Thursday, 19 April 2012

Autism NI - Playing Doctor

Within Autism NI's website is a booklet entitled 'Waking up to Autism Spectrum Disorder - An Issue for Mental Health Services. here . It's dated January 2012.

Autism NI claims this booklet will help to inform mental health professionals about ASD and provide information on treatment options.

Did I miss something? Are the staff at Autism NI fully qualified medical professionals as well as professional fundraisers?

Is Arlene Cassidy, the CEO of Autism NI qualified to provide psychiatric prescriptive advice to anyone much less Department of Health employees and officials?  Two whole pages of this 11 page document refer to various and sundry drugs including Lithium, 'neuroleptics', SSRI's and stimulants. These drugs are referred to in this hastily copied and pasted together mishmash of a document, as 'treatment' for autistic spectrum conditions. The title of the document 'Waking Up' to Autistic Spectrum Disorder, is a misnomer. All this document wants is for adults with autism to be drugged and asleep!

Apart from the laughable content of this document, no attempt was made to provide one reference to what it purports as 'fact'. There is, however,  a suggested reading list with books that stem from the 1980s to the mid 1990's.

Autism NI does not appear to be concerned with citations or references. Looking through their other 'information leaflets' and so called 'research' papers, references are scarce, researchers are often not researchers, but rather "friends" with Autism NI.

This document is wholly and utterly irresponsible and I strongly urge readers to contact Autism NI and demand that it is withdrawn from their website. I also suggest you contact Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland and advise him that Autism NI is providing dangerous information regarding autism. 

If you are a person who has autism and you read this document please do NOT believe that the drugs listed in this document are a 'treatment' for autism. Can we all please remember the tragic story from last year that resulted in the drug overdose of a man who had autism. here

Autism NI allege on the final page of this document, that it was printed in partnership with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. I find this very hard to believe and will be forwarding a copy to the Department to find out the names of who, if any, were involved (probably none)  I think what really has happened is that Autism NI printed and uploaded the document hoping no one would actually question it.

You can contact the DHSSPSNI yourself via this link: here and ask them yourself if they participated in this 'information' leaflet.

Autism NI will continue to produce this kind of non-referenced fallacious rubbish until people demand that they stop. 

Shame on you Autism NI. Please remove this offending document from your website immediately. For that matter, you could do us all a favour and remove most of what is on your website. It's fatuous, gratuitous and very often just plain wrong. Please enter the 21st century.

Autism NI has received accolades (and tens of thousands of pounds) from pharmaceutical giant Glaxo-Smithkline. Alarm bells should ring in any person's brain when autism charities receive lovely lolly from big pharma. 

Friday, 13 April 2012

Judge Rotenberg Center Lighting it up 'Electric Blue'

"What did you do at work today Daddy", said little Jimmy,  His father,  Big Mo replied,  "I administered electric shocks to non-verbal autistic children son".

Jimmy asked, "why do you do that Daddy?"

"Because they don't do as they are told son".

"Would you do that to me Daddy?"  Big Mo had to think a while and finally replied, "no son, you don't have autism silly."

This shocking new video shows how an autistic  teenage boy was tied up and given 31 electric shocks over seven hours by his laughing teachers and ended up in a coma.

The disturbing video (above) was released  11 April 2012. All the autism awareness campaigns in the world don't seem to be changing the hearts and minds of many of those who work with people who have autism. This video shows the kind of torture administered by the Judge Rotenberg Centre in Massachusetts USA, over the past three decades, to children and young people who have autism and who are in their 'care'.

The video shows a 2002 incident in which 18-year-old Andre McCollins was restrained, face-down, on the floor of a classroom, and then given 31 shocks—all because he had refused to take off his coat. The torture he received took place at the infamous Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, USA.

The young man is currently suing Rotenberg. His mother, Cheryl, testified  in court yesterday and said, "I never signed up for him to be tortured, terrorized, and abused. I had no idea—no idea—that they tortured the children in the school." More footage is expected to be shown in court today.

Why am I bringing your attention to this you may ask? After all, this blog is supposed to be about autism in Northern Ireland.

First off, I want our friends in the USA, whose children have been betrayed and tortured at this centre,to know that we in Northern Ireland are appalled and angry at the pain they and you  went through. Well, at least this blogger is appalled.

Second, don't believe  that this kind of abuse is isolated to torture centers like the Judge Rotenberg centre. We have lots of instances of 'torture' here in Northern Ireland, where adults who have autism still languish in 'mental' hospitals, where ill-informed medical staff drug and silence children with drugs both at home and at school and where children are removed from their families because an 'expert' believes the child exhibits signs of abuse as opposed to autism. See here to learn about the heartbreaking treatment inflicted upon Antrim teenager Katie Ryder.

The 'Light it up Blue' charade may have filled the coffers of charities, but it didn't do anything for autism 'awareness'.
Changing the hearts and minds of people regarding an issue does not happen by making charities richer. Some staff at the Rotenberg Center are probably uncomfortable with what they do and in fact some have left the center and told their experiences on the internet. As for those who stay, well, there are plenty of sociopaths and psychopaths in this world and they can justify their actions for a myriad of reasons. They absolve themselves of responsibility because someone else says it is ok or simply because they are getting away with it.  Tomes have been written on this kind of human behaviour.  The Judge Rotenberg Center Lights Kids Up Electric Blue.

Derry City Council in their recent news letter  here . refer to the real meaning of 'Light It Up Blue'. Alderman Devenney said,  “By lighting up the Council’s Civic Offices on the Strand Road blue for the month of April we are sending out a clear message that we are supportive of the work being done on the ground to offer help and support to families in the city and across Northern Ireland dealing with this disability. We hope that this gesture will create better awareness and understanding of the issue and raise much needed funds for the charity,” he commented.

What charity is that you say?  Autism NI of course, who else.  Much needed funds? Why? What do they do? Remind me?

By the way, for those of you who don't know, the 'Light It Up Blue' campaign for Autism Awareness Month was concocted by Autism Speaks in the USA, and had nothing to do with Autism NI, though I am sure the campaign was a nice earner for any organisation that supported it.  With so many staff to pay and with so many cuts to their funding, autism charity employees are all struggling to pay their mortgages and save for those holidays!.  

We have enough autism awareness now. Who doesn't know about autism? What we don't have is understanding and respect for persons who have autism. We don't have the voice of those individuals influencing changes where changes need to be made. Who is it that makes decisions regarding autism in Northern Ireland? Do any of those people have autism themselves? Does Arlene Cassidy of Autism NI have autism? Does Edwin Poots, our Health Minister have autism? Who do they consult when making decisions? Is there a formal process? I would sure like to know about it. Phoning a friend doesn't count.

Throwing money at charities and organisations does absolutely nothing for people who have autism. Yet, in Northern Ireland that's what you do - you give and give and you don't ask questions. You just assume all that lovely money is going to good use for those poor little autistic kids. (Like autism ends when adulthood begins)

When bad things happen, charities are the last to say anything about it unless it serves their interests. I have absolutely no doubt that atrocities similar to what happened and continue to happen at the Judge Rotenberg Center do happen here as well. You and I just don't hear about them.  See here: to learn about why care worker Edith McGaughey was struck off as a Social Worker in March this year for abusing her autistic clients at an Autism Initiatives home in Bangor. She's not the first.

As for charities, they tend not to poke their noses into affairs outside of the UK unless it suits them. Ok, Arlene Cassidy provided a free junket to Washington DC a few years back. About 12 politicos went I think.  This made her and her charity look good.  She also  'testified' at the Committee for Foreign Affairs last year. see here. When it suits, Autism NI gets 'international'. We will see if they internationally condemn the Judge Rotenberg Center. I somehow doubt it, they seem too busy trying convince local councils of the 'work' they do and of course, of the money they "need". 

Didn't Northern Ireland have plans to use children as guinea pigs at the Middletown Centre for Autism? Not one child has gone through the doors of Middletown. For that, I think, we can be grateful. Let it continue to be a white elephant, and a waste of money, as long as they keep their hands off of our children. When so-called 'experts' from Northern Ireland take control of your children, God knows what could happen.

I am praying for all the 'inmates' currently imprisoned at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton Massachusetts. It's 2012 but if you have autism it might as well be 1812.

Monday, 2 April 2012

World AUTISM Day in Northern Ireland

Light it up blue,  have a cake sale, run a marathon, fly some balloons - Yippeee - it's 2 April 2012 and it's the fifth World Autism Day.

Seeing as we can't 'cure' it, we can celebrate it instead right? Give up, give in and just have a party and make sure you give lots and lots of money to charities - this day is for them to raise funds, more than it could ever be for you or your child.

And remember for all the folks who live in Northern Ireland,  we now have the Autism Act  - what an exciting Autism Day 2012 it is. Let's see how long it will take for it to ever be invoked - I suspect maybe 2025?

For those of you who want to make your views known about the Autism Act,  you now have a chance, ( until Friday 20th April 2012 )  Just open the link below. Your comments in the form must not exceed 1000 characters, so be succinct)

Be mindful that this ACT may well force society to despise us and our children.  I would  urge parents whose children have other disabilities to fill in the questionnaire too and ask that an Act is created to help your own child.

Let's see if anyone in Northern Ireland today talks about more research funding, (is there ANY research coming out of Northern Ireland except the Roy McConkey/Arlene Cassidy fluff from UU, or the Rosie Burrows piece  funded by Autism NI about how we parents are traumatised and need more sympathy? ) Sorry, can't bring myself to offer you links to these pieces of fatuous and gratuitous bunkum. 

How and when will our children receive co-ordinated services, evidence based practices in schools and the help they need to continue their education and to find employment and to eventually have a full and joyful adult life?

So, go ahead and plaster your child's face all over an autism charity's poster, use your child's image to make them some more money. Meanwhile, when was the last time you were employed? Did you give up work altogether to care for your autistic child(ren)? 

Tomorrow is 3 April 2012. Charities today might be 'lighting it up blue' for autism,  but thousands of families tomorrow, will still feel 'black' and blue, cut and bruised from fighting for their children's future. Their children know about black and blue as well seeing as over half of them continue to be bullied see here and here.

Be sure to ask your local charity to use the money they received today wisely - you know, the money they obtained off the back of your child's diagnosis?  Alternatively, fly your balloons, eat your cakes, run your marathons and continue to give give give to others who pretend to speak for you and your children.

p.s. Does World Autism Day apply to France?   Sign the petition in the link below to stop the abuse of autistic children there.  stop the torture