So Much For Breathing In: A Twitter Conversation with Shifting Stories and No Regrets

I'm not big on twitter. I signed up this summer, but it's not something I use or look at much. I get that it's a big deal; I'm just not a 140 character kind of gal. So twitter me surprised to see that a couple of people I've written posts on were using twitter to talk to me. I'd have never known if a friend hadn't alerted me to Doherty's tweet that I was "ducking" the Monks case. Well, I of course took care of that and now Doherty's tweeting me about my "commentary." You got it. My writing is "commentary," his is just commentary. Nice.

So, now Tannersdad is tweeting me. Seems to me that the way to have a real discussion is to actually have a sustained one, like one could have in the comments section of a blog, but then you risk not having all your many followers see that conversation (he has thousands of twitter followers--some of them spammers, nice way to pad the count), plus the character limit really limits the discussion.

His first tweet (and honestly, I wrote a post deconstructing the change in your story over time, as well as some truly bizarre posts, and you think the tweets won't merit a response blog?) was highly interesting, considering his assertions that his son's autism was completely the fault of vaccines:

TannersDad @kwombles Do U really think attacking @AgeofAutism is best way 2get them2 support Zakh? Thanks 4 nice article about me Yes I am on Spectrum
Note Tim Welsh's admission that he himself is on the sprectrum. Never seen him admit this before and it's never been brought up in conjunction with his son's autism being caused by vaccines. News article covering his story doesn't mention it. In the interests of full disclosure, shouldn' this have been revealed?

He even goes on to tweet to me:

TannersDad @kwombles Again Why? I think my great Grandfather, Grandfather, Father, & Nephew all show signs of being on the spectrum. We all communicate
Does this not serve as a further shift in his story? He argues in another tweet that he's always held autism to be a combination of genetics and environment, but I combed through his postings for the Dec 14th post I did to make sure I provided a fair and accurate portrayal of Welsh's words. I didn't come across any such admission.

Welsh's response to all this is to tweet:
TannersDad @kwombles Feelings are odd things. Yes my story has shifted I have lived &; Learned no regrets #UWAC #FAY #AFAA #Autism Advocate FEEL Rt #APE
I'll admit I have no idea what he means by the feelings; I had tweeted him his rebellion bit and a link to the 12/14 post. Those were more than feelings.

I have no idea where Welsh stands now, as his story shifts, slides, undulates all over the place. At least he's acknowledged his own spectrum status. That it was not alluded to in the newspaper article where he spreads anti-vaccine fervor speaks to his honesty or his ability to fool himself, take your pick. Anyone who is on the spectrum, sees the traits in his family line and then spends a considerable amount of time and effort spreading an anti-vaccine rhetoric has a lot of explaining to do and maybe ought to be feeling some level of regret.

After all he did write the following things:

"There is a promise to the world… That we will not let the holocaust happen again. Well wake up people. A group gets segregated. A group gets ridiculed. A group gets poisoned. A group gets all sorts of stupid tests done to them. People die. People die. Children die. Children are guinea pigs. The world suffers and should be embarrassed by lack of alarm.

I thought this post would be about our freedoms. The more I read the comments I was to hurt to go that direction. The holocaust reference is not to be taken lightly. We are witnessing the death/loss of a generation. 1 in 6 of our children now have cognitive delays. Something is rotten in Denmark, Boise, Muscatine, Chicago, and Wasilla. In tears for our kids…."

And this gem in several places:

"The year is 2030 Autism is cured. We were poisoning our children through generational mistreatment. The research confirmed that a sub population had a genetic tendency towards non elimination of toxic materials. In 2020 the vaccine Safety law & Human responsibility act was put in place. Human Dignity was restored after vaccines had topped more than 100 and forced boosters shots were put in place in 2014. The rebellion of 2015 was horrific. People kind of snapped when the rate of Autism ADHD allergies & other cognitive delays had reached 1 out of every two. Thank God for the group known as the Big Ten Autism advocacy groups coming together in 2011 and building a coordinated strategy to deal with this. Their foresight helped to minimize the blood shed and force the real court system to demand that the Government separate itself from the pharmaceutical companies. The tragic component still was the 8392 lives that were lost to Sids, mistreatment, the ineffective vaccines of the 2009 era forced on young girls & boys and the explosion of Autism to 1 in 25."

My thoughts? Some things you ought to feel a twinge of regret on and if your odd feelings have shifted, you ought to own that, own those words, and maybe even eat them. You know, like taking accountability and saying, man, that was some crazy shit there. I don't know what I was thinking.

Or perhaps an admission that one withheld information that should have been there for people to consider as they weighed his vaccines-did-this-to-my-son story.


kathleen said...

How unusual!! yet another parent in it for themselves..the "look at me-look at how hard I fight" and oh could you give me some face time in a newspaper or article...I'll even make my story more poignant..say something like "my son spoke his first words on fathers day..and I wept"..You know that same said story we have read from a few parents(who shall remain unnamed)..Of course he has a shifting story and no regrets-gets people to pay attention to him-him, not his child.

Socrates said...

This is not the first time I've seen people get themselves into trouble with what they think are throwaway Tweets.

The casual nature of most people's approach to Twitter means that they often let their Act slip...

Stephanie Lynn Keil said...

I have a Twitter account but I'm not a 140 kind of gal either.

I can't really understand half of what I read through twitter anyway since most of it is in internet lingo.

I use it sometimes though, for random things. Plus, I often find interesting things that other more twitter-savy people tweet.

Nightstorm said...

I still don't get Walsh's or Tannersdad sci-fi story at all. Can I make up some over the top irrelevant blurb about the future?

In 2025 American in the middle of a decade where a generation of autistic adults have full support and services. Many of them have jobs and housing. Medication and therapy is supported by government.

News laws are in place to protect the rights of developmental disabled adults. In 2017, the Act for Protection of the Developmentally Disabled is in effect, in 2023 ADA has be revised and BVR has devision called Vocational Education for the Developmentally Disabled aka VEDD. Children diagnosis with autism or a DD of some sort will no longer have the stigma as autistic adults from previous decades had. They now have the proper education and training they need. ABA, OT and ST are available through most insurances. Schools even have Social Training classes for autistic teens. In 2028 the one the presidential nominees has an autistic adult as his running mate. 2040 the term Autistic American is now a common place term.

See I can make wet dream fantasies too. Isn't that nice?

KWombles said...

It is a very familiar story all the way around, isn't it? Echoes a bit.

I wonder, though, if it makes any difference to the audience he's playing to? I suspect it doesn't. It's surprising how easy it is to unravel the stories of some of these anti-vaxxers who believe autism is vaccine damage.


I have a passing understanding of the #stuff, but twitter isn't ever going to be one of my preferred methods. I suspect that Doherty and Tannersdad used that as a mechanism to communicate with me rather than commenting here because there was the chance I'd miss it (and I would have if a friend hadn't let me know) and because it keeps them out of my territory and where their readers are assured of seeing it. Plus, it looks very much like a one-sided conversation if a person isn't following both people. And if you're following a lot of people, forget about it.

Nightstorm, I like your version a whole lot better. :-)