Whilst going through links on the Autism Blogs Directory, I went back to the Radical Neurodivergence Speaking journal once again. You sort of have to be in the right mood for this particular journal, because as I have said on my small page of links to things I think people should look at, that author frequently looks at where I am at in terms of asserting my rights, and picks up the pace from there. (Metaphorically speaking, I mean. I am not even convinced that he reads my work.)
So on Sunday, May 27 of this year, mister Neurodivergent K published what he titles How to fail your autistic child without even trying: A guide. This echoes a lot of what I have been saying to people outside of this journal, not to mention what I have in fits of frustration tried to tell morons who decided to behave as gatekeepers over my ability to live my life. But because I am in a mood to comment about things that other people make, write, paint, or record, I feel the need to add some commentary of my own to a lot of Neurodivergent K wrote. So grab yourself a can of cola, strap yourself in, and ponder whether or not you dig this. (Oh, and I will be inserting some formatting of my own because the manner in which Neurodivergent K formatted the original document does not make it plainly obvious where his quotations of others end and his response begins.)
1. YOU AREN’T LIKE MY CHILD! Yes I am. Suck it up, buttercup. I am not exactly like your child, because I am pushing 30, but chances are good I’m more like your child than you are. Deal.
Of all the different ways in which I have seen the neurodivergent take the argument of a normie, cut its balls off, and flush said balls down the nearest lavvy, this is amongst the most satisfying.
You see, a favoured normie gambit is to tell the autistic adult out there, and by extension the audience the argument is occurring in front of, that the autistic adult who is trying to speak for themselves is not like their child, that child, this child, et cetera, thus their viewpoint does not count. It is a disgusting facet of normalism that they love to exhibit, but do not like to discuss or have pointed out to them. When normalists decide to oppress a particular person or group of people, they know full well that the oppressed group’s collective voice is the most powerful tool the group has to fight back with. At least until we start having X-Men-like genetic mutations, anyway.
Another point worth considering is that even amongst normies, your chances of finding two people who are sufficiently alike for normies to be satisfied enough to not use this gambit are slim to none.
2. YOU’RE JUST ANGRY! Um. Yeah. I am, actually. See, I have shitstains like you telling me to shut up (and more!) when I tell them that, you know, doing X thing isn’t helpful, it’s actually harmful and may cross the line into abuse. You’d be angry too if the majority of the people you came into contact with alternated between using you as a decoder ring & verbally abusing you when they didn’t want to hear what you decoded.
Wrap this one up and mail it to a child abuser by the name of Thomas Edwin McIntosh. Seriously. This covers a phenomenon in Speaking With Normies™ that I like to refer to as Moving The Goalposts. You see, when you are talking with a normie and the words coming out of your mouth do not match exactly what they are expecting… oh how the shit flies.
(And for the record, normies abusing me because the words coming out of my mouth do not match the ones they expect to come out of my mouth is why stories of me physically assaulting normies and yelling “I do not speak normie” or the like, in a manner reminiscent of a scene in Romper Stomper, are now legion.)
A good example of this is how certain tests of Intelligence Quotient work. The IQ test, as it is informally called, is designed as a tool for psychologists to understand an aspect of the workings of a patient’s mind. When a patient inadvertently makes it clear to you that when they say “exercising” they mean having sex, just for instance, two possibilities present themselves to the competent psychologist. One is that the subject is messing with them. In fact, when the competent psychologist knows that the subject is otherwise of high-normal or low-genius intelligence, this may be the first clue the psychologist gets that the subject may be autistic. The other possibility, and with good reason the default possibility in many a psychologist’s mind, is that the subject’s intelligence is lower than normal. A third option exists, one that most do not like to think about. That is when someone has got the subject early enough and told them X is Y for long enough to make the subject believe that as a default.
The thing is, IQ tests have been designed so far with a challenge-response format, and it is a bit like a challenge-response password. For instance, if an IQ test asks you “what do apples and oranges have in common?”, any answer other than “they are both fruits” is wrong. Not just wrong in the sense of not what the test expects, but wrong in the sense that giving any other answer somehow means the person being tested is less intelligent. If the person being tested responds with “they make juice” or “they ‘splode real good when you hit them with a bat”, the guidelines of the test say that means they are somehow less intelligent than the person who simply spits out the “correct” answer. This, in spite of the fact that a) both example answers I have just given are factually correct and b) overwhelming amounts of clinical and historical experience have demonstrated that the exact opposite is true.
I will make no bones about this. When you engage a person in conversation, ask them questions about a subject that is about their innermost personal nature or something touchy due to same, then give them a lot of shit because their answer does not meet your expectations, that is abuse. Pure and simple. Torture sessions in the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four are not that far removed from this kind of behaviour, in fact. Take note when I tell you that the most efficient, reliable manner in which to drastically alter a person’s behaviour is to make them feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Both Neurodivergent K and I have been subjected to enough of this reprehensible behaviour to be angry. We have earned the right to be angry. If you do not like the fact that we are angry, tough shit.
Oh, and being angry does not invalidate a person’s point about things to do with their rights as a Human being or to feel comfortable in their own skin. Being angry strengthens it.
2a) GET SOME THERAPY FOR YOUR ANGER PROBLEM! Fuck you, buddy. You are my anger “problem.” I am still on this earth out of plain spite some day, against all of my mother’s best efforts.
Seconded. Not the “mother’s best efforts” part, but pretty much all of the rest.
And the question I would like to ask is “what kind of ‘therapy’ do you think would actually help with the anger that naturally results from being abused, then neglected, then basically being told by people you should be able to rely on to not do the first two things that you are not worth the effort required to make the situation ‘right’ (or as ‘right’ as it can ever possibly be)?”. Really, curious minds want to know, and they want to know right now, normies.
3. YOU’RE JUST SELF DIAGNOSED! a) No I’m not, actually. b) That’s irrelevant. Lots and lots and lots of adult autistics are self diagnosed. That doesn’t make them not autistic. There are a lot of barriers to diagnosis of adults. Financial barriers. Lack-of-experts barriers-did you know lots of so called experts are laboring under the idea that all autistics were caught in childhood? Even though a lot of autistic people would not have been classified as such until 1994? Even really blazingly obvious ones? That doesn’t make them not autistic. It makes them overlooked. And of course People of Color & people with other diagnoses are even less likely to be accurately diagnosed because of medical prejudice.
This is a big one, and a tough one to fully address, so I will be working this one through slowly.
Before I say anything else, though, I want to make this very plain and clear to some ignorant normies out there (I have named them at previous points of this writing). If I had not been diagnosed with diabetes twenty-four years ago, there is no doubt in my mind at all that my autism would have come to the attention of a psychologist or other professional a lot sooner.
At least five different people have told me to my face that I am autistic during the last ten years. Whilst I am less than impressed with the first of them for reasons that I might cover at another time, the most important of this group include Professor Anthony Attwood, Doctor Isabelle Hénault, and at least two people who have worked under the former. Between the five people I can think of, the total amount of time merely spent in university learning about what I am sure normies secretly refer to as “the autism problem” may well reach into five decades. So when I say that it absolutely flabbergasts me that people whose total knowledge of the autistic spectrum could be written on the back of a small cereal box think that they somehow know better than Isabelle Hénault, the only psychologist I know of who specialises in autistic adult sexuality and related issues, I want you to understand my full meaning. It truly makes me wish that ignorance, or ignorance of being completely ignorant, was painful.
This is just one more example of what I will derisively refer to here as normies’ To Be Valid, It Has To Agree With Me complex.
4. YOU ARE BATSHIT LOONY LOL. Psychobigotry on line one! Mentally ill people, contrary to your oppressive beliefs, do in fact have rational thoughts! You are not required to be neurotypical in all ways to say things that are correct! Someone arguing with you is not indicative of their mental status-maybe you are just wrong! And even if they do have a mental illness, that doesn’t mean you aren’t wrong.
Well, let us look at this one step at a time, shall we? First of all, it is a known fact that different people respond to different stimuli in different ways. But this is not a road I am really willing to bother going down. Instead, I am just going to state that this is yet another normalist gambit that they use in an attempt to diminish the fact that their position is not only wrong, but indefensible. People who resort to this gambit usually have no fukking idea how common mental illness really is in the general population.
A popular awareness campaign poster when I was in my late teens consisted of five people sitting on what was a very wide park bench. One was sitting far away from the others, much like Ozzy Osbourne standing apart from the rest of Black Sabbath in one well-known photo that appears in the Paranoid liner notes. Above the one, the text “one in five people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives” or something like that was printed. Above the other four, “the other four will never let them forget it”.
And this is not to take away from the most pure and simple fact that given a choice between “batshit loony” and “ignorant, stupid little asshole”, batshit loony gets my vote. Every single occasion, and twice on Sundays.
5. MY CHILD WOULD NEVER SAY WHAT YOU’RE SAYING! Your child is eight. Think it through.
Oh where, oh where do I begin with this one?
Normies, can we talk frankly for a minute? You see, as much as I would be able to leave it where Neurodivergent K left it, unfortunately the seriousness of the situation prevents me from doing this. You see, over the last thirty years, I have seen an increasing unwillingness on the part of all parents, normie or otherwise, to face up to the fact that children do not stay children forever.
That little bundle of joy you refer to when you say “your child”? Whether you like it or not, they will be an adult one day. In all senses of the word that matter. And the more you refuse to acknowledge that, the more it will come and bite you both in the butt when biology and law decide that they can no longer follow suit.
Learn from the mistakes of Thomas Edwin McIntosh in this respect, please, normies. His only son will no longer speak to him, and is openly threatening him with murder and complaints of child abuse, as a result of the behaviour that you are putting on when you make statements like that which Neurodivergent K quotes.
6. YOU ARE TOO HIGH FUNCTIONING TO COUNT! People who say this should have their internet access revoked. They are clearly only capable of handling interactions face to face; they don’t understand that someone’s writing ability is the only thing you can see on the internet. Yeah, I can write. A lot of the time, I can even push words out of my mouth in an order that makes sense. I fail adulthood pretty hardcore, though, not like it’s your business. I also have sensory issues that have to be seen to be believed, again not your business.
I concur on one hand, but I feel the need to point out some things from my perspective in order to complete the picture I am painting here.
First of all, the reason that people who say the above should have their Internet access revoked is because in a world where people function interdependently, telling anyone that they do not count unless they have merited it is simply not on. And in this context, meriting being told you do not count means you have told a person who is very much affected by what you do that they do not count, especially when it is in response to their objections to what you are doing.
Normies, a lot of adults who are told that they are “high functioning” feel that the “low functioning” are being used to force policies, both social and medical, onto them. Policies that do not suit them, have been designed with their exclusion in mind, and in some cases have been doing them extreme harm. This promotes extreme resentment towards parents/word-shovers speaking on the “behalf” of the “low functioning” on the part of the “high functioning”. You complain about how rude we are to the like of you, and yet you persist in behaviour like this. Yet you claim to be surprised.
Hence, people who use the “you do not count, you are high functioning” gambit should not just be banned permanent from the Internet. They should be killed.
6. YOU HAVE A JOB AND FRIENDS! YOU’RE WRONG! Heh. You’ve never met my friends…
The people I have been friends with during my adolescence and early adulthood are generally either dead, in hiding, or possibly both. I will write more on this subject in due course, but the people I have met during the last seven to eight years… let me put it this way. Do you expect the learning-capable computer with a clock speed of fifty terahertz to make friends with the 7.14 megahertz XT? Asking someone like me to make friends with the average Queenslander is no different.
My friends are my friends because they have enough in common with me to resemble me in several ways. That I have them is further reinforcement that my view of myself is correct, not yours.
7. YOU AREN’T AUTISTIC, YOU HAVE AUTISM. KATHIE SNOW SAYS SO! Kathie Snow can kiss my ass. It’s disrespectful as hell to tell me what to call myself. I don’t give a whiff of a shit what you think I should call myself, because you are not me.
It is not merely disrespectful as hell. It is wrong. Kathie Snow has never told a black man from Queens or Brooklyn, for example, that they are not black, they have blackness. You know why she has never told them this? Because it is wrong.
Telling me that I “have autism” is probably one of the most disrespectful and ignorant things you can say to me. If you have not worked out why from my cracks about calling new government initiatives things like Helping Children With Blackness or Combatting Blackness, then you belong with the “you do not count because you are high functioning” crowd. You should be nailed into a wall and shot. With nail-guns.
7a) WELL MY KID HATES TO BE CALLED AUTISTIC! Gee. I wonder where they got that one, angry mom on the internet.
Indeed. Remember all that shit I have been saying about how the way we see ourselves is a response to the stimuli we receive from others? Well, if “your kid” hates to be called autistic, a term that affirms that being autistic is part and parcel of who they are, thank you for offering more proof of how right I am in this respect. Seriously. Do you think black men hate being called black without being taught to? Do you think Germans hate being called German without being taught to? Do you think Jews hate being called Jews without being taught to? If your answer to any of these derisive questions is an honest yes, then up against the wall with you, too.
8. I KNOW ALL ABOUT AUTISM MY KID HAS IT! One of my best friends has a pilot’s license. Does that mean I can fly a plane? This is among the least rational things y’all tell me, yet you do it every day.
Indeed. My male parent has a driver’s license of such a class that means he can get behind the wheel of anything shy of a road-train, and legally there is nothing that the police can do about it unless he has a crash. Does this mean I can drive a twin-car bus? Or an eighteen-wheel freight truck?
I am going to delve a little bit into the writings of one author who has inspired me like no other. In Stranger In A Strange Land, Robert Anson Heinlein repeatedly uses a four-letter word, grok. You see, Heinlein was very much about the idea of there being different levels of understanding. It is one thing to understand what another person feels about a given situation. But grok is something entirely different. To grok another person’s statements about their situation means that you understand it as if you sat inside the mind of that person and experienced everything that they experience, exactly as they experience it. That is what it entails to know all about autism.
This is also why the most reliable and forward-progress-oriented autism experts, ones like Hénault, Attwood, or Baron-Cohen, do not profess to know “all” about autism. They instead offer opinions on how best to approach the autistic in any given situation, based on knowledge that they and their colleagues have accumulated. It is like the old statement by Socrates. His wisdom was proven by the fact that he was aware of his own ignorance and its extent.
The point here? Well, when one says “I know all about autism”, one can safely dismiss them completely without needing to hear any more of their blather. “My kid has it” is just the icing on an already shit-tasting cake. In Western society in particular, we seem to have developed this culture where ignorance suffices as a substitute for knowledge, and the strength of one’s belief in a “fact” is sufficient to take the place of evidence. Whilst it drags that society down as a whole, it is always those of us who live on the fringe, in this case the autistic, or the mentally ill, or… (I could go on and on) who pay the heaviest price for it.
8a) NO I DON’T HAVE TO READ ANYTHING YOU POST TO EDUCATE ME. BUT YOU NEED TO READ EVERYTHING I SAY. Yeah no. You want me to empathize with you? It’s a 2 way street. You’re going to tell me that parents are always saints and angels and want what is best? Then you best get your ass on explaining my mother, & explaining the hate mail I get. I’m waiting.
Neurodivergent K here demonstrates one of the biggest hypocrisies and tyrannies of the normalist movement. Actually, this is a big problem with a lot of people who want their word taken as fact without having to work for it. I will give an example.
During one conversation on a web site devoted to the topic of making copies of videos in electronic format and how best to accomplish that, talk turned to the fact that many people do not want to sail with the ship of fools that is Microsoft and their increasingly bloated, bug-ridden operating systems. So, as a guy who generally wants to make sure his audience is informed is wont to do, I posted this link that talks about some of the less savoury aspects of Microsoft’s history. Such as how Microsoft basically collects a tax on every computer sold, even when it does not contain a scrap of their software. I kid you not when the asshole I was addressing responded with a declaration that he was not going to read it because it was “obviously biased”. That it may have been, you self-authenticating asshole, but that does not make any of the facts stated in it less factual or verifiable.
What Neurodivergent K is referencing here is the normalist, autism-prejudiced version of the same phenomenon. Essentially, people who want to push pro-cure, pro-abuse, pro-torture shit upon us think that they are under no obligation to hear us, but we are obligated to hear them in the same sense that we are obligated to breathe, eat, shit, and piss. Sorry guys, no sale.
9. YOU NEED TO BE NICE AND LISTEN TO PARENTS AND NOT SAY THINGS THAT WAY! Did I say fuck off yet? No? If you think this is a legitimate argument, fuck off. Being nice has been proven to not work. You don’t get rights by saying “please, could you consider acknowledging that I’m human and maybe treating me somewhat as such?” You get rights by demanding them.
I fear that Neurodivergent K is descending into unproductive things, but his point about being nice haven been proven to not work is very valid. Once, I read a story about a man in Japan who was so distressed by the noise pollution of trains going past near his house every day that he somehow acquired a lot of the little metal balls that they put in pinball machines and started flinging them at passing trains. One might think that when one is in a metallic car going by at at least forty kilometres an hour, one will not notice pinballs hitting the side of the car. One would be mistaken. Even if one does not notice the impact, the noise it makes would certainly get through to the driver.
Anyway, they eventually came and arrested this man, rather than laugh and ask what the hell he hoped to accomplish, because the drivers told their bosses that if the authorities did not come and make this man stop, they were going to start throwing things back at him. Now, it is a matter of debate as to whether this individual succeeded in drawing attention to the noise problem around his residence, but he at least got some attention. Far more so than he would have by writing or ‘phoning the transport department in his area of Japan and politely asking them about making the passage of trains near his home a little less distressing. And that is precisely my point (as well as Neurodivergent K’s) in this section.
9a) MARTIN LUTHER KING AND GANDHI WERE NICE! No they weren’t. White people think they were nice because history class said so. They were every bit as demanding as I am, perhaps more so.
Often, what we are taught in school history and what really happened in the time period in question are two different things. I sort of wonder what is going to happen to the techniques by which we teach, especially where history, political science, social science, and economics are concerned, when the last of the generations that grew up without public access to the Internet dies out.
Another common misconception is that Gandhi drove the British out of India using passive protesting. Whilst it is true that he helped lower the world’s opinion of the British empire through passive protesting (basically, just sit on your arse in view of the public and wait for the police to come drag you away), there were far more pertinent factors to England’s relinquishing of India. One of which is that maintaining a colonial presence in India was getting to be too expensive compared to the returns. You see, when a big and mighty empire like England was up until just after the second World War colonises any place, they do so at great expense. Not just in the actual colonisation, but in terms of maintaining a presence there to ensure security and control of that colony. England was finding during Gandhi‘s lifetime that the goods that were coming back from India (tea being the most famous example, but far from the only one) were not sufficient to justify the cost of maintaining the colonial presence. It is no exaggeration to say that England would have gotten out of there even if Gandhi had never been born.
I also like the examples given in Neurodivergent K’s quote. If you want to convince us that “nice” gets you anywhere in terms of asserting or defending your rights, normies, then you had better give us more than just two examples. Here, let me give you one example that cuts your assertion’s balls off and flushes them down the lavvy. The History Place has a number of great articles, and I recommend it thoroughly. But the pertinent example here is from the Vietnam War articles, and the acts of one Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh declared independence for Vietnam on September 2 of 1945, the exact same day that representatives of the Japanese government signed a surrender agreement and effectively ended the second World War. Ho Chi Minh even quoted from the American Declaration Of Independence in his declaration. A copy of his source was provided to him by what was then called the Office Of Strategic Services. But America decided to do something totally out of character for a nation that is about freedom and the building thereof for anyone outside of its borders. They ignored Ho Chi Minh. They also supported a colonial government in the Southern half of Vietnam in defiance of Ho Chi Minh‘s wishes for a unified, independent Vietnam. The consequences were thirty years of war, starting with small covert actions and escalating into a full scale invasion in 1975. Vietnam was, from that point on, a unified country in which the Buddhist majority of the population were no longer being persecuted by a Catholic minority that was being backed by multiple foreign bullies. But the salient point here is that once Ho Chi Minh realised “please recognise that my people have a right to determine their own government” was not going to get him anywhere with France or America, he directed his people to fight, and they gained the right to determine their own government by winning.
I understand that American history teachers might be reluctant to talk about the truth of the Vietnam War, how long it really went on for, and what motivated Ho Chi Minh to prosecute it up until the day he died. (His side completely won the war approximately six years after his death.) But do not come to me (or anyone else) with claims that people who fought struggles to have their people recognised as people were “nice”. Ho Chi Minh provides a strong example of the fact that being nice and fighting such a struggle are mutually exclusive things.
10. INSERT DEATH THREAT OR WISH OF DEATH HERE! *yawn* You don’t scare me. You annoy me. At least be creative. And know that my local police get copies of all this shit. Before you get all abusive at me, think about someone doing that to your kid. They will. They will.
I kind of have to draw a (dotted) line here. I do not know exactly what Neurodivergent K means with the last two sentences in this statement, or what he intended. But I have some clear delineations between childhood, adulthood, and adolescence. To me, childhood is a time to learn the basics of living and how to live with oneself. Adolescence is a time to learn the additional things that being an adult entails. And adulthood is about being responsible for oneself (if one can) whilst being a teacher to those in the other two stages. Pretty simple shit in theory, right?
I am pretty sure that every child with a parent of the kind that Neurodivergent K and I are talking about has received at least one threat of death or display of abusiveness from somebody at some point of their life. The odds of it get shorter as the child gets closer and closer to adolescence. Thing is, the usual source of threats and violence or abuse for people in this age group happens to be members of their family.
Another aspect of the family dynamic that needs to be understood here is that Neurodivergent K and I appear to have differing views of the motives of parents who post crap like what we are both talking about here. In the year of 1995, more than three million American children were reported to the police as victims of child abuse and neglect. A poll that Gallup conducted during the same year found that for every child that did get reported thusly, as many as sixteen went unreported. If this were true, and the sad sack inside of me insists it is an understatement if anything, that would equate to half of all of the children in America at that time.
And mind you, that is just abuse as defined by the criminal code. It does not include cases of making children feel so uncomfortable in their own skin that they feel constantly molested, or making them feel that their natural manner of expressing themselves or thinking is “wrong”.
I truly believe that people who post things like that to Neurodivergent K are trying to absolve themselves of guilt for abusing their own children.
11. I’M NOT LIKE THAT! STOP SAYING YOU HATE PARENTS! Well, then show me you aren’t Like That. Most people who insist they aren’t, are.
I do not have much to add to this. I have encountered enough denialism and related bullshit from my male parental unit. I will, however, say that I tend to review the parents of autistic children on a case by case basis, rather than make a unilateral decision as to how good or bad they all are. But the quickest way to make me decide that you must be bad is by insisting it is all about you. Even good parents of children whom Frank Zappa would refer to as Mr. Green Genes, when prompted by others to talk about their children, talk about their children and not themselves. This is one of the reasons my mother has the distinction of being one of the few relatives I speak to at all.
11a) I’M COMING TO YOU IN PRIVATE TO TELL YOU THAT I HATE THAT THEY’RE LIKE THAT! Not helpful, no matter how well meaning you are. You need to tell them to not be Like That. They don’t give 2 fucks if I think they are, but they do care what you think.
And here, Neurodivergent K and I are totally on the same page. At least in the first part. I do not believe that the parents/abusers that he refers to in this statement give two fukks about anyone who does not spit their little mind back at them. But I do believe that if enough voices from different sources/persons hammer at them, hammering in the message that they are utter pendejos, for long enough, it just might get through.
But the thing is, the black civil rights movement did not thrive in secrecy. It enjoyed a lot of publicity in traditional media, and this was in a time when getting into the traditional media required one to make a lot more noise than is the case now. The same can be said of the struggles of Mexican Americans to make “European” Americans realise that they are not just one walking stereotype. Ditto the struggle of Polish migrants, Asians, and on and on it goes. The autism civil rights struggle is no different. If you want to make noise in order to help us, secretly is not the place to do it. We are risking much by coming out in public and saying to the media at large that we are autistic and do not approve of messages like those of Autism Speaks. Our efforts in this direction would enjoy a far greater ratio of success if at least some of you would come out of the woodwork and say to the public, “I am [insert name here], I am neurotypical, and I do not approve of the manner in which my fellows are treating the neurodivergent”. And unlike the normies who want to tell us what to think about them, their media, ourselves, our worth, and so on, such behaviour would go a long way to improve the relationship between our two social groups. Is any of that getting through?
Dear Odin, this entry has turned out far longer than I had in mind. Anyway, if you have read this far and learned anything from it, thank you. If you put what you have learned into practice, thank you even more.