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Harvard Postpones Panel on Autism After Angry Students Petition

Harvard Postpones Panel on Autism After Angry Students Petition

“Talking about things like treating and curing autism is a really toxic narrative”

The main complaint here seems to be that this kind of thing is “ableist.”

The College Fix reports:

Harvard panel on autism postponed after student complaints: ‘violently ableist’

A Harvard-affiliated medical center has postponed a panel discussion on autism after a petition demanded the school “publically [sic] withdraw support” from the event.

According to The Crimson, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center decided to hold off on the panel titled “Autism Awareness: Thinking Outside the Box” after the Change.org petition got over 1,400 signatures of a requested 1,500.

“One of the panel’s goals is to highlight methods of ‘treating’ Autism,” the petition reads. “This is not only violently ableist but scientifically incorrect. Phrases like ‘winning our war against autism infer countless problematic narratives and demonize neurodivergent and Autistic people for simply existing.”

The petition goes on to claim phrases such as “how to communicate” and “savant autism” imply an “alien-like nature” to those with the condition.

The Sadhguru Center for a Conscious Planet, part of Harvard Medical School’s teaching hospital and host of the event, apologized for “any unintended distress.” In a statement, it said “We are pausing, deeply reflecting and learning before we consciously take next steps.”

Petition creator and Harvard student Kristin King said the event was “problematic from the get-go” due to the panelists’ language and the fact there were no featured autistic speakers.

“Talking about things like treating and curing autism is a really toxic narrative,” King said. “There isn’t anything wrong with being autistic. That’s something that autistic people have to say every single day of their lives.”

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Comments

The Gentle Grizzly | May 6, 2022 at 10:06 am

“If you think it’s toxic, you don’t belong here. Find another college.

Dolce Far Niente | May 6, 2022 at 10:10 am

King said. “There isn’t anything wrong with being autistic. ”

There is, however, something wrong in being a frigging moron.

How so many people in the academic world can live in fear of an online petition signed by a bunch of unaccomplished nearly illiterate
virtue-bullying college students is beyond my comprehension.

As a parent with a severely autistic, self-injurious 18 year old son, I have the authority to say that these f-ing clowns have no idea what they’re talking about. STFU and sit down.

    daniel_ream in reply to UJ. | May 6, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    None of these people are autistic, and neither are any of the targets of their telescopic philanthropy.

    What’s happening in many cases is parents are getting divorced earlier than ever, and their toddlers are growing up with no stable home environment. The lack of stability and safety retards the development of social, empathy and coping skills and results in maladapted socialization that Mommy calls “autism spectrum” because 1) it certainly couldn’t be her fault Junior turned out like this just because she needed to be free and self-actualize outside the confines of a patriarchal marriage construct, and 2) Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.

healthguyfsu | May 6, 2022 at 2:31 pm

Is the alphabet community trying to co-opt another letter? They are already running out.

In college, my daughter’s summer job was working for the state, helping severely autistic children learn to communicate and helping their parents cope with these kids’ special needs. She attended every seminar and panel discussion she could to learn more about how to help her patients.

But back then, the professionals didn’t cancel seminars and panel discussions because some immature morons decide to take vicarious offense at the wording that are commonly used in working with autism.

There isn’t anything wrong with being autistic

This person is an idiot. Yes, there is, obviously so. No sane person would volunteer to be autistic, were that possible. That doesn’t mean we should treat the autistic with cruelty.

blacksburger | May 7, 2022 at 6:08 pm

“…their toddlers are growing up with no stable home environment. The lack of stability and safety retards the development of social, empathy and coping skills and results in maladapted socialization”

Some autistic people are born that way. I have a severely autistic grandson. When I first held him as a newborn, I realized he was no like any other newborn I had ever held. Most newborns want to be held very close, but he wanted to be held at a distance

The family down the street has come to the realization that their oldest son will never get better than he is. The mother’s father visits for coffee every morning and comforts her through her tears. Her son will never be able to say “There is nothig wrong with being autistic,” as he is not comprehensible to anyone but his mother. And he doesn’t understand people anyway. He is mainly concerned with the flags being flown in the neighborhood, sometimes knocking violently on doors to object to the wrong flag, something that upsets him greatly. A photo of the neighborhood celebrating this year’s Super Bowl captured the little boy’s bewilderment. While all the adults and other kids were enjoying the moment, one little face peered anxiously towards the camera, lost and forlon in a sea of merriment. His problem is biological. The protesting Harvard students are too selfish to bother developing empathy to other humans.