Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Say it Ain't So, Joe






Arrrrrggggh ...

After hearing of the horrendous shootings in a Colorado movie theater, I mentioned to my wife Liz that "At least no one has mentioned the 'A word'".  "What?" she said.  "You know, said that the shooter was autistic".

The next day, I hear that news commentator Joe Scarborough said,


"As soon as I hear about this shooting, I knew who it was. I knew it was a young, white male, probably from an affluent neighborhood, disconnected from society — it happens time and time again. Most of it has to do with mental health; you have these people that are somewhere, I believe, on the autism scale," said Scarborough, whose son has Asperger's syndrome. "I don't know if that's the case here, but it happens more often than not. People that can walk around in society, they can function on college campuses — they can even excel on college campuses — but are socially disconnected."


 While I've come to expect such drivel from uniformed people that lump all seemingly similar things together, do I really want to get the same stuff from someone who is the father of someone on the autism scale spectrum?  No.

Well, old Joe felt the heat after his comments, and has backpedaled.

But that's not what bothers me. 

What bothers me is that Joe Scarborough has outed himself as one wholly disconnected father.  I mean, come on.  Who that has someone autistic in their family refers to them as being on the autism scale?  I mean, what responsible parent hasn't been to enough IEP meetings, read enough literature, talked enough to know that it's the autism spectrum?  And who, who has a son that struggles to be understood and to fit in, would even think of associating autism with what happened in Colorado?  I mean, how exactly will such comments lead to greater understanding and acceptance of those who are autistic?

Joe's phoning it in.  It appears he's the dad that mothers all complain about.  The one that disengages, backs off, and lets mom handle it.  The ugly, stereotypical disconnected dad. 

I'm sorry for Joe, and more sorry for Mrs. Scarborough and their son.

4 comments:

farmwifetwo said...

My Husband would be "disconnected" but since I'm currently a "farm widow" this summer with the drought... someone's gotta do it. There's a reason I'm a SAHM and we've agreed that he gets an opinion but no say in the end.

As for the "disconnect" there's a reason the Counselor is coming this fall to attempt to plow through the ToM issues I'm having with my "going into Gr 8" son.

Sorry, ToM exists. Mine's fits the definition of sociopath to a "T". Lack of "give a shit" exists in the HFA crowd. The school wasn't surprised... they do this daily. I was told when my son was 6 that the biggest behaviour group isn't the low function but the high one.

I know, I know, the autism crowd wants to tell you it's all roses. Can't blame them. But many, many "passing for normal" highly educated, socially disconnect people exist. Autism is a lack of social connectivity. Period.

Maybe the shooter has autism, maybe he doesn't... but that's up for the psych's to decide. What the autism community needs to do is learn to admit ToM exists. That just because you know the right things to say or feel doesn't mean you do. Truth is, the more I read about their "empathy" the more I realize many don't know the meaning of the word. They know what they should or should not do but it's not instinctive. Then as a group you can move forward and address the social disconnect that exists... it's not a "way of being", it's a "way of not being able to participate"... which worst case scenerio... disaster.

I am addressing the issue... are others???

Happy Elf Mom said...

Not all autistics are psycho. And while I wouldn't want newscasters to pretend everything is a bed of roses, I also wouldn't want them to link "mass murderer psychopath/ sociopath/ wacko/ whatever the medical term is this week" with "autistic." Because it just isn't so.

Anyway, Joe, I'm not so surprised people would have all kinds of opinions about autistics or whatever. What continues to surprise me but probably shouldn't is that they have such a wide audience and need to say so little in "clarification" after they have been so horrid on air.

Club 166 said...

Thanks for the comments.

@FW2,

I have never said that autism is a "bed of roses". Neither does my autistic son.

What concerns me is that you say your son fits the definition of sociopath "to a T". The medical term for sociopath is one who has Antisocial Personality Disorder. The DSM-IV criteria are as follows:

[quote]
A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:

failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;

B) The individual is at least age 18 years.
C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode. [/quote]

So, first of all, is your son at least 18? Because if he isn't, he doesn't qualify.

Yes, there are similarities between the difficulty in socialization inherent with autism and that manifested by ASPD. But those with ASPD usually form relationships quite easily, but only to use the other person, whom they despise as weak. Somehow I doubt your son fits that, but only you can tell.

Joe

Club 166 said...

Oh, and the main reason I posted this was my being upset that a father of someone on the autism spectrum could be so clueless regarding his kid. So clueless that he doesn't even realize that by opening his mouth on the subject he's making a fool of himself.

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, then to open it up and remove all doubt."

Joe