Thursday, April 5, 2007

The other "C" word

This morning I had a meeting with a mental health professional in my area who is interested in having me do some presentations on autism for various doctors and clinicians, as well as parent groups and groups of AS individuals. We were getting along well, agreeing (seemingly) that autism is a natural variation and of value to humanity, noting the prejudice and bullying endured by autistics, discussing the need for improving self esteem among AS teens, and then suddenly...the "C" word. It wasn't "cure" this time, but "chelation" as in "my grandson gets..." that made my heart sink and my mind fill with chaos and my mouth forget how to close.
It seems that her grandson has "tested positive for heavy metals" and is "more himself" after being chelated. He has gastric problems, which otherwise keep him from reaching his potential. When I stated that autoimmune disorders are not autism, she disagreed. She said she would send me "the latest big study" suggesting they are one and the same. And here's the hard thing to admit. I didn't know what to say.
She is a nice person, this grandmother. She says that she wants the child to be the best autistic person he can be. She does't believe in cures. But she does believe that mercury, along with a genetic predisposition, caused her grandson's autism.
She thinks that I can be of service to a community of professionals whose knowledge and understanding are lacking. That I can do it on my terms. That I can talk about the rights of autistics and help alter negative views of autistic people. I don't know what to think.
When she sends the article, I'll read it, and send back a thoughtful reply, along with relevant studies I have read, IRB approved and peer reviewed. In writing, I'll know how to handle the claims, to present a logical, constructive argument, one that respects fact, common sense and the dignity of all people.
If she sees the lag in response time or written form as weakness, I'll know that she has not been honest about her respect for autistic thinking. I will then know how to proceed with her. What is less clear is how I might defend my position in the future. I do fine with a powerpoint or script. But do I really belong in the arena with the big cats, the curebies and chelators, who may see an unexpected silence, or hesitance even, as a "win" for their side? Or should I go out there with the data in my pocket, along with my little book of squares, and hoping for the best?


  1. "But do I really belong in the arena with the big cats,"

    I say a very strong: YES! I say this because you are the bigger CAT. You are the person who is living the TRUTH. They are just guessing from the outside. Some of them might learn and they will spread the light to those they touch. Some of them will partly learn; partly is better than nothing.

    < Or should I go out there with the data in my pocket, along with my little book of squares, and hoping for the best?>

    Yes. And even if, on a given day, you reach nobody in the room, I believe a victory has still occurred. Any time people speak against the lie -- speak against ignorance, they "we" have set the message of the truth in motion. It's Physics. I think its the cornerstone in the physics of change.

  2. Yes,
    i have noticed too that often (in fact i saw that twice, because i got my diagnosis last year so i'begon to documented myself on autism recently)people who go into the anti-vax theory (or other theory about cause of autism of this kind) were people (when i have known them or heard of them before)who initially in their way of thinkink and talking about autism (and their autistics relatives) seemed to be the kind of person who would have been sympathetic with the idea of neurodiversity...

    I think it's very important to talk, to make our voices heard, and thank you Bev, i think you do that very well, and you are one of the person who makes me want to partcipate, to inform as many people as possible that being autistic is another way of living (or many other ways of living) as valuable as the others.

    (excuse me if my english is far from perfect, i hope i'm understandable)

    -Ole Ferme l'Oeil
    i don't know why but my google blogger account that i have created yesterday doesn't work anymore, it says that my password is not correct, but i'm sure i remember what it was.
    I don't know what is going on


    1. The "vaccination-theory" was actually a bad hypothesis supported by deliberate bad science gone viral. It's been so disproven tho as of yet there is still an epidemic of infected minds that still believe it.

      The fraudulent research originally touting to prove this vaccination as causation claim not only was debunked but was also deemed criminal in its intent.

  3. Oh, it works again...
    excuse me, i don't know what happened!

  4. I hope you spoke, because you come from a position of higher authority in that you are the one who _has_ the autism so you can speak first-hand. There are way too many 2nd-guessers out there.

    People with heavy-metal poisoning do exhibit some Simpsons similar to autism. And that's where I think the confusion starts. This does not mean that people with autism are suffering from heavy metal poisoning. But, I think, that's how the band wagon started. And then there are those who really really want to believe this. To the point where when one of them says that so and so tested positive for heavy metals, I take it with a pound of salt and wonder where this threshold is being set for "testing positive". Especially when there's this big chelation business going on, which serves as conflict of interest.

    Sure, chelation is necessary, if someone is actually suffering from heavy metal poisoning. But there's this group of people who have gone chelation crazy and hammer chelation as the answer to everything almost religiously. Over chelation can be outright dangerous, robing the body of essential minerals.

    Because of this conflict of interest, I don't believe these folks are taking a cautious enough approach. Plus, their logic is wrong, as I stated previously, making me really really question them.


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