4/22/2010

When Anger Consumes, Reasonable Discourse is Impossible

There are some divisions that are not possible to be overcome, some people that cannot be worked with, despite a willingness to focus on things that should be common interests. When Age of Autism's editors put out the sorts of things they do, reasonable people recognize they are not dealing with individuals willing to engage in rational discourse, willing to work to overcome obstacles that our children face.

Plus, when they shift their stories, it's kind of hard to take them seriously. They've spent the last year badmouthing Ari Ne'eman, and now they want to pretend that it isn't that they are against Ari; it's that they are against him being the only autistic representative. BS: "We have published a number of posts explaining why we do not support Ari Ne'e,eman, a young adult with Asperger's Syndrome, as the sole representative for the autism spectrum on the National Council for Disabilities."

I am all for working with parents regardless of where they think autism comes from if their focus is on acceptance, appreciation, and accommodation. I'm not for sacrificing my principles to work with people like those running AoA. I see no evidence that these three things are things they are working for.

On a side note, to someone I consider a potential friend, I do not think, having been there, that calling a parent desperate is an offensive thing to do. What parent wouldn't be desperate to help his/her child? And I mean I really have been there, enough times, with my oldest two, when I had legitimate worry about whether they would survive or not to know desperation inside and out, to the depths of my soul. If anything, when I use desperation, I use it with an intimate awareness of what it means to know desperation and how important it is, in that darkness, in that depth of despair, to have accurate, legitimate information to rely on.

4 comments:

jypsy said...

"it's that they are against him being the only autistic representative. BS: "We have published a number of posts explaining why we do not support Ari Ne'e,eman, a young adult with Asperger's Syndrome, as the sole representative for the autism spectrum on the National Council for Disabilities."

That's why their petition starts with:

"We the undersigned oppose the nomination of Ari Ne'eman to the National Council on Disability. Although we salute your effort to include a person with an autism spectrum disorder on the council, the choice of Mr. Ne'eman is wrong for the autism community and wrong for our country. "

right?

(And I notice the number of signatures on the petition is just a fraction of the number of people of the "Confirm Ari Ne'eman...." Facebook group)

Clay said...

I suppose that AoA thinks that Jake Crosby would be an excellent choice. As far as I know, he still thinks he's autistic because of his mother's dental fillings. He has no understanding whatsoever.

Life as the mother of 4 said...

I think that "desperate" is usually used dismissively, used to belittle and from a perceived position of authority. Example: for years every article in the paper that quoted anyone from NECC (New England Center for Children)quoted them calling parents desperate. I appreciate that you may not use a dismissive tone, but I think it's how most people use the word.

KWombles said...

@Life as the mother of four,

I had not considered that. Like saying someone is grasping at straws.

I don't know if you read this piece of mine, http://counteringageofautism.blogspot.com/2009/12/when-darkness-prevails-and-hope-is.html, when I first posted it, but I think it is my best piece at conveying that I do understand the depths of pain, of fear, of struggle that many of these parents go through.

Any anger I harbor is towards those who would take advantage of parents in such tremendous pain and fear.

Everyday I walk into classrooms to teach, I am witness to the foibles of our thinking processes and how easy we are to fool, how difficult it can be to fight one's way free of the biases and heuristics that stand in the way of coming close to reality.

Sites that promote the festering of wounds, of hate, of uncritical thinking, and the active partaking in woo have to be countered. Have to be. Ideally, it will be done in a way that doesn't lose sight of the humanity at the other end, but it has to be countered. Some things just can't be swept under the carpet. I'd much rather focus all my attention on promoting acceptance and accommodation, but as long as there are people trying to sell dangerous and unproven treatments, I'll keep countering it, as this stands in the way of achieving the important goals.

I hope that more parents will choose to gravitate towards sites that focus on positive coping, and finding ways to let go of the anger, the grief, and to work towards the most positive outcomes possible for their children.