Thursday, November 30, 2006

Canada's eugenic government

Canada's Health Minister, Tony Clement, recently made some announcements about the future of autistics in Canada. One thing he announced was a new page about autism on the Health Canada website. The location of this page reflects the Conservative government's position that autism is a disease. In Canada, autistics are therefore seen as sick and as needing treatment in order to become healthy, meaning non-autistic.

The Health Canada page elaborates on this government's position, a position now being imposed as public policy:

Despite the frequency of ASD, there is much that is unknown about these disorders. More research is needed to better understand the incidence, causes, effective early screening tools, optimal treatments, and hopefully one day, prevention.

Canada's government has taken the position that autistics have nothing to contribute to society, have no role at all to play in Canada, have no worth or value as autistics, and ideally would not exist at all. This government hopes for a Canada free of autistic people, a Canada where all autistic traits and abilities have been stamped out.

I've phoned someone in Mr Clement's office and asked if they were sure this is what they wanted to promote as public policy. And were they aware of what the consequences would be to autistic peoople, of having our government tell Canadians that autistic people are unwanted and unwelcome in Canada, and that it would be so much better if we were extinguished.

In the recent autism "debates" in Canada's House of Commons, there have been many self-congratulatory comments about how productive it is to have all the major national political parties agreeing on an issue, and working together towards the same goal. It should be clear what this goal is.

The MP Ruby Dhalla articulates the Liberal Party of Canada position about autism:

I am sure this national strategy is going to ensure that we have the proper investment to do further research into whether there are other treatment options available and into how this type of condition can be prevented.

Here is the MP Peter Stoffer, articulating the official position of the New Democratic Party of Canada:

We need to find out what causes autism, what we can do to prevent it from happening, if that is possible.

That's Canada's three major national political parties, and all three agree that autistic people should not exist. Society, according to our government and the major national opposition parties, should consist entirely of non-autistic people. Autistics are sick, and this sickness has to be eradicated, for the good of society.

The MP who is most responsible for these autism "debates" taking place, the Liberal Andy Scott, opened the first "debate" in the House of Commons by referring to the many autism advocates he consulted with before deciding on the future of autistics in Canada:

They are Canadians concerned about something that is unfinished business for Canada.

That unfinished business is the unacceptable continued existence of autistic people in Canada. All our major political parties are determined to make autism into a very finished business. Right now, they want all autistics in medical treatment until we are no longer autistic, but they are also demanding that autism be prevented, so that no more autistic people are born. They don't want autistic people in Canada at all. They see our existence as being wrong, as being diseased, as being a burden on non-autistic people, as being bad for Canada, as being an insult against what Canada stands for. There is no one to disagree with them, as these non-autistic leaders work hard together on their important eugenic agenda.


Timelord said...

Michelle, does Canada have any disability discrimination laws? If so is there a place to make complaints? If there is then I would go right ahead and make a complaint. This is a violation of the Universal Declaration on the rights of Disabled People, and all Autistic Spectrum Disorders are recognised as disabilities by the UN. If you can promote Canada as a place that is not safe for ASD sufferers in the eyes of the world you can severely embarass Ottawa as they deserve to be.

Completely disgraceful.

Gatt Suru said...

Timelord, United Nations protections are essentially meaningless, as are most of Canada's in reference to any disability not extremely obvious to the eyes.

Canada's problems are well-covered by Mrs. Dawson's own page here. In America, despite the ADA and Fifth Amendment apparently protecting blind people from un-brailled money, does not recognize any protection for autistics or apsies regarding any of the ever-present discrimination on those fields, even from government employers.

The United Nations... well, they can't do bull about genocide or systemic rape, I doubt they'll be very helpful here.

Michelle Dawson said...

Re Timelord's message, I think it's "inappropriate and offensive" (in the words of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society) to state or imply that autistics are "suffering" from autism.

And yeah, Canada's human rights laws at the federal and provincial level, including the highest law of the land (the Charter), have all been used to claim, successfully, that autistics are less than human.

See the very popular Wynberg and Auton trial decisions, e.g. Autism advocates in Canada have used various UN declarations, as well as the Charter, to argue that it is a violation of the rights of autistic people to remain in any way autistic. This position has been agreed to by governments--that autistics violate our own rights just by existing as autistics.

And no, Canada isn't a safe place for autistics. How could it be?

Autism Reality NB said...

Ms Dawson

It is very unfortunate that you post such extremist and unsubstantiated rhetoric. I have never seen anyone make the kinds of statements about ridding Canada of autistic persons that you make in this post.

Can you provide a source for any of these wild claims?

Harold Doherty
Father of a 10 year old boy with Autism Disorder.

Michelle Dawson said...

Hi Mr Doherty,

I provided evidence, including links to the original sources, from which I quoted directly. What part of the word "prevention" don't you understand?

Also, are you now saying that autism advocates oppose the idea that autism is a debilitating disease that is equivalent to cancer, and that autism requires unlimited medical treatment for exactly the same reason as cancer needs unlimited medical treatment? That position was expressed in a document commissioned by ASNB and disseminated by ASNB to Canada's political leaders, as well as in the Auton trial decision. Are you saying you no longer support any of this?

This is also far from the first time Canada's major political parties have taken the public position that the existence of autistic people should ideally be prevented.

I've previously written here about the determination of our major federal political parties to create a Canada free of autistic people.

I find it unfortunate that autism advocates promote such extreme and unsubstantiated rhetoric (many examples on this blog, including recent examples, and on my website), including by disseminating grossly false and pejorative information (information that cannot be traced to any primary source in the peer-reviewed science) about autistic people.

Timelord said...

Michelle, when I spoke of "suffering" I was talking in terms of suffering the indignity that your initial message here is all about. Just to clear that up.

Now if the UN was made aware of this issue, whilst it may be true their direct control may be limited - they are perfectly capable of acutely embarrassing Ottawa. They've done it already to my government (Australia) with their poor record with the local Aborigines. As much as Canberra resists it, the other governments now know how badly we have treated them - both in the past and now.

The UN need to be told about this - and quickly. And in numbers as well.

See the very popular Wynberg and Auton trial decisions, e.g. Autism advocates in Canada have used various UN declarations, as well as the Charter, to argue that it is a violation of the rights of autistic people to remain in any way autistic.

Do you have a direct link to these decisions. Michelle? I want to read it for myself because I can't believe such an oxymoron can actually be held in any court of law! I believe you - I just want to see it for myself, such is my fury at that!! Sheesh!! (As I am in Australia I wouldn't know where to look manually)

And I suggest Mr Doherty look at them as well. Why would Michelle make "wild claims", mister?

Michelle Dawson said...

The main Wynberg trial decision is here.

The main Auton trial decision is here.

My response to the Wynberg trial decision can be found somewhere in here, along with other information about the human rights of autistics in Canada.

My response to the Auton trial and appeal decisions is here.

Autism Reality NB said...

The Auton and Wynberg cases involved attempts by parents of autistic children to treat and educate their children, to improve their abilities to communicate, learn and function in the real world. They do not in any sense involve theories of eugenics.

Michelle Dawson said...

Hi Mr Doherty,

I mentioned Auton and Wynberg trial decisions in the context of the human rights of autistic people in Canada. Both Auton and Wynberg are human rights cases that invoke the Charter.

Auton equates autism with cancer. This carries the conclusion that autistic traits and abilities are sick and diseased and must be eradicated, both from individuals and society.

The great burden autistic people impose on families, communities, society, etc (attach dollar figure here), has always been emphasized by autism advocates, in Auton and elsewhere.

I disagree that the gross dehumanization of autistics, as well as the extremely low or no standards of science and ethics, in the Wynberg and Auton trial decisions helps autistics to function and communicate. Dehumanization doesn't help anyone. Nor do lousy standards of science and ethics.

Both Auton and Wynberg deny that autistics can function, learn or communicate (etc.), or be human, unless we are in ABA programs (indefinitely, or until we become normal).

That writes off most autistics in Canada. Most of us are too old to have received ABA/IBI as young children (there are 150,000 autistic adults in Canada). The jurisprudence says we're less than human: we can't function, learn, comprehend, communicate, etc, and we just naturally belong in institutions. What a victory for autism advocacy.

Michelle Dawson said...

In case I have to connect the dots:

1. Autism advocates persistently equate autism with cancer and other frightening, dreaded, fatal diseases. This is in our jurisprudence. It therefore became likely if not inevitable that at some point, it will be officially decided that autism should be prevented.

2. Autism advocates persistently devalue autistic lives, persistently dehumanize autistics, persistently insist that autistics are appalling burdens on society (dollar figure attached), persistently insist that the only way to evade catastrophic outcomes for autistics is via expensive, unlimited medical treatment with the goal of eliminating autistic traits and abilities (etc). This is in our jurisprudence. This also made it likely, if not inevitable, that it will be officially decided that autism should be prevented.

3. Idiopathic autism is well-recognized as a polygenetic and highly heritable condition. Etiolgical autism is recognized as being associated with multiple genetic syndromes.

4. While this is not certain (because nothing is certain), it is likely that some or most attempts to prevent autism will involve addressing autism at a genetic level. It is extremely unlikely, when public policy dictates that autism should be prevented, that no attempts at all would be made to prevent autism by addressing the genetics of autism.

If even more dots have to be more point:

5. Behaviour analysts use the environment to eliminate unwanted human traits and abilities, while those working at the level of genetics now have a wide array of tools available (e.g., PGD). In Canada, lobbying for ABA by autism advocates has so successfully painted a catastrophic (devastating, doom, plague, etc) picture of autism that all our political leaders have concluded that Canadian society would be much improved if autism--the existence of autistic people--were prevented.

I don't find this chain of events suprising. When you spread a lot of false information, alarm, fear, dread, etc, about an identifiable group of people, a crisis is created and stuff happens to those people. No one should be surprised when it is concluded that those people ideally shouldn't exist. It's happened many times before.

Autism Reality NB said...

Ms Dawson

Your views ignore the realities of life of persons with autism disorder. ABA is in fact used to eliminate or reduce certain behaviors. Some of the behaviors that are eliminated include self injurious behavior such as a child with autism disorder banging his/her head until injuring themselvers or biting themselves. ABA has proven effective in eliminating or reducing such behaviors; behaviors which are harmful to some autistic children.

You are free to voice your opinions about neurodiversity and the culture of autism. As a parent I can not stand idly by while my profoundly autistic son injures himself. ABA has worked to substantially reduce self injurious behaviors in my son and to allow him to go for hair cuts, mall shopping trips even visits with doctors, dentists and hospitals. It has allowed him to attend school and to learn to read, albeit at a level below that of his chronological peers.

My son has classic Autism Disorder not Asperger's or high functioning autism. He had no verbal communication skills and communicated solely by tantrum, self injury or aggression. ABA programs were used to eliminate the aggressive and self injurious behaviors and to allow him to develop communication skills even reading skills. His life is much better for it. ABA performed properly is an educational and developmental tool which has proven useful to parents of children with autism disorder.

Alleging that parents who are seeking to give their children the ability to develop, learn and live a fuller life are engaged in some nefarious campaign to eliminate autistic persons is nonsense. Worse than that your rhetoric is aimed at eliminating the very programs that have helped my son and many other autistic children.

Harold Doherty
Conor's Dad

Conor is a 10 year old boy, diagnosed with Autism Disorder, and described by his pediatrician as profoundly autistic.

Bonnie Ventura said...

Here's the final dot, for anyone who still isn't convinced:

Scroll down to the interview with Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, director of the Autism Genome Project at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, regarding the development of a prenatal test for autism within 10 years. (The interview took place in February 2005, so we're down to about 8 years now.)

At the time of the interview, Dr. Buxbaum was funded in part by the National Alliance for Autism Research, which has now merged into Autism Speaks. His research is also funded in part by the United States government through the National Institutes of Health.

We know from statistics on other types of prenatal screening that when a test becomes available, it soon results in routine abortion of fetuses that test positive for whatever the genetic trait in question may be. For example, 95 percent of fetuses are aborted after a positive test for cystic fibrosis.

According to Article 2, Section d, of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, one of the definitions of committing genocide against a minority group is "imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group." Coercing large numbers of uninformed women (many of whom are autistic themselves and don't know it) into aborting their children by terrorizing them with grossly skewed propaganda qualifies as classic genocide in my book.

jypsy said...

Mr. Doherty,

At what age did Conor first begin to develop verbal communication?

Michelle Dawson said...

Hi Mr Doherty,

I've written almost nothing about neurodiversity and almost nothing about culture, except to point out that autistics contribute to human culture in distinctive ways. Nor have I mentioned nefarious plots anywhere in my writing. What I do is report what happens (while providing whatever sources are necessary so the information can be verified) and allow those many autism advocates deciding the future of autistics in Canada to speak for themselves in their own words.

You haven't explained how being dehumanized helps autistics, or why autism advocates promote and support our dehumanization, as in the legal decisions you support, in the report commissioned and disseminated by ASNB, in the writings of autism advocates you applaud on your blog, etc.

You haven't explained why it's good for autistics to have Canada's government adopt as policy the goal of preventing our existence.

Nor have you explained why high standards of science, ethics, and advocacy--which are what I argue for--are bad for autistics, and why autism advocates instead demand only the lowest standards or no standards at all.

Nor have you explained why autism advocates almost never bother with any science at all (and when rarely they do, they blatantly misrepresent it), and instead primarily rely on anecdotes, legal decisions, opinion polls, petitions, surveys, and other distant-from-the-primary-data sources and lobbying tools.

You haven't explained how disseminating grossly false and pejorative information about autistics is supposed to help us. You haven't explained why autism advocates can't or won't make your demands for services (whatever those services may be) accurately, ethically, and respectfully.

You haven't explained why the science of ABA--as reported in peer-reviewed papers--is all about removing autistic traits and abilities, particularly the distinctive ways in which autistics learn and are intelligent (Dawson et al., in press). I'd like to see one published controlled or uncontrolled trial of ABA/IBI that isn't about removing essential autistic traits and abilities. While you're there, please show me one peer-reviewed article in the behaviour analytic literature that describes ABA/IBI as a medical treatment.

Instead of responding at a factual level, you've told me that I don't know anything about autism. Why? Because I object to autism advocates promoting of low or no standards of science, ethics and advocacy for autistics. And if I don't agree with you, you assume this is because I'm ignorant about "real" autism.

Mr Doherty, unlike you, I have to pass peer review. I'm used to having to defend my work against very strong factual criticism. The stronger the better, because good science requires excellent and ruthless criticism.

But autism advocates don't have any use for this kind of process. They consider any scrutiny or criticism of ABA/IBI wrong and reprehensible. And I'm still waiting for one accurate criticism of my published work from any autism advocate.

Instead, apart from being defamed, I get diagnosed by autism advocates who have never met me.

This is the standard of diagnosis that autism advocates want applied to autistic people--they, autism advocates, are the sole arbiters of any autistic's diagnosis and history. And current life (right down to telling me I don't understand anything about self-injury). Even or especially when they have never met this autistic.

As I've written elsewhere, if you want to change autism diagnostic criteria and standards, then go ahead. I'll look forward to this being published in a peer-reviewed journal. In the meantime, there are diagnostic standards required in high-quality autism research, and I'll adhere to those.

It's interesting that when I argue that autistics deserve the same standards of science and ethics that protect and benefit non-autistics, autism advocates respond that this is outrageous and will result in autistic children not receiving ABA/IBI. Think about it. When I have time, I hope to blog about this phenomenon and connect all the dots.

In the meantime, things you should read include , and this article about the same subject.

Run out of time, but there is pretty good science about how parents and teachers ignore the accurate communication of autistic children (those who have about two words or signs, or less; Keen, 2005; Keen et al., 2005), and about how these "non-verbal" autistic children try very hard to repair failed communication, including in sophisticated ways. Autism advocates insist that autistics can't communicate except in ABA programs, but that's an anti-scientific prejudice, and an extremely harmful one.

Michelle Dawson said...

Sorry, messed up the html in the 2nd last paragraph. Here's more or less what I was trying to write:

In the meantime, things you should read include this website about the harsh realities of autism, and this article about the same subject.

Timelord said...

Just to add to Michelle's comments to Mr.Doherty, I'll add that he should be looking at WHY his son is hurting himself. Ask why? Trying to stop him without answering that question is like telling a man to leave his third leg alone. What do I mean? I mean that it is understandable that a man would want to get rid of his third leg because he looks like a freak in the eyes of others.

Now - at a ball park guess - your son is hurting himself because he wants nothing to do with the real world, and yet it confronts him every day and he can't handle it. He has no way to find his way into a world he can handle, because you have your priorities wrong. Get him out of the world that's upsetting him first and find the world that he can cope with. Then the physical harm will slow up and stop very quickly!

This is a great example of lazy thinking - looking after the physical symptom first. Wrong move!

Thanks for those links, Michelle. I'll have a good look when I have time.

Autism Reality NB said...

Ms Dawson

You still have not posted any quotes to support your "eugenics" claims. Once again you make unsubstantiated statements like : "You haven't explained why it's good for autistics to have Canada's government adopt as policy the goal of preventing our existence."

Canada's government has never adopted such a policy to my knowledge. Can you provide a ssource or a link to such a policy?

Autism Reality NB said...


Your arrogant belief that you know more about my son and what motivates his behavior is amusing. I have 10 years experience living with him, caring for him and helping him grow.
You have not a single second of experience with my son. You sit at a keyboard typing lengthy statements and pretend that you can know more about my son who has limited language skills than I do.

I said he USED TO engage in tantrum and self injurious behavior as his ONLY methods of communication. Using ABA he has developed some language and communication skills that have substantially reduced those earlier behaviors. And contrary to some of the anti-ABA hysteria I have seen promoted on this and other forums we do not use aversives in his ABA programs and he looks forward to visits by his ABA workers. He asks for them when they are not present.

Have a good day timelord. By the way, I also enjoy watching Dr Who. Great series.

Michelle Dawson said...

Hi Mr Doherty,

I provided links in my original post. One is to the widely-advertised (with press releases and in the media) brand new Health Canada website about autism.

I quoted from this website. You can go back to my original post and read this quote.

This is Canada's government stating, with great fanfare and publicity, the ideal that autism should be prevented.

I also linked to an earlier post here, which in turn leads back to a written statement from Mr Clement. This is also on the Health Canada website. In this statement, Mr Clement calls autism a disease, and supports all those who are fighting against autism. You can read my response to this here. I linked to that response in my original post here (I'm not sure why I have to repeat what I put in my original post).

Another link I provided is to the first of the historical autism debates in the House of Commons.

In this debate, both the major opposition parties took the same position as the government, which is that ideally, autism should be prevented. I provided the direct quotes, apart from a link where they can be verified. Also, this has been the Liberal Party of Canada position for some time now; it is part of their boilerplate response to inquiries about autism. I provided a link to a letter from a Canadian MP showing this.

Also, anyone reading the autism "debates" in the House can verify for themselves the self-congratulatory statements about all major national parties agreeing on this issue.

As I asked before, what part of the word "prevention" don't you understand?

Preventing autism requires the prevention of the existence of autistic people. Our government and our national opposition parties have stated that this is their ideal: autism should be prevented, meaning there should be no autistic people at all.

How this would be accomplished remains unclear, but once a group of people has been declared unwanted, and it has been agreed at the highest political level that it would be better if they did not exist, actions are taken in order to achieve this goal.

Since autism is a genetic and highly heritable condition, preventing the existence of autistic people means preventing the expression of the genes associated with autism. Therefore, the government and opposition parties, all agreeing on the ideal that autism should be prevented, have a eugenic agenda in the area of autism.

I agree with you that Timelord is out of line in making assumptions about your son.

However, Mr Doherty, you've written here about me:

"Your views ignore the realities of life of persons with autism disorder."

I've been autistic for probably longer than you've been alive. While this--non-autistic autism advocates telling autistic people we don't know anything about autism--happens so often it's unremarkable, it is amusing to see you object when confronted with an example of your own behaviour.

Re aversives, I wrote a series about this here, partly inspired by your post about ABA supposedly being "cruel", a word I've never used, and partly inspired by your refusal to allow my factual and verifiable comment about this to be posted on our blog, and generally inspired by autism advocate efforts to dismiss any concerns about aversives, often by providing false information.

If you were familiar with my work (you clearly have no notion of it at all), you would know that my position re aversives is science- and ethics-based, and founded in published work, not according to anecdotes. You may not care about the aversives used on autistics who are not your son, but I do.

While I realize you will not bother to read any of these, the posts in my series about aversives are here, here, here, here, and here.

And if you don't bother reading those posts and the articles they link to, then you cannot pretend to know about my position re aversives.

There is no evidence in the science that tantrums (your inaccurate word, not one I'd use) and self-injury are the only ways autistics communicate. There is science showing that when many earlier, non-problematic efforts by autistic children to communicate are persistently ignored by their caregivers, then later efforts to communicate (the only ones noticed by the caregivers, who have ignored all the previous efforts) are problematic (Keen, 2005).

You can see excellent examples of autistic children trying to communicate, and being very responsive, while being totally ignored, in the famous Autism Speaks video, "Autism Every Day". An excellent description of this is here.

My next post is going to be about self-injury.

I've written about the extreme dependence of popular current-day autism-ABA programs on huge amounts of positive extrinsic reinforcement, resulting in autistic children becoming dependent on this reinforcement, here and in this dicussion. This dependence has been reported repeatedly by autism advocates via legal cases like Bettencourt, Hewko and Wynberg, as well as in their lobbying tools. Maybe this has nothing to do with your ABA program, but in this case, your ABA program does not resemble those described in the legal decisions and by the autism advocates you support.

Anonymous said...

Ah, now we have the autism culture! Those bad Canadians want to find out what causes autism and possibly prevent it's occurance (though that will never happen). The rhetoric I hear/read is much like another so-called "culture" aka as the Deaf/hard of hearing. Shame on those deaf people who can read lips and not sign! Arn't they proud of being deaf enough. I attended a conference last year where an man who had asperger's spoke-he noted that a few autistice people had emailed him and told him he was not acting autistic enough. If you can chose a disability then your not disabled!!!

Timelord said...

I said he USED TO engage in tantrum and self injurious behavior as his ONLY methods of communication. Using ABA he has developed some language and communication skills that have substantially reduced those earlier behaviors. And contrary to some of the anti-ABA hysteria I have seen promoted on this and other forums we do not use aversives in his ABA programs and he looks forward to visits by his ABA workers. He asks for them when they are not present.

I have two comments for this. First is to back up Michelle's wholly acceptable claim that the Canadian government is engaging in eugenics. ABA (from what I've seen of it on the Internet) works when used correctly. It's like any other tool, it's how it's used. The point Michelle is making (and she can correct me if I'm wrong) is that anyone who doesn't respond to ABA is not human. Dehumanisation = eugenics. Now it would seem that this attitude is being aimed at ASD adults and probably teenagers. ABA appears not to be an option for adults and adolescents, so the narrow line is being taken in a clear case of dehumanisation.

Second - it is clear that in your son's case, Mr. Doherty, ABA has acheived what I said was wrong. So in fact my theory based analysis was pretty close to correct. It also proves that idiot John Best wrong about his wild theory. Maybe he should try ABA. But then he wouldn't have the guts to admit he was wrong about mercury poisoning.

Hope mentioning that moron's name doesn't get this deleted, Michelle! :)

(PS - Yes, Doctor Who is great!)

Gatt Suru said...

Both the United States and Canadian government are promoting the creation of a prenatal test for autism. This is the most likely 'useful' advance in autism. Scientists predict it will be created within twenty years, some as early as six years from now. Other potential methods of prevention are virtual pipe dreams at this point : we simply don't have the technology to alter neurological connections to the degree needed to rewire an autistic brain into a neurologically average one (or repair dead brain tissue, if you prefer often-debunked mercury hypothesis). An actual treatment plan has no chance of coming around in your or my lifetime, at this rate -- the 'closest' we've got it Lovaas's method, with its ~63% failure rate, reliance on physical abuse (in the original model), and short term results.

To compare to Down Syndrome, over 90% of Down Syndrome positive fetuses were aborted. We can assume similar rates for autistic-likely children. In fact, from what twin studies are available, it's known that one twin with Asperger's or HFA have a very high rate of correlation with another twin having autism. That is, genetically and developmentally similar fetuses will show the same status even if one of the two will be able to pass for normal. Even Asperger's will likely be eliminated by this test.

Yes, Virginia, this is eugenics: the prospective parents of anyone likely to 'suffer' from autism will be treated to a slideshow of children in restraints and discussions of how the child would be a train wreck. At 75% or higher -- and understand that we're more likely to face the 91-93% than Down Syndrome does -- there's no chance of the genetic component staying deep enough to be expressed in more than three generations.

Michelle Dawson said...

For anonymous, I don't write about culture. I've only rarely mentioned it. I write about science, ethics and law. The science shows that autistics make distinctive contributions to human culture (too many references to list). Autism advocates deny that autistics contribute anything at all to society unless we're in ABA programs, but produce no evidence to back their claims. If ever they do, I'll address that evidence.

Neither autism nor deafness confers virtue, and not all autistics agree with each other any more than all women or black people or deaf people agree with each other.

For Timelord, nope, that's not what I mean at all. I've explained myself as clearly as I'm able, so I won't repeat myself, beyond repeating that if autism advocates had demanded services (whichever ones they want) accurately, ethically, and respectfully, we would not be in a position where our federal government and major opposition parties all agree that the existence of autistic people should be prevented. Nor would I, after living the extreme consequences of autism advocacy, have been obliged to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to argue that autistics are human.

jypsy said...

Was my question too personal Mr. Doherty?

Timelord said...

For Timelord, nope, that's not what I mean at all. I've explained myself as clearly as I'm able, so I won't repeat myself, beyond repeating that if autism advocates had demanded services (whichever ones they want) accurately, ethically, and respectfully, we would not be in a position where our federal government and major opposition parties all agree that the existence of autistic people should be prevented. Nor would I, after living the extreme consequences of autism advocacy, have been obliged to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to argue that autistics are human.

OK - it sounds like we were talking about two different aspects of the problem. I went to the ABA whereas you were going elsewhere. I'm not saying you're wrong (of course not - you're right). But even though it's not what you meant, do you agree that my theory may also be right along with yours? It's certainly true that dehumanisation = eugenics.

And I didn't know about that stuff that Gatt Suru posted! If that's not trying to play God I don't know what is!

Anonymous said...

I still haven't seen any links to documentation or sources on this page providing evidence of a "eugenics" policy being adopted by the Canadian government.

Can someone provide such a link or source and nut just personal characterizations of government policies?

BTW has Ms. Dawson's eugenics "theory" been publicly accepted by some of the professionals for whom she provides research? If so, I would be interested in reading their autism eugenics dissertations. Alternatively if any serious academic publication has published Ms Dawson's autism eugenics theory I would be interested in looking at that too.

Michelle Dawson said...

Hi Mr Doherty,

I've repeatedly provided and pointed to the link leading to the current federal government's official autism web page, on which our current federal government states their position that ideally, autism should be prevented. This webpage was introduced with a great deal of publicity, including press releases, a press conference, etc.

I've also provided links to statements made by both major national opposition parties, which promote the ideal that autism should be prevented.

Apart from providing the links, I provided the direct quotes for all of the above. The direct quotes can be verified against the public record.

I've also outlined why preventing autism, which means preventing the existence of autistic people, falls under the currently accepted definition of eugenics.

I've never proposed or mentioned having a "eugenics theory" so it looks like you've mistaken me for someone else. Fortunately, what I have written is on the record, so that claims like yours about what I've written can be verified against the public record.

I'm waiting for the Conservative federal government, the Liberal Party of Canada, and the national NDP to retract and apologize for their publicly documented statements that their ideal is a Canada where autism is prevented, and therefore, where there are no autistic people at all.

I'm also waiting for one single autism advocate to protest against these statements, which are on the public record and can be verified.

Anonymous said...

Michelle; as unfortunate as the situation is for the Autistic in our society the purge of all things which are deemed unhealthy is a devised strategy, stemming from the World Health Organization whose stated goals are focused on population views sustained in the impossible, an absence of disease and mental illness as the gold standard. The Healthcare reforms we hear so much about, yet few really understand, have put the brakes to the floor in medical innovation and scientific credibility, in favour of consensus opinions regardless of provability or the effects to individuals they no longer recognize. The new standard has emphasized a bigoted perspective spelled out at Health Canada and described as Social Marketing. Now more rightly named the Canadian bureau of propaganda, with half of its budget going to media promotions and a new head scientist trained strictly in political science
I suddenly don’t feel quite as safe as I once did.
If you took the word smoker fat person alcoholic or a number of other personal traits and placed them in place of autistic in you article the truth would be revealed. The Autistic in our society share the fate of vilified smokers, now on the wrong side of the Right people’s fence. Who would have thought you could tax an addiction a medical dependency as the prime lobby example of effective strategy. One has to ask what they will do to vilify the obese or the infirm. What new ethical lines will they cross to save that all mighty buck; they tell us “these groups” are “costing the rest of us”?
You identification of eugenics as a motivation is well placed. When society rejected eugenics after the atrocities of the Second World War the promoters didn't go away they simply went to ground. The eugenics society and it's century old Industrial support retooled and reorganized The Eugenics Movement became the Galton Institute now incredibly a participating partner at the World health Organization, having tremendous influence on the policies of the very institution [The UN] which was formed to guard us against the damage they had done. In many ways the WHO can not avoid bigotry in order to achieve its stated goals they are well aware of the autonomy rights breaches they make on a daily basis but choose to ignore they exist, or even to discuss those obvious breaches of Helsinki and Nuremburg pacts they are sworn to uphold. All empowered once again by “the common good”. Which by all appearances the Good is anything the corrupting defines it too be, as a product sold to the highest bidder. The bidders are being described affectionately, as stake holders and actors. A search of the WHO website finds the leaders of industry clamouring to sit in those partners chairs.
The Health care reform movement after its Canadian orgy of intolerance opinions in what they called the Romanov commission, are determined to focus our gaze rather than seeing racial purity, we are to see genetic purity, again seeking support for "personal responsibility" being predominant over industrial responsibility. The individual’s lifestyle will be the sole factor promoted as responsible for health outcomes and their ultimate cost. Charities and charity foundations along with the medical institutions formed together in what the WHO calls an HIA health intervention all investing partners seek to profit from a campaign. HIA is used every day directed by unrestricted tools of advocacy along with the all too familiar eugenics lobby chants of "protecting" the children as a moral obligation and a position few can argue, although those paternalist stated "protections" are not the type we would have expected or supported.

Do a Google for “Iona Heath general practitioner” or for “Dr. Michael Siegel” to understand the inequalities by deceptions being manufacturer in search of power, of Mussolini’s flavor; who once called it Industrial Socialism..

Kevin said...

Although autism is not defined in political parties, as a subject to champion, from any of those parties right or left, all seek to make broad statements to gain power, and disappoint us consistently once that power is gained.

It seems to me in a form of consistency to platform the Conservatives have a higher responsibility to protect the rights of the so called "disabled" As opposed to their socialist counterparts who can almost be understood, in consistency with platform. The left seek to make each individual responsible for contributing to the common trough. When any are unable to contribute as much as others, they are seen as lesser contributors and stereotyping places them in a class of obligation to society, as opposed to equal members of society bigotry is encouraged by systemic demand.

The Right are supposed to be the champions of individual rights and freedoms, which would include all individuals regardless of ability, to be treated as equals under the law.

I find it reprehensible for the Federal right, in this centrist world to turn their backs on the very people they should champion first and foremost, as an example of integrity in their leadership.

I have a niece who is Autistic and my brother and his wife have been embroiled in a personal hell for the past five years figting with every level of socialist beuractracy simply to have her educated.

He was awarded with a no trespass order from the Catholic School board because he wrote one letter addressing his personal concerns regarding his daughter;s safety at school.

The Liberals while in opposition were quite helpfull in moving to a human rights tribunal, and speaking in full support of a number of other cases of obvious abuse.

As soon as they gained power they turned into the same intolerant adversaries he had seen in the deposed government, believing if they ignored it, the situation would simply go away. He is still being ignored now into a second four year term.

Anonymous said...

You know, the autistic people that I know, and there are several, including my son (aged 11) and two of my nephews (ages 15 and 4), don't have the language skills to be able to publish a blog. They don't have the communication skills that you obviously do. I have another nephew, aged 14, who could write as you do and he's supposed to have aspergers. Personally, I think his diagnosis is a cop-out as there are many other things that he's encountered in life that could explain his problems.

I find it very doubtful that you are autistic. And if you are, I would consider you recovered. Here in Saskatchewan, there are almost no services for autistic children outside the school system and the ones available within the school system are a joke (which is why we homeschool).

Of course, in Canada, all children are considered a blight - after all, we are allowed to murder them without penalty up until birth.

I doubt you have autism. And I don't believe that your efforts are helping those who do have it.

Michelle Dawson said...

In response to Anonymous, his/her views are similar to declaring that no one with Down syndrome could attend college, on the grounds that the young DS children s/he knows are not attending college.

Anonymous is free to claim, as s/he is claiming, that basic human rights, as well as recognized standards of science and ethics, are bad for autistics. But I disagree with this.

And Anonymous is claiming that I am a fraud (that is, a criminal). In keeping with their values, standards, and ethics, many autism advocates have also made this claim. But this is defamation, and it is illegal.

Cate Mackenzie said...

I am an epileptic and I just want to say, don't you think that autistic children have a desire to be "normal". I know I did when I was a child. Perhaps the government isn't striving to eliminate autism becuase being autistic makes you a lesser person, but because those who have the condition may not be as happy. What are they supposed to do? Embrace and encourage autism? No, that's not right. Research to make Canada a place where everybody can be healthy does not discriminate against those who are not "perfect" but allows for children to not feel wierd, uncomfortable, and different

Anonymous said...

Michelle Dawson, you're an idiot.

Here's why. You analyze official statements made to the point where they no longer resemble what was originally said. You over-react to comments, saying things like

"Anonymous is claiming that I am a fraud (that is, a criminal). In keeping with their values, standards, and ethics, many autism advocates have also made this claim. But this is defamation, and it is illegal."

They aren't charging you in a criminal court of law. Seriously, relax and think before you write.

I'm a high school student doing a project and even at my young age I can see that you have got a problem.

I also have another ground for judgement. My brother is autistic.

Timelord, you're and idiot too.
My parents have struggled for years, trying to help ease him through life. He can't speak, he hits my Mom, hurts himself, and sits sullen in the corner. This is what happens when we offer him some celery for a snack, when we ask him if he wants to watch tv, when we walk him up to bed. We can't just leave him in a rubber room!!

I hate that my brother is autistic not becuase it makes him worse than anyone else born, but because it tears my family apart regularly, I never have a moments peace between my mom crying, my dad going to mow the lawn when he's upset/frustrated and my brother Jake, moaning/humming under my bed. Autism may not be suffering, but it is hard on their families and tough on the child too. I love my brother and it's hard to deal with rejection when I want a hug but sometimes he can't understand.

Question: Michelle Dawson. If you were in charge of the political parties, what would your statement be?

Autism Reality, I understand.

Michelle Dawson said...

In response to Cate Mackenzie, the assumption that once everyone is "normal" (however this is defined by whomever), then everyone will be happy, has been tried and has not worked out too well.

Same goes for the assumption that all people who aren't "normal" are sick.

I agree that autistics are going to be unhappy when we're regarded and treated as sick, inferior, unwanted and so on, and when we're denied basic human rights. But that's true of anyone.

Michelle Dawson said...

In response to Anonymous at 11:27, I could say that it must be your nonautism which makes you call people names, be incredibly arrogant, and otherwise behave rudely towards others.

And I could say that the only solution is to get rid of your nonautism so you stop behaving so badly towards others. But then I would be regarding you the way you regard autistics, and this is totally boring and unproductive.

By the way, I spent years being accused of being violent and a threat to others, because I am autistic. I was considered someone who ruined things for others. And of course I was treated accordingly. The falseness of the accusations have been upheld, though it took seven years to achieve this legal victory.

So I am careful about descriptions of the behaviour of other autistics, as I know and have seen in writing how I have falsely been described. Also see this post about how autistics come to hurt ourselves or behave unacceptably in other ways. The comments are very interesting and informative also. See this one for example.

Now imagine that you are a competent communicator (not the name-calling rude person you're being here), and eveyone ignores what you say. Over and over. You try and try and try to figure out why you are being ignored and keep trying to repair your failed communication, but nothing works. And you are communicating these very basic needs that you cannot take care of yourself.

What you don't know is that very powerful and influential people out there are telling the public, including your family, that people like you can't communicate at all. So no matter how hard you try, how and what you communicate is considered just wrong, and is therefore not responded to. This is what it's like to be autistic, and there is evidence in the scientific literature to support what I write.

Here is my statement about autism. This is the three-part version. I've repeated this all over the place, but here goes again:

1. Autistics are human beings with human rights.

2. Autistics deserve to benefit from and be protected by recognized standards of science, ethics, and advocacy. These are the standards that automatically protect and benefit nonautistics like yourself, and without which you could not proceed safely in society, much less have a good outcome.

3. Services for autistics, whatever those services may be, should be asked for accurately (including with respect to the existing scientific literature), ethically, and respectfully.