Thursday, December 31, 2015

On materialism

"What bothers me the most is the rampant materialism in our society. It's not just celebrities; although, like you said (in *this* video) they're the ones that COULD be making the biggest positive impact. It's the poor, middle class and upper middle class (mostly), and the rich. When I park on campus, I too often pull up next to a monster truck. When I jog through the streets in my neighborhood, it's a sea of tinted windows and shiny rims.
Christmas just having recently passed, witnessing this just further fuels my anger. People can't/don't want to see the large problem with running out to retail stores and wasting money on piles of stuff so we can collectively celebrate our consumerism. I'm well aware of the drawbacks of communism and totalitarianism (Western European socialism is working the best right now), and I know you were joking about the totalitarian government thing. But how many years will it take before it becomes obvious that capitalism has caused more destruction over the last few decades than there would have been otherwise with communism keeping America's materialism at bay? The not-so-distant future when world hunger, poverty, and inequality spiral completely out of control."

-Tony C

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Justin Fahmie's story

At 15 years old, my stomach began to feel not quite right. After a few months my mom noticed I was slowly withering away. Nearly 6 feet tall, and barely covering 100lbs. Local docs were hopeless. My mom fought for me to get admitted to children's hospital. 
Children's hospital finally found the problem.. Some weird thing called Crohns. At the time the word meant nothing to me. A cool nurse hid me a nurse laptop station, so I could use the Internet and research. 
So I spent the week or however long I was admitted for researching. Learning what I was in store for. I also found people like Lorraine and Joel at this time. My first real support group. 
Soon after eating the hospital I went to the CCFA camp hope on the mountain. Where I spent time with other kids with Crohns. It was overall a decent time. I saw many who felt like I did. One of which I still contact to this day. 
Transitioning into an adult with Crohns has been a nightmare. Doctors have no compassion. The doctors who care are so held back by laws and policies they can't be effective. Medications don't work, doctors don't believe you, it's a vicious cycle 
Now, 32 years old. More than half my life I've been in agonizing pain and no one, not a single person. Can help me. Doctors throw drugs at me, then it's my fault they don't work. 
How would you feel spending your life like this? Not just daily.. 

- Justin Fahmie

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"Eccentric greats, cookie cutter fakes" - Chris P.

"You know, once upon a time, people of differing minds were appreciated. James Brown would be a crazy today. Janis Joplin would be also. Notice how today we don’t have very many eccentric musicians or artists? 

It’s all cookie cutter and anything outside of what is considered normal and mainstream is 'omg soo weird!' 'oooh awkward!' everything outside of a trend is a deficit, disorder, or a syndrome. 

People who are different or who march to the beat of their own drum are looked down upon harshly in this society. 

If you look hot though, and have social skills, and say all the lingo effortlessly.. You're good. You could be obnoxious, annoying and as loud as ya want to be and if you look like a model and you're extroverted, the world will eat out of your hand!

The DSM is as bad as a Bible. its used to discriminate against different groups of people far too much than it helps.

Notice you dont have any ozzy osbournes or little richards or even comedy that has an eccentric bend to it these days. Hollywood, the same. You gotta look beyond america if you want real eccentricity; the story lines and the humor thats raucous, mischevious, and downright clevor and funny. I love foreign films …

I just had to rant!”

 - Chris P. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Meltdowns and Overload - Learning and Reflecting. -Nathaniel Allen

There was a link posted by Rosie Guedes I read today. It was about meltdowns that autistic people experience. I gathered that what they go through, especially the children go through is very, very similar to the situations I faced as a child and teenager. I still get into the head space that I have to run away or find a quiet place in a building and find a way to make it only a bit of light, nothing too bright.
Going into busy supermarkets is an assault on my senses and its very uncomfortable for me to be in them. Just going to the local mental wellness center is very draining. Trying to process all the information from the speech and body language of those around me is quite difficult. I can't keep up with it at all, It gets exhausting and today in one part of a new course I was bulding into a near panic state. I was able to get through it with sheer determination. Some things that may appear to be mundane are incredibly difficult for me to handle. I appreciate the patience and understanding of those I have met through Centennial Place and those I have also met online via Facebeook. 
When I was a kid I was regularly picked on and attacked physically by my peers. I never felt like I fit in any kind of way and teasing and bullying became something that I had to get used to. As I grew older the abusive behaviors of my peers became far too subtle for me and I got confused and bewildered by all the puberty and early adulthood nonsense. I just couldn't quite "get it". People seem to be flying past me at supersonic speed and I just want to stand under a lilac and smell the flowers.
I had meltdowns. I would go all berserk mode, Super Saiyan, when backed into a corner, I had full blown panic attacks at school. I have lost so many oppportunities because of things that I have had to put immense amounts of effort into managing. It just hasn't been easy. I get quite frustrated at my lack of progress but I am slowly realizing that I actually have done rather well considering the challenges I have faced. I am thankful to have met several interesting people that have opened my eyes a slight bit, 
Basically 2014 and the last 2 months have been the most peaceful days in my life. I kid you not. I may not have many friends to spend time with but I am slowly becoming more used to being on my own and enjoying time spent away from other people. I do enjoy company but I am not the kind of person that goes out and parties. I like peaceful surroundings. 
Which brings me to what should be my main point. I am learning more about myself than I have in 8 years, The work of people like Rosie Guedes and the hard work of the members and staff of Centennial Place has helped me immensely. I have been educated on Aspergers, NLD, Autism, by Rosie and her friends and there have been posts made that have struck a chord in my mind. I appreciate it. 
Thanks for reading this and I hope you all have a good week.

-Nathaniel Allen

Selfishness vs. Self-Preservation. -Chrissy Shahankary

"It's survival. if one didn't fulfill their own needs and desires then they would die or be just plain miserable. There's a fine line between selfishness and self preservation. Society's view is blurred. Psychology's view even more so..its hard to see from anothers point of view from such a high horse."

-Chrissy Shahankary 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Folders - by Nathaniel Allen

The world was not made for us. We don't fit into the file folders made for us that apparently can apply to the majority of people. We have "different" needs because we are "different". We are not people that need to be cured or modified. We are what we are. Sensitive types, odd balls, the eccentric. Instead of trying to tamper with what should not be modified to serve a selfish purpose we as a society should find the gifts of those we know and encourage and facilitate the enjoyment of those gifts. There is a lot of potential out there if one listens and observes in a mindful manner.

- Nathaniel Allen

Monday, March 9, 2015

Missing Pieces - by Eden Colvert

Do you know what it's like to have a body part stop working kind of sudden like? Feels weird doesn't it? The bad part is never knowing when this will occur or the frequency that might cause a ripple effect and affect more areas. It makes it interesting to think of whether you can make it through the day without randomly missing a body here or there along the way. To start missing toes is rough when it happens anywhere else except for home, as I don't need shoes for here only there if I can't manage to make it there without them. It also makes people constantly ask me if I know that my shoes are untied when I don't tuck the ends of my laces inside before I put them on and I try not to reflexively kick them off when my toes fall off/curl under and do all those wonderful that I'd rather they didn't. Gotta be careful not to drop things when my fingers seem to have temporarily disappeared from where I normally keep them things hanging around and thankfully we have handles to prevent those occasional spills going everywhere deals and another banged up breakage scenarios in play. I still have a few coffee cups with handles still intact but hard to find one without a chip or crack. Which is what makes me such a clutz at times and randomly grabbing to clutch something, anything in reach before my legs vanish from underneath me and I go down to give my fish out of water interpretive dance moves right before you're very eyes. WAIT, whatever you do don't call an ambulance too quickly, just so you might witness my flight or fight moves of a startled dear caught in the headlight PTSD freakshow delight of winner take all. You really want to see if it turns into a slugfest if the emergency personnel ain't extremely careful of their movements around me, yes I do know that I have a seizure disorder that I can't be prescribed any of the current traditional medical treatments that are popular at the moment. Instead I'm currently on a non-scientific traditional medical treatment that is currently unpopular because of it's traditional roots that predate modern scientific medical procedures. So call me what you will, any vile thing you can think of because in the end you'll call me doctor too :-D

-Eden Colvert 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shadow Woman

All my life i have felt isolated and excluded from a life, a society i have admired and been mesmerised by. People to me became robots , i felt as if i had been placed in a world which isn't a part of reality. Everyone seemed too perfect. I have always  encountered issues which i had kept silent about and never shone a light on.
Making friends was excruciatingly difficult. People would leave me and i would be left puzzeled as to what i had done wrong. Why did they not want to be my friends?. I realised i had to act and create a persona similar to these robots. I didn't understand their jokes, sarcasm or why certain things were funny to the majority. I just pretended to understand those social ques. Most thought i was naive, stupid or a clown. In reality i just didn't understand. I observe these beings around me in wonder as to why they act and talk the way they do. It's like i wasn't as mature as them or i was lacking the initiative they had.

Handwriting has always been a huge problem for me . I miss out letters or draw squiggles even though i visualise it differently. I have an inner voice, my real perception of this world which i hide.
My teachers assume that i plagiarise, that i copy other peoples work. They view me as a teenager who is not capable of writing  well. The way i want to talk after observing people just wouldn't  be socially exceptable. People would think i am obnoxious, big headed or see my self as being superior. More than that weird.
I can understand why because i am a very philosophical person from all the analysing and deep thinking i have done all my life. Most thought i was depressed or rude. I just wanted to understand society, to know where i belong.  I wanted to be able to have similar facial expressions and hand gestures. It was all so alien to me.
Loud sounds to me are like an earthquake. I tried to train myself to endure loud sounds without having to cover my ears. This was by listening to loud music. However the only thing i gained from doing that was  being able to withstand loud music.

I feel like I'm walking but my feet just quite don't touch the ground.  Work which i don't find stimulating by being challenging is hard to do because it's boring. The grades may show i am an average or lazy student but the fact is i am not interested.

All my life i have been noted as  being the weird person. I would try and hide my unsual behaviour. For example twisting my arms, moving my jaw awkwardly and biting my hands when anxious or happy. It's  so  embarrassing when i do these actions but i can't control myself. Doctors have ignored me. Told me to listen to music and have my teachers help me. I am leaving school soon to go to university. It's too late, all i can hope is now that my life becomes easier, that i accomplish my goal of being normal.

University for me i think will be positive. I am going to study something i have a passion for and i think i will be able to understand. It is the perfect escape route. The perfect mixture of black and white, logic and wonder and, pessimism  and optimism. For once i will be able to see my goal, the white light in the darkness. The colour black will bring shape and shade to the different exits and entries within  my mind. I will know where i stand. For once in my life i might feel normal. Biochemistry is the subject which won't make me feel isolated. Even though i have people around me, I'll have a place where i think I'll be able to fit in, belong  and express myself.

-Shadow Woman

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Differing Viewpoints - by Eden Colvert

You never know when you catch the eye of another looking at you from across the room, what it is they think of you in that moment alone. I know that some look and think "beautiful but dumb" and are shocked the moment they hear them speak.  Others look and think looks good but I wonder.............well let me edge closer to hear them talk and OMG what a waste, dumber than a box of rocks but that's ok we can be friends but never lovers...........some look at only the outside while not really wanting the inside, while others look at the inside without really wanting to touch the outside at all.  When these 2 meet and the sparks begin to fly back and forth from one to another being the polar opposites that they are, starting off with the silly banter of the one looking at the outside and giggly replies of the one looking at the inside. The one looking at the outside showers all manners of words in hope to find the magic words that they have been taught to use to unlock that which they want in that moment alone, while the one looking inside giggles as they take those magic words and rearranges them in a more magical way to hand back in their exchanges of keys to locks...............which way will it go in the quest to unlock that of their highest desire in that moment alone, for you see the one looking at the inside can never become as one who looks only at the outside, but the one looking at the outside can become as one who looks at the inside too.

-Eden Colvert 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Neurotypical Burden - by Roman Soiko

Neurotypical Burden
Take up the neurotypical burden
take for all your might
help those condemned children
with all your heart hope and might
perhaps you want to work with drugs and labels
perhaps you want to memorize statutes
perhaps you have it with to argue with parents
every day and night
take up the neurotypical burden
take it if you will
help those poor condemned miserable children
half devil and half child
perhaps you are aware
that without your help
these children will flounder
under their combined miseries
without your angelic,altruistic messanic help
Take up the neurotypical burden
take if you will
fight for these children
because they cannot do it themselves
with every move and decision
make sure you watch them omnipresently
least they fall into autistic cataclysms
take up the neurotypical burden
take it up in the gavel halls of Pennsylvania
or perhaps in the austere halls of the United Nations
Take up the neurotypical burden
make sure you know
your hope inspiration and joy
is what keeps these children afloat
Take up the neurotypical burden
and make it clear as day and night
that you are the only reason why these children have any sight
-Roman Soiko

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sick, getting worse, and not receiving medical care due to "somatic" mental illness accusation: Caryn Marie's Story

Final update: Caryn is now diagnosed with POTS, is on meds that are working to help keep her stable, has a guide dog to help her, support from her family now, and even has been able to hold a job in a caring environment. This is a far cry from the story below. I'm so glad that myself and another lady in the community got in touch with her and were able to tell her about POTS. It was a fight at first but she has won now! Right on. However, it is too bad that doctors often initially treat people like Caryn with contempt like this, therefore putting them through unnecessary trauma and a fight to be recognized. Many of us get through to the other side, but we hope one day things will change. 

This was a very serious matter, and Caryn went through hell in this situation. It was very clear to me, if it isn't to you after reading this and/or watching Caryn's video, that she is telling the truth and she is genuinely unwell with something that is likely complex, unusual or rare, and indeed serious. 

Doctors pull the abusive move of labelling someone with a condition like somatoform, when they can't find anything wrong with their patient, because they don't think outside the box. They aren't pinpointing the problem enough to order the right tests, but they don't want to admit that they're wrong, and they also want to save money. So, they pin the blame back on the patient. This is abusive and is patient mistreatment. It's a human right violation. It needs to stop.

*Update on Caryn's situation* (earlier March, a more promising update.)

Caryn's condition became so bad that she was admitted to hospital. She became wheelchair bound and could barely stand upright without passing out. While in hospital, she remained in online communication with me, her friends and her family, through her phone. At this point I told Caryn that based on her symptoms, I felt, as did another experienced peer Susanne Bird, that she had severe POTS - a form of dysautonomia. I told her to make sure she was getting her electrolytes in, such as salt and potassium. She told me she was still being accused of somotaform disorder, which is absurd because she is now clearly ill. 

Then, believe it or not, she was committed to the psych ward. Caryn stuck to her guns, continuing to advocate for herself and looking into her symptoms. Caryn then told me she was hyper mobile and sent me some pictures of her bending her fingers back.We realized there was a pattern for sure. It became very clear to me that Caryn likely has the condition I have, Ehlers-danlos, which causes POTS/dysautonomia and ALL her other symptoms. People with EDS, myself included, are often very poorly treated, and even abused, in the medical system especially before diagnosis. This is unsafe because the complications of EDS can be dangerous and sometimes even deadly. I myself had to fight to obtain a safe-grounding diagnosis of EDS and I have my own story on that one.

EDS symptoms are systemic, but caused by the unusual source of the weak connective tissue. They can be everything from joint pain, early arthritis and injury, skin fragility to internal symptoms like POTS and poor infection healing. More info *hereUntil the condition is identified for what it is, the nature of the symptoms are poorly understood, and wrong tests are performed. When those tests don't turn up any answers, doctors tend to throw psych labels at the patient, instead of looking deeper. More EDS awareness is badly needed. 

So, Caryn began to vocalize some of this to doctors. Initially, they gave her a tilt table test for POTS and it was positive, but they tried to tell her it was severe anxiety from somatoform. However, she was eventually seen by a competent Neurologist who correctly diagnosed her with POTS, and agreed to refer her to a well known Boston EDS specialist. I told Caryn about Chiari Malformation, which is when the neck is too weak to support the head and it begins slipping. As it gets worse and can cause very severe dyautonomia and POTS, causing one to pass out when trying to stand upright. 

The relieving news here is that Caryn is no longer committed to the psych ward for the bogus "somatoform" and she is home safe, with her family supporting her, waiting to follow up with actually competent Drs. She may not be totally out of the clear yet though, so lets continue to support her. Caryn is considering obtaining some form of justice for the way she was treated these past few years, while getting sicker. Like many of us, she has been traumatized by this ordeal. Imagine being very sick, and frightened, and also having to endure trauma at the hands of abusive medicals. It has been a nightmare for Caryin, and it will take a while for her to heal from all this. 
The above photograph shows a young woman who has fallen ill, not someone who has convinced themselves due to a supposed mental disorder. She looks very pale, sick and drained. You can see that she has very soft skin. Below, Caryn demonstrates her very bendy joints.

Sick, getting worse, and not receiving medical care due to "somatic" mental illness accusation: Caryn Marie's Story:

So about two years ago I constanty got sick. I got chronic sinus infections and sick. I knew anxiety ran in my family but so did alot of other health problems. Last january I had been on antibiotics about 6xs within the previous year and and that's when all my symptoms started getting bad. I was starting to get tired all the time.

I wasn't sleeping through the night. I was choking on my breath during my sleep and waking up with constant nosebleeds. My body was just doing something on its own. I got stressed, but I would always find a way to manage it. At first I thought it was just stress, so I remember telling my boyfriend at the time I wanted to start working out...but all I remember is working out and feeling this weird shock that I never felt in my body. I thought maybe my body just wasnt ready to work out that hard, so I just walked and then called it an early workout. 

I then started to bloat really bad, and I mean really bad. I constantly had stomach pains, but heres the weird thing... my whole left side would swell up only. hat was also the same side that my nose bleeds and pain was on. i had no feeling on that side of my body and I was still constantly feeling these pains. It was like it was running through the whole left side of my body. 

One day, I was at work (and I was a waitress and bartender) and I started getting izzy spells, but I always worked through it. I always pushed myself because I was living on my own and thought it was just stress still. So after many days of getting really sick and many dizzy spells, I had something pretty traumautic happen. I felt like i was having a stroke or something. All i remember was gettin dizzy, hot, nauseous, and this huge flash of red just covered my eyes. I was freaking out and the rest of the night, I was dizzy and my vision was blurry. 

As soon as my shift ended, my sister picked me up and I said take me to the hospital. She took me in and they said I was okay and to follow up with a doctor after that. So I went to a doctor and they suggested it was just stress. I told him everything I was doing that I normally do, and he said "sometimes you just need the medicine to help push you a little." I was upset. I knew what my body felt like. Who was he to tell me that I was feeling something different and this was all stressed related? 

So as time went on, my breathing got worse, so did my anxiety, these so called "panick attacks" I kept getting constantly were affecting me all the time, day and night. I was so depressed. I had been to a gastro doctor and he said that my colon was lazy and that i just needed to start working out again. So as that is happening, my state was getting worse. 

I was so scared, I went to the hospital again and my anxiety was out of control at this point. I was constantly scared and my body kept reacting in weird ways. i had quit going out and drinking at this point because i wanted to help my health as much as i can. I was still working and I remember getting these stings where I would loose feeling in my fingers and head and it made me really nervous. 

What the hell is going on? I really cant even explain what was happening. I had gone to the emergency room about 3x at this point. It literally felt like my body was starting to give up on me. I stopped working at this point (it's about august now) I couldnt control my crying. and this was horrible. It almost felt as though i kept losing cirulation throughout my body and everything was only flowing on my left side (hence why I was getting constant nose bleeds and swelling on that side.) 

So I was at my dads one night crying and scared, and I made him take me in. I was so upset the doctor wouldn't do anything for me. I made the mistake of saying " I don't want to live anymore" and that was the first time I was admitted to the psych unit. I was hopeless and I was so scared. Also had an mri scheduled that I had to reschedule at a later time. They put me on medicine and i was miserable. 

I was still getting sick and my body kept getting the same sensations. no one believed me and didn't take me seriously because I was a "psych" patient. After that it went down hill. Friends stopped talking to me, I literally got really depressed, I had a hard time moving around. Falling asleep scared me. and people just kept treating me as a psych patient. Now my family doesnt believe me and its so hard for me to catch my breath. My nostrils are completely closed off. 

No one believes me. They diagnosed me with somatization disorder and everyone has given up on me. I feel so hopeless now. Every time I go to the hospital or doctor they just tell me I need psychiatric treatment. I am suffering so bad. My gums have swollen up so bad. My sinuses are completely closed off. I can barely breathe through my mouth anymore and everyone thinks I'm crazy. I got super depressed because I'm still in all the pain. This gets worse and worse and no one will take me seriously!

I'm lost, and I feel like i'm the only one fighting for my life. Everyone thinks this is something where I can snap my fingers and get over it.. but it's not. 

This is the worst feeling to go through. I would never wish it up anyone. The thing I wish people would realize is that when something is physically wrong, it effects other parts of the body. No one believed me for so long I feel like it was just a chain reaction. There's no way I could make these symptoms up nor could these be exaggerated feelings. It's been rough and I'm literally on my last limb, it feels like. It's been a year of this and my body's done.

-Caryn Marie

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Where's Carly? still heard nothing ...

It's been about 6 weeks since Carly Fleischmanns' dad finally posted a brief message explaining why she's been silent for nearly a year. Since then, we've heard nothing, nada, all's quiet. If anyone has heard anything more, or has anything to share on this, please do bring it to my attention.Tbh I'm starting to worry and sorry to sound paranoid, but, what the hell?? 

Personally, before this happened, I was worried that Carly would be increasingly seen as a threat by some in power, because even as a budding kid, she demonstrated that Au folk capability to see it and tell it like it is, no BS, eloquently and brilliantly too. I predicted that she'd grow fast, to talk about global issues and reform; big time. I could see the next great like Helen Keller was. Plus, even more dangerous, everybody was "hailing" her so she was in an extraordinary position where many would listen. She had the words of a good aspie minus all the "aaah just a crazy person"/bystander affect/prejudice that weighs us down.

She had Autism Speaks f****** just swarming around her like moths to her flame, pouncing on and interfering with her miraculous being, pretending to staunchly support her etc.. and I was thinking "get off her you manipulative gremlins, she needs real Au community" Her well meaning but NT parents were hooped, and ultimately in control of Carly's affairs.

In the back of my mind I had this sense of doom that something bad was gonna happen, and then she fell silent. Well, here it is. I hope the hell 2 things, A) that she recovers her ability to speak again, which may only happen IF whatever the hell happened in the first place becomes identified for what it is, and is somehow undone (and Carly could, feasibly, discover and channel it back via her own instincts, it's hard to say and harder to explain) and B) If she does recover (and if autism speaks swoops in with superficial sympathy that'll really piss me off) I hope she is able to speak out and get her boundaries up, and become involved with those who actually do support her growth and her powers.

It reminds me of the superficial confidante of a young royal who is secretly contracted to silence/trap/overtake/assassinate them in some way. Creepy, suspicious, there's a pit in my stomach over it all @ #wherescarly

-Rose Whitson-Guedes (Girl Outside)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Carly's voice has been silenced - where is the outrage? - by Tanja Guven

It has recently been brought to my attention that a non-verbal autistic teen, Carly Fleischmann, 17 years old and unable to speak due to oral-motor apraxia, who learned how to communicate via typing at the age of ten years old, was from April until recently silenced by the actions of her parents, who saw fit to subject her to ECT for OCD, surely while knowing the risks of such a procedure.

Whether Carly’s permission was asked is unclear, but the procedure was done in any case. It is unclear whether Carly consented, and if so, if she consented with full knowledge of what was to be done to her. In many cases, declarative and procedural memory are lost, with devastating consequences.

In this case, Carly unlearned how to speak, and only recently issued a distress signal somewhere from inside her battered brain, pleading for help and expressing her confusion and pain. Within the timeline on Carly’s Facebook page was a post by her father, in close proximity to Carly, and many comments sending the prayers and good wishes from various readers of the page, with one strikingly absent among them: outrage.

Tacit among them was acceptance of what had been done to her as normal, as if it had simply been an act of God, or more precisely, the prudent act of loving parents, despite the fact that it had nearly severed the only links with the outside world that she had ever had.

Whether Carly was lied to, and perhaps told that the treatment would allow her to speak orally, as she wanted, is unknown, as is the possibility of any consent having been obtained at all to undergo such a procedure. In this, the vast gulf of separation between the rights and the medical model of disability becomes horribly apparent.

Autism Speaks demonstrates this perfectly, by exploiting the fears and frustrations of the parents, and eliciting donations that should go to adaptively easing the condition, which claim to go towards a cure, and which actually go towards its own profits, periodically releasing foolhardy and potentially injurious treatments for their children, such as the therapeutic internal use of bleach on the gut, which directly incites violence in a polite fashion, and feeding hatred of their children.

Who can love that which is described as cancer? Who can empathize with or relate to or co-exist with cancer? To attempt to extricate someone from their autism is as productive as trying to remove the stone from an onion, for that is intrinsic to whom they are and always have been. It is a brotherhood and sisterhood of the inside of the skull.

That this is accepted, and never questioned, is disturbing. It is disturbing that a person with an inner life should be kept caged and systematically battered in a way that makes his or her most personally distressing deficits worse, and that this has not been labeled as wrong or abnormal in itself.

It is time that endless attention was turned away from the inherent qualities of a person, and more was turned towards the logistical and legal circumstances which shape that person’s life around them, especially to those creating them, and for whom the conflict of interest is strongest.

-Tanja Guven