Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Good Morning America neurodiversity links

For those who didn't have a chance to watch the appearance of ASAN President Ari Ne'eman on today's Good Morning America segment about neurodiversity, here is a link to the video:

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=5036816

An article discussing the show, with many comments from viewers, can be found here:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=5033594

In response to the show, Estée Klar-Wolfond wrote an insightful article on her blog addressing the misconceptions and outdated views of disability that often are expressed in the media:

http://joyofautism.blogspot.com/2008/06/to-diane-sawyer-equality-paradox.html

4 comments:

laurentius rex said...

Triumphalism eh ?

Well the truth is, if I were not autistic and something else I would be just as proud of that, indeed what one is,whatever that may be, should be sufficient unto all. Heck even if I were NT that is what I would be, and I would needs be satisfied with that or what is the point? I mean what is the point?

I am proud to state that the media sucks, whether it is being positive or whether it is not, the message is the same, the message is not the message at all, but the medium, and that is as corrupt as it can be, after all could it be anything else, and I suppose the media moguls are proud of that too, though I hate it all with a passionate intensity borne of a preference for renaissance culture and the first media explosion of the Gutenburg Galaxy.

Na all of this from Airstrip One looks dreadfully American, as if autism and Neurodiversity does not happen anywhere else.

Just because the mob loves it, and yes for the purposes of this critique, we are part of a mob, who still perhaps err on the side of defining ourselves by what we are not rather than what we are. And what we are is heterogeneous in every way and individual. Where does the Autism end and the Dyslexia begin, where ends my body and where does the world begin?

Na Ari, stick around for another 20 years and see what you think then when I am pushing up daisies. I hope that the landscape will be as different then beyond what we could imagine. For how other can we define our present but as a past, a wild frontier country you would not want to visit without a suit of impenetrable armour.

asansouthwestohio said...

Just to clarify, Ari is not one of the writers of this blog.

laurentius rex said...

Well Ari notwithstanding.

I think that in any media exchange, one has to ask what the media stands to gain from it, and why they are doing it, and in that capacity I have been most critical of the way in which Amanda Baggs has been represented by CNN, leading I will admit to counter accusations, that I am being a bit disengenous to expect others to have the understanding of the media that I have. Nonetheless the point is that what is sadly lacking in general society (so our sector is not entirely to blame)is a deeper media literacy that comes of deconstructing the ways in which we are represented.

Standing against blatant misrepresentations and slurs such as the kidnapping campaign is one thing, but it is the subtlety that goes unnoticed.

In that the argument is not of the White Hats against the Black Hats, whether you postulate Ari and Kristina as White hats and Lenny (pin the tail on the dorkey) as a Black Hat or the other way round.

The whole notion that Lenny is relevant to any debate is where the postulate falls down, in that he is not the real enemy, he is merely a gross representation of that, in that the real enemy is the subtle societal attitudes that ingrain disability and stigma, that militate against true acceptance, which is more than just giving equal air time, it is about doing something concrete to mediate the disadvantage that different and sometimes sub optimal neural and corporeal configurations can give in the wider constructs of society.

In this I applaud AFBH for here recent blog which reminds us that advocacy is about those unreported but important steps.

Again this is not a US thing, not a UK thing, it is happening wherever there are inequalities.

What I object to with media, to restate and conclude, is that they still represent this as a dichotomy, an argument between polar positions, (because it suits them in audience terms) rather than looking at the real issues, which have created both sets of attitudes.

asansouthwestohio said...

Yes, the media always want to reduce everything to sound bites and opposing camps, whether they are talking about disability or about anything else.

At least they are now representing us as one of the opposing camps, rather than as unfortunate objects being fought over by the two pro-cure factions.