Natural childbirth and victimhood

Word VICTIM isolated on black background

The most over-used word in natural childbirth discourse is “empowerment.” But an equally important concept, one that is rarely spoken aloud but is central to natural childbirth advocacy, is victimization. To a greater or less extent, natural childbirth advocates take it for granted that they are victims … of men, of doctors (almost always portrayed as men), of other women, and just about everyone else in the universe.

They are victims, dammit, and that’s why they are traumatized. And anyone who questions or rejects their exalted victim status is promptly accused of re-victimizing them.

The celebration of their “victimization” serves several important roles in the natural childbirth cosmology. First, and foremost, it guarantees moral superiority. As Sommer and Baumeister explain in the book The human quest for meaning

… [C]laiming the victim status provides a sort of moral immunity. The victim role carries with it the advantage of receiving sympathy from others and thereby prevents [one’s own behavior] from impugning one’s character…

In the world of natural childbirth, being a victim means never having to say you’re sorry, even when your behavior is obnoxious and disrespectful.

Second, the insistence on “victimization” serves to simplify the world by creating a false dichotomy. For natural childbirth advocates, women giving birth are either empowered or victimized. Not only is there no middle ground, but the possibility that women might feel neither empowered nor victimized is not even recognized.

Freud purportedly said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” That aphorism applies to the way that most women view childbirth. Giving birth is just the process whereby a child emerges from inside the mother. It has no meaning beyond that and certainly does not have anything to do with the way the mother views her agency within the world at large. In contrast, in NCB advocacy, the actual birth of a child is secondary to the mother’s feelings about her performance during that birth.

Third, the insistence on “victimization” presupposes a sexist, retrograde view of women. Only men are doctors and scientific knowledge and technology are inherently male. In the world of natural childbirth, there are no women doctors or scientists. Science is “too hard” for mere women and since they can’t be expected to know or understand science, they are free to reject it. Women must glorify the functions of their bodies because they have no achievements of their intellects.

This belief has its highest expression in homebirth advocacy. Medical school? Too hard. Midwifery master’s degree? Too hard. College? Too hard. Solution? Give yourself a pretend “degree” to masquerade as a professional because meeting real professional requirements is too hard.

Who has convinced natural childbirth advocates that they are victims? Strangely enough, it is male doctors, the exact same people who have purportedly victimized them. From Grantly Dick-Read, the father of natural childbirth, who believed implicitly in the inferiority of women, through Bradley and Lamaze, right down to Odent (who fears that viewing a wife giving birth will render a man impotent) the leading exponents of women’s victimology are men who view women as capable of being nothing more than victims.

This faux sense of victimization has led natural childbirth advocates to create faux “empowerment.” In the world of natural childbirth advocacy, you can be “empowered” by being obnoxious and disrespectful to healthcare professionals, and no one can hold you to account because you are a “victim.” You can be empowered by pretending that reading books written by laypeople makes you “educated.” You can be empowered by ignoring medical advice. And, with homebirth, you can be empowered by hiding from anyone and anything that might not agree with your assessment that your ignorance, defiance and denial mark you as “educated.”

When you are victim, the fact anyone others don’t agree with you, or validate your feelings of victimization, is viewed as a form of re-victimization. Doctor thinks he knows more about obstetrics than you? He’s victimizing you with his technocratic hegemony. Nurse asks you if you would like an epidural? She’s victimizing you by attempting to destroy your opportunity to be empowered. Other women bottle feed? They are victimizing you by refusing to validate your decision to breastfeed.

Victimization is central to natural childbirth advocacy. Indeed natural childbirth advocacy cannot exist without encouraging and validating victimization.

 

Adapted from a piece that first appeared in April 2011.

  • Lilana

    My greatest frustrations lie in two places. Firstly, the people who don’t deserve to have children or don’t want children at all can still fall pregnant. Secondly, and it sounds so selfish, when a worthy person can’t get a child. I am three years into a battle I’m not sure I can win. We’ve spent upwards of thousands on treatment, and that doesn’t include the taxpayer money for all the tests under Medicare. Considering I’m yet to try IVF. I found a nice clinic in Kiev called Biotexcom. They have different packages. You are able to choose what is more feet for you. I am okay with eventually facing the prospect of having a life without my own children, but not without trying reasonable, modern procedures, which in my mind include IVF. Now in Europe the leader in this field is Ukrainian clinic Biotex. So I would try my luck there. Ask me if I am going insane, and I don’t think I’ll need to answer you. Because nobody can give the right answer.

    • MaineJen

      Flagged as inappropriate

  • Melissa

    I am so happy to know that the medical society, have not given up on us women who believe whole heartily that God did create a perfect birthing machine. It isn’t so much about getting the birth of your dreams as it is to be treated as an individual and for your situation to be respected as unique and deserving of attention and thought. I mean it should be only your decision. Women did it for centuries we CAN do it. Of course, if this doesn’t threaten your or babies’ life. My friends use surrogacy in Ukrainai clinic Biotex. Of course, firstly, they didn’t have much trust to Ukrainian medicine. But then they changed their mind after visiting clinic. I liked that in Ukraine the legal system concerning surrogacy is very loyal. Also they provide very good conditions even though this country is not so rich. So their surrogate gave birth for their twins naturally by choice. And there wasn’t any concerns about that.

    • MaineJen

      Yeah, women have been birthing the way “god” intended for centuries. And until the last 100 years or so, the maternal and perinatal mortality rates were abysmal. “God” doesn’t seem to care if women bleed to death from retained placenta, or if babies suffocate on their way out because they get trapped and their cord gets compressed.

      I’ll take modern medicine, thanks.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      God did create a perfect birthing machine.

      So what does that mean for all those women who have died during childbirth? Or have lost babies? Were they just not perfect enough?

      This is an insult to women all over the world for whom childbirth has NOT been “perfect.”

      • Roadstergal

        “So what does that mean for all those women who have died during childbirth? Or have lost babies?”

        They weren’t as perfect as Melissa, obviously, who is simply better than they are.

      • Heidi

        I guess those women aren’t actually machines but humans?

    • “Perfect birthing machines”. “if this doesn’t threaten your or babies’ life”. You do realize the inherent contradiction in those two phrases, right? They are literally 5 lines apart in your paragraph. Unless you think that some babies and women dying is part of a perfect system, people are clearly not perfect birthing machines.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Are you promoting that clinic? Because it sound like you are.

  • guest

    Forsake! what is wrong with some people? I’m all for natural NL and NCB, but not with out doctors and medical supplies. Seriously things can go wrong people.

  • mostlyclueless
    • Heidi

      I’m glad this person posted that. I’ve stumbled upon, “I am having a home birth because I’ve done my research but my partner/in-laws/parents think it’s too risky. F them!” followed by, “Yeah, you go mama, they are so wrong and you are right!” on there.

  • Nick Sanders
    • SporkParade

      Anti-vaxxers. They have a long track record of “sympathy” for parents who brutally murder their disabled children. Sorry to be so graphic about this; I’m just a little sick lately of dealing with people who think that disabled people’s lives are less valuable.

      • Nick Sanders

        You should have seen the post I made about it on a forum where I don’t have to worry about reigning in vulgarity as much. There was quite a bit of swearing involved.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I suppose that in order to justify their withholding life saving preventative therapy from their children they have to claim that the risk is so huge that it is justified. If autism is anything other than worse than death, how can you say that it justified to risk death to avoid it?

        • Yeah…except they’re not comparing autism to death, they’re comparing parenting an autistic child to parenting a dead child.

      • LibrarianSarah

        Unfortunately, this is not a problem exclusive to antivaxers but society in general. Every time an autistic person is murdered by a caregiver their is always a discussion on how “low-functioning” said autistic person must have been and how “difficult” and hard to care for people with autism. The need for more services is brought up and immediately forgotten until the next murder. Then the murderer gets off with a slap on the wrist because “they have suffered enough.”

        Funny how nobody talked about the difficulties of being a single parent during the Casey Anthony trial. It is almost like talking about the difficulties of parenting in the context of a child’s murder is inappropriate and offensive. Maybe one day autistic lives will matter.

        • Oh God, did we seriously just have to explain “That’s inappropriate and offensive. Stopit” to NT people? I thought I was supposed to be the one with the social and empathy deficit.

    • Gene

      I’m going to put on my flame suit here. Having a profoundly disabled child (or close family member) is incredibly difficult. I’ve seen parents covered with bruises come into the ED while their minimally verbal teen laughs and smiles. Parents divorce over the stress. Siblings ignored as the family focuses on the child with more immediate needs (this happens a lot when one sibling has cancer). Repeated painful procedures for no discernible benefit. And yes, there are those who think euthanasia would be better.

      I have close family members with disabilities. One high functioning autism, one Down syndrome. To ignore the increased difficulties and stressors that their families have gone through is insulting. It’s why I so hate “Welcome to Holland”. I can’t image the parent of a profoundly disabled child who wouldn’t give their right arm for a cure.

      That bring said: VACCINES DON’T FUCKING CAUSE AUTISM!!!

      (And I actually know someone profoundly mentally disabled from the flu – not the vaccine, the actual flu)

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Might I tentatively suggest that there might be some dynamic range from a belief that a child must be perfectly neurotypical to be worth raising, which is what the meme Nick posted says, and a desire to cure or at least mitigate the damage of a child with severe autism who is unable to learn to speak or interact safely with their family?

        I mean, I’m in no position to judge what having a child with high functioning autism does to a parent, but as a person with high functioning autism myself I do sometimes think my life worth living and I don’t feel overly burdened by the occasional support I give my high functioning autistic parent either.

        • Gene

          Come on, TCAMN, do you actually think I said that all people with autism are non verbal and need to be left on an iceberg? I have a nephew with high functioning autism. Hell, walk the halls of the NIH. It’s HFA central. I’m somewhere on the spectrum myself. Many PhDs in science are.

          But raising a child with disabilities (mental or physical) is hard. I’ve never asked either my nephew or my cousin if they would rather be “neurotypical”. But I know that their parents and siblings have many times wished they were. Are their feelings not valid, too?

          Anti vaxxers who quote the party line “better dead than autistic” are idiots for a long list of reasons. But while you may not feel “overly burdened”, someone else may.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Where did I say that you said that all people with autism needed to be left on an iceberg? I didn’t say that. I said that there should be some dynamic range between “it’s all great, we’re just in Holland not Italy” and “all autistic people need to be left on an iceberg.” (Like we’re going to be able to find an iceberg once the neurotyps are done with the climate.)

            But raising a child with disabilities (mental or physical) is hard.

            I agree.

            I’ve
            never asked either my nephew or my cousin if they would rather be
            “neurotypical”.

            Why not?

            Are their feelings not valid, too?

            Yes, but they’re the less vulnerable people in this relationship. It’s like defending the feelings of men or whites or heterosexuals: sure, those feelings are valid and I’m sure it’s not always easy to be a straight white man in modern industrialized society either. But they’re not the ones at risk, just like neurotypicals aren’t the ones at risk of being killed by their relatives and having the relatives get off on all charges because they were so difficult. The post nick showed flat out said that people with autism should be “put down” to relieve their supposed suffering. Is that really the right moment to say that it’s hard to raise a child with autism, even if it’s true?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            On reflection, I think I’m probably being overly sensitive. I apologize.

          • LibrarianSarah

            No. You are not. You are right. It is inappropriate to ask what about NT fee-fees when responding to a post calling for the murder of autistic people. NT’s are also in the privilege position need to consider the feelings of autistic people for once instead of other NT’s.

          • Gene

            I’m curious. Do you find it acceptable for a woman to abort a pregnancy if the fetus is found to have anencephaly? DiGeorge? Hypo plastic left heart? Trisomy 21?

          • corblimeybot

            I hear you on the concept of merciful abortion, and I honestly am pro merciful abortion if that’s what the mother wants.

            But unless I’m missing something (sorry, I’m low coffee today), I think we’re talking about people advocating for the death of fully born autistic people, and saying they’re particularly horrible human mistakes that just ruin lives. (The original commenter in Nick’s post implied they should be put down.) I don’t think this conversation is really about abortion – which I personally believe is ALWAYS up to the mother, no matter the condition of the fetus.

          • Could we please stop pretending that the original post treats fully born autistic people as people? It doesn’t. Even the dog in this post gets to be put down because of the dog’s suffering. The autistic kid gets put down because of its parents’ suffering.

          • corblimeybot

            Hmm, sorry if I was making it sound like I had any sympathy at all for the original post. I was questioning that abortion of a fetus in any condition, has anything in common with “euthanizing” any person for the benefit of their caregivers.

            Gene (not the person in the screencap) seemed to be implying that it’s hypocritical to be okay with someone having an abortion for severe medical reasons, if you aren’t okay with euthanizing people with the same conditions after they’re born. I was just saying I disagree with that, because I think women are entitled to an abortion for any reason they want, due to bodily autonomy.(Not going to get into the question of “how late in a pregnancy is too late”, just stating my general position.) I was questioning the logic of comparing abortion of a fetus, to the convenience murder of a person who has been born.

            I really understand that the original poster believes that spectrum
            folks are less than human, because I’ve been there with my own family. My family has always let me know that my differences made me a burden to them, and my mother often threatened to send me away. But I was sort of pushing back against Gene’s implication that it’s hypocritical to be strictly pro-choice, and very anti-murder of people with differences and disabilities.

          • Nah, I wasn’t addressing you as such. I was just sort of saying “Let’s look at that post again.” I was simply saying that even “mercy abortions” [for lack of a better term] are at least done [in theory] because of the suffering of the fetus and NOT “I don’t want to raise this child.” However, this original post was not saying that it was a “mercy kill” for the dog kid/itself [That’s still horrible and not forgivable but it is a smidgen] but a solution to the parents’ suffering … if you see what I mean?

          • Gene

            I’m not sure I would agree with your characterization of “mercy abortions” vs/ “I don’t want to raise this child”. I well know that tri21 has a wide variability of phenotype, but the published rate of termination in the US varies between 61-93% in the US and 92% in Europe (where govt support may or may not be better). Many people with Tri21 can live happy and productive lives, yet most women who receive a diagnosis prenatally will terminate.

            Is that to alleviate the suffering of the child or the parent?

          • “I’m not sure I would agree with your characterization of “mercy abortions” vs/ “I don’t want to raise this child”. ” Can you quote-and-link to any post of mine where I asked you to or said you had to? I’m stating that personally, [theoretically] mercy abortions for whatever reason are slightly less bad than

            “I well know that tri21 has a wide variability of phenotype, but the published rate of termination in the US varies between 61-93% in the US and 92% in Europe (where govt support may or may not be better). ” A few posts ago, you said that Tri21 was Corky and not the 300lb violent incontinent individual.

            “Many people with Tri21 can live happy and productive lives, ” Yep. Not so for things like anecelapathy though.

            “yet most women who receive a diagnosis prenatally will terminate.” Yes? I’m saying that I consider that wrong.

            “Is that to alleviate the suffering of the child or the parent?” Some parents probably don’t know that “can live happy and productive lives” so in that case, it is in theory, to relieve the suffering of the child. In other cases, parent. Which is wrong, immo.

          • Gene

            I said many people THINK all kids with tri21 are like Corky, not that they ARE. And those that are very low functioning are no more productive than someone with anencephaly send potentially more dangerous.

            How many children and adults with SEVERE developmental delay do you know AND interact with on a regular basis? I know dozens very well I see regularly and hundreds more that I know but see less often. So you can have YOUR opinion, but I’ve learned that I’ve no right to judge.

          • corblimeybot

            Okay, cool, I get what you mean. I was so, so very low on coffee when reading this thread earlier today.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Abortion is an issue of bodily autonmy. A women has an absolute over her own body and should be aloud to have an abortion for whatever reason. She does not need my or anyone else’s permission. However, disabled people have their own bodies and have the absolute right to them as well. That means it is not okay to hurt or kill them no matter how “hard” they are to take care of.

          • Roadstergal

            Are you comparing an abortion to the killing of a born and living human being?

          • LibrarianSarah

            Yes. Yes he is. I don’t think he means to but that is exactly what he is doing.

          • Gene

            Many people consider a third trimester fetus beyond the point of viability a living human being. Some states are passing laws outlawing terminations for reasons like Tri21. In no way is euthanasia identical to a late term abortion. But they are often done for similar reasons. And some people might think that anencephaly is acceptable but tri21 is not.

          • Yep. That sounds pretty much like my moral position that – anencephaly is acceptable but not tri21.

          • Gene

            Yours is not an uncommon stance. And, like autism, tri21 and anencephaly can exist on a continuum, with some individuals more severely affected than others. Tri21 is Corky, not the violent nonverbal 300lb, incontinent adult.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I find it acceptable for a woman to abort a fetus because it is likely to have red hair when it grows up and she isn’t into raising gingers. If a woman (or a trans man or a nonbinary person) doesn’t want to continue to be pregnant, who am I to tell her she’s wrong?

          • I might mention on a blog that I don’t agree with it – but it’s up to the woman to do whatever with that blog advice.

          • sdsures

            A few people have asked me if I would have rather been born without CP and hydrocephalus. I just blink and say I have nothing to compare it to. I see what they’re getting at, but I just don’t have a point of reference.

          • No, it didn’t even say that, TCAMN. It said that the KIDS should be put down to relieve the PARENTS’ suffering. The DOG was the one who got put down to relieve THEIR suffering in the post Nick showed.

          • No. It said they should be “put down” to relieve their parents’ suffering.

          • Exactly. This, @GeneGdds:disqus?

            “The post nick showed flat out said that people with autism should be “put down” to relieve their parents’ suffering. Is that really the right moment to say that it’s hard to raise a child with autism, even if it’s true?

            @TCAMN, I edited your post slightly to better reflect the post.

          • Thank you for this.

          • LibrarianSarah

            But raising a child with disabilities (mental or physical) is hard.

            BEING a child with disabilities is just as hard if not harder.

            I’ve never asked either my nephew or my cousin if they would rather be “neurotypical.”

            Why not?

            But I know that their parents and siblings have many times wished they were. Are their feelings not valid, too?

            This is the disability equivalent “all lives matter” or “what about the boys” or “heterosexual. Of course the feelings of NT family members are valid but the thing is NO ONE IS SAYING ITS NOT! What we are saying is the THE FEELING OF AUTISTIC PEOPLE ARE VALID AND NEED TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY.

            Whenever, we as a society talk about autism or any developmental disability it is always through the lens of a NT caregiver. Their feelings. Their struggles. Their experience. The feelings, struggles, and experience of the disabled child or adult are an afterthought at best. And the second, that an autistic person point’s out that we have our own thoughts, feelings and struggles we get told that we need to consider the feelings of NT’s as if the feelings of NT’s aren’t constantly shown as paramount when discussing this issue.

            To act as if the NT caregivers are the oppressed class here is defensive, privileged bullshit.

          • Well, let me know when a neurotypical kid was murdered because of them being neurotypical or had bleach shoved up their bum and down their throat to cure their neurotypicalness.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Don’t forget about having them shocked everytime they act NT.

          • I think you mean “Don’t forget about them being TORTURED every time they act NT”. And I know torture gets overused a lot – but I actually mean it this time.

            The UN says it is.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/03/08/autism-shock-therapy-is-torture-says-un-official/#19b3affd4fc2

          • “Don’t forget about having them tortured everytime they act NT.”

            IFTFY.

          • Gene

            I’ve lost count of the number of neurotypical children I’ve coded and/or pronounced who were tortured or killed. I’ve got a court case coming up that has already made national news involving burning and physical restraints to cure his behavioral issues. He is not autistic and neurotypical.

          • corblimeybot

            Gene, I get what you’re saying in general in this thread, I do. You always seem like you’re a good egg.

            But I don’t think that’s what One other person is typing meant. They meant, how often is an NT child is abused or tortured BECAUSE they’re NT.

          • Child abuse is still a serious thing that we need to do something about. That doesn’t actually answer the question though.

            Can you point to one case where the kid was murdered specifically because of the fact that they were neurotypical? Neurotypical and murdered is a different thing (though the end result is the same in terms of that one life) to murdered because neurotypical (because it has different implications for that subset of the population as a whole). If you can, can you find a news report that paints this in a positive or at least neutral light of “Well, parenting’s hard so we musn’t be too quick to judge?’

            Because I can find examples of that for autistic kids – I can find examples of “Services.” excuses and the like. Can you find posts where people insist on venting about how hard their kids make their lives in response to a story about a child dying? Because I can for this section of the population.

          • Gene

            Sure. I know a NT boy who was somewhat effeminate and his macho man father was offended that his son like dolls and pink and killed him. Gotta love Texas.

          • That’s a boy who was killed (from the perspective of the father) who was killed because he was effeminate or possibly, because macho father thought boy was gay (I guess). Still the answer to a different question than any of the ones I asked you.

          • What we’re looking for, Gene, is a kid abused or killed specially because they were NT. Not-NT and abused and killed as well. But Specifically abused or killed BECAUSE of the NTness.

          • Gene

            Do you consider being gay or a boy liking pink as non Neurotypical? His father killed him because he was a normal kid but father didn’t accept it. He was killed for having normal behavior.

          • Well, a) he was killed because his father decided to kill him. b) If you’re going to look from the parent’s perspective then I highly doubt the motive was ‘My kid’s NT.’ as a motive behind the killing which is what I asked you for but more like ‘I don’t want a [f-slur] for a son’.

            So I’ve asked you to present me with one scenario where a child was abused or killed specifically because they were NT.

            What you’ve done is present me with:

            -A child who was abused and also was NT
            -A child whose death was caused by homophobic motives.

            Neither of those are examples of what I asked for.

          • Gene

            You asked me for a death of a child who was killed specifically due to NT behavior. Liking pink is NT for a boy. The father killed him because he was NT.

            But Elliot Rodger could be considered an example. he specifically targeted NTs who he thought wronged him.

          • No, specifically due to being NT in and of itself. Elliot Rodgers …I’ll have to learn more about him and report back.

          • Gene

            Elliot Rodgers was a high functioning autistic/aspergers (depending on the terminology you prefer). He was unhappy (to put it mildly) with being rejected by NT women and went on a killing spree targeting presumably NT women (among others).

          • Hmmmm….so let’s see.

            Your tally is now:

            -Women killed because (in the killer’s mind) they rejected him. FAIK.

            – Child killed because (in the killer’s mind), they were an f-slur. FAIK.

            -Child who was NT and was also abused and killed. FAIK.

          • Gene

            He was autistic and sought out the most NT women he could: sorority girls. He killed them BECAUSE they were (and HE THOUGHT they were) NT.

            You asked me for a murder in which the motive was to kill someone for being NT. How many more times would you like to move your goalposts?

          • You said he killed them BECAUSE they rejected him, initially.

            But yes, that’s an example. Thank you for showing me ONE example.

          • Gene

            You’re welcome. It’s nice to see you are mature enough to admit you were wrong.

          • Great. Now that we’ve got an example of you pointing to some people killed because they’re NT, maybe you’ll admit that my original questions specified CHILD killed because of NT.

          • Gene

            Moving the goalposts again, are we?

          • Nope. My ORIGINAL question ASKED for a child killed because of NT

          • Gene

            Well, I do question why Adam Lanza chose to target children.

            But as I am far from a legal scholar, my knowledge of case law is limited. I have, however, treated children and teens who were on the spectrum who bullied and assaulted their NT peers and siblings. But none have gone so far as murder.

          • Now…we’re getting somewhere. Were those children killed specifically because they were NT?

            Now…read stories where parents kill their autistic kids and see how the media frames it. Then read how the media framed Adam Lanza again. (By the way, bullying feelings are valid but I wouldn’t talk about that in context of things like shootings because bullied) Now, read a parent murdering their typical kid in the news. Compare the coverage.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Was Rodgers diagnosed or was the “he’s got aspergers” the excuse used to explain his behavior so that we wouldn’t have to ask if it was due to toxic masculinity? I remember hearing it both ways, but don’t know which was true.

          • Gene

            His mother stated publicly that he had Aspergers.

          • “but father didn’t accept it. ” Exactly. So in the parent’s mind, the kid wasn’t normal. That’s my point.

            What we’re looking for is a death where the kid was KILLED because of its NTness from the perspective of the killer.

            It’s NOT about what I consider. I wouldn’t murder a child in the first place so….

          • Gene, do you not think there might be a better time and place for discussing the feelings of the family than when people are discussing a post that says dogs should be put down when they’re suffering but that autistic kids should be put down because of the suffering they cause to their families?

          • Gene

            I’m not quite sure why you think I said that all of those with autism should be killed. I’ve never said that and I don’t believe that. But I’ve also know enough people who had family members with severe mental and/or physical disabilities who believed that euthanasia was the kindest and most humane choice. And women who were carrying wanted babies who chose to terminate instead of deliver their child who was diagnosed prenatally with a variety of issues. I may not make the same choice, but I can understand why others might have those thoughts or make those choices.

            Much like an adult choosing assisted suicide, a parent or close family member is sometimes asked to make that choice for their child or relative. Withdrawal of care, comfort care, deciding not to have a certain surgery or medical treatment. Euthanasia is obviously quite controversial in the US, but pediatric euthanasia is even more so (as the parent is usually the decider). And I’ve know children who chosen death in lieu of continuing their life.

            I’ve never asked my family members if they would choose not to have autism or Tri21 because, frankly, it’s not my business. But for others (both the affected and the relative), I know their wishes because they’ve told me.

          • I don’t know why you think I think you said that. And this comment is a four-paragraph-odd response that at no time answered the question I asked. I will put it to you again.

            Please answer the question I asked this time. The question is this: “Gene, do you not think there might be a better time and place for discussing the feelings of the family than when people are discussing a post that says dogs should be put down when they’re suffering but that autistic kids should be put down because of the suffering that they cause to their families?”

            As for kids and ethunisa, yeh…you’re making my point for me. Heck, Even Old Yeller was shot because of being useless to himself too in part.. In the post that we’re discussing – the autistic kid doesn’t even get that much consideration – he’s offed because of the suffering of his parents.

            So…”Gene, do you not think there might be a better time and place for discussing the feelings of the family than when people are discussing a post that says dogs should be put down when they’re suffering but that autistic kids should be put down because of the suffering they cause to their families?””

          • Gene

            I think that the vile and uneducated anti vaxxer in the post above voiced aloud that family members of autistic children can suffer. And having known and cared for severely autistic children, I know that is not a completely false statement.

          • I didn’t say it was.

          • Gene, do you not think there might be a better time and place for discussing the feelings of the family than when people are discussing a post that says dogs should be put down when they’re suffering but that autistic kids should be put down because of the suffering they cause to their families?

            I’m going to keep asking this until you actually answer it.

          • Gene

            The OP put up a link 3 days ago in which someone said that the family members of people with autism can suffer. I responded three days ago that I think it is not a completely false statement. Some do suffer so much that they entertain thoughts of euthanasia. And to dismiss their feelings is shameful. I didn’t say anything about the feelings of the person with autism members because the poster was talking about their family members. As was I.

          • You’re still avoiding the question.

          • Gene

            Let me use fewer words: on topic.

          • So you’re going to respond to the off-topic thing with an off-topic thing but still not going to answer it.

          • Gene

            Let me try again: my post is on topic

          • Yeah…no-one’s dismissing their feelings. Read the news reports. “I didn’t say anything about the feelings of…” You do realize that’s kind of the entire problem, don’t you? Nobody does.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            I completely agree with Gene. And this is a perfectly reasonable place to discuss it. The truth is that having a severely handicapped child is extraordinarily difficult and often extroardinarily painful. Sugar coating reality is inappropriate.

          • “I completely agree with Gene. ” Which tells us nothing about how correct we are.

            “And this is a perfectly reasonable place to discuss it.” We’ll likely have to agree to disagree here. Heck, even the same article but another thread would have been a place to discuss it, imo.

            ” The truth is that having a severely handicapped child is extraorinarily difficult and often extroardinarily painful. ” Can you quote-and-link to where I said it wasn’t?

            “Sugar coating reality is inappropriate.” Can you quote-and-link to where I asked you or anyone else to?

            I asked a few questions but mostly pointed out that in that post, the kid gets put down to spare the parents’ feelings but the even dog gets put down as a kindness to the dog itself and there’s something really… OFF … about that.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            I think you are mischaracterizing the situation in order to sway people to your point of view.

          • Then people can see that since we both have public post histories.

            Replace the single-mum example with whatever scenario you like but the question will remain this:

            “At what “difficulty level” (for lack of a better phrase) of parenting – would you feel comfortable talking about how hard the child was to raise in the context of the trial of someone being put down NOT for THEIR suffering but for the PARENTS’ suffering?” I’m sure you’ll have no problem answering this.

          • Yeah…I thought so.

          • I didn’t say it was false at any point. It’s just that that’s honoured-by-default.

          • Gene, do you not think there might be a better time and place for discussing the feelings of the family than when people are discussing a post that says dogs should be put down when they’re suffering but that autistic kids should be put down because of the suffering they cause to their families?

          • Gene

            I am beginning to question your reading comprehension skills.

          • I am beginning to question your question-answering skills.

            Yes or no.

          • Gene

            Again, YES!

          • Thank you. That shouldn’t have taken 3 paragraphs of hard-on-parents to get to this point. Maybe next time you’ll have that conversation with yourself BEFORE posting.

            See, here’s the thing, Gene. It’s like protesting how hard it is trying to parent kids of specific type while people are trying to hold the funeral for the kid of specific type – when you’re told to have that moment elsewhere, I highly doubt the mourners actually care where specifically you go to have that conversation. Just ‘AWAY’ does fine.

        • sdsures

          What’s confusing (at least to me, because I don’t know anyone off the Internet who has autism of any level) is that when people describe someone with autism as “low-functioning” or “high-functioning”, each of those can span a HUGE amount of interpretations as to what exactly they mean.

          Cerebral palsy is a lot like that, in the sense that it is a constellation of symptoms with a relatively common cause – loss of oxygen to the brain shortly before or during birth – the salient point being that there is a HUGE spectrum of how it affects patients and their families, and the patient’s ability to function.

          For example: I have CP, classed as “moderate”, but I am reasonably high-functioning in terms of verbal, mental, social and other milestone skills…but certain aspects of my CP mean that I cannot hold down a “typical” 9-5 job. My low energy and trouble with certain motor skills (brain damage) mean that I have had to figure out how to get along in the world and not be depressed all the time. And believe me, I still get depressed. Luckily, I’m married to a wonderful guy who “gets it”; we want to have a family someday.

          Does that mean I am “low-functioning”? I don’t believe so, but I do believe that with proper adaptations and access to the physiotherapy that I had as a child made me much higher-functioning than I would have been without it.

          I may not be able to hold down a typical 9-5 job, but I DO run my own household, shop for groceries each week, meet friends for coffee and run my own business. We will have kids someday, which I’m sure our 2 furbabies will look after very well. So, in a sense, many people with disabilities want to be considered just the same as anyone else.

          I have an older sister who is not disabled. I know there were some things that caused stress when we were growing up, but my sister and I weren’t very close, and preferred each to do our own thing, so I’m not sure what sort of experiences my mom would relate as to whether there were difficulties in raising both of us. I had to have a series of major surgeries as a kid, so I probably got more attention. My sister had hip surgery and a big cast on both legs for a few months after she was born, but is otherwise healthy.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I think “high” versus “low” functioning changes with factors as varied as what task you’re asking about to the mood of the person at the time you asked.

          • sdsures

            Makes sense. Example?: I have the energy to go out and pick up groceries on Wednesday, but it means I will not have the energy to make dinner Wednesday evening.

          • Hmm….interesting little nougat here:

            There’s a game Autistic bloggers like to play (long story but there are subtle differences between Autistic and autistic – not the time or place now though) called “A tale of Two Autistics”

            The game goes something like this:

            Adam cannot work full-time. Adam can’t speak verbally or do, x,y,z

            Then you hear about:

            Ben is happy in his part-time job. Ben can feed himself independently. Ben can communicate with the use of his Ipad talking for him.

            Then the audience is invited to assign functioning labels to each individual and then the blogger essentially goes “Ha! Trick question! BOTH are me! So, what am I?”

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            OT, does anyone know any good discussion boards for people with asperger’s? My therapist has suggested that I find one and I’ve so far failed entirely.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Well there used to be WrongPlanet but I don’t think that is very active anymore. You could try r/aspergers but it’s on reddit and well, reddit is reddit. You could try ASAN or AWN. I think there might be facebook groups and the like but I don’t do facebook.

          • Tumblr has #actuallyautistic and #actually autistic tags (It doesn’t really make a distinction between Asperger’s and the rest of the spectrum. It’s fiercely….ummm…..well….it’s very much an Autistic/autistic space in terms of … parents are SWIFTLY corrected to go to the #autism tag. Folk with ADHD and the like who wander in to that tag are generally figuratively stared at for a nanosecond or two and then counted as ‘cousins’. It tends to get wrapped up into social justice stuff pretty quickly though.

            Do you know about the horrors of MMS yet?

            I’d avoid AS since it’s very much a parent group. ASAN is decent as a discussion group if you don’t mind running into a certain amount of SJ stuff. So… as a quick-and-dirty version: .if you look for “Autistic spaces” then you’ll get cultural stuff. autistic lower-case a tends to mean you get talk about accommodations and stuff like that. If you just want to generally talk then that seems to be done in a general big pile of IDD folk. Of course, there’s a lot of bleeding here.

            Not sure about discussion boards (there is wrongplanet.net though I don’t know how good it is since I haven’t been there in a while) but I could point you to some useful blogs if that’s any help?

          • Nick Sanders

            I sincerely hope there is a special place reserved in hell for the people responsible for chlorine dioxide “treatments”.

          • Hmmm….maybe examine Dante’s nine circles and see where they fit if you were trying to do so as a theological/hypothetical exercise?

          • Possibly, we could take a leaf out of Dante’s book and let the kids come down just to administer MMS to said people responsible?

          • Mishimoo

            Have you or anyone else heard anything about Neurofit? I can’t find anything really about it, and one of my daughter’s best friend’s parents are currently raising money to send him for 3 months of Neurofit treatment. I don’t want to donate to something that is harmful or woo-ish.

          • I haven’t. As soon as I can get tumblr to understand how lost passwords work, I’ll ask there.

          • MI Dawn

            I don’t know…per Google, some references sound reasonable (basically PT/OT to improve physical movement/balance, etc), but one or two sound woo-ish – “Cures X! Cures Y!” I’d be tempted to ask the parents what the program is going to help the child with.

          • I tossed it up on tumblr – I’ll do the comments as a rolling edit as and when I get responses. So I’ll just keep editing this reply as I get responses.

            So far, we’ve got:

            AutisticEducator:

            “It’s a therapeutic exercise program essentially. Do I believe all the claims the website makes? Maybe not but at least they try to back their claims up with some research.

            There is some research out there that certain types of exercise can help autistics with executive dysfunction and/or sensory issues. There’s also some research that exercise benefits other neurodivergent people as well.

            Therapeutic riding is another one of those programs that has some research saying it helps autistics and other neurodivergent people, although individual results may vary.

            Anecdotally, I got a lot of benefit out of therapeutic riding. It helped a lot with both executive dysfunction and sensory issues.

            When it comes to things like this that might be a bit costly but doesn’t usually have any major potential harms and possible potential gains, I tell prospective donors that it’s their call if they want to donate or not.”

          • Mishimoo

            Thanks for asking them! My kids have all been sick, so I haven’t had a chance to catch up with his parents. I’m hoping that they’re trying to help him get some more coping skills to make school and life easier for him. I just worry that his personality might change or he might get hurt if it is Neuro-Fit is of the bad ones, you know? He’s a cool kid just the way he is, and I don’t want him to feel bad about being on the spectrum.

          • Sure. From what I can tell so far the general consensus seems to be that it’s pretty good – it just has a tendency towards …. benign woo….if that makes sense.

            But I just bumped the blog post up in hopes of more people chiming in.

            Will post on PACLA too.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Also I don’t know where you are but if you are in New England, you should check out AANE. They offer in person support groups, pizza and game nights, and special interest groups. They are mostly out of Watertown but they have satilite groups all over.

          • sdsures

            Really? What a strange game. It’s essentially describing someone with a disability on “good days” and “bad days”, – the same person.

          • Well, it’s describing the same person in terms of positives then in terms of negatives and then challenging people to assign how functioning they are. I agree, it is a strange sense of humour but hey….

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        To ignore the increased difficulties and stressors that their families have gone through is insulting

        One could even go wild and crazy and discuss the stressors the patients themselves are going through. Nah, that’d be just over the top.

        • LibrarianSarah

          THANK YOU! Seriously, I get that it is hard to raise a special needs kid. I wouldn’t have wanted to raise me. But for all the “difficulties and stressors” that the families for disabled people go through, the disabled kid has about 10x more.

        • A few of them are quite talkative. Quite a lot of them (if you look at blogs and things) say things like a)Figure out how to test the skills the job actually requires and b) then there is The Eye Contact Thing.

      • SporkParade

        I would assume that the appropriate remedy for these sorts of situations would be better resources to help disabled people and their families and not killing the disabled kids.

        • Charybdis

          Even with the best resources, it is still hard on families. All the medical appointments, therapies, testing, evaluations, medications and managing the medications, and the actual, day-to-day, hour-by-hour living with and having to deal with the child and their idiosyncrasies is a strain on everyone in the family.

          And I realize that there is strain and stress in all families; sibling rivalry, personality clashes, and that eternal childhood refrain “Moooo-om! It’s NOT FAIR!” when the older child receives a cell phone and the younger one/s don’t, because the older one is more responsible, has activities that make a cell phone a good idea, age has privileges, whatever. This is expected and part of the normal squabbles that happen in every family.

          But when one person receives the lion’s share of attention and accomodations, it is glaringly obvious to other members of the family and certainly can breed resentment. All of Mom’s time is taken up taking care of/dealing with the Sibling With Issues, so you don’t get Mom’s attention. Or, because Sibling doesn’t like the color green and will have a meltdown because someone is wearing a green shirt, YOU can’t wear your favorite color. It is hard on the parents as well; knowing that your other child/children need your time and attention too, but dealing with the One takes up so much of your time, energy and attention. Parents can’t often have time to themselves or have conversations that don’t involve the One in one way or another.

          It is hard, it is isolating, and it is often a thankless task and a real exercise in unconditional love. But to not acknowledge the dark side of disablities and the toll they take on the entire family is doing the families a disservice. Not allowing them to vent, to give voice to the awful things they think and feel occasionally just adds to the stress and guilt they already feel.

          It doesn’t mean that all disabled people belong in institutions or don’t deserve to live with their family or that they should be warehoused or euthanized. You go through rough times and dark times and you should be allowed to vent about how much things suck from time to time.

          • guest

            I agree with this, but the comment Nick posted doesn’t sound like it comes from that position at all.

          • Nick Sanders

            Yeah, it reads to me as coming from a place of paternalism and bigotry. The opening sentences are “could” and “would”, which indicates to me that this person doesn’t actually have autistic children and is speaking of some hypothetical.

          • Yeah. But for every post like this, there are at least three cases where it ISN’T hypothetical. And the same damn stuff about services thankless and what a hard job it is comes up every time before acknowledging the kid. That’s why people are angry.

          • Mel

            Yeah, this person is not coming from a “don’t paint disabilities with a happy brush” perspective.

            They are coming from a “disabilities are a fate worse than death so thank God I don’t have to deal.”

            The unfortunate thing is that being terrified of a disabled child does nothing to prevent being a parent or sibling to a child with disabilities. As an alternative-ed teacher, I’ve seen a lot of kids who have some bat-shit scary problems – i.e., sent their parents to the ER after beating the shit out of them in a rage; no cognitive impairment and fully verbal – and it’s not always predicated by how the kid was raised…..

          • sdsures

            Well put.

          • Scroll up. Read the post again.

          • LibrarianSarah

            So because it is hard to raise a disabled kid any NT person should be allowed advocate killing disabled people? I’m sorry but if you think it is hard to be a parent or a sibling of a child with autism, you should try being a child with autism. If you want to empathize with someone in this situation start there.

            Also, talking about the difficulties about raising or living with the autistic people in reply to a comment which advocates the murder of autistic people is beyond insensitive. What would you say if someone wrote 3 paragraphs about how hard it is to be a single mother with a small child in reply to a post about Casey Anthony? That is what you did here but worse.

          • Charybdis

            No, it is not. The person who states that they think that there would be nothing worse than having a child with autism is the one who wants to euthanize

          • Even so, do you think there may have been more appropriate places to express that sentiment?

          • Charybdis

            Have any recommendations as to when and where that would be? Because it sounds like it is NEVER acceptable.

          • WTF are you talking about?

            Literally any other place than we’re talking about a post in which a child was put down because of family feelings rather than the kid themselves? Therapy, for one. Places where we’re not talking about a kid’s murder because of the feelings of the family. Disqus ‘Be horrible’ channel for all I care. Private/Secret Facebook group, for all I care. Literally any other place than in the context of a kid being murdered by their parent because parent’s feelings.

          • Charybdis

            WTF are YOU talking about? The post Nick posted said nothing about ACTUALLY HAVING KILLED a child with autism. The poster talks about the unimaginable suffering the parents of an autistic child are going through and then laments the loss of the wonderful human being the child could have become. Nobody killed anyone.

            That being said, do I agree with the poster? No. Not even a little bit. Do autistic kids suffer at the hands of others? Every damn day. Is it right? NO. NEVER. Do autistic kids have their own thoughts and feelings? YES , they do. Just because you (general you) aren’t “perfect”, “normal”, “neurotypical”, or otherwise non-disabled does NOT mean that your life doesn’t have meaning nor does it mean it is not worth living. You (general) have contributions to make to the world and discrimination/marginalization of any group is wrong. Certainly touting euthanasia as an option to anyone not up to certain standards is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

            And because it is a difficult row to hoe and has a shit-ton of challenges, acknowledging that fact should be okay. Maybe not here, OBVIOUSLY.

          • What are you talking about? This is disqus commenting platform – Nick makes comments. Nick made a comment. In that comment, there’s an FB post as a screenshot.

            YES, acknowledging that fact should be okay. Acknowledging single parenting is hard should be okay. BUT FOR FUCK’S SAKE, NOT WHEN WE’RE DISCUSSING things like Casey Anthony’s trial.

          • guest

            You know, the Casey Anthony things doesn’t really work for me. I am a single parent, and I don’t think it’s 100% inappropriate to discuss how hard that is in the context of what she did. It would depend on what specifically was said, but I can acknowledge that perhaps that difficulty did play a role in her crime without saying it excuses it, or somehow negating Caylee’s right to not be murdered.

          • Hmmm…. do you still think that there might be better places to have the conversation?

          • guest

            Better for what purpose?

          • How about AFFIRMING Caylee’s right to not be murdered as a first step? Even that would be something.

          • guest

            No, that would be nothing. We don’t need to affirm that babies have a right not to be murdered. We probably do need to do some affirming that the disabled have a right not to be murdered, since we have an example in the thing Nick posted of someone who doesn’t get there, but there is no discussion in our culture about how babies are such a burden that we should have the right to kill them (remember – abortion is ending the life of a fetus, not a baby). None. You’ve become nonsensical on this one. If we want children like Caylee to not have that right taken from them, we need to understand what leads parents to kill. Just saying they were wrong to do it doesn’t stop the next incident from happening.

          • And just talking about services doesn’t stop the next incident from happening either.

            I’m not saying to just say they were wrong. I’m saying: Acknowledge it was wrong, then affirm the disabled baby’s child right not to be murdered or the other way around and THEN talk about services.

            And THEN keep talking about and PUSHING FOR services – don’t forget it until the next one at which point, general-you only talks about services and parents’ feeling.

          • “No, that would be nothing. We don’t need to affirm that babies have a right not to be murdered. We probably do need to do some affirming that the disabled have a right not to be murdered, since we have an example in the thing Nick posted of someone who doesn’t get there, but there is no discussion in our culture about how babies are such a burden that we should have the right to kill them (remember – abortion is ending the life of a fetus, not a baby). None. You’ve become nonsensical on this one. ”

            No, your first part is what I’m trying to get across. I’m saying it should happen before we talk of services and just plain old stating the fact that it was wrong should happen before we talk of services.

            “So-and-so had a right not to be murdered. It was wrong to kill so-and-so. How can we prevent another death like this child’s?”

            Spin the article like that and keep the services focused around the child first.

            “If we want children like Caylee to not have that right taken from them, we need to understand what leads parents to kill. ” Sure.

            “Just saying they were wrong to do it doesn’t stop the next incident from happening.” Not saying it does. I’m saying we need to start saying it’s wrong before we explicitly talk about how it was wrong (as in, earlier in the article) and express sympathy for the child who was killed – I can even see talking about services in the context of what what services the child would have required (OT, PT) at this stage before (earlier-in-the-article) then talking about what services the parent required would do it, imo.

          • guest

            I don’t see where it’s not said that it’s wrong. It’s taken as given by most people that murder and torture are wrong. It also doesn’t work that the first thing you write in an essay is the most important. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Writing is an art, and sometimes it’s more powerful to put the most important message in the middle, or the end.

          • “I don’t see where it’s not said that it’s wrong. It’s taken as given by most people that murder and torture are wrong.” You do know that the skin shock thing has officially been classified as torture by the UN, right? I pay attention to this stuff and pretty much no-one’s up in arms about ROTC using it.

            People do not take it for granted that murder and torture is wrong wrt to Autistic kids.

            ” It also doesn’t work that the first thing you write in an essay is the most important. ” Didn’t say that.

            “Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Writing is an art, and sometimes it’s more powerful to put the most important message in the middle, or the end” But too often, that most important message doesn’t get fucking stated at all.

          • guest

            We were talking about children, though. Whatever the general public feels is okay for the military to use on enemies, they don’t generally hold that it’s okay to do the same to children, and usually not for disabled ones as well. When some new horrible idea comes along, like bleach enemas, sure, we need to do some work making sure everyone knows that this is A) not effective, and B) torturous to the child. Because it can be confusing with medical treatment – many children find needles terrifying and painful, and we would never put them through shots if it wasn’t ultimately for their own good. So sometimes the general public won’t know how to assess a particular treatment being used as a medical treatment. They still don’t think torturing a child is okay, they just haven’t made the connection that a particular treatment is torture.

          • Then why is there little-to-no outcry over something like skin shocks, for example?

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/03/08/autism-shock-therapy-is-torture-says-un-official/#3330dda84fc2

          • guest

            I’ve never heard of military skin shocks being used on children, though. I imagine this has something to do with the lack of outcry, this plus lack of a clear message that there is no theraputic effect that justifies it. Stabbing prisoners repeatedly with needles would be torture, but giving children vaccines is not. Particularly when loving parents are engaged in using and promoting some treatment, it’s not easy for the general public to all immediately realize that the treatment should be condemned.

          • I must have radically misunderstood that comment.

          • guest

            And also please note that the first person to give Caylee a name in this discussion was ME. Not you – you only named Casey Anthony.

          • Yep. And that was disgusting of me not to sayCaylee’sname.

          • guest

            Not disgusting – simply hypocritical, or too angered by this discussion to think straight. I don’t think you have a logical argument here. I agree that the disabled are often denied a voice in favor of letting their families speak for them, and that this leads to an imbalance of sympathy – but your Casey Anthony analogy just doesn’t work. The media LOVES to take the side of murdered and missing (white) children, and loves to vilify family members who are suspects. See virtually any story about a baby being forgotten in a hot car as an example – it’s an uphill battle to get people to understand that YES, a loving and wonderful parent can do this accidentally. Parents are not cut any slack here: you do one thing wrong (like fail to breastfeed, fail to have a natural birth – you do read this blog regularly, don’t you?) and everything bad that happens to their child is All Their Fault, Because They Are Bad People.

            That doesn’t make it okay to deny the disabled equal representation in the media. It just makes your analogy fail.

          • “Not disgusting – simply hypocritical, or too angered by this discussion to think straight. I don’t think you have a logical argument here.” That’s my point – it is hypocritical and therefore disgusting of me.

            ” I agree that the disabled are often denied a voice in favor of letting their families speak for them” Good.

            “and that this leads to an imbalance of sympathy” Yep.

            ” but your Casey Anthony analogy just doesn’t work. ” That was LibrarianSarah’s analogy, not mine. I’ll concede the point though – can you suggest a better analogy please?

            “The media LOVES to take the side of murdered and missing (white) children, and loves to vilify family members who are suspects” Until said white kids are disabled then it doesn’t have any sympathy at all for the child.

            “See virtually any story about a baby being forgotten in a hot car as an example – it’s an uphill battle to get people to understand that YES, a loving and wonderful parent can do this accidentally” Indeed. We need to work on that. Babies being forgotten in a hot car is not the same thing as autistic kids killed though – they aren’t forgotten in hot cars.

            “Parents are not cut any slack here: you do one thing wrong (like fail to breastfeed, fail to have a natural birth – you do read this blog regularly, don’t you?) and everything bad that happens to their child is All Their Fault, Because They Are Bad People.” Yes. Also, I doubt anti-vaxxers help with the “vaccine-injury” nonsense?

            “That doesn’t make it okay to deny the disabled equal representation in the media.” I wish we were arguing over actually equal representation rather than just some thought towards the child who is dead.

            ” It just makes your analogy fail.” LS’ analogy but again, I concede the point. Can you think of a better analogy that stresses how it’s about the time and place and not necessarily about difficulty levels?

          • guest

            I can’t, but primarily because I don’t see how this blog isn’t the time and place to show sympathy for parents who for whatever reason can’t care for their disabled or neurodiverse child without feeling burdened, or worse, falling into neglect or abuse. I don’t think I’d get up at such a child’s funeral and start talking about how hard it was for their parents, but I have no doubt that other people would. But I have strong feelings about censorship and never like to pass proclamations that X is never appropriate to say, or that Y is always the wrong time to say it. Every instance is different.

          • “I can’t, but primarily because I don’t see how this blog isn’t the time and place to show sympathy for parents who for whatever reason can’t care for their disabled or neurodiverse child without feeling burdened, or worse, falling into neglect or abuse.” Except that I literally never said that this blog wasn’t. I said the response to

            ” I don’t think I’d get up at such a child’s funeral and start talking about how hard it was for their parents, ” From my perspective, that’s what we, as a society ALWAYS do.

            but I have no doubt that other people would.” And I’d be saying it was inappropiate to them too.

            ” But I have strong feelings about censorship and never like to pass proclamations that X is never appropriate to say, or that Y is always the wrong time to say it.” Didn’t ask you to. And saying this is the wrong time is NOT censorship.

            “Every instance is different.” No, that’s the thing. It’s really not. As a society, we have fallen into a PATTERN that I find disgusting.

          • guest

            This blog is the place as much as “directly after the screenshot Nick posted” is the place, and the time is the time when he posted it. I don’t care if you meant this blog in general or right after that screenshot, I don’t consider either an inappropriate time or place.

            And context *always* matters. There are no absolutes in life.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Acknowledging single parenting is hard should be okay. BUT FOR FUCK’S SAKE, NOT WHEN WE’RE DISCUSSING things like Casey Anthony’s trial.”

            Interesting. I see it the exact opposite. In my opinion, most murders of children by their parents are tragedies. They are terrible acts committed by flawed human beings pushed to the limit. The acts are monstrous, but that doesn’t mean the parents are monsters. I guess I feel this way because I have known some of these parents pretty well and think “there but for the grace of god go I”. A family friend my age shot her baby and then shot herself while suffering from PPD. A classmate permanently blinded and brain damaged his baby by shaking it in a moment of rage. A doctor in my community killed her baby with Down Syndrome and then killed herself. Another example is a baby patient of mine with colic who was shaken to death by a teen parent who had done a great job of taking care of the baby until then. Ten years later I still worry about that case. Like I do with all my parents, I had talked about shaken baby to those young parents. But what if I had spent more time talking about how kids with special needs can *really* push our buttons? What if I had talked about it more?

            So that’s why I *do* immediately talk about the stresses of parenting after hearing about babies/children who are killed. I take every opportunity I can. Not because I think it is OK to kill kids but because I think talking about how awful parenting can be helps destigmatize it, and gives permission for people to reach out for help when they are feeling dark thoughts. I believe talking about it is a form of prevention.

            Talking about dark thoughts doesn’t mean I think people should be allowed to act on them. Quite the opposite.

          • guest

            My god, colic. It can push any human being to their limit.

            It seems to me we need to acknowledge how hard parenting is in every forum we have, and see what we can do to relieve any of those stresses. Throwing people who screw up to the wolves doesn’t help anyone – the damage is done.

          • Oh good lord, colic so infuriated a parent that they shook their baby to death. “Parenting’s hard.” This is exactly what I’m talking about. Baby’s in pain so baby cries so parent shakes them rather than…I don’t know….BE A PARENT?

            Ummm…the BABY is the one who had the pain of colic and then the BABY is the one who was shaken to death. The BABY is the one that’s dead now.

            Parenting is hard, yes. In no other job can you kill your job just because it’s hard – no matter how high-stress it is.

            Yes, it does help people to actually challenge this. Everyone actually already talks about how hard parenting is in every forum that we have – that’s the problem.

            The next killer is watching the news too and figuring out what reaction they’ll get.

          • guest

            So what would you advise, allowing the BABY to be the only one to speak about their pain? Or that we should only ever talk about how sad it is that babies are killed, but never examine WHAT LED SOMEONE TO KILL THEM?

          • No. The services and that should be a separate conversation to the metaphorical funeral for the child.

            Once upon a time, I thought that maybe that didn’t have to be a thing. But when people talk about services in response to a death, the metaphorical funeral never seems to get held.

          • Guest

            Do you actually have children? I’m sensing the answer here is no, because you’re completely failing to have any empathy for the caregivers. I actually think both sides have incredibly difficult lives, just in different ways. And no, not one over the other – just different.

            And if you don’t understand what it’s like to have a tiny, nonverbal human scream at you for hours and hours and hours and days and days and days, and how that could drive a previously competent and sane person over the edge without the right support, then you probably shouldn’t be offering an opinion.

          • “Do you actually have children? I’m sensing the answer here is no, because you’re completely failing to have any empathy for the caregivers. ”

            No. Failing to have empathy in general. I’m REFUSING to have sympathy for “caregivers.” or killers – the fact that their victim was related to them doesn’t help their case, as it were.

            There WAS NOT a de facto caregiver if the de nom caregiver shake their baby to death and I don’t care how difficult their baby is. Babies need to not be shook for life the vast majority of time – caregivers by definition, provide the necessities of life, among others.

            Caregiving is incomaptible with shaking.

            “I actually think both sides have incredibly difficult lives, just in different ways. And no, not one over the other – just different.” Yes – here is one major difference: The worst the parent will face is a hell of scorn and feelings and the like. The worst the child will experience is hell then death.

            “And if you don’t understand what it’s like to have a tiny, nonverbal human scream at you for hours and hours and hours and days and days and days, and how that could drive a previously competent and sane person over the edge without the right support, then you probably shouldn’t be offering an opinion.”

            And yet somehow, the media still manages to report on babies shook-to-death because parents got frustrated with colic without just talking about services and JUST sympathizing with the parents. It can do it for disabled kids too.

          • Guest

            Then you’re just arguing for the sake of arguing. Looking at a grey world in black and white – well, it will let you be angry, but it certainly will not help give solutions. You’ve had multiple people give you very logical reasons for why loving, caring people could break and you refuse to acknowledge them. From what I see, it’s because you simply don’t want to.

            I’ve yet to see any news reporting on babies dying at the hands of their parents that isn’t filled with scornful, hateful commentary at the parents. Please show me where the opposite is true, because I’m doubtful that there’s any of this excessive sympathizing going on.

            In any case, it appears you just want a place to rant, in which case you certainly don’t need any of us to help you.

          • “I’ve yet to see any news reporting on babies dying at the hands of their parents that isn’t filled with scornful, hateful commentary at the parents. Please show me where the opposite is true, because I’m doubtful that there’s any of this excessive sympathizing going on.”

            The answer is: Anywhere where an autistic kid was murdered by their parent.

            “You’ve had multiple people give you very logical reasons for why loving, caring people could break and you refuse to acknowledge them. From what I see, it’s because you simply don’t want to.”

            The moment you murder your kid or shove bleach up their bum and down their throats – you cease to be a loving, caring parent. I do see some shades of grey but I refuse to pretend that every colour is light gray or dark gray.

            This is BLACK-AND-WHITE: You do not murder your child. Ever. You aren’t a loving parent if you do this. I don’t care how difficult your child is.

          • Charybdis

            What about the deaf couple in Texas who killed their hearing baby? They couldn’t hear the baby crying and screaming, yet they killed the baby anyway. Granted, not an autistic/NT situation, but similar in a way.
            The baby was wired differently than they were and they were never going to be able to understand the hearing world the baby would be living in. They got frustrated with the baby and killed it.

            Would you be as sympathetic and quick to judge if two ASD parents killed their NT child because the child was doing things that made them crazy and they couldn’t cope with? Just as a theoretical question…

          • “What about the deaf couple in Texas who killed their hearing baby? They couldn’t hear the baby crying and screaming, yet they killed the baby anyway. ” It’s the daily fail – more credible sources would be helpful.

            But that’s disgusting and I have no sympathy for the deaf parents.

            . http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2317378/Deaf-parents-beat-baby-death-stop-crying–hear-her.html

            “”Granted, not an autistic/NT situation, but similar in a way. ” I guess.

            “The baby was wired differently than they were and they were never going to be able to understand the hearing world the baby would be living in. They got frustrated with the baby and killed it.”

            Indeed. Look at the article – it’s not at all sympathetic.nor are the comments. And they shouldn’t be.

            “Would you be as sympathetic and quick to judge if two ASD parents killed their NT child because the child was doing things that made them crazy and they couldn’t cope with? Just as a theoretical question…”

            I’d be just as unsympathetic to two ASD parents who killed their NT child because the child was doing things, that made them crazy and they couldn’t cope with, yes. I don’t care who you are – once you kill your child -you have lost any “claim” to be described as “a loving mother” or “a loving father.” I’d be just as quick to judge, yes.

            I tell you who would be far quicker to judge though: The media. I bet they wouldn’t talk about how difficult the NT child must have been to raise even if the kid was “severely” NT (for lack of a better term)

          • Charybdis

            I did read the article and I don’t have any sympathy for them. I was wondering if YOU did, because it is a reversal of your pet situation: ASD or otherwise disabled child killed by NT or otherwise “normal” parents because the child pushes them to the limit with their behavior. In this case, the parents are the disabled ones, having to deal with, care for and rear a “normal” child, who they wound up killing because the child was not the same as them.

          • “I did read the article and I don’t have any sympathy for them.” Exactly. Why is it so hard to do that in general?

            ” I was wondering if YOU did, because it is a reversal of your pet situation: ASD or otherwise disabled child killed by NT or otherwise “normal” parents because the child pushes them to the limit with their behavior” Oh lord. No, it’s NEVER the child’s fault that the parents killed them – don’t care how hard their behaviour is to deal with.

            And the answer is: NO, I do not have sympathy for them. No, these parents don’t love their child.

          • Uhh…this whole thing started in response to an FB screenshot about just that. I mostly talk about vaccines or genetics or genealogy or something, actually.

          • corblimeybot

            Not sure why you asked that last question. It’s clear from everything that OOPIT has said, that yes, she would condemn such parents. She didn’t say “ASD people are right all the time and NT people are bad”. She said that it’s wrong to kill your child. So, not sure why you’d think she’d defend ASD parents killing an NT child. She said nothing that implied anything like that.

            I’ll tell you one thing, though. If ASD parents did kill their NT child, the media would immediately kick into gear about how ASD people are awful subhumans who can’t be really trusted. It wouldn’t be about how these particular ASD parents were bad people, it’d be about how ASD people are bad people. And that’s related to the larger point that I think OOPIT is addressing here. The comprehensive, pervasive belief that disabled people are inherently subhuman.

          • Charybdis

            She has been repeatedly implying that the NT parents who are apparently murdering their autistic children in droves were the ones at fault because they didn’t have enough sympathy/empathy for the ASD child and their thoughts and feelings. And that anything other than immediate and unquestioning support and sympathy for the victim is heinous and Just Plain Wrong. Not to mention that trying to understand the motive/reasons and talking about how there needs to be greater support (respite care, various services, assistance, etc) systems in place so that parents/caregivers are not pushed past their breaking point is dissing the victim somehow.

          • YES! IF YOU MURDER YOUR CHILD, YOU ARE AT FAULT. This should not be a radical concept.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Murder is a legal concept determined by a jury. Sorry, but no matter how intellectually and morally superior you believe yourself to be, your personal opinion is just that — your opinion. The rest of us are free to ignore it.

          • “Murder is a legal concept determined by a jury.” …

            “Sorry, but no matter how intellectually and morally superior you believe yourself to be,” I really don’t see where you’re getting that. I’m stating my opinion a lot.

            ” your personal opinion is just that — your opinion. ” I have also pointed out the differing media coverage which is not my personal opinion – it is a fact about how the media handles it.

            “The rest of us are free to ignore it.” You are free to ignore it, yes. I am free to repeat it often and loudly though.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            You keep repeating it. People disagree. So now you are just continuing to repeat it to impress yourself since you are certainly not changing anyone’s mind.

            Any idea how many times you feel you need to repeat yourself before you recognize that we heard you long ago?

          • And you keep repeating that people disagree.

            “Any idea how many times you feel you need to repeat yourself before you recognize that we heard you long ago?”

            About as many times as it takes for people to address what I actually wrote and not what they imagined I wrote.

          • They need to be separate conversations, imo though.

          • corblimeybot

            Again, you are not really reading what she’s saying. You’re reading things INTO what she’s saying.

          • No. Parents who kill their kids are the ones at fault, in my mind. I don’t care what the makeup of the family is in terms of neurology – as far as I am concerned (and yes, it is an opnion that you are free to ignore) – the moment you kill your child, you are not a loving, caring parent.

            “Not to mention that trying to understand the motive/reasons and talking about how there needs to be greater support (respite care, various services, assistance, etc) systems in place so that parents/caregivers are not pushed past their breaking point is dissing the victim somehow.”

            Actually, no. I talk about respite care, services and etc myself – I just don’t do it on news stories about a parent who killed their kid. It is something we need to talk about but other people have had no trouble condemning the deaf parents who killed their child and not ONLY bringing up services.

            There was no talk of what services needed to be brought up about how the deaf parents were “pushed past their breaking point” or anything like that. And this is a good thing – there SHOULDN’T have been any talk like that. Why is it so hard to just have no sympathy for them in the same way there was no sympathy for the deaf parents?

          • “She has been repeatedly implying” No, you have been REPEATEDLY INFERRING THAT.

          • And it certainly wouldn’t talk about how they were driven to do so because of the lack of services for the NT child.

          • corblimeybot

            I’m a little blown away that people keep missing the finer points of what you’re saying in this conversation.

          • Oh, well. It’s bedtime for me now. Perhaps you’d kindly try and take over for me for a bit?

          • corblimeybot

            Ha, you’re a ton better at this than I am.

            Lengthy anecdote follows:

            I’m a sporadic commenter, because I have a somewhat disabled toddler to take care of. She’s had issues from birth, and recently required rather extensive medical interventions. I see upthread that colic is now considered an understandable reason for parents to lose their minds on their kids – well, my had epic, agonizing GERD for months, too.

            I don’t want to go into detail, out of respect for her privacy. Just know that her conditions are life altering in a very fundamental way. We were offered counseling for suicide prevention, when she was diagnosed with one of her conditions.

            Add on top of this that we are poor, I’m in grad school, I’m on the spectrum, and my husband has severe ADHD. In other words, we’re stretched extremely thin, we have very few resources, and we have real issues with our own coping skills and executive function.

            We haven’t ever once thought our child was an insufferable burden. I can’t even imagine it; she’s our child and we are there for her. And I’ve never thought my husband and I were the real victims in her situation. We’ve taken a lot of collateral damage, and we have definitely suffered worrying about her. But SHE’S the patient. She’s the one who has to live in her body.

            My own mother’s attitude was that I was there to make her unhappy. I was one whose life was permanently altered by being “different”, but that didn’t matter. I wasn’t a valid person, so who cared what it was like for me? It was only important that my existence caused her to suffer.

            My mother irreparably damaged me by exhibiting the attitude that so many people in this thread are defending. And from the outside, EVERYONE thought she was a strong, tough mom just doing the best she could for me. Whenever other people saw how she really treated me, they excused her because of how much stress she was under, having to raise a child like me.

            My mother also worked in the mental health and child development field, and had access to tons of resources. She had reliable childcare. She knew exactly how to get me any kind of help I needed. So she didn’t have the excuse of ignorance.

            (ETA I know ASD isn’t a mental illness, just trying to demonstrate that she was specifically trained to ID and access help for children with all sorts of developmental and mental health conditions.)

            So no, I don’t have sympathy for such parents. I bear the permanent damage of having had a parent like that. I DO have enormous sympathy for good people who are in any kind of personal hell, who totally lack help and resources, and are just doing their best with it. But parents who can’t stand their disabled children, don’t fall into that category.

          • Guest

            But don’t you see that there’s a difference between the truly abusive parent who despises their own child, and someone who loves their kid but has been pushed past their limits? You didn’t get there, that’s good. But you’re not everyone. I can think of a million scenarios where maybe you would. You fail out of school, you have a horrifying injury yourself, etc. etc.

            No one said colic is an acceptable reason to murder your child. Just that some of us that have been there can understand that someone lacking support and resources might snap and then bad things can happen.

            There’s a difference between the parent that snaps because they are lacking support and the – say – parent with a pre-existing personality disorder who is just bad at parenting. Or maybe there’s shades of both. The world isn’t black and white.

            The way I read this thread is someone posted a despicable article advocating for killing autistic children. No one thinks that’s ok. Some people said we can’t just think about the family, we need to remember that autistic people are people, too. Also true. No problem there. And then someone else said – yes, but remember that SOMETIMES these things happen because it is very real that caring for a severely disabled child can push SOME people close to, or in some very sad cases, over the edge. And then OOPIT flipped out and said we can’t talk about that in this discussion because s/he thinks it’s inappropriate. Most of us disagree. These situations are highly nuanced and context-dependent. You have to look at the individual facts of each situation to see what could be done to prevent it in the future. Simply saying “murdering your child is bad” isn’t particularly helpful in SOME situations because those people have crossed beyond the realm of logical, sane reasoning.

            A person who kills a colicky baby with a proper support system and all the help they need, in a completely sane place of mind – we’re not talking about that person. So, in essence, we’re not talking about you. You’re doing ok, you’ve got enough support for you and what you’re capable of handling. That’s good. That’s very, very good. But not everyone is going to be handle what you can, and not everyone will have the resources you have. You may not have many, but there are plenty who have far less than you.

          • Kerlyssa

            truly…abusive? It’s not really abuse if the abuser is a Good Person(as defined by you, apparently). What. The hell. So you can abuse children and not be an abuser. Nice, guest, nice.

          • Guest

            No. You’re taking one line out of context, and missing the forest for the trees.

            Let me try an anecdote. I have an acquaintance with a son who has borderline severe ASD. He’s only semi-verbal, potty trained at 7, huge sensory issues. She started him with early intervention as a toddler, they pay out of pocket for therapies, and treatment. From what I can see she fiercely loves her son and is willing to sacrifice greatly to do what she thinks will help him.

            She’s also off the charts into the woo. None of their kids are vaccinated, no fluoride, and she’s done pretty much all the crazy ASD treatments out there. Chelation therapy, crazy dietary restrictions. I’m honestly not sure if they’ve done enemas, but I wouldn’t put it past her. And, he’s actually improved over time. He’s gone from completely non-verbal, banging his head on the wall, eating his blankets, to at least semi-verbal, semi functional. She credits the woo, of course. I’m more certain of the therapy and perhaps just his own particular genetic makeup. In any case, she plans to continue all of the above because of the results they’ve gotten.

            Now, I think there’s an above average chance that her decisions could lead to the death of one of her children, most of all the one with ASD. Does that make her an abuser? Well, I think we could have a valid argument about it. But I certainly dont think she’s intending to harm them. Does that mean she doesn’t love her kids? I see no evidence that she doesn’t love them.

            So, as i said above – there are lines between people pushed over an edge who have lost their grip on reality and maybe someone like her that truly believes she’s doing what’s best for her kids and someone who we could generally agree is just a heartless, evil person. It’s a huge spectrum and I’m not even listing all the possibilities.

            And, finally, my underlying point was that, in a discussion on people saying crazy things about the treatment and value of ASD people, it is a valid point of conversation to talk about stressors on caretakers potentially leading to psychotic breaks (arguably my friend above my qualify for that title). OOPIT said no, and then decided none of the rest of us could talk about it. I suspect the conversation would have been a couple lines instead of dominating this thread if s/he hadn’t decided to police the rest of us, but there you have it.

          • Umm….chelation is in the same category as bleach enemas. I don’t care how overwhelmed you are – the minute you do that – you are an abusive parent and you don’t love your kids. Does your friend not have a phone? Oh, she does? Yeh, then she can get help right there. Not that it would matter if she couldn’t.

            And where are you getting the fact that I decided none of the rest of you couldn’t talk about it? I have said repeatedly that I don’t think there is ever an excuse (no matter how overwhelmed you are) and that I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about it in this context. There are tons of things that I don’t think are appropriate but people do anyway.

          • Guest

            You are entitled to think whatever you want. It doesn’t necessarily make you right.

            In her case, they’re in contact with job&family services, public schools, main stream doctors and she’s very open about what they do. No one has ever reported them for anything. So, I suppose, in the eyes of the law they are not abusers and your opinion really doesn’t matter. I’m not sure I disagree with you on the abuse end, but I see no evidence she doesn’t love her kids. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You may believe so, but, again, that doesn’t make you right.

          • “You are entitled to think whatever you want. It doesn’t necessarily make you right.” Didn’t say it did.

            “In her case, they’re in contact with job&family services, public schools, main stream doctors and she’s very open about what they do. No one has ever reported them for anything.”

            So her….abuse (Yes, my opinion – whose else would it be? Fred’s?) hasn’t been reported. Don’t see what that’s got to do with it. Baby P, for example, was abused even though they didn’t catch it the first time As for being very open about what she does..I wonder whether she’s as open as she told you was and exactly HOW she was open about it.

            “So, I suppose, in the eyes of the law they are not abusers and your opinion really doesn’t matter.” This is all I can find on this subject – not the best source but it’ll do for now. http://www.ncahf.org/policy/chelation.html.

            Or she’s not as open as she tells you she is. For all I know, she might have said something like “We do biomed” and that could mean anything from GFCF diet which is relatively benign (and I say relatively only because I don’t know an awful lot about it) and that can be done and still love your kids and yeah…I can totally see how that would be “oh, okay” to well…bleach enemas and chelation and not knowing they were doing that.

            “I’m not sure I disagree with you on the abuse end, but I see no evidence she doesn’t love her kids. ”

            What sort of evidence would you expect for the hypothesis that she doesn’t love her kids?

            I agree that she likely loves the ASD kid’s siblings. The specific ASD kid? Not so much. I agree that she likely loves the identical-looking twin of her ASD kid. But this twin doesn’t actually exist.

            So what I’m saying is there are …. say, 4 kids, hypothetically speaking:

            Neurotypical sibling #1 (I agree that she likely loves this child)
            Neurotypical sibling #2 (I agree that she likely loves this child)
            NT identical-looking “twin” except not really a twin because same body. (I agree that she likely loves this child – it’s a shame that this child doesn’t ACTUALLY exist.)
            ASD child (I see no evidence that she loves this child.)

            ” The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You may believe so, but, again, that doesn’t make you right.” I believe they are but like you said, that doesn’t make me right. Comes back to:

            What sort of evidence do you need to think about the possibility that she doesn’t love ALL of her children. Of course, this is your friend so you’re hardly likely to be an unbiased source.

          • Guest

            She’s not my friend, I barely know her. We grew up together and are “friends” on Facebook. I’ve talked to her once for an hour in the past 10 years.

            I’m not going to argue with you about whether or not she loves her kids or some facsimile of her kids. You could be right, you could be wrong. It doesn’t really matter to me, it’s her life and her choices.

            My point was simply that there are shades of grey. What about the mom that just does a severely restricted diet and the kid improves by some measure, so she thinks it’s working. Is that abuse? Really we’re way off topic of the original point, which is some people are stretched too thin and have breaks with reality. There’s a reason we have an insanity defense for crimes. Sometimes it’s structural to the brain and sometimes people snap. No one here is saying that it justifies or excuses the crime, it only speaks to culpability. Sometimes those breaks are potentially preventable. It’s good to discuss how to help the next person who gets stretched to the point of breaking so we can prevent those crimes. Again, does not excuse or justify, but I believe that discussing prevention is a very important and relevant topic.

          • Nick Sanders

            Some one seriously should have reported them. That no one has, including you, is a failure of society.

          • Guest

            At the time she was doing it, I didn’t know what it was.I’m not sure most lay people do. In fact, she’d post videos and photos showing how well he was progressing, so I’m not sure why there’d be anything to suspect. She was seeing some ASD specialist MD, so it sure sounded legit. Plus, distant acquaintance, unless huge alarm bells are going off, I’m probably not going to investigate their claims. I thought the metals thing sounded a little weird, but I’m not a medical professional and weird does not necessarily equate with bad or abusive. And, you know, she’s a “do your own research” person who buys into the quackery these people peddle. They told her it would be hard but beneficial, and they saw results. I think we all can agree it was probably coincidental, but how are unassuming lay people to know that it was all risk no benefit?

          • corblimeybot

            I’m guessing you didn’t report them, either? Chelation and dietary restrictions have the possibility of extreme harm or death.

            You seem really confident that your friend has actually been truthful with real medical professionals and real family service professionals about what she’s doing. You also seem confident that those professionals can do anything at all, even if they 100% believe that chelation is dangerous child abuse.

            Despite what the internet claims, CPS doesn’t actually just swoop in and take children who are in danger. My mother worked for years in a field adjacent to child services, and she saw children who were being raped by siblings never rescued from their abusive families.

            She saw children being starved by neglectful drug addict parents, who remained with their families and received no real intervention.

            She had a child bring constantly bring her physical evidence that his parents were violent drug dealers, and he wasn’t taken away for years.

            She had parents who came to school to steal their children’s school lunch, whose family received no useful interventions.

            She testified against parents who beat their children half to death with extension cords, who had access to those kids right up until they were put in jail for a slap-on-the-wrist sentence.

            There aren’t limitless resources to rescue children who are in literal life or death situations – let alone special-needs children from rich families, who are being medically abused in a way they’ll probably technically survive. So just because family services hasn’t intervened with your friend’s family, doesn’t mean they don’t desperately wish they could.

            You might not like OOPIT, but hemming and hawing about whether chelation is child abuse? Saying that because family services hasn’t intervented, that OOPIT’s opinions about chelation don’t matter? Makes you sound bonkers. OOPIT isn’t saying anything that’s the least bit controversial there, among medical professionals.

          • Guest

            Here, let me put it more diplomatically. You (and a few others) and the majority of the commentors here have a different opinion on this matter. You told us that. We got it. You’re not going to change our mind and we’re not going to change yours. That’s fine, it happens all the time. You don’t need to keep arguing with us about it.

          • “Here, let me put it more diplomatically. You (and a few others) and the majority of the commentors here have a different opinion on this matter.” … yes, I know. I am aware it’s not a popular opinion.

            “You told us that. We got it. You’re not going to change our mind and we’re not going to change yours. That’s fine, it happens all the time.” “You don’t need to keep arguing with us about it.” Nothing to say here, really.

            Still…what evidence would people like to see for the hypothesis of “doesn’t love her child”?

          • Nick Sanders

            the minute you do that – you are an abusive parent and you don’t love your kids.

            And here is where I have to vocally disagree. The human mind is not a rational, impartial fact processor. It is entirely possible for it to hold inherently self-contradictory ideas, such as that the way to show love is to do horrible things to a person, often under the belief that it will make them stronger. And that’s assuming they even recognize that what they are doing is hurtful. Many of the parent who do chelation or chlorine dioxide think it is medicine, and attribute the horrendous effects to the autism, or the mercury they think is being removed, or the parasites they think are dying and struggling to escape. They are entirely wrong, and often willfully ignorant, but they still love their children. I’m not excusing them, and this makes them no less unfit to be a parent, but abuse and love are not mutually exclusive. It’s a large part of why the whole situation is so fucked up, and of what makes it so hard for authorities to get the children out of these situations.

          • Thank you, Nick.

          • Kerlyssa

            Yes, she is an abuser. Abusers can love their victims and still be abusive. Excusing her abuse of her children by speculating on and privileging her character does not lessen the suffering of those under her care. Love is not an excuse for abuse. The state of parenthood and caretaking do not change a harmful action into a helpful one. And none of those things entitle a caregiver to be protected from prevention and punishment of abuse.

            What is your ‘understanding’ doing for the children in your anecdote? I can see what it is doing for your benefit, and for your acquaintance’s, but it’s the kids paying the price.

            That may be why your anecdotes are going over about as well as a turd in the punchbowl.

          • Guest

            You actually generally agreed with my point – which was that loving people could abuse their children. I said that I could get behind her being an abuser, so I’d say that anecdote worked quite well. But I don’t see any evidence she’s doing it with the intent of harming her children. It’s complicated, right? I think she’s already well set up to do something totally bonkers (moreso than she already is) if her support system falls apart. Maybe some of these main stream doctors need to stand up to her. I don’t know what the answer is, but I think it’s important to discuss. Here’s the case of someone who believes she’s helping her kids and it may kill them. You’re on a board with a lot of healthcare/social work professionals. It’s good to discuss how to actively prevent those cases of abuse that can be prevented.

          • Kerlyssa

            It becomes less complicated when you look harder at the child’s welfare, and spend less time concerned about the parent’s motivations. What can you do for this abused child?

            That is to say, the support system you are speaking of implicitly relies on helping the parent, and supposedly benefits will trickle down to the children. It seems to me a child centered support system would be safer for the child in question.

          • Guest

            I don’t know. Maybe sometimes. Certainly in the case of unmitigatable neglect or abuse.

            But often both parties have needs we can address. I have another acquaintance who had moderate to severe PPD and a baby with true colic. Her husband had to leave work several times during her maternity leave because after 5 or 6 hours of screaming she started to talk incessant suicidal/homicidal ideations. Now, she had a great support system and from what I can tell, she needed meds, breaks, and sleep – and it worked. I’m not sure what would have happened if she had been alone or isolated. I know of some other people who needed hospitalization for PPD/psychosis.

            In those cases, discussing what the parent needs implicitly concerns the welfare of the child. Sometimes it’s the child that has needs we can address, maybe moreso when there are permanent issues. I imagine often its both parties that could benefit from support and services. I don’t think you can divorce one from the other.

          • Kerlyssa

            But addressing one does not automatically address the other. The needs of the parent and the needs of the child are NOT the same. Parents are the caretakers of their children, so it is a shorthand assumption that resources going to parents will be applied to child welfare, but it does not work out that way in real life.

            If a parent is failing as a caretaker, increasing resources to them will only help the child if the lack of (reasonable amounts of) those resources is the actual roadblock(in your anecdote, a caregiver that was not getting adequate peace and quiet during a stressful time). There are any number of cultural, educational, and temperament issues that result in abusive situations regardless of resources available. Like your biomed anecdote, where increasing a support network simply makes it easier to spend more time and money obsessing and experimenting on the ASD child.

            tldr: Giving resources to a caretaker is only helpful when the caretaker’s goals align with the child’s welfare. Otherwise, it’s more money and time spent on bleach enemas.

          • Guest

            Yes, I completely agree. I don’t think we’re in disagreement at all. Sometimes it can be helpful, sometimes it isn’t. The “loving but abusive” anecdote was to illustrate how that can happen, not to justify or excuse her behavior.

            But we appear to agree that the parent and child have different needs, shortcoming, what have you. In a caretaking dead, you need to look at the situation from both perspectives to find the optimal solution. If we focus too much on parents, we can lose the needs, desires, and humanity of the child. If we ignore the parents, we can miss a critical component of healthy caretaking if, and only if, there is some remediable issue with the parent. And there sometimes is. And sometimes there isn’t.

          • Guest

            *Dyad not dead

          • Kerlyssa

            Truth. I happen to think that children tend to be shortchanged, especially young and disabled children, in these conversations and support implementation. Children are seen as property and/or extensions of the caregiver rather than individuals in a way that adults rarely are anymore. So I suppose the only disagreement I have here is priority.

            /tips hat, bows out

          • Who?

            Thanks for saying this. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The challenge is monitoring, of course. What goes on behind closed middle class doors, particularly where children don’t go to school and are not in the care of medical professionals, can be pretty scary.

            Let’s hope the kids are okay in the end.

          • Nick Sanders

            That sounds horrendously abusive, regardless of how much she cares for her child or thinks she is helping.

          • Guest

            I don’t disagree with you. My point was actually – look at these horrific and dangerous things she’s doing and yet she appears to truly believe she’s helping her children. I only brought it up because OOPIT keeps arguing that a parent who harms or kills their child through an intentional act (a) de facto does not love their child and (b) is always 100% culpable. I don’t think that’s always true, although it certainly can be

            Look at the homebirth moms on here who harmed or lost a child because they chose homebirth. In many cases, they loved their children deeply and I think other parties either were completely culpable (think the new mom who had a psychotic break and killed herself and her child, who would say she had any culpability there) or partially culpable due to misinformation or other reasons. This blog exists in part to try and prevent things like that from happening by advocating for proper support and true disclosure of risks. This is simply an analogous argument for those “at risk” parents of high needs children/adults. OOPIT thinks this is in an inappropriate place to discuss that topic. I disagree, especially given the context and cohort of this page and commenters.

          • Here’s the thing:

            However hard your form of parenting it is – it does not override the individual responsibility to make any other choice. It does not. If someone is truly not responsible for their actions (but I’m still not going to be that sympathetic) then it does not override the responsibility of the husband [l.et’s say] to intervene – no matter how stressful or overwhelming the child is.

            The moment you actually kill your child (and no, “allow to die” or “there was an accident” is not the same fucking thing), I have no sympathy for you. There are always other optionsl;, they might be shitty ones but there are always better options than killing your child.

            I don’t think this blog is an inappropriate place to discuss this at all? I don’t see where you’re getting this at all? I think we should hold metaphorical funerals first, our empathy should go to the child first. And if there is any left over, then empathize with the killer, if you must, then. What seems to happen now is 100% of the empathy goes to the killer. Ideally, they should be entirely separate conversations – services and that.

            Taking hostages is not a thing I have sympathy for, either. “If we don’t get services, we’ll kill them” is a thing that happens in the media and people need to stop it.

            As for the homebirth moms, they didn’t kill their children. This is closer to the wardrobe anecdote that was brought up earlier.

            As for services,yeah…the issue is that it’s ALL

          • guest

            It does sound abusive. And this is what I meant when I told OOPIT that people can love someone and still hurt them. A mother like that believes she’s helping, not hurting. But she is hurting – I can say that she loves her child and still think someone should intervene and remove the child from her care. But I won’t deny that she loves her child – this is why you can’t define love as “not hurting or killing the person you love.” Human beings are irrational and sometimes overcome by emotions, even competing emotions. They can truly, honestly believe things that are demonstrably not true. So yes, they can love someone while hurting them. It’s not okay, but we need to acknowledge it in order to work on preventing it.

          • Lack of services is not a reason to murder your child.

          • Guest

            No one said it was. People are saying that lack of support and services for caretakers can lead to psychotic breaks with reality which can lead to severe harm or death in those they care for. And it’s only in SOME cases. Sometimes the person is intentionally harming for the sake of harming.

            It doesn’t justify or excuse what they did. It does, however, help to explain some behaviors so that society can address and remedy them. I don’t think anything is wrong with that.

          • “No one said it was. People are saying that lack of support and services for caretakers can lead to psychotic breaks with reality which can lead to severe harm or death in those they care for.”

            I am sorry but “Causing severe harm and death to something/someone” is incompatible with caring for something/someone.

            Like your friend? The moment she used chelation on her son – she lost any of her right to be called a loving, caring parent – I don’t care how desperate she was. Your friend does not love her ASD child. Maybe she loves an imaginary identical-looking twin of her ASD child but that isn’t the same thing as loving her ASD child.

            ” And it’s only in SOME cases. Sometimes the person is intentionally harming for the sake of harming.” Yes.

            “It doesn’t justify or excuse what they did.” Indeed, it doesn’t.

            “It does, however, help to explain some behaviors so that society can address and remedy them. I don’t think anything is wrong with that.” It wouldn’t be if society would actually address and remedy them but far too often, what actually happens is (not disqus commenters but just in general) is that it’s brought up in a “Oh well, mustn’t blame her. There’s a dearth of services and supports. It’s a hard, thankless task” manner.

            And then does society actually address or remedy them? Oh No. It’s forgotten about until the next murder at which point, there’s the “Oh well, mustn’t blame her” thing AGAIN and doesn’t actually do anything like address it. And is there in the news, sympathy for the murdered disabled child? Oh no. It was “understandable” – “anyone would” – “they were so difficult.”

            Like your friend can afford a chelator? Therefore she can afford a phone. Your friend’s abuse of her son has literally nothing to do with a lack of services. Your friend does not love her ASD child. I don’t have enough information to know whether she loves her other kids or not though.

          • Uhh…except from here, You seem to think there can be “overwhelmed enough that it’s excusable” – I DON’T.

          • I literally don’t care what the makeup is. You don’t kill your child, ever.

          • Oh dear, one time the caregivers didn’t get empathy on a podunk blog post. They’ll survive – they get the sympathy all the time in media. The kids killed by them don’t in media.

          • corblimeybot

            I have a child, I know how difficult parenting can be, I know how difficult it can be to parent a child with differences, I have my own issues that make it all harder, I had tremendous PPD – and I totally disagree that it’s ever permissible for a parent to go “over the edge” on their child.

            I’ve been at the other end of a parent going “over the edge”, and it’s been since childhood since I heard another adult making excuses for that sort of horror.

            You can’t just say “well you must not have children, so you don’t understand anything going on here” – I suspect OOPIT was a child once, and might have a unique perspective on this issue that you’re not acknowledging.

          • FormerPhysicist

            I’m sorry you were abused. No one is saying that’s okay.

            The point is NOT that it’s okay to go over the edge. The point is that everyone reaches a limit and it’s okay to ask for help as you near that limit so that you DON’T go over the edge and do something horrible.

            And to OOPIT, no, the next killer isn’t watching the news to see how people are reacting. Not for this. The point is that irrationality has been reached. If it was cold-blooded murder 1, I’m sure it could be hidden better.

            ETA: read downthread – I guess there are truly hideous people advocating eugenics. I don’t see anyone here doing that. Placement of comments could be better.

          • “I’m sorry you were abused. No one is saying that’s okay.

            The point is NOT that it’s okay to go over the edge. The point is that everyone reaches a limit and it’s okay to ask for help as you near that limit so that you DON’T go over the edge and do something horrible.”

            Right. But far too often, it is presented as understandable in the media how people might go over the edge. I could see a pattern in the media developing talking about how it’s okay to be overwhelmed in the media but still shaming the actual act of killing your child being acceptable. It wouldn’t be my preference but I could just about tolerate it. What I can’t and won’t stand for is all this guff in the media where ALL that ever happens is talk of services.

            ” And to OOPIT, no, the next killer isn’t watching the news to see how people are reacting. Not for this. The point is that irrationality has been reached. If it was cold-blooded murder 1, I’m sure it could be hidden better.” Don’t know if they are or not. It’s something we should think about it.

            Did you read this, though?

            Dick Sobsey, RN, ED.D.

            Filicides – Parents who kill their children with disabilities

            Research

            About two-thirds of all murdered children (age 14 and younger) are killed by one or both of their own parents. Approximately half of these parents claim and actually come to believe that killing their children is an act of love justified by some unusual circumstance. The ability to rationalize the killing of their children as somehow being an act of kindness appears to a critical factor in disinhibiting violence.

            Children with significant disabilities are among the most frequent victims of filicide (murder by their own parents). This presentation provides data on more than 425 homicide and attempted homicide cases involving parents implicated in crimes against children with developmental disabilities. Two major themes are identified from media descriptions of the crimes as well as formal defenses: (1) parents of children with disabilities live with such great stress and receive such inadequate social support that they can be excused for “snapping under the strain” and killing their child, (2) children with disabilities suffer greatly and have worthless lives, so killing them is justifiable. Law enforcement, the courts, the media, and the public in general has often supported these rationalizations and in doing so, increased the likelihood of similar crimes in the future.

            http://disability-abuse.com/cando/conf/workshops03.htm

            “ETA: read downthread – I guess there are truly hideous people advocating eugenics. I don’t see anyone here doing that. Placement of comments could be better.” Yes, placement of comments could be better. Thank you.

          • On the other hand, the next killer could be watching the media and judging how much glory they’ll get over it.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Are you saying that my friend, my classmate, my colleague and my patient did it for the glory?

          • Nope, I’m saying the CHILD is the one that’s dead. Your friend, classmate and colleague …. who knows? We’ll never know – I certainly don’t trust your judgment on your friend,classmate and colleague since you aren’t likely to be unbiased. The child is the one that’s dead. The child is the one that’s dead. The child was the one who had colic. The child. The child. I will repeat this until it sinks in.

            I’m saying the next killer might actually be put off the idea of killing their child if we as a society put our metaphorical foot down and say “Nope. Not acceptable.”

            Let’s be clear: People do talk about how hard parenting is all the time. People do talk about how much harder disabled kids are to raise all the time. People do talk about how much harder it is to raise extremely disabled children all the time.

            If accounting for the parents’ feelings alone worked, there’d be ZERO cases of kids murdered, not four that you can list like that. Accounting for parents’ feeling isn’t working. Talking about services in the wake of deaths is not helping. It doesn’t work. Talk about the child’s life and death – make a post about that. THEN discuss the parents’ feelings if you must.

          • Charybdis

            So you think the child should, always and forever, receive the “top billing” as it were?

          • Sympathy for the victim should certainly come before sympathy for the killer, yes. Condemnation of the act should certainly come before sympathy for the killer, yes.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            You seem to think this is some sort of contest where we must declare who has a greater moral claim on our attention. Why?

          • Nope. I think it’s fucking backwards that “Please don’t murder your kid” in much blunter terms is is a controversial statement.

          • The sympathy for the victim should certainly come earlier than sympathy in the article for the killer. Don’t care that the killer was related.

          • Charybdis

            After the victim is dead is the wrong time for empathy for them. To be blunt, they are dead. They don’t care anymore, nor can they be helped or removed from the situation anymore. Those chances are gone. They cannot be resurrected or made undead.

            There is always sympathy for the victim, though. “That poor baby. Why wasn’t something done?” “That poor child. Why were they put back into an abusive situation?” “That poor baby. How could the parent forget that they had the baby in the car and leave them there in their carseat during the summer?” Just because there is not a glorious paean to the victim, listing all their virtues while glossing over any bad points or unfavorable opinions FIRST does not mean that the victim is overlooked, forgotten or otherwise does not matter.

            Nor does discussing HOW babies, children, adults, hell, all people die in crisis situations and what can be done, implemented or put in place to help it not happen in the future ignoring the victim. It is humanity in general trying its best to provide counseling, respite care, etc (the “services” you dismiss as an inadequate response to such things) so that the chance that a parent who feels overwhelmed can ask for and get help without being made to feel like a failure or a monster.

            But you seem to think they are all monsters anyway, especially if they admit that they need help coping.

          • “There is always sympathy for the victim, though. “That poor baby. Why wasn’t something done?” “That poor child. Why were they put back into an abusive situation?””

            Hahhahahahahah! No, there isn’t. Not when we’re talking about disabled kids.

            As for after them being dead being the wrong time for empathy for them….when they’re alive is too. The talk when they’re alive is not about empathy for the child then, either. It’s about how hard and thankless the kid is. Services are all well and good and I never said we shouldn’t talk about them.

            So when is the right time for empathy for the victim when we’re talking about a disabled child? Because it doesn’t seem to be when they’re dead nor does it seem to be when they’re alive.

          • Charybdis

            A lot of times empathy/sympathy for the disabled child is viewed as condescending and/or not allowing them to reach their full potential. Saying that it must be frustrating for a child to not be able to speak/walk/whatever and that it must be hard for the child to not be able to run/swim/play tag/order their own lunch when eating out is often viewed as being “not supportive” or “ignoring what they can do”.

            There is plenty of sympathy for the disabled; numerous people over the years have remarked that they were sympathetic to my brother’s condition, especially when he was acting out; “it must be difficult for him to have to *insert activity here (flap, jump up and down, grimace, talk to himself loudly, bite his wrist or hand while grimacing and jumping up and down) to deal with the fact that his sandwich was cut into rectangles instead of triangles. What a way to handle issues.” Does that meet your standard for sympathy/empathy, or is that just another backhanded way to ridicule the disabled?

          • Ummm….I was specifically talking about sympathy for kids who were killed by their caregivers and this was MY ORIGINAL point/request and mentioning the original point request again is not moving the goalposts.

            . But Yes, the sympathy re: bite his hand counts as sympathy for the disabled kid.


          • But you seem to think they are all monsters anyway, especially if they admit that they need help coping.” What?

            I have lots of sympathy for parents who admit they have help coping.

            That parent who calls 911 on themselves? Lots of sympathy.

            That parent who admits they need help? Lots of sympathy.

            That parent who kills their child? No. No sympathy whatsoever.

            And how overwhelmed they are doesn’t change the answers. It’s “lots of sympathy” to “No. No sympathy whatsoever” regardless whether your child is the easiest one to raise in the world or the hardest one to raise the world.

            “Nor does discussing HOW babies, children, adults, hell, all people die in crisis situations and what can be done, implemented or put in place to help it not happen in the future ignoring the victim.” In theory, yes. Reality does not seem to work that way, though.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Accounting for parents’ feeling isn’t working. Talking about services in the wake of deaths is not helping. It doesn’t work. Talk about the child’s life and death – make a post about that.”

            Actually, accounting for parents’ feelings does seem to be working. Over the last 30 years there has been a slow but sure shift in how we talk about filicide. I compare how Andrea Yates was demonized compared to how a similar mom in my area was treated a few years later (still vilified but with a bit more sympathy), vs how my family friend was treated when she killed her baby (even more sympathy ETA: although still none of the “glory” you claim parents receive).

            According to your theory of “sympathy=permission”, rates of abuse and murder therefore should have gone up during this period, no? But turns out, they have gone down.

          • We’ve also learned a lot more about how PPD, PPP, religiously-based abuse, and isolation make people quite literally insane. The person in the Yates case who deserved to go to jail and rot there was the husband.

          • Hmmm..? Do you have links to articles about rates?

          • *sigh* Nice giant strawman there.

          • Dr Kitty

            Suggesting that people who kill their disabled family members do so because they think they will be lionised by the media is a very weird take.

            People who kill their disabled family members are either depressed and see no way forward so they believe that their actions are justified to “save” their loved one, or they are psychotic and not amenable to reason, or are so stressed that they cannot accurately assess their options and just see the future as a deep black hole with no hope and have convinced themselves that death is preferable to whatever else lies ahead.

            Fixing that involves better support for carers, better mental health care and better disability services.

            A starting point of “how bad does it have to be before a loving parent thinks that death is the best option for their child?” is better than vilifying these people as monsters.

            Understanding that they were under huge pressure with which they were unable to cope is not the same as agreeing with or supporting their actions.

          • Oh good lord, more sympathy for the parents again. Your suggestions are actually good – but can we please in future start by acknowledging that it was the child who had their life ended?

          • Dr Kitty

            Of course- but loving parents (and they are, in the vast majority, loving parents) don’t decide to kill their kids for shits and giggles, nor because they will get “glory” in the media. Mostly they are seriously unwell and don’t understand right from wrong.

            I don’t think that these parents are RIGHT, I just think that the “oh my goodness, how could anyone ever struggle caring 24/7 with a disabled child- they are a GIFT” crowd misses the point.

            I have patients who cannot cope with gaining weight, or losing a job, or a relationship breakdown, or any minor setback life throws at them. I mean “cannot cope” by self harming, overdoses, hitting rock bottom with alcohol or drug misuse, neglecting all personal care.
            People like that have kids.
            Sometimes their kids have disabilities.

            Sometimes people pick themselves up and develop coping strategies, sometimes they simply do not have the wherewithal to do that, and sometimes living with a disabled child means a terrible outcome because someone simply cannot cope.

            Blaming people who don’t have good coping skills, because they don’t have the upbringing or resources or mental wellbeing or support to HAVE good coping skills is, in my view, seriously unhelpful.

            Sometimes people appear to cope right up until they don’t.

            Maybe you have more personal experience dealing with this and have more helpful suggestions, maybe this is just you spitballing, I don’t know.

            Maybe you’ve sat through child protection meetings, or deprived people of their liberty because they present a risk to themselves or others.
            Maybe you’ve been the one advocating that a child isn’t returned to their birth parents.

            Maybe this is all just theoretical to you.

            I don’t know.

            It’s not theoretical to me.

          • “Of course- but loving parents (and they are, in the vast majority, loving parents) don’t decide to kill their kids for shits and giggles, nor because they will get “glory” in the media. Mostly they are seriously unwell and don’t understand right from wrong.”

            Hmmm…I’m sorry – I just don’t see how “loving parents” + “child actively killed by said parents” is at all compatible ever. Loving parents might think about it, they might talk about it. But I don’t see at all how the act is compatible with loving parents. Same as bleaching your kid -it’s one thing to have fantasies about it – it’s one thing to seriously consider it for a daft moment before mentally going “No, don’t do that.”

            It’s another thing entirely to actually start shoving bleach up your kid’s rear – the moment that’s actually done, I say “Loving parents don’t bleach their kids.” – there isn’t a “how i know this”, exactly. I don’t have any citations to show you here. It’s just – Loving parents don’t bleach their kids. Loving parents just do not do that. Loving parents don’t murder their children. Loving parents don’t starve their kid. Loving parents do not.

            “Of course- but loving parents (and they are, in the vast majority, loving parents) don’t decide to kill their kids for shits and giggles, nor because they will get “glory” in the media. Mostly they are seriously unwell and don’t understand right from wrong.” Hmm. Don’t have much to say on this one.

            “I don’t think that these parents are RIGHT,” I appreciate you saying this – it would be helpful if the media would actually acknowledge that too – this could have done with being further up in the comment, imo.

            ” I just think that the “oh my goodness, how could anyone ever struggle caring 24/7 with a disabled child- they are a GIFT” crowd misses the point.” I agree that that particular crowd is missing the point too.

            “I have patients who cannot cope with gaining weight, or losing a job, or a relationship breakdown, or any minor setback life throws at them. I mean “cannot cope” by self harming, overdoses, hitting rock bottom with alcohol or drug misuse, neglecting all personal care.”
            People like that have kids.
            Sometimes their kids have disabilities.
            Sometimes people pick themselves up and develop coping strategies, sometimes they simply do not have the wherewithal to do that, and sometimes living with a disabled child means a terrible outcome because someone simply cannot cope.”

            “Blaming people who don’t have good coping skills, because they don’t have the upbringing or resources or mental wellbeing or support to HAVE good coping skills is, in my view, seriously unhelpful.” So

            “Sometimes people appear to cope right up until they don’t.” All the more reason why we should push for services and not only bring it up in the wakes of death and that’s all we talk about.

            “Maybe you have more personal experience dealing with this and have more helpful suggestions, maybe this is just you spitballing, I don’t know.”

            I don’t know what the answer is. It isn’t “just talk about services.”

            Acknowledge it’s wrong (you don’t have to blame people to do this – I would but you probably don’t.) and then express sympathy for the child having been killed (again, you won’t have to blame people to do this) and then talk about coping skills and resources to develop them and the like. It’s a sequence problem. But the sequence cuts turned upside down and then cut short after ‘couldn’t cope’. in a lot of media coverage.

            “Maybe you’ve sat through child protection meetings, or deprived people of their liberty because they present a risk to themselves or others.
            Maybe you’ve been the one advocating that a child isn’t returned to their birth parents.”

            And there you go – you have just admitted that there are ALWAYS OTHER OPTIONS. Always.

            I don’t understand how you can have sat through child protection meetings and still think that sympathy for the parents should come first in the article/comment whatever in terms of which thing is read first though.

            “Maybe this is all just theoretical to you.”
            I don’t know.
            It’s not theoretical to me.”

            But what does seem to be theoretical to you is the idea that given a set of different parents, you wouldn’t have made it to adulthood because of way you are. It’s not theoretical to me.

          • Dr Kitty

            Nor me.
            I have spina bifida and I’m lucky enough to have had an excellent outcome with treatment.
            Some parents opt to terminate pregnancies affected by neural tube defects, and I’m ok with that, actually.

            There are always options, but people in the depths of depression and despair aren’t always in a position to appreciate those options, nor to seek them out for themselves.
            You expect rational thinking and forward planning from people who simply may not be in a position to manage that.

            At some point there may have been a point where the parent was in a position to recognise help and seek it, but often once a crisis has been reached that point has disappeared in the rear view mirror.

            If you don’t manage to get someone at the very specific point between “I would never do anything to harm my child ” and “I might harm my child, but am amenable to help” before it gets to “I truly believe that harming my child, and probably myself, is the best option and I will do my best to avoid anyone stopping me” then bad things happen.

            I don’t think killing a child is ever acceptable.
            People who are unwell make terrible choices, and stress and isolation can make susceptible people unwell to the point where they cannot tell the difference between right and wrong.

            We need to be better at recognising people who are struggling and offering them real help and support.

          • Thank you.

          • No. A loving parent does not murder their child.

          • guest

            You know this how, exactly?

          • I don’t understand the question. A loving parent does not murder their child.

          • guest

            Explain how you know this to be true without defining “a loving parent” as “one who has not killed their children.” What evidence do you have that *all* parents who have killed their children did not love them?

          • Let’s start with the dictionary defintion of love:

            feeling or showing love or great care.
            “a loving father”
            synonyms: affectionate, fond, devoted, adoring, doting, solicitous, demonstrative; More
            enjoying the specified activity or thing.
            suffix: -loving
            “a fun-loving girl”

            Now, killing:


            1.
            an act of causing death, especially deliberately.
            “the community was shocked by the brutal killings”
            synonyms: murder, taking of life, assassination, homicide, manslaughter, liquidation, elimination, putting/doing to death, execution, dispatch, martyrdom; More
            adjective”

            See how they’re incompatible?

          • guest

            No, not at all. See above. I know you want this to be simple, but it isn’t. Perhaps *you* could never kill something you loved. But it happens. Defining love as *not* killing or hurting someone doesn’t work – that would mean I love the dude at the post office who always loses my packages. I hate his guts, actually, but I’ve never killed him or even said anything impolite.

          • Not killing.

            I’m defining “killing” as “not-love”, actually, among other things.

          • guest

            It seems like that should be the case, but it unfortunately isn’t that way for everyone. Love is a feeling that people have, and you don’t get to define that feeling away.

          • Hmmmm….

          • I’m defining ‘not-killing’ as part of love though.

          • I don’t. But I will continue to say that loving parents don’t kill their children.

            ” Explain how you know this to be true without defining “a loving parent” as “one who has not killed their children.” Loving means to show great care and provide for the necessities of life. Pretty sure not-murdering is part of the necessities of life.

            “What evidence do you have that *all* parents who have killed their children did not love them?” You don’t prove a negative.

          • guest

            Tautologies are not arguments, and that’s a poor definition of loving. Sounds more like you’re saying “competent parents don’t kill their children.” I’d still disagree – there are some extremely competent AND loving parents who have still killed their child without meaning to, or while in the throes of post-partum psychosis, but that would at least make more sense. Love is complicated. You can absolutely love something and still treat it badly.

          • “Tautologies are not arguments, and that’s a poor definition of loving. ” It’s the bloody dictionary! I trust it more than you! As for tautologies not being arguments, you’re correct. It’s a position.

            “I’d still disagree” Didn’t say you had to agree with me anywhere ever.

            “there are some extremely competent AND loving parents who have still killed their child without meaning to” Not like you’re offering me any evidence here, either.

            or while in the throes of post-partum psychosis, but that would at least make more sense”

            . Love is complicated. You can absolutely love something and still treat it badly.” Not from my perspective – if you abuse an animal, you don’t love it – maybe you did at one time. Maybe you love the potential ideal of the animal but you don’t love it any more.

            As for how I know the parents don’t love their children? They admit it. In blogs, in FB groups. Wherever.

            They admit to loving an identical-looking twin of their child that never was.

          • Dr Kitty

            The is someone who posts here from time to time whose child, who they loved very much, died after an unsecured piece of heavy furniture fell on her.

            They loved her, and she died because of an act of omission on their part- leaving the furniture unsecured. A terrible accident, but an unintended death that could have been prevented by the parents’ actions.

            Isn’t sympathy rather than opprobrium the appropriate emotion to feel for her parents? Did not fixing the wardrobe to the wall mean they didn’t love her? I’m sure you will agree that it doesn’t mean that at all. They loved her and made a mistake that lead to her death, which is a tragedy, but doesn’t negate their love.

            I’m sure that isn’t quite what you meant, but yes, there are many examples of children who have been loved and yet have died because of their parents’ actions or inactions.

          • Yes, I do feel sympathy for those parents you mentioned. I agree that they loved their kids deeply. Of course not fixing the wardrobe to the wall doesn’t mean they didn’t love her!

            As you said, that was an accident and a tragedy. You’re right – it is way way way off of what I’m talking about – I think it’s in another solar system.

            These aren’t parents who killed their kid though – it’s not like they actively deliberately shoved the wardrobe over onto her because she was spirited or anything. That’s what killing a child with a wardrobe would look like. And THAT would deserve Opprobrium!.

          • I don’t see how you think this anecdote is at all similar to what I’m talking about.

          • Dr Kitty

            In other words it is a “no true Scotsman” scenario.
            It is not a loving act to kill someone, this is undeniably true.

            However, someone who is very unwell may believe it to be a loving act, because the balance of their mind is disturbed, they cannot tell right from wrong, and they suffer from the delusional (fixed, false belief, not amenable to logic or reason) that it is in the best interest of their child to be killed.

            In that scenario, the parent believes that killing their child is the best thing, and so they do it, not out of malice or self interest, but out of a delusional belief that they are acting in the best interest of the child.

            That doesn’t describe most of the deaths of children at the hands of their parents. Most children who die at the hands of caregivers die because their caregivers cannot control their rage or because they are neglected- often due to drug or alcohol abuse.

            To state that someone cannot kill someone they love, by definition, no, I don’t believe that is true.
            Especially if we expand “kill” to include “allow to die”.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “No. A loving parent does not murder their child.”

            The ability to perceive shades of grey and experience empathy =/= permission.

          • “The ability to perceive shades of grey” Learn to see OTHER COLOURS TOO.

            ” experience empathy =/= permission.” Experiencing empathy for the victim and saying it’s not the right time and place =/= saying it’s never okay to talk about how hard parenting disabled kids is.

          • A staring point of “This is wrong. This child…” and THEN understanding what huge pressure they were under is EVEN better.

            But keep pushing for the services in between deaths. Don’t talk about only services in the wake of the death.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Well, that seems to be your point, no? That baby killers receive lots of glory and sympathy whenever they kill babies and all this positive attention is what recruits new baby-killers. I disagree. Outside of the rare Munchausens, I don’t believe people kill their babies for glory. Certainly the people I know personally who killed (or nearly killed) their babies received no glory.

          • What I’m saying is there’s certainly very little condemnation of the act.

            ” Certainly the people I know personally who killed (or nearly killed) their babies received no glory.” Exactly but parents of disabled kids who kill their kids do gets lots of “sympathetic glory.”

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Exactly but parents of disabled kids who kill their kids do gets lots of “sympathetic glory.”

            Well, the doctor who killed her baby with Down Syndrome didn’t get too much. I remember how her church treated her when a friend tried to put up a memorial plaque for her baby and her.

          • I have no way to verify this.

          • Charybdis

            Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, though.

          • Didn’t say it didn’t. Just that I don’t have a way to verify this. If you have further evidence, provide it. If not, I’m not saying it didn’t happen – just that I have no way to know that one way or the other and I’m suspicious based on how things are handled in media now.

          • Umm….SO? People don’t actually post “I murdered my kid” on FB.

          • Charybdis

            I am confused by this comment……….?

          • The point is that London’s mother and the like didn’t post “I murdered my kid” AFTER they had done so on FB so the post not saying it doesn’t tell me an awful lot.

            I know that people on FB talk about MMS supposedly-hypothetically for real kids … why not murder, too?

          • LibrarianSarah

            BULL MOTHER FUCKING SHIT IT IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE!!!!

            Every time an autistic person is murdered, NT’s in the media or on the internet or in their homes “discuss” what a hard, thankless, terrible task it is to care for someone with ASD. EVERY. FUCKING. TIME. They do this in public, in front of the whole entire world before the body is even cold.

            And only on the internet where autistic people can actually come over and try in vain to explain why this is inappropriate are NT’s ever challenged about this. Autistic people aren’t invited on the local news to talk about how hard the victim’s life was and how they probably didn’t want to die. That’s for sure. 90% of the coverage of autism comes from the perspective of a parent, care giver or family member about 9% come from the point of view of an “expert” and the actual autism community gets to fight over the scraps.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            It is possible to believe that murdering severely handicapped children is both illegal and immoral while at the same time acknowledging the extraordinary difficulties and stresses that would lead someone to contemplate it. Serious depression can distort people’s perceptions and if anyone is entitled to be seriously depressed it is a parent grappling with the hopelessness of a severely handicapped child who will never get better.

          • The extraordinary difficulties and stresses are already accounted for – read the news reports. The illegal and immoral part…notsomuch.

          • I said there were better times and places.

          • So the answer to the question of where can I discuss this is: ” local tvs and local newspapers, for a start.” …

          • Judging from the current climate, the news reports. The local tv stations. If you think it sounds like it is NEVER acceptable then you haven’t been paying enough attention – did you see that “I am autism” that AS published? AS published it.

            Literally, everywhere. Even here, you haven’t been banned or anything. People have just said..in much stronger less-polite language ‘Dude. Not cool. Cut it out’.

          • Charybdis

            Where, exactly, did I say that I agreed that it was okay to kill/murder/euthanize ASD people? I never said that, nor did I imply it. Ever. I have even stated numerous times that it is not okay, acceptable, politically correct or any other way of condoning that behavior/thought process.

            I DID, however, mention that having a close family member with ASD or other disability can be difficult for all members, INCLUDING the person with the ASD diagnosis. And that, in extremely dark moments, someone *might* entertain the “what if” thoughts (what if the disabled person died? What if I had had an abortion, etc”, BECAUSE IT CAN BE A HARD AND DIFFICULT LIFE FOR ALL INVOLVED. And that venting about the stress is okay.

            THAT WAS ALL I SAID WAS OKAY…THE VENTING ABOUT THE STRESS AND STRAIN AND HOW CHALLENGING LIFE WITH AN ASD FAMILY MEMBER CAN BE.

            Advocating/supporting the killing of autistic people and other disabled people is heinous. I have stated that several times. Now you and a couple of other people are all up in my jammy about something I never said, advocated for or agreed with.

            Banning? Really?

          • Gene

            OOPIT seems to think that even thinking such thoughts, let alone voicing them is tantamount to drowning autistic kittens.

            It’s why gallows humor is so prevalent in high stress situations. And why we always have a debrief after any pediatric code or really horrible case.

          • Oh gods. That couldn’t possibly be because it takes screaming at people to get them to even consider whether they’d consider not talking about services BEFORE at least saying. ‘Wow. This person is a jerk’ every damn time autistic kids are murdered, could it?

          • Gene

            I do not think you are a jerk. Just someone a bit short sighted and naive who likes to yell.

          • NEWSFLASH: It is ALREADY acceptable to talk about the parents’ feelings. That’s taken for granted on every news story about a parent who murdered their autistic kid.

            It’s not taken for granted that we should think about the autistic kid though.

          • Okay and I’m blocking you now because you know we’re talking about at least calling murderers jerks. All I did was scream at you.

          • “Where, exactly, did I say that I agreed that it was okay to kill/murder/euthanize ASD people? I never said that, nor did I imply it. Ever. I have even stated numerous times that it is not okay, acceptable, politically correct or any other way of condoning that behavior/thought process.”

            I DID, however, mention that having a close family member with ASD or other disability can be difficult for all members, INCLUDING the person with the ASD diagnosis. And that, in extremely dark moments, someone *might* entertain the “what if” thoughts (what if the disabled person died? What if I had had an abortion, etc”, BECAUSE IT CAN BE A HARD AND DIFFICULT LIFE FOR ALL

            INVOLVED. And that venting about the stress is okay.

            THAT WAS ALL I SAID WAS OKAY…THE VENTING ABOUT THE STRESS AND STRAIN AND HOW CHALLENGING LIFE WITH AN ASD FAMILY MEMBER CAN BE.”

            Please go back and read your own comments.

          • Charybdis

            I have. I’m still not seeing where I’m saying what you think I’m saying.

          • Maybe that’s because you’re wrong about what I think about what you’re saying.

          • Charybdis

            Well then, pretend (it shouldn’*t be that hard for you, since you already seem to think I’m an idiot) I’m as thick as a plank and tell me *exactly* what I did/said/implied/agreed to that pissed you right the hell off.

            Because your subtle hints up to now obviously aren’t penetrating my *insert derogatory epithet here* head.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Being a single mom is a hard, isolating, and thankless task. Would you feel comfortable going on about the difficulty of being a single mother and how difficult it is when responding to a post about the Casey Anthony trial?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Having a child with a severe handicap is much harder. Sugar coating the tremendous sacrifice involved does not strengthen your argument.

          • LibrarianSarah

            It’s not about sugar coating. It is about the proper time and place. We are talking about someone advocating the killing of autistic people. And this is not a hypothetical situation, caregivers kill autistic people with frightening regularity. When a person with autism is murdered it is killed by someone who was supposed to care for them, it is not the best time to talk about how difficult they were.

            I use Casey Anthony because I want NT’s to, for once, empathize with the autistic person instead of the NT caregiver. People would be upset if someone discussed how difficult it is to be a single parent in the context of that trial. Not because it is wrong to talk about the struggles single parents face or because single parents have it easy but because people would see it as blaming the child for their own murder because of circumstances that she couldn’t control. I am trying to close the empathy gap.

            Also, all this talk about how burdensome autistic people doesn’t just affect the “severely handicapped.” This shit trickles down. I may never be “independent” so yeah this talk of being a “burden” affects me greatly. There is a lot of shame and pressure and pain there that affects most, if not all, autistic people. I still feel horrible asking my family for help for anything because that is just one more thing that makes me a “burden.”

            Ablism doesn’t exist in a vacuum. When someone says “retard” they don’t usually give you an IQ test before they point and shoot. These ablest messages don’t know functioning labels beyond “normal’ and “sped.” Even the “high functioning” get the message that their loved ones would be better off without them and it is a message the screws you up for life.

            Now I am going to peace out because it is obvious that I am getting triggered up the ying-yang here and I am moving in two days so I don’t need the added stress.

          • How did the move go?

          • LibrarianSarah

            Now that it is over I can say it went well. While it was happening? Have you ever stimmed so much that you gave yourself blisters?

          • Yep, what LibrarianSarah said.

            “It’s not about sugar coating. It is about the proper time and place. We are talking about someone advocating the killing of autistic people. And this is not a hypothetical situation, caregivers kill autistic people with frightening regularity. When a person with autism is murdered it is killed by someone who was supposed to care for them, it is not the best time to talk about how difficult they were.”

            Prioritizing the parents’ FEELINGS – momentuos or not, traumatic or not over the KIDS’ actual life (the kid doesn’t even get put down out of their own suffering, like a dog would get) and your being called out on this is NOT the same fucking thing as sugarcoating reality.

          • No-one said it wasn’t. It’s logic to logic.

          • But they’re not even seeing the label. They’re seeing how the label affects the family.

          • Charybdis

            The label does affect the family, though.

          • “The label does affect the family, though.” EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THIS AND HONOURS IT BY DEFAULT.

            Read the FB post again – this is about an autistic kid being put down because of the suffering he causes to his family – not even getting to be put down because of his own suffering like dogs get.

          • Charybdis

            Unless there is more to the post than what Nick posted from a screen shot, the person is speaking theoretically about euthanizing an autistic child. There has not been an actual death in this particular theoretical case, unless you are privy to a more complete post or other information that you are not choosing to share. Repeatedly telling me to reread the post AGAIN will not change what it says.

            We can agree that it is always wrong to kill children, adults, the disabled, disabled children, disabled adults, the elderly, those with genetic conditions, those disabled by accidents and those with birth defects.

            Where we disagree is that some of us are willing to consider the whole picture, the stresses, strains, obstacles and challenges of having a family member who is disabled and the unrelenting grind of having to take care of them. But just because we are considering the entire situation does not mean we agree with, advocate for or condone a killing.

            It also does NOT mean we have no sympathy/empathy for the victim. It is not being expressed in a way you want the sympathy/empathy to be expressed, so you seem to think we haven’t any.

            To steal a line from Parenthood: “You need a license to catch a fish, but they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a parent.”. It is a difficult process, rearing a child, and that fact is compounded if the child is disabled.

            Doesn’t change the fact that the victims shouldn’t have died.

          • Yes, you’re allowed to vent from time-to-time but for heaven’s sake – NOT in response to a post where someone is talking about MURDERING their child BECAUSE of the FEELINGS of another.

    • demodocus

      I could understand someone who’s dealing with someone else with a really severe disability thinking something like this now and then. It must be exhausting. Lord knows dealing with a ordinary toddler is exhaustingly intensive enough.
      That said, this fool has no nuance and vaccines are good! I know a dozen people with disabilities who get along in our developed world just fine. A few of whom wouldn’t be disabled if they or their mom hadn’t caught some disease that’s now a VPD.
      ETA: Just because one has a bad, violent thought doesn’t excuse one from telling everyone about it much less acting upon it. This fool is all but bragging about their political incorrectness

    • Guest

      I know some people imagine every autistic person is nonverbal and completely unable to communicate or respond to communication in any way. I don’t know if they refuse to understand that it’s a spectrum, or have somehow literally never heard that it’s a spectrum. But even so, “nothing worse” is shockingly insulting and ignorant. I don’t like to rank diseases and disorders, but there are so many people on the spectrum who have their struggles, sure, but lead overall happy lives and it’s just sick to invoke the idea of “putting down” people because they are different from you.

      • Charybdis

        I think there are several reasons for that. One being that they don’t understand that it is a spectrum disorder and a person can be very mildly affected or severely affected and everything in between.

        Secondly, the stereotype for ASD is someone who is profoundly affected: non-verbal, repetitive behaviors, loud, etc. Even if the affected person can get out and about in the world, it is easy to spot them because of their behavior, like Rainman.

        Third, a lot of the time, the person “looks” normal and therefore their odd behavior or outbursts appears to be diametrically opposed to their appearance of a “normal” person. A “normal”: person does not generally have the INTENSITY of the ASD reactions to things. Completely losing your shit because someone is using a red pen instead of a black one to write something down is off-putting.

        Fourth, people are used to there being “something” they can do if they are diagnosed with something. Have an infection? Get some antibiotics. Diabetes? Insulin and diet. IBS? Watch your diet for trigger foods, reduce stress,etc. Depression? Anti-depressants with or without therapy. Migraines? Botox, triptans, other medications, reduce stress, get regular sleep, etc. But getting an ASD diagnosis is difficult and there is not a whole lot of things that can be done. There is no “magic cure/treatment” that will cure the person, and coping mechanisms are difficult to find.

        Finally, there is not a visual clue that the person has an issue. They don’t (generally) have a walker, crutches, a wheelchair, a white cane, hearing aids, cochlear implant, seeing eye/hearing ear dog, etc, things that alert you to the fact that this person has an issue. My brother (Asperger’s) looks normal, but if he is upset, angry or stressed, he will grimace (major facial contortions), flap his hands vigorously and occasionally bite his wrist or hand and gets loud, in a very “flat” toned voice. And his body language is off as well. He crowds into personal space, butts into conversations and asks eccentric questions.

        It is the fear of the unknown, that some things cannot be predicted or actively prevented, I think, that drives the fear. If you can “do everything right” during pregnancy and wind up with an ASD child, then does that mean that YOU are defective in some way? Or your partner?

        “Putting people down” because they are different is a Bad Idea. But that thought does occur (maybe I should’ve had an abortion or maybe we should remove life support) and is immediately quashed, because that would officially make you a Very Bad Person Who Discriminates.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        I agree!!

      • Michael Ray Overby

        Autism has it’s Spectrum, from Mild to Severe & Profound. It’s often treatable, by those that care to expend the effort. Suggesting so-called Euthanasia, here more like a Euphemistic Label, for Ethnic / Phyletic Cleansing, aka ‘Genocide’, is a terrible thing indeed, pandering to the “Primal Superiority” illusion like Hitler’s Folk Buddies did. Besides, you need a Genetic Issue to have any hope at all of that Obsolete BS to do anything like working. Only a few cases of Autism turn out to have any possible genetic connection whatsoever.

        • demodocus

          ASD is not an ethnicity, so therefore promoting the murder of people with ASD is not genocide. Horrible and stupid, but not genocide.

          • I would call it eugenics, though.

          • demodocus

            true.

          • Michael Ray Overby

            Genocide is an Apt term whose definition fits insofar as a certain Class of people are Enumerated, Segregated by Common Criteria & Exterminated. “Jewish” is a Label that does not refer to one single Ethnicity, but a Set thereof. Also one can Convert into the discipline. The Nazis didn’t particularly give a damn when an ancestor of yours decided to convert into the faith. You were still subject to GENOCIDE.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            When the Nazis sterilized or killed the developmentally disabled for being disabled, it was and is termed eugenics. When they killed the Roma and the Jews for being Roma or Jewish, it’s genocide.

          • Michael Ray Overby

            Which would you consider a worse crime?

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            Did I label one worse than the other? No.
            Maybe I’m being pendantic, but it drives me nuts when people use “genocide” to refer to other very bad crimes. Toddlers calling all flowers cro-ca-dots is adorable. Adults calling all flowers crocuses is lame. And those are just flowers.

    • Empliau

      Someone who knowingly chooses a flaming phallus and balls as their avatar? What the what?

      ETA: I misunderstood. Looks like it has been added. Well played!

    • Mel

      I’m in a particularly bitchy mood today so let me point out the obvious – why not suicide instead of euthanasia?

      I mean, the kid with autism is probably enjoying their life well enough – the person who is having problem coping is the parent. So, get rid of the parent(s) instead of the kid. The kid enters the foster care system and does their own thing and the parents are out of their misery.

      • Michael Ray Overby

        bc Suicide requires you to take your O So Perfekt

        Self Out. Eugenics? Murder the Inferior Untermenschen, ostensibly for the Good of the Ubermenschen. If the former could only Understand…

    • Mel

      Notice also that the author comes up with the solution that requires absolutely nothing from her – euthanasia.

      Funding respite services? Funding in-home care? Funding out-of-home care? Providing respite or in-home care herself?

      *listen to the crickets*

      Also, did she write up that in case of a severe TBI or stroke that leaves her at a similar level of incapacity that she wants to be euthanized? Or is this just leveled at other “lesser” people?

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        But, but, the disabled are inconveniencing them! They are having problems! Making unreasonable demands! Taking up space! You can’t possibly expect normal people to put up with that, can you?

        • Michael Ray Overby

          Not in Future Utopia!

        • BeatriceC

          You might be surprised how many people actually think this about all kinds of disabilities. I once overheard a man in a coffee shop going off on his companion about how it was unreasonable that there were wheelchair ramps everywhere and how it was an undue burden on business owners and he didn’t want his taxes paying to retrofit government buildings and schools and “those morons should just stay home to die” because obviously the inability to use one’s legs makes one stupid. This, while sitting with my wheelchair bound son not five feet away. Thankfully my kid had earbuds shoved in his ears and didn’t hear a word.

          • demodocus

            Dem and I wouldn’t be surprised. 🙁

          • Madtowngirl

            Oh the horror of having ramps everywhere. I’ve never used a ramp for carts, strollers, or just avoiding stairs. Such a financial burden to cut down a bit of concrete or build a basic ramp.

          • BeatriceC

            The thing is, there really are times when it’s either a hardship or a burden. A mom and pop shop in a 19th century (or earlier) building in an area where there are strict codes to keep historical integrity intact may find the financial hit to be disastrous. That’s why there are programs to help. Something like a warship turned museum is simply not going to be able to make all areas of the ship wheelchair accessible. It’s just impossible. That’s why there are exceptions. It sucks, but that’s life. I’ve found that the staff at places that aren’t accessible for those types of reasons to be more than willing to go out of their way to make as much accessible as possible. Last year we visited the USS Iowa and the staff let us in to areas that aren’t usually public access but that we could get YK into in an effort to make up for the fact that he would have to miss some of the public access areas he couldn’t manage.

          • guest

            Yeah, it is apparently monumentally hard to make an MTA station accessible, so most of them aren’t. As I am physically unable to get a double stroller up and down stairs, I learned first hand how difficult that makes life (I sometimes think children should be counted as physically disabled for the purposes of infrastructure planning, as in “they physically cannot get themselves onto this bus or train” – it would help make it clearer just how many people need accessible infrastructure to get around, even if for some of us it’s only a temporary condition).

          • BeatriceC

            Speaking of temporary conditions, even just injuring a leg or an arm can make it difficult to function. I have no patience for government entities that aren’t accessible by now, except for museums in historical buildings, but those should be few and far between.

          • Michael Ray Overby

            Umm this is Good. Join the Babies up with the disabled folks on their Common Needs in Civic Architecture.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      • Michael Ray Overby

        Perhaps she should consider switching to DeCaf
        Nick Sanders. Such terrible pessimism. That was the first shared posting. The Japanese with his Eugenic Obsession? Wish they could have found that guy before he Detonated like that

      • LibrarianSarah

        The comments in that post are awful but not in the way I thought they were going to be. I’m not sure weather to be confused, angry, or grateful? So I guess I’d go with confused.

    • Michael Ray Overby

      Hard to Get Happy after reading that…

    • Mishimoo

      Too many people, unfortunately. It’s disgusting and infuriating.

    • Heidi

      I bet this person has autistic people, or did (they may be deleted now!), as their Facebook friends? I know I do, and I can’t imagine telling them they are lifelong shackles and that their life surely must have no reward.

    • LibrarianSarah

      If you think the parents of kids with autism have it bad you should try BEING a kid with autism. I am sure that people perpetuating the idea that you should be euthanized for the good not only society but for the good of your own family.

      Seriously, someone please explain to me why so many people think this is okay. Do you have any idea how hurtful it is for someone to tell you that your very existence makes the lives of your family, the people you love most in the world, miserable? That you are an undue burden on those who care about you the most? Can you possibly conceive how damaging it is to internalize such a message and honestly feel like everyone must be right and the people you love would be better off without you?

      Fuck this person. Fuck them. Fuck their spouse. Fuck their friends. Fuck their family. Fuck their co-workers. Fuck their bosses. Fuck their casual acquaintances. Fuck their pets. Fuck their hobbies. Fuck their interests. Fuck their entire fucking life and the horse it rode in on.

      • Nick Sanders

        I wish I could upvote this more than once.

        • LibrarianSarah

          If autistic people got 1/10 the amount of sympathy that their parents and care givers get, the world will be a much better place for us. And yet WE are considered to be the one’s with an empathy deficit.

      • corblimeybot

        Cosigned as fellow spectrum occupant.

      • demodocus

        Or rather, don’t f(@# them. Don’t want to perpetuate their idiocy unto future generations.

        • LibrarianSarah

          Metaphorically fuck them?

        • What if we wait for them to survive winning the Darwin Awards first?

    • BeatriceC

      You know what’s worse than having a child with autism? Going home with empty arms. Wanna know what else is worse? Doing it not once, not twice, but five times with six babies. What’s worse than that? Three of those babies were never coming home.

      Two of my kids have physical disabilities. I can’t comment on raising a kid with autism, but I can comment on being married to a stubborn mule of a man with it. Neither set of disabilities is easier, but I’d do it a million times over to get those babies back.

    • I think there’s a little linguistic quirk there that’s interesting to analyze “If you had a PET that was SUFFERING like this, then you’d put it down for the PET’S sake.” versus “I feel sick to my stomach thinking what the PARENTS of the autistic kids go through.” Not even comparing the pet to the kid but no, parent’s feelings trump all. This is exactly what people on the spectrum are talking about when we complain about paaaaaaaaaaaaaarents (which is a specific thing that is distinct from parents)

      • LibrarianSarah

        Bingo! Funny things a lot of the people who post shit like this or sympathize with it would role their eyes at “all lives matter” or “heterosexual pride day” but when an autistic or other disabled person is talking then the first thing we here is but what about the paaaaaaaaaaarents? As if parents and family member don’t already dominate the discussion of disability already.

        • I smacked down a tumblr “Parents should get equal say to those who are autistic” paaaaaaaaaarent once by agreeing with them in a weird backwards-ass fashion. My post was along the lines of “I quite agree – parents and the #actuallyautistic should get equal say. Parents have had 10 years of domination courtesy of autism speaks so you’ll be silent while we talk for the next ten years, right? So glad to hear it!”

    • Madtowngirl

      Jesus H. Christ. This person is sick as fuck. Not to mention, autism is a spectrum. Many people with autism are highly functioning, and unless you knew them personally, you’d have no idea they were on the spectrum. Should we just euthanize them? And those who are low functioning certainly deserve to live. They are often very happy individuals who bring lots of love and joy to their families.

    • Upvoted the comment after the post, not the sentiment in the original post. Hated doing that, it was like “liking” a post where someone’s grandma died.

    • Stephanie Rotherham

      Jesus Christ, what the hell is wrong with people. This is so gross on so many levels I don’t have words. ‘If you had a pet with these problems’, the hell, like say their brain processes the world differently and we’re basically really weird aliens to them? Wasn’t there a book called ‘All Cats Have Asperger’s’ or something? ‘Leaving them suffering would be inhumane’ I’m pretty sure that most people on the austisc spectrum would not describe their lives as ‘suffering’, or if they did, the ‘suffering’ is having to deal with douche nozzles like this one. Unfortunately there’s douche nozzles everywhere, so maybe instead of advocating euthanasia, we should shut up and be less of a dick to people.

      • Actually, the post is THAT disgusting that it would actually be IMPROVED by the introduction of “Leaving them suffering would be inhumane.” re the autistic kid – that’s how the dog gets treated. Whereas the autistic kid gets put down because of the suffering to the family. Even the dog gets to be put down because of the dog’s suffering.

    • RMY

      I tend to find people who have never knowingly talked to neither a person with disabilities, nor their family members tend to be the most prejudice. Ignorance feeds bigotry. Autism sounds like something that’d be rough to have, but most autistic people I’ve come across (albeit they have mostly been high functioning), have expressed happiness at various things in their life and, like most humans, hope in their future.

    • Comrade X

      “What kind of person thinks like this?”

      A fucking Nazi.

    • guest

      A person without a brain.

  • BeatriceC

    OT: Charlotte playing peek-a-boo. Kind of.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr7fapniYOk

    • Empliau

      Her beak looks good!

      • BeatriceC

        The broken bit was only the very tip of her top beak. If you look closely you can see a tiny dark spot. That’s the injury, which is healing very nicely.

  • Lena

    OT: Have you seen this yet? http://narm.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/r/568BDE06B58E76D32540EF23F30FEDED/718BF0B79613C4E663B21DE8DA818551

    Saw it at NGM’s facebook page. Looks like NARM is making it even easier for CPMs and no longer requiring skills assessment, just any 2 CPM signatures that the students choose themselves.

    • Daleth

      Um. Did they let the state legislatures know, in the states where CPMs are licensed?

  • demodocus

    OT: The NICU told us to use boiled water to mix formula but since we’re lucky enough to have clean water and its fine for our toddler to drink straight from the tap, when do you suppose its okay to use tap water as is?

    • Mattie

      I believe the problem is not with the water but with the formula, the powder is not sterile and so using boiling water (over 70 degrees) kills any bacteria present in the powder. It may be overkill but that’s the recommended advice from many places, and the reasoning behind it

      • Aine

        I’d echo this. Your water is almost certainly absolutely fine itself. My understanding is that the formula powder itself is not sterile. So the hot water kills any bacteria in it. In an ideal world, that would be boiling water but in fact, boiling water can destroy some of the nutrients in the formula. So 70 degrees Celcius is the recommended balance between hot enough to kill bugs in the formula and cool enough for the correct nutrients to be maintained. In my country, the recommendation is to empty kettle, pour in one liter of fresh water to boil, wait between 25 and 30 minutes for the water to cool in the closed sealed kettle and then use this to mix the formula. Then flash cool under running cold water or ice. They recommend using right away but if not possible, flash cool very rapidly and store in the very back of the fridge (not the door) for up to 24 hours.

        For some special formulas for babies with digestive issues, the 70 degree water is too hot so you need to use cooler but with the greater risk of powder not being sterilized. Like so many things, the exact balance between the risks of each can vary.

        It really bothers me when NCB nonsense means people are not given the means to understand correct and safe way to prepare formula.

      • demodocus

        We were told to mix the formula in after the water cooled.

        • guest

          In that case, it’s your water that is suspect in the minds of the medical staff (not sure why, it will vary by region so I’m not going to speculate). It’s also a lot less work since you can boil as much water as you need in the morning and put it in a clean container for whenever you need it.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I used bottled water until my son was one year old, following his paediatrician’s advice. I would ask in the next visit since the advice might change also depending on the area. There is the issue of the water content in salts, that might change a lot and newborn kidneys are intolerant to high salt contents.

      • demodocus

        Wouldn’t boiling concentrate salts?

        • Montserrat Blanco

          Yes, and that is exactly why we used bottled water instead of boiled.there is a thing with using boiling water to prepare the formula because there have been some cases of infections using powdered formula. But our NICU nurses said there were no cases known in Spain using normal formula for more than 20 years and that was extremely rare and the quality controls are great and we should not be worried about it, and just use bottled water.

          • guest

            Yeah, I think the US tested some batches of formula and found some kind of contamination in some, but there have been no reported cases of a baby getting sick from formula with whatever it was they found. I think the risk is really, really small.

    • Heidi

      Did they say to mix the formula while the water was still boiling or to use cooled, boiled water? Conservatively it’s recommended to use boiled, cooled water until 6 months. But if they are afraid of bacteria in powdered formula I really don’t know. If that’s the case, I’m surprised they didn’t just recommend sterile ready to feed.

      • demodocus

        cooled boiled water. I’ve been using the leftovers from our tea kettle.

        • Heidi

          This is what I do, too. I didn’t even start out boiling water and really didn’t even know that was a thing to be done. I got a Brezza though that keeps water at 98 degrees and I was a little afraid if the water wasn’t near sterile it’d be the perfect little bacteria, mold and fungus incubator so I still boil at 7 months.

        • sdsures

          My husband has to use cooled boiled water for his CPAP humidifier, and he just uses cooled water from our tea kettle in the same way.

        • AnnaPDE

          That’s exactly how I did it too. For combo-feeding we just needed the occasional 100ml bottle, with as little fuss as possible. My husband and I got used to making sure there’s always some cooled boiled water in the kettle. Also, having it sit in the previously washed bottles for a few hours, ready to get mixed, seemed ok.
          AFAIK the Aussie guidelines are fine with using cooled water; the UK ones call for >70 C water to hit the powder and then either be filled up with cold water or let to cool. I think it’s part of the “let’s scare people off formula” tactic

          • Inmara

            I think it’s more like recommendations for pregnant women to avoid certain foods because there is very, very small chance to get serious infection, so officials take the “better safe than sorry” approach. There are rare cases of one particular microbe found in formula, and it can be killed only by >70 C water, so there’s that. I wonder, though, why officials in the suing-happy U.S. don’t recommend boiling water.
            As for my approach, we started with boiling and cooling water but at one point realized that our hard water could be contributing to not so optimal poop consistency, so we switched to nursery water and now are just warming filtered water by pouring it in the bottle and placing bottle in a bowl with boiling water. Once it hits 37 C we’re good to go. Having formula pitcher for a day and then warming bottles took very long in the days when baby wanted his food NOW, so we developed this system.

        • I used to boil a kettle and pour it into a designated pitcher and, once it was tepid, refrigerate it, replacing every 24 hours. Then, mixed up the formula immediately before use, and warmed the bottle slightly. Incidentally, bottles don’t need to be warmed (they are usually warmed too much, as “body temperature ” doesn’t feel “warm enough ” to the hand). My daughter would take premeasured bottles of boiled, cooled water with her when traveling, and had a special container which had several compartments with one premeasured portion of formula powder in each. When the baby was hungry, she’d mix a bottle on the spot, no time for bacteria to grow.

          • demodocus

            I don’t worry about warming unless its a partial bottle I’ve pulled from the fridge. We put the water straight into the bottles (well, i do it since Demo can’t measure 4 oz of fluid very accurately) then scoop out formula as needed. Pouring things from one container to anothre (or the floor) is currently high on son’s list of fun things to do.

    • Dr Kitty

      I would say at the point at which your baby is mobile and eating things off the floor, licking your pets and eating insects is probably the point at which sterilising and boiling things can fall by the wayside.

    • guest

      It’s been a few years, but when I was following the formula blogs, the suggestions were to use the boiled water (or buy nursery water) for the first 6 months when the infants is more delicate and less mobile (so not licking the floor as much), and after that tap water was fine. However, some people went straight to unboiled tap water, and my NICU didn’t give me any instructions on bottle cleaning or formula preparation, so the level of risk is pretty small.

      There was a lot of argument about whether you had to mix the formula while the water was boiling (which could potentially reduce the nutrients in the formula [so I heard, I have no evidence] but would kill any contaminations in the formula itself. This method is time-intensive (you can’t mix up a bottle on the fly – it has to be planned in advance to give the bottle time to cool) and I don’t know anyone who actually did it. To boil the water alone and let the water cool prior to mixing formula was faster and might improve the water quality, but won’t address any issues in the formula.

      • demodocus

        *She’s* not licking the floors, but I’ve already caught her brother removing a pacifier from his mouth and giving it to her and we can’t gaurantee that he hasn’t been. I’ve also caught him with his hand inside the formula can. sigh

        • guest

          Yeah, and that’s the thing: No home is ever completely sterile. I was breastfeeding, but I didn’t sterilize my nipples. I wasn’t even showering very often in the infant period. I wasn’t told to sterilize my hands before touching the babies, or not to kiss them on the lips/touch their lips with my hands, etc. I’m not saying don’t use boiled water (get a formula pitcher and make up a day’s batch to keep in the fridge if you do so you don’t have to boil fresh each time), but life just isn’t perfectly sterile, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the brother.

          • Roadstergal

            That’s just what I was thinking, reading this discussion – why does formula need to be so many more levels of sterile than breasts? :p

          • An Actual Attorney

            I may have repeated this story before, from my mom’s friend via my mom. When her kids were small, so late 60s / early 70s, she called the doctor to find out if she should sterilize bottles, and the doctor’s answer was “you don’t stick your breast in boiling water, do you?”

          • guest

            Of course, the breastfeeding extremists think this is because breast milk has antibacterial properties that keep your nipples clean.

          • demodocus

            I have no freaking idea. THis is on our list of questions for the ped at the 2 month.

          • Charybdis

            It’s part of the “formula is SO much more work than breastfeeding” propaganda brigade.

            “With formula, you have to boil water, measure carefully, mix, sterilize bottles and nipples!! It’s a TON of extra work and you can make mistakes when mixing the formula! It might be too watered down, or too concentrated if you don’t measure EXACTLY and are off by a microliter of water.” All of which is a load of BS. I used bottled water for a little while and then switched to tap water pretty quickly. I also kept a small supply of ready to feed formula for migraine days, trips out and about and for night feedings.

            Whilst I was attempting breastfeeding during the first 3-4 weeks, I was told that I shouldn’t use soap to wash my nipples (water only), shouldn’t wear lotion or deodorant and use unscented laundry detergent and not use fabric softener or dryer sheets. That was more of a hardship for me than mixing a few bottles. Dishwasher on sanitize mode to wash the bottles and nipples in the beginning. I used 4 oz glass bottles when DS was tiny and then switched to bottle liners when his intake got up to 6-8 oz at a time.

          • guest

            OMG, I have to BOIL and MEASURE? I don’t know if I can handle that, if I’ll know how to do it right…hey, wait a minute, I drink coffee. I boil and measure things every day even without kids. Dishwasher takes care of the cleanup. There’s a button that says “sterilize” that’s a little harder to press than the other buttons because I never used it much before having kids, but…I think I can manage all this “extra” work.

          • Charybdis

            Don’t forget the shaking to mix! It’s all SO terribly burdensome, but only the best for my kid!

            *heaves a martyred sigh*

          • demodocus

            SO HARD! Not even a toddler can do it! More than several times a day. While chanting “Shake, shake, shake like a rattlesnake.” (Daniel Tiger reference)

          • OttawaAlison

            I was never ever going to formula feed because it was so hard and awful. Well with a very limited supply I had to supplement and then I fully formula-fed. It really wasn’t rocket science and I’m someone who hates dishes. I managed, I got used to it pretty quickly. It was not Defcon 1 or anything.

          • An Actual Attorney

            “No home is ever completely sterile.”

            My home is so very far from sterile. Parts may be even down right foul (under the kitchen sink where the garbage is, for example).

          • guest

            Oh, mine too. I have pets, for starters. Also, I go outside, and then I come home and although I do take my shoes off in the apartment, those shoes are still *in* the apartment because we’re not allowed to leave anything in the hallway. And then there’s the fact that I’m too busy to clean very often. As I always like to say, “Home Sweet Filth Central.”

      • Dr Kitty

        Since my system involves either making kiddo#2 bottles last thing at night and putting them into the fridge warm,or at the same time as I make my own coffee in the morning, I have made his bottles with boiling water and sent them to his childminder warm- she then puts them in the fridge.
        His “breakfast” is a breastfeed and some porridge or cereal made with cow’s milk, so not having a ready-to-drink bottle in the morning wasn’t an issue.

        While we were on holiday recently, where NOBODY drinks the tap water (even though it is safe, it doesn’t taste good) I skipped the boiling and used bottled water (they put little symbols of bottles on the ones that are safe for babies).

        Now we’re home I’ve switched to just plain tap, as any child who can ingest quite as much dirt as my son can’t possibly those require stringent measures any longer.

    • demodocus

      Sigh. Looks like the general recommendation is boiling until Christmas. Well, we’re boiling water every day anyway. Now to keep the formula, pacifiers, and bottles out of her brother’s sticky hands.

    • demodocus

      Thanks, everybody

    • Kelly

      I have to say I have never boiled water when making a bottle but it might be different for a immuno compromised kid. You can also buy nursery water I guess. Good luck.

      • demodocus

        Thank you. She’s not any more compromised than any other month old. She was in the NICU because it took her a several minutes to figure out this breathing thing and they wanted to make sure it wasn’t a symptom of something else.

    • Daleth

      Have you had lead levels checked in your home? Regardless of the lead tests your city does on water at the source, lead can get in from your pipes even if your house was built recently (it’s not like lead paint, where post-1978 houses should be completely free of it; post-1986 homes have less lead in their pipes but not necessarily no lead).

      Here’s an article that talks about the dangers and how to test for it:
      http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/21/health/lead-testing-home-drinking-water/

      And here’s an article with more detail on the testing process and where to get it done. Apparently it costs around $40.
      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/03/16/testing-assessing-safety-of-drinking-water-lead-contamination/80504058/

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Sorry if this is a “duh” statement, but just to point out that boiling won’t help excess lead and may make the situation worse by concentrating the lead in the water.

      • demodocus

        i haven’t but i assume there’s lead piping

        • Daleth

          That’s a safe assumption. The word “plumber” comes from the Latin word for lead (plombium). And like The Computer Ate says above, boiling doesn’t help at all and may actually make it worse.

      • J.B.

        If looking at lead and are supplied by a public water system, start with your water provider and see what their published results are. If they have Tier 1 sites look at those results specifically. Tier 1 sites would be those with copper pipe and lead solder. (Lead service lines would be a whole ‘nother deal and should be replaced entirely.) If you have any reason to be concerned about levels many water systems will sample for you.

        In a home with higher lead levels the recommendation is to never get hot water from the tap, to get cold from the tap and heat it on the stove. Also to clean out strainers.

        • demodocus

          this is what i do right now.

    • J.B.

      Coming back to say, having thought through this – unless you are on a private well, skip the boiling entirely or only do it for a minute.

      This resource looks reasonable and readable: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells/waterquality/safebaby.html
      It addresses lead and nitrates.

    • Daleth

      Just posting to add that if you do find lead in your household water (whether it comes from your supplier or from your own lead-soldered pipes), it’s a very easy fix. You just need a filter, either on your sink (the most convenient since you then have unlimited lead-free water right from the tap) or on a pitcher. I think the on-sink ones work better, but there is a lot of good info here:
      http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/health-and-safety-tips/water-quality-treatment-tips/lead-in-drinking-water

    • MI Dawn

      I read this and all the comments and was amazed. We used tap water (not boiled) from the start with our children in Virginia. And when I worked in NJ, we also just said tap water. Never boiled it and never recommended boiling, from birth onwards. OTOH, we did warn against most bottled waters because they had no fluoride in them, whereas our tap water is fortified.

      Check with your local water authority and see what they say.

  • Jules B

    For me, childbirth was “empowering” in the basic sense that I (and my baby) managed to survive it relatively unscathed. I was relieved and thankful that we made it through. I know not everyone is so lucky, so I think some gratitude for the expertise of medical professionals, your body’s survival/baby’s survival, and a nod to Lady Luck is in order – but anything beyond that is mainly an ego exercise, IMO.

    • Guest

      Exactly this! With every birth I’ve checked into the hospital with this immense sense of relief that we had made it. I don’t know what the actual statistics are, but knowing several people who have had full term losses, my internal sense was “we’ve got a much higher chance of both getting out of here alive.” Whereas beforehand I’d always have a bit of foreboding that something might happen beyond my control. And then that huge relief once they’re born – we made it! We survived! I’m not sure if that’s “empowering”, but it does feel amazing. Maybe gratitude is a better word.

      • Jules B

        Yes, I think gratitude is a better word. I admit I was an anxious pregnant person, so my sense of relief when we both made it was likely more than some. But I did also feel like simple survival was an accomplishment of sorts – not necessarily my accomplishment, but that it is amazing how modern medicine helps minimize and prevent a lot of dire outcomes. I felt genuinely empowered by the fact that giving birth was not as dangerous an endeavour for me, unlike many women who have come before me (and how it still is for many women outside the first world).

  • Elizabeth Neely

    oh poor me….

  • lawyer jane

    O/T: Can anyone point me in the direction for evidence-based materials on pediatric occupational therapy? This has been recommended for my son by a variety of care providers, but I’m wary (and don’t want to pay out of pocket).

    • 3boyz

      Why is it being recommended? There are a number of reasons why it may be indicated, it’s not a natural thing at all. And depending on your state and why it’s necessary, you might not have to pay out of pocket.

      • lawyer jane

        I expect it might be recommended for fine motor skills (eg dressing) and specific gross motor skills (eg balancing on a scooter) – that is not the problematic part to me, because it makes sense that getting extra help practicing specific motor skills would be helpful.

        What I’m much more unsure about is the sensory stuff — sensory defensiveness, motor planning, proprioception.

        The functional issues (other than the motor skills) are anxiety and behavior; I guess the theory is that addressing sensory issues through OT will help him “regulate” himself better.

        • Mel

          Those sensory things often fit within OT therapy. My twin sis was tactically defensive as an infant – imagine a 6 month old who spent mot of her time willingly rammed in the fetal position to avoid touching things.

          Her OT was really helpful in getting her to experience the various textures of life like pudding, rice or sand with minimal screaming.

        • Dinolindor

          Just as a balance point here, I have never ever heard or thought of OT as woo-adjacent. Maybe I’m just naive, but I’m pretty shocked that any are suggesting it is. Granted, we are on summer-time hold for getting my son evaluated for OT through the school. Maybe once it begins I’ll see woo stuff, but based on my acquaintances who are OTs or have kids getting OT there’s no reason to assume OT = woo.

          • Kelly

            Me either. I asked my OT husband and he looked at me like I was crazy. They are just as evidence based as PT. OT is very misunderstood and people really don’t know much about it. It tends to focus on the upper part of the body and PT tends to focus on the lower part. On another point, my child’s PT said that they don’t employ OTs at their office and OTs tend to work with infants with food issues or fine motor skills. People kept asking why we didn’t just have my husband work with her. He also only works with adults and while trained in peds, he only has experience with adults. After watching the PT have to not only do therapy with my child but have to constantly think of ways to get her focused and stop her from crying, I know my husband made the right choice. Just watching her work made me exhausted.

          • Mishimoo

            I’m not surprised by people thinking that OTs are woo-adjacent, a lot of the ones I have met are very into the whole “other ways of knowing” and alternative therapies. My OT mother is very into the woo, including wanting to replace all of her mother’s medications with herbs/spices. (though she does currently deny ever being anti-vax, hah!)

          • J.B.

            Every form I have filled out for occupational therapists and psychotherapists included whether my child’s birth was vaginal or c section. There can also be a significant difference between pediatric and adult occupational therapy. The good ones stay in their lane, and let you know when you need to see someone else.

            Part of the issue when you get into sensory processing is that there aren’t always bright lines on related diagnosis. Sensory processing disorder is not in the dsm for example. So you’re already going around typical diagnostic patterns.

          • Kelly

            I got that question too and they asked if I was induced. I was induced but only because my body was having issues not hers. It didn’t matter after that because it was established that she had no issues during pregnancy or birth.

          • Mishimoo

            I think the vaginal vs c-section question is due to the risks associated with vaginal birth, like a brachial plexus injury, which is important to know for an OT. Unfortunately some do buy into the woo around birth and attribute various issues to mode of birth and feeding when there isn’t a proven link.

            The other problem with going around typical diagnostic patterns is that some people can fall into the habit of diagnosing everyone with one particular disorder. For my mother, it went (in roughly 5 year timeframes): dyspraxia, non-verbal learning disorder, autism, and her current favourite is sensory processing disorder. I think it’s lazy, unethical, unprofessional, and unfair to her clients as they might be diagnosed incorrectly.

          • lawyer.jane

            It may be very regionally dependent? I’m cautious because the main OT provider group in my area includes a list of resources that includes a dietician who claims to “cure children with food.”

          • Mishimoo

            I would be cautious too. My OT mother? Well, she has ‘healing hands’ and God speaks to her directly; as far as I know, she has not faced any issues with this in the workplace. Her clients parents love her because she will do anything to help them out, even if it’s outside of work hours and outside scope of practice.

        • 3boyz

          They really do help with sensory stuff, not just motor. And some motor issues can be sensory related, like poor balance and coordination. If there’s trouble with sensory input on either side (either too sensitive or not sensitive enough), OT can really make a difference. My oldest has mild autism and he’s been getting OT since he was 2 (and the state covers it. Not income dependent either. But I live in a state that’s very generous with services). The OT works on his motor skills, motor planning, and also his sensory awareness (he’s way under sensitive, like can wear shorts in the snow). And they have helped him become better at regulating himself being aware of his surroundings, and also understanding sensations and reacting accordingly. Evaluations are free in most states, so it wouldn’t hurt to get one (depending on age, it’s either through the health department or the Board of ed).

    • MI Dawn

      Yes, this is not a normal recommendation. Your son apparently isn’t performing to his age in something. It’s better to treat early, but in most cases, insurance should cover it to some extent.

    • J.B.

      It is woo-adjacent but has been beneficial for us. I look at it as desensitization and it has been quite helpful. Some psychologists can also be woo-adjacent. Picking the right provider is huge. Be aware that insurance may not cover much if anything. AAP considers sensory processing disorder to be subordinate to some other diagnosis such as anxiety, ADHD or autism. My anecdata are consistent with this.

      I would recommend starting with a developmental pediatrician, or some local service agency. Developmental peds have training on what is appropriate at different stages of development – more detailed than standard pediatrician. Maybe call first to talk with a nurse at your regular pediatricians to see who is in your area and who they would steer you towards. If a specific outlook is a bigger concern to you than insurance make sure they know that.

    • J.B.

      Too add to my earlier comment: get the referral first, that’s the only way insurance will cover any of it. Depending on your child’s age the local developmental services may do a screening.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I read a few studies about preemies and it seems to be well stablished the usefulness in that situation. I am afraid I know nothing about other problems.

      I was also reluctanct at first for my son attending OT but I was convinced after reading the published research, he actually enjoyed it and I think it did help him.

      It is covered by our National Health Service in Spain and completely free.

    • Who?

      My son had some, aged 8, and it was transforming for him. His issue was proprioception, ie he didn’t know what his body was doing in space. The main effect was atrocious handwriting, as he was using his whole arm and shoulder to hold the pencil, and he could not write and look at the blackboard.

      With his hands up in front of him, and his eyes closed, he could not touch fingers on the same hand to each other. Pretty devastating.

      We hired a little trampoline and he bounced, and he had exercises and regular follow up. There weren’t too many people able to do it at the time, and the superbusy lady we finally found supported our lovely physiotherapist who actually did the work with him.

    • corblimeybot

      Hopefully someone can get you the evidence/research, but here’s another anecdote.

      My kid got OT for the first year of her life as part of treatment for a nerve injury. She benefited a great deal. It wasn’t about causing the injury itself to heal faster; it was about keep her arm flexible and encouraging her to use her full range of motion. It requires a special kind of genius to get an infant to do things she doesn’t want to do, for her own good. Especially one who is in some degree of pain and discomfort.

      She’s being referred back to OT, after vital surgery left her with an unavoidable permanent disability. Her referring physician is 0% woo-infested.

    • An Actual Attorney

      Actual Kid just went through some OT for handwriting issues. We had to pay out of pocket, but that was OK. It was very helpful for him. The OT was very experienced in getting him to focus and in teaching us how to help him with his particular issues.

      I think we’re both in the DMV? FWIW, I detected no woo. Might be that there are geographic tendencies.

      • lawyer jane

        Would love a recommendation for a DMV OT! Who would have thought the two lawyers are in DC 🙂

        • An Actual Attorney

          I just created a temporary email address: clegiresle@thraml.com

          It goes away after two days, I think. Email me there and I’ll email you back from my real identity. I’d rather that than post personal details like my kids’ providers.

    • sdsures

      I have cerebral palsy, and when I was a kid, I had physiotherapy that was provided through the provincial health care system (Manitoba, Canada) and run out of the physio department of the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg. I also received physio at school during gym classes, but that was in Stonewall, which is about 40 minutes north of Winnipeg. I don’t know where they got the physiotherapist from.

      I didn’t have OT, AFAIF. I can’t remember; want me to ask my mom?

  • Clorinda

    My first c-section came about due to needs I didn’t understand until much later. The doctors trying to convince us to get one actually sounded like the “just do it for convenience sake” stereotypes all the stories talk about. But they were giving us incomplete information and downplaying the dangers that were actually occurring. I could say that we were a bit traumatized by “suddenly” ending up with a c-section. But high blood pressure that was possibly turning into pre-e, a baby that was not at all engaged (and had a head in the 90th percentile and sitting diagonally, and 2 days of induction that got me all of 40% effaced and that was it, was cause. They just didn’t explain it well. I was extremely happy having a healthy child at the end of it all. We didn’t fall down a rabbit hole completely in VBAC or nothing, but it took time to understand how all those things were risk factors warranting a c-section, and with the head measurement – something that couldn’t be known until after the fact.

    The second time, diet controlled Gestational Diabetes, 5 days overdue, no sign of effacement or dilation, and a previous dip in amniotic fluid levels, the hospital OB did an ultrasound and gave an honest assessment of what our chances of a VBAC were, what might happen if we waited for labor to start, with the previous history of amniotic fluid dipping, and we chose to move forward with a second c-section.

    Honest communication based on what evidence is available is empowering.

    • Jules B

      Agreed. All I wanted when I was pregnant was access to the latest research info in an unbiased way, combined with my OB’s professional opinion, so *I* could make informed decisions for myself. That is all I wanted, yet it was surprisingly hard to come by. It is like society is not comfortable with giving women full autonomy if she is carrying a fetus. (Like “OK, I know she wants to be treated like an adult an all that but there is a BABY involved now so we cannot take chances that her silly female brain cannot handle it!”)

      • sdsures

        Wonder what would happen if it was men who carried babies.

    • Tori

      This! I can’t thank my ob enough for how he managed his care of us during pregnancy and postpartum. Everything was explained and I felt so respected as a person, and very safe. In an emergency situation I would have been happy with cut first, explain later, too.

  • 3boyz

    Birth trauma is real. 2 of my 3 births were traumatic. But not for the reasons NCB people think. One of the traumas was natural birth! I was traumatized from the sheer agony and it was anything BUT empowering. There’s nothing empowering about acting like a nut case because you’re out of your mind with pain. And yes, my other traumatic birth was a c-section, but I’m not upset about being forced into surgery I didn’t want. The circumstances that necessitated the c were frightening (placental abruption). I would think anyone who is in a situation where they are minutes away from possibly dying and/or their baby dying would find it traumatic.

    • corblimeybot

      YES. I had birth trauma from how close my kid and I came to dying in childbirth. Imagine that! It’s so annoying when someone tries to birthsplain that I was really traumatized by being in a hospital.

      Nah, I was traumatized by that awful feeling of my blood making a mass exit from my body, though.

    • sdsures

      “There’s nothing empowering about acting like a nut case because you’re out of your mind with pain.”

      This. ^^

  • Roadstergal

    “of doctors (almost always portrayed as men)”

    I still can’t get over this. Aren’t most OBGYNs in the US women? All but one of mine have been women – and that one dude was SO respectful, even pulling up studies to go over them with me when I had questions. Modern medicine in general has been moving in a direction, in my lifetime, that is less and less dictatorial and more and more open to discussion.

    Which is maybe why some folk like alt-med, including NCB? It gives you the Easy Answers that the patriarchy did. You don’t get probabilities and scenarios and options, which is true empowerment – you get The Right Way and The Wrong Way.

    • BeatriceC

      That’s an interesting thought. There’s a lot to chew on there, but I think you may be on to something.

    • Irène Delse

      I concur. Alt-med and NCB do offer absolutes, but wrapped in the semblance of “personalised care”. There’s a huge theatrical element to it.

      • sdsures

        “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” 😉

        • Empliau

          I said that once to my teenager, who pointed out that that statement itself is an absolute. The Zen of Star Wars!

          • sdsures

            Ha!

    • Daleth

      Aren’t most OBGYNs in the US women? All but one of mine have been women

      Yes, and every year the proportion gets higher because older retiring OB/GYNs are almost all men and new ones are almost all women. A little more than half of currently practicing OB/GYNs in the US are women, and I saw a study a year or two ago that found that 83% of OB/GYN residents were women.

      • Deborah

        And the men preferentially self-select into Gynecologic Oncology and Urogynecology and REI, so women overwhelmingly become the generalist OB-GYN’s and MFM’s.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      “Based on key findings, women make up a larger percentage of residents in:

      Family medicine (about 58 percent)
      Psychiatry (about 57 percent)
      Pediatrics (about 75 percent)
      Obstetrics/gynecology (about 85 percent)”

      http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/ama-wire/post/medical-specialties-vary-gender

    • Erin

      I think in many ways, it’s similar to the way in which certain groups portray the Witch Trials. I’ve read so much about them which has the women as victims and the nasty brutal women hating men as the persecutors yet that’s hardly accurate.

      Sure, the guy who wrote the Malleus Maleficarum had issues, lots of issues but too many studies of the period look no further than that.

      In fact reading your post had me digging my old text books out and I found one which clearly links “American Gynecology” and witchcraft as ways in which men torture women.

      Portraying those evil Doctors as male makes it a conflict, makes it men versus women, makes it easier to sell to those who believe for whatever reason that birth is women’s work.

      One of the poems we studied about Witchcraft and Feminism (I read English Literature for my sins) ended like this:

      “What have they done to us?”

      (It’s from “The Network of the Imaginary Mother” by Robin Morgan)

      and I could easily imagine some of the Midwives who tried to deliver my son repeating it as a litany.

    • Sue

      “It gives you the Easy Answers that the patriarchy did.”

      Exactly.

      I call Alt Med and radical-NCB providers the New Paternalists.

      Now that conventional providers are encouraged to express doubt and make joint decisions, something deep inside us seems to like the security of simple, directed answers. It’s no longer considered appropriate to go to The Man for this (even if it’s a woman), so people can feel independent and rebellious by seeking an alternative provider, but, at the same time, getting simple solutions.

      • Dr Kitty

        There is a subset of patients who *really* don’t like joint decision making.
        Particularly the 50-70 year olds with high cholesterol and BP and Qrisks between 10-20%.

        You lay it all out, the little pictograms of 100 people and 10 or 20 who have strokes and heart attacks without treatment, and the 8-17 who have strokes or heart attacks with treatment, and the 15-30 who have side effects, and you explain you don’t know if they will be one of the ones who would have had a problem which treatment will prevent, or who would never have had a problem, or who will have treatment related side effects and still go on to have a heart attack or stroke. You say that the evidence suggests that on a population basis taking the tablets is beneficial, but that it is impossible to predict on an individual basis whether it is better to take them or not.

        A fair few of them just look at you and say “but if you were me, doc, what would you do?”

        • Who?

          It must be difficult for the patient who doesn’t feel sick-as many apparently don’t with high bp or cholesterol. They’re (potentially) making themselves feel less well, on the off-chance of stopping something really horrible happening down the track. In the meantime I imagine there’s a subset who can’t or won’t do the things that might help: do some exercise, make better food choices, lose some weight.

          GPs are very patient people, I think.

    • Who?

      The bit that leaves me scratching my head is that if you get sicker, or die, it’s because you did it wrong. Or didn’t properly explain yourself. Or didn’t believe enough. Not because they tell you the wrong thing, or (ahem) ‘misdiagnose’ you.

      There’s a novella by Australian author Helen Garner, ‘The Spare Room’ which is a somewhat fictionalised memoir of a time when a friend stayed in her spare room while undergoing alternative therapy for cancer. They would end up, periodically, at an actual doctor for pain/symptom relief, but her friend repeatedly went back to the quack, who wasn’t happy with the interference, and who always had a reason for the worsening symptoms.