Monday, March 03, 2008

But do I exist?

The Autist looked into the myriad fragments
Of the shattered mirror to find himself
He did not see any autism
For he was not there.

Discusss .....

12 comments:

David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction) said...

That is you can't, you know, tune in, but it's all right... that is I think it's not too bad!

;)

How's the doctoral stuff going, Larry?

Best,
David

jonathan said...

if a tree falls in a forest 100 miles away do you hear it? does it exist?

tinted said...

Perhaps, like the Lady of Shalott, you should not have looked beyond the mirror.

laurentius rex said...

Tirra Lirra by the river, sang Sir Lancelot.

laurentius rex said...

The progress on the doctorate is slow and hampered by lack of finance to reimburse volunteers, meaning I may have to revise some aspects of the experiment to include distant people.

I have also met with some resistance in recruiting volunteers lately from a particular college whom I shall not name on this occasion (it's not City College)
whereby I suspect an over protective attitude towards a cohort one of whom I was recently, in itself potentially eliciting a discourse of disempowerment that certain quarters deem it impossible for an aspie to understand the ethical demands of becoming a researcher, never mind the veiled threat of one of us claiming intellectual parity that threatens the distance between non disabled staff and disabled student.

It's all very well for SBC and his crew, all that goes on at Cambridge is bankrolled by eminences' grise

"our" compliance with research that further subjectivises us in accordance with bankrupt theories is bought with bribes.

I am sick of diagnostic schedules that pathologise a propensity toward non social pastime and characterise us as passionless automata.

Marla said...

Very deep poem. I like it.

David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction) said...

"I am sick of diagnostic schedules that pathologise a propensity toward non social pastime and characterise us as passionless automata."

Me too. It's especially crappy when the criteria become the means by which services are given (as opposed to the actually needs of the person concerned). This seems to be how Autismisäätiö have operated in my case: they don't seem to get it that - even on the autistic spectrum/landscape - people are not all the same... we are individuals, each with our individual strengths and needs.

Been finding out how bloody nasty Finnish universities are, recently. I know that, if I won the lottery here or if I made a fortune some how, I would have no difficulties getting to do research the University of Birmingham for a Ph. D., because they look at the qualities that make for a good researcher and for issues that make a good topic. In Finland, the situation is almost the opposite: if you haven't jumped through enough hoops, and if your topic isn't on the very restrictive list of professors' topics, then they don't want to know. Add to that the fact that - if you're foreign - you'll never be good enough (Suomi suomalaisille, ei kenellekään muu). And then stick into the mix the fact of being a 'mental defective' (in the minds of most professors in Finland, who are so far behind the rest of the world it's bloody unreal!)... well, you can see where it gets one to even try to do well here in Finland.

Only thing I can think of is that Finnish universities must be pretty piss-poor institutions, if they don't want non-Finnish people in them. If they were any good, they'd be falling over themselves trying to get foreigners in, to see how good they are.

Yakoub said...

I'm with narrative psychologists such as Michael L. Crossley who argue that people can take an active role in constructing their own identities...

Crossley, M. L. (2000) 'Introducing Narrative Psychology: self, trauma and the construction of meaning' (Buckingham: Open University Press)

laurentius rex said...

Not read that one, I will have to, but I am familiar with the construction of disability identities and of course recognise the role that the media play in this.

The thing is I do not believe that all identities that can be constructed are beneficial ones, particularly the kind of reaction to an exogenously imposed and societally constructed disability identity that manifests itself in a notion of superiority and leads in effect to bullying.

Inevitably given the perspective I come from questions of identity will inform my research at some point as my supervisor comes from a similar perspective which is rare in autism academics.

HedgehogMD said...

Greetings!
My name is Sarah Edwards, and I am an Aspie (a.k.a. I have Asperger’s Syndrome) and I am a medical student.

I am working with another medical student, Sara Dungavell, on an ethics project about the meaning of words. We are working under the supervision of an ethicist named Dr. Jeff Nisker. Sara and I noticed that the common meanings of the words, “human”, “fully-functional” and “normal”, as well as how the words related to each other, get used to keep people on the Spectrum separate from mainstream society. We think in part it is because the definitions come from people outside the community.

We want to know how people within or associated with the Spectrum define these words for themselves, so we are asking some bloggers who are part of the Spectrum community if they would like to give us their own definitions. We found your blog, and that’s why we are e-mailing you and several other bloggers.

Once we’ve gathered these new definitions, we plan on analyzing them for common themes about what “normal”, “human”, and “fully-functional” mean and how they are related to each other. We plan on presenting these definitions and analyses to other medical students and the academic community to try and get them thinking about people on the Spectrum differently.

Attached to this email is a letter of information that explains what the project is about again, and then at the end it asks for your definitions of “normal”, “human” and “fully-functional”.

Okay so obviously this is not the actual email but should you wish to participate please email me and I will send the actual email on.

Please read the letter, and then if you want to help us by being part of the research, email us back your definitions and any comments you might have about them. There are no right answers, please just tell us what your definitions are of these words and what they mean to you. Also if you know anyone else who might want to contribute please feel free to email this letter to them too. Feel free to answer beyond the scope of the definitions if you wish or to answer only one or two of the definitions. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to know more about what we are researching, please email me and ask them.

Thank you,
Sarah Edwards

M.D. Class of 2010
Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
The University of Western Ontario
sedwards2010@meds.uwo.ca

laurentius rex said...

Well Sarah you are persistent, I will grant you that.

I think I defined human some time ago in another blog as something which is neither chimpanzee, robot nor Stephen Pinker :)

http://tinyurl.com/yrxnhj

laurentius rex said...

And for as scholarly a definition of the origins of the concepts of normality that you are ever likely to find:

http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/excerpts/DFTDtwo.html

And this was written before Nadesan, and Grinker waltzed in and colonised our landscape with there sociological theories. Yep there is no new thing under the sun.