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>Ari Ne’eman Doesn’t Divide the Autistic Community (They’re Doing That All on Their Own)

March 17, 2010

>Age of Autism has posted a letter to Obama complaining that Ari Ne’eman’s appointment to the National Council on Disability. There is no identified author to the piece.

As on many things relating to autism, Age of Autism has it wrong, yet again. This doesn’t come as a great surprise to many, I’m sure. Ari Ne’eman doesn’t divide the autistic community. The outcry generated against him is but a symptom of the divide between parents of autistic individuals on the internet (probably not a representative sample) who on the one hand think their child’s autism, recovery/cure or not, is about themselves, the parents, and those parents who think their child’s autism is primarily about the child: the child’s needs come first.

I suspect that a great many parents of autistic individuals don’t have much interest in what’s going on in the internet world because their real world experiences leave them too busy to get involved, or that what free time they do have they find better spent elsewhere. In other words, I think the internet activism represents the personal interests and proclivities of the individuals online and skews the sample. In other words, I refuse to use the availability heuristic and draw from the internet pool and believe it represents the wider world of autism. We don’t really know what most parents think of Ne’eman’s appointment, and I’d bet you that most are completely unaware of it.

Ne’eman, as someone with a neurological difference, who navigates the disability world from the inside out, is well-suited to serve on the council. He is erudite and well versed in the autism world. In 2008, he was  coauthor, along with Alicia Broderick of the article “Autism as metaphor: narrative and counter-narrative,” which was published in the International Journal of Inclusive Education.


Broderick and Ne’eman write:

The autism spectrum in its many variations is an ‘invisible disability’ and so we have to work to be able to explain the myriad ways in which it is experienced to those who are not autistic or who are not intimately familiar with someone who is. (p. 473)

It is ironic in some ways that parents and self-advocates should be so divided, as that they do share many goals for public policy and social change. It is the rhetoric of the autism community — as well as its upside down perception of the self-advocate narrative as secondary to the parent one — that divide the two groups. (p. 473)

By improving public education and funding for transition and adult supports, we can reduce the perceived and actual difficulties imposed upon families. (p. 473)

Ne’eman is not the cause of the divide, but he clearly represents all that the AoA parents stand against: an articulate and capable spokesperson for those with disabilities, one who stands for “improving public education and funding for transition and adult supports.”

The powers that be over at AoA write: “It is an insult to our community and to the people of this nation who will bear the enormous costs of millions of children and adults with autism that a 22-year-old student has been nominated to this position.”

If by “our community” they mean the anti-vaxxing militant biomedders who wish to recover their children who are empty suitcases to them, well, then yes, I suppose he is an insult to them. Ari is far more than a student, and he’s certainly proven a depth to him that I am sure makes AoA’s token autism self-advocate squirm. The eloquence and intellectual curiosity that Ne’eman displays is extremely mature and robust. He’s worked actively to speak out for autistic individuals, to support their own advocacy. No, he’s not perfect, we none of us are, and I’m not suggesting hero worship. I am stating that AoA’s contention that Ari Ne’eman is unqualified is an inaccurate assessment based on a collective temper tantrum because nobody in power or in a position of informed knowledge will listen to them and take them seriously.

AoA writes, “Mr. Ne’eman opposes the mission of the country’s leading autism organization, Autism Speaks, which supports efforts to prevent and cure autism.” So do I, but more because they fund themselves before funding research and they offer little real help to the community from which they take so very, very much. I don’t support Autism Speaks because AS has proven it isn’t about autistics speaking.

For AoA to write “Mr. Ne’eman’s views are extremist” is hilarious in the extreme.  AoA is a fringe element whose views are beyond extreme.

AoA writes: “Rhetoric and denial will not end the suffering.”

Thankfully, we agree on something, but not in the way they intend. AoA’s empty rhetoric and denial of the science showing no link between autism and vaccines and their need to pursue woo beyond all measure of rationality only propagates the suffering of autistic individuals. Seeing your children and individuals with autism as stolen away and in need of recovery furthers suffering. Putting your children through crackpot treatments increases suffering.

Sending parents of newly diagnosed children down the woo hole behind you furthers the suffering of children and parents alike.

Parents who want to recover their children at all any cost, who view them as stolen, soulless, and damaged have no business anywhere near the Council on Disability. Disabled individuals do. They can offer insight, empathy and understanding that the AoA parents will never be able to offer.

**************************************************************************
Comments closed on this post due to, well, if you read through the comments, you’ll have no problem with figuring out why. I have no problem with a wide variety of perspectives being presented by commenters, by disagreements between commenters, but I have my limits and two FC posters pushed it.

If you’d like to discuss the lack of cohesion, what I’ve come to see as a very necessary thing, in the autism-related community, please see Miscommunication: And the Center Does Not Hold.

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122 Comments
  1. March 17, 2010 3:40 am

    >Ari is only 22 years old? Damn. Good for him.I seriously doubt Obama's gonna read that letter. Or anyone else anywhere within about 22 degrees of separation from the president. Or give a rat's ass about it.Kim, you said this so well. Especially that last graf. Rock on.

  2. March 17, 2010 5:13 am

    >I either know, or know of, all of the possible candidates, from Tom McKean down to these times. In my opinion, Obama's team made the best possible choice, that will benefit the most possible people. We were never going to agree with Generation Rescue, or AoA, or AutSpks anyway. They only believe what they want to believe, and unfortunately, what they're looking for is magic.

  3. March 17, 2010 1:27 pm

    >Yeah, I wonder if they actually sent it, and if they did, how they signed it. 🙂

  4. March 17, 2010 6:56 pm

    >The more I hear about Ari the more excited I am to meet him ❤

  5. March 17, 2010 8:15 pm

    >Mr Ne'eman, and other ASAN leaders/members/supporters, have used influential email lists, and numerous extreme false accusations, in their ostracism and denigration (and probably-defamation) of me as an autistic researcher. I've written about this in many places by now. Some examples are here, here and here. I always welcome genuine, informed criticism, but ASAN and Mr Ne'eman have offered none. Instead they have repeately claimed I am grossly unethical as a researcher, and that my writing and work seriously harms autistics. This means of course that anyone I've collaborated with has also been grossly unethical.ASAN and Mr Ne'eman have also refused to retract their way-out-there extreme false accusation that I'm de facto harassing ASAN. According to Mr Ne'eman and ASAN, I have sent ASAN "hundreds" of unwanted emails. Not only is this utterly false, it sets an example as to how, according to Mr Ne'eman and ASAN, autistics should be regarded and treated. I've dealt with the extreme false accusation of harassment before, including in litigation (very on the record). It is an extreme false accusation that is especially harmful and destructive to autistics, as it plays into popular stereotypes. Mr Ne'eman and ASAN have set the example that all the above (and much more in the same direction) represents how autistics should be treated, when we make the terrible error of providing–including in response to ASAN's own demands–polite, verifiable information that is non-ASAN-approved. I wish Mr Ne'eman all the best. But I can't support Mr Ne'eman or ASAN. I would not wish on any autistic (or nonautistic) what ASAN has done to me and to other autistics who failed to comply with ASAN's world view.

  6. March 17, 2010 8:38 pm

    >I've only met Ari Ne'eman online and he follows my blog. I say good for him and for the autistic community that he has been appointed to Obama's administration. The very fact that he appointed Ne'eman in the first place gives me a feeling that he won't read that letter in the first place.

  7. March 17, 2010 9:30 pm

    >"But I can't support Mr Ne'eman or ASAN."Nor can I."I would not wish on any autistic (or nonautistic) what ASAN has done to me and to other autistics who failed to comply with ASAN's world view."Nor would I. It is very unfortunate that ASAN's misplaced priorities will be seen by others as representative of any autistic community.

  8. March 17, 2010 9:55 pm

    >Michelle said:"ASAN and Mr Ne'eman have also refused to retract their way-out-there extreme false accusation that I'm de facto harassing ASAN."FWIW, I believe you. I've been in contact with hj, who has verified to me much that you say, so I know that there is both a misunderstanding, and a difference of opinion about the desirability of a new law.I've remained on TMoB, so I know how often you bring it up, and want to point out that people are going to start to think that you are in facto harassing ASAN.You feel you were wronged, and I know just how you feel, but you're whipping that horse to death. Sorry, love ya, Michelle, even though you did unfriend me. I still don't get that "guilt by association" thing.

  9. March 17, 2010 11:37 pm

    >According to Clay, I harassed my former employer–by failing to give up, by failing to accept their extreme false accusations. I disagree with Clay about this (and does ASAN really want autistics to give up?) and much else.

  10. March 17, 2010 11:51 pm

    >@ Michelle – Um, you may have used the wrong link or something, but I don't see any reference to me, or comment from me there, and I don't know anything about you "harassing your former employer" and can't grok how that would be related to the subject at hand anyway. I congratulated your win in that case, although it must have been somewhere besides this post you linked to. Respectfully,Clay

  11. March 18, 2010 12:04 am

    >Michelle and Ed,I just now joined the AutisticSelfAdvocacyNetwork group (and I mean just now); I am unable to join the other group ASANDiscussion, although I tried several months ago (my membership has remained pending since I indicated clearly who I was and that I am not on the spectrum), so I have no knowledge of any communications relating to these lists.I have no idea of what goes on behind the scenes, little awareness of the schism between Michelle and ASAN (and by that I mean, I went and read the three posts you provided links to, Michelle) and my support of Ari is not based on this information (or lack of).One area that I am aware of where i disagree with ASAN relates to FC. I disagree with the promotion of facilitated communication; scientific evidence more than convincingly demonstrates it is not reliable and is instead facilitator driven. I don't closely follow what ASAN does on a daily basis (or what its members say individually (as I've said I just now joined the one group and haven't even looked at it and obviously can't look at the other).I read ASAN's position on its site when I first learned of it:"The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement in the world of autism. Drawing on the principles of the cross-disability community on issues such as inclusive education, community living supports and others, ASAN seeks to organize the community of Autistic adults and youth to have our voices heard in the national conversation about us. In addition, ASAN seeks to advance the idea of neurological diversity, putting forward the concept that the goal of autism advocacy should not be a world without Autistic people. Instead, it should be a world in which Autistic people enjoy the same access, rights and opportunities as all other citizens. Working in fields such as public policy, media representation, research and systems change, ASAN hopes to empower Autistic people across the world to take control of their own lives and the future of our common community. Nothing About Us, Without Us!" I've read Ari's article I quote in my piece, and I've read several other pieces by Ari, but I have in no way read everything he has written, nor ASAN members have written. I do not assume that Ari speaks for all ASAN members nor that they speak for him. I think people speak for themselves and unless they say they are representing an organization, they are not. Much as I appreciate my college's courtesy of not restricting my freedom to write what I want where I want when I want, I assume that the organizations that people choose to be members of in no way restrict their ability to speak freely.I do not link Ari's personal appointment to the Council on Disability to his organization or to ASAN members (nor do I assume he represents the opinions and beliefs of every autistic individual).I support Ari's nomination. I believe he will work hard to promote disability rights in a way that parents of autistic individuals who believe their children are damaged goods certainly would not.I don't expect to agree with everything another person believes or stands for, and I certainly respect other individuals' rights to not support Ari.

  12. March 18, 2010 12:17 am

    >Clay stated his view that an autistic should give up, when on the receiving end of extreme false accusations, etc., from major organizations. And if the autistic doesn't give up, then–according to Clay–she is harassing those organizations. If this is ASAN's position, then ASAN's position is identical to my former employer's.

  13. March 18, 2010 12:25 am

    >Ed,Can you be specific as to how "ASAN's misplaced priorities will be seen by others as representative of any autistic community"? Which particular priorities do you find misplaced and why? Why do you believe people will assume that Ari speaks for and represents the ideas and beliefs of 2.5 million people (using Michele's calculation)? I have two senators who represent my state and a congressman who represents my region, but I don't assume that the millions of people these individuals represent are lockstep behind them, so why would I think that anyone would look at Ne'eman and think he represents what all autistic individuals believe? That'd be like you thinking Kim Stagliano represents the beliefs of all parents of autistic kids (only a whole lot worse).

  14. March 18, 2010 12:29 am

    >@ Michelle – I don't know what you're talking about, I don't think I ever said any such thing. I fought the US Navy when they wanted to send my ass to Vietnam, and never even told them the real reason I wanted out. I fought Kaiser Steel, and won (kinda).I'm positive I never said you should give up in fighting Canad Post, I'm glad as hell you won, and I just can't let you put words in my mouth, like you've been doing to Alex.

  15. March 18, 2010 12:37 am

    >Michelle,I have very little knowledge of the TMoB board, even less of the history of disagreements between you and individuals who belong to ASAN. I enjoy reading your blog and find your posts informative. I agree completely that research regarding treatments for symptoms (considered by the autistic individual to be a barrier) should be ethically done. There is no excuse for sloppy scientific methodology or treating human beings inhumanely.I honestly have no dog in this particular hunt as regards you and ASAN; however, I do have a question. Is it your contention, then, that if someone is a member of an organization and this someone says something a third party finds objectionable, that if the organization itself and all members in the organization does not immediately upon being asked by the third party disavow the sentiments of the member the third party found objectionable, that everyone in the organization and the organization itself is tainted?I can see where there are certain levels of speech so offensive, so hate-filled that this would be necessary. I think most reasonable people would back away from hate speech, for example, or holocaust denying, etc. I personally find the ideas of certain parties in the autism community rather objectionable, but I do not censor them here (with few exceptions); they are free to be who they are and say what they like as long as it doesn't rise to abusive or hate speech. We shouldn't have to agree on everything, nor do I think elitism is an appropriate or acceptable philosophy. It would seem, in fact, to be in direct contradiction to the ideals of neurodiversity, at least as I define it.

  16. March 18, 2010 12:43 am

    >Responding to KWombles' 7:04 PM message (I've just seen the stuff that rolled in after), sorry, not everyone thinks in dramatic political terms (schism?). What I've done is write about what actually happened, and the real-life consequences. I was surprised throughout and still am. I find it interesting that "skeptical" autism bloggers (who usually aren't autism researchers) are very fast to defend autism-relevant scientists who have been misrepresented–say, by the vaccines-cause-autism people. But it is considered admirable when Mr Ne'eman and ASAN grossly misrepresent, ostracize, and probably-defame an autistic scientist–and disseminate extreme false accusations against her. And of course in doing so, Mr Ne'eman and ASAN have done the same to the many people who have worked with me, autistic and nonautistic both.

  17. March 18, 2010 12:46 am

    >Thanks Kim,What you are describing is not representative of what I think."Why do you believe people will assume that Ari speaks for and represents the ideas and beliefs of 2.5 million people (using Michele's calculation)?"I didn't say that. Any community means just that. The 2.5 million is figure you got from someone else and wasn't representative of what I meant by any.What I said about misplaced priorities was an understatement. It was meant to be less harsh than how I feel with the intent of being respectful.I saw it as unethical for ASAN to gain support the way they did from certain groups. It wasn't as democratic as it was mob rule. Discouraging questions is a fundamental injustice as well as well as an ineffective way to advocate for others.Just as you have shown your support, I appreciate being able to say on your blog that I don't share in that.

  18. March 18, 2010 12:53 am

    >Clay wants me to give up, when faced with the real-life consequences of extreme false accusations (etc) from major organizations, like ASAN. If I don't give up, then according to Clay, I am harassing ASAN. To be consistent, Clay has to take the same position re Canada Post. The situations have startling similarities (read the post I linked to).Clay told me I should give up, when major organizations (like ASAN) use their resources, etc., to spread extreme false accusations about me. If I don't give up, I am harassing them (talk about extreme false accusations). As I wrote, I disagree. As I learned (see all that litigation), extreme false accusations etc, disseminated by major organizations, carry major real-life consequences.

  19. March 18, 2010 12:56 am

    >Also,To prevent any further misunderstandings, Clay said:I've been in contact with hj, who has verified to me much that you say, so I know that there is both a misunderstanding, and a difference of opinion about the desirability of a new law.knowing that: "there is both a misunderstanding, and a difference of opinion about the desirability of a new law." would have either come from another source or would be a complete misinterpretation of her words.

  20. March 18, 2010 1:00 am

    >Michelle said:"According to Clay, I harassed my former employer–by failing to give up, by failing to accept their extreme false accusations."You still haven't proven the above, though providing a link makes it look all official and everything. There was nothing about me or from me there.You seem to be paraphrasing everything everyone says – "This is like this, and that is like that, and so therefore -" NO, you can't say somebody said something when they didn't say anything remotely resembling what you've turned it into. Sorry.

  21. March 18, 2010 1:01 am

    >@Michelle,I'm not defending anyone here regarding your assertions concerning ASAN. I think I've stated three or four times now that I have no knowledge about what you're saying, other than the three posts you linked to.Sigh. I don't know enough about your situation/disagreement with ASAN to take a stand.And I'm pretty sure I haven't been dramatic, overly or otherwise, here. There is a schism/divide; you've made that clear. That doesn't connote any deep dramatic emotions, at least not on my part. It represents that you stand on one side, and that you place ASAN on the other.I'm pretty sure, whether you did it intentionally or not, that you just dissed me with the quotes around skeptical and the parenthetical aside. I'm not going to read it that way, though. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that. I could also read some elitism in that paragraph, but I'll elect not to. Perhaps you weren't aware that this portion of your post could be read in that way. Perhaps that's not how you meant it at all.Any defenses I leap to, I do so after thoroughly reviewing the information and research available, and then (and only then) do I make my stand. And I make it when I'm ready to and when it's my decision.One could read (but, of course, I will not) your comment to me as an attempt to push me into an action you find desirable rather than one I personally have made based on a review of evidence. Since I would never pursue such a course of action regarding your positions, I'll assume you would naturally afford me the same courtesy.If you've been misrepresented by others, I am sorry. It's always unpleasant when that happens. I know from personal experience that it's frustrating. I also know it's doubly frustrating when you feel you haven't been heard and are in no position to make the person retract the misrepresentation.Are you saying, unequivocally, that Ari has personally misrepresented your position and bullied you? Silenced you?

  22. March 18, 2010 1:09 am

    >@ Ed,I didn't quite understand your last paragraph there. Please know that I am one of Michelle's oldest fans, (double entendre there), and I'm still put out at being unfriended on twitter, just because I'm on the ASAN Discussion List.She's also said she can't join the Gateway Project, because it has something to do with ASAN. I'm sure she'd be welcome. And she's always been welcome to post on my blog, but she says she can't. I just don't have any training in abnormal psychology.

  23. March 18, 2010 1:10 am

    >@Ed,You're always welcome to comment here and say anything you like. I wasn't disparaging your reasoning or objecting to it, just wondering if their were particulars I was unaware of that you thought should be taken into account when deciding whether to support Ari for the Council.There's a hornets' nest here that I'll once again assert I am not aware of. There are lots of forums and threads that I do not read and am not aware of the content of.I do not know about any specific divisions among autistic individuals in the online community relating to ASAN (other than Mitchell hating it). My primary focus is on combating the woo and misinformation relating to autism that parents of people on the spectrum come into contact with and in promoting acceptance, appreciation and accommodation for individuals with disabilities/differences.Most of my online friends are individuals with various disabilities and neurological differences and I am grateful for these friendships.And I am beyond pleased to have an active discussion here regarding these matters. 🙂

  24. March 18, 2010 1:27 am

    >"But I can't support Mr Ne'eman or ASAN."Nor can I."I would not wish on any autistic (or non-autistic) what ASAN has done to me and to other autistics who failed to comply with ASAN's world view."Nor would I. Further, I would not wish anyone (autistic or non-autistic) to experience what I experienced with Mr Neeman/ASAN, up to and including what I consider unprofessional and unethical behavior/actions. I also would caution strongly to consider ones options when consulting Mr Neeman/ASAN in matters regarding minor children/students.

  25. March 18, 2010 1:36 am

    >Sorry, I honestly don't understand KWombles' 7:37PM message.I work daily with a very wide range of people (languages, nationalities, disabilities…) with whom I have major disagreements (and with whom I exchange far harsher criticism than anything I've written in ASAN's vicinity). I don't see the relevance of disagreement here, much less elitism (…?!). I'm not sure, but I think KWombles is agreeing with Clay, that autistics should just give up when faced with the real-life consequences of extreme false accusations etc from major organizations. To not give up is elitism (or something???) Most of the ASAN statements I quoted and the ASAN actions I described on TMoB belong directly to Mr Ne'eman. As I noticed, his example is frequently followed. All but one of the rest belong to ASAN's handpicked leadership. And those 3 TMoB posts are not nearly comprehensive. When I naively tried to post on the two lists I mention on TMoB, I was repeatedly and extensively berated, corrected, etc., by ASAN's leadership. When ASAN's leadership genuinely objects to something, they do not allow this to go by on any list where they are present, never mind on their own list.

  26. March 18, 2010 1:43 am

    >Michelle said:"I think KWombles is agreeing with Clay, that autistics should just give up when faced with the real-life consequences of extreme false accusations etc from major organizations."I NEVER FUCKIN' SAID THAT! Anybody see where I said anything like that? Come up with a quote.Damn, making me miss Rachel Maddow!

  27. March 18, 2010 1:45 am

    >@Clay:/speaking very kindly/Hi, Clay :)From where I sat, it was not by any means a 'misunderstanding'. As I saw it: It was an outright attack against Michelle and me for not siding with the politics of ASAN. Period.I think Michelle and I both have sufficient backgrounds to assess the situation of how we arrived at our particular conclusion(s) and why we were in disagreement with the ASAN-certified viewpoint and had other perspectives. For whatever reason, Mr Ne'eman did not appreciate conversing about alternative viewpoints, on a list where he was a guest, and rather demanded that his viewpoint be the rule. It was most unfortunate–to say the least.

  28. March 18, 2010 1:50 am

    >One other thing I'd like to point out.ASAN campaigned for specific peoples support as well as specific groups including where Ari was a guest to do so(as Hj says). They made choices about the direction that support would go and handled the questioning of their direction very poorly (to say the least).People who have disagreed or even questioned them have been discouraged from doing so in what I consider very unethical ways.

  29. March 18, 2010 1:54 am

    >@ hollywoodjaded – /also speaking kindly, respectfully/As I understood it, you were hurt worse, but I don't see you flogging that horse every chance you get.Whatever happened, happened. I can kinda see how it happened, though I wasn't there. I once lost the love of my life, and it hurt very much, as long and until I got over it. We have to eventually get over things, is what I'm saying.

  30. March 18, 2010 2:01 am

    >Sorry again, also can't decipher most of KWombles' 8:01 PM comment. Like her previous comment it's way, way over my head. Sorry again, I don't do us-vs-them or this-side-vs-that-side political thinking. If I agreed with my colleagues, I'd be useless. The importance of disagreement in scientific research is part of the presentation I've given several times now, and which Mr Ne'eman (who has never seen it) objected to.Does the fact that I often disagree with the people I work with mean I have a schism with them and that we are on different sides? Uh, no. Mr Ne'eman has disseminated his, and ASAN's, position that my work (and by definition, this encompasses the people I work with) has seriously harmed autistic people. In my view, Mr Ne'eman should provide evidence for this very serious claim. Mr Ne'eman and ASAN have disseminated the extreme false accusation that I have de facto harassed ASAN. In my view, Mr Ne'eman and ASAN should retract this extreme false accusation. If writing the above is elitism, then I'm going to be amazed all over again.

  31. March 18, 2010 2:08 am

    >Clay,That sounds like this is about a vengeance issue about a particular occurrence. I haven't seen anything like that nor do I hear anyone else referencing it that way. Encouraging solidarity by demanding silence was the problem to begin with. Someones rights are always sacrificed that way to provide for someone elses privilege.

  32. March 18, 2010 2:09 am

    >@ Michelle – Will you retract the words you tried (and failed) to put into my mouth?

  33. March 18, 2010 2:14 am

    >Very sorry, forgot to mention that ASAN and Mr Ne'man have also widely (and repeatedly) disseminated their view that I'm grossly unethical as a researcher. This too implicates my collaborators and here too, in my view, ASAN and Mr Ne'eman should provide evidence for this very serious claim.

  34. March 18, 2010 2:16 am

    >@ClayHi again, Clay:When I read this: "you're whipping that horse to death" — my heart really sank. Please tell me what you truly mean. Are you saying we should not continue to refute mistreatment and/or mis-truths we experience from ASAN? To cease pointing out our actual experiences that we can only post very few places? TMoB, being really the only place. (For example, I have to say several of my blog comments about my unfortunate, albeit, truthful experiences with ASAN have not been permitted both on Hub blogs and other blogs — somewhat recently one was rejected on Sharon D's 'Asperger's Women', for example).As an aside: I have been mostly off-line since October due to some extenuating circumstances involving yet another matter of abuse (concerning an older individual who did not survive). The matter of abuse is now even more paramount to me (if that's even possible). Part of what has been helpful to me is to read TMoB as it has validated my own experience. Certainly, no one, single org can be the org for everyone … as I have said many times previously. An org, however, should be strong enough to take necessary criticism. So far, I have found that ASAN/Ne'eman has been unable to tolerate the slightest criticism. Perhaps he will learn this in his new position and carry it over to the/his org as well. That would be very helpful indeed.

  35. March 18, 2010 2:20 am

    >Clay wrote (see upthread):———————————–I've remained on TMoB, so I know how often you bring it up, and want to point out that people are going to start to think that you are in facto harassing ASAN.You feel you were wronged, and I know just how you feel, but you're whipping that horse to death.———————————–In other words, an autistic should just give up when faced with the real-life consequences of extreme false accusations etc from major organizations (like ASAN). If the autistic doesn't give up, then she is harassing these organizations. I'm not asking Clay to retract what he wrote. But I do think it speaks for itself.

  36. March 18, 2010 2:37 am

    >@ hollywoodjaded -/also speaking kindly, respectfully/As I understood it, you were hurt worse, but I don't see you flogging that horse every chance you get.Whatever happened, happened. I can kinda see how it happened, though I wasn't there. I once lost the love of my life, and it hurt very much, as long and until I got over it. We have to eventually get over things, is what I'm saying.====Hi, Clay:Reading this now, after just posting my 9:16 pm query to you. 1. We cannot compare pain. As to who suffered the worst. I would say the individual in treatment for PTSD (whom needs to be protected, please) would stand ahead of me, certainly.2. You have no idea how much support I may have gotten or may be getting off-line from individual(s) who may be better at blogging/posting/putting their thoughts into words.3. The 'getting over it' thing. It's just entirely unhelpful to say that, I think….Are we really to just get over injustice by not speaking of it? Within an overall, larger group that is supposed to be championing civil rights? (again — meant kindly and … genuinely bewildered)

  37. March 18, 2010 3:06 am

    >Michelle said:In other words, an autistic should just give up when faced with the real-life consequences of extreme false accusations etc from major organizations (like ASAN). If the autistic doesn't give up, then she is harassing these organizations.You don't get to make up other words to describe what you think somebody meant. I only say what I mean, and I only mean what I say. I think this habit of yours has caused you a lot of trouble, Michelle, and pain too, because you put the worst interpretation on so many things. @ hj – I'll concede your points 1 and 2. As for 3, this has to be gotten over somehow, and it would be nice if the principals found some more effective way to do it, not just flog the horse while the horse ignores it. I'm just an uninvolved party who was dragged into it, for no good reason that I can see, except maybe to spread the pain around.

  38. March 18, 2010 3:12 am

    >I wish Mr. Ne'eman all the best. I can support Mr. Ne'eman and ASAN. I hope for the sake of peace within the autism community that Ms. Michelle Dawson and all others will also be able to state that she "can support Mr Ne'eman and ASAN."I have been a regular reader of TMoB of Ms. Michelle Dawson for over 2 years. I do not doubt the sincerity of any of the perceptions of Ms. Dawson. But I have yet to see what I would perceive to be verifiable information about the allegations of Ms. Michelle Dawson of "what ASAN has done to me and to other autistics who failed to comply with ASAN's world view." Although Ms. Dawson deleted my only discussion with her over 2 years ago on TMoB, I would not wish on any autistic (or nonautistic) what Ms. Dawson has done to me and to others who failed to comply with her world view. At this time, I am willing to forgive Ms. Dawson and I ask her to forgive me, including for allowing myself to get upset with her that one day over 2 years ago. As a regular and very appreciative reader of TMoB, I feel very frustrated that for over 2 years I have been banned from posting messages there and on her blog and that when I have occasionally posted messages on other blogs where Ms. Dawson has also posted messages that Ms. Dawson has almost always completely ignored my comments. I wish to have the opportunity to express my opinions about autism, a wish that I have for all others including Ms. Michelle Dawson.Arthur Golden of Jerusalem Israel

  39. March 18, 2010 3:24 am

    >"Double, double, toil and trouble."Always the shit-stirrer, eh, Arthur?

  40. March 18, 2010 3:33 am

    >Clay,I feel you are trying to bully and silence me. Please stop! Art

  41. March 18, 2010 3:38 am

    >@hollywoodjaded,Welcome to Countering. I'm always glad to meet new people. @Michelle,Let me try to be more precise, then, since we're miscommunicating.You write: "Sorry again, I don't do us-vs-them or this-side-vs-that-side political thinking."You've come onto my blog and placed yourself very clearly as being opposed by ASAN. That is an us-vs-them. You may feel that your offering your story is not taking an us-v-them (two parties who are on opposite sides, unless you're saying that Ari and ASAN agree with your story), but you obviously feel aggrieved and the injured party. This again suggests an us-vs-them. We'll stipulate, though, since you don't like that terminology, that there are no sides here, only an ellipse.Let me state for the fifth(?) time, that I am not aware of these incidents, not aware of the backstory. I am not aware, other than tonight's postings that these issues were going on. I still don't know the details, and as such, I will not butt myself into them and take a position. That would be rude.You write: "I'm not sure, but I think KWombles is agreeing with Clay, that autistics should just give up when faced with the real-life consequences of extreme false accusations etc from major organizations. To not give up is elitism (or something???)"No, Michelle, I'm not agreeing with your premise that Clay is saying you should give up; and I'm certainly not saying that any autistic individual should give up when faced with adversity (and it's highly offensive to me that you say I am). And that's not what Clay said here, either. Placing words into people's mouths and representing them as taking positions they don't take, which you appear to be trying to do with me here, now, is offensive.You don't like being misrepresented, and rightly so. So, do not assume that I will appreciate you telling me what my position is.I do not mince my words. I say what I mean. As far as elitism (let's call it throwing privilege around then, if I wasn't clear enough on what that was in regards to) was in response to your comment:"I find it interesting that "skeptical" autism bloggers (who usually aren't autism researchers)…"Your use of the parenthetical "(who usually aren't autism researchers)" was throwing your position around as a way of asserting your dominance. Placing skeptical in quotes asserted the opposite of that, much like Jacob Crosby placing science in quotes; it illustrates your contempt for the thing placed in quotes, that you believe it to be the opposite.Now, I allowed that perhaps this was not how you intended those things and said I chose not to take them that way although they read as insulting.

  42. March 18, 2010 3:38 am

    >In plain words, then, if I still have not been tranparent:1. I am not aware of wrongdoings by ASAN or its members. I'm not saying your position is inaccurate or wrongly put forward. I'm saying it's the FIRST I've heard of it.2. You're welcome to share your story here (as are you all). 3. I'm sorry if you've been misrepresented and I hope you'll be able to work that out. 4. Please take care to not read into my words what is not there. 5. As I've given you the benefit of the doubt and assumed you were not intending to be offensive with the whole skeptical/not an autism researcher thing, I took no offense. 6. I'm going to be very direct so there's no possibility of miscommunication and tell you that I will consider "skeptical" thrown at me again as deliberately offensive, as I would consider "autism researcher" to be a form of elitism (defined as being of a more privileged class and throwing around of one's weight). The weight of our argument should rest on the quality of the argument itself, not one's position or one's educational level–that's elitist. And I don't do that here or anywhere.As always, Michelle, I am pleased to converse with you. I hope you are able to get the reconciliation you need and any misinformation being placed out there about you corrected. As I said earlier, I know personally how frustrating that is.

  43. March 18, 2010 3:40 am

    >AG said:"I feel you are trying to bully and silence me. Please stop!"Bwahahahahaha! Go ahead and run your mouth, Arthur. I got a big kick out of that one. I guess you missed where Ms Wombles expressed her thoughts about phony FC facilitators. She was 'right on', as always.

  44. March 18, 2010 4:15 am

    >Clay,I am glad you can get a kick out of reading the truth about yourself.At this time, I am willing to forgive you and I would ask you to forgive me if you would tell me what I did wrong to you that requires forgiveness.I did not miss where Ms. Wombles expressed in very reasonable language:"One area that I am aware of where I disagree with ASAN relates to FC [Facilitated Communication]. I disagree with the promotion of facilitated communication; scientific evidence more than convincingly demonstrates it is not reliable and is instead facilitator driven." However, the main subject of this blog is not FC but it is Ari Ne'eman and whether he should receive our support. I believe he should receive our support. If there is verifiable information that he currently does not deserve our support, I have no objection to such verifiable information being disclosed, including about FC. On the other hand, I have personal information that Ari Ne'eman deserves our support. Right now, it is after 6:00 a.m. in Israel and I need to get ready and go out. I will try to post again, if warranted, in the evening my time (over 12 hours from now).Art

  45. March 18, 2010 4:37 am

    >AG said:"At this time, I am willing to forgive you and I would ask you to forgive me if you would tell me what I did wrong to you that requires forgiveness."Okay, please stop being so damned smarmy. You remind me of Eddie Haskell.

  46. March 18, 2010 4:48 am

    >KWombles wrote: "you obviously feel aggrieved and the injured party"No I don't. I'm not frustrated either. I don't think anyone or anything is "tainted," and I don't think in terms of "wrongdoing." Sorry, I don't understand the "ellipse" thing. I've written about what has happened and about what has been written, and very briefly stated my views about what should be done. If you are not interested, then please say so, and I'll apologize and stop posting here. When I write, "I'm not sure" I mean… "I'm not sure." Your writing is way, way over my head, as I wrote.You wrote in response to my description of what happened with ASAN that it (or something–me?) was "elitist," and I responded to that with total confusion. Who, what, etc., is elitist here? ASAN's entire board is vastly better educated than I am. In fact I have no idea what you mean by "elitist" but it seems that stating facts is "elitist." Not just "elitist" but "throwing your position around as a way of asserting your dominance."Wow! The fact that most "skeptical" bloggers in the area of autism aren't autism researchers can be verified. If anyone has any contrary information, I would appreciate it. I've blogged about the problem that very few autism researchers blog. I think it's an important problem. I am grateful you told me I should not write this factual information here (or anywhere?), and that it is "elitist." You probably need to have attended university in order to understand that–I certainly don't. The mention of educational level is just perfect, thanks. Will pass along to others, they will be very amused. Will remember to never, ever mention autism researchers except in hiding (or something).

  47. March 18, 2010 4:57 am

    >Clay,On my way out, I only have time to state:Huh?Art

  48. March 18, 2010 10:01 am

    >"I would not wish on any autistic (or nonautistic) what ASAN has done to me and to other autistics who failed to comply with ASAN's world view."I have had friendly correspondences with Ari, and sometimes I think he has gone too far. But I would definitely "wish" him on Olmsted.

  49. March 18, 2010 10:23 am

    >AG said:On my way out, I only have time to state: Huh?When you get the time, check your Dictionary for the meaning of "smarmy", and you can Google "Eddie Haskell". They both describe you to a T.

  50. March 18, 2010 12:50 pm

    >Michelle writes: "No I don't. I'm not frustrated either. I don't think anyone or anything is "tainted," and I don't think in terms of "wrongdoing." Sorry, I don't understand the "ellipse" thing."My apologies; I think most people would have read your tenacity on this matter as reflecting a position of being the aggrieved party. You write: "I've written about what has happened and about what has been written, and very briefly stated my views about what should be done."My apologies; I interpreted that as an attempt to make me take your side, but now that I understand you don't feel there are sides and no injured parties, and as it is not a matter that I am a part of, I understand that I was incorrect in thinking you wanted me to side with you, since I now understand there are no sides.You write: "If you are not interested, then please say so, and I'll apologize and stop posting here."No need to apologize for offering your story here; I am aways happy to converse with you. You write: "When I write, "I'm not sure" I mean… "I'm not sure." Your writing is way, way over my head, as I wrote."I see; I am sorry I was not able to clearly convey, even in my last two comments to you how your words were coming off. I'll attempt to take your postings at the superficial level of the language itself and not parse beneath it.You write: "You wrote in response to my description of what happened with ASAN that it (or something–me?) was "elitist," and I responded to that with total confusion. Who, what, etc., is elitist here? ASAN's entire board is vastly better educated than I am."No, I did not. You misinterpret me. I specifically stated education is not relevant; the quality of one's argument is. I think a more careful rereading of what I wrote is in order. I am trying to understand your words and to correct my understanding of your position as we converse; it would be a courtesy if you would take the same time when I write that you have misunderstood me or are misrepresenting my position.

  51. March 18, 2010 1:02 pm

    >@MichelleYou write: "In fact I have no idea what you mean by "elitist" but it seems that stating facts is "elitist." Not just "elitist" but "throwing your position around as a way of asserting your dominance."Wow!"My response:No, and this is something you really should take the time to read back through what I wrote. Stating facts is not elitist. You write:"The fact that most "skeptical" bloggers in the area of autism aren't autism researchers can be verified. If anyone has any contrary information, I would appreciate it."My response:Okay, I'll interpret this as you meaning no offense again, even though I wrote that if you threw that skeptical in quotes at me again that I would be offended.I think we're not on the same frequency here and are talking at cross purposes. Perhaps you don't mean this as arrogant and were only referring to the regretably small number of actual autism researchers writing blogs and not using the "skeptical" as an insult. After all, since you write that you say what you mean as well, you'd just tell me you were being insulting, right? You write: "I've blogged about the problem that very few autism researchers blog. I think it's an important problem."I'm sorry, I had missed that blogging. I don't know that I think their not blogging is an important problem in the scheme of things. Their research not disseminating down into a useful format for parents and autistic individuals would be, though. You write: "I am grateful you told me I should not write this factual information here (or anywhere?), and that it is "elitist." You probably need to have attended university in order to understand that–I certainly don't."This is offensive. I did not say any of that and I've repeatedly said that I did not. You seem to be doing exactly what you assert is a fact: that ASAN did this to you. I hereby assert that I am stating a fact: you are misrepresenting my position and you are putting words in my mouth that I did not use. I explained twice what was elitist and what was not, and I provided an example of elitism/throwing privilege around.You write: "The mention of educational level is just perfect, thanks. Will pass along to others, they will be very amused. Will remember to never, ever mention autism researchers except in hiding (or something)."You're being snarky. Make sure when you pass along your "facts" that you make sure to pass along the link to the thread or I will consider that you have misrepresented my positions.If it's not okay for that to happen to you, then you certainly should agree when it happens to me at your own hand, that this is also not acceptable.I'm truly sorry that we've had a series of miscommunications. It feels rather unproductive.

  52. March 18, 2010 1:47 pm

    >While I don't expect anyone to agree with me, in my view, it's better not to assign mental states and motives, when responding to strangers. Instead, it may be more productive to respond to whatever information they provide. This includes pointing out cause and effect–the consequences of what they write. E.g., if someone writes that I must stop writing about ASAN, ergo, I must give up (otherwise this will be considered harassment of ASAN), then I will respond to that as I did above. I don't see it as tenacious or whatever to write about major autism organizations. I've done this for a long time now, and not because I'm an "elitist" or whatever. Major autism organizations have a major effect on the lives of all autistic people. This major effect does not stop, if autistics stop writing about these major organizations. It never crossed my mind that "skeptical" is an insult. In fact I was astonished and still am, just like I'm stunned that the term "autism researcher" is "elitist" (and so is writing about ASAN). And the "educational level" thing is… really something. But…I've found out that expressing this amazement (it is just amazement, it is not some darkly-motivated nasty whatever) is wrong too. I totally agree that I can't function in a forum where bringing up factual information (most of which can be verified in one way or another, to various extents) is considered offensive and "elitist" and so on, and is responded to at the level of what my motives and mental states must be. This isn't in any way a value judgment or whatever, I just can't function in this kind of forum. It was an error for me to have commented here and I apologize for doing so.

  53. March 18, 2010 2:01 pm

    >@Michelle,I'm sorry you feel that way. You're welcome to post anything you like any time. I think we've managed to have a string of miscommunications that have only grown worse rather than being resolved. That's an unfortunate thing, as I enjoy reading your blog, and despite the miscommunications here, enjoy conversing with you.Perhaps a reset button. I'll assume you meant no offense anywhere in your postings, if you will take me at my word that I meant you no offense.Certainly nowhere here have I even suggested you should not be free to state the facts, or your story as you see it.It seems to me that it would be a tremendous shame if we couldn't work to clear up the misunderstandings. It's, at the very least, unfortunate when one's position has been misunderstood or misrepresented.

  54. March 18, 2010 3:26 pm

    >Sure are a lot of extreme emotions on this thread. Guess that helps counter any assumptions that autistic people are "emotionless" or "empty shells."Also, sure is a lot of infighting going on. Damn.Kim…nice moderating.

  55. March 18, 2010 3:48 pm

    >"You don't get to make up other words to describe what you think somebody meant. I only say what I mean, and I only mean what I say."Ok, what does that actually mean then ("You feel you were wronged, and I know just how you feel, but you're whipping that horse to death.")?FWIW, I she's not the only one that feels she was wronged. (I don't know just how she feels though…)(hope I get back to read the answer… I'm currently far, far from home….)

  56. March 18, 2010 6:07 pm

    >Clay,After half a century, I forgot the name of the purely fictional character (really more of a caricature) Eddie Haskell. I am not aware of any such person in the real world. Quite frankly, I always viewed myself as more like "Leave it to Beaver" himself. Anyway, if you ever have any serious concerns about me with any rational basis, please let me know. Meanwhile, there are serious matters about giving our support to Ari Ne'eman that deserve attention. I hope to comment about them later.Art

  57. March 18, 2010 6:40 pm

    >Kim, the ASAN discussion list is open only to people on the autism spectrum. After reading your comment about it, I edited the page with the mailing list links to make that clear. Thanks for bringing the inadequate description to my attention. ASAN plans to have a list or forum open to the general public at some future time.I won't comment at any length on the misunderstandings last year involving Michelle Dawson, as all efforts to resolve them have been unsuccessful, and we have decided that further discussion would be unproductive. I'll say only that she did not send Ari or ASAN any unwanted e-mails or engage in any other actions that might amount to harassment, and that ASAN has no objections to her research.Meg Evans

  58. March 18, 2010 6:42 pm

    >The Age of Autism blog includes the statements:"For a member of the National Council on Disability to not advocate for a cure on behalf of tens of thousands of people who suffer from disabling problems such as self injury, inability to speak, incontinence and dependence on others for their care – and who will cost society $3-5 million over a lifetime – is unconscionable.""Mr. Ne'eman and a small faction within the autism community may personally oppose prevention and cure as is their right, but they do not represent the majority of people on the spectrum, particularly those who are so impaired that they face a lifetime in institutional settings at taxpayers' expense."I disagree with Age of Autism. At this time, I want to focus on the use of the one phrase "inability to speak" because that includes my 38 year-old son Ben, who has lived with us his parents for the past 14 years at absolutely no cost to "society." Such a situation has only been possible because of the use by my son of Facilitated Communication (FC). While Ari Ne'eman has not been personally involved in our situation (Ari was only about 6 years old when it was originally set up for our son Ben when he aged out of IDEA in Boston, Massachusetts USA at age 22), I believe that Ari's willingness to accept the use of FC for autistics with the "inability to speak" could allow many others to live in the community even though Age of Autism expresses the concern "particularly those who are so impaired that they face a lifetime in institutional settings at taxpayers' expense."I realize the reasonable concerns about the lack of scientific evidence for FC but for autistics with the "inability to speak" what is the alternative actually used? FC has been an alternative that has been successfully used for the past 20 years. So I view the willingness of Ari Ne'eman to accept the use of FC as another reason to give him our support to be on National Council of Disability. Arthuir Golden of Jerusalem Israel

  59. March 18, 2010 6:51 pm

    >AG said:"Anyway, if you ever have any serious concerns about me with any rational basis, please let me know."Sure, Arthur, I'm always happy to oblige you. I'm concerned that you joined ASAN Discussion under fraudulent pretense, with the malicious intent of accessing the archives there to "get the low down" on the dispute between Michelle and Ari/ASAN. Just previous to your joining, you had specifically asked for such information on LB/RB, and jypsy and Ed turned you down flat. This is a matter of record. Your continued attempts to insinuate yourself in the matter is not appreciated, by either party, and could serve no purpose, other than to inflame the situation. Your presence there is an affront to anyone who knows of your history with her.That, and you joined that forum under the name of your son, Ben, who you claim to facilitate for. Ain't buyin' it.That rational enough for ya?

  60. March 18, 2010 7:03 pm

    >jypsy said:"FWIW, she's not the only one that feels she was wronged. (I don't know just how she feels though…)"Everyone's opinions are limited by the amount of information they have. Sometimes they're biased by personal relationships they have with either party. Just a couple of facts worth mentioning, nothing wrong with that.

  61. March 18, 2010 7:43 pm

    >Clay,Nope – I still find your thinking just as irrational as when my son Ben informed me of your post several months ago on the ASANDiscussion group. Please be careful about your statements about my son Ben. Even before I read the blog entries about human memory by neurologist Dr. Steven Novella, I was very careful to check written documentation before relying on just my own human memory. So I am amazed that you are able to respond to my comment in less than 45 minutes with such specific statements from your memory from several months ago. By the way, have you read the recent blog entries here about human memory?Of course, I could not post to the ASANDiscussion group, so I could not respond to your statements there. Although I am willing to forgive you for your irrational thinking about me, I realize it is futile to try to have a rational discussion about irrational thinking. So I will not try to discuss your specific statements about me any more. As I just noticed, please keep in mind about your comments that "If it's unduly rude or threatening it will be deleted." I wonder when this statement is actually applied? Personally, I find the use of four letter words to be unduly rude, but I am not the owner of this blog.Art

  62. March 18, 2010 8:02 pm

    >Kim,I wanted to point a couple more things out. I see you are genuinely trying to understand, and I respect that. As it has been said this discussion is not allowed anywhere else.Earlier in the conversation you said:"I think people speak for themselves and unless they say they are representing an organization, they are not." In regards to Ari, my interpretation of how he describes the different ways he uses the term "we" is that while there are times that he is speaking for himself, there are also times he is speaking for a broader group of people including some of whom would not agree with what he says.This may be true of anyone but political representatives have more responsibility for how they may be interpreted.He has neglected his responsibility to those who are not represented by what he says. There are times that a politician will attempt to gain the support from others by misrepresenting the support they already have. This is one of the reasons many people suspect all politicians of being dishonest. This is part of what I referred to as misplaced priorities.It's also important to remember that ASAN uses the slogan "Nothing About Us Without Us" in part due to the way that organizations such as Autism Speaks has claimed to be speaking on the half of people that they don't represent. Most mainstream disability advocacy groups continue to neglect the needs of the majority of those they claim to represent. It's unfortunate that ASAN has made a similar choice.Given the way that ASAN misrepresented their support and used the treatment of those who questioned them as examples of what would happen to others who might do so, it would really help ASAN to make an effort to not encourage the belief of their support as being more than it is. Board members and ASAN leaders have in an all-too-convenient way claimed to be speaking for themselves when their efforts to show people how someone who questions ASAN will be treated were not representative of them speaking independently at all. This again is something I see as unethical and displays what I consider misplaced priorities.Also you said in an earlier comment to me:"I do not know about any specific divisions among autistic individuals in the online community relating to ASAN (other than Mitchell hating it)."It's completely understandable that you would not know about that. Unfortunately, ASAN continues to encourage this misinterpretation of the facts.

  63. March 18, 2010 8:03 pm

    >comment continued: My use of the word division would indicate two parties. Even if the only concern were a matter of a single person and a single occurrence and all the supposedly opposing parties involved were representative of a united front that was taking a side against ASAN (none of which is the case) it would still not describe what I would consider a division. Until or unless people are united as a political entity which claims to represent the interests of others who have endorsed them as being their representative regarding policies that affect them, the burden of responsibility to accept criticism and answer questions about that representation rest solely on the political group and not on individuals or even a united group of individuals.More than whether Ari Ne'eman, specifically or ASAN should be supported, I think what is important to discuss is whether or not they should be supported without their willingness to accept questions or criticism.I would very much like to support him and them as I was personally contacted and asked to do so by Ari himself a long time ago before I knew much about his organization. However, I would be going against all that I work very hard to advocate for which is what I believe very strongly in, if I chose to support a group who was claiming to represent the interest of other disabled people and autistics, and I did not feel it was willing to address the concerns or doubts of so many people they claim to represent.I judge how I think they regard the broader population of people they claim to represent by the ways they have treated the people who have directly made reasonable requests of them.

  64. March 18, 2010 8:13 pm

    >@ AG – I do have an amazing memory, you got me there. And yes, I have read what Kim has written about memory here, but as I said, it's a matter of record that you inquired about the controversy, and then promptly joined ASAN Discussion when no one provided you with information. I didn't have to consult those LB/RB archives, my mind is a steel trap, and I've caught your ass!You've been posting to ASAN, under your son's name. You didn't respond because Ari said to knock of the personal stuff. You saying that Ben "informed" you of my post is just more role-playing on your part.Your calling further discussion "futile" is what I see as "turning tail and running".Which four letter word are you objecting to, Artie? You should know that Americans are far less formal, less "broomstick up their butts" than you may be accustomed to. It's a cultural dilemma. ;-)Oh, and please consider this a personal invitation to visit my blog tomorrow, I'll have a story there that may be much more to your liking. Toodles.

  65. March 18, 2010 8:14 pm

    >@ Arthur,With very rare exceptions, I do not delete comments. I have a philosophy that you ought to be able to hoist yourself by your own petard if you so choose.That doesn't mean I condone or promote certain views that may be expressed here, but this blog began because of censorship of ideas, and I will not engage in the same kind of behavior. All (except one individual) are welcome to post here.

  66. March 18, 2010 8:32 pm

    >@Ed,Thank you. When there's a closed forum, things can occur that non-members have no way to assess or know about. Since all I have to go on is the public mission statement and the publicly disseminated pieces, that is what I based my opinion on.I think it's fairly clear where I stand; I believe that all people are of value and equal in worth and that members of society have an obligation to help others, to hold them with respect, and to make sure that everyone has a chance to achieve their potential. I hope that the private behaviors of individuals running an organization that promotes a policy that stands for inclusion in society and equality would not try to squelch debate and differences of opinion while still trying to say that the organization speaks for all people on the spectrum.It would be deeply disappointing.Perhaps, if that's the case, then the organization should refine who it speaks for and is attempting to represent.It has to be difficult to run non-profits and advocacy groups; you set up an organization with your mission in place, and you bring people into it; if you view the organization as something that is yours, then I have the feeling democracy and voting on priorities is not going to be something you are keen on, if it takes the organization away from your particular perspective. Not saying it's right, but I try to see the various possible perspectives without passing judgment (first).On the other hand, a grassroots organization that begins without a clear leader, without a clear agenda, might be much more likely to allow for a true democracy. It would be unwieldy and there's no telling where it would go; it would be rule by the majority, though. However, dissenters would undoubtedly feel unwelcome and unappreciated and would then create new offshoots.As Vonnegut would so, and it so goes. I don't think there are any practical answers that will please all, but everyone deserves the right to be heard. Even that gets messy, though, as I think of the one person who I will not allow to be heard on my blog. I guess, then, there's a qualifier; I believe that everyone deserves the right to speak, to have the opportunity to be heard, but not necessarily in every place. Sigh. I hope that makes sense.I am sorry if you and others have been marginalized and felt you have no place to be heard.You are always welcome here, and agreement with me is never a condition of that welcome.

  67. March 18, 2010 8:42 pm

    >@Ed, my response was before I read the second part of your comment.Thank you for the discussion and further explanation of your position.I would concur, if a person or organization wants to represent a particular demographic and say it speaks for this demographic, it must be open to criticism from that demographic and be willing to adjust to the concerns of that demographic.It's one of the reasons I am against, on principal, Autism Speaks (leaving alone the money issues). If it had called itself something more honest (Wipe Autism Out, or About the Parents), then there would be less to stand against. But, we all know pretty darn well that Autism Speaks is not autistic-friendly or respectful.Thanks, Ed, for adding more to think about. Perhaps another organization will arise that better represents the interests of all autistic individuals? If it doesn't actually help the individuals, though, I would find that frustrating.We need organizations that help people in need. We're trying to create that with RFID, but we're loathe to become a non-profit to do so. We'd rather it be a grassroots organization of people with disabilities, their families, and community members working together to help those in crisis.

  68. March 18, 2010 9:31 pm

    >Kim,I admire the goals of your organization. I hope it does well. :)More information that has not been considered is:The people I saw bullied for questioning ASAN weren't dissenters at all. We were a part of a discussion that was meant for our concerns over how we felt about issues concerning the advocacy or research we were involved in.We accepted a guest who was there to campaign for our support for his organization. By not addressing our concerns and bullying those who dared to question him, the representation of that group that he claimed was in place was false and intentionally deceptive.People who are making decisions about what occurred there don't need to have any more information. The opinions, ALL opinions, are heavily biased as well as falsely accusatory of people whose right to be evaluated fairly continues to be denied.Political expediency at the expense of people being mistreated and falsely accused was among ASAN's original mistakes. Continuing to support this group without holding them accountable is not only an injustice to specific individuals and all autistics, but it is the same traditional injustice that disabled people have always had to contend with most. Holding representatives accountable should be our top priority. Not doing so not only hurts us each individually and all individuals who are misrepresented, but in the long run it hurts the representatives themselves and further sets a precedent for the endorsement of false representation and the belief that it is our obligation to accept mistreatment.

  69. March 18, 2010 9:47 pm

    >Clay,I do not have an amazing memory nor am I so absolutely certain about anything human. However, I try to be very careful to check written documentation before relying on just my own human memory. It is now after 11:30 p.m. here and I plan to go to bed soon, especially considering I have been up since 3:30 a.m. this morning. So please be patient while I check out how amazing your memory is. However, just as the onset of autism after receiving baby vaccines does not prove cause and effect, after checking the written documentation, I should be able to explain the primary reason my son Ben joined the ASANDiscussion group, which I believe was disclosed to you but you seem to have forgotten, despite your amazing memory. Or, you do remember but made the assumption I was lying, so you chose to disclose only part of the information you had. So I am not so certain whether you did or did not "catch my ass." While your memory may be amazing, certain of your "factual" statements are based on unprovable assumptions, which I intend to try to point out after I check out your memory.I take your statement about "turning tail and running" as an invitation to have a serious discussion based on rational thinking. Again, please be patient because I cannot respond so quickly due to my lack of having an amazing memory and because I have little time to be on the computer for the next couple of days.I will not repeat the four letter word starting with s in your first reply to me, but I think you can figure it out. It appears that Ms. Wombles has a very different standard of being unduly rude from me, but this is her blog and I appreciate that she explained her standards.Assuming it has no negative connotation that I do not know, and "Tootles" to you too.Art

  70. March 18, 2010 10:08 pm

    >@ Artie – I will patiently await your reply. I'll point out that there was no four letter word, as "shit-stirrer" is one word, containing eleven letters. It's also common internet usage, used to describe four-legged trolls like yourself. Are you absolutely sure you want to mess with me? Since retiring, I've been very stress-free, and functioning much better, thank you.

  71. March 18, 2010 10:41 pm

    >@ Clay – I will patiently await your reply….

  72. March 18, 2010 10:45 pm

    >@ jypsy – Already gave it, up there somewhere. Reproduced it here.jypsy said:"FWIW, she's not the only one that feels she was wronged. (I don't know just how she feels though…)"Everyone's opinions are limited by the amount of information they have. Sometimes they're biased by personal relationships they have with either party. Just a couple of facts worth mentioning, nothing wrong with that.

  73. March 18, 2010 11:52 pm

    >Ms Evans is a lawyer on ASAN's board of directors. Her comment here misrepresents what has happened, and ignores the consequences ASAN's actions continue to have, for me and others.For clarity, ASAN has made no effort to resolve the many serious problems ASAN created. This is regardless that ASAN has been asked to. People I work with have seen this in private correspondence. Ms Evans is misrepresenting what happened.To resolve the problem ASAN needs to do three things. 1. Provide evidence for the widely disseminated claims by ASAN's leadership (particularly, Ari Ne'eman) that I am grossly unethical as a researcher. These claims were widely and repeatedly disseminated on two influential email lists. Mr Ne'eman in addition claimed to conference organizers in Canada that I am irresponsible as a researcher. This was an effort by Mr Ne'eman and ASAN to interfere with me presenting research at an autism conference.2. Provide evidence for the widely disseminated claims by ASAN's leadership (particularly, Ari Ne'eman) that my work is seriously harming autistics. ASAN and Mr Ne'eman used influential email lists to disseminate this information. 3. Retract ASAN's widely-disseminated extreme false accusation (an accusation that originated with Mr Ne'eman) that I have de facto harassed ASAN by sending ASAN "hundreds" of unwanted emails. This extreme false accusation was distributed on two influential email lists, including ASAN's own list. Simply denying any of the above happened, as Ms Evans (representing ASAN) has done here, does not help. It does not stop the consequences from rolling on. It is also a claim by Ms Evans and ASAN that I have been grossly dishonest, that I have persistently lied about what happened, that I have fabricated entire quotes, etc. If ASAN doesn't retract their extreme false accusation of de facto harassment (which was started by Mr Ne'eman), or provide evidence for their other extreme accusations, ASAN is setting an example to everyone as to how autistics should be regarded and treated.For example, ASAN and Mr Ne'eman have set an example, using influential email lists, as to how autistic researchers should be regarded and treated, if our work and findings are not ASAN-approved. Also, ASAN is telling autistics that it is not safe to communicate with ASAN. It is not safe to provide information anywhere ASAN is present–not unless we agree with ASAN and provide only ASAN-approved information. If we fail, we may face very destructive extreme false accusations from ASAN's powerful leadership. That ASAN and Mr Ne'eman would use extreme false accusations based on popular stereotypes of autism, in order to ostracize and denigrate an autistic, should concern everyone.When asked by other researchers and scientists, I have to point out that my work, and my colleagues' work, is considered totally unethical by ASAN, as work that seriously harms autistics. And I have to report that I have no idea what evidence ASAN and Mr Ne'eman have to support this, because ASAN has provided none. ASAN has not stated anywhere that the numerous, repeated condemnations of my work widely disseminated by Mr Ne'eman and ASAN's leadership are actually unfounded. If these extreme accusations are in fact unfounded, then I suggest that ASAN make a statement to this effect. Simply denying that any of it happened is not okay and does not change anything, but this is all Ms Evans, representing ASAN, offers. Representing ASAN, she is saying that the serious concerns of autistics, and the consequences we live when we are denigrated and ostracized and probably-defamed, should simply be ignored. I apologize for posting this here.

  74. March 19, 2010 12:17 am

    >Michelle,No apologies necessary. You are welcome to post anytime. I hope that you and ASAN are able to resolve this satisfactorily, and if not, that readers benefit from being made aware of the situation.Again, I apologize for our previous miscommunications and look forward to future conversations with you.

  75. March 19, 2010 1:47 am

    >@Clay:The question, reproduced here:"jypsy said… "You don't get to make up other words to describe what you think somebody meant. I only say what I mean, and I only mean what I say." Ok, what does that actually mean then ("You feel you were wronged, and I know just how you feel, but you're whipping that horse to death.")?—-I wouldn't ever wait for a response to a statement, such as you gave, I only ever wish/wait for responses to questions.

  76. March 19, 2010 2:31 am

    >@ jypsy – I actually hold her in high esteem, but I'm not blinded to faults, one of which I believe has been demonstrated above, the misinterpretation of what people say or mean. She definitely did it with me, and then accused Kim of agreeing with me about something I never said. I submit that its possible, even likely, that she has done it in the imbroglio at the core of this. It's entirely possible that the other party was also in the wrong, and together, this has made for an never-ending impasse.I object to the never-ending part, and being falsely and needlessly discriminated against for mere membership on a List. That still makes no sense to me.Autistics deserve better.Nothing about us, without us.

  77. March 19, 2010 2:40 am

    >Clay,In reply to my last message posted at 4:47 p.m. EST, you replied about 20 minutes later at 5:08 p.m.:"Are you absolutely sure you want to mess with me?"Please go back to my last message and you will see that my first sentence was:"I do not have an amazing memory nor am I so absolutely certain about anything human."Are you understanding my statements? Since I had written 20 minutes before "nor am I so absolutely certain about anything human" I think you should have already understood that I am not absolutely sure I want to mess with you. Or maybe your short-term memory after only 20 minutes is not so amazing? However, while I hope that I can enlighten you about the practical needs of helping autistics, I do not have high expectations of any success with you personally. But I hope that our discussion might enlighten others who are not so absolutely certain as you appear to be. By the way, trying to get back to the actual subject of this blog entry, I support Ari Ne'eman because he is working on "the practical needs of helping autistics," while I do not see Michelle Dawson doing so.In return, I have a very important question for you.In my next previous post at 2:43 p.m. I wrote:Of course, I could not post to the ASANDiscussion group, so I could not respond to your statements there.Then 30 minutes later at 3:13 p.m. you wrote:"You've been posting to ASAN, under your son's name."In this situation, I do not think there is any question about your amazing memory – I believe you clearly understood my statement and I think I clearly understand your statement. So my important question to you is (and please give me your opinion even if you are concerned about hurting my feelings):Do you think I am delusional about my son's FC?Art

  78. March 19, 2010 2:48 am

    >Artie said:"Do you think I am delusional about my son's FC?"No, I didn't say that, and I'm getting pretty tired of people putting words in my mouth.To be precise, (and to be honest), I think you're a damned phony. There's a difference. 😉

  79. March 19, 2010 3:17 am

    >Let me try again Clay….You said:"but you're whipping that horse to death."You also said:"I only say what I mean, and I only mean what I say."Now, given that Michelle is not "whipping" anything ("to death" or otherwise) and she is not in the proximity of a "horse", what did you mean when you said that?

  80. March 19, 2010 3:26 am

    >@ jypsy – There's a reason why people use analogies, in this case, spelling it out wouldn't be diplomatic. Mine was an apt analogy, but not all are.Anyway, gimme a break. I only got involved with that Golden mulyak in her defense.

  81. March 19, 2010 4:09 am

    >Clay,I think there was a misunderstanding during our last round of posts, in which you replied in record time of just 8 minutes at 9:48 p.m. I would suggest you slow down and read my statements more carefully. Like Ari Ne'eman explicitly stated in a private email which was publicly posted by Michelle Dawson, I am concerned about saving lives. As I hope to explain later, my acceptance of FC is involved in my concern about saving lives and my efforts about the practical needs of helping autistics Unlike the disclosed statement of Ari Ne'eman to Michelle Dawson, I am making no statement about whether you are concerned about saving lives, although I would like to receive an answer to that question:Are you concerned about saving lives?and the related question:Are you actually involved in efforts about the practical needs of helping autstics and if so, please describe your efforts over the past 30 years in detail?I chose 30 years because I became involved in efforts about the practical needs of helping autistics in my hometown of Brookline, Massachusetts USA 30 years ago in 1980, soon expanding to the whole state of Massachusetts and then to several other countries by 1985 (Japan, Canada, Kuwait) and to Israel by 1994.Now, if you carefully reread my last posting and with your amazing memory of everything else I ever wrote to you, I wish to tell you that I never stated that you think I am delusional about my son's FC. I was asking you the question "Do you think I am delusional about my son's FC?" because I did not know your opinion. Do you understand what I am stating? I expect that you will never concede that I am right about anything but I am willing to continue our discussion in order to enlighten others. Now you have clearly stated that you think I am a phony about my son's FC. Thank you for disclosing your thinking on this important question. Meanwhile, I feel that by stating:"No, I didn't say that, and I'm getting pretty tired of people putting words in my mouth."that you are putting words in my mouth! Of course, you may surprise me and concede that I am right about this point and that you made a mistake.Although it may take me a couple of days to check the written documentation before I can prepare a detailed post in response to your answer to a new question, I have another important question for you (not knowing your information on this subject):What do you know about my public statements about my son Ben having telepathy?Art

  82. March 19, 2010 4:15 am

    >@ Artie – I'm kinda busy right now, but promise to answer your questions tomorrow. In the meantime, take a break, dude, and click on my name, and read a story you might actually like. Deal?Oh, and stop timing my responses!I'm quick, 'nuff said.

  83. March 19, 2010 6:11 am

    >Holyshit…I have no idea what the bluefuck is going on.Dr Dawson you claim that Ari called you out on some ethical issues? You ask for proof that you were being unethical? Where are the claims that ASAN and Ari were bullying you?And I don't me blog posts I mean actual Emails, letters substantialevidence. Because honestly I don't know what your deal is.

  84. March 19, 2010 9:06 am

    >Clay,1. As you know, I took a break and I did actually like the short story you wrote. I am extremely busy right now and I soon will be away from my computer for over 24 hours. I look forward to reading the answers to my most recent questions posted at March 18, 2010 11:09 PM. I have a couple of questions to answer back to you but I have not yet checked the written documentation. I will try to post again in about 48 hours or so.2. I am concerned when you are so quick in replying to my messages that you are not being careful enough with your replies. To counteract you not being careful enough, I feel compelled to try to be even more careful to try to avoid misunderstandings. I am slow but you wrote you would be patient. I try to be careful in my answers, but even when I am slow I may post mistakes! But I have now made my point and I look forward to moving on to dealing with the substance, hopefully in a couple days or so.3. By the way, I plan to send a link to this 2 day-old blog to some friends. Art

  85. March 19, 2010 4:59 pm

    >I support the important work that Ari and ASAN are doing. They are up against a slick and well funded monolith of misguided parent organizations that will do much more harm than good for autism. It should be obvious to anyone who knows Clay and is reading his posts here that he is indolent towards Art Golden. Art is a dedicated and long time advocate for everything that is best for autism and it's treatment. He and I have gone up against the official FC people who have made unfortunate mistakes in their advocacy. I'm not sure if Clay understands these differences and I know he is clueless about autism treatment in regards to FC. It's a complicated issue that is made more confusing by the divide in the FC community itself.I have worked with Art for many years and it pains me to see these kinds of attacks against him by anyone in autism self advocacy, an area I know he is devoted to and has worked diligently to support even in adverse circumstances like we see here with Clay.Art is honest, diligent and knows autism and it's treatment better than most. For all of us toiling upstream in the autism community he has been a beacon of light.I have read through most of the posts and will continue to follow this and comment when necessary. Thanks to all here working so hard to make lives better for autistics. You are in the right place.

  86. March 19, 2010 7:00 pm

    >Ari and ASAN has allies that are slick, well funded, and many are what I consider misguided. Also, no one is endorsed by the president to do anything that is in defense of an unpopular minority against the majority. That's not the American way.I am not a part of the we who see Arthur Golden as being devoted, diligent, and supportive despite adversity here in his discussion with Clay. While Clay may be less schooled in particular autism treatments, as an autistic person, he is far from being clueless about autism. Most people developing treatments aren't autistic and don't listen to autistics.As a mature autistic, he has gained some good wisdom throughout his lifetime. He has reflected that in a good short story he recently posted to his blog. You and whoever else is toiling upstream in the autism community would do well to read it. Learning about autism results from listening to other autistics.Most people who are developing treatments are involved in ways of trying to avoid doing that.

  87. March 19, 2010 8:11 pm

    >@ Artie, who said:"Are you concerned about saving lives?"Since no one actually "dies of autism", I assume you mean the reclamation of the value of lives through finding some means of communication for those who are not able to verbally communicate? Sure, I'm all for that, and so are the principals involved here."and the related question:Are you actually involved in efforts about the practical needs of helping autistics and if so, please describe your efforts over the past 30 years in detail?"Please see an early blogpost:http://cometscorner-clay.blogspot.com/2009/09/impetus-for-my-own-diagnosis.htmlIt did seem you were putting words in my mouth, assuming that I thought you were delusional. That is not the case.I note that no one has questioned my use of the term "mulyak" as an adjective describing you. It's not in the dictionary, but popularly used to describe someone who appears to be a cross between a mule and a yak. Very fitting, I think."What do you know about my public statements about my son Ben having telepathy?"Absolutely nothing. Haven't read them. Seems far-fetched and new-agey to me, but there are times when I try to sneak up on my cat while he's napping, making no noise whatsoever, but he catches me, and looks up as if to say, "Again with this shit?" (Oops, sorry, hope you don't take offense.) I also think that cats and dogs want to smell your hand, so they can discern whether or not you mean them any harm. "Friendly" smells differently than "threatening", I suppose.Oh, and about my answering so soon – I have reason to believe that internet messages are actually NOT instantaneous. I have this tiny window up there on the left that shows me when messages come in, and I try to answer them right away. But on my own blog last night, it shows that 7 minutes had elapsed before I answered KWombles, 6 minutes before I answered you, and 5 minutes before I answered Larry. I'm getting gypped out of at least 5 minutes on every communication! I'm glad you liked my story, but when I read this –"3. By the way, I plan to send a link to this 2 day-old blog to some friends."I thought to myself, "What a maroon, bringing that dildo Tom Smith in on this." I whupped his ass about 7 years ago on his own forum, revealing him as the misogynist he is, by asking a very simple question. He hasn't changed any, I see.@ Ed – Thanks for the kind words, my friend.

  88. March 19, 2010 9:47 pm

    >@ Artie – Y'know, you have no idea just how good my memory is. Tom Smith is actually the "Tom" who wanted a bus sent from Buffalo in my story. I had learned that Tom grew up in Cheektowaga, very close to Buffalo, from when I was on his autismlist, all those seven years ago. Be very afraid! ;-)

  89. March 20, 2010 4:35 am

    >@ Tom, who said:"It should be obvious to anyone who knows Clay and is reading his posts here that he is indolent towards Art Golden."I'm worried about you, Tom. All those years of homelessness have taken a toll on your senses. Either that, or you have a cheap Japanese published American Dictionary. You probably meant to say, insolent, but either you mind or your dictionary is scrambled. Oh hey, what was the name of that woman you sponged off of for so long after you hurt your back? Forgot it already? Tch!

  90. March 20, 2010 5:20 pm

    >Oh jeeze, I took abuse from that indolent Clay for too long on my autismlist and I'm not going to participate here while he's here.You really know how to pick your friends Ed. So much for your credibility.Clay should be removed from this discussion. He hurts all of us.

  91. March 20, 2010 5:57 pm

    >@ Tom – No, no, "indolent" means "lazy". The word you want is "insolent".And you're lying through your teeth here, I was only on your List for about 3 weeks, and all of our conversations were amicable, and you appreciated my contributions. When I saw what you were doing with Juli, I got the idea to set you up with a simple question:http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/autismlist/message/18273If anyone wants to check on this, they can read your List from about a month prior to this message, and then amuse themselves with what happened the week after, when your obnoxious answer outraged most everyone. Even I was surprised at how uncouth you could be.

  92. March 20, 2010 6:13 pm

    >@Tom Smith,Clay isn't going anywhere. And it's presumptuous to come onto my blog and suggest that someone who has read my blog for most of its existence should leave. Both you and Art are apparently more than a bit into the woo and yet I haven't suggested you two leave. @Clay, Interesting link you provided.I especially find this interesting: "If anyone knows the horrors of feminism, it's autistics who are mostly under the control of women. You can't assume because you thinkfeminism is great that others think so too. This is political andpowerful stuff, not to mention religious and spiritual.Tom"http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/autismlist/message/18536I can see that I have had a very narrow focus and experience of all things autism out there on the interwebz. It may be time to start looking around more.

  93. March 20, 2010 7:07 pm

    >That's OK Ms Wombles, you need not venture out. The quote you furnished from me on my list on feminism is simply a statement of fact. You may disagree but many feel differently. Clay has been insulting me like crazy and then you back him. I moderated and owned the autimslist, which was the main autism discussion group for over ten year (where were you?). It was much more civil than what I see here and I hardly threw anyone off for all those years. I certainly wouldn't have allowed or encouraged someone insulting another poster like Clay has me and Art and yet you do so for what appears to be feminist ideological reasons.Clay, I consider your repartee "lazy" and "obnoxious". I think "indolent" covers that well.The Juli incident goes alot deeper than what you saw on that list. I won't say anything more about it…for now. But if people want to use that against me I will tell the whole truth. It won't be good for Juli. Jypsy was consulted during all that and she knows enough of the story.I would like to see anyone here do the same I have done with work with autistics and with the autismlist and my work on many other lists. If someone could work so hard and do such good work only to be dismissed by the autism community, than lo to the autism community. The same goes for Art. He has put in many good years and deserves the utmost respect and not mealy mouthed insults from the likes of Clay.I don't participate on biased and unfair forums. Please go about your business without me and without insulting me. Goodbye and I hope for the sake of autistics you don't succeed…on this forum at least.

  94. March 20, 2010 7:27 pm

    >Hey Tom, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. After all these years, you still want to hurt Juli? Wasn't it enough that you called Child Protective Services, to take custody of her child? Wasn't it enough, the humiliation you put her through? What I did, I did for Juli, it's time you knew that. And all I did was ask a simple question. You gave the wrong answer.

  95. March 20, 2010 7:37 pm

    >There seems to be some real confusions as to what a fact is. Since I tend to view things from a scientifically verifiable position, and being somewhat pedantic, I don't throw the word 'fact' out lightly. It appears, though, that many confuse personal opinion and their remembered experiences as 'facts.' Where things can be verified and substantiated, I see no problem with the idea of claiming a fact. Taking one's interpretation of certain verifiable instances and claiming those as 'fact' is a stretch. Interpretations are just that; they are not facts.Tom seems to think his claim regarding feminists to be factual, yet offers no evidence to back up his claim. Tom, you come onto my blog (not a forum) and you insult me and suggest who should be allowed on it and who should not. And you name call, and rather than admit you chose the incorrect word to insult Clay with (few would consider him lazy, insolent, snarky, witty, troublemaking, but never lazy), you hold to it past any logical sense, umm, like some other rather peculiar ideas you apparently hold. We'll not miss your presence, I think. Especially since you seem to have a rather hard time with facts and scientific evidence and leaping to conclusions.As an aside, anyone care to explain how come folks come up with labels for me and then use them derisively? The least they could do is get them right or ask. Where have I ever identified as a feminist? Hmm, must be because I have a vagina and think everybody should have equal rights, is that it? Wow, are those the only two requirements?

  96. March 20, 2010 8:34 pm

    >Hey Kim..here you go..I think you are the "Kick Ass Queen of Kumbaya" 🙂

  97. March 20, 2010 10:42 pm

    >Artie…..Artie? Are you there, are you ready?

  98. March 20, 2010 10:56 pm

    >4. Since I last posted here about 1-1/2 days ago, I see there are 13 new messages, including from Tom Smith, my friend since 1997 (3). By the way, I am starting with the number 4 because it is a continuation of the numbers from my last post and (3) is a reference to my previous post. This thread is getting very complicated for me with my lack of an amazing memory and this numbering system is helpful to me. Please note that I clearly stated that I would try to post again in about 48 hours or so (1), which is still about 12 hours from now.5. I realize no human being is perfect and I do not need to agree with everything about another human being to be a friend (Tom Smith) or at least a supporter (Ari Ne'eman). This blog entry, from my understanding, is about being a supporter of Ari Ne'eman. I still have information I wish to present of why everyone in the autism community should be a supporter of Ari Ne'eman, even though being human he is not perfect. To do that, I wish to present circumstantial evidence about the person I know much better than Ari Ne'eman and then shows how it applies to being a supporter of Ari. If it is not obvious, the person I know much better is myself. Since this is not a fact-to-face situation, exchanges of information to properly present this information may take weeks. Now that Clay has answered my most recent questions, I can proceed, step-by-step. By the way, I was taken by surprise by his answers but I do not wish to leap to conclusions. I am glad to state that as I get to know Clay better, I am optimistic that at the end of this exchange that we can call each other friends.6. As I think most people realize, in the Western world people who experience telepathy are often very reluctant to discuss such experiences in public, as stated by another of my friends, who declines to post here at this time. Even I am cautious about doing so and I still need time to prepare such information to post here. It is now after 12:30 a.m. here in Israel and I am quite busy with other matters, but I hope to post substantive information within the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, a third friend is willing to make a public statement, but does not know how to post a comment here. So, at this friend's request, following is his statement about my son Ben (with a few spelling and punctuation corrections), with his email address if anyone who is not too indolent wishes to verify the information with him. By the way, I have never been the facilitator for my son when he FCed with this friend:"Dear Blog, I have known Ben Golden for about 8 years and have had many 1 on 1 meetings, talks, discussions, etc… with him (and his facilitator). His genius, understanding, and insight of current events, human psychology, and challenges facing the world at large is on a level of genius that in my humble opinion is unparalleled. I've been blessed with the good fortune of knowing the crem dela crem of people in all walks of life. Ben's brilliance is on a pedestal unto itself. Regarding Ben's telepathy: (I am not a fan of that word) Yes – there is no other way of understanding the exactness and precision of Ben's messages in which he pinpoints every last detail and nuance of a person's life, from the the most personal and intimate, past and present, other than coming to terms with the fact that he has the gift of being able to peer into a persons soul and understand the human reality which is before him. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. All the Best, Simcha Reiser sreiser@013.net.il "

  99. March 20, 2010 11:17 pm

    >Ooh, I get to make the 100th comment! Arthur, please look at the 2nd comment on this thread, to see my position on Ari's appointment. It means that I have balanced all that I know, and all that I believe, and arrived at that result.As for your son's telepathy, I've read much the same from Hazrat Inayat Khan. (I'm a Sufi, don'cha know?)And look, I've let more than an hour elapse since you wrote. I don't want to freak you out or anything. 😉

  100. March 21, 2010 12:12 am

    >Clay,7. My concern is not your position on Ari in the 2nd comment, it is the position stated in the 5th comment by a highly influential person in the autism community, which is then repeated by others who are unknown to me. Please be patient while I develop my case. (I'm a retired lawyer, don'cha know?)8. As you requested I am not longer checking the time before you respond, but since you brought it up, please note that the time on the blog is one hour behind Eastern Daylight Savings Time. If you check the time on the blog entry, your comment is only a 21 minute difference from my comment.9. By the way, I do not know about Sufis, but Chareidim such as me (Hebrew which literally means "quakers" but in the sense of quaking in Fear Of Heaven) only Fear Heaven and are not afraid of any human beings. The English term is ultraorthodox Jews. It is not that I am indolent, but I avoid reading information about other religions, so if you wish to explain anything about Hazrat Inayat Khan, please do so here so I do not need to read through extra information. By the way, I am glad to learn you do not worship the Idol of Science. Now it is past 2:00 a.m. here and I really need to go to sleep!Art

  101. March 21, 2010 12:23 am

    >@ Artie – Didn't know about the time glitch. As for the person who made the 5th comment, my suggestion is that you just lose interest in her. As we say here, "She's not that into you." Not at all, in fact. That would be the best course of action.

  102. March 21, 2010 3:01 am

    >Clay,10. You wrote 11 minutes after my last post (7) – but who's counting? – (although maybe I should be counting sheep because I cannot fall asleep tonight):"As for the person who made the 5th comment, my suggestion is that you just lose interest in her. As we say here, "She's not that into you." Not at all, in fact. That would be the best course of action."But as I wrote earlier today (5), I am a supporter of Ari Ne'eman and everyone in the autism community should be a supporter of Ari Ne'eman, even though being human he is not perfect. For all those who are too indolent to look at the 5th comment, it is from Ms. Michelle Dawson. For this issue of support for Ari, the actual person is not relevant, what is relevant is that she is, as I described her in (5) "a highly influential person in the autism community." A highly influential person has to be careful about their public statements. I am not interested in Ms. Michelle Dawson per se (except I am concerned about her personal well-being which I may discuss later when I am ready) but I am concerned about the tremendous influence she has within a particular group of people. Hey, she even influenced me to not "give up." Even you have influenced me with your statement of 2-1/2 days ago that:"Your calling further discussion "futile" is what I see as "turning tail and running"."So I have an important question (at least in my mind) for you:Why shouldn't your suggestion that I lose interest in Ms. Michelle Dawson be seen as you "turning tail and running"?Art

  103. March 21, 2010 3:36 am

    >Artie said:"I am not interested in Ms. Michelle Dawson per se (except I am concerned about her personal well-being which I may discuss later when I am ready)"Please, don't discuss it later. I won't appreciate it, she won't appreciate it, nobody's gonna appreciate it. I have already gone as far as should be gone in that direction, and I'm sure she would think that I went too far. We have no business talking about her, as it appears she's not coming back to speak for herself. "Why shouldn't your suggestion that I lose interest in Ms. Michelle Dawson be seen as you "turning tail and running"?" Because in defending her, I am not defending myself. If you wanted to argue with me about something I've said or done, and I avoided it, then that would be turning tail and running. My suggestion was that you show some decency, and leave her alone. Please.Oh, and I got a 'special dispensation' for you from your chief Chareidwazoo, and he said it was fine for you to Google up Hazrat Inayat Khan, and you wouldn't even have to perform ablutions afterwards. (Rough and tumble American humor, again.)Y'know, I've studied many faiths, especially since 1980, when I became a Muslim. I've actually joined the Ba' Hais, the Rosicrucians, and learned what they know. The Ba' Hais and Sufis are especially keen on learning about other people's religions, and the Sufis light candles for each, while reading long passages from their sacred books. They recognize the basic similarities in all of them, and honor all the Prophets. Shalom, and as-salaamu-Alaikum.Have a good night's sleep.

  104. March 21, 2010 4:58 am

    >Clay,11. I will carefully consider your request about Ms. Michelle Dawson. Based on my knowledge of her, your views seemed quite appropriate. Please note that in my considerations that I do feel strongly about the issue of a double standard. But then to my utter surprise, I notice that in the same hour that Ms. Michelle Dawson, on TMoB, is asking:"By the way, anyone here who is also permitted to post on ASAN's list is very welcome to post /m10633 there, with link please."Are you going to fulfill her explicit request?Thank you for your wishes to have a good night's sleep, but unfortunately I slept very little last night (Saturday night to Sunday morning).Art

  105. March 21, 2010 6:22 am

    >Clay,12. In trying to giver serious consideration to your requests about leaving Ms. Michelle Dawson out of this discussion, I realize that I cannot proceed without some information from you.So, one question I have for you, is did you read the January and February 2008 messages on TMoB in which Michelle Dawson and I discussed TELEPATHY?If so, what is your detailed memory of that discussion?By the way, although I have not checked my written documentation on TMoB, I remember I made little if any mention of my son Ben having TELEPATHY, so your previous answer about Ben does not cover these questions.After you answer these questions, I will be able to make a decision.Art

  106. March 21, 2010 8:01 am

    >Artie said:"Are you going to fulfill her explicit request?"No, I'm a bit less inclined to defend her, still feeling put out for being blocked on twitter. She could do it herself, if she wished, as I believe she's still a member. "did you read the January and February 2008 messages on TMoB in which Michelle Dawson and I discussed TELEPATHY?"No, as I said earlier, I had known nothing of your claims of Ben's telepathy, before this. At that time, I was still working, and had far less time to roam the netz.I see you visited my blog, spending 57 minutes and 43 seconds there, reading 9 posts. It only named 2 of them, "Impetus for my Diagnosis", and my collection of poems. I hope you enjoyed them. They are fairly representative of me. Oh, and I thought you might inquire how I knew you were going to invite Tom Smith, in particular, before he actually showed up. No, I don't have any telepathy myself, and I was being truthful that I did suspect he was one of those you'd invite. So how'd I do it? I knew he was your cohort, (uh, wrong word), I knew you were in cahoots with him, so I just figured. Probably Tink was the other. If so, tell her I won't bite! Howzat?

  107. March 21, 2010 11:43 am

    >Clay,13. Please do not put words into my mouth! To my question "did you read the January and February 2008 messages on TMoB in which Michelle Dawson and I discussed TELEPATHY?" you reply "No, as I said earlier, I had known nothing of your claims of Ben's telepathy." Where did I state that the January and February 2008 messages had anything to do with my son Ben or even about me? Aren't you leaping to conclusions? Do you even know who initiated the discussion of TELEPATHY on TMOB and when? In your previous email you seem to assume that this discussion about TELEPATHY was about me. Do you think it is possible that I was defending my own "damsel in distress" who for reasons I can explain could not defend herself? Do you have any idea who this "damsel in distress" is who was being attacked on the subject of TELEPATHY without any opportunity to defend herself? I am willing to show decency so long as there is no double standard being applied in an identical situation with another famous autism researcher. After you answer these questions, I will provide further information, including the message numbers on TMoB if I check and find they were not deleted. By the way, how far back have you read TMoB?14. I would have been disappointed if you did not figure out that I would contact Tom Smith. It did not take much effort for you to bully and silence him so he does not plan to post here again. Although Tink was another person, she is not the person who shied away from posting. I have not heard from her in a while even though I apparently still have a good email address for her. Simcha Reiser (6) has never been involved with autism on the internet. You have no further comments about his information?Art

  108. March 21, 2010 5:48 pm

    >Artie said:"Where did I state that the January and February 2008 messages had anything to do with my son Ben or even about me? Aren't you leaping to conclusions?"I suppose so, but heretofore, everything I've read about you was about you or your son. As I have no knowledge of those messages, I had no reason to suspect you had changed subjects.There is no double standard, and no reason to take umbrage, because I have no idea who you were talking about."By the way, how far back have you read TMoB?"Ambiguous phrasing there. I've read it since it started, but because I was working, I had far less time to go there, except sporadically. That is my definitive answer."It did not take much effort for you to bully and silence him (Tom Smith) so he does not plan to post here again."It didn't take much effort to show him for the bigoted misogynist he is, just by asking a simple question. I could whup him with both hands tied behind my back, as he doesn't have much to work with."You have no further comments about his (Simcha's) information?"No. Can Ben get a reading on me?

  109. March 21, 2010 6:34 pm

    >Clay,15. Thank you for the answers to my most recent questions, which results in my having some more questions before I can proceed to provide you all the information mentioned above in (14). My follow-up questions are: a. Do you know my history with Ms. Michelle Dawson? b. Who else knows my history with Ms. Michelle Dawson? c. Please provide the information you have about my history with Ms. Michelle Dawson. d. Since you have been reading TMoB since it started, what do you remember about the discussions of Facilitated Communication and Telepathy during 2007? e. The autism researcher I tried to defend in January and February 2008 was Professor Anne M. Donnellan. What do you know about her and the discussion about her on TMoB in 2007 and 2008? f. Please specify the places where you have read about my son and/or me.Thank you.Art

  110. March 21, 2010 7:08 pm

    >Artie said:a. Do you know my history with Ms. Michelle Dawson?Maybe not all of it. Enough.b. Who else knows my history with Ms. Michelle Dawson?Probably jypsy, maybe other TMoB and Autism Crisis readers, more than that, I don't know, I'm not actually omniscient.c. Please provide the information you have about my history with Ms. Michelle Dawson.No. You're wearing me out, man, this is not relevant to anything, and I have no wish to join you in shit-stirring.d. Since you have been reading TMoB since it started, what do you remember about the discussions of Facilitated Communication and Telepathy during 2007?Already told you, nothing. From what I recall, she didn't want to talk with you.e. The autism researcher I tried to defend in January and February 2008 was Professor Anne M. Donnellan. What do you know about her and the discussion about her on TMoB in 2007 and 2008?Never heard of her. Do you have any idea what a hassle it is to insert all these HTML tags? No.f. Please specify the places where you have read about my son and/or me.Artie, I'm losing interest in you, (not that I was that interested to begin with). Your issues are not my issues, and I'm not about to take them up. So Ben couldn't get a "read" on me? That's okay, I know me.

  111. March 21, 2010 7:22 pm

    >Corrections to Clay's gay lies…I'm from the City of Tonawanda and not Cheektowaga. On my Facebook page I'm commnicating with all the people in my life from childhood on. Clay would be lucky to have one friend communicating with him there. I found out recently that my best childhood friend was the child of the soldier depicted to be saved in "Saving Private Ryan". I'm a father's rights and men's activist and leader in the movement. My anti-feminism is totally political as I have often stated and not personal or cultural as I have amply demonstrated.I handled the "Juli" situation on my list in a professional manner and Clay being the insecure male he is felt to score points with the girls he'd rescue the "damsel in distress". You see him here become very meek with women, both the moderator and anyone under attack like Michell Dawson.It's true that I have been homeless the past six years due to a back injury I received while doing nursing work with the most difficult patients, the chronically physically disabled, like I worked with the most difficult auties and other disabled all my life.Now tell me folks, how can a man who attacks a homeless guy to get brownie points with women on a feminist blog, yes dear Ms Wombles, you are a feminist, be expected to advocate for other disabled or unfortunate souls? And then Ms Wombles supports him!On top of that this homeless guy has been advocating for autism for free the past 15 years on the net and worked with them for most of the 30 years before that and still be attacked for his misfortune. A large part of this misfortune was caused by this advocacy in the first place! It boggles the mind how callous people on this blog are. Everyone stood silent. Shame on all of you.As for telepathy and autism, if you don't make room for it as a consideration or allow people to believe it and FC freely with full support, you are dumping the most important therapeutic tool autism will ever have…and also the greatest discovery in history. You might as well join Autism Speaks if you do so.I'll shut up now and move on. I just wanted to set the record straight. Clay may be clever but he definitely is cruel.

  112. March 21, 2010 7:45 pm

    >@ Tom – Not that it's relevant, or any of your business, but I'm not gay. But you are clearly a bigot.Cheektowaga, Tonawanda, who cares? Both bedroom suburbs of Buffalo, which at the time, was the armpit of New York. (maybe the crotch).Your little "online romance" with Juli that ended very badly was hardly "professional"I didn't know you were still homeless, I would have thought you'd have gotten off your ass by now. I guess that's what happens when you let your karma run over your dogma."you are dumping the most important therapeutic tool autism will ever have…and also the greatest discovery in history."Uh-huh. Well, when you prove that, I'm sure you and Artie will go down in the anals (sic) of history as great innovators.Ho hum, any other takers?

  113. March 21, 2010 8:03 pm

    >Clay,16. You have now shown to my personal satisfaction that you are the damned phony. When you wrote "your presence there is an affront to anyone who knows of your history with her" that statement was a complete fabrication because you know almost nothing of my history with Michelle Dawson. It is you who are "turning tail and running." But as Kathleen commented 6 months ago: "You are a very powerful writer Clay." Yes, the pen is mightier than the sword. However, even the most powerful writing must be backed up by the truth. If not, then by not giving up, even a weak writer like me will uncover the truth. And look how quickly I am responding to you!17. Even though you claim to have lost interest in me, I am not finished with you. However, I have to clean for Pesach and I do not know when I will post the rest of the information about you that I have largely prepared. I will take Ms. Kim Wombles at her word and I expect that I will be able to post to this blog entry even months from now as I did on the following blog entry of Harry Williams on December 17, 2009: http://the-newrepublic.blogspot.com/2009/07/michelle-dawson-speaks.htmlexcerpts of my additional comments:But there are some areas where I do have extensive experience and in at least two areas I believe that Ms. Michelle Dawson has strong biases. These two areas are Facilitated Communication and Differential Diagnosis. When I tried to question her nearly 2 years ago about Facilitated Communication, I believe that she quickly was overcome by persecutory delusions and our dialogue quickly broke down and I was banned from posting on her discussion board. Ms. Dawson and I never had the opportunity to discuss Differential Diagnosis but I am very concerned that her strong bias in this area could be life-threatening to others who are her loyal followers and by relying on her statements overlook this potential issue. I pray Ms. Michelle Dawson is not at risk for ignoring the issue of possible persecutory delusions because of her regular contact with psychiatrist Dr. Laurent Mottron. Her recent public comments about ASAN concern me, including about "head banging." I wish a friend would try to help her with this issue. Unfortunately, I fear that any friend who attempted to do so would soon become an enemy.18. Despite my decision to make the above strong statements, I really do forgive you and offer to be your friend whenever you are ready to do so. I agree you are a very powerful writer Clay, and that writing can be used to save lives instead of threatening to destroy them.Art

  114. March 21, 2010 8:17 pm

    >@ Artie – I am not a phony, I have answered you sincerely, (except when I have been insolent), and I'm telling you clearly that I have no intention of discussing Michelle with you, here or anywhere else. Your obsession with her is bizarre, and not one I share. I'm not in the position of "forgiving" anyone for being a dumbass, they are what they are, and so are you. Toodles.

  115. March 21, 2010 9:11 pm

    >Clay,[Note – written before recent comment from Ms. Kim Wombles]19. I am not a phony, I am completely sincere in all that I do and I am not even insolent. I agree to not discuss Ms. Michelle Dawson any further with you. I would also like to agree to not call each other names. I have more comments I would like to make about you that are intended as constructive criticism. 20. As stated above (18) you are a very powerful writer Clay, and that writing can be used to save lives instead of threatening to destroy them. You answered 2 days ago when I asked "Are you concerned about saving lives?":"Since no one actually "dies of autism", I assume you mean the reclamation of the value of lives through finding some means of communication for those who are not able to verbally communicate? Sure, I'm all for that, and so are the principals involved here."While your statement is technically true, my constructive criticism is that many people do die because of autism. What they actually die of includes drowning, suicide, being hit by a motor vehicle, suffocation during physical restraint, choking on food, decades of neurological harm from antipsychotic medications, and even being murdered by parents – but all of these deaths are really because of autism. With my 30 years of advocacy, I have personal knowledge of such deaths, which you should show some humility and recognize you do not know everything about autism. I am currently involved in advocacy to save lives by trying to prevent the death of autistics for such reasons.On the other hand, you write very articulately that saving lives can include "the reclamation of the value of lives through finding some means of communication for those who are not able to verbally communicate." I am sure you could use your writing skills to expand on this important concept.At this point, I am going to bed, hoping to sleep soundly tonight. I presume you receive emails of posts to this blog entry and will receive them even if it is weeks from now.Art

  116. March 22, 2010 1:39 am

    >Clay, if more people studied and lit candles for others' religions, I believe that the world would be a much more peaceful place.

  117. March 22, 2010 2:53 am

    >*I deleted my prior comment, as I made an error on ASAN's acceptance of FC. Here is my comment again with that portion appropriately amended:I may have to amend my terminology for comments to reflect that they are not all brilliant insights.This post was meant to explain why I support Ari Ne'eman, and why the anti-vax portion of the autism community were incorrect that he personally divides the community.He so obviously does not; there are divisions here that go far beyond Ari or his positions or past statements or associations.This thread has devolved into a three ring circus. Please do not discuss Michelle Dawson and your personal opinions or problems with her here. This isn't about Michelle and it isn't about facilitated communication. I'd be more than happy to make a post all about the woo that is facilitated communication, though.**amended** For the record,the acceptance of FC as an appropriate treatment/therapy/communication modality is against all accepted scientific evidence and is one I personally do not support. It's one I hope that ASAN will continue to reject. Augmented communication, however, does not fall under the FC woo-brella and it's a darn shame there are bloggers out there who equate the two and so muddy the waters.Additionally: telepathy is WOO. You might want to look at the name of this blog and take a gander around some of the posts before you bring the woo in here and parade it around.I have a tendency to skewer the woo and those who promote it.March 21, 2010 3:39 PM (amended 9:53 pm)

  118. March 22, 2010 5:04 pm

    >No "woo" eh Ms Wombles? I watched autism politics for 40 years while on the front lines of autism treatment. Like most everything in our era there was a Left-Right dichotomy at work with the Left representing the "woo" and the Right representing your attitude Ms Wombles. Of course there was much overlap. When did the Right take over the advocacy of the Left? I saw it change the pass 10 years.The Left is bankrupt in this advocacy as represented by Ms Wombles. That leaves the Right and their "CURE Autism Now" and "Austism Speaks". Both represent the total death of autistics.The Left did some good things in the old days. Positive approaches, patient rights and FC to name a few of the bigger things. None of that could have been done without the "woo" yet here you are rejecting it.The auties are now all alone and without advocates. I see now what you mean Art by the death of autistics. The self advocates are mostly aspies. They are tainted like the rest of us so how are they going to help severe auties? Anyway, only God can help them. But none of that for Ms Wombles…too "wooey". Yet she will go to the matt for her "wooey" science, of course as she defines it, and her sisters feminism, a true Goddess religion based on lies buttressed by scientists on the feminist payroll like we have seen in the other part of their religion…global warming and environmentalism.Man, this is so sad. God why?

  119. March 22, 2010 5:19 pm

    >Tom,I'm gonna be honest, I skimmed your comment; I have no interest in engaging you in dialogue. I have a couple articles on my blog where I talk about how once you've ascertained someone isn't rational, discourse with them makes little sense. You reached that point with me several posts ago.I will delete all further postings from you.You said earlier you weren't going to come back. Please don't…..And while I am at it, Arthur, if you want to talk to Clay, go do it at his blog.

  120. March 22, 2010 5:40 pm

    >What an absolute and pathetic hypocrite you are. I will make sure everyone else knows for what it is worth.

  121. March 22, 2010 5:44 pm

    >Hahahahaha. Love it, Tom. Absolutely. You managed to make it to the list with JB. Kudos. Tell all you like. Since the crowd you run in is no better than the AoA crowd, I think I'll be more than fine. Seriously.FC has been debunked. Your brand of anti-feminism is repugnant. You're not rational and I mean it when I say you can move on now.

  122. March 22, 2010 5:53 pm

    >Yeah, trying to reason with Tom is like trying to reason with that other troll who's permanently banned here. They're both so convinced they're right, and anyone who disagrees are either feminists or baby-poisoners. As for Arthur, and his lame comment that I "don't know everything about autism", I'm well aware of the many ways autistics die, and I don't need a lecture from some putz about that. He seems to want to put the conversation "on hold" for several weeks, but I was never that interested in talking with him anyway. I think we're done here.

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