This Saturday is Temple Grandin’s birthday. Unfortunately, most people don’t have a clue who she is.
Temple Grandin is an autism activist. She is best known for her contributions to the agriculture industry by inventing a safer and more humane way to slaughter cattle without them getting injured in the process. While her views of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) aren’t approved of nowadays, Grandin was still one of the first autism advocates to break through to the mainstream, having a movie made about her in 2010 titled Temple Grandin.
Grandin’s life story is important and should be required learning for social workers preparing to work with autistics. Why? Because she is living proof that with the right support and services, without strings attached, we can be anything. She has a doctorate in Animal Science and a career as a proponent for the rights of autistics and animals.
(I met her once during a book signing at LaGuardia Community College in New York. Very nice lady).
Yet when it comes to both Autism Awareness Month or Women’s History Month, she is forgotten.
When Mamma Duke and I get on the phone with the OPWDDimwits and joint advocate, they act like we’re speaking a foreign language. “Who?” they ask when we bring up Grandin’s name. I am appalled that the training for both state-run and private social service organizations don’t acknowledge or even know who Grandin is. Right now, the people who are supposed to help and serve us, treat us like garbage. Maybe if they learned about Grandin, they would show us more respect and compassion.
For once, that would be nice…
TK my author in crime is letting me take over the blog. I saw all your comments about some of my posts. And I felt very upset that some of them were misinterpreted. However, mistakes are what make people human. I have deleted the racist posts. However, in place of it will be this.
Like everyone else last year I was going through a lot of shit. Between COVID, protests for racial equality that I had a hard time understanding, and an election that was full of controversial things on its own, why don’t we revisit the privilege thing. Because TK and I feel being privileged is more than just a racial issue. It’s also an accessibility issue as well.
Think about it, if I weren’t verbal what would happen? Would I be treated well? Would I be able to have a life?Would I have my decisions respected? It’s sad to say, but no. People who are semi or non verbal are treated worse than those who can. They are refused access to alternative methods of communication and are treated like they are vegetables that have no intellect. Who sticks up for them outside their parents? Who accommodates them? Are they protected? No! They are not. Not even ADA protects them from a denial of access. It’s supposed to but it doesn’t. What’s ironic about it, is that the law was drafted by a disabled person who used a wheelchair. She made the law written in a way that only favors those like her and forgets everybody else. Whatever she did write for people with other disabilities really screwed us all over for the last 31 years. One word wrecked us all —reasonable. Reasonable means we can ask, but whomever we do gets the final say — not us. It denies us academic support, lodging accommodations, and gives MORE PRIVILEGE to those who can handle full time learning than those who prefer part time learning. Those who have money for better supports have MORE PRIVILEGE too. Those on Medicaid for services have very little help or privilege at all. The Medicaid services are of poor quality and won’t even support the opportunity to get a college degree. They think we’re “dumb” because we need extra support. This is where privilege becomes a civil rights issue. Yet, the politicians think privilege is race only. This is where they are wrong. This is why the state programs that are supposed help us don’t. ADA doesn’t protect the privilege of having an education, a house, financial stability, quality health care, having a life and being treated with respect by non disabled folk. Federal and state law are connected to each other. If the federal law is poorly written it affects the quality of state laws. The federal law is the blueprint for what the states can do — not respect or fully accommodate people. We need to convince Congress if they want to truly be inclusive, #reviseADA. Awareness isn’t enough anymore. WE WANT RESPECT.
WHY?!? WHY?!? WHY ISN’T ANYTHING BEING DONE?!?!? HOW MANY MORE AUTISTIC KIDS AND ADULTS MUST DIE AN UNREASONABLE DEATH FROM ABUSE AND NEGLECT? WHERE IS OUR RESPECT?!?! HOW COME NOBODY PROTESTS WHEN WE ARE TREATED LIKE THIS! When an Able dies, you jump and get mad as a hornet. Why are we not given equal treatment? When an Autistic person dies, you don’t get mad or jump up and down in protest. You act like we don’t matter! You treat us like roadkill! THIS ISN’T ACCEPTABLE! Would you do this to your own? NO! We are not inferior! We are people too! Where is the respect and dignity we all deserve? #Autisticjustice #DISABLEDLIVESMATTER #REVISEADA #ENDABLEISM
When you are Autistic you need a lot of support — and not just the support you get from the OPWDimwits. But the outside sources important as well such as friends and most importantly family. As an Autistic person, getting support from your family isn’t always very easy. Nine times out of ten you’re the one Autistic person in a family of ables. Sometimes they get it, sometimes not so much. My biggest support — despite all the arguments we have, is my mom. She knows where I’m coming from and what I go through because she’s the one always calling people for me to get help from a lot of places which often end up being a dead end. She also has my bluntness, stubbornness, and ability to get angry very easily. Mixed bag for advocating, worse when you’re home and she doesn’t like the way you do things. But, that’s not our topic for today. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I had a younger sister. She is an able like the rest of my family. Today, I posted something on social media and my NT sister told me to take it down. I said, “why”? She felt I was being ‘disrespectful’ to the current civil rights issues and said they are two different things. I took it down in exchange for helping my #reviseADA movement get underway. She didn’t realize, like all the other ignorant ables I speak to, that the ADA doesn’t protect those with developmental disabilities. She thought all the accommodations I couldn’t get, especially tutoring were ‘just mine’. It just felt like any other previous talks about my problems finishing college — lost in translation leading to a lot of ‘hidden ableism’. She, like many other people don’t realize that if your disability involves a difference in communication, tutoring is very necessary and being able to live on campus despite being a part time student is too. Because if your school is in a town with a lack of public transportation, it shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice your academic and mental well being just to have a place to live. Not right! Not every Autistic person can handle a full course load! It can be EXTREMELY overwhelming. If everything in your textbook is in some fancy jargon that you have to read three times to understand you DEFINITELY need the extra time to calm down before switching between that one subject and another. Getting confused about the material can be VERY draining on an Autistic student’s mind. So yes we learn slower, but it’s not our fault. — It’s just that you silly ables like to let that fancy title, that you’ve graduated with on your sheepskin, get to your head and like to show off your knowledge by using big words and fancy sounding sentences! Ugh! Simplese please! If college materials were very straight forward without being vague at the same time it would be SO much easier! But, you know the ables and their weird minds. They like to make it much harder for everyone and if you fail, too bad! They’re going to take your money like the whammy on Press Your Luck. These are the issues most ables like my sister don’t see causing the constant struggle of being heard and getting accommodations for our academic needs. The most we get is either a note taker or extended time on tests in a room without distractions. Nobody sticks up for us when our test is on a day the disability office is closed and can’t be accommodated. Nobody sticks up for us if a professor says an Ableist remark to our moms, on the phone behind our backs or to our face during a private orientation. (Yes, I’m talking about you Mr. Chairman of SUNY Delhi’s Vet tech department. Saying “If you go part time you won’t remember it all.” That’s ableism and you got away with it!) So since my sister’s perspective is a put up or shut up attitude like everyone else I’ve dealt with on this already difficult journey, how can she help me out? There’s no support. It’s just my friends, Mamma Duke, and me.
While everyone is talking about the riots and violent protests that have happened this week because of police brutality to Mr. Floyd I want to bring up something that happened in our community that most Ables who aren’t on social media ignored and overlooked as usual. Last month an Autistic boy was killed by his mother and framed two African American men for kidnapping him. How come there aren’t any violent riots in the streets when this happened? It was combination of abuse, Racism, and Ableism. Yet, this story as usual ends up being a flash in the pan because it’s not an issue of judgment due to race. We ALL matter because disability doesn’t discriminate. Discrimination and bigotry of any form is NEVER right and yet we see the Ables AKA the Neurotypicals make the same stupid mistakes. So much for having fully developed mind what a fucking joke! They act like stupid children having a temper tantrum! There’s a time, place, and way to protest. DAMAGING PUBLIC OR POLICE PROPERTY ISN’T ONE OF THEM AND LOOTING BUSINESSES ISN’T EITHER. IT DOESN’T SOLVE ANYTHING! As much as I would like to blow up OPWDimwits I know it won’t help because instead of getting my point across I’d get arrested and not get anything accomplished at all. It doesn’t solve my problems it makes them worse. So if I’m gonna protest I’m gonna do it the right way. #Everyonematters #Pleaseprotestpeacefully
Tk talked about this already tough time but it’s worse for all of us in the disabled community the fact that we are not treated equally by the healthcare system regardless of whether we are in crisis or not is extremely concerning. It is unethical and wrong to take a disabled person’s ventilator away to give it away to an ill Neurotypical affecting a person’s quality of life leading to even more hospitalizations and deaths. It is inhumane whether it is peacetime or in a time of crisis to deny help of any sort to people with disabilities. #Nobodyisdisposable
WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THESE STUPID LONG ISLAND BUSES?!?!?!? I had wait in the Pennzoil for an hour so I don’t get cold. Thanks for making me late to work again not so NICE bus! They obviously don’t believe in late morning shifts and I’m not wasting money for Able ride unless I need to because it’s almost $8.00 round trip. I’m so fucking annoyed!
This is your Bluntly Speaking Breaking news! On Wednesday, February 19th, 2020, I, Artemis Levina and my loyal (but shrewdly bossy and picky) assistant correspondent Mamma Duke went all the way to the streets of Manhattan to get you this crucial update and how this affects the future of the services of Autistics of all levels everywhere in the New York area. The rumors about cuts to Medicaid funds are true. This will affect a lot of people who use title 16 clinics for healthcare. Title 16 clinics, for those uneducated Ables out there, are Medicaid based clinics who serve we disabled folk on Medicaid who can’t afford typical doctor appointments. Also, OPWDimwits has been spending a lot of money for helping people — doesn’t seem like it the way Scudderbutt behaves. They were also talking about how Commissioner lazy himself couldn’t even produce an answer about the funding to these folks trying to advocate for the prevention of these cuts. FIGURES! The way he acted when I asked him about my needs, that’s nothing new. Didn’t even care about the the Bernard Fineson land being condemned either. Well, here’s the deal, they were supposed to get two 2% increases in funding and now it’s going to be taken away affecting many people who need the help. It might not sound like a lot, but 2% is a lot especially when it comes to our community. Now I know why I haven’t been getting help for nine years they’ve been abusing the funds and not using them to create new programs. So yes, we level one Autistics over 21 are still doomed to be denied the right services for yet another year. Hopefully, this new proposition of three for five will help. What this is exactly is a gradual increase in funding for OPWDimwits to finally reorganize themselves and help people better(and hopefully not decide to pretend to be a half-wit on me again because I don’t tolerate being treated like political ploy instead of a person). Then again, what else do we expect from Governor McIdiot? He’s going to continue his corrupt and Ableist behavior because we the disabled community are not well united. If we stop segregating ourselves into our disability groups and help each other out to crowd the steps of Albany and stick to him we won’t get anywhere or get anything out of it.
For any one living in the Queens NYC area Mamma Duke and I got a flyer in the mail from our local elected official about a “Queens Bus Redesign.” It’s really not an improvement at all. Who wants to take three buses to the Queens Center Mall? Not only that those who are going to St. John’s University from my area aren’t going to able to take the 46 there anymore because the stop will no longer exist!
Go on to mta.info to find out how your typical routes are being changed and file a complaint if it denies you access to wherever you typically roam.
I haven’t posted in awhile so let me give an update to what’s going on. The government have decided to put more stress on disabled kind when it comes to SSI. They now want to review your case every two years. This is an upright issue of discrimination for those on the Spectrum because of how much of a nuisance it is for us especially for those with more sensory issues. In addition, this shows that despite the forward movement of inclusion, that we are still left behind. They still think that Autism magically disappears at 21. Until they wake up from their ignorance and näivety we will continue to suffer at the hands of Ableism and Ableist behavior. Speaking of Ableism, today’s story: what ABA therapy really is and why many in the Spectrum community, their parents or both are not for it.
First off, what is ABA therapy? Applied Behavior Analysis therapy or ABA for short, was designed for people on the Spectrum, by Ables, to correct either sensory or challenging behaviors encountered in the able world. If done correctly, the person can adapt and thrive and if done incorrectly, an Autistic person has PTSD for life. I was just came off a tandem phone call with Mamma Duke asking about information about what the whole thing is all about and I can see why people have mixed feelings about it. The way they structured the whole thing is VERY unrealistic! They believe that after they teach you the skills you requested to improve from them, that the environment you live in will magically adapt to your every whim and accommodate our needs. HAHAHAHAHAHA! The world does not do that not for people on spectrum or ever! — Unless people change the law, which unfortunately for us will take a longer time than other things due to the Ables having other issues that need solving first. So I deem ABA as pipe dream therapy due to it’s very unrealistic structure and theory. In this world, pipe dreams of any form don’t get you anywhere or anything unless action is taken! But because of how ableism is still rampant it’s so not happening. So, until people are willing to accommodate us in the real world regardless of what age we are or stage of life, ABA therapy is extremely useless and doesn’t solve anything! I’m not supportive of pipe dream therapy. Because pipe dream therapy doesn’t teach the world how to respect us, accommodate us or even get people to change. In short ABA therapy really is a big joke!