ID: small triangles of varying colors make up the background. Black text reads: Neurodiversity is biological, irrefutable fact.
Love, neuroscientist in training -K
You might remember that I critiqued an article about Carly Fleischmann published on Autism Daily Newscast (ADN) a few weeks ago. The other day the same magazine solicited on the Parenting Autistic Children With Love & Acceptance Facebook page, seeking submissions for an upcoming online issue they are working on focused on Neurodiversity. The query mentioned something about our community members have strong opinions. I can't remember because we quickly deleted their post. Why? Again, ADN is doing it wrong.
The title of the current article asking for submissions "Neurodiversity, What's Your View?" is the first red flag. Neurodiversity isn't an opinion. It's a fact. It's actually not a special fact either. It's just like all the other kinds of diversity. As Kassiane said above, this is irrefutable. Our brains are as diverse as our finger prints. Whether or not the Neurodiversity movement is acknowledged is another matter. I am glad ADN is finally recognizing the Neurodiversity movement, but facts aren't up for debate.
Getting past the title, it becomes obvious that ADN hasn't the intention of supporting those Autistic advocates and activists who are promoting the good science that is Neurodiversity. No, ADN instead uses the beginning paragraph to highlight a horrible story that came out recently titled "The Debate Over an Autism Cure Turns Hostile". (Side note, that "Hostile" in the title was "Violent" but due to backlash from the Autistic community it was changed to a more subtlety bigoted word). The article signal boosted a pro-cure Autistic man, who has bullied and abused his way around the Autism Community for years. He's so vile I won't type his name.
ADN uses his point of view as a springboard for this discussion, once again signal boosting his hate, and demonstrating that they are functioning behind the times. Anyone who learns about Neurodiversity from this man's lowly portrayal is so far lost within the cure culture that they haven't the right to be reporting on the subject. In other words, ADN needs to do some research before using their platform. They have chosen the Neurodiversity movement's most obnoxious nemesis and his scathing words, that Neurodiversity is a "scam", to bring the topic to light? It's insulting.
The article does go on to offer opposition to the pro-cure stance, though quoting Julia Bascom, a tireless pro-Neurodiversity activist, did come second, not first. The starting point was hate. The starting point was not acceptance. Julia says another irrefutable fact, "Autism isn’t a disease or an injury; it’s a neurodevelopmental disability that shapes our brains differently." ADN pulled the quote from third article that I will give them credit for linking, They Don’t Want an Autism Cure. I suppose, in order to have a discussion on Neurodiversity, there has to be some opposition to pro-cure agendas.
Then to "balance" out the article, ADN retreats back into the agenda of anti-Neurodiversity man. In an attempt to discredit those fighting for acceptance, to dismiss Julia's statement, they use his quote that Autism is a “divisibility and a disorder and a disease" (they actually misquote him it's supposed to be *disability* not divisibility). This is the exact opposite of what little coverage they actually gave to the Neurodiversity movement in Julia's quote. To be very clear, Autistic people do not deny that Autism is a disability. They do, however, reject the idea that Autism is a disorder and a disease because facts. ADN negated the only good thing in the article.
They then close the article with a video, leaving no debate over whether this is a simple case of ignorance on ADN's behalf, or a willful act against Autistics seeking acceptance. They end with a video interview of anti-neurodiversity-bully-pro-cure-man who's name I won't type, completely bashing Neurodiversity, denying both the science and the social movement. The host demeans the Neurodiversity with the tone of her description in the beginning, and continues to poo-poo the movement throughout. It's a blatant display of disrespect from an organization claiming to want to join the discussion on Neurodiversity.
Why am I being so hard on Autism Daily Newscast?
First, both times I have written about ADN, they have approached me. It's not like I went looking for their mistakes. They showed them off. That means little though, the bottom line is they are spreading misinformation at the least, and hate at the worst. They make claims of unbiased reporting, when nothing could be further from the truth. Before getting their bearings in the Autism community, parents like I once was, have to wade through piles of this junk reporting and false information to get to true understanding. Autistic people have to live from underneath these lies, they have to dig their way out just to be recognized as human, when their humanity is a matter of fact.
ADN, you are doing it wrong. You need to do better. Both for the Autistic people you claim to represent and your own worth as a online magazine, you need to do better.
Neurodiversity cannot be discussed out of reality. Catch up.