I will not pretend, I will never pretend, that autism is just a different way of thinking. Heather and I love our son too much to lie to the world about the nature of his autism realities, his severe autism, intellectual disability and epileptic seizures. Like many parents of autistic children I believe it is in his best interest that the world knows the realities of the complex disorder he endures and that often causes him to suffer and puts his life at risk. I can face his autism realistically while appreciating every ounce of the joy he himself brings (Read more…)
I chose the name of my email account “AutismRealityNB@gmail.com” because, from my perspective, the harsh realities of autism disorders are usually ignored or worse, intentionally misrepresented, by the mainstream media, autism awareness organizations, some high functioning autism “self”advocates and even some parents and autism professionals. An online friend of mine who shares similar perspectives, Roger Kulp, shared an article on my Facebook timeline yesterday which surprised me because it was a commentary published in the New Jersey Courier-Post which presented a realistic view of some of the harsher realities faced by some with autism (Read more…)
October, for what its worth, is Autism Awareness Month in Canada. You will probably see performances by persons with Asperger’s or high functioning Autism. There will be wonderful success stories and accomplishments shared to give parents hope, in many cases false hope, about their child’s future. There will be little mention, if any, of the persons who suffer from severe, low functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. There will probably be little about such serious issues as sensory challenges, self injurious behaviors, meltdown, wandering resulting in injury and death, seizures and other challenges common to persons with autism (Read more…)
Conor Doherty on World Autism Awareness Day 2014, as I tried to take a “selfie” of the two of us wearing blue, gave his old Dad an unexpected hug. As in this pic, Conor brings us great joy but his autism is a disorder which restricts his life and causes him harm. Joel Rubinoff father of a high functioning, smart autistic son is angry and he is using his position as an arts and entertainment columnist to tell Canadians that parents and organizations who disagree with his feel good views of autism need “attitude adjustments”. In Joel (Read more…)
Autism is not a person. Autism is defined by some authorities as a disorder, by others as “autisms” or a varied group of complex heterogeneous disorders and by still other authorities as a group of symptoms which together have come to be referred to as “autism”. Autism is not, however, a person and because of that indisputable fact it can not sign petitions lobbying government institutions to abolish legislation passed to fight autism. Autism can not oppose the rights of actual persons to be cured or treated for autism and can not oppose the rights of parents and other (Read more…)
The allegedly UNBREAKABLE blade of my window ice scraper snapped off under the strain of several days of heavy ice scraping in this December’s cold and snowy Canadian winter weather. In fairness to the manufacturers and distributors of the “Unbreakable” ice scraper blade I have used it well past the 3 year limited warranty and it has seen lots of use in previous Canuck winters. People, including parents of severely autistic children, can also break particularly if they face other socio-economic and/or family and challenges.
Not all parents break in the face of the challenges and fears that haunt (Read more…)
Suzanne Wright’s recent honest and courageous statements in support of a National Autism Plan in the United States has attracted the wrath of Neurodiversity cult members and they will not relent. All the usual suspects have been voicing their irrational outrage Emily Willingham, Shannon des Roches Rosa, John Robison etc. In their modern version of the Cold Mothers Attack on parents that caused so much pain they condemn parents and family members for telling the world the unspeakable truths about autism: autism is a disorder, or group of disorders, harmful disorders that can inflict pain and suffering on those who (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: THIS Is Autism, Conor’s Autism Reality, Self Injurious Behavior
Thank You Suzanne Wright!
It was a good week for reality based autism advocacy for two reasons. First, I was very encouraged by Suzanne Wright’s very honest description of the many challenges facing persons with autism disorders and their families in Autism Speaks to Washington – A Call for Action. Second I was very pleased to see John Elder Robison, an extremely high functioning and very successful, free ranging Aspie, who refuses to acknowledge that autism is a disorder that should be cured, resign all his positions with Autism Speaks. It appears that Autism Speaks may be abandoning its attempts (Read more…)
As the father of a 17 year old young man with severe autism, intellectual disability and epileptic seizures I am very happy to read that 15 year old autistic boy Louis Martin was found safe in Montreal after being reported missing by his father (who also tweeted his son’s disappearance). Wandering is a very serious problem for persons with autism, particularly when they also suffer from “comorbid” intellectual disability. It is long past time that everyone including mainstream media, Hollywood, television and autism “experts” stopped glorifying those with exceptional talents and started presenting full, honest pictures of autism disorders. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Great Autism News: 15 Year Old Boy With Autism And Intellectual Disability Found Safe
Autism Speaks continues its betrayal of the 50% of persons on the autism spectrum, those with intellectual disability, those for whom autism is a disorder not a superior way of thinking or the possible subject of a new TV comedy series or a career as a well paid “autism” advocate with “Autism“ Speaks.
In the October 11 2013 blog “An Emphasis on Strength: Finding Fulfilling Employment” Sarah Andrews, Autism Speaks Coordinator of Adult Services, and mother of two sons with autism, talks about the interests of her two sons “on the spectrum“. Ms. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: High Functioning Autism Speaks Continues Betrayal of 50% of Autism Spectrum With Intellectual Disability
“My son’s story is one of hope, not unlike the stories regularly broadcast on television, printed in magazines or making the rounds on YouTube.
Yet the autism spectrum is wide and diverse, and many who suffer from severe autism will never reach the level of functioning that my child has achieved. Although these people are also part of the story, we rarely hear their stories.” Amy Mackin, Autism in the Shadows, Washington Post, July 19, 2013 Amy Mackin is a writer and a blogger who writes at www.amymackin.com. She is also the mother of an autistic (Read more…)
The picture above, for those visiting my blog for the first time, is my son Conor now 17+ years old. I love him dearly and he brings great joy into my life every day. He is also severely autistic with severe cognitive challenges (intellectual disability) and like many with those characteristics he also suffers from epileptic seizures. As great a joy as he is he also engages in acts of self aggression and suffers from sensory challenges, meltdowns and obsessively repetitive behaviors that are very disruptive in themselves. For Conor his autism is not a joy, a blessing, a (Read more…)
The following commentary is from the blog Muslimah Next Door written by Dishad Ali. It addresses an issue that I have raised several times – the lack of real autism awareness created by autism awareness events. The author’s comments at Muslimah Next Door under the title When an Autism Awareness Event is Anything But are followed by a letter from Harshita Mahajan the mother of a teenage autistic son addressed to Autism Speaks. I sincerely hope that Autism Speaks takes the mother’s concerns, and the contents of her letter, seriously and begins to provide during autism awareness events awareness of . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Mother Of An Autistic Son Asks Autism Speaks for Some Actual Autism Awareness
The pictures above were initially posted on this site on May 26, 2012, several months before Conor’s 1st known Grand Mal Seizure in November. As I posted then, external conditions were perfect and Conor was enjoying a favorite activity in a favorite location when he suddenly began hitting himself in the head. I don’t know what caused it, Conor lacks the communication skills to explain, but it was definitely internal. Together with many similar circumstances including sudden closing of his eyes and looking blankly into the distance I reported them to his pediatrician as possible seizure activities. The pediatrician did (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism and Seizures: Conor’s Second Grand Mal Seizure (That We Know Of)
CNN’s Portrayal of Autism In the Days Surrounding WAAD 2013 Middle – Jack and John Elder Robison – High Functioning Aspergers Bottom -Trevor Pacelli High Functioning PDD-NOS (Holli Dunn Photography)
To no big surprise successful, very high functioning Asperger’s businsessman, author and family man John Elder Robison’s new book Bringing Up Cubby has benefited from two high profile interview promotions on CNN. A promotional appearance with his son on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Sunday show was followed with a gushing interview on the CNN morning show Early Start. CNN, and its in house neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta, have long delighted in (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: CNN’s Very High Functioning Autism Awareness Efforts Misrepresent Autism Disorders
Intellectual Disability remains the Elephant in the Autism Living Room;no one wants to admit it’s there or to talk about it It is politically incorrect in today’s autism world to acknowledge the existence of the invisible autistics, the one’s unlike Ari Ne’eman, John Elder Robison, Alex Plank and Michelle Dawson all of who whom have enjoyed great success and demonstrate considerable intelligence and most of whom have never met a television camera or gathering of journalists that offends them. Some of the extremely high functioning superstars of autism “self” advocacy have literally built careers telling the world (Read more…)
If past is prologue very little awareness of the harsher realities of autism symptoms will be generated on this WAAD, April 2, 2013. Next year, in 2014, and for years thereafter, the streamlined DSM5 autism will also eliminate many on the very high functioning and low functioning ends of the autism spectrum. It is unfortunate that in the DSM5 Autism Spectrum Disorder definition the American Psychiatric Association is revising the medical definition of autism spectrum disorder in ways that are expected to change its diagnostic characteristics. There is no good reason to wreck havoc on autism research and diagnosis . . . → Read More: Facing Autism Symptoms in New Brunswick: World Autism Awareness Day 2014
On November 1, 2012 Canada passed An Act respecting World Autism Awareness Day an Act with a great preamble which provides for absolutely no action to ensure that effective evidence based early intervention for autism would be provided to all Canadian families affected by autism spectrum disorders. Talk, and rhetoric, is cheap. Intervention is not. Failure to provide intervention and services is not cheap. The human and financial costs of failing to take effective autism action continue to rise across Canada.
60-61 ELIZABETH II
CHAPTER 21 An Act respecting World Autism Awareness Day [Assented to . . . → Read More: Facing Autism Symptoms in New Brunswick: Canada’s World Autism Awareness Day Act: Great Preamble, Zero Action
CBSLA photo as Shown on the NY Daily News Shows Horrifying Abuse of Man with Severe Autism
KCBS-TV Los Angeles ”Mom Sickened” and the New York Daily News “Tantamount to Torture” report a story of horrific, torturous abuse by professional caregivers of a 31 year old autistic man with the reported mental age of a 3 year old. The incredible abuse was discovered after the man’s mother noted bruising on his body and installed cameras which recorded the abuse. The CBS video report follows but as CBS cautions this is disturbing especially if you are the parent, as I am, (Read more…)
April 2, 2013 will feature another World Autism Awareness Day around the world. Many blue lights will shine, politicians will pose and take credit for helping advance the cause of autistic persons and their families, countless media reports will talk about the gifts of autism and television series and movies alike will feature gifted individuals and autism, once again, will be portrayed for public consumption as the domain of brilliant if socially quirky personalities. Little if anything will be said about the vast majority of those with autistic disorder who are limited by intellectual disability, or about those who suffer (Read more…)
Resigchouche Regional Hospital Centre
As an Autism Society New Brunswick representative I attended a meeting held at the Restigouche Regional Hospital Centre a few years ago to participate in a meeting to review the operations of the RRHC and to vote on its future, specifically whether to continue to operate or to close. I voted to continue to operate the RRHC. There were autistic adults who had been living there for many years. No alternative in New . . . → Read More: Facing Autism Symptoms in New Brunswick: No Meaningful Inclusion, No Community Living for NB Youth and Adults With Severe Autism Challenges
If you believe IACC Neurodiversity advocates present and past, Ari Ne’eman and Matthew Carey, autism is not something that should be cured. You won’t see much about the harsher aspects of life with autism disorders if you read their writings. In their view autism is nothing more than a different way of thinking, not a … disorder … or group of challenging symptoms for which cures are needed.
No, the enlightened Neurodiversity thinkers who are selected to represent the mythical “autism community” at the IACC see autism in the image of the members of the ASAN Board of Directors, . . . → Read More: Facing Autism Symptoms in New Brunswick: The Harsh Reality End of the Autism Spectrum
Autism Specifics Press Release, April 1, 2020:
Autism Specifics President “Aristotle” Newman and ASAN President Dr. Jerry Dobson will be jointly reflecting today on important events in the autism world during the past year.
1. First anniversary of DSM5.13 This year marked the first year since the DSM5 that a revised edition of the DSM5 has endured an entire year without being modified. Changes introduced by the classic, original DSM5 were revolutionary, particularly with the steps taken to exclude the intellectually disabled from the autism spectrum, but revisions were introduced periodically to deal with oversights in the classic . . . → Read More: Facing Autism Disorders in New Brunswick: Autism Awareness Day April 1, 2020
Autism Speaks, commenting on and citing an article from the Boston Globe, reports that American Academy of Pediatrics President Elect James Perrin, M.D., F.A.A.P., has called autism an epidemic: “James Perrin, M.D., F.A.A.P., president… . . . → Read More: Facing Autism Disorders in New Brunswick: Autism Is An Epidemic: Time To Stop Pretending Otherwise
The mainstream media, the blogosphere and Twitter are full of dreamy commentaries telling the world that autism is not really a disorder, it is a beautiful culture, a different way of thinking that is helping make the world a better place. Meanwhile parents of severely autistic children around the world know better as illustrated by this Australian family’s story in the Fraser Coast Chronicle’s The harsh reality of autism:
Christian’s autism means he will probably never experience the beauty of friendships, will never feel the bonding love of a partner.
His autism is so severe it keeps him from . . . → Read More: Facing Autism Disorders in New Brunswick: Australian Familiy’s Harsh Autism Reality