A fly-by post, if you will, as I head off to bed. I hate to admit it, but I now find the antics of AoA more sadly amusing than anger-stirring. I wrote earlier this week about assessing the state of rationality of one's opponents and adversaries and deciding just how much time and attention they really warranted.
AoA can no longer be taken seriously (not that they ever had much going for them, but whatever cache they had is squandered). In their short three year history, they've become laughable. Today cemented it. Anne Dachel calls Roy Grinker an "autism denialist." Stagliano, never one to stand by in the wings and let someone steal her limelight, had to chime in tonight with a note that McCarthy's portrayal in Time was being covered at HuffPo: "They've just posted about it there and as you can imagine, it will soon be a Trollfest of vaccine injury and treatment deniers."
Let me, on behalf of all those the AoAers love to hate, be the first to say: you've outfonzed the Fonz and continue to jump that shark on a near daily basis.
I could never talk about AoA again and still stand daily as a counter to them, as do the hundreds of autistic bloggers and parent bloggers who choose rationality over emotionalism, science over woo, and acceptance over eradication.**for those who are are overly literal: acceptance of the autistic neurotype over the eradication of the autistic neurotype**
Also a note to Jonathan: you must not have read enough parents who have ACTUALLY written that death is preferable. That they wished their child had died. That would rather risk death than deal with autism. It runs the gamut at AoA (and on the biomed forums), from well-intentioned but loving and misguided parents to munchausen-by-proxy parents who want the attention for themselves and will put their kids through all sorts of the unnecessary and dangerous treatments in order to remain in the limelight, to hystrionic parents who actually state these things. Thank you for visiting.
I believe there are many parents who are desperate to help their children live better lives. I'm not referring to those parents. The folks running the show at AoA, the ring-leaders and their top commenters: I believe they love their children every bit as much as I love mine. I believe, however, that they see their children as less than, damaged goods who need to be recovered at all costs, whatever those costs be. Their emphasis is on gaining a child of their own imagination and making rather than in seeing the children they have and helping their actual children achieve their potential. I think these parents don't think about how their actions will be perceived or received by their children, how their actions can psychologically destroy their children.
There's a reason the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Parents do all manner of abusive, neglectful things to their children in the name of good intentions. It's an entirely inadequate excuse. "But I meant well!" Emotionalism rather than rationalism. Rationalization rather than objective assessment of the situation. Self-justification so that they can escape cogntive dissonance.