On Creating "Social Apps" for Autistic Kids

Photo © Shannon Des Roches Rosa
[image: Leo chilling in a medical office
lobby, with an iPhone and headphones.]
I don't do as much autism and tech advising as I used to do back in those frontier iPad days, but people still ask me about best practices for tech and autism, especially about apps and games for supporting autistic kids in the area of social skills.

And here is what I recommend: Tap into resources on how to create software and social approaches that actually help autistic kids, instead of trying to get those kids to conform to non-autistic social rules. It's not that learning the "hidden curriculum" (as Judy Endow writes) isn't important and useful, but it's that all the burden is usually placed on the autistic kids to change their behavior, when often they aren't doing anything wrong, just different, or for different reasons or perspectives.

Here are some starting materials, please feel free to suggest more:


In a Different Key and The Hypocrisy of Mainstream Autism Coverage

Last night I attended John Donvan's and Caren Zucker's talk at Stanford University, in which they discussed their "Story of Autism" book In a Different Key and its forthcoming film. I should be clear: I am not impressed by the authors or their book, as I find both hypocritical and disingenuous: belittling autistic people who stand up for the rights of autistic people of all abilities, while lauding parents who are equally unapologetic in fighting for their autistic kids' rights; framing the murder of disabled children as the unforgivable act it is when Nazis do it, but as somehow understandable when "loving" parents do it.

Photo via SF Autism Society's public Twitter feed
[image: In a Different Key co-authors John Donvan and Caren Zucker,
seated and laughing together during yesterday's talk at Stanford.]
Still, I went, because I was hoping Zucker and Donvan had absorbed some community feedback about the messages their book got wrong in 2016, and that maybe now they would have better messages for the audience, and in their film.

No such luck: They doubled down on matters like ABA apologetics, and also on their disdain for autistic self-advocates—who in their opinion aren't really disabled. They even claimed that Steve Silberman's book NeuroTribes, which is also an autism history and which was published a few months before their own book, is more about making self-advocates proud, as opposed to their book which tells the stories of higher-support autistic people. Which is quite the headspin for me, given that an entire chapter of Silberman's book is about ... my son Leo.

I really need to stop being surprised when banner-carriers for mainstream attitudes about autism reject the insights and grievances of autistic people (when they don't support the authors' preconceived notions, at least). Sitting in that audience was not that different from watching Brett Kavanaugh's indignation during his confirmation hearing: Zucker and Donvan also were upset when the people their work harms spoke out, and also invoked their work on behalf of people with disabilities as a Good Character Free Pass. Nor is it surprising that they and their host kept mentioning In a Different Key's Pulitzer nomination: Yep, the mainstream U.S. media gave a high-profile book about autism but excluding self-advocate voices its imprimatur. This is not a shock to anyone who has watched a parallel mainstream media industry shower its highest honors, the Academy Awards, on non-disabled actors who play disabled characters.

The talk wasn't all awful: Caren Zucker made a case for radical inclusion using the example of Donald Triplett, and showed wonderful footage of him living a happy live in an accepting and supportive community. That part was fricking fantastic, and I hope that message dominates the film. I am also glad the movie is covering police mistreatment of autistic people.

And even though I was too upset by all the above to speak during Q and A, autism researcher Dr. Deb Karhson was there—and she asked the authors about how they managed to get access to Asperger's papers when Silberman was asking for them at the same time yet was rebuffed. John Donvan then admitted, for the first time in public, as far as I know, that yes, they did enter into an exclusive agreement with researcher Herwig Czech (who then stonewalled Silberman). Which puts Zucker and Donvan's past behavior—allowing Silberman to be publicly criticized for championing Asperger in NeuroTribes, after In a Different Key was released with publicity emphasizing "the real Asperger story" of complicity in Nazi murders of disabled children—in a very sketchy light.

Anyhow. They suck and I knew that. But now I have more details? Here is my live-tweeted coverage:


In A Different Key: Not The Autism Book You're Looking For (Live-Tweeted Review)

Content note for abuse and murder of autistic people.

I live-tweeted my reading of John Donvan's and Caren Zucker's "The Story of Autism" book In A Different Key when it was first published in early 2016. As the Storify platform my live-tweet compilation was originally published at has since gone under, I am republishing it here.

Verdict: Though well-intended and containing some interesting points, In a Different Key lacks empathy for autistic people themselves—even justifying parents murdering their autistic children. It also contains sloppy factual errors. Details in tweets/RTs below.

For other perspectives on the book, see relevant writings and reviews, also from 2016:
Note that in the interim, additional information has emerged about the details of Hans Asperger's work with the Nazi regime, and also also the regarding how researcher Herman Czech specifically kept this information away from NeuroTribes author Steve Silberman despite repeated requests, yet shared it with Donvan and Zucker during the two books' parallel writing period. For details, see Silberman's "conversation across neurologies" with Max Sparrow, on "how competition for priority can distort the process of excavating history."

Live-Tweets (From 140-character-era Twitter)

  • Live-tweeting my read of new book #InADifferentKey, from my perspective as a parent of a 1:1 #autistic teen, and a #neurodiversity supporter.

  • Tone of #InADifferentKey from page one: focus on “forms” of #autism, rather than very real, unifying #autistic commonalities. #NotHelpful
  • Also #InADifferentKey page 1: Parents fatalistic over not being able to “give” their child speech. Communication=more than speech. #autism
  • Parents need to hear that all communication is valid. Focusing on speech when other options available = damaging.. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Focusing on the audience crying when an #autistic girl “awkwardly” hugs Katy Perry is inspiration porn. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Parent voices = most “constant presence” in #autism history only b/c #autistic adults = unrecognized for most of 20th cent. #InADifferentKey
  • Donald Triplett’s #autistic perception of the world is characterized as “inflexibility,” rather than his reality. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Stop bemoaning that #autistic kids don’t show affection like non-autistic kids. How about focusing on how they DO? #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Leaning against one’s parent if eye contact & touch are extremely aversive is an *extraordinary* show of affection. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Of course it’s hard for non-autistic parents, if they don’t understand #autistic kids may express love differently. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Glad clinical roots of terms like “idiot” are discussed — hopefully will help folks understand objections to usage. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Social shaming prevented parents of kids w/disabilities from talking to each other, forming community, for decades. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Professional shaming dehumanized kids w/disabilities as “burdens,” families were *always* told to institutionalize. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Prev. eras: Parents were told it wasn’t “fair” to them, “normal” siblings to raise kids w/disabilities at home. :( #InADifferentKey #autism
    Sun, Jan 17 2016 02:01:21
  • Donald Triplett’s preference for things over people makes #autistic sense — people are unpredictable, thus scary. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Kanner recognized that, even when he began identifying kids as #autistic, “[#autism] was there before.” #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Retro-diagnosing historical figures as probably #autistic is not a new thing; happened during Kanner’s era, too. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Autistic developmental trajectories differ from “typical” ones, but Triplett exemplifies how development continues. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Donald Triplett isn’t “proof that some leave the most debilitating aspects of #autism behind," but proof of #neurodiversity #InADifferentKey
  • #InADifferentKey’s phrasings perpetuate bias: D. Triplett is declared "a strange kid," rather than *perceived* as strange by others. #autism
  • Later, however, Triplett described as “strangest-seeming” kid. Much better, making difference about perception. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • “It was a challenge to be friends with Donald [Triplett].” Well, not all #Autistic kids seek or desire friendship. #InADifferentKey autism
  • Eventually, Donald Triplett had acceptance of his family, & allies who fought off bullies at high school. Good. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Donald Triplett’s visibility & inclusion lead to eventual community acceptance. We need more of that, even today. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • The horrifying cruelty of the “Refrigerator Mother” label cannot be (re)emphasized enough, as #InADifferentKey recognizes. #autism
  • Long-standing negative media bias: @TIME covered #autism only after Kanner switched f/Inborn to Refrigerator Mother origin. #InADifferentKey
  • I would have been broken by the Refrigerator Mother #autism professionals, had my son and I lived in that era. Devastating. #InADifferentKey
  • Rimland discovered most “refrigerator mothers” had non-autistic as well as #autistic kids -- theory wasn't evidence-based. #InADifferentKey
  • Again with #InADifferentKey terminology. “Head bangers” are 80s/90s rockers. Otherwise, head banging is what a person does, not an identity.
  • “Tragic tendency of #autism advocacy groups” to turn on each other. No—Infighting b/t passionate folk happens w/ALL groups. #InADifferentKey
    Tues, Jan 19 2016 10:44:11
  • Many horrors against #autistic people included #InADifferentKey; worst so far: authors implying Dougie Gibson’s murder was a “mercy killing"
  • [image: Photo from the page of In A Different Key in which
    Dougie Gibson's murder is called a "mercy killing."]
  • It should never ever EVER be implied that killing an innocent #autistic person is a desperate parent’s only choice. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • "Desperate parents driven to murder” is one of the most dangerous, pernicious autism myths. There are always other choices. #InADifferentKey
  • #Autistic kids & families need & deserve support. But should NEVER be implied that, sans supports, murder = understandable. #InADifferentKey
  • Dougie Gibson was a murder victim. Yet #InADifferentKey dwells on and sympathizes with the story of the father who killed him. #autism
  • BTW, you know who also wrote about lack of supports justifying parents’ murder of their #autistic kids? Andrew Wakefield. #InADifferentKey
  • Dougie Gibson’s father convicted of murder, accd’ing to #InADifferentKey, only b/c jury didn’t get how hard “severe” #autism is—on parents.
  • Other #autism parents recognized the despair of Dougie Gibson’s father, argues #InADifferentKey, in defense of murdering #autistic children.
  • Which is worse: The systematic horrors of state institutions for #autism etc, or public’s systematic amnesia about them? #InADifferentKey
  • While #InADifferentKey constantly describes #autism as extreme hardship for parents, it pays little attention to #autistic kids themselves.
  • Seems like #InADifferentKey could at least consider the misery of an #autistic child who is constantly being misunderstood and unaccommodated.
  • In what universe is it OK or amusing to lock a non-speaking #autistic child in a room with an IRS agent to escape an audit? #InADifferentKey
  • #InADifferentKey is frustrating: The history of how #autistic kids became visible and educated matters. But so does honoring their humanity.
  • Distressed to think of the Archie Castos we’ll never know about; all the #autistic folk institutionalized, then forgotten. #InADifferentKey
  • It’s depressing, all the ways people have tried to force #autistic kids to talk: LSD, shock treatments, beatings. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • The 12-inch cattle prod that Lovaas used on #autistic children entrusted to his care at UCLA delivered 1,400 volts. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Lovaas’s cattle prod felt like “having a tooth drilled by a dentist who had run out of Novocain” Those poor #autistic kids. #InADifferentKey
  • (I took classes at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric institute — where Lovaas worked — as a student in the late '80s. Am nauseated.)
  • When #autistic children are self-injurious, usually a good reason, like illness/sensory. Yet #InADifferentKey characterizes as “behavior.”
  • It may take time/sleuthing to find out why a kid is self-injurious, but the cause is rarely merely “being #autistic.” cc: #InADifferentKey
  • Even tho not understood in Lovaas's time, would be helpful to let readers know #autistic “stimming” helps self-regulation. #InADifferentKey
  • “Lovaas achieved similar mastery of the self-destructiveness of two other children,” i.e., he abused them into submission. #InADifferentKey
  • #InADifferentKey is frank about Lovaas’s abuses of #autistic children, but doesn’t exactly condemn them, either, not when they “worked."
  • Did not realize that Rimland essentially pimped/proselytized for Lovaas, in recruiting parents for ABA. #InADifferentKey
  • Interested to hear about the background and development of the TEACCH method. Somewhat like ABA, sans cattle prods. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • TEACCH methods are still widely used to educate #autistic students—in fact, it’s the method my son’s school employs. #InADifferentKey
  • Oh FFS. Families do not “deal with #autism.” That is no way to describe parenting ANY child, in need of support, or not. #InADifferentKey
  • When Lovaas had his second heyday in the '80s, he was careful to avoid “cure,” used euphemism “recovered” instead. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • You want to talk gnarly infighting? How about the extended, public, litigious Schopler (TEACCH)/Lovaas (ABA) brawl? #InADifferent #autism
  • “Schopler believed Lovaas had played [..] with the scientific truth, & that people would get hurt…” A valid fear indeed. #InADifferentKey
  • Things ABA proponents tend not to mention: Lovaas’s own results were unreplicated, therefore scientifically questionable. #InADifferentKey
  • #InADifferentKey describes support for Lovaas/ABA methods stagnating— until catalyzed by the publication of Let Me Hear Your Voice. #autism
  • Recently told a friend in Ghana that US didn’t guarantee special education until the IDEA passed in 1990. She was aghast. #InADifferentKey
  • Past US researchers tended to see #autism as an emergency, British researchers tended to want to understand it. Still true. #InADifferentKey
  • Briton Sybil Elgar’s early 1960s insight: “Visual processing tends to trump auditory processing in some kids with #autism.” #InADifferentKey
  • First official UK #autism prevalence rate of 4.5/10,000 was completely arbitrary, by researcher Lotter’s own admission. #InADifferentKey
  • .@utafrith’s early research w/#autistic kids confirmed that, for many, visual processing trumped auditory. #InADifferentKey
  • Genetics, & the possibility of their influencing cognition/development, was a psychiatry taboo mid-20th century. #autism #InADifferentKey
  • Genetics matter in #autism. This has been clear since Rutter's & Holstein’s 1974 UK twin studies. #InADifferentKey
  • When @sbaroncohen first ran Sally-Ann Theory of Mind tests, not every #autistic kid failed. 15% didn’t, in fact. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Again #InADifferentKey dehumanizes: Lorna Wing unique among researchers in going "home to #autism at night,” rather than home to her child.
  • Why is #InADifferentKey so sympathetic to Lorna Wing’s efforts to expand the #autism spectrum, yet so often hostile to those she included?
  • You can read Lorna Wing’s original paper "Asperger Syndrome: A Clinical Account" here:  http://www.mugsy.org/wing2.htm  #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Lorna Wing created “Asperger syndrome” not to differentiate #autistic people f/each other, but to get them needed supports. #InADifferentKey
  • #InADifferentKey’s bias against Hans Asperger, in featuring only mostly his negative statements re: the boys he treated, is iffy journalism.
  • Hans Asperger saw “complete agreement in some respects” between the kids he reported on, & those Leo Kanner’s saw. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Seems odd for #InADifferentKey to insist Asperger only studied Asperger-y #autistic kids, when historical record shows otherwise. #autism
  • Wish #InADifferentKey would stop with “families dealing with" #autism or DD, say “families who try to support their #autistic kids” instead.
  • #InADifferentKey is correct that many families of #autistic kids actively fight acceptance, in actively try to find “real” child inside. :(
  • Irresponsible: #InADifferentKey focuses on desperation of parents to communicate w/#autistic kids when result is tragedy, ignores valid AAC.
  • Everyone can communicate. We need to find better support strategies, not belabor well-known communication failures. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Many #autistic people can’t speak/react typically due to motor/processing difficulties. #InADifferentKey has yet to consider that (p. 371).
  • #InADifferentKey oversimplifies, cites “acrimony” between those who view #autism as tragedy, & those who view it as gift/identity. (1)
  • Complaints re: “#autism is a gift” = misinterpretations of #autistic folk demanding recognizing abilities *&* disabilities. #InADifferentKey
  • Was 2013 DSM #autism revision more contentious than previous—or was it merely 1st in which #autistic people participated? #InADifferentKey
  • #InADifferentKey doesn’t actually mention #autistic participation in 2013 DSM; only mentions #autism revision being particularly contentious
  • Was Asperger an #autism criteria “splitter,” not a “lumper” like Wing? Or did he merely defer to Kanner’s territorialism? #InADifferentKey
  • #InADifferentKey’s authors must now buy the entire internet a drink, due to invoking cancer analogies in discussing #autistic heterogeneity.
  • Apologies that it's taking me so long to live-tweet reading #InADifferentKey: 1) Life interrupts & 2) It’s painful to read, on many levels.
  • Kids like Dov Shestack are both chronically ill *and* #autistic. Co-occurring. Illness is not, as #InADifferentKey suggests, part of #autism.
  • #InADifferentKey readers: #autistic people do indeed have higher rates of co-occuring medical conditions. But #autism is *not* medical.
  • Yes, $$ can influence direction of #autism research, as #InADifferentKey notes. Hence need for skepticism, reliance on unbiased expertise.
  • Most non-scientists don’t have a clue about differentiating b/t good and questionable #autism science. Why so many get duped. #InADifferentKey
  • Pseudo- or misguided #autism science (ECT for “behaviors," epigenetic causation) look plausible to lay folk yet horrify ethical researchers.
  • Dehumanizing phrases to avoid, yet used in #InADifferentKey: “Living with #autism” when discussing parent rather than #autistic experiences.
  • Unsurprised to learn ‘90s era org Cure Autism Now had a veto-enabled parent-only science advisory board. #InADifferentKey #autism
  • Interesting to read about IMFAR/Int’l Meeting For #Autism Research roots as a joint CAN/NAAR curebie/biomed initiative, in #InADifferentKey.
  • If only books like #InADifferentKey could focus on *why* an #autistic person might smear poop, instead of framing as horrorshow for parents.
  • @SherriPizza lots of possible reasons:  http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/2016/01/when-autistic-kids-and-teens-are.html  & yes cleanup sucks. But focus on the act too often used to dehumanize person
  • @SherriPizza Different when people talk privately. Book broadcasts an #autistic kid’s misunderstood struggles as horror for parents only.
  • @SherriPizza It’s not that parents aren’t allowed to have feelings. It’s that #InADifferentKey is ~exclusively about parent perspectives.
  • @SherriPizza And yes, it can be desperately lonely as a parents. But books like #InADifferentKey make it worse, IMHO, by compounding stigma.
  • Good to see #InADifferentKey acknowledge (tho 3/4 thru): #autistic insights are lifelines for parents who struggle to understand their kids.
  • #InADifferentKey, like #NeuroTribes before it, has good info on backstory of Rain Man.
  • It’s not for #InADifferentKey’s non-#autistic authors to declare Dustin Hoffman’s #autism portrayal “flawless.” Ask #ActuallyAutistic folk.
  • Temple Grandin’s approval of Claire Danes’s portrayal of her, as told in #InADifferentKey? Now that matters. #ActuallyAutistic
  • Not in #InADifferentKey: Temple Grandin’s mother refused to institutionalize her bc saw institutions as journalist.  http://meaningoflife.tv/videos/32212 
  • Before Temple Grandin/late ‘80s, #actuallyautistic insights weren’t available to parents/public. #InADifferentKey Thankfully no longer true.
  • #Autism professionals have important roles, but there is no substitute for #actuallyautistic insights, in understanding #autistic people.
  • #InADifferentKey finally cites #autism understanding/compassion; but only as way to help Temple Grandin normalize, & not her #autistic QoL.
  • Ugh. Did not realize Gerson Saines acceptance speech for Temple Grandin Emmy catastrophized re: #autism epidemic myth. Sigh #InADifferentKey
  • Like #NeuroTribes, #InADifferentKey shows there is no #autism “epidemic,” only changes in diagnostic criteria, and diagnostic substitution.
  • As #InADifferentKey notes, #autism is under diagnosed in kids of color/low SES kids. But it is also missed in girls:  https://www.blogher.com/how-can-we-do-better-our-autistic-girls 
  • Yep, anti-vax/#autism parents’ Achilles' heel was always “lack of convincing scientific support for an unproven hypothesis” #InADifferentKey
  • Yep, curebie parents reject science, embrace possibly fatal #autism pseudoscience “treatments” like chelation. Horrifying. #InADifferentKey
  • Another argument against person-first language—or for closer editing: “When injecting children with #autism…” er, what? #InADifferentKey
  • Charming: Anti-science parents invited to top #autism research meetings at NIH, etc. boast re: jeering and being disruptive. #InADifferentKey
  • Disingenuous: #InADifferentKey cites RFK Jr’s "Deadly Immunity" Rolling Stone article, but not @Salon’s retraction:  http://www.salon.com/2011/01/16/dangerous_immunity/ 
  • OK, so #InADifferentKey mentions later that @Salon retracted RFK Jr’s Deadly Immunity article on thimerosal. Several chapters later.
  • @NeuroDiverseAU I’m disappointed, honestly. I already knew #InADifferentKey was anti-neurodiversity, but I didn’t expect sloppy reporting.
  • #InADifferentKey cites @DrPaulOffit profiting from invention of rotavirus vaccine, ignores years of labor to create it, with no $ guarantee.
  • Sloppy: #InADifferentKey cites anti-vax furor over @DrPaulOffit profiting from rotavirus vaccine; ignores 100Ks of lives vaccine has saved.
  • I understand #InADifferentKey is trying to tell a compelling story. But the story is strangely sympathetic to pseudoscience #autism beliefs.
  • Glad to see #InADifferentKey recognize @deerbrian’s crucial role & then-rare skepticism re: Andrew Wakefield, in taking that charlatan down.
  • For the unaware: Wakefield was in cahoots w/lawyers seeking #autism-vaccine causation evidence to sue MMR makers for damage #InADifferentKey
  • #InADifferentKey is correct: Wakefield’s conflicts of interest in trying to undermine public confidence in the MMR vaccine are *stupefying*.
  • More #InADifferentKey sloppiness: it’s the *oral* polio vaccine that very rarely causes polio—and it hasn’t been used in the US since 2000.
  • So it is irresponsible for #InADifferentKey to state that the polio vaccine sometimes causes polio, when the US's injected version does not.
  • Michelle Cedillo’s story *is* a tragic one. But yet again, #InADifferentKey evokes “misery" of #autism by describing “behaviors” not people.
  • #Autistic people w/high support/complex medical needs deserve extra effort to see their humanity, less pity. Pls take note, #InADifferentKey
  • The real tragedy for Michelle Cedillo & family was being misled by anti-vax truthers & carpetbaggers. She deserved better. #InADifferentKey
  • “Hippocrates Would Puke”: apt summary of Andrew Wakefield’s MMR hoax (& New York Daily News headline), per #InADifferentKey
  • Schools still force #autistic kids to listen to non-autistic kids complain about them as @alexplank did in #InADifferentKey. Needs to stop.
  • While #InADifferentKey notes “Aspies” like @alexplank work hard to “pass,” its authors work just as hard to dismiss #autistic commonalities.
  • Why is it #InADifferentKey authors cannot conceive that #autistic people of all abilities may have more in common than not? Bias or denial?
  • #InADifferentKey could ask: Why aren’t *all* kids taught a common social skills framework? Why the pressure on #autistic kids, zero on non-?
  • Major #InADifferentKey fail: In claiming #autistic self-advocates are parents’s adversaries, it shows ignorance of what neurodiversity *is*.
  • @TheFactFidget @thinkingautism ➜ that it pits self-advocating autistes against parents is sad. Much can be learnt. Kids = future s-advocates
  • No, #InADiffferentKey: The “Ransom Notes” campaign failed b/c it dehumanized #autistic ppl, not b/c ran “afoul" of neurodiversity movement.
  • Oh FFS: #InADifferentKey compares Jim Sinclair’s “Don’t Mourn For Us” to Bettleheim’s Refrigerator Mothers, as form of parent blaming. O RLY
  • Acc’ding to #InADifferentKey, non-parents like Jim Sinclair shouldn't speak for #autistic kids “disabled in the extreme.” Like my own son?
  • At least #InADifferentKey’s agenda is clear: Anyone who is mean to parents of #autistic kids is awful. Even #autistic people wanting rights.
  • #InADIfferentKey in a nutshell — Cattle prods, murder, dehumanization: Let's not rush to judgment! Hurt a parent's feels: YOU MONSTER!
  • What #InADifferentKey doesn’t get: High support 1:1 #autistic kids like my own son *need* self-advocates to fight for their rights/humanity.
  • …b/c if people buy into messages #InADifferentKey spreads, ppl are *less* likely to support my #autistic son’s rights & humanity, not more.
  • #InADifferentKEy dismissively describes #autistic #autism researcher/info nexus Michelle Dawson @autismcrisis as a “formal postal worker."
  • #InADifferentKey critiques & patronizes @aneeman for a “failure of empathy”: telling parents to seek humanity, not cures for #autistic kids.
  • Since @aneeman is proudly #autistic yet refuses to be a self-narrating zoo exhibit, #InADifferentKey decides he cannot empathize w/parents.
  • …which is news to me, as @aneeman has spent a lot of time w/my own high-support #autistic son, and they are buds. Pls note, #InADifferentKey
  • Pls also note, #InADifferentKey: I would take issue w/your "not #autistic enough/no empathy” character assassination of @aneeman regardless.
  • #InADifferentKey claims people avoided arguing w/ @aneeman publicly for fear of being seen as bigots. Or maybe b/c his arguments were sound?
  • @thinkingautism @aneeman For fear of being seen *accurately* as bigots. "I'm not ableist, but..."
  • Heaven forbid #InADifferentKey admit @aneeman is a skilled, informed policy wonk. Instead, his foes are too nice to fight w/#autistics? #FFS
  • #InADifferentKey's patronizing continues: “@autismspeaks gave [@aneeman] a pass to say what he wanted.” Like men “let” women have the vote?
  • #InADifferentKey is so worried about “high functioning” #autistic @aneeman representing #autism that it ignores his cross-disability agenda.
  • If #InADifferentKey actually paid attention to @autselfadvocacy work, it'd know @aneeman + team fight for #autistic people of ALL abilities.
  • #InADifferentKey assumes @aneeman knows nada of high support #autistic kids, yet is “mind blind” if doesn’t cow to IRL attack by curbie mom.
  • Asperger’s syndrome is not a “ticket onto the spectrum,” #InADifferentKey —Asperger himself recognized #autistic kids of all abilities.
  • Kanner’s defining the #autism label excluded Asperger-like folk who needed support, for decades: the tragedy #InADifferentKey ignores.
  • Correction: On p. 531, #InADifferentKey does mention @aneeman and Steven Kapp’s contributions to informing the #autism criteria in the DSM-5.
  • #InADifferentKey claims parental love is one element in the whole #autism “saga” that is “unquestionably pure.” Really? Ask Issy Stapleton.
  • Apparently #InADifferentKey authors have never heard of child abuse. Even as they document it.
  • Here’s hoping the story of Donald Triplett helps #InADifferentKey readers accept non-standard, #autistic developmental paths & milestones.
  • Donald Triplett led a good life due to family supports, $, & influence + community acceptance. Few #autistics are so lucky. #InADifferentKey
  • Correction, #InADifferentKey: iPad 2010 introduction made AAC more affordable & *accessible* to #autistic ppl w/communication support needs.
  • It’s not as though AAC didn’t exist before the iPad. My son uses a non-iPad device, as current iPad options insufficient. #inadifferentkey
  • The “Talking Typewriter” ERELS system was used to help #autistic kids communicate as early as 1965, for instance. Per #NeuroTribes.
  • If #InaDifferentKey's btwn eternal battle of autistics vs parents were true, I'd be at constant war w/myself... 
  • Finished #InADifferentKey. Verdict: This is not the #autism book you’re looking for. Not if you want to understand/support #autistic people.