Stagliano/AoA Make Their Contradictory Stance Clear and all in 140 Characters

It's not like the irony wasn't rich, deep, and fecund over there earlier today, when Stagliano tweeted "Oops, This is what we do Tanner'sDad. We support one another. KS" on the same day she posted "Ms. Chew and I were in an anthology together - I wrote about how and why I fight for my kids. She wrote about being a blade of grass and bending to the wind of autism and spoke at an event I attended a...bout how her son taught HER to get over her fear of swimming. We are about helping our kids - they are about making themselves feel better. I've no time to dabble in their world."

Now, she tweets that OSR has undergone extensive testing and links to the joke of a faq page I've already discussed in a previous post. She's happy with one page that gives absolutely no detailed information, no proof of who it was tested on and how many? Seriously? She and the others at AoA go on and on about there hasn't been enough testing, adequate testing, blah, blah, ad nauseum on vaccines, but one rinky dink page is good for her to put this industrial chelator on her children's food?

CTI gives a one page frikking pdf file, which I detailed in my post over the weekend, with the single pure and the two natural compounds all at the same time, and Stagliano is good with that level of information. Great with that in fact. In fact, she calls it the TRUTH? But hundreds of pages of studies involving tens of thousands of children showing no evidence for a link between vaccines and autism and she's still not convinced? Even though her youngest was never vaccinated but is on the spectrum.

You have to be incredibly obtuse to not see the glaring, overt, blinding contradictory nature of this. One page, one man saying this will recover your kids and you buy into it big time. Based on the plugs for it that she's given, one could argue that she is an OSR shill and an MB12 pop shill. Really. How many advertising dollars does AoA take from their sponsors?

Stagliano's made some questionable decisions this last year as managing editor. Stumbled. Shown some serious pettiness (today in fact). If you've read her over the years, you can see the descent into bitterness. I know she and her family have had some rough times. I know raising three children is hard work, and even harder when they have disabilities. And there are posts of hers I've really enjoyed. There's no way to say that to her, no way to go, hey I related to your sleep post. Nice work. Why isn't there? Well, Stagliano's world is flat, two-dimensional. You either are on her side or you're her enemy. It's an all or nothing world she lives in.
What a real shame on many levels. Especially when it's clear from her personal posts about her children that she loves them deeply and would do anything for them. That's the problem, though, isn't it? She'd do anything all in a misguided belief that in doing so she will prove how heroic she is, how far she'd go to recover them, how much better she is than any parent who doesn't go to her lengths. I get working hard to help your child do well, feel well, improve, be happy, and I applaud those efforts. I applaud her willingness to bake for her children, to make them safe foods (and can relate to the work involved, having spent four years on the GFCF diet with my children. WITH them, no cheating, either), to work hard to get them the services they need. She's done a lot that demonstrates her love for her children.

To paint her as a woman who has done nothing right, done only harmful things, would be as two-dimensional as she and her (oh dare I steal Linderman's "ilk"?) supporters are about those of us who have not sunk into the bottomless abyss of woo. Many of these parents are well-intentioned; they've just bought into a dubious theory that's been thoroughly debunked (and I've said many times, we can get along, we can be friends if we treat that like religion and politics-- background that isn't a part of our friendship; as long as you want to move forward, love your kids, help them achieve their potential, make the world a softer place, we're good).

Still, as long as the snake oil salesman promise parents the sky and mainstream medicine promises them that some things can't be "cured," there will always be people to buy the woo. And how dare we try to take away their "hope"? Ummmmm.... False hope isn't hope. Woo isn't real and it's a waste of your time and energy. Nothing replaces the hard work of actually engaging your children, helping them build skills. Nothing. There are no magic industrial chelators masking as antioxidants that will make it all go away.

Someday and someday soon, this generation of autistic children will reach adulthood. Far too many of them will have grown up hearing they were stolen away, lost, destroyed, damaged and that they needed to be cured, saved, and recovered. How bitter you think they are gonna be? What kind of self-esteem issues you think they are gonna have? How will they know they are value when they were so devalued? How will they know they matter, not some illusory ideal them who never existed? We have an obligation to those who have very real barriers to their success in society to treat them as equal, valued members. It goes beyond lip service. We have to find a way to show respect for their innate value as human beings, appreciation for what they have to offer, while working with them to remove the barriers. We have to do it with compassion, empathy, realism, and commitment.

The games being waged in the autism wars get in the way of this. There's no excuse for being so hellbent on your belief system that you engage in startling lack of judgment that Stagliano has engaged in with defending OSR while dissing parents who do not buy into her world view. It's not solely on her shoulders, though. She has too many compatriots in arms at AoA and similar groups who high-five each other and continue this nonsense, who actually think this comment is an acceptable, reasonable one:
"You want a cure for autism or not? If you had three wishes would one of them be that your son would be free from autism? Changed in an instant, completely restored, rebooted? Yes or no? Really is a simple question can't for the life of me understand why you won't answer it publicly."

                      ---- bensmyson (01/20/2010, 7:58 AM )

How does wanting to reboot your child not show how little respect you have for his innate value as a human being? How does one justify this statement?


Emily said...

As though all Kristina has ever said about Charlie is that she learned to swim thanks to him. Yep. That's it.

Kristina loves that child body and soul and has built almost her entire existence (as has her husband) around understanding him and helping him reach his complete potential in his own place and time, with as much understanding and as little trauma as possible. Is there a better definition of good parents than that?

I like the image of the blade of grass. Grass is some tough shit...seems all soft and bendy, but filled with sharp, grinding silica.

I'm especially taken with KS's attempt to make Kristina look like a narcissist even as she, KS, struggles to make comparisons relative to Kristina that will show KS as the "better (fighting) mom" of the two.

Finally, there's this: "We are about helping our kids...they are about making themselves feel better." Here's a reality: These two things are not mutually exclusive. And where one person described here discusses autism in the context of acceptance of reality and working within those parameters, another seems to discuss it in the context of what a great parent she is. I'll let readers decide who is who.

Emily said...

And one more thing, the big question at the end: "How does wanting to reboot your child not show how little respect you have for his innate value as a human being? How does one justify this statement?"

Does it even matter? You *can't* reboot your child. Speaking of time and dabbling, most parents don't have time to dabble in nonsensical wishes. Irrational wishing or "angels on the head of a pin" questions don't change reality.

Of course, you're right. Asking the question diminishes the existing person's humanity to nothing but a malfunctioning computer you'd give anything to reboot.

Domestic Goddess said...

Like my 9yo states, "You get what you get and you can't get upset." If that is the schoolyard mantra, why can't parents get that?

There are no guarantees in life. None. No one promised you'd have a perfect child. There are risks having children. Can't take the heat? Don't have a baby.

Of course, they all think this way because they think their child was damaged or regressed...that may explain their thinking. Just can't condone it. That stuff seems really dangerous. Sorry, no guarantee it will work, I ain't trying it on my kid. He isn't a guinea pig. And? I like him just the way he is. If I had a "normal" kid and he had a personality quirk I didn't like or his voice was shrill and grated my nerves, I certainly wouldn't seek out a way to change it.

Sadderbutwisergirl said...

"Reboot?" That's what I do with a computer, a machine, when it's not working right. Not only is that choice of wording devaluing, it's dehumanizing! Since when do we compare children to machines?

Anonymous said...


lisadom said...

REcover? - that is for lost socks.
Now it's Re-boot? great., what's next "repair" or "replace"?

While I usually avoid these obsessive weirdos I do wonder after reading this if they would have been like this even if their kids were not autistic. Because they really don't seem to see them as equal and valuable human beings. And I have always wondered what a barrier to unconditional love this obsession with "cure" is.

What I think someone needs to do is sit these people down with a couple who have tried for years with fertility treatment, who have missed out on numerous adoptions and who are willing to foster a child. Any child.

Or the parent of a child with a health threatening disability. where they have to have numerous operations that involve potentially sitting in the "Rainbow Room" at the Children's Ward. Where parents go to be told the worst possible news, by the defeated surgeon.

Kristina rocks. My claim to fame is that I learned to do predictive text - because of my Boo. I'm waiting for him to show me how to upload to Youtube now.....


kathleen said...

"I've no time to dabble in their world"
Funny, I took that to mean her childrens..
"They are about making themselves feel better"
Well, in a sense, everything we do is for ourselves..which is why we should expect only the highest standards and behavior..of ourselves. That does not seem to be the case with Kim Stagliano.
AoA loves to use the word "recovery"..which tells me, that their children are invisible-not there. Because they don't see them. They only see themselves. It is just another group screaming about their rights...but never once thinking about their responsibility.

Socrates said...

I understand Neurotypical children can grow-up to be a disappointment to their parents, too.

btw, a phrase just leapt into my head Munchausen by proxy syndrome.

Nic said...

Socrates, funnily enough I used that description this morning when discussing these people with my work colleagues. That's all I can see when I read their posts. Those poor kids are pawns.

Sadderbutwisergirl said...

@Nic: Tell me about it. Even what they call themselves shows how much part they consider their children to have in the grand scheme of autism: none, apart from being their badges of honor to show how courageous they are. It makes me sick.

Emily said...

Socrates, that one leapt into my head in the context of these narcisstic drama queen whackjobs a looooong time ago. It should be called Var. Munchausen's by proxy.