Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Recent E-mail

On a note related to my previous entry, the following is the full (minus the addressing line) of a previous e-mail in the same conversation as the last one.

Thank you for your support.

It's worth noting that one of my introductory posts mentioned both that I've recently completed the postgraduate coursework for BCBA certification and that I perseverate on research... in addition to the fact that I am seeking additional (supervised) clinical experience.

The first and last of these should have indicated pretty firmly that I do not believe that seeking help for your children is inappropriate, as some of those on the list seem to think I do. If this were the case, I would neither have taken the time to gain credentials related to providing this help nor sought a job that involved providing it.

The first two, on the other hand... I am uncertain as to how to phrase this politely, but...

There are over 1,500 people on this list. Many, if not most, of them are parents of autistic children. Of that number, only one person has thought to write me off-list regarding anything I've said on it (excluding my statement that I was seeking work -- if that is included, the number increases to two). No one has thought to ask me about research studies (which I read for fun and have extensive knowledge of). No one has even thought to ask me to reccommend articles, studies, or references -- on list or off. This is despite the fact that autistic individuals almost inevitably acquire a tremendous amount of detailed knowledge of the subjects of their perseveration. Many, if not all, of you have extensive experience with this phenomenon.

What's more, we almost always enjoy talking about the subjects of our perseverations. Again, many, if not all, of you have extensive experience with this phenomenon. I assure you that I am no exception on this count... and would go so far as to say that I'm near-starving for intelligent discussion of the research (in large part since I can't afford to go to conferences all that often). I only know one other
individual on the spectrum who actively perseverates on research and is at anything approaching my educational level (in fact, I consider her to be considerably above it despite the fact that she has less formal education than me). I always look forward to and enjoy our interactions -- despite the fact that they seem to almost inevitably break down into a series of misunderstandings -- because I always learn a tremendous amount from them.

Additionally, the nature and frequency of my responses should have been a pretty substantial indicator of my willingness to respond to that sort of thing. I have even made explicit offers to provide information or to elaborate on points. I cannot recall anyone taking me up on any of these offers.

I'm aware that there are other factors potentially involved (a desire not to impose on me, for instance), but... over 1,500 people. Even if half of that number was composed of service providers, that would still be 750 parents.

So, for the part that I'm not really sure how to phrase politely -- just what sort of impression do you think I get from these facts?

In addition, every post I've made has included a link to my blog. Many of the posts there are aimed at helping parents at some form or another. Many of them talk about things that I've mentioned only briefly on this list.

I have not, to date, recieved a single comment on any of them from anyone who arrived there by following this link. I also have the ability to make this statement.

Actually, I'd go so far as to say that I haven't recieved any indication that anyone here has even followed that link except for the one person who thought to write me off-list regarding something I'd said on it... who mentioned having done so in a private e-mail.

What sort of impression do you think that makes?

I'm bringing this up because, apparently, many on this list have accused me of not attempting to (or being unable to) take another's point of view or to empathize with another's positions. In fact, this is one of many largely unfounded autism stereotypes... and, if it is true in this case, it most certainly is not unique to my side of things. The above example was, frankly, the gentlest and least potentially controversial way I could think of to point that out. There are many, far harsher and more critical, ways I could have chosen.

This way also had the advantage of pointing out a resource that some of you may have missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment