Category Archives: Opinion

No One Should be Talking About What’s Best for Me Besides Me

I’d like to respond to “Autistic Advocates Clash with Autism Parents at Government Committee Meeting” by saying this: No one, and I mean no one, should be talking about what’s best for me besides me. Yes, my parents know me best in the world, but that doesn’t mean they know better. It perplexes me that we are having this debate still, and people don’t see how ludicrous it is to have an autistic group represented by non-autistics. Imagine the NAACP represented by whites. Recall that image of a group of white men signing legislation limiting women’s birth control… Yet it is totally okay for many autistics to be affected by the will of neurotypicals. I simply say this: If you want the views of nonverbal autistics to be heard, invite them to the table. Make sure they can access the meeting with the support they need. Seek out autistic people … Continue Reading ››

Legal Claim Autistic Rapist ‘Didn’t Know Any Better’ is Bullshit

A show that ran as long as Law & Order is, naturally, going to have some off days. I’ll admit to occasionally tuning into the show’s seemingly never-ending basic cable blocks as a guilty pleasure, but one of the telltale signs you’re about to watch one of the shitty ones is when the culprit is apprehended about 20 minutes in. When it’s taken care of that early, you know the trial portion of the episode is going to revolve around the perpetrator’s lawyer arguing that their client killing people is a medical condition or something similarly absurd. So you can imagine how irritated I was, to say the least, when someone decided to pull the same trick  in real life. The Internet is vast and contains multitudes If, for some reason, you want to identify the absolute worst people on here, there are several ways you could go. There are the … Continue Reading ››

ADAPT Action is Not the Entirety of Disability Rights

The Medicaid battle has come and gone again. Senators Graham and Cassidy came up with another plan to attack the Affordable Care Act.  Due to the arcane rules of the Senate, they had until the end of September to pass their amendment with only 51 votes (including a tie-breaker from the Vice President);  otherwise, they’ll need 60 again. Again, while this was an attack on millions of Americans, disabled and non-, the disability community in particular needed to come together to resist, because if this bill had succeeded, some disabled people who depend on Medicaid would have lost their freedom and others would have lost their lives.  The direct action group ADAPT,  which arises from the independent living movement, the most visible strand of the disability rights movement, was among the most visible to respond and played a key role in the failure of the Graham-Cassidy amendment. This is … Continue Reading ››

Martin Shkreli Doesn’t Matter, Daraprim Still $750 per Pill

Yesterday, a federal judge revoked the $5 million bail of Martin Shkreli, the infamous pharma bro. This means he is definitely going to jail while he awaits sentencing for securities fraud. The Internet, unsurprisingly, is engulfed in a paroxysm of schadenfreude. Shkreli is an easy man to hate. Whether he's offering thousands of dollars to anyone who pulls Hillary Clinton's hair out or "disrespecting the Wu-Tang Clan," Martin Shkreli is easily the most hated man in America. And you know what? I couldn't possibly care less. Daraprim still costs $750 per pill. Nothing has changed for me or anyone else who needs Daraprim. Nothing that happens to Martin Shkreli will change that. Daraprim, often inaccurately referred to as an "AIDS drug" in media coverage, treats acute toxoplasmosis infection. Toxoplasmosis can cause brain, eye, and lung  damage in fetuses and people with weakened immune … Continue Reading ››

Mental Age Theory Hurts People with Intellectual Disabilities

Have you ever heard the phrase "that person has the mind of a five year old In an adult body?" It is something many adults with intellectual disabilities, like me, have to deal with. For years, medical professionals have told parents of newly diagnosed Intellectually disabled people that they would mentally be children for their entire lives. Even through I am a 28-year-old, pregnant, married adult, as well as a faculty member at University of Washington, people still tell me that I think like a child. These words are not just offensive language. They can also take away our rights to normal adult lives.  Historically, so-called “mental age theory” has stripped people with intellectual and developmental disabilities of our dignity, our reproductive freedom and our parental rights. Age theory has also been used to strip us of the rights to make adult choices, such as buying alcohol and tobacco or having sexual … Continue Reading ››