Discrimination Against Autistic Persons

Internet Resources

Exclusion of individuals with disabilities from public education was a critical component of the eugenics movement, which sought to eliminate and completely exclude individuals with disabilities from public life...
U.S. Department of Justice
Even the staunchest advocate of people with disabilities could appreciate the restaurant manager's quandary: The behavior of a 9-year-old boy was disturbing other patrons, who began complaining and asking for a different table. The other diners didn't realize the boy had autism. The manager didn't know it either until he approached the boy's mother and she informed him of her son's disability. What then?
Lansing State Journal
For autistic people, social, emotional and communicative development take place on a more extended time scale than for the neurologically typical... It is inherently discriminatory to scrutinize a person with a cognitive or sensory difference, then to penalize them for the very challenges that accompany that difference.
Kathleen Seidel, neurodiversity.com
What follows is an in-depth examination of Nutty Professors, in which I elucidate the concealed meanings of Brottman's disparaging analysis of cognitively and culturally distinctive citizens, and of her former colleagues, each of whom she concludes is "one of them." I analyze the author's use of emotionally charged, biased language to describe both autistic citizens and individuals with whom she has come into conflict; unveil her unarticulated assumptions and her pretext of superiority, which she asserts by highlighting the perceived inferiority of others; and reveal the extent to which the article constitutes a declaration of intent to engage in illegal, disability-based discrimination in hiring decisions by a staff member of the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Kathleen Seidel, neurodiversity.com
Ms. Koscak encountered resistance from teachers and administrators to including Julie Ann in regular classes with needed supports. She and Julie Ann have had to work hard to overcome the staff's negative attitudes towards children who are 'different.'
On October 7, 2005, after a two-week trial, the El Cajon, California jury awarded L.K. damages for lost wages, lost benefits and mental distress in the total amount of $299,402.88. The jury concluded that the employer subjected its employee with disability to disparate treatment, and that GCCCD failed to timely engage in an ADA interactive process in good faith even after US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (DOE OCR) intervention and request to comply with the law.
L.K., neurodiversity.com
Patrick Roberts, 48, was sacked from his job with Customs and Excise when representatives from the LTS union described his behaviour as "a health and safety risk" to his fellow workers. Mr Roberts was disciplined following accusations that he deliberately shoved into female colleagues and listened in on their conversations.
In reality, much disability discrimination is the overt expression of hostility and the conscious effort to subordinate members of a group with less power and social standing than the majority.
Mark C. Weber
The family of a disabled seven-year-old boy want an apology from a Middletown movie theater, because the manager of the theater threw out their boy for laughing too loudly while watching "March of the Penquins." The parents of Anthony Pratti say the incident happened at the Loew's cineplex at the Galleria Mall at Crystal Run Sunday afternoon. Their son has cerebral palsy and autism and was enjoying the movie from his wheelchair, when a theater worker said he was laughing too loudly, and would have to leave.
At the end of August 2005, 12-year-old Casey Reilly didn't go with Palisades Boy Scout Troop 223 to Emerald Bay for a weeklong, much-anticipated funfest in Catalina. In fact, he didn't go this August either. But it wasn't because of his lack of interest. Understanding why is the subject of a new and potentially precedent-setting lawsuit against Troop 223 and the Boy Scouts of America. After four years of involvement as a Cub, a Webelos and a Boy Scout, Casey's participation in the Scouts ended with an e-mail. In the four years since he joined the Scouts, Casey's autism has posed obstacles: He hiked slower and spoke louder than the average Scout, and interpreting orders didn't always come easily.
Palisadian Post
The essential features of Asperger's are being unable to adequately intrepret non-verbal communication and to understand and apply the unspoken rules of interviewing. It is also very difficult to present proper appearances when required.
Christopher Marsh
Cub Scout, interrupted: Christopher Lowe-Irby has been kicked out of Pack 765. For much of last year, Irby thought she was being paranoid. But her fears were confirmed last month when she received a letter from Cub Scout pack leaders Tim Huston and Sue Hummert barring her seven-year-old son from meetings and pack activities.
Malcolm Gay, Riverfront Times
Autistic children have been unable to play outside at an Edinburgh special school because council chiefs have refused to build a new playground, parents claimed today. Kaimes Special School on Lasswade Road lost a huge chunk of its grounds when the neighbouring Gracemount High was rebuilt in 2002. It left the school's 84 pupils with just a small concrete patch as a playground.
"With the HMO system, I was up against obstacle after obstacle, which prevented my daughter from seeing the doctors who are trained to diagnose and treat autism," said April McCormick of Independence, Missouri.
Jamie Court, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
Amici curiae are over 100 historians and scholars who want to ensure that the well-documented evidence of widespread state discrimination against persons with disabilities is not forgotten by this Court.
Brief Of Morton Horwitz, Martha Field, Martha Minow And Over 100 Other Historians And Scholars, Amici Curiae In Support Of Respondents
Individuals have a right not to be discriminated against simply because they are receiving, or have received, psychiatric treatment. A history of current or past psychiatric treatment should not be used to discriminate...
Canadian Psychiatric Association
We believe the 'safety' issue simply masked real issue, which is the underlying and unspoken fear of autism generally, and particularly any behaviorally manifested disability.
Derived from "friend of the court" briefs filed by more than 100 scholars "who want to ensure that the well-documented evidence of widespread state discrimination against persons with disabilities is not forgotten by this Court."
Extensive information on Rankowski v. Town of Falmouth
Prima Donnas and the miserly, two variants in the human landscape are around to be sure, but there is nothing in the literature that says that these are more common in the Asperger's population than in the general run of humanity. It is quite amazing that Brottman should make such a logically fallacious argument. Just because two former colleagues had what she interprets as personality problems, and it should be noted that we have only Brottman's version of events here, does not mean that those same foibles belong to Asperger's as a class, a classic error of inductive reasoning. That the Chronicles failed to edit that out is indeed 'peddling prejudice'.
A hostile environment may exist even if there are no tangible effects on the student where the harassment is serious enough to adversely affect the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program.
United States Department of Education
Mikita Brottman's spasm of bigotry, Nutty Professors, provoked a righteous outcry upon its original publication in the September 16 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. In this article, the newly minted Interim Chair of the Maryland Institute College of Art Department of Language, Literature and Culture (who also makes inflated claims of expertise in psychology), questions the fitness for employment in academia of individuals whom she suspects qualify for an Asperger Syndrome diagnosis, and finds them damningly uncollegial and worthy of ostracism... The following is a compilation of published and unpublished letters to editors in response to "Nutty Professors" and its hideous spawn, as well as one pointed missive sent directly to Ms. Brottman.
Kathleen Seidel et al, neurodiversity.com
Ragged Edge
...charges that children with special needs have been suspended, expelled, transferred, discharged or otherwise removed from city schools without adequate notice, without being informed of their legal rights, and in some cases without required procedures.
Elissa Gootman, New York Times

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