(Image description: A partial screenshot of a blog post. The title reads “How I reduced screaming and verbal stimming in my child with autism”, and below that is a colour photograph of a hand holding a rectangular plastic “clicker” device.)
I think I may have mentioned this blog post, and the sadness and confusion I felt when I came across it, in one of my videos. This screenshot is from the blog of an “autism parent”. Yes, that is a clicker. Yes, she is encouraging the use of animal training methods on Autistic children. Yes, she considers any kind of vocal stimming, not just screaming, to be a “bad behaviour”. To top it all off, her blog banner reads, “Discovering SOLUTIONS to the Everyday Problems of Living with AUTISM”. Here is an excerpt from her tutorial on how to train your disabled child like a dog to have a “Quiet Mouth”:
Third, I sat back and watched my child. Since he was making bad noises, I decided to reinforce Quiet Mouth (i.e., lips together, no sound). Whenever he had a split second of Quiet Mouth, I immediately tagged (made a click-sound with the device) and handed over a treat. Every time his mouth was Quiet, I tagged (clicked) and treated. Soon there was much more Quiet Mouth behavior. When doing this it is important to ignore and pay no attention to vocal stims or screaming. Do not look at the child, do not speak to him/her or explain. Just say nothing, and immediately tag and treat as soon as there is even a split second of Quiet Mouth. You can also tag and treat a child for any appropriate vocalizations. If he/she says a nice word, or makes an appropriate comment, then tag and reinforce that. Your goal is to increase Quiet Mouth and appropriate vocalizations.
And sadly, as bad as this attitude and treatment of Autistic children is, this is a relatively tame example when compared to the other unethical treatments, therapies, and methods of discipline that Autistic children are being subjected to every day (all in the name of making them appear less obviously Autistic). This is why we need Autism Acceptance Month and not the fear-mongering, negative, misinformed “awareness” that Autism Speaks and its allies are pumping out this April.
We need acceptance because Autistic children should be loved and accepted wholly and completely for who they are, not hurt and mistreated in their parent’s frantic search for a “cure”. Because Autistic people deserve to be treated with respect and listened to, not silenced and forced or coerced to conform to an ableist, non-disabled ideal. Because Autistic children need accommodation and understanding to live healthy, happy lives, not sketchy “treatments” and intensive, soul-crushing “therapies” to try to make them appear more neurotypical and less Autistic.
For more information on ASAN’s Autism Acceptance Month, see the about page on the website here: http://www.autismacceptancemonth.com/about/
So basically the only reason self-diagnosis (proper self-diagnosis, not “OMG I am soooo OCD about that!”) is “bad” is because it could be wrong?
Wrong? You know who else could be wrong? The doctors, maybe? Yes, all this bullshit about how “they’re professionals” and “went to school for this” and I’m sure most ARE fully qualified to do what their job is, but I doubt they are perfect.
Doctors are humans and make mistakes, have only a limited knowledge of things, and most certainly DO NOT know you better than you know yourself, especially if it’s their first time meeting you.
If you think you have a problem, don’t ignore it because “someone else would know by now”, because that “someone else” is YOU. Yes, you could be wrong, but you also have limited knowledge.
You could be right, or you could be wrong but find something else out in the process. Or you could cross one more thing off the list of what’s wrong with you.
Self-diagnosis isn’t bad at all, it’s like any other tool, if you use it wrong it won’t help, but if you use it right it can do so much for you.
I think the weirdest thing I’ve discovered through this blog is that people respect me so much more as an autistic person than they ever have as an NT-passing person.
I make a pretty miserable excuse for an allistic, but apparently I’m pretty awesome at being autistic.
It’s annoying because I’m still closeted to 90% of people and I can’t help but wonder how life would change for me if I said ‘screw it’ and decided to be autistic all the time. I know there’d be some people who’d abandon me, but I feel like others might be more understanding and accepting of me if they knew why I do the things I do. I might even have an easier time finding work or getting educational services.
And yet I’m still too terrified to be open about who I am.
hey kids, here’s a fun tip!
if you ever feel discriminated against because you’re cisgender or heterosexual, just try closing your computer, getting up, and walking out your front door! now you can feel free to be your gender or sexuality without having to worry about being called names because everyone is just like you!
this has been the children’s fun fact science corner
or, why the poverty i’m fast approaching due to unemployability seems worth it because of people and projects in my life right now that i actually want to stick around for
school makes me so agitated and miserable and scary depressed that i don’t even recognize myself. call me dramatic but i’d rather be alive without a degree than dead with one
Report: Hundreds killed while defending environment, land rights
April 16, 2014
Hundreds of people have been killed while defending the environment and land rights around the world, international monitors said in a report released Tuesday, highlighting what they called a culture of impunity surrounding the deaths.
At least 908 people were killed in 35 countries from 2002 to 2013 during disputes over industrial logging, mining, and land rights – with Latin America and Asia-Pacific being particularly hard-hit – according to the study from Global Witness, a London-based nongovernmental organization that says it works to expose economic networks behind conflict, corruption and environmental destruction.
Only 10 people have ever been convicted over the hundreds of deaths, the report said.
The rate of such deaths has risen sharply – with an average of two activists killed each week – over the past four years as competition for the world’s natural resources has accelerated, Global Witness said in the report titled “Deadly Environment.”
“There can be few starker or more obvious symptoms of the global environmental crisis than a dramatic upturn in the killings of ordinary people defending rights to their land or environment,” said Oliver Courtney, a senior campaigner for Global Witness.
“This rapidly worsening problem is going largely unnoticed, and those responsible almost always get away with it,” Courtney said.
The report’s release followed a dire warning by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said global warming is driving humanity toward unprecedented risk due to factors such as food and water insecurity. Global Witness said this puts environmental activists in more danger than ever before.
Land rights are central to the violence, as “companies and governments routinely strike secretive deals for large chunks of land and forests to grow cash crops,” the report said. When residents refuse to give up their land rights to mining operations and the timber trade, they are often forced from their homes, or worse, it said.
The study ranked Brazil as the most dangerous place to be an environmentalist, with at least 448 killings recorded.
One case that especially shocked the country and the global environmental movement involved the 2011 killings of environmentalists Jose Claudio Ribeira da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva.
“The couple had denounced the encroachment of illegal loggers in the reserve and had previously received threats against their lives,” the report said.
Masked men gunned down the couple near a sustainable reserve where they had worked for decades producing nuts and natural oils. The killers tore off one of Jose Claudio’s ears as proof of his execution.