Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Kids Are NOT Being Held Hostage by Any Disability!

Oh my God! I am furious. You know, I feel really guilty about the fact that I sometimes don't keep up with what's going on in the world but then there are times like this when I wish I had no idea how evil the people on this planet really can be. I know I'm late in the game but, just in case you are too, have you heard about the NYU Child Study Center's new ad campaign? Well, here's a picture of one of the signs they've been hanging up:

We are in possession of your son. We are making him squirm and fidget until he is a detriment to himself and those around him. Ignore this and your kid will pay

We have your son. We are destroying his ability for social interaction and driving him into a life of complete isolation. It's up to you now. Asperger's Syndrome
My daughter has ADD, so that makes her "a detriment to those around" her? That's just fucking evil! My kid has always been the one who sticks up for other kids because she knows what it's like to be different. She won't even let me kill roaches in front of her. My kid has been tested and deemed both gifted and talented in several areas. And she isn't doing so well in school because we've doped her up or made her see a bunch of psychiatrists. We let her try medication and she didn't like the way it made it harder for her to express her creativity. We took her to see a psychiatrist but she couldn't think of a single thing she felt like she needed or wanted to talk about with her so we stopped going. In other words, she's perfectly fine just the way she is. She's not possessed by anything. What is this? The middle ages? Maybe The German and I should hire a priest and get him to perform an exorcism since, according to this ad, she's obviously "possessed".

My "son" has Asperger Syndrome. He is the coolest boy you could ever have the privilege of interacting with. He also attends the same school as VanGoghGirl and he's very popular with his classmates. I am so very glad that the two of them have classes together because he has been there every step of the way to make sure that none of the jerky little boys--who actually DO have problems engaging in appropriate social interactions--are able to harass her. Complete isolation? Come on! That's just bullshit! Do these NYU jerks really not know any one with Asperger's Syndrome?

I'm in serious need of some antacids now. I can't write anything more about this. Please, go and read some more level-headed folks' comments about this stuff.

Miss Crip Chick
The Gimp Parade
Charlottesville Prejudice Watch


deviousdiva said...

That is just disgusting. I can't believe what I just read.

It would be a privilege to have my kid in a class with such a talented child as VanGoghGirl.

I don't know what to say either. The shocking and stupid just keeps on coming.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher who regularly has to teach kids with ADHD I can agree with what was said in the ADHD ad. I do not agree with the "kidnapper" type approach. Please keep in mind that ADD is different than ADHD and that H is powerful. Also, a lot of kids that are diagnosed with ADHD DO NOT have ADHD or ADD.... I could go on, but I won't.

Kids who are not in some sort of treatment whether behaviorist or medicine who have ADHD make a classroom almost impossible to teach in or learn in. The make noises, the jump up and down, they talk out of turn, they cause arguments, they tap their feet louder and louder until you stop what you are doing and ask them to stop. If you have never been in a classroom with an untreated kid with ADHD you just can't imagine.

bint alshamsa said...


I'm writing a response to your comments right now. I'll be posting it in a bit.

Salspua said...

Sonia Johnson is one of my favorite authors/thinkers. In The Ship That Sailed Into the Living Room, she suggests that we should do only what we want to do. She uses as an example an (theoretical) communal living situation with separate living areas and a communal bathroom. Perhaps 12-13 women live here. The toilet gets pretty gross because no one wants to clean it. They decide to get together and discuss the situation. The facilitator asks each woman if she wants to clean the toilet. Each thinks about it, and says no, she doesn't. Instead of deciding that something is wrong with the women or the concept of doing what you want to do, they decide something is wrong with the toilet. They work together to design a new one, one that's better for the environment, maybe a composting toilet, something that benefits everyone.

There's nothing wrong with the children. That the mainstream rewards certain kids and punishes others is a symptom of needing more or new solutions. A new toilet.

Bint Alshamsa - I don't blame you for being pissed. It's a part of the conspiracy. Reward one way of being (still and quiet) and pathologize and medicate anything different. My favorite ex has ADD. Of course, when we were kids, there was no ADD, just kids who got in trouble all the time because they couldn't sit still.

I am so glad VanGoghGirl and your son have you on their side.


Renegade Evolution said...

scrapes jaw up off the floor...


Anonymous said...

How infuriating!

As a former so-called "ADD" kid, I would like to point out a very simple explanation: Elementary School is boring! It's a prison for the mind! My god, as long as you *somehow* get your basic literacy, math, and ability to survive around other kids it doesn't matter how much you fidget. I have tutored ADHD kids and while they are different, it is not really an obstacle to academic success. America's half-assed school system is an obstacle to academic success.

The reason it's called a dis-ORDER is because you just don't always fit the order. I have a better idea for those ads:

"Dear parents: we have your son. We are too half-assed to provide effective teaching mechanisms so please mail us $5000 gazillion dollars and we'll pump that kid so full of drugs he won't be able to do anything BUT listen-sincerely, crooked drug companies".

I know I'm barely coherent here. Sorry. I am not an expert. I am a former Attention Deficit Disorder kid who is going to an Oxbridge university next year, because I didn't do what the school system demanded, and stop thinking. With support, ANYONE can get past ADD. They say, Listerine didn't invent mouthwash: they invented bad breath. So what did the makers of Ritalin and Addenol invent?

Schoolteachers I sympathise. It can't be easy. Blame the system, NOT THE CHILD.

Breez said...

Oooookay, I'm going to put it out there:

I find it very intersting that bright children of color are often given a "syndrome." When we moved here, I was told that Finge was a candidate for special education and needed to be "observed" and "tested." I politely declined. I continued to check on his homework and such. At the end of the year, the weakest area of his standardized testing had him scoring in the 86th percentile.

I know that there are children who do struggle/need help, but I believe the diagnoses are overused and some of the treatments are overKILL.

Daisy said...

I wonder who thought this up? Sounds so glib, like an advertising executive said "Hey I know! We'll do a kidnap motif!" and that was that.
No discussion with any actual activists or advocates at all...

Unknown said...

Breez, you are so right, and that's not even particularly out-there as a theory. I read a bunch of articles in law school (I did a special-ed clinic as a law student, where I helped families of kids with various special needs get their kids the services they need and are owed under the law) about the outrageously high diagnosis rate for children of color, especially boys of color. I can't remember the specific numbers, but it was something like, boys of color are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD at four times the rate of white boys.

I wish I could remember the article I'm thinking of. (Well, and I wish I still had access to J-Stor so I could read it again!)

Lisa Harney said...

This is so many kinds of wrong and infuriating.

Anonymous said...

hi there, I'm new to your here from ballastexistenz......

I agree completely with your post about the ransom notes kidnapping thing......I want to let you know that it has been retracted......NYU, on receiving many complaints about it.....decided to shelf it, and continue with a much more positive inclusive approach..........

I wish I were good at art.......alas, I'm not. At all.

The Integral
one of 3 active personalities in 1 body