Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Autism: Dealing with Ignorant Comments

You all know what I mean by ignorant comments. It's the witty things people in public say without forethought regarding us or our children an autism. They typically do the same thing for people with disabilities too. It's a never ending headache that some special in-duh-viduals seem bent on delivering. Well, enough. No more Mr. Nice Guy. It's time to at least put a humorous spin on this migraine that is public ignorance. I've also considered that maybe it's not their fault. Maybe they're addicted to the taste of their own feet. Try this next time someone walks by and delivers a stupid comment. Imagine them having to bounce around on their buts because they have both legs in their throat up the knees.

Now for a few favorites from the public blather mouths.

1-"He (or you) looks normal to me."  I hate this one. Time to put this person in their place hard:

"Oh, where did you get your medical degree?"  Watching them bumble in response to that is funny every single time.

"And what did you think we'd look like?"  Again, funny every time.

"I left my hockey mask at home." Watch their eyes grow three sizes.

2- "Oh what's his special skill?"  Because we love having our children referred to like sideshow attractions.

"Knife throwing." Say this with a perfectly straight face regardless of your child's age and get set for a look of sheer terror.

"Putting up with other people's ignorance." To be said casually as if you knew the question was coming the whole time.

"Why, do you want to buy tickets?" If they say yes, charge them 50 bucks and say it's non-refundable.

3- "Maybe you should spank him."  Or some similar idiotic phrase.

"What? You want to spank my child?" Said loud enough for the rest of the public to hear. Then watch that idiot make tracks in a hurry.

"Maybe you should get a lobotomy." Hey one stupid suggestion deserves another.

"Thank you for your useless advice."  If they are even halfway listening, it should get their goat.

4- "Shouldn't be in public." Comments like this one are usually said from one idiot to the other about you or your child. Of course they seem to want you to hear them.

"Neither should you." If they can't handle what the public has to offer, they should stay home.

"It's rude to talk about people like that."  The old "call em out" routine has a pretty good track record of shutting people up.

"Wow, you're helpful." Because no, no they aren't. And this one makes a good comeback for several situations.

Now, you probably shouldn't actually be mean to these people and some just can't be taught anything. But it sure can relieve some stress to think of some snappy comebacks to try and kick start their poor addled brains. In any case, here's hoping you got a chuckle. Don't let public ignorance get you down.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Letters that target the disabled are sick

Let me jump right in with the link, because until you've seen it, you won't be as boiled over as I am right now.


Go ahead, it will open in a new window. Then come back, I'll wait for ya.

Now, as an added piece of asshattery, did you read the letter itself? No?

I so very much hope and pray they find this person. Who ever this is, she's the one with the problem, not the autistic boy she's targeting. Anyone who suggests to me that I euthanize my child is likely to lose some teeth. Yes, I'm a weak man, and that would be about enough to make me say "Oh screw this!". 

The person who wrote this letter is a either a hateful idiot or has a whole encyclopedia of her own problems (likely both).  But I tell you what, they are looking for her and really, it shouldn't be that hard to find her.

1. She's close by. Very close in fact. Walking distance judging from the fact she "hears" the autistic boy's noises outside. 

2: She has children as in plural. She even says so in the letter when pointing out that the noises scare her "normal CHILDREN". I'm pretty sure, only a handful of Mom's in the area are going to fit the bill.

Another point. Look at the paper. It's either previously used xerox paper or came from a printer with a toning problem. Either Mommy has a bad printer or uses paper from the recycling bin, or Mommy did this at work with paper form the recycling bin. If that's the case, Mad Mommy works in an office setting. 

Now I'll go out on a limb and say that this isn't the first rager Mad Mommy has been on. I would say, not only does she have her own severe mental illness issues, but may also have a record. No one tells you to off your own child unless they are cruel trolls or severely mentally ill. It's just that simple. 

Now, she's a coward; so she's going to put on a really big "Nice Mommy" act when spoken to. She'll sound just like the parents who really are shocked and disgusted, only with her, it will be fake. 

So, for you folks in the neighborhood manhunt, let's recap:

She has two or more children, is severely stressed out and bad tempered, lives in close walking distance, may have a record (may even be a problem neighbor already), and either works in an office setting or has a really crappy printer and uses scrap paper.  

I'm here to tell you, it would not take me long to find this person. Of course, no one would want me to do this.

What is wrong with people? Because this isn't a rare issue. It's happening in more and more places. People deciding to go all nasty on families who have enough to struggle with. Psycho's who somehow think they are the disability police will leave notes to harass and even threaten.  Earlier this summer I saw a case where someone put a letter on a lady's steering wheel, nagging about parking in the disabled spot. According to the author of the note, the lady didn't "look disabled". Well isn't that nice?  Too bad they're such cowards. Even the jerks in Portland who claim they will out people with disabilities for some psychotic political rampage.  Look it up.

But, people, if you get a threatening letter, don't be weak like me. Call the police and file the complaint. Put them on the news. Press charges. Don't go to jail for them. That's more where they belong.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Article tries to link Autistic MEN with Child Porn

I am sick to my stomach. My blood is boiling and I could burst into flames any second now. Yes, I could spontaneously combust with the disgust I am experiencing right this second. What has me so bent? This article:

Autism and Child Pornography: A Toxic Combination 

Go ahead. It opens in a new window. It's an article by none other than Eustacia Cutler, Temple Grandin's mother! It's written for the Daily Beast (not sure what I think of that combo) and it's getting more than a few autistic adults up in arms. Before I explain why, I'm going to come right out and say this article is irresponsible and dangerous. If you go by just the bold print, sure, child porn is a toxic combo with anything. It's practically the most heinous of the heinous. It's a level of crime that gets you murdered in prison just for being there. And this article wants you to believe there is an alarming trend of autistic men viewing child porn.

So what's wrong? First lets take the author's credentials into consideration:

Eustacia Cutler is a published author. She has a Bachelor of Arts (in what I don't know). Her research in retardation and autism established the basis of two television documentaries. And finally, she wrote school programs for television. That and she raised the most famous and popular autism icon we can mention; Temple Grandin.  Add all that together and it's reasonable to say that this woman's word is going to be taken at face value as rock solid fact by people who don't know enough about autism themselves.

And I want to add, I'm sure she knows plenty about autism, but this article is bad news with a capital B-A-D!

The article starts out with a single case of a young man being caught with child porn on his computer. This young man has autism. Now it's important to note that Eustacia did not interview this man, did  not examine him or read any of his psychological records (at least she says nothing about any of that). Therefore, everything based on this  man as an example is absolute speculation. By the way, this is the only case she offers to support her theories or "facts". She presents all of her information as fact, by the way. Never does she say "in my opinion".

That brings us to what the whole of her article is really "supported" by. Yes, I mean "supported" as in using matchsticks to hold up a brick building. She states in the article that her years in studying autism have given her "insight to autism's social hurdles".  I want to point out at this point, that she is specifically talking about autistic MEN. Just the men. She doesn't say "in such and such circumstances" she says "autistic men" period. What does she say?

Autistic men have the minds of ten year olds: She doesn't say that certain types of autistic men are like this, she just says that we have the minds of ten year olds. "They look like grown men but inside they're only 10 years old."  I will agree that immaturity (to varying scales) is commonplace in autism (to both sexes!) but we do grow up. Amazing thought eh? I'm 43 years old, have an IQ of 145, have had jobs since I was 14 (until disability in 2008), managed to survive on my own since I was 14 (in the streets), now have 4 children and a loving wife, and I harbor an intense hatred of crimes against children. You might call me a special case but get this; in my 9 years of study, research and advocacy, in talking to hundreds of different people with autism (my Facebook page has over 4000 people connected to it) I have traded words with exactly ONE person who was arrested for child porn. That was Dr. Nick Dubin and he admitted he knew it was wrong and is now presumably serving time somewhere. And he should be! Even for Dr. Dubin, while he may have had immature thinking, is not 10 years old nor does he have the mind of a 10 year old. At least there's no research evidence to prove this and that brings us to the next point.

She admits there's no supporting data: That's right. Right in the middle of the article she admits there's no data available to support that autistic men are any more prone to becoming pedophiles than any other classification of human being on the planet. But she continues to present her "insights" as "facts". Mind you that won't matter one wink to the layman who's trying to learn about autism and stumbles across her article. Posting an article like this, expecting to to be accepted as fact without supporting data (studies, research, crime statistics) is extremely irresponsible. The layman is going to look at this article and go "OMG, autistic men become pedophiles!" or "Oh yeah, I bet that weirdo down the street is one of these."  And my next point doesn't  help because I'm quoting her directly when I say:

"They don't want to be taught by adults, they want to be taught by 10 year olds": Dear God! When I was dating at 17, 18, and 19 on up... I had an age requirement that I was very serious about. If you couldn't go where I go because of age... we didn't date, PERIOD. I wouldn't go more than a year backwards at 17.  A couple years ago I gave my daughter grief for dating a guy a bit older than her. And for the record, I was taught by a woman older than me. I wouldn't have had it any other way. You can bet I plan to teach my son what's appropriate too! All of this article is so sadly generalized it's frightening. There's no way to misunderstand highlighted points like that unless you just can't figure out basic English. And what studies do these words come from. What supports the idea that adult men with autism (spectrum not withstanding) would rather mess around with 10 year olds? Well, according to Eustacia, adult autistic men are retarded and infantile and don't know any better. According to her, we're slaves to our sex drives and stunted in the brain. But this article targeting autistic men doesn't stop making leaps into madness there. 

She takes a slap at Tony Attwood that's not even related to the article: You read that right. What does Tony Attwood have to do with any of her article. Oh, I know, he's a man and has autism! But her slap actually has nothing to do with the article at all! 
 I asked Tony Attwood, an internationally known autism counselor who works directly with those young men with Asperger who despair of finding their way in the world—or of even understanding it.
“Were you ever able to stop a boy from suicide?”
He turned from me, his face taut: “I think maybe I did ... once.”
Wha? Suicide? What does Tony Attwood saving some kid from suicide have to do with child porn? What does Tony Attwood have to do with the article at all? I can only call this a personal slap or stab. Apparently she doesn't like Tony Attwood. What better place to bring out the slapping glove than an article about autistic men going pedophile? 
I can safely tell you that I am not the only person who feels this way. Check out this article by Emily Willingham. She breaks it down quite nicely.
The autism community has enough stigma problems. We're associated with being retarded, weird, or violent. We get labelled as school shooters or fanatical whackos. The last thing in the universe we could ever need is to be associated with pedophilia. I've said it before and I'll say it again: having autism does not make a person any more likely to be a criminal than anyone else. It does not make for instant psychopaths. 

I believe we need to teach our children about sexuality and how to protect themselves from predators. We need to teach them internet safety and the law. I don't believe my child having autism automatically makes him a risk as a pedophile. In closing, I submit that, just because you're a celebrity (Jenny McCarthy anyone?) or raise one, it doesn't make everything that comes out of your mouth gold. It doesn't make you an expert. Eustacia Cutler is not a doctor in any form of psychiatry. She posted flamboyant information with no supportive facts or studies to back it up. If I were Temple Grandin, I would be really pissed at my mother about now.