Are We Defending or Unwittingly Keeping It Front and Center?

 

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I agree 100% and wholeheartedly that children – ALL children should be off limits.  No matter who/what you support or do not support; their children should be left alone. They should not become fodder for the press or the general public.

I was happy to read that a television writer may have been fired (or at least suspended) for her tweet and very glad to see so many people letting go of their political views to come to his defense. This is a topic that we should all be able to agree and come together over.

But I worry that in our rush to defend, all we are doing is keeping the stories in the public eye long after they would have died down on their own? Sharing news stories over and over again with his name in the title and likeness as the lead, in my mind is not helping, it is rehashing the issue in the name of defending him and bringing all of the unsavory information back up for all to read – using his name like a banner.

I get that we all want to defend the things that have been said and intimated about him. I do as well.

I do not think we need to keep using his name and his photo to make our point.

I do not.

Children should be off limits. Children should not be speculated about.  Yes, we should be defending him. I do not think we need to use his name or his likeness to do that.

I just don’t….

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So… we’ve had quite the week in the news, haven’t we?

 

Headlines

Headlines

HEADLINE:
Study: ‘Significant’ statistical link between mass murder and autism, brain injury” ~ Washington Post – May 21, 2014
Yes, that was the headline. If you read the rest of this article, it really doesn’t say anything of substance at all, but the headline screams “AUTISM  and MASS MURDER!”
In fact, somewhere mid-article it reads:

“The researchers stressed the study is “clearly limited” by the “anecdotal and speculative” nature of some of the published accounts. Lead researcher Clare Allely, of the University of Glasgow, emphasized the study did not suggest those with autism or Asperger’s are more likely to commit murder”

But Still the Headline Reads Significant’ statistical link between MASS MURDER and AUTISM, brain injury”
Readers that may have taken the time to read further, are assaulted with a photo of Jeffrey Dahmer. The inference is, in this article at least, that due to some of the characteristics he had displayed, he may or may not have had some form of autism.
After displaying the photo of this very recognizable face, the article does go on to say:
“Despite the patterns that emerged in the study, researchers cautioned against sweeping conclusions. Neurodevelopmental disorders, they said, do not portend mass murder.”
I am sure very few people made it that far into the article. With the headline “Autism – Mass Murder”, and a photo of Jeffrey Dahmer, how much more would anyone need to read?

If one were to look closely enough at any of us, I am sure we all have one or more traits that can be similar to person with autism. These one or two traits, does not a diagnosis make.
Not all Autistics are loners or isolated as not all loners, shy or isolated people are Autistic.
Let’s not create a diagnosis to fit the ‘study’.

Santa Barbara: – May 25, 2014
My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families of this senseless act of violence. It is a tragedy that seems to be happening much to often.
This tragedy could have been prevented. There were warning signs, the parents saw these signs. They did what we have all been told to do after each and every tragedy that came before it – they reported their suspicions to the police.

“Police visited and interviewed the 22-year-old on April 30, after a family member became alarmed about YouTube posts by Rodger that mentioned violence and suicide. While Rodger’s parents and social worker were concerned, police found the student to be polite during their interview. He had taken down the alarming posts. Police cleared the call and left without taking any action. They determined that he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health hold,”  –  It does not seem that the authorities have learned very much from these recent tragedies.
And again, right in the middle of the first article I read about this shooting were the words,  “the shooter had been diagnosed as a child with ‘highly functional Asperger’s syndrome.’ –  written just like that, in the article as if to say that the Asperger’s diagnosis was the reason behind the shootings, exactly the way it had been done in the Sandy Hook articles.

Just as in the Sandy Hook articles, this claim of an actual diagnosis is being disputed:
In an article published on May 25, The L.A. Times reported that Rodger family friend Simon Astaire said Eliot Rodger, the prime suspect in the shooting, was not diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, but that the family suspected he was on the spectrum. The claim contradicts an earlier statement made by the family’s lawyer

Both shooters may or may not have been diagnosed with Aspergers, we may never know for sure, but the fact remains that there is no evidence to support the claim that an Autism or Asperger’s diagnosis, played any part in either of these tragedies. They may have had that diagnosis or that diagnosis may have been suspected, but THAT diagnosis is not the reason behind these acts. Clearly there were other, possibly undiagnosed issues at work here.
They may just as well reported that these shooters had “blue eyes”.

“Now we  caution against ‘sweeping conclusions’ based on eye color, but we just felt the need to mention the fact that this shooter had ‘Blue Eyes”.

Once again, Autism is made the scapegoat for an unexplainable horror.

Toni Braxton: – May 26, 2014

Toni Braxton wrote a memoir. Included in this memoir was her confession that she once believed that God  had punished her for an abortion she had  years ago by giving her son Autism.

Parents receiving a diagnosis of autism go though many, many layers of emotions and have many different thoughts. I do not have a problem with whatever she may have been feeling at the time. We all feel than think differently. We all handle it differently, there is nothing wrong with that.

There ARE some thoughts that should be kept to one’s self, especially when your child is involved. She may have felt guilt, she may have truly believed that this was some kind of punishment, due to her religious upbringing, but that thought should have been kept between her, her pastor and/or her therapist – forever.

Yes, I write many stories about my own Autistic son.

I write about him because I am so proud of him. – I write about him because he makes me laugh and smile everyday. – I write about him because I worry about his future. -I write about him because, I am told it helps others to understand autism (his autism, at least).

My son will come away from all of my stories knowing that his mother loves him and was never anything but proud of all that he is.

Toni’s thoughts about autism are her own. I would not disparage anyone for having whatever feeling they may have about that diagnosis.
But, this thought should have remained her own. It should not have been written about, printed in a book or spoken about in interviews. The fact that she no longer feels this way doesn’t negate the fact that her son will read and know that at one time, he was seen as her punishment. You can not take that back, no matter how much your views may have changed along the way.

You can not take that back …………………..