The New Jersey News, to its credit, gave a relatively balanced, if superficial, account of US President Barack Obama's disability nominee Ari Ne'eman's activities as an activist opposing efforts by parent and family driven organizations to help their autistic children. The article notes that the Ne'eman appointment has been controversial and that is true. The article notes that Ne'eman has opposed efforts of autism advocacy groups and that is true. The article notes, as set out above, that Mr. Ne'eman uses aggressive language and that is true.
The article notes that Mr. Ne'eman is not troubled by criticism and that appears to be true. he does not take into account the opinions of those who disagree with him despite their very real interest in autism disorder issues and despite their different and important experiences with autism disorders.
Those who disagree with President Obama's appointee include families trying to treat and cure their autistic children and adults with autism disorders who, contrary to the aggressive rhetoric of Mr. Ne'eman have stated they would in fact like to be cured of their disorders. Mr. Ne'eman disregards the challenges faced by those with Autistic Disorder and the families who have struggled to help them. He is not troubled by their criticism ... or the challenges they face.
The New Jersey News article misses the point when it says that there are some who feel that he is not autistic enough. Mr. Ne'eman is a very high functioning person with Asperger's Disorder. Yet he purports to speak on behalf of persons with Autistic Disorder many of whom, unlike him, are severely affected by cognitive impairment and severe inability to communicate or understand the world. Mr. Ne'eman's personal experiences have absolutely nothing in common with those of persons with severe Autistic Disorder. The young university student has neither personal experience nor professional training to provide him with special insights into Autistic Disorder. And he has no legal or moral right to object to the efforts of families to help their own children.
Mr. Ne'eman does not view autism disorders as disorders in the true medical sense. His writings speak of "autism" only as a "social" disability. In the opinion of President Obama's disability appointee it is only the failure of society to accommodate persons with "differences" that creates autism disabilities according to President Obama's disability council appointee.
My son has Autistic Disorder and is severely affected by it. It is a real, not a socially created disability. If he were left unattended out doors he could quickly perish in automobile traffic or in a snow storm. That, contrary to Mr. Ne'eman's opinions, is a reflection of my son's Autistic Disorder, a real disability, not one created by society.
Mr. Ne'eman, using his aggressive language, has stated often that "we' don't want to be cured, purporting to speak on behalf of all persons with "autism" including the many with a disorder he does not have ... Autistic Disorder. The New Jersey News article portrays such rhetoric as honesty and I agree. I have no reason to doubt that these are the views of brilliant young university student with Aspergers Disorder, whose social and communication skills are such that he can hob nob with leading political figures inside the beltway.
They are not the views of many adults with Autistic Disorder and they are not the views of families who are fighting so hard to treat and cure their children with Autistic Disorder. For many Mr. Ne'eman's s views are controversial as stated by the New Jersey News. They are also offensive attempts to interfere with their children's rights to be treated and cured and with their families' rights to represent them.
President Obama's disability nominee is proud of his obstructionism, of his attempts to disrupt the work of autism advocacy organizations, and cares not about the views of those who disagree with him. Mr. Ne'eman, the anti-autism cure ideologue with Aspergers, once bullied as a child, has now become the bully. And he is backed by one of the most powerful people in the world ... the President of the United States. Mr. Ne'eman's future is looking very bright. The same can not be said of efforts to help autistic children and adults through research.