A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

Browsing Posts in Aspergers

Nice to see Sesame Street acknowledge kids with autism with the arrival of “Julia”.   This will allow the newest of generations to get better acquainted with kids on the spectrum and what to expect.  It’s a nice development.  It might even make Elmo more palatable.  🙂

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/well/family/what-a-muppet-with-autism-means-to-my-family.html

Julia

I just read an article by Joel Stein that I largely agreed with, but I was taken aback by his description of Internet Trollers.  “Now the web is a sociopath with Asperger’s.”  Since Asperger’s is no longer a term to describe high functioning autism, it should read, “Now the web is a sociopath on the autistic spectrum.”

The phrase has been removed from the online version, but the print version includes the original description.

The article goes on to state that trollers are often normal people who simply get their “lulz” from disparaging folks on the net with relative anonymity.  But once you insert the noun “Aspergers” as the personification of all that is wrong with the Internet, you have perpetuated a negative, hateful myth.

Hey Joel, a little more journalistic integrity next time, a little less hyperbole and a little more thought about the impact of your definitions.  http://time.com/4457110/internet-trolls/

Troll Culture of Hate Time Magazine Cover

I saw this yesterday in the Washington Post.  They list a slew of possible reasons.  Hard to pinpoint anyone of them.   Seems to me the most important thing we can do as parents is give our kids a sense of purpose, otherwise, what’s the point.

People on the autism spectrum live an average of 18 fewer years than everyone else, study finds

Researchers looking into mortality trends and autism have made a troubling discovery: People on the autism spectrum are dying young — some 12 to 30 years earlier than might otherwise be expected.

The analysis, conducted by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found that the leading cause of premature death in autistic adults isn’t due to diseases, such as heart ailments or cancer, that are the main killers in the general population. It’s suicide.

Joe should know better. His own son has Asperger’s, but Joe went somewhere he didn’t need to go and he dragged down our entire community in the process.

“Profiler Joe” took it upon himself to add the “A” tag to the most infamous mass murderer the American Public has seen this century, a certain Mr. James Holmes. For reasons unclear to this writer, Joe decided to diagnose Mr. Holmes as most likely Asperger’s (Welcome to the Autism family James!). This might be news to Mr. Holmes and his family. Certainly, the defense will use the insanity plea to help avoid the death penalty. And it may be played out in the press as to whether the autism defense is enough to avoid a murder rap.

But what Mr. Scarborough may not have thought through is the impact his words will have towards the perceptions of high functioning autistic children everywhere. By making the link between Asperger’s and mass murderers, Mr. Scarborough has effectively yelled fired in the theatre. Excuse me for the clumsy metaphor and I don’t mean to in any way make light of the horrible tragedy in Aurora, but there was no reason to add fuel to this tragedy and draw a horrible association to innocent Aspies throughout this country.

Will they now be seen differently; by the public, by their friends, by law officials?

Perhaps Mr. Scarborough simply meant to make an observation. But he broached the ground between being a journalist and being an alarmist. He made a connection that no one in their right mind would put out to the public. And the last person you would expect to do that would be a parent of an autistic child. For what purpose? Mr. Holmes is the most vilified man in modern American culture. The governor of Colorado can’t even call him by his name. And now you’ve just made the connection between this heinous villain and you own son.

For god sakes Joe, what the hell were you thinking?