Monday, January 31, 2011

Autistic Child Banned From Xbox LIVE Apparently DID Cheat

Just in case you didn't see this update. This boy apparently did cheat and his mother then used his autism to try to get his credits back. This is without a doubt a disgusting use of the boy's disability. Not only does it not teach him right from wrong, it casts doubt on anyone who actually does have a claim of discrimination based upon their autism. (I suppose in much the same way we are always afraid that with each false claim of rape, those who are truly sexually assaulted will not be listened to.)

On top of everything else, this story caused a huge fight between my boys. Collegeman was obsessing about what would be the best way to help the 11 year old boy. Meanwhile,  HSB insisted that XBox would not have labeled him a cheater if it were not true because everything is investigated thoroughly. Of course a fight ensued with accusations of inhumanity, lack of empathy and various forms of name calling between the boys. Furthermore, I was so upset that I contacted brilliant-computer-sis to see if she knew anyone who could help. Luckily she did not. Could you imagine the professional embarrassment in going to bat for a lie?

On the other hand, it was also an interesting association for the boys. Collegeman wanted to help another person with autism because he felt that that person had been wronged. Empathy as I have said, is a huge part of who he is. HSB while not totally empathetic, understands how XBox works and the machinations they go through to keep the games honest. He was not empathetic because he said if XBox said the boy was a cheater that meant that he was. Remember, we have taught the boys that their autism is no excuse for wrongdoing of any kind, including lying and cheating. Additionally, we, as a family, did learn that when it comes to games, computers and the world of the Internet we should really listen to HSB more than we do.

All in all we did come to more of a realization about who we are and what we are capable of in this house; what our perspective happen to be and the kind of people the boys are turning into. I am proud of both of them as a matter of fact, well not for the fighting part, but for the internal need to help and the ability to take information they know and apply it to a real situation. However, I am afraid that in the long run episodes like this one, where people abuse the system in some way, will cause society to look askance at real claims of abuse and discrimination when it comes to autistics and their needs. Remember our children are just in the beginning of their life experiences and the fight for their rights is already an uphill battle.

Until next time,