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Brain Right BrainLet’s just jump right to the video clip. Because it needs no introduction, it is just so wrong:The speaker is Polly Tommey. Polly Tommey has a long history of bad autism advocacy. When people think of the autism parents who just do advocacy wrong, they are thinking of people like Polly Tommey. She’s been a voice in the “vaccines-cause-autism” movement for a long time. She’s worked with Andrew Wakefield (whose unethical actions in relation to disabled patients at his hospital lost him his medical license. To name one of his many failures). This in itself demonstrates bad judgement and poor reasoning. Recall that Andrew Wakfield fictionalized an account of a parent murdering her autistic child, framing it as an act of love.But the low point of Polly Tommey’s advocacy career came when she and Andrew Wakefield “helped” a family in crisis. They were working on a reality…View original…
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So I was challenged to watch twenty videos on the #HearUs tag and things of that nature by parents of autistic kids because supposedly, the parents are the ones actually personally affected. Logic would dictate that actually, it is the Autistic kids/autistic kids/kids with autism who are the ones actually affected but I digress.
Score at the moment: 0/20 videos watched. No, I don’t believe vaccines cause autism.
So the first one I have chosen to watch is a woman called Gladys or at least, called Gladys for the purpose of this case study. Name withholding for privacy reasons is a thing that is perfectly legitimate. I do not know whether this mother did or did not. I am simply saying that if she did then no blame attaches to this since claims stand or fall on their own merit. So yes, I watched Gladys’ story.
So Gladys wants…
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A new organization in Wisconsin has created a quiz to help test vaccine knowledge.
Unfortunately, the creators of the quiz appeared to have drawn on incorrect sources. To help set the record straight, we provide the correct answers, with references for further follow-up.
As the release date for the new CDC numbers approached, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones blasted policymakers for “denying and refusing to tackle our nation’s staggering autism epidemic.” But such views were not hard to find echoed on social media, even from figures within the autism world:
“Worldwide Autism Epidemic!” screams the headline. I wish it were true. If we were in the midst of an epidemic of autism, then something, or someone, would be to blame, and with a bit of sleuthing we could eliminate the problem, and prevent even more children from suffering. And, if the epidemic were man-made, we could punish the guilty. Alas, there is precious little scientific evidence to support the notion of an autism epidemic.
Autism is not an appendage
Autism isn’t something a person has, or a “shell” that a person is trapped inside. There’s no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person–and if it were possible, the person you’d have left would not be the same person you started with.
This is important, so take a moment to consider it: Autism is a way of being. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism.
Therefore, when parents say,
I wish my child did not have autism,
what they’re really saying is,
I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead.
Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.