Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Autism Used this Time as an Excuse for Criminality

What are real world safety issues (in-real-life and on-line) and how do we teach this self-defense mechanism to our children with autism? The problem we parents face, is that for our children to understand "reality" they need to be a part of it or witness it. Furthermore, this problem manifests itself exponentially when dealing with adolescents. Adolescents never think through the consequences of their actions. So much is spur of the moment without thought to the future. Adolescents don't see the longterm consequences to actions or inactions. Add in an autism spectrum disorder and you can get quite the hormonal rollercoaster.

Culture doesn't help. There are fewer and fewer consequences to inappropriate behavior. Society tells the the up-coming-generation, that nothing is their fault. Everyone is supposed to win. Everything is an excuse. Its always someone else's fault, so you do not have to be responsible for your actions and your choices. So many parents embrace this attitude in the era of "not my child's fault." Makes parenting alot easier when you don't have to take any responsibility for raising your children. Makes it easier when instead of taking responsibility for teaching your child right from wrong you can blame a crime on the fact that your offspring has an autism spectrum disorder as well. (My boys were consistently attacked by a youngman on the severer side of the autism spectrum since elementary school. His parents refused to do anything saying he didn't understand that what he was doing was wrong. But at the same time this youngman understood well enough to have a drivers license, drive on his own and hold down a job. We ended up having to threaten the school system with police intervention to get something done about this.)

In actuality adolescence is when major parenting comes in. If your adolescent screws up, it is your fault. Yes of course there are times that you can do everything imaginable and nothing will help. (There are some mental health issues that no matter what you do it is never enough and it is not a parent's fault.) But I am not talking about these issues.

I am talking about basic adolescent behavior mixed with aspergers syndrome. And no its not easy. Adolescence isn't easy to begin with and adolescence with autism is quite challenging. But our children can be parented and parented well. To simply throw up your hands and say..."oopsie... I can't,  or that's someone else's problem or to try to blame all the mistakes (and there will be some big ones, I warn you) on the child or their disability," is not only irresponsible, but in some cases even criminal.

Recent case in point: Apparently an 18-year-old on Long Island, charged with terrorism, is trying to blame his actions on the fact that he has aspergers. Not on how he was brought up. Not on the influences in his life. It's not his parents fault...heaven forbid. It is not about a homelife replete with  divorced parents where there seemed to be a huge amount of neglect and lack of support. No. According to the lawyers, apparently somehow someone with autism is too stupid and too much of a sheeple to understand its just not cool to blow up other people with a bomb. (Yes, I figure the attorney is grasping at straws trying to keep this youngman out of prison for the rest of his life. That doesn't mean you have to accept this excuse.) Quite frankly, I find it grossly insulting to the autism community.

Listen, the issue isn't about the accused's autism. The issue is about his upbringing. The issue is where were his parents? The issue was where was the community in which he lived? They knew he was depressed. They knew he had problems. Apparently they even knew he had a "bad" homelife.  (That also remains to be seen in the longrun too.) But no one did anything? How does an 18-year-old brought up in a community like Long Island turn to Jihad if there isn't something else going on in his world having nothing to do with autism?

That defendant is more "susceptible" to the influences around him because of his autism. OK I will accept that part of the argument. But do not ever tell me someone with autism cannot learn the difference between right and wrong. Where is the demand by the autism community of the acknowledgement that the basic moral underpinnings of life is something autistics are "susceptible" to as well. This legal tactic infantalizes persons with autism. It infuriates me. I find it disgusting. (I have fought against the denigration of those with autism since the day Mr. GS was diagnosed. Not going to stop now.)

Pundits and prognosticators have tried to tie aspergers and autism into the mass murders that have happened recently in our nation. The autism community rightly cried foul when these insidious charges arose. But you can't have it both ways. You can't blame the desire to kill on autism nor can you use autism as the get-out-of-jail-free-card excuse for criminal behavior. One turns the autistic person into a feared sociopathic predator devoid of a right to live in society and the other turns the autistic into a feared individual with such mental deficiencies, unable to tell the difference between right and wrong, that they lose the right to live in society. Either way those in the autism community are screwed.

How about instead of excuses we learn to parent our children the way they need to be parented? How about parents take responsibility for raising their children properly? How about society cut out the crap and remind people about consequences, limits and boundaries? We could start with acknowledging that there are rights and wrongs in this world. How about stopping with the politically correct bullcrap too, that all cultures deserve respect. Guess what, not every culture or way of viewing the world is to be respected. Just ask Malala Yousafzai.

Wonder what would happen if the "legal powers" that be said those that shot this terrific younglady claimed to have autism. Would the world then give the Taliban-terrorists who shot her a pass too? I hope not.