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The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists - Michelle Dawson

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  Spam messages 12525-12523 deleted by QuickTopic between 08-18-2011 09:50 PM and 01-18-2016 01:05 AM
Michelle Dawson
03:16 AM ET (US)
... And re /m12517 , my disappeared comment has now appeared
Michelle Dawson
02:57 AM ET (US)
Re /m12520 the problem with disappearing messages (apparently, due to a spam filter going bananas) has now been fixed by our hosts, QT. The many disappeared messages have been restored. They are back where they were before. Whew.

Apologies again for the temporary (and distressing) deletion of tons of messages. Things are okay again. Whatever else TMoB is, it hasn't lacked for adventures.
Michelle Dawson
08:15 AM ET (US)
I've just noticed that some exuberant comment-deleting by QuickTopic (our hosts...) has removed a lot of older messages here, including many of my ASAN-related messages. As a result, I've changed the sidebar of my blog.

Because I've recently looked at an older QT post, it seems things have been deleted recently (maybe less recently too). Wild guess is that a lot has been deleted.

I don't have time and so on to see what-all and whose messages were taken down. But those messages being deleted wasn't *at all* intended by anyone involved in keeping this particular overgrown board up and mostly running.

You can see the problem is QT wherever QT is indicated as the one deleting the messages. QT has eliminated spam (once?) but now QT is deleting many (no idea how many) actual messages posted by humans. No idea why and very sorry about that.

Some of us (not me, not nearly organized enough) has saved all QT messages posted here, so maybe we can restore the lost ones (which will be out of order), though it would help to find out *why* QT is deleting tons of stuff.
Edited 08-17-2011 08:49 AM
05:22 AM ET (US)
 Re /m12518, that blogger links to 'No Autistics Allowed' on her blog.
Michelle Dawson
05:12 AM ET (US)
Something completely different: the lives, intelligence, and abilities of birds who go to town

It's more accurate (so far as I can tell) and respectful, and far more serious--even though it's funny--than pretty much anything you can read in the media about autistics.
Michelle Dawson
05:02 AM ET (US)
ASAN-related, always wondered if I was allowed to comment on this blog looks like no, maybe just a generic screw-up but others seem to be able to comment.
Michelle Dawson
06:47 AM ET (US)
David Skuse reviews two books in the journal Brain Really too bad it's behind a paywall.

The two books are Adam Feinstein's history of autism book (which I've read), and the latest about savants from Darold Treffert (waiting for paperback...).

In passing, Skuse describes autistics he has encountered, here is one:

"I once had the opportunity of observing a remarkable savant, who never became as celebrated as the characters in this biography for the simple reason that his parents wished to protect him. At the age of a little over 4 years, with no spoken language, he was able to derive cube roots from 7-digit numbers using mental arithmetic and writing the resulting number from right to left (that is, with the last decimal place first). He could also type, with two fingers, in a way that allowed us to estimate his superior verbal IQ. He could write moving passages of self-description, with apparent insight into his condition, in this way. There was no ‘facilitated communication’ involved. Unsurprisingly, his nursery school thought he was mentally retarded and probably ineducable. To all intents and purposes, he appeared utterly autistic."
Michelle Dawson
06:24 AM ET (US)
Quotes from Mr Ne'eman about my work:

"Yet to maintain an ideological insistence on the perfect solution and a refusal to work with any group that disagrees with you as to what that would be is to doom our people to more segregation, to more abuse, to more isolation and to being written off and left behind for even longer than we already have. No amount of self-rightousness or passive aggressive ad hominem attacks will sway me from continuing to advocate for the lives, safety and opportunities for my fellow Autistic people. As for me, I care more about saving lives than I do about being ideologically pure as Michelle has certainly succeeded in being."

"I do not believe your brand of advocacy has shown itself to be effective"

My "refusal to consider how to make advocacy effective and meaningful in its impact does represent a lost opportunity to save lives and to improve quality of life for Autistic people"

"your extraordinary mischaracterization of ASAN's positions and of my own statements and your choice to engage in passive aggressive personal attacks against those who dare to reach a different opinion than you on matters of law and public policy."

"The difference between us, Michelle, is that I am more concerned with my advocacy having a positive impact than I am with treating public policy and advocacy as if they were manuscripts about to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal."

"To ignore political considerations altogether is to give up the prospect of actually having an impact with one's advocacy. While it may be personally satisfying to express ones personal moral superiority over the great mass of individuals who do not share your point of view, this does not contribute one iota to ending the continued abuse, mistreatment, lack of support and marginalization of Autistic people throughout society. We have a moral obligation to do more than simply speak out into the ether."

And so on. Was Mr Ne'eman having a "misunderstanding" or is this how he and ASAN usually respond to autistics who politely bring up accurate (sourced, verifiable) concerns about science and ethics?
Michelle Dawson
06:11 AM ET (US)
Mr Ne'eman, representing ASAN, tried to stop me from presenting research at an "autistic self-advocacy" Autreat-type conference, the only of its kind ever held in Canada. I presented anyway, and as a result, ASAN dissociated themselves from the conference.

This was a first for me. I've never had a major autism organization (never mind one led by a guy in the White House) officially use their influence to try to prevent me from presenting research.

Mr Ne'eman and ASAN's leaders (other board members and chapter leaders) used email groups to spread the word that my work is grossly unethical in numerous ways, including that my work dooms autistics to abuse and worse. Mr Ne'eman stated this view, as well as that while he was saving lives, I was standing in the way of this (i.e., costing lives).

Mr Ne'eman and another ASAN board member also spread the word that I was harassing ASAN by sending ASAN "hundreds" of unwanted emails. This is the kind of false accusation autism advocates have used. It's a really effective way to silence an autistic.

ASAN's board of directors went on to approve (in a message on an email list) of ASAN leaders accusing me of criminal harassment, and all kinds of other things, all really serious and totally false accusations.

And so on. See upthread. There's a sort of collection in my blog sidebard too.

The thing about sending "hundreds" of unwanted emails was briefly, sort of, retracted by ASAN but that lasted about a week before it was reinstated and then some. Otherwise, no one in ASAN much less Mr Ne'eman has corrected or retracted much less apologized for any of the above, which doesn't nearly cover it.

Widely and repeatedly (anyone can have a bad day, but this went on and on) spreading those kinds of accusations, of harassment and research misconduct and on and on, isn't a "misunderstanding." It is a deliberate effort to silence an autistic, destroy her reputation, and prevent her from communicating about her work (or anything else).

I still can't participate in any forum where ASAN is present, including Autreat. I'm not the one who can change this.
Edited 08-16-2011 06:14 AM
02:11 AM ET (US)
Re /m12510
Mr Ne'eman was asked twice in my hearing while in the UK to explain his / ASAN's attitude to you and your work. On each time he said how much he admired the work you do and have done. He expressed regret at "misunderstandings" iirr. I merely report and cannot of course comment on his sincerity or otherwise.
Deleted by topic administrator 08-16-2011 05:41 AM
Alexander Cheezem
01:42 PM ET (US)

While Autreat is a public forum, it is not a forum such as this one. You dropped a necessary qualifier.

Among other things, Autreat presentations are not available online, and the full contents of Autreat program inserts cannot be found via Google. While I'm aware of the fact that it's difficult to find old posts here via such methods (i.e. search engines), there is nothing preventing this from becoming the case in the future.

And no, I don't think you're at all like Typhoid Mary. I disagree strongly with that statement and the subsequent one (although your characterization of at least FEAT and ASAT are accurate). It's just that there are things that I could say in a private e-mail that I cannot freely say here.
Spam deleted by QuickTopic 01-16-2014 07:49 AM
Alexander Cheezem
01:25 PM ET (US)
RE /m12507 , attendance and reading the program manual are different things. Regarding not understanding /m12506 , I was trying to indicate that there is relevant information which I do not want to discuss in a public forum such as this one (for what amount to political reasons) and that, should you see the program manual at some point, you will hopefully understand exactly what I am referring to.

For most people, I would just e-mail them the relevant information -- and include what I am not saying. I believe you are aware of why I did not communicate this to you in that manner.
Spam deleted by QuickTopic 01-18-2016 01:05 AM
Michelle Dawson
12:10 AM ET (US)
I have no idea what /m12506 means, sorry. As I wrote, even if I wanted to, I can't attend Autreat. There's more discussion on this subject upthread, somewhere...
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