No Stereotypes Here

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In latest posts, it has come to my attention that I need to post a Code of Conduct on this blog. This is so that everyone who wishes to comment knows the reasons why I allow some posts and delete others.

In kindergarten, I learned what was called “the Golden Rule”, which I have kept in mind my entire life: “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You”.

Basically, you want people to treat you politely, treat you with respect, then you treat people politely and with respect. Set the example. Be a role model. Because people do notice behaviour, especially children. If you’re the exception, well, as Mahatma Gandhi put it, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Keeping these words in mind, I have created my Code of Conduct.

  1. Be Polite: No insults, hateful speech, implied threats or remotely “trollish” behaviour will be tolerated. Violators of this rule will be reminded of this and will have one week to correct their behaviour and conduct themselves properly. At the end of the week or time of correction, whatever comes first, all posts violating this rule will be documented and deleted.
  2. Stay On Topic: I will not allow extensive tangents from the original topic. In the case of a large discussion occurring, I ask that the discussion please relate to the entry under which it has started, or that the discussion be moved to some where else. In the event where it is a discussion that cannot be moved to some where else, I will allow it to remain on my blog. However, I will not tolerate avoidance and/or guessing games in attempts to appear smarter while not answering or continuing the discussion in a civil and reasonably mature manner. Violations of this rule follow the same as above: one week to correct behaviour before removal of all comments from the blog.
  3. No Spamming: While I allow citations and quotations in discussions, they must be properly worked in and properly linked to reliable resources. I will not tolerate posts that are just links and which are not cited. I will allow rough citation methods. Posts violating this rule will be deleted without warning.

I should note that all violations of these rules will be documented the moment that I discover them.

I ask that all posting members to follow these rules so that I do not have to invoke comment-approval moderation onto this blog, as I believe that enforcing a sense of censorship discourages discussion.

I do not reject opposing opinions to my own; however, posting those opinions on this blog is very likely to prompt an attempt to discussion with me. Even if it just results in agreeing to disagree, we can do so politely and without hostility.

Any questions?

Originally posted on LJ May 28, 2009 as On Neurodiversity

I want to talk a little about Neurodiversity, at least, what it means to me.
This is something that I particularly want parents with newly diagnosed autistic children, of any age, to understand.

What Neurodiversity is:
take the two roots of the word, Neuro and diversity.
Neuro, standing for Neurological, basically, the brain.
Diversity: “1. the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness. 2. variety; multiformity. 3. a point of difference.” (http://dictionary.reference.com)

In other words, the diversity of the brain. In Anthropology, there is no one normal human society and culture. We have the same needs, but different ways of getting support and the form of those needs. We think differently depending on our culture and society, our environment. We also think differently because our brains aren’t all the same. What Neurodiversity is about is to accept that there is no normal brain, that being different is okay, and to work together to discover how we all can participate to the best of our abilities in our lives.

We’ve been depicted as an overly-positive movement, determined to make everything about being autistic as good and okay. While yes, we are zealous in our efforts to promote the positive sides of autism and to convince the public that autism isn’t a scary soul-stealing disease, we also understand that it’s TOUGH parenting an autistic. It’s tough parenting/teaching a NT child as it is; it can be extremely tough to parent/teach one of us. So yeah, we realize it’s not all sunshine and roses. But hear us out when we say it’s not all misery and that we don’t want to focus on negative aspects, but think positively about ourselves.

And yeah, we’re not your child/student. To be frank, NO ONE is. But we’ve BEEN there. We STILL ARE. It might just be that we can help to understand and support, even give aid. After all, even though we all have had different experiences, we think and respond very similar.

I’ve seen parents claim that we are a movement of only Aspergereans/”high functioning” autistics who cannot possibly relate to their “poor low-functioning” child (direct quote, actually). This is not true. ASD is a spectrum disorder and it’s a developmental disorder. This means that there is an extremely wide range of abilities and disabilities. This also means that we develop differently than what is typical. The development of our skills can come slowly and may need some help. Childhood is the time when we LEARN the most, after all. But none of us are STATIC.
This means that many of us who once were labeled as “low-functioning” developed skills and became “high-functioning”. As we grow, we develop. There are also many reasons for what is perceived as fluctuating “functionality”, or “regressing” and becoming “more autistic”. (More info here)

So to repeat myself, we WERE there. And we’d like to help.

It may be optimistic of us, but we believe that with the proper supports and accommodations, as well as positive attitudes, acceptance, inclusion and encouragement, that every autistic person is able to communicate, interact and contribute to society while meeting individual needs and respecting one’s sense of self.

This isn’t to say that getting to these goals for everyone won’t be hard. But we think it’s better than the alternative view of seeing ourselves as defective, diseased or broken. Many of us don’t like to be labeled as Low/High Functioning. It’s comparing us to each other, which really isn’t a good way since we all develop and grow separately. It’s also harmful to our self-esteem, as it puts a limiting label on us. It makes us feel like we have to compete in order to be worth anything, or that we won’t ever be anything more than the label. When the latter happens, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

One last point; some have argued that Neurodiversity is about just us, and is not about “the rest” of autistic people. Mainly, the children who are labeled as low functioning. I think this is because parents, teachers and caregivers see us as “high functioning” or at a level where we don’t need supports. This isn’t true. Life is not a matter of static levels, where things remain the same once you get to a certain point. Life changes, and even though we dislike it, we are all too aware about the changes that life takes us.

But the point is this; think of us as your children that have come before, who have faced and been subjected to the past and present treatments and therapies. Or those who have slipped through the cracks of the medical community. Many of us have faced bullying, neglect, incorrect treatments, misdiagnosis, and various forms of abuse. Yes, we feel pain and want to lash out at those who hurt us. But not at your children. If anything, what we want is that what happened to us does not happen to your children.

And so, nothing about us, without us. All of us.

edited August 8th for accuracy. “It’s extremely tough” to “It can be extremely tough to parent/teach”. Thanks jypsy!



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  • Corina Becker: Hi Anonymous person who apparently doesn't feel like giving me a name to address, and thus hides behind anonymity!!! I never said the federal gov
  • Anonymous: I think that it is about time something is being done federally to help those with ASD to get much needed therapies for their disability and YES I do
  • Corina Becker: Hi Janine! Melody reads here? Awesome. I honestly had no idea she was aware of this blog.And thank you so much, I'm glad both of you like the bl

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