Why? I Want to Understand…

I’m one of those people who, when told to do something that doesn’t make sense or that I can’t figure out the reasoning behind the request, questions it.  I don’t mean I think about it, while silently complying.  I mean I question the thinking out loud as in, “Why are we taking 8th Avenue, when we could take 10th?” or “Why are they asking for the last four digits of my social security number when I just gave them my passport number and anyway it’s a domestic flight?” or “Why take the ice out first when we could just put everything on top and then scoop ice around it?” or any number of other questions that so easily slide from my brain to my mouth before I can stop myself.

I can’t help myself from asking, “Why?”  By the way, I am also married to someone who does the EXACT same thing.  Some people would call this controlling or being defiant, but I see it as a need to understand the reasoning.  Sometimes when someone explains to me their reasoning, I get it, it makes sense and we can carry on, even if I don’t agree with it.  But many times the person explains their reasoning, it still makes no sense and that’s when things get problematic.  It is at this point I have a couple of choices, I can comply, do something that makes no sense to me, which is physically painful, it literally hurts to do whatever it is or I can refuse to do it while explaining why I cannot or I can ask for further clarification.  I tend toward the last two options.  I’m all about clarity.  I’m really not trying to cause problems or be difficult, I really am interested in understanding another point of view.

There are other questions I have that have nothing to do with any requests being made of me, but the answers affect me or someone I love.  Which brings me to a question that’s been very much on my mind recently.  It’s a question that has nagged me since I read Lydia Brown’s piece – Protesting Autism Speaks  on her blog Autistic Hoya – why don’t people who say they care about Autism want to hear from Autistic people directly?  I’m actually being very serious with this question.  I want to understand the thinking behind this.  Because, you see, when I finally found Autistic people who were writing blogs, I felt like I’d hit the jack pot.  When I read Julia Bascom’s blog Just Stimming it was like a beautiful universe unfolded before my eyes.  When E. of The Third Glance reached out to me that first time I read her comment and literally wept with gratitude.  I think I read her comment a dozen times.  When I met Ibby of Tiny Grace Notes at the Disability Conference in New York City, she may as well have been the President of the United States, I was so thrilled.  When she flapped because she was excited to meet me, I felt so completely flattered, it was all I could do not to jump up and down with unadulterated excitement.  I felt profound relief because:

1)  they are Autistic adults and until I found them, I personally knew none
2)  they were describing their thought processes, their experiences, their lives and it gave me insight into how my daughter may be processing the world too
3)  they introduced me to concepts I’d never considered, such as: Presuming competence and not speaking about my daughter as though she couldn’t understand, including my daughter in decisions that affect her and not speaking for her.
4) The whole idea of being talked about as inferior, as a deficit, as a tragedy and how that directly affected their self-esteem.  This last seems so obvious in retrospect, but it was something I hadn’t considered.
5) Having relied on other parents and so-called “autism professionals” up until my daughter was 10 years old, I was incredibly grateful to meet Autistic adults who were able to explain the experience of being autistic first hand. Their experience has helped me help my daughter more than anything else I’ve read or been told.
6) Many of the autistic adults I now know aren’t that much older than my daughter and I found it comforting to know there is a whole community that she may one day choose to join.

I do not read or speak with my Autistic friends and assume they are speaking for Emma.  I don’t assume Emma will grow up to be just like Julia or E. or Ibby or Chou Chou or Paula or Amy.  Each of these women has helped me help Emma far more than any “autism professional” has.  The Autistic men and women I know give me hope.  Hope, not just for Emma, but for ALL our children.  Hope for our world and our future.  I feel grateful to them.  I’m profoundly grateful that they’re blogging, speaking out, protesting, reaching out and asking to be heard.  Maybe one day my daughter will be among them.  I would hate to think that Emma, having worked so hard to communicate, in whatever way that may be when she’s an adult, having worked up the courage to ask a complete stranger, “Want to hear from me?  Want to hear what I have to say?” would be answered with silence or an abrupt “No.” I cannot imagine how painful that must be.  I cannot imagine what that does to one’s sense of self to be met with such outright hostility.  And I don’t understand why.

I am seeing that my experience is not the experience of others.  I do understand that, but why?  Why don’t people see those who are Autistic and can communicate, whether by typing or speaking , as a good thing, as a hopeful thing?  Why is it that some parents don’t want to hear from Autistics who can communicate?  What am I missing here?  Really, I want to understand this.  Help me understand.

How could you NOT want to hear what she has to say?

96 responses to “Why? I Want to Understand…

  1. “When I read Julia Bascom’s blog Just Stimming it was like a beautiful universe unfolded before my eyes.” – Same here, 100% 🙂

    And I am the same way, it kind of makes me physically ill when people will *not* ask for explanations or reasons behind requests made of them because they think that would be “rude” or “impolite”. Frankly, I think it the epitome of rude for anyone to make any request of me without adequate reasoning behind it. And I can think of nothing less polite than to dismiss any person’s, or group of people’s, opinion/s or point/s of view without the courtesy of a thoughtful explanation.

    Love your posts!!!

  2. I hope someone answers your question. I’ve been thinking about this since reading the same post and it makes me sad (and angry and cynical).

    • Me too. I wish I had some logical explanation. I just keep thinking about my own daughter and how upset I would be if someone walked away and showed her no interest, when she works so hard to communicate. Although, now that I think of it, this happens to her all the time. She says things and people dismiss what she’s saying or do not believe she could possible mean what she’s saying. Maybe this is similar? I don’t know…

  3. I don’t think they care, because no one has MADE them care so far. Your post made me so happy, Ariane.

  4. They say it is because we are “NOTLIKEMYCHILD”.
    And of course we’re not. We’re not children anymore. People want desperately for their children to speak but then when adults do it they silence us.

    • Katie, this makes me sad. So many of us do NOT feel this way, in fact feel the opposite, are rejoicing in you and your efforts. But that can’t undo the pain caused by those who walked by and said, “No”.

  5. What a great post today. One of my favorites. As you you know, I’m also big on “Why?” and I too am honestly baffled as to why all the NTs running Autism Speaks seem actively opposed to sharing their pulpit with those who they claim to represent and lobby for. I too have benefited from the dialog I have with Autistic adults and younger autistics more than any other “expert” or parent activist I’ve met. Keep on shouting into the wind dear — more and more people are listening — and more voices are being heard.

    • Yesterday an Autistic friend posted a similar question on FB and I really saw how it’s so much more widespread than just Autism Speaks. I’d always assumed AS wasn’t interested because their bottom line is money and they’ve tied themselves so completely to the Autism=Tragedy model as a way to get donations that I could “understand” their thinking, as much as I disagree and am horrified by it, I do feel, on some level, I “get it” but when Lydia wrote about the response of all the people who were at the AS walk, people who, presumably know and care about someone who is Autistic, but were so mean to Lydia and Katie, I just felt ill.
      So glad you also ask why? One of the many, many things I love about you! 💓

  6. I too have always been a “why” person, because I depend upon the reasoning behind statements in order to form my own opinion, whether to “adopt it, research it, or junk it”. That’s the one of the benefits of being a reasoning person, in other words when we said goodbye to our Neanderthal ancestors, we went the way of Homo sapiens….

  7. The same people want respect and understanding and so forth for their kids when they grow up (if not now). I guess they think they kids will be “cured” by then?

    • Is that it? Are all the parents who don’t want to hear from Autistic adults trying to cure? But I was one of those parents and it was reading Julia’s blog and E’s blog that made me STOP pursuing a cure! I guess that’s what doesn’t make sense to me. Meeting you and so many other Autistic adults just makes me so HAPPY and happy for my daughter that she has such a huge community of exceptional people that she might reach out to and be a part of if she chooses.
      Oh! And by the way, I keep meaning to mention to you – I am planning to take Em to the Autreat next summer. You’ll be there too, yes?!!

  8. Yes, yes and yes. In the beginning I reached out to other parents of autistic children and got so little benefit that I chose just to go it alone. It wasn’t until I found and connected with adult autistics online that I began to truly learn and feel hope. I always enjoy your posts so much. Thank you!

  9. Linnea Rademaker

    Beautifully written! I really resonate with your questioning stance, which has led me to many changes in my beliefs about many things over the years, as I gather more information and am continuously learning. Thanks for this.
    Linnea

  10. I have theories. All not pleasant. I will not share, as I share positivities only. Keep questioning; keep promoting. Keep inspiring parents; this is a ray of Hope. I am seeing Many more rays of Hope. So called experts and foundations must begin to adapt as thee grassroots calling for change is growing quickly.
    Keep questioning, but don’t let it fuel frustration and anger. Change is slow. AWWWWOOooooooo!

  11. wow, i found this really provocative, made me think a lot. and the links were incredible. i love the way you write about emma, autism, your family, the world.

  12. Okay…going to try to put some old drama training to work here…

    A person’s actions always make sense not in light of what they say, but in light of what they want. This is as true of life as it is of any script.

    I think someone can truly care about and want the best for their child, but if, in their thinking, that equates to wanting more than anything for their child to not be autistic, or to wanting a world without autism, then they won’t want to listen to people who say that our best interests are actually not served by vilifying and eliminating autism.

    And if they want more than anything to believe that they’re doing the right things for their kids, they don’t want to hear people who are telling them that the way they think and talk about autism is not the right thing. They do truly care about their kids or other autistic people in their lives, they don’t want to hurt them, and so they don’t want to hear or believe the possibility that they quite likely have already hurt them.

    And I don’t assume that all parents who won’t listen to autistic adults are pro-cure, necessarily, but they seem to me to mostly still equate “better” with “more normal” or “less autistic.” When this is an assumption that a culture is deluged with, that the people who do better are the most normal, it’s very hard and counter-intuitive to be able to see a “better” that is not more or less autistic, but simply better able to accept and tackle the challenges of your individual existence and make yourself okay in the world, and that might mean that your best possible existence doesn’t include a lot of the achievements and milestones that are taken for granted as signifying a “good” life.

    And that’s all I got….

    • Basically I could just quote your entire comment because it is so terrific. “A person’s actions always make sense not in light of what they say, but in light of what they want.”

      This makes sense to me.

      “…if they want more than anything to believe that they’re doing the right things for their kids, they don’t want to hear people who are telling them that the way they think and talk about autism is not the right thing.”

      I think I’m beginning to understand…

      “…that might mean that your best possible existence doesn’t include a lot of the achievements and milestones that are taken for granted as signifying a “good” life.”

      Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

    • Yes.

    • Completely and utterly RIGHT ON.
      I don’t always manage to remember this, but it’s how I try to approach people.

  13. The one part of your question about not wanting to hear from certain autistics is easy to answer, though I don’t think people really want to hear the answer. I found out so much through producing my film, where I traveled 11,000 miles in 40 days through 5 languages to hear from parents, educators, people with autism, and a whole slew of others. I’ve also worked with thousands of families and individuals now across multiple states.

    Through this process, I finally came to the realization that many in the ND crowd (though not all by any stretch of the imagination) have become extreme militants in their views, hurling slurs at myself and many others I know for being a “curist”, a derogatory term for anyone who has a child who is or are themselves suffering from co-morbid diagnoses with their autism and utilize medical services to attempt to heal those conditions, attacked websites for suggesting services that help to improve social and life functioning skills, and flooded e-mail boxes with vile words to say the least. Why? My best guess at this point is that the identity of “autism” has completely consumed these militants to the point they are nothing else besides. They ARE autism, and by adopting that identity completely, anything which does not promote their Ego as perfection is an “Other”, hence the divisive nature of their actions and words. It’s a form of extreme narcissism. As an example, some of those with autism who are more level headed and self-actualizing beyond their diagnosis are thrashed by these very same militants, their only sin having committed an “autism thought crime” or not being “autistic enough”. These are the few people poisoning their side of the movement, and they make no allowance that autism affects anyone other then themselves, hence why as a parent talking with them is simply non-productive.

    The 6 items you mentioned were things we’ve taught after speaking with many autistics over the years, so don’t think all parents and educators are bad. Maybe you’ve just had a bad string of luck in your part of the country. As a final remark, we are still looking for some folks with autism to serve on our board and have been searching for years now. We’ve had some difficulty finding autistics where we are who understand the non-profit world or are willing to learn. We’re in Central PA if anyone is interested.

    • Hi Rich, thanks for weighing in here. I have a follow up question – and trust me when I tell you, I’m interested in this, not to argue, but because I want to gain a better understanding – the two young women who were protesting the Autism Speaks walk, handing out flyers, asking those walking if they were interested in hearing from someone who is autistic and were met with disinterest and even hostility are certainly not “militant”. (Not that I would object if they were militant, by the way. If anyone has reason to be militant it is Autistics, but that is another post.) My question is why do so many who say they care passionately about Autism show such indifference to those who ARE Autistic? This is what I do not understand.
      Good luck with your project.

      • I would have to agree with chavisory’s earlier comment, and I think she’s dead on.

        Also, if I ran into someone at an AS walk handing out flyers and asking that question, I would stop to speak with them for a little bit, but then again, I love people and being challenged in my worldview. However, having run a number of walks myself (not for AS), there could be any number of factors playing into it, from being too busy (there are hundreds or thousands of people and things to do that day), to dealing with their own children or others, to anger that these people can think they speak for my kid and they don’t know anything about him/her or me. I also find a lot of new parents are the ones supporting AS as they haven’t been around long enough to understand what autism is like long term for individuals and their own family. This may play into not wanting to talk with autistic adults.

        And I would argue that they are not showing indifference to those that are autistic. Just OTHER people who are autistic. They feel they are being passionate about those in their inner circles. Over time, they will learn as I did of the bigger picture, but that can take time.

        Lastly, I wouldn’t call those two as being militant. You would know a militant if you ran into one. You, as a parent, would immediately be identified as an enemy and attacked because you can’t possibly understand autism. I hope you don’t ever have to deal with that vitrol.

  14. People (in general) don’t like change. They also like to be part of something.
    Many of the existing large Autism organizations base much of what they do on a negative perception, and this is what most parents are presented with as soon as they have a diagnosis.
    When people who are on the spectrum show up on the scene and say “Hey, this isn’t bad – I know why this could be happening” or “I used to do something like this because…” it removes a common and firmly placed misconception. That much of what Autistics do is meaningless and that we are somehow locked inside and unable to come out and interact. It acknowledges that we have thoughts and feelings and ideas, and even likes and dislikes that and contrary to what “people” should or shouldn’t like or dislike. That we are a lot more like them than they might think. That we aren’t broken or defective – just different.
    People who are open to listening to Autistics generally do want to help and understand their children and have seem to have a more positive view of the world. People who don’t want to listen seem to feel threatened by the suggestion that there’s more to it and perhaps even things that they don’t know. No one will give you the same answer. But I would imagine that the people who don’t want to listen have personal reasons that they may or may not be aware of. People I’ve encountered have ranged from being upset for being contradicted (experts) even with ample evidence that they are wrong, to an inability to cope with having done unnecessary things to eliminate behaviors which were meaningful to their children, as this would imply that they may have hindered or harmed them in the process.

    • Thanks so much for this. Yes, threatened by that which they do not understand, is something I’ve thought of. The fear associated with the word autism is one I know well.
      As I read your comment I thought of my “fantasy conversation” when we received my daughter’s diagnosis. I wish we had been given Julia’s blog and a dozen others that I now read regularly (none of these existed in 2004) It would have changed so much.

  15. Just today, on Facebook, I left a comment for my dear friend, Trina. Her son is nearly five and non-verbal. Not autistic, but developmentally delayed due to spending most of his life in the hospital. Her post said something about how her and her husband had figured out “Greyson based sign language” – as in they’ve figured out what he’s trying to say, even though he isn’t talking. I replied….

    “Just because he doesn’t speak, doesn’t mean he has nothing to say.”

    That’s courtesy of you and Amy, by the way. And a year ago, I never would have thought to have said it. Even six months ago, before I began reading here, I cringe to think how dismissive and insensitive I’ve been to my daughter all these years. Even though I love her more than anything in the world!

    I think that, for most parents, it just doesn’t *occur* to them that there are so many adult autists out in the world. Our perception of autism is so focused on our own child, our own family, that we don’t *think* to reach out and search for others. And yet, it makes so much sense that it’s scary to realize how many of us don’t, or haven’t, thought about it. I know I didn’t, not really.

    I’ve mentioned that the lady who cuts Risa’s hair has an adult son with autism. I’ve known him for years, the only adult autist I’ve ever known “in person”. His point of view has always been valuable to me, and I STILL never thought to look for adults with autism who might be writing blogs.

    I have a parent support group meeting tonite and Risa’s school, and when it’s my turn to speak, you can bet this is something I will shout out to fellow parents. No, these adults don’t speak for our children directly. But just because they don’t speak, doesn’t mean they have nothing to say!

    xoxo

    • Angie!! You go!! and thank you for telling me this. You’re awesome. You know all about my regrets, you’ve heard them before, but we have to pick up and move forward, knowing that at least we were able to change when we did. XXXX

      • Just an update – I went to that meeting last nite. I told everyone all about you, and all the wonderful, adult autists out there blogging and gave names, told them to Google them – and to start reading! You’ll learn far more from them than you ever will from “professionals”.

        And everyone there was very open to the idea, even excited by it. Although it wasn’t a main topic of conversation, I put the bug in their ears, and what more can you ask for?

        There was a dad there from Risa’s class I talk to often. He adopted his autistic foster son who had been terribly neglected. It’s an awful story, really. Anyhow, he works with young adults on the spectrum and wholeheartedly agreed with my logic. He had seen Carly Fleischman’s video, but didn’t realize how many more people were out there, trying to get their voices heard.

        Just thought you’d like to know I hopefully found a few more members for the tribe! 😉 xoxo

  16. Love love love. I don’t know why but on the bright side I think people are starting to change their minds. You are helping a lot. ((((((Ariane))))))

  17. Hello dear friend..this conversation is wonderful. I asked my emma yesterday what she thought. We had a great conversation and i got to learn more about how she sees herself. And speaking of how she is feeling…i am proud to say strong.

  18. thanks so much for putting it into words.
    i have a wonderful supportive partner, but like all couples, we run into misunderstandings. i’ve sent off the link to this as a joyful explanation for some things i have trouble putting into words (despite being completely brilliantly articulate. ahem)
    i have always been a WHY person, and i love it, despite the fact that it frequently cheeses people off.

  19. Ok guess I will give you some thoughts that have come to me lately. I’ve read several blogs recently where the blogger has been feeling attacked by someone. Someone verbally abusing them. Berating them. I think often why? How can this be? Who in their right mind would write a letter claiming all knowledge of someone’s life and wright hateful messages. Who really is this spiteful and hateful to any person? It grieves me to know that they’re people who are in our community that are crossing thease lines. It is hard as a mother to rase any child. We go through so much with what’s the right decision for this or for that. But what saddens me is that many mothers not just the Autism mom but all mothers go though the muck of extreme judgement. To breastfeed or not to breastfeed. To work or not to work. How do we do things and why. Often we think we have the right to discuss how another person lives and breaths. If it ain’t like us well then it has to go. I have made no bones about stating that I don’t like some of the ideas and choices of therapies some authors of some books ( shout out to miss JM) choose to. But I have not crossed the line writing her letters of hate. I don’t get a angry mob after her. I don’t tell her ” you don’t even love that boy” . Why cause 1 not my boy. 2 I’m not ever going to have anything to do with that kid 3 I have boundries 4 I don’t know that family and in not with her but I’m sure she does love her boy. Now for why I don’t like her books. When she makes statements like I don’t love my kid if I don’t do things her way. That’s when I think she has crossed the line. Do I write her some crazy letter telling her off. No. Why? Why waist my time. You know it’s so much better to just leave someone to make their own choices then to try to make their choices for them. I’m hoping to raise two kids on the spectrum who will be civil with people. Who will respect others and their right to rase their children. I want when my kids have kids that they will be leaders. That they will not lead by might but by love. That they will lead by example. Showing the world what they can do. That when a mom meets them and they find out that the mom has a child on the spectrum they will show her mercy and respect. My boys will have the right to disclose what they want to when they want to. That when they speak it won’t just be seen as Autism speaks. That it will be seen as they are speaking. I hope that I will raise them good enough to not be a bully cause they feel they have been bullied. With any luck my kids won’t be one of the rude people who use their voice as an autistic to hurt anyone. I think I will accomplish this goal cause I don’t do it. I don’t bother with the everyone must do therapy or no therapy like me stuff. I just do my own stuff. I hope that when people meet my very unique family they will see our family and not keep trying to fit us into a mold. I don’t want to fit a Autism or Nerotypical mold. I really wish the community could stop pitting mom against mom for a minute and just be supportive of each other. Think about the real awareness we would spread. If we showed our community as a open and loving community that respected each others differences.

  20. Thank you for this. I wish that more parents were reading autistic adults’ blogs. I know more and more are, but there’s still a big gap between us and the parent blogging circles, and we should all be reading each other. Also, as someone who always asks why, I share the frustration you feel when the explanations don’t make sense. Thank you again.

    • Michael, thanks so much for adding this. I think more and more parents are certainly aware of Autistic blogs, unlike when I was new to all of this in 2004. I cannot tell you how much it would have changed things had I known and found them then.

  21. I don’t know. I am not actually very cynical but as far as Autism Speaks goes it would be a mistake to consider the autistic point of view. While many of us do indeed need services and support (more than most ever see) if you listen to what someone has to say it gets harder to make a case for why they must be prevented in the first please. To listen would make us human. Not a tragedy. Not a horrible mistake. Human. (Granted humans that often don’t feel very human but still something harder to make a case of erasing)

    The people who fall into lockstep with them are not so different from anyone else who has wanted to support a “great cause” without looking too deeply into it.

    The point was made that yes for some the not wanting to listen comes from experience with people on the spectrum who are so hostile and rejecting of NTs that frankly I tend to not want to associate with them either. I don’t think that explains this for the most part as to experience that they would have had to actually be open enough to listen to any autistic person in the first place.

    It’s painful to spend your life as part of a species you can never fully belong to. That’s how it feels like me when I am out among people. The sum total of what puzzles me about them builds a wall I can;t surmount. I try and try and have the occasional success with some people but for the most part the rest of the world out there seems so unlike me that I am not sure that I could make the effort in person anyway to address any of their misconceptions.

    If you say you have autism. For a large percentage of people right off the bat they write off the possibility you could have something worth hearing to say. You must be either delusional since you are able to say as much and therefore clearly can’t actually have it or be about to bore the socks of them with 2 hours of random facts. Either way you are not worth their time. Even if in that time you could address those misperceptions. You can’t force people to hear what they are not ready to hear though.

    I worked for 24 years in respite care. There were some parents of special needs children who managed a balance as far as they had a life that included that one of their children was not like the other as they would say on Sesame Street (which I suppose is safe now for 4 more years) Others completely defined themselves and their lives by the tragedy of that child. That’s the only way they could and would ever see it and as the years wear on it would be a huge threat to see it as anything else as then they would have to confront how they had led their lifes for decades. That would I imagine by uncomfortable to say the least.

    • Gareeth, I really hate that you’ve experienced this kind of blatant disregard and prejudice. It makes me sad and sadder still knowing that not only you’ve experienced this but so have countless others.
      You’re description of the parent who defines themselves by the tragedy of their child is one I recognize. I hate admitting this, but it is the truth. When I was given a different way of seeing things it felt like an enormous burden had been lifted. Richard and I talked about the euphoria we both felt almost constantly for months afterwards. That process continues to unfold for us. It is not hyperbole to say our lives have dramatically changed and it all changed very quickly. This is what I wish for any parent who is suffering because that other way was so horribly painful and terrible for Emma, which, bizarrely, I didn’t factor in until later. I wish this hadn’t been my process, but it was, I would do just about anything to spare another person and their child that kind of pain.

  22. To be honest I look at it all as, for lack of a better phrase, pieces of the puzzle. I got to Autism Speaks to get info about services, doctors, support groups etc in my area. SFAR.org and various journals for the latests medical updates and discoveries, parent forums and blogs for ideas and to feel less isolated and alone and lastly but not least, I look at lot’s of Autistic adult blogs and forums like WrongPlanet to help me better understand my daughter’s behaviors and potential challenges. I’m not looking for a “normal” life for my daughter or trying to erase her Autism. To be honest what would be ideal, would be to merge the better abilities of both of our worlds. To do this, which may be impossible, I feel I need to get as much information from as many sources as possible. I don’t know why other parents wouldn’t do the same. But at the end of the day I just want her to have a happy, productive, independent life. A life where she feels loved, supported and understood. Then I will know I have done this child right, Autism or no Autism. She deserves to be accepted for who she is, but like my other (NT) twin daughter, she will always be pushed to grow. She will know that I will to the best of my ability try to understand her challenges but it does not mean I will not expect her to push herself and apply herself in ways that may not always come easily to her. There are more things than I can count that do not come easy to me, and I have gained more self confidence and personal satisfaction in reaching and extending myself to accomplish these things. I want the same for her. As for Autism Speaks, Isn’t John Elder Robinson appointed to their scientific advisory board? But I agree their ought to be more representation from the Autistic community.

    • Hi S. Thanks for commenting. yes, John Elder Robinson is on their board now I believe, but imagine if a group of men sat around making decisions about you and every aspect of your life. When you protested they pointed to the lone female on an advisory board and told you to stop complaining. Think how you’d feel if every part of your life was decided by this group, yet every time you tried to speak out you were ignored or made fun of or told you lacked the ability to make such important decisions. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it gets the idea across.

  23. This is something I’ve wondered about for quite some time. I still don’t quite know, but based on my observations, from what I can discern after years of such interactions, one strong speculation that I have is that it’s a form of paranoia. A paranoid mindset causes things that would appear harmless or beneficial to appear threatening. I do not mean any disrespect or dismissal of their fears, to point out the existence of a paranoid mindset. A paranoid mindset can be a response to perfectly justifiable fears. However, one factor that differentiates a paranoid mindset (justifiable or otherwise) from simply an anxious one (justifiable or otherwise) is the belief that you are the one and only person on earth who understands and appreciates the danger. Unless, that is, you are able to meet with other people who also understand and appreciate the danger, people who are going through the same thing, who can reinforce your certainty of the danger.

    If you listen to the rhetoric of “autism moms” and “warrior moms,” this mindset is a very strong underlying sentiment: “Something is horribly wrong with my child. No one believes me. No one takes this danger seriously. No one understands. Doctors don’t understand. Teachers don’t understand. Family doesn’t understand. No one understands except other warrior moms and Autism Speaks/Generation Rescue/NAA/DAN/[insert anti-autistic org of one’s choice]. We small band of dedicated fighters, whom no one is listening to, are the only ones who really understand and really care about saving our children from this all-consuming autistic demon.”

    It becomes this paranoid hive-minded subculture with its own internal rules, like “always support other warrior moms” and “never criticize another warrior mother’s methods of curing her child, no matter how abusive.”

    When autistic people speak out and say that our lives aren’t tragic, we aren’t diseased, and we don’t need to be cured, that’s one more outsider disbelieving their lone Cassandra truth. Which may be why they insist on accusing us of acting in bad faith—we’re trolls looking for fights, or we’re pharma shills, or we’re very high-functioning Aspies who are nothing at all like their tragically diseased children. And we’re bullying them. Of course. Because absolutely everyone is out to get them.

    • This was like listening into my thinking not so long ago. “Something is horribly wrong with my child. No one believes me. No one takes this danger seriously. No one understands…”. That was pretty much exactly what I thought. The only difference from what you’ve described is, I was desperate to learn otherwise.

  24. This is very beautiful. And I don’t know the answer. But I still want to keep speaking up and making sure I type my views. Hopefully I will reach more people. Thanks for trusting us.

  25. I think that they don’t want to hear that they might be doing something that’s not actually good for their kid, they don’t want to see that their kids will still be autistic when they grow up, they don’t want to think about their kids not somehow living a “normal” life and the autistic adult bloggers are a reminder that autistic people stay autistic and don’t always find the mainstream therapies helpful.

    • Alyssa, I cannot wait to read your opinions on all the research you’ve been doing.
      When I first found Julia’s blog and then read all the blogs on her blog roll, I was absolutely horrified. All these things I’d done out of love for my daughter were being spoken of as terrible things, dangerous things. There were moments when I had to stop reading because I felt so awful for what I’d done, but I kept coming back to read more. What filled me with hope was not how “normal” anyone was, actually the opposite, because my daughter is not precociously verbal and the people who wrote about that were the ones who made me feel as much hope, if not more, than those who were very verbal kids and as such very different from my daughter. But the prevailing feeling was that I’d finally found others, now adults who were more similar to her than NTs and they weren’t in institutions (my single biggest fear) they were living their lives and I could begin to imagine that she might be able to live in a similar way and they were happy and sad, and everything in between, like every human being in this world, and that made me feel better and calmer and my fear began to subside.
      What I have seen reading all these comments is, I don’t know that I can understand those who reject Autistics, it is so completely different from my experience, but I’m not sure I need to either. I keep hoping I’ll be able to create a short cut for these parents, so they and their children won’t have to go through what I did with Emma. I kept hoping that would be my living amends to my daughter, helping others avoid the traps I fell into, but maybe that isn’t possible.

      • Don’t feel too guilty about the early days. Again, we have a culture that says that kids have no judgment and that it’s parents’ job to make kids do things that they think are painful and awful. Which I think is as terrible for normal kids as it is for neuro-atypical ones. It’s really against the grain of so much of what we’re constantly, implicitly told about children and about parenting and education, to start to think that kids often have good instincts, and that sometimes the reason they think things are awful is because they are.

        I wonder if this also plays into parents not wanting to listen to autistic adults…because if we’re agreeing with the kids, we just *must* be wrong, because children can’t know what’s good for them.

  26. Ariane you said: ” This is what I wish for any parent who is suffering because that other way was so horribly painful and terrible for Emma, which, bizarrely, I didn’t factor in until later. I wish this hadn’t been my process, but it was, I would do just about anything to spare another person and their child that kind of pain.” You are not wishing though. You are actively sharing your process honestly so those who are willing to hear can see it.

    I don’t think you can create a short cut to people being receptive to a message that can mess with their world view. It could be you do shorten it for those who wouldn’t be prepared to hear it from autistic people in the first place though but who might listen to a fellow parent.

  27. I enjoyed reading your post. I think some parents aren’t vigilant about teaching compassion and understanding to their children. With people like you sharing, maybe that too will change.
    Thank you for sharing.

  28. Why?
    Because many are still stuck in that “Autism is a tragedy” mode. To acknowledge adults with autsim as equals would be to somehow make autism or disability okay
    It is about how people value human life and seeing some people as being less.For some you are less because you are a woman, a person from a different country , a refugee, gay, or disabled. And to have an intellectual disability well that is used as an insult in Western society.That they have nothing to contribute , that they don'[t know what is for their own good.
    Im not sure if I can explain this very well.I dont think these parents and orginisations have moved beyond the whole grieving process. I dont mean to offend anyone here who has autism. It isn’t something to grieve about ( at least I dont think so)but rather they dont get over the whole oh my god this isn’t what we expected. like you can sign up to parenting or life, like you sign up for a holiday ( any one remember that awful Welcome to Holland?)
    What was a big wake up for me was reading a piece years ago called Don’t Mourn For Us.( I think the Author is Jim Sinclair I will have to go check) It reminded me that my kids were stil right there in front of me and they are who they are.
    Also I suspect these parents and groups feel threatened. They would have to turn around their whole way of thinking and get beyond being patronizing if they acknowledge adults with autism and have to listen to what they actually want and how they feel. They would not be able to just rush in and do whatever they wanted to their family members regardless.People are uncomfortable very uncomfortable with having to change.
    Well that is just my spin on “why”

  29. I find myself shaking my head once more at how backward the world is becoming. What you are describing reminds me of me as a child when my home was being built, not once was I asked “does this suit your needs, is it what you want?” No, nope not once, (oh I’m in a wheelchair) so I find myself once again miserably frustrated to see yet again people who are supposed to be there for others, talking over them, around them and behind them instead of sitting down with said person and saying “please tell me in whatever way you can, what you want!” Is it truly THAT difficult?

  30. Yes it was Jim Sinclair . Way back in 1993. I read it around 2004.
    http://www.autreat.com/dont_mourn.html

  31. Perhaps send it to Autism Speaks?

  32. I have only recently started reading all these blogs by people on the spectrum. My son is 15 and suddenly I understand him so much more. I can’t believe I went so many years not knowing these wonderful people were explaining my son’s view of the world. How can we not listen to them and be grateful they share their insights with us.

  33. It is because they lump thoughts that I’m less wedded to I’m pity greeted. Under pity, there they feed their poignancy pointed, pompous ideas that polish powerful pumps enabling their ignoring I as a real heard PEST– there upping their egos-pretty-be, by demeaningly pitying I. There is my heart-breathed break.

    • Peyton – I think you are right. I hope your voice and so many others who have commented here and who speak out will change that, or at least will show others that pity helps none.

  34. I recently read a blog post that was actually from a while ago, regarding quotes by Jenny McCarthy and her views on the division of ‘autism moms’ as either being ‘warrior moms’ or ‘victims’. Stating the first half were willing to do anything and everything to find a way to help their child, and the latter group sitting around and complaining and whining about how hard their life is now and how much they are missing out on because of their child.

    To me, that just seemed like the pot calling the kettle black. While raising a child with autism is difficult, it isn’t completely devoid of fun and happiness, but when a group of autism moms get together, it’s only natural to vent, just as moms of teenagers might do the same. They love their children, but it’s still really nice to have someone to talk to who understands. And sometimes those opportunities are few and far between.

    Those who consider themselves ‘warrior moms’ are strange to me. They are so intent on ‘fixing’ their child, that they don’t have the time to stop and watch their child experiment with light and shadow when outside on a sunny day, listen to the wind in the trees and the birds singing, lay down and watch the stars on a summer night with their child. They are just constantly chasing after that fix.

    In my opinion, that is the heart of the divergence in the autism community; those who are searching for a cure, and those who are asking for ND. The former somehow take away the humanity from individuals with any level of ASD, high functioning or otherwise, they automatically assume, ‘their brain doesn’t work right so how can they honestly know what they want or what is best for them?” *warning sarcasm* Yeah, because nobody who has the ability to reason, recognize patterns, lives with their disability could possibly know anything about it, what triggers them or what soothes them, that just doesn’t make sense. *end sarcasm.*

    I don’t see myself as a victim, and actually, those searching for a cure or a fix, to me seem to be acting like victims much more so then those who accept their children for who they are and do everything they can to help them feel loved and live a happy life. I have been blessed with six wonderful, beautiful, healthy children. Yeah, my youngest has autism, but he is cute, affectionate and super funny. He can see and hear things that I can’t, finds humor in things that I would over look, he has actually taught me to stop and watch the airplanes, but especially the helicopters because we don’t see them very often. My son has the ability to see things my NT children couldn’t, and he is teaching me to become better connected to my own world. How would that make me a victim? He is happy, he is loved, I know he loves me too and he teaches me something new every day. The love, safety and happiness he feels allow him to grow and progress.

    I hurt for those children who are seen by their parents as ‘broken, less then human’ because I can’t imagine they have everything my son has. To me, those ‘curist’ parents seem to me to be the ones acting the victim because they are so boisterous in their beliefs and spread it far and wide to anyone who will listen that their child has autism and is broken. I tell people if they ask me, but I don’t advertize my son’s autism. The curious or uncomfortable looks he may get while we are on the bus and he is rocking and humming don’t bother him. I don’t let them bother me anymore either because this is what my son needs to do to cope with being on a noisy, crowded bus. If someone else has a problem with it, that is their problem.

    I totally get what you mean by asking why. The entire thing makes no sense to me either, particularly when listening to what many of these autistics who have been there, done that, have to say, they are not seeking special treatment, not seeking treatment at all, but acceptance and understanding and the ability to have a voice in policies made for and about them. That only makes sense to me considering it’s their lives, and if they are able to conduct their lives day to day on their own, why would they not be able to provide insight into what others in the autism community also might need or desire and deserve? These adults with autism give me great hope for my son. And I believe that learning to listen to them has allowed me to slow down and listen to my son, and we are both happier for it.

    • Beautifully said. That idea of victimhood is interesting. I can say from my own experience of having had a foot in both camps, that the cure track is a horrible, horrible place to be. I do not wish that mindset on anyone. It is painful, lonely and ultimately depressing as all hell. This was my experience. I understand this does not seem to be everyone’s. I felt far more angry, sad, depressed and in the role of the “victim” when I was racing after one treatment to the next than when I stopped all of that. I am happier and SHE is happier, in fact we are ALL happier!

  35. The answer I believe is that these people are dealing with a greater level of disability and impact on their families. ‘Autism’ is really not that big an issue, compared to the intellectual disabilities and other problems. So the parent of the LFA sees someone who is talking, typing, living in the world and who claims they are Autistic and the parent can’t see anything in common with their own child. ‘Thats not Autism’ they say (I heard this yesterday in fact) – and considering we don’t yet know a lot about ‘Autism’ potentially there may in fact not be anything in common. This will persist as long as the word Autism is used as it is so unspecific. For example I have a son with Autism, if you invite me to dinner and I say ‘great, I’ll bring my Autistic son with me’ would you expect to meet someone who will talk your ear off about Thomas the Tank Engine or someone non-verbal who sits at the table and pauses eating only to fill their diaper?

    • The labels definitely confused me and was one of the harder pieces of all of this to understand. I actually don’t know that I completely “get it” still. And I can only speak from my own experience of a child who was first diagnosed as PDD-NOS, “down-graded” to autism a year later, but considered “mildly” so and now is, by NT autism “expert’s” standards in the “moderate” range. None of those functioning labels have proven helpful, and actually are more confusing than anything. Yet, even so, I find talking with Autistic people is a thoroughly enjoyable, helpful and hopeful thing to do. I keep hoping if I could just explain this better, others would also see the light!

    • I’m not sure this is actually it in most cases. More than a few times I’ve been told, basically, “You just don’t understand what it’s like to be MY child, because MY child […and the parent proceeds to relate an anecdote basically indistinguishable from what things were in fact like for me as a child.]”

      • That’s interesting. It suggests there is a feeling (on the parent’s end) of not being “heard” or understood, coupled with feeling so frightened and in despair that they cannot “hear” you or can’t even allow you to speak because that would threaten this version of what they believe to be the “truth”? I recognized adkyriolexy’s description in my own (not so very long ago) thinking – “Something is horribly wrong with my child. No one believes me. No one takes this danger seriously. No one understands…” add a feeling of despair and tremendous fear and you’ve got a person who is no longer able to listen or able to be rational.
        Sadly the one thing that helped me, (meeting and listening to autistic adults) seems to be the thing that threatens others.

        • Dellantonio, love.

          In my imagination, I think about the people who have been led to believe there is “no hope” for their “tragic” children. They were led to believe this by a thriving industry who needs them to feel like this… But from a place of no hope and no future, steady warrior-panic fighting a misunderstood concept, how can they possibly hear and picture what chavisory and I were like as youths when seeing what we are like now? I don’t think they can help the notlikemychild thing, no matter what the evidence, until they are developmentally ready. What I will do is continue to be living evidence, mellowly encouraging people to notice that I am a friendly successful person who is a member of a community and culture all radically similar to their kid in interesting and diverse ways that represent hope and fellowship. Others in the community have different roles, and brilliant ally parents are making my day! In time, change will change things, and we will help erode the fear.

          • Personally I would love to hear more about what Autisic adults were like as children. How have you changed as you have become adults. What strategies have you developed to help you cope in less ideal situations. What advice would you give to parents of Autistic children in supporting their child’s needs. What do you feel are benefital therapies, what are potential harmful or not helpful in your opinion. I think it’s important to understand that most parents just want to do right the right thing and find themselves in a situation where they are constantly getting conflicting opinions. It’s a truly helpless feeling. Throw in the fact that most of society has very a little understanding of Autism and yet many feel compelled to offer their unsolicited advice iften times offensive advice. From my daughter’s preschool teachers who don’t understand why Birth2Three needs to be there for her in the classroom, or the comments from other moms who feel it’s a fad diagnosis or worse avoid play dates with us. The isolation and stress we feel as parents is very real. I find myself defending her diagnosis and the challenges and strategies to help her cope that have come with it. It kills me when she does something like talk excitedly about going to a bounce house all day and then getting there and having her meltdown because it’s too loud. Watching her try again and again to go in because her NT twin was inside having a ball, but crying and panicking as she tried to leave. Even heavier on my heart is having her apologize over and over to me as I held her and told her it was okay, mommy isn’t upset, mommy understands. It is loud. Sorry, I just had this happen and felt so helpless. My daughter is so incredibly sweet, she amazes me with her innate kindness. A truly old soul at 33 months. She truly tries so hard, I love her more than words can express. It’s even harde trying to be there and neet the needs of her twin sister who has her own wants and beeds that simetimes conflict with what Alex can handle right now. I am often torn by what is fair to both of them since I don’t have aknot of support. It also pains me to see my daughter react badly to almost every food I give her. She has had allergy testing and is allergic to eggs and is definitely very intolerant to dairy and soy which we took out of her diet and her chronic eczema that ravaged her body mostly subsided. But it’s doesn’t seem like its enough, she still has chronic diarrhea and only eats 6 things. If I take away gluten it is literally taking away the only nutritious meal she eats. I don’t know where to turn. She ‘s seen 2 GI doctors who think its just “Toddler Diarrhea.” and tell me to avoid juice. Which she doesn’t drink anyway. I can see why many parents turn to BioMed and DAN doctors ( we haven’t) because most pediatricians are woefully under educated about the physical problems in so many of these kids. I think these parents don’t feel their children are “less” at all, they are scared, frustrated, missunderstood and alone. Scared because it feels like there is no one you can trust. I don’t believe my child is unhappy but I do think her health could be vastly improved. I don’t believe for a minute that if we solve her GI issues she’ll some how be cured of Autism nor is that my goal. I just don’t want her in any pain. I want her to look back on her childhood and remember it fondly. With a family that loves and excepts her for who she is. Alex is Autistic but she’s many many other things too. She’s smart and kind and she deserves everything that life can offer her. Maybe this isn’t a popular viewvbut I believe she can be ‘different’ and able. If she can’t we’ll be there ofcourse for her but if we can empower her to do for herself, to love herself and celebrate her differences, many that are tremdous gifts in my opinion, then I want that for her. I really do. Her personal happiness will always come first though. She will always be MY baby. I think many parents don’t reach out to Autistic adults not because they fear their reality being shattered, I think they aren’t informed enough on how to do it. It’s why I totally agree Autism Speaks which is particilarly established as a resources for parents , should have a lot more representation from the Autustic community. I think many parents would totally embrace the chance to learn from them and feel more at peace with the diagnosis. There needs to be more information in general on how to connect with this community. Most parents are just trying to do the right thing by their kids. At the end of the day, it’s tough, it’s often physically and emotionally exhausting, and we are human. Mistakes will be made, no parent is perfect.

            • This may interest you its a (free) online book written by a Wrong Planet member in his twenties, based on his own experiences and intended for Parents of children with an ASD. He describes it like this: “It is specifically designed for parents who are confused about autism, and what they should do about it”

              http://asdstuff.com/grats.html

              It really is excellent, practical stuff and deserves to be read more widely.

              Not sure what to suggest about the GI issues, I haven’t really heard much about that, but it does strike me that if she is still having problems its one of the remaining 6 things she is still eating?

            • Come to Tinygracenotes for now! Also a group of us parents and Autistics are trying to build a website that’ll do what you’re talking about, much needed… Personally I would LOVE if they used research cash to do real non fake science about the GI stuff. Theatre changed my life socio-emotion-wise and increased confidence but my damn guts continue to annoy, and by using the word ‘annoy’ I am delicately undersaggerating. Keep on trucking, S. I like you.

    • Parents who have said their child is nothing like me have later told me that, (in one case) their child actually had lost the diagnosis, another that their child had an Asperger’s diagnosis, and other things that indicated that, publicly, the parent takes a stand that their child is more disabled and we “high functioning Autistics” don’t know anything about that. I don’t know that “these people,” on average, actually are dealing with a greater level of disability, although many are. The fact that the *parent* can’t see anything in common might be more about the parent than about the actuality. I have also had connections with children who are “not like me,” where the kid came up to me and started verbally and otherwise interacting with me (even when I could not understand the words very well) but he was talking to me and behind him, the mom was going “He doesn’t DO this…. this isn’t how he usually acts.” Well, he was with ME (the one who doesn’t have anything in common with him). So, it’s always going to be disappointing unless I get the chance to interact with a child, and the parent can see what transpire, and the parent backs off enough to stop doing that thing where they “talk for the child” or explain the kid to me or run interference so that I can’t actually interact with the kid after all. Maybe some day I will get to make some videos of some of these interactions, and interview the parent who says “My kid had this experience with Paula….” And, no, I don’t “work with” Autistic kids, but sometimes I get to spend a bit of time with them.

  36. I’m not sure I have a lot to add above what others have posted concerning the “echo chamber” effect that creates parental not-like-my-child responses (though to follow up on what “nostromo” posted just above, my child is nonspeaking and could easily fall into a label of “LFA” if I were willing to accept the validity of such a distinction, which several autistics have articulately questioned).

    Perhaps another aspect is the difficulty of understanding the depth of internalized ableism in our society — just like many caucasians will maintain their perspectives are not racist because the racist assumptions that underlie them are so “normal” within our society.

    My own journey toward embracing neurodiversity has also been all too recent and still is bumpy, since even as an over-educated sensitive-new-age-guy I harbored (and probably still do to some extent) deep-seated assumptions about disability being a less desirable state than “ability” (whatever that means; it’s like the world “normal”). Frankly, I still shudder at some of the attitudes that I held not many months ago, and I’m grateful to all the neurodiversity activists (some of whom, but not all, are named in various places above) who have been patient in helping me unpack those biases and assumptions.

    I have a long way to go, and I don’t consider myself any more virtuous than anyone else, but since both professionally and temperamentally I am accustomed to making significant efforts to “see the other side” and systematically question my assumptions, I can imagine that anyone who is not as semi-obsessive about questioning her/his/hir privilege might have trouble embracing the humility that it takes to be Just Plain Wrong over and over again.

    This especially when it *is* frustrating to parent regardless of the child’s ability/issues, and it can be especially frustrating to parent in the face of a society that considers the “non-standard” behavior of one’s child as a result of the inadequacy of one’s parenting strategies (and then proffers many siren-song solutions). I completely understand the siege mentality because I was there at one time; I’m not justifying it at all, but I understand it, and others have described the phenomenon above as well. I’m glad I have escaped it, even though it makes me question my assumptions daily even more than I used to 🙂 but I try not to let that immobilize me as I attempt to let my child’s needs rather than outside assumptions about those needs drive my parenting approach.

    Still and all, I think the core ableist assumption that it is better (indeed, possible) to be “normal” and “not disabled” and “anyone would *want* to be able rather than disabled” is another thing that stands in the way of some parents listening to neurodiversity advocates. Even if they can get beyond the NOTLIKEMYCHILD mantra, they might not be able to grasp the idea that people might *not* want to be “normal”/cured/whathaveyou. Maybe. At any rate, thank you for everything you do to bring this dialogue forward!

  37. I have concluded, you are my twin. 😉

  38. Please excuse the typos, typing on my iPhone is not a skill I posses.

  39. Chou Chou Scantlin

    My goodness! You have all been so chatty, while I have been so busy performing! I am so delighted with all of you!
    Ariane, you are a wonder. You, and everyone else here ARE moving the dialogue forward. I am no good at debate, so, humbly, I will simply find the roses, rather than the thorns. Please understand, I must simplify, although I very must admire the capacity for banter here.
    Autism Speaks is just a really good marketing champaign. It just needs to be trumped by a better, more positive, more logical message. Fear is an A# 1 marketing tool, as we know, but happiness is an even better one. Your beautiful presentation of autism in such a loving light, along with all the other bloggers and friends, is the beginning of such a champaign. The bottom line is what offers better results, and what are the results desired. Happiness and peace of mind, acceptance and accessibility, these are what I consider important, and feel I should help voice. I am not “normal”. I never will be. But I am extremely happy, and my life is as valuable as anyone else’s…no more, no less.
    Shakespeare wrote, “Heaven me such uses send, not to pick bad from bad, but by bad, mend”. This comes to mind for me as the proper mindset, in order to bridge the divide between autistic philosophies. Love trumps all. That’s the bottom line, and people are drawn to it. Change is happening, and it is happening here. I am so grateful to all of you, and the many brave young Autist who are letting their voice be heard. Be brave, be positive…and love.

    • I love that you described us as “chatty”! That word always makes me laugh. I don’t know why, but it does. Richard and I can be arguing about something, but if he then uses the word “chatty” I begin to laugh. It’s just hilarious to me.
      I do believe bridging divides is the only way toward something better and doing that with compassion and love is the only way to build a strong, durable bridge that has any hope of lasting.
      Thank you for being such a terrific role model of love.
      XXX

  40. In a Power-focused world, ‘rude’ ultimately reduces to not knowing one’s place in the dominance hierarchy; and the highest place any autist can realize is to be ‘a useful draft animal’ – the highest major division of ‘not-human and not-favored’. (e.g. T. Grandin)
    That’s a substantial improvement from the status of ‘scenery’ – where one is invisible – which is in turn a step up from disease-vector. (as per Autism Shrieks)
    All of these states, horrible as they are, are MUCH better than the ultimate state of ‘evil’ – that of ‘devil’. (hence demonization)

  41. continued from previous…
    A good owner regards his draft animal with SOME respect, as its wellbeing impacts his livelihood – sick animals have trouble pulling plows, for example. Some owners, however, are ignorant; some sadistic; others, delusional, in that they expect ‘mules’ to fly – and look like – swans.
    That will only result in a hooves-up mule – a mule that is of no use to anyone.
    Scenery is ignored, provided it remains scenery. If it attracts attention, it gets dealt with as a weed.
    Disease vectors are exterminated ruthlessly. The holocaust was merely well-publicized, well-organized, and well-propagandized – at least initially, under Aktion T-4 and later 14f13. Wild euthanasia, however, ( yes, even after V-E day) until those practicing it were (forcibly) stopped.
    The category of ‘devil’, though – that lives in the unconscious. It brings forth all manner of ‘myth’ (changelings), and witch-doctoring.

    One only ‘listens’ to a draft animal when one must. Only when it bring credit to its owner is it thought of as less than burdensome – as if its maintenance is a grievous chore.
    Scenery exists to gladen the heart of the one perceiving it, SHOULD the perceiver be so inclined. It must place no burden upon the viewer, lest it be destroyed as a weed. It is subject to alteration AT WHIM; it needs NO reason whatsoever to be irrevocably change or destroyed.
    The sole use of a vector of disease is to bring fame to its conqueror; and by its destruction, that individual becomes worthy of reverence and awe. (What the Wrights are after…)
    Devils are the very picture of scapegoats – their sole valid use.

    With all of these things, there is no concourse with the human; they all are (very much) lesser beings; if they are to be used, their use is strictly instrumental; and, their ultimate purpose that of steppingstones upon the road of self-deification.

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