that their products potential to cause harm were vastly outweighed by their products potential to create profits.

In fact if we look back at the history of medical developments, the vast majority of the work that has been carried out in order to create our current day medical break throughs, have been premised on the justification that the potential benefits of the many out weigh the suffering of the few, (upon whom early medical experiments were conducted on).

This type of moral trade-off, or justification, is also the moral device that provides many with the ability to experiment on animals.

So as a breed of beings we do indeed seem to have a propensity for believing that our actions, no matter how morally horrific they may be, are still somehow okay if they can be viewed as justifiable in any way, shape of misbegotten form.

This leads me to wonder just how potent a device for excusing bad behaviour justification has become in our own lives.

For instance, if you found a wallet in the street  with a few hundred dollars in it two days before Christmas, would you hand it in to the police, or would you choose instead to believe that the universe had provided you with an unexpected means of being able to afford those extra little Christmas treats you’ve been longing to buy for those you love?

Or what if your family were severely financially struggling at the time?

What if keeping the wallet meant the difference between you family having power and heat on Christmas day or not?

Would keeping the wallet under those circumstances be justifiable?

Dilemmas like this, on a small-scale, show just how untenable the concept of justification can become as a mode for defining the rightness or wrongness of our actions.

We all know that handing the wallet in, under most conventional circumstances, would be considered the morally right thing to do…. But….. My question is this…….

‘Can the keeping of the wallet any longer be viewed as the only morally right thing to do if one can justify doing otherwise?’

And if all it takes is a sense of justification to overthrow those once clear lines of delineation between right and wrong actions, then how much longer will it be before we lose all concept of a collective sense of right and wrong all together?

Differences between Aspergers and Autism -‘fruit salads’?


In one of my books, The Jumbled Jigsaw, I presented a range of conditions commonly collectively occurring in those with autism and Aspergers. I was asked about the differences between an Aspergers (AS) ‘fruit salad’ and an Autism ‘fruit salad’. As an autism consultant since 1996 and having worked with over 1000 people diagnosed on the autism spectrum there are areas that overlap, areas where similar can easily be mistaken for same, and areas that are commonly quite different. Some with AS can present far more autistically in childhood but function very successfully in adulthood. Some with Autism can have abilities and tendencies commonly found in Aspies and some will grow up to function far more successfully than they could in childhood but, nevertheless, when together with adults with Aspergers they each notice that the differences may commonly outweigh the similarities. Generally the more common differences are:

ASPERGERS
Originally called ‘Autistic Psychopathy‘(now outdated)
commonly not diagnosed until mid, even late childhood.
lesser degrees of gut, immune, metabolic disorders, epilepsy and genetic anomalies impacting health systems
dyspraxia
mood, anxiety, compulsive disorders commonly onset from late childhood/teens/early adulthood as a result of bullying, secondary to social skills problems, secondary to progressive self isolation and lack of interpersonal challenge/involvement/occupation.
scotopic sensitivity/light sensitivity more than simultagnosia
most have social emotional agnosia & around 30% have faceblindness but usually not due to simultagnosia
literal but not meaning deaf
social communication impairments, sometimes selective mutism secondary to Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD)
sensory hypersensitivities more than sensory perceptual disorders
higher IQ scores due to less impaired visual-verbal processing
tendency toward Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), Schizoid rather than Schizotypal Personality Disorder and commonly Dependent Personality Disorder to some level.
higher tendency to AvPD rather than Exposure Anxiety
Alexithymia is common
ADHD common co-occurance but may be less marked than in those with autism.

AUTISM
Once known as Childhood Psychosis (now outdated)
generally there is always some diagnosis before age 3 (those born before 1980 were still usually diagnosed before age 3, although commonly with now outdated terms like ‘psychotic children’, ‘disturbed’, ‘mentally retarded’, ‘brain damaged’.
higher degrees and severity of gut, immune, metabolic disorders, epilepsy and genetic anomalies impacting health systems
mood, anxiety, compulsive disorders commonly observed since infancy
commonly amazing balance but commonly hypotonia
simultagnosia/meaning blindness rather than just scotopic sensitivity
verbal agnosia/meaning deafness
verbal communication impairments (aphasia, oral dyspraxia, verbal agnosia and associated echolalia and commonly secondary Selective Mutism)
lower IQ scores associated with higher severity of LD/Dyslexia/agnosias
tendency toward OCD/Tourette’s, also higher rate of Schizotypal PD, DPD is common and tends to be more severe
higher tendency to Exposure Anxiety more than AvPD
higher tendency toward dissociative states (dissociation, derealisation, depersonalization)
poetry by those with autism as opposed to AS commonly indicates those with autism can have high levels of introspection, insight
ADHD extremely common co-occurrence

This post is from Donna Williams’ Blog

Congratulations on making it this far down the post.

Okay so now here’s my bit.

It’s question and answer time for you all once again because as we all know, inquiring minds simply always want to know more.

So apart from Donna’s list, what do you think are the key differences between Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism?

Do you think they’re aren’t any major differences at all?

Or do you think there are many?

Are you in favor of doing away with the term Asperger’s Syndrome and replacing it with  High Functioning Autism instead?

Do you think mixing the two, up until now, distinctly different ways of  understanding the needs of those on the Autism spectrum will help or hinder public awareness and understandings of Autism?

Would love to hear  your views on this.

Fracturing the time, space, continuum while watching TV shows

Not to mention that you’ve  probably engaged in some form of invisible particle piracy.

And  you’ve quite likely  fractured the time, space, continuum by doing so.

TV is just not meant to watched this way.

Isn’t i it?

What would River say???????

Okay, Okay, I admit it,

I am TV show junkie.
I just can’t seem to help it.
Well actually, technically speaking, the above statement is entirely untrue,
I can help it,
I just don’t want too.
I love falling into a good TV show.
Especially when I find one I like and then discover that there’s like 5 more series of it that I haven’t seen yet.
Talk about feeling like you’ve won lotto!!!!!

I know you will probably think I’m wrong but I’d rather see men marching against violence towards women than in celebration of past wars.

"North Hampton is a Domestic violence fre...

I’d rather see men marching,

Against violence towards women,

Than see them celebrating,

Openly,

Their male comrades,

Who’ve either fought,

Or fallen,

During our nations,

Past wars.

Every year on Anzac Day,

We are reminded,

To always show our respect,

For those who have gone before us,

Who have given their lives,

For our benefits,

But what about those who are still falling before us?

Whose lives aren’t being given willingly,

For some greater noble cause,

But instead are being stolen,

Within our own domestic war?

Isn’t it time we  see fit to dedicate,

The same amount of national space,

To the true survivors,

Of the on-going war,

Against domestic violence?

A war that remains,

Too silently,

Unacknowledged,

A war whose victims are too often,

Left defenseless,

By the very same governments,

Who foster,

Such National pride,

For its soldiers,

While it lets its women die.

Least we forget,

The many women who have fallen,

To the senseless acts,

Committed within domestic violence.