The Kid lets his true colors show

We haven’t talked a lot about The Kid lately. This was partly because he’s not worth the time and partly because he hasn’t had a whole hell of a lot of interesting things to say. But something caught our attention the other day, something that may very well earn The Kid a nomination for this year’s Douchebag of The Year award. In a blog post titled “Neurodiversity Is Social Justice Cancer,” The Kid shows us his true colors. He managed to be racist, elitist, and ableist at the same time.

Before we move into the meat of what The Kid wrote, let’s look at the term “Social Justice Warrior.” From Wikipedia:

“‘Social justice warrior’ (commonly abbreviated SJW) is a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views; including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, political correctness, and identity politics. The accusation of being an SJW carries implications of pursuing personal validation rather than any deep-seated conviction, and being engaged in disingenuous social justice arguments or activism to raise personal reputation.”

In other words, a Social Justice Warrior (SJW) is a hypocrite. It’s someone who goes on and on about a subject but is not really wanting to act on it. Kind of like The Kid, who writes and writes about being wronged by being vaccinated and, in his world, developing autism from those vaccines. And yet, he hasn’t put together any kind of significant (or coherent) evidence for a vaccine-autism link. Now, in desperately trying to tie together SJW and neurodiversity proponents, The Kid reveals some interesting aspects about his personality. He begins:

“Today’s political and academic climate is tainted by a new wave of “Social Justice Warriors” (SJWs) – far-left activists who shirk facts for emotion and who bully people they disagree with. Their weapon of choice? Political correctness.

There are third-wave feminists who exaggerate sexual assault statistics, who fabricate claims that men have higher wages than women and who advocate the killing of all white men. There is the Black Lives Matter movement which has proven itself to be a form of social justice cancer similar to feminism – advocating racially segregated dormitories and the murder of police officers (two of whom were actually murdered in New York City by a BLM supporter). But there is yet another incarnation of so-called “social justice” that has proven itself quite destructive despite catering to a smaller community: Neurodiversity.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, sexual assaults don’t happen as often as they do because of feminists. Feminists also exaggerate that there is a wage gap between genders. And the Black Lives Matter folks? Why they are racists and cop-killers. And thrown into the bunch are the growing number of scientists and autism advocates who are discovering and supporting the idea of neurodiversity. Everyone’s a liar or a hypocrite on these things, it seems.

To support his assertions about feminists and Black Lives Matter, The Kid links to some racist, elitists, and misogynistic blog posts and web sites, naturally. (He is yet to support any of his assertions with something that disagrees with his world view. Or, if he has, I’ve missed it.) Then he goes hard after Ari Ne’eman and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network:

“Recently, people in Ari Ne’eman’s group protested a screening of the documentary film Vaxxed despite never having seen it and had the nerve to argue that people hosting the venue did not have a right to film them protesting. They further dismissed the film’s director on the basis that he has no medical license, yet members of ASAN can join and consider themselves “autistic” even if they have no real diagnosis – merely if they “self-identify” as such.

While ASAN and neurodiversity claim in principle that having autism as as inevitable as being black, in practice being “autistic” to them is essentially a choice. Not only does ASAN hardly represent the autism community, some of them do not represent it at all. Moreover, many neurodiversity “autistic” self-advocates appear to be disproportionately women – especially strange considering that there are far more men and boys diagnosed with autism than there are women and girls. These folks – Ari Ne’eman included – also identify as feminists. It is hardly surprising then that neurodiversity is intimately linked with other contemporary social justice cancers that are using political correctness to advance their destructive goals.”

This is not the first time that The Kid has lost his marbles over Mr. Ne’eman. A few years ago, he went after Mr. Ne’eman on a blog post on Age of Autism because President Obama appointed Mr. Ne’eman to the National Council on Disability:

“Well President Obama, this “fine individual,” Ari Ne’eman, who you are nominating to a position on a disability council, was quoted as indicating that autism is not a disability. In an essay he wrote about autism, Ari concludes by saying, “Difference is not disability.” Furthermore, he told Newsweek that autism is not a medical mystery that needs solving, he said on Good Morning America last year that being anti-cure is not anti-progress, speaking above a superimposed caption that read, “There’s nothing wrong with us! Autistic and proud!”

Ari has called the vaccine-autism link “pseudoscience,” an assertion with no basis in science other than phony reports put out by phony scientists with drug ties to protect their employers from litigation. He has also descended further into espousing belief in outright epidemic denialism, citing an earlier diagnosis of his with ADHD as misguided proof that the tremendous growth in autism, is merely due to “better diagnosing. This does not explain an increase from 3 in 10,000 with autism spectrum disorders twenty years ago to 100 in 10,000 with autism spectrum disorders today.

Not only does he impose his views onto others based on his limited experience, but even on no experience. Ari Ne’eman has made comments about employment, speaking before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, despite having no work experience of his own whatsoever. (This was confirmed in an email from him to Jonathan Mitchell.) Ari stated that social pleasantry should be eliminated from the workplace. As a person with an autism spectrum disorder who has job experience and suffered as a result of having a very abusive boss, I take great objection to what he said, given his non-existent work experience.

Is this the kind of person we want serving in the new presidential administration? Do we want him on a council on disability policy when he does not even see autism as a disability, at least not in the classic sense of the word?”

See, for The Kid and so many others in the anti-vaccine cult, the fact that people like Ari Ne’eman and others want autistics to be accepted is some sort of an unforgivable sin. I guess that, in their view, if society accepts a person with autism as a person, then they lose any kind of ability to call autism a “tragedy” (or worse). They can’t say that their children are “lost” or “dead” due to autism. And they’ll probably have to come to terms with the fact that autism cannot be cured… And preventing it is akin to wanting to prevent someone from existing because of the way they were created/conceived/born.

But the clincher for us on why The Kid is an elitist racist misogynist is his closing paragraph on his “neurodiversity is cancer” post:

“It is shameful to think that politicians are catering to these groups. Fortunately, one presidential candidate – presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump – does not give in to such nonsense. Autism Investigated wants an honest president who speaks his mind, who slams Crooked Hillary Clinton and her shameless abuse of the woman card, who rebukes Black Lives Matter by emphasizing that all lives matter and who acknowledges that autism is an epidemic caused by vaccination instead of taking autism policy advice from the likes of Ari Ne’eman. If elected, Donald Trump will be that president who will acknowledge these harmful social justice movements – whether they be feminists, Black Lives Matter or neurodiversity – for what they are:

Cancer.”

Yes, to The Kid, people who want gender equality, civil rights protections, and acknowledgement of autistics as people and not broken things, to him all these people are cancer. To him, Donald Trump is a savior. Think about that for a second, because this is the same kid who is working on a doctoral degree in epidemiology at the University of Texas (where his uncle is on the board of regents). If the fact that someone like The Kid is getting a PhD in epidemiology doesn’t give you pause, I don’t know what will.

God help us all.

Sincerely,

The Poxes

(See what we did there?)

 

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A blood test for prenatal autism? What could possibly go wrong?

(UPDATE 1-20-15: The reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune has contacted us to point out that, “contrary to the original article, the reporter has corrected the story to reflect that the test is not being promoted for use during pregnancy” as was previously attributed to the CEO of the company, Ms. D’Alvise. See his comment below or click here.)

Back in 2013, the UC Davis MIND institute put out some research into maternal antibodies and their association with autism:

“UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have identified the specific antibodies that target fetal brain proteins in the blood of a subset of women whose children are diagnosed with autism. The finding is the first to pinpoint a specific risk factor for a significant subset of autism cases, as well as a biomarker for drug development and early diagnosis. The researchers have named autism related to these antibodies “Maternal Autoantibody-Related,” or MAR autism.

The study found that the mothers of children with autism were more than 21 times as likely to have the specific MAR antibodies in their systems that reacted with fetal brain proteins, or antigens, than were the mothers of children who did not have autism. In fact, specific combinations of MAR antibodies were not found in the blood of mothers whose children were typically developing.”

From that research — or some variation of it — comes word of a new blood test that expectant mothers can take to find out if they’re at an increased risk of having an autistic child:

“A blood test for one of the most common forms of autism is due to be launched in the third quarter of 2015, San Diego’s Pediatric Bioscience said Wednesday.

The test identifies maternal antibodies that interfere with prenatal brain development, the company says. These antibodies are implicated in a form of autism spectrum disorder representing 23 percent of all cases. The test can help with early diagnosis or steer potential mothers toward alternatives such as surrogate pregnancy.

The antibody test delivers a false positive response just 1.3 percent of the time, making it highly predictive, said Jan D’Alvise, president and chief executive of privately held Pediatric Bioscience. D’Alvise spoke at the Biotech Showcase conference in San Francisco, an annual meeting of biotech investors and companies held concurrently with the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.”

If I were an unethical son of a bitch, I would invest heavily in this company because that test is going to sell like hotcakes at Pamela’s on a cold Pittsburgh morning.

I say unethical because the research looking into the maternal autoantibodies and autism didn’t come up with any causal association between the antibodies and the children’s autism. It’s an interesting theory that boils down to, “We found these antibodies in a lot of the women who had autistic children. Not all of them, but a lot of them. These antibodies seem to target the unborn fetus’ brain, so it stands to reason that they may cause some sort of damage that leads to autism.” It’s not their words, but it’s something that I’m hearing in my mind as I read their paper. It’s something I’m sure a reasonable person might interpret as a test that can predict autism. I feel it would be unethical for me to profit off of something so seemingly unnecessary.

This is troubling to me because autism is so often referred to as a “disease” or as “brain damage” by many people claiming to know more about autism than they do. It is also troubling because the research doesn’t seem to show any prediction for how “severe” or socially impairing the autism will be. The mother with the positive test has a higher-than-expected chance of having an autistic child, but the test will in no way predict the degree to which the child will be able to be part of society. There is the very real possibility that mothers (and fathers, but it’s the mother’s decision) will want to terminate the pregnancy out of fear of having a “brain damaged” child.

(I can feel my blood pressure rising at the thought of ignorant fools calling autistics “brain damaged.”)

The test only really tells a person that they have these antibodies. It doesn’t say whether or not the antibodies cause the autism. That’s why the researchers call them autism related antibodies, not autism causing antibodies. I don’t think from the research that they can make that claim. A similar argument could be made that autism is genetic, and that those genes are present in the mother and causing those autoantibodies to be produced by the mother. The genes are then passed on to the child and the child develops autism. In short, there is way too much that we don’t know about autism.

One thing we do know is that vaccines don’t cause autism, of course.

Here’s the weirdest part of it all: From Pediatric Bioscience, the makers of the test, we learn the recommended reasons for having the test done:

“The MAR antibody test should be ordered on three types of “at risk” women : 1) Women of child-bearing age who have already had a child with autism, 2) Mothers of young children in need of a diagnosis for their child’s perceived developmental delay, and 3) Women over the age of 30 who are at least 2 times more likely to give birth to an autistic child. Specifically, women in this group who are considering In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to become pregnant may want to consider taking the test before they proceed with the procedure. The MAR test is not intended for pregnant women or women who think that they may be pregnant.”

Read that last sentence and marvel at the contradiction from what Jan D’Alvise, president of the company marketing the test, said to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“If a pregnant women gets a positive diagnosis, preparations can begin before birth to get the child into therapy if needed, D’Alvise said. Or a baby showing delays in development can be diagnosed faster if the mother tests positive.”

Which is it? Either the test is not to be done on pregnant women or it is. It is very possible that Ms. D’Alvise didn’t know that their website states that the test is not intended for pregnant women or that the website is outdated and their test is now to be used on pregnant women who think their unborn child may be autistic. Either way, the message is fuzzy on whether or not this test will be able to tell with 100% certainty that the unborn child (or any future children) will be autistic.

(UPDATE 1-20-15: The reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune has contacted us to point out that, “contrary to the original article, the reporter has corrected the story to reflect that the test is not being promoted for use during pregnancy” as was previously attributed to the CEO of the company, Ms. D’Alvise. See his comment below or click here.)

The test is said to cost $1,000. No word on whether or not health insurance will pay for it, or what additional steps should be taken for a positive test. There is also no word on what the FDA has to say about this test. We’ll be on the lookout for their opinion. In the meantime, there’s a little something we need to talk about next time.