2023 Update

This is a personal blog started in 2011. It is no longer active, updated, or maintained. Unfortunately, it appears that I've also irreparably broken some of the links by accident.

02 March 2018

They keep publishing these violent articles

Content/TW: Abuse. Physical and emotional. Restraint. Deliberate causing trauma. 

I am livid.

Shaking with rage.

There's this essay going around, in the Washington Post, hailed as brave and courageous.

A non autistic mother of an autistic young person wrote, triumphantly, about the time ten years ago she physically forced her kid into a crowded arena to see a show featuring one of their favorite characters, not despite their terror of big crowded indoor places but because of it so she could forcibly expose them to it. She physically restrained her kid, who was having a meltdown and maybe a panic attack, in public to forcibly drag them into the arena and even, laughably and horrifically, invoked the A D fucking A to claim she was somehow being "a reasonable accommodation" (this is eleven kinds of twisted) by carrying them in against their will.

She recounts other parents as aghast at her behavior and dismisses them as ignorant by loudly proclaiming that her kid has autism (because that's a get out of jail free card for abuse), when another parent is literally telling her it's obvious her kid doesn't want to go and she should drop it. (The other parents were upset not because they don't understand autism but because, shock, they were minimally decent people who recognized abuse when they witnessed it.)

She literally described the moment her kid got inside the arena as being "indistinguishable from his peers."

That is the exact phrase word for word that Ole Ivaar Lovaas used to describe the goal of behaviorism. To make us indistinguishable from our peers (by stamping out the autistic) (by shocking our feet in water) (by punishing us for displaying autistic traits and rewarding us for supressing our natural selves). He founded what we know now as ABA, the supposedly evidence-based treatment for autism that every single autistic adult I know who survived it describes as abuse so traumatic they ALL have PTSD or CPTSD from it.

And she literally calls her kid and every other autistic young person "a burden." Yes. She out and says it, directly. What we know most of you all already believe but think it's politically incorrect to voice. (It's not. It's normal.)

I won't dignify that article by linking to it here.

This parent is publishing a book. The title is Autism Uncensored, as if to imply that what she's got is the real deal instead of euphemistic autism prettified by buzzwords like neurodiversity which really must just apply to the supposedly "high functioning" and "mildly affected" (there is no such thing). I am so scared and angry for her kid (who she proudly brags that she has further tortured by forcibly dragging them to many more scary overwhelming huge indoor spaces), and terrified for what it will do to the many autistic young people whose parents will read it and consider doing the same.

Every time you think we have gotten somewhere, we must be reminded, quite violently, we have not. This kind of bile is still worthy of publication more than ten years after I Am Autism and Autism Every Day, and it never really went anywhere in the meantime.

All these horrifyingly ableist parents seem to be wealthy, white, and resourced enough to get these books published and profit enormously off of abusing and exploiting their kids, and other than Temple Grandin and John Elder Robison (who have made clear they are not invested in our community), where is that support for cultural work by actually autistic people? Books and memoirs and fiction and chapbooks we've created about autism as autistic people? That's right. Nowhere. Nothing.

Back to business as usual.

I dread March 1 next year because I know the list will only grow longer. People like this are only worsening the conditions that will get us there.


  1. read another blog post about this and still can't get over how many non-Autistic people fail to see how bad this must have been for the child in question.

  2. Lydia. I'm not familiar with the details of the law on this in your country (I'm the other side of the Atlantic), but is there cause for reporting the author of this article to whatever your equivalent is of social services? Would they take any notice? Might it just make things worse? I mean, this is child abuse. You know far more law than I do, but it seems to me to meet the WMA's definition of torture (although not your government's, for reasons that are presumably another discussion). I'm hesitant to take action, because the "protection" of social services can, in many instances, actually be worse for the child.

  3. Hey Lydia- I am looking for more information about what you said about ABA causing or contributing to PTSD, can you point me to some more resources, specifically about ABA being counter-productive. Thanks!!

    1. Joanna: not Lydia - here is at least one resource.

      Piano teacher Henny Kupferstein did a big study at the end of last year and it was released at the beginning of this year.

      It is about how applied behaviour analysis exposure caused PTSD in Autistic adults.


  4. :( :( :(
    As an Autistic person and an abuse victim (my abusers wanted me to be indistinguishable above all else), I have to say this is heartbreaking. :(

  5. Helen "Hellebore" GribbleMarch 10, 2018 at 10:51 PM

    I want to help that woman's child to write/publish a book called "Abuse Uncensored" about the torture she put them through. (Only if they wanted to, of course!)

  6. I just wanted to thank you fo putting this out there like this. It is very sad and it is a systemic societal issue for not only these times, but for so many generations before these times dating back to throughout history. The world has not gotten over their dangerous thinking about disability and cannot really accept those people who are different than themselves generally even though this society is supposed to be united, it never really was to begin with. :( We can fight it, yell it out, and debate the issue, but change happens to damn slowly and in fact no wants to change :(

  7. Hey!

    I quoted this article when I left an Amazon review for Autism Uncensored and just encouraged people to get it from a library if they really needed to read it THAT badly.

    I can't seem to find your email? Maybe I missed it, so I just posted a comment here so you can see it and and let you know what I did.

    I know I posted as anonymous but I can reply with a link to said review if you want.

  8. Lydia....can you please contact me? I am desperately searching for someone who is willing to help me find justice for my daughter. And, to help me fight the system so filled with tremendous and extreme injustices.

    This is the petition I set up for my daughter:

    I can be found on facebook, twitter and my email: joyce4470565@gmail.com

  9. Hi! I'm an autistic blogger, lately I've been writing about traumatic ableism here http://anaccessiblelife.com/category/the-way-they-treat-us. I really admire your work and it would mean a lot if you wanted to have a look.


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