I usually stay out of politics. I have my views, but they’re rather independent and they don’t fit easily into any party or candidate…at all. I don’t lean to the left or the right. I’m not even all that much in the middle. I’m sort of Undefined.
This means that no matter where I go, or which company I’m in, I’m bound to piss somebody off. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to make a few enemies here. Please know that that’s not my intent. I don’t intend to offend anyone at all. But if you are more of a politically-passionate person (which I totally respect), especially in staunch support of the Presidential candidate on the American Left, you may not want to read below the line. Or maybe you do. I’ll leave it up to you.
Before I go any further, I want to say that I respect peoples’ views. I know that certain subjects can become very emotional and personal, and have dividing and polarizing effects. That’s not my intent here. My intent is only to share information and support the Asperger’s/autism spectrum community.
Still with me? Hi! I’m glad you’re still here 🙂
OK, here goes (deep breath)…
If you disapprove of Autism $peaks’ existence-long goal of preventing and curing autism, and you support Hillary Clinton, you may want to investigate before voting, and choose which scenario you prefer.
The same applies if you’re unimpressed with scientific research funding being directed toward the uncovering of genetic factors and environmental factors that “cause/contribute to” autism (as opposed to, say, research funding being allocated instead toward improving the quality of life for Aspergian/autistic people).
Apparently in November of 2007, Ms Clinton gave a speech in which she would “build on my work with a strong commitment to fighting autism” (emphasis mine; link to transcript of the speech).
She went on to add, “I’ll start, first, by investing heavily in research to understand the causes of autism and hopefully to start finding cures” (on the same page as the link above points to; emphasis mine).
The next paragraph, copied here in its entirety, reads (again, emphasis mine):
“Specifically, we need to fund research to identify the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes. That includes expanding our system for health tracking, so that we can look for links between the environment and the rise of autism and other diseases. That’s something that I’ve been fighting for since 2001. I’ve introduced an Environmental Health Tracking bill every congress since then because I think we need to face up to the fact that there are three main causes of illness or conditions that impact people: genetics, behavior and environment and usually it’s a combination of one or more of those triggers.”
And another quote (from the same link; emphasis mine):
“In the Senate, I helped develop and co-sponsored the Combating Autism Act of 2006, which was signed into law by President Bush. The bill authorized $1 billion over five years to combat autism through environmental research, surveillance, awareness, early detection and early intervention.”
This is starting to sound really eerie to me. In fact, this is starting to sound a lot like Autism $peaks rhetoric. She could very well be switched out for an A$ board member, and I don’t think anybody would know the difference.
Autism $peaks is accused (and rightfully so) of harming autistic people, being involved in the surveillance and amassing of genetics in large databases that smack of 21st-century eugenics initiatives.
How is what she said any different?
Why should Autism $peaks get crucified, while she gets a pass? (My personal opinion is that both should be crucified. To advocate anything else would be hypocritical, a double-standard.)
But wait: there’s more.
“I’ll also create an Autism Task Force charged with investigating evidence-based treatments, interventions, and services,” she promises (emphasis mine).
Do you know what kinds of treatments get studied and published in the medical journals, and earn the moniker “evidence-based”?
I’ll tell you, but you probably already know.
- “intensive behavioral interventions” (such as ABA; Lovaas’ method was specifically mentioned in this research review)
- chock another one up for ABA (a link to another review)
- and of course, don’t forget about psychotropic medications (link to study), as if Asperger’s/autism itself is a mental illness; almost one in five children (18%) are saddled with mind-altering drugs before age two
Clinton goes on to say:
“I’m modeling this after what has happened in breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors became partners with physicians and scientists and researchers in finding what was going on that caused breast cancer and what the best treatments were. Once the task force has done its work, I’ll act on its recommendations. More research is our best hope for combating autism, and, as President, I will fund it.”
Essentially, she’s giving the autism spectrum the same treatment as cancer. She’s modeling her autism approach after her cancer approach, and she sounds about as definitive about dealing with autism as she did dealing with cancer.
I don’t like a potential President who thinks of me as a cancer. And in my personal opinion, neither should anyone else.
She’s also convinced that autism is an “epidemic”. I don’t know a single actually-autistic person who agrees with that. She’s pandering to the Autism-Moms(TM) (link to The Bullshit Fairy’s blog). Is anyone on the spectrum sympathetic to that viewpoint?
Right now, you might be saying, “OK, that was 2007. Lots of water flows under a bridge in nine years. What about now?”
I’m glad you asked.
She’s still on a research kick. Oh–that, and surveillance (same site, different page–the one for 2016).
Specifically… (I’ve added an image instead, because the bullet points may cause formatting issues when pasting into the blog post.)
In other words, nothing has changed.
Not one iota.
But: I’ve saved the “best” for last:
Who is among her major praise-singers? Why, none other than Autism $peaks themselves, of course!
“Recognizing the autism epidemic as a national public health priority deserving of Presidential attention, Senator Hillary Clinton today endorsed and detailed a number of policy positions long-supported by Autism Speaks and its predecessor organizations and long-needed by the many American families facing the challenge of autism.” – Autism Speaks
Here’s the image (A$ is the third/last one) with the above quote:
I’m worried, y’all. This doesn’t look good. Princess Leia in Star Wars was famous for her tagline “I have a bad feeling about this”, and I have to say that I agree…which is unfortunate.
I’m really hoping not to start any wars or make any enemies. Nothing I have said here has been taken from “yellow journalism” sites, “conspiracy theory/New World Order” or any other right-wing fringe sites. The sites with Hillary’s quotes came from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a public, state-run university in a not-so-“red” state. The scientific papers I referenced came right off of PubMed, with free-full-text versions available for perusal. I have nothing to hide, nothing to gain, and no vested interest.
Other than to go (way) out on (what is probably, by now, a cracking) limb, and share information in love and support for us all.
Whatever happens, I hope the very best for those of us within the Asperger’s/autism spectrum community.
OK, taking that deep breath and hitting “Publish”…