Sometimes I wonder just how people can be so messed up. I know, I know. I spend considerable time writing about fools and charlatans, but this is a different kind of messed up, in which hatefulness is added to the ignorance. Consider this story, sent to me by a reader:
“I’m 4 years old,” he said, “and I have a sister named Olivia, and I ride my bike all day long.”
He lives in a piece of suburbia that seems picturesque: the Venzano development in San Marcos. His parents, Gary and Marla Trussle, moved the family here five months ago.
“I thought it would be good for the children,” Marla Trussle explained.
But instead of being welcomed, the Trussle family has been under attack, they said, by neighbors. The accusations against them have been wild, including that 4-year-old Spencer “might come out with a firearm at anytime.”
“I thought they had lost their minds,” said Marla Trussle.
They are neighbors Sarah Fisher, Danielle Harway and Kelly Plaster. All three filed court papers asking that Spencer, his sister Olivia, and mom and dad be restricted to their own home and driveway.
“There was nothing I had done, my husband had done, my daughter had done, or I had done that warranted that response,” said Trussle.
In court papers, Sarah Fisher wrote that, “Gary Trussle is a very violent, unstable and unpredictable man.” Daniele Harway said, “He looked to be on drugs.” And Kelly Plaster added, “I’m concerned that Gary or his son will gain access to Gary’s firearms.”
Fortunately, in this case, reason, common sense, and justice appear to have prevailed. After these neighbors from hell had tried to get Child Protective Services involved and complained to Trussle’s employer:
The neighbors’ accusations and court filings could have ruined the Trussles, but a San Diego Superior Court Judge tossed them all out. In addition, the neighbors have been ordered to reimburse the Trussle’s legal fees, which top $12,000.
While I’m happy that in this case the idiots who let their fear and prejudice run wild to the point that they feared a four year old boy who had never shown any signs of violence only because he is autistic, that they would do such a thing to the Trussles shows just how irrational neighbors can be. I’d like to think that the other neighbors in the area will shun these morons. I’d even like to think that they would have learned something from the righteous slapdown they’ve suffered thus far in the courts, coupled with the publicity their actions have brought upon them, but I’m not that naive. I hope I’m wrong, but my guess is that these fools will make the Trussles’ lives so miserable that they’ll eventually be forced to leave and that, because they had been there before the Trussles, the other neighbors will be more likely to side with those who filed the complaint and resent their having to pay big bucks as a consequence of their idiocy.
Such is the power of blind prejudice.
I also can’t help but wonder if all the posturing by antivaccine advocates that paint autism as due to vaccines and autistic children as “toxic,” “poisoned,” or “damaged” contributes to the fear that leads to behavior like this. It’s just speculation, but demonization of autistic children in that manner can’t help but add to the prejudice against the different, especially those with behavioral problems.
87 replies on “Disgusting”
So…some clearly disturbed neighbors fabricate stories about a family with an autistic child, which are then thrown out in court.
And this may be due to…let me get this straight!…due to the concerns of many parents (including myself) about aggressive vaccination schedules and/or other environmental factors that may trigger cognitive disorders in children with genetic predispositions?
Wow, Orac, time to buy a mirror and look deeply into it.
I used to be opposed to lawsuits that included “punative damages.” Here is a case where they are needed. It is very sad that after all that, the only cost to the harrassers is the legal fees, that they caused. These a-holes should be paying big time.
Moreover, how much damage have they done to the family? Consider, what do the neighbors think? “Oh, those new people made our good, caring neighbors pay their legal fees.” Who do you think the neighborhood is going to support? Their long term friends and neighbors? Or the new people? These people are evil, through and through.
I don’t want to act all high-and-mighty, but while these people are on a witch hunt, my wife and I have been trying to find a way for our soon to go to a daycare facility that has a lot of special needs kids around, one that has kids with Downs Syndrome or are on the autism spectrum. We think it is important for him to be exposed to all types of kids, and are seeking them out.
I grew up with neighbors and friends with Downs Syndrome, and I am a better person because of it. The idea that they should be avoided really upsets me.
No Orac. I think your idea in that last paragraph is wrong. I suspect it is more likely that they are simply just as closed-mindedly, arrogantly ignorant as the “anti-vaxers” you mention. Just, you know, differently so.
“And this may be due to…let me get this straight!…due to the concerns of many parents (including myself) about aggressive vaccination schedules and/or other environmental factors that may trigger cognitive disorders in children with genetic predispositions?”
No, due to many parents, possibly including yourself, who try to make a case against aggressive vaccination schedules (or the preservatives in the vaccines, or poorly defined “toxins” in the vaccines, or whatever else serves as your pretext against vaccines this week) and who, lacking actual facts to support their hypothesis, try to make up the lack with increasingly hate-filled rhetoric such as Boyd Haley’s infamous claim that autism is “mad child disease”.
If you can’t figure out the logical connection between Boyd Haley calling autism “mad child disease” and these neighbors believing “oh no, that 4-year-old is autistic, that means he’s a mad child” then you really are hopeless.
Ugh. This is the sort of thing that makes “Autism awareness” a double-edged sword. We can’t just be accepted as people, people with different needs than most, but people none the less. No, we’re seen as something to be either pitied or feared. Something horrible. “Damaged”, “empty shells”, etc.
Never mind that. What about Kim Stagliano or Harold Doherty exploiting every single story of any autistic person who happens to commits a crime (as if it were possible for 100% of autistic persons to be saints)?
Even better point, Joseph. I had (thankfully) forgotten about that ugly aspect of AoA and the antivaccine movement.
You have to be kidding me, Scott. The “concerns” people like yourself shriek about when it comes to vaccines are nothing more than scientific ignorance masquerading as advocacy. Worse masquerading as something that ought to be celebrated and applauded even as babies suffer and die from false information.
With all the attention focused on the supposed horrors of autistic children in the media today I’m very suprised we don’t see more of these stories more often.
Pablo said, “…my wife and I have been trying to find a way for our soon to go to a daycare facility that has a lot of special needs kids around, one that has kids with Downs Syndrome or are on the autism spectrum. We think it is important for him to be exposed to all types of kids, and are seeking them out.”
I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong for kids to be exposed to kids who have Downs, or are on the autism spectrum, but sending your kid into a special needs daycare as what would essentially be a tourist seems kind of weird. From what I remember of being a kid, there’ll be no lack of a wide variety of kids out there for your child to interact with in normal, everyday life.
No, no Stacy. You don’t understand Scott’s point at all. The father is an obviously irresponsible, dangerous person — he’s a retired US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 25 years of (shudder) MILITARY SERVICE. He’s one of those wackos that Homeland Security has issued a firearm to, because he’s an airplane pilot. Under the well understood scientific principle of guilt by association, in this case the association of father to son, Orac should never be sympathetic.
FYI Scott — since I’m also a retired Lieutenant Colonel, who’s exercised his constitutional rights as to gun ownership and who also has an autistic child, you might want to stay away from my neighborhood too, when collecting donations for AoA, Green Our Vaccines, or whatever organizations you decide to support. You can’t tell what people like us might do. We might decide to protect our children (since every ASD child I’ve ever met is more dangerous to themselves than anyone else, but there still seem to be lots of folks who wanted them locked away, especially since they look and act funny). So, maybe it would be best for all concerned if you simply crawled back into your hole and stayed there.
I see you’ve started this thread in an attempt to try and convince everyone that you care about autistic people. Though at the very end you adopt Kathleen Seidel’s “toxic” label phobia at the very end to avoid deviating from your main stance on autism you and other bloggers on this site have made so clear in their posts. And yet, on the main page of your blog I couldn’t help but notice that recurring “A Relentless Commitment to Life” ad and website link for Schering-Plough, which is getting bought out by Merck, one of the pharmaceutical companies evidently responsible for this mess as well as Paul Offit’s business partner. By the time the by-out is complete, Merck will have become the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world. So who is really more important to you: us or Merck?
Orac, thanks for bringing attention to this.
Pablo, it’s not too late for the Trussels to sue for malicious prosecution, for which punitive damages would be available. However, lawsuits don’t usually do much to improve the neighborhood.
Jake: take your tired little pharma-shill gambit and shove it.
Orac neither choses nor directly benefits from the ads that are on this page. They are chosen by ScienceBlogs, who collect the ad revenue as well. I believe Orac and the other bloggers that publish on ScienceBlogs are paid by how many people view their page – some small amount per person.
off topic, but I’m starting to suspect that Orac is ghost-writing law + order SVU (as if there weren’t already enough ‘law + order’ shows out there. god i waste a lot of time).
a few months ago, they did a show focused on the harm of HIV-denialism (which despite being fictional, seemed based on the Maggiore headlines after EJ died), then last night they had a show on the harm of anti-vaccine quackery (they prosecuted a woman who didn’t immunize her son, leading him to spread measles to a baby who then died of encephalitis).
Now all they need is a show when some jackass DAN! doctor is prosecuted for abusing the kids he’s allegedly ‘treating’.
Jake, didn’t you embarrass yourself enough the last time you came here? The ads are likely not chosen by Orac, and, even if they are, advertising is not indicative of whatever Grand Conspiracy Theory you’re alluding to this week. It doesn’t even seem like you read what Orac wrote!
Aww. C’mon guys. Don’t you know anyone who advocates for vaccines is paid by the pHARM companies?
My check came in the mail yesterday. It was in a little box with a tinfoil hat and some homeopathic remedies.
Richard – I disagree that sending kids to daycare that has special needs kids is a “tourist” activity. Integration benefits everyone.
I think maybe you overstated things a little bit Orac. I think it’s more general ignorance of autism than the anti-vaxxer non-sense driving this (though “autism advocates” like Jenny McCarthy calling them soulless certainly causes damage).
As someone who has a lot of exposure to this kind of thing since my mom is a Special Ed teacher and has foster-siblings with disabilities, I’ve seen this sort of prejudice and fear frequently (though never taken to such extremes) towards kids and adults with a variety of disabilities. I see people all the time avoid coming too close to my uncle and keeping their kids away from him, as if somehow you could catch FAS. It’s frustrating and makes me angry.
@Jake: Your absurd paranoia is embarasing. Not only that, I believe it was yesterday that I saw an infomercial for a pharmaceutical posted at AoA. Projection is an amazing thing.
“Gary Trussle is a very violent, unstable and unpredictable man.” If you went after any kid I’m related to I’d be a violent though stable person too.
I don’t think this has all that much to do with Autism as it has to do with nasty neighbors afflicted with “my child would never do that” syndrome. It all started with one kid picking on his autistic son. The conflict between parents escalated and when push came to shove the instigator lost and then got vindictive.
When these factors come bundled up with 911 truther level paranoia and ignoring evidence yes it is the same. Your hatred has made you blind or you blindness has made you hateful. Same end result.
Samantha said; “Now all they need is a show when some jackass DAN! doctor is prosecuted for abusing the kids he’s allegedly ‘treating’.”
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh…this is the plot for the next season of 24. Wait until you see how Jack Bauer cures a DAN! doctor. It ain’t pretty, but oh so entertaining.
Who do you think the neighborhood is going to support? Their long term friends and neighbors? Or the new people? These people are evil, through and through.
Well, there’s not a lot of neighborhood socialization these days, but to the extent that there is, I wouldn’t be surprised if the neighborhood had already figured out who the assholes in the neighborhood are, and it’s not the Trussles.
Scott, (the first commenter)
You are a tranparent idiot/troll, just trying to push buttons and use your version of “reverse psychology” to paint Orac as a hypocrite. Unfortunately, Scott, all you have done is show that you are not only a lagubrious bore, but that you also do not have a clue as to what Orac or this blog is about!
J. Todd DeShong
Guess I should be glad that my neighbors are all in-laws, so that I can check off the vindictive crazy suburban nut-jobs from my “look out” list when my 12-yr old autistic son plays out in our yard while singing Beethovan’s 5th Symphony at the top of his lungs. The ignorance of people who just don’t want their sterile little worlds disrupted by “the other” is absolutely mind-boggling.
Pablo, I don’t know if your part of the world is much like mine, but our integrated preschools often have VERY long waiting lists for kids with special needs who can’t get access to other preschools. I understand your thought that it would be good for your child to be exposed to all kinds of kids, but some communities really don’t have enough space for (yech, I hate this term) differently-abled children to receive the early childhood support that they need.
Doesn’t the fact that they are “integrated” mean that they actively wish for neurotypical children to be part of their set-up? Surely it’s better for the Neurotypical and or Temporarily Able Bodied kids who go there to have parents like Pablo rather than parents who are underinformed and nervous about kids with special needs?
When my now adult son was in about first or second grade I encountered a another parent of children who went to his school. At that time the school had two special needs programs which constituted less that 10% of the total student population. They were related in a way, one was the deaf/hard of hearing program, and the other was for kids with Specific Language Impairment.
This woman knew me from PTA, and struck up a conversation. She said they were working actively to get rid of the SLI kids! I asked her why, and told me they were violent. Which was news to me.
I explained to her that speech and language disorders have nothing to do with behavior, and that my son only started to attempt speech when he entered the school’s wonderful special ed. preschool at the age of three (by the way, it was a direct off-shoot of the hard of hearing program, since they kept getting non-verbal kids who could hear, so they started a program on at about the time the first IDEA law was passed).
She then asked me who my son was, and I pointed out that he was the child playing nicely with her son. The look of shock on her face was priceless.
By the way, the hue and cry to get rid of half of the special ed. programs was stifled when one of the instigator’s younger child needed the services of the OT/PT. She realized that having all of the therapists and aides in the building were an asset, and of course having a child with fine motor skills issues clued her to the fact that “special ed” did not equate to “violent”.
It is not politically correct to want to target the deaf/hearing impaired program, which actually went into decline with fewer children losing their hearing due to disease (the Hib vaccine was recent), and with the advent of cochlear implants. When my son started as a preschooler there were four classrooms for the hearing impaired program, when my daughter left that school twelve years later there was only one classroom of less than ten children.
Pablo, if you live near a large university with a college of education, see if they have a daycare/preschool. The one near me, and the one on the other side of the state have special ed. preschools that admit “normal” kids to serve as speech roll models. But it usually part of a study to see how the kids act/react to each other. The specialized preschool near me used to focus on Down Syndrome when a friend of mine was a education student thirty years ago, and now it focuses on autism (I know a speech therapist who works there, her daughter has cerebral palsy — so we occasionally discussed some of the culture around different schools).
Also, with the push for mainstreaming, any regular private daycare or preschool may have a special needs child.
Pablo, I applaud your sentiment, and whilst I am sure I live in a different part of the world to you (I’m in Sydney, Aust.) I’ve found that simple day-to-day living has exposed my son (who is ADD) to a wide diversified landscape of children. Perhaps I’m lucky in that I live in an area that is not only VERY multicultural (his school has kids from over 30 different ethnic backgrounds attending) but he also has kids in his school who are autistic etc. You just need to look around the community and the schools that are available.
As for Orac’s last comment – whilst you can’t draw a direct link between the antivaccine (pro disease) crowd and this story, certainly the constant refrain that such children are “toxic” or “mad” has had to have had an impact on the wider community
(oh I am a different “Chris” than the first person who is “Chris”, so I agree with what he/she said!)
No it is not a stretch to say any information about Autism put into the public space will have an effect on the welfare of Autistics. When it’s patently false and pejorative, the effect is devastating. It’s the same case with homosexuality, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome and most forms of Schizophrenia.
It’s why the hoo-haa over ABA and other interventions are focused more on the ethics and truthfulness about how they are promoted, with their efficacy being a secondary concern. We LIVE the consequences of what is said about us. What anti-vaxxers and similar people say about Autistics doesn’t match up with research and would not be tolerated if said about any other group of people.
@Samantha: “Now all they need is a show when some jackass DAN! doctor is prosecuted for abusing the kids he’s allegedly ‘treating’.”
L&O did a show about an austistic child dying at a clinic peddling cures and facilitated communication, oh, about sixteen years ago. Yes, I’m an L&O geek.
Orac, you have not answered my question about your obvious connection to Merck, just as you have not answered my question to you on when I should get another Menactra vaccine. You cowered behind your loyal ND fan club instead. Why the lack of transparency? You’ve said that undisclosed conflicts of interest were far worse than disclosed ones. Why not practice what you preach?
Your world is very, very small, Jake. Many of us have never even been to that site. Try getting some other hobbies yourself.
about daycare with both mentally challenged and not children: a friend of mine has a 3 year old in a daycare where only 1/3 of the kids have full capacity or whatever the word is. her son prefers to play with the kids like him, rather than the downs kids and others with disabilities. he has been there 2 years and she put him there because the teacher-child ratio was better than at the other places she investigated. just an observation. that’s not to say that it isn’t good for him to be around differently abled kids.
Young Master Jake, I see no reason why Orac should answer your stupid pharma shill questions(by the way he is a surgeon, which means he treats breast cancer by cutting, not chemotherapy).
And if you have questions on whether to get any type of medication, be it a vaccine or antibiotics: consult your own personal physician. Do not take any medical advice on the internet.
Now, I will tell you to get a clue-by-four. Concentrate on your studies and stop being a whiny teenager (even if you are over twenty, you are whiny teenager).
“I also can’t help but wonder if all the posturing by antivaccine advocates that paint autism as due to vaccines and autistic children as ‘toxic,’ ‘poisoned,’ or ‘damaged’ contributes to the fear that leads to behavior like this. It’s just speculation, but demonization of autistic children in that manner can’t help but add to the prejudice against the different, especially those with behavioral problems.”
It seems to be really tough for good kids who have autism-spectrum conditions, between the assholes you describe and other assholes who seem to think autism-spectrum conditions makes being a jerk or worse just nifty. For examples:
“The individual who raped you committed an EVIL act…I can GUARANTEE you that unless he was an extremely low functioning individual, he was not UNAWARE that what he was doing was wrong. But if he WAS unaware, why are you so angry?”
“…This is objectively rude behavior–that’s a point you can’t argue. Does it matter that a person with attention deficit disorder can’t help it? Neurotypical people can’t help wanting to be treated with courtesy, either. Does that matter?…”
“From what I have read here, we have a forty-year-old man who has been keen to have a relationship with any member of the opposite sex for more than half his lifetime with no success.
“He has put forward a number of hypotheses for this, all of which he has apparently worked out for himself.
“When every single one of his hypotheses is deconstructed and its flaws pointed out to him by both men and women, straight, gay, young and not-so-young in an attempt to help him to succeed in his goals of a relationship, he has hung on to the faulty hypotheses rather than learn that it is his behaviour towards other people that might need modifying…
“…When he then goes on to state that he believes he is entitled to have a sexual reationship with someone half his age, someone easily young enough to be his daughter just because he missed out on relationships with twenty-year-olds when he was that age, *not* because he happens to be in love with and loved by a young woman, is it surorising that people are worried about his state of mind, and worried about what he might do if he doesn’t get some urgent counselling?”
“Dude all I did was rant about That Guy in my LJ and people freaked out because apparently I was being a bitch to Aspies. Despite the fact I never once said anything about them. So yeah, this comes as no surprise. 😉
“Aspergers is the new excuse to be an asshole online. It was bipolar but that’s not the cool thing anymore.”
“In the letter from the woman who works with autistic children (sorry, can’t remember the poster), she described almost being choked to death by a young student and blames it on herself. She had tied her scarf ‘stupidly’. At no point does she mention telling the child that what he had done was wrong and giving him a just punishment. She’s simply glad the kid’s murderous rage passed in time and takes him outside, which was what he wanted. So he does not learn consequences or to respect others. Whatever he does, he’ll still get what he wants. The fact that he almost killed someone is ignored and/ or minimized. When he gets older and bigger, is anyone going to be surprised if he actually does kill someone?”
So you got some people insisting that austism itself makes you hostile (and prone to lashing out at other people)and some other people insisting that autism excuses any hostility of yours (implying that you’ll be more prone to lashing out at people than someone who can’t get away with it would be). Egads. I wonder how scary it is for kids in autistic-spectrum groups (do any fear stuff like “if I don’t put out for him those grownups will say I betrayed my Aspie people and asked for rape”)?
Jake, Orac doesn’t *have* any connection with any of the ads on this site. Seed (the company) sells those ads directly, & the bloggers do not decide the ads that show up, neither do they profit from them.
That’s why when you click on the “advertise with scienceblogs” link at the bottom of this page it goes to a page where advertising is sold by Seed. You can read their ad policy.
Jake, I’d imagine that Orac’s relationship with Seed Media advertisers is similar to your relationship with Age of Autism advertisers. I don’t think that your posts on the site are evidence that you have financial ties to Angela Moore Jewelry or that compounding pharmacy that advertises there.
I do think that hyperbolically negative descriptions of autistic people do create a false impression in the minds of people who don’t know much about it, and that these descriptions contribute to the mistreatment of, and discrimination against, autistic people. Do you agree?
Hasn’t it sunk in, yet, Jake? The pharma shill gambit doesn’t mean anything, even if such a connection did exist, because that’s what’s known as an “ad hominem” attack, specifically appeal to motive. Has it ever occurred to you that sometimes logic and evidence might actually lead to a truth that’s beneficial to someone’s business? Of course, if you want to sling mud instead of talk in a reasonable manner, we could spend all day talking about the conflicts of interest many anti-vaxxers are riddled with.
Also, I thought the same thing before I got to the end of the post: I’ve run into countless anti-vaxxers who constantly dehumanize autistic children as “soulless” “empty shells” and more. Those who buy into that sort of thing are often more than willing to tear down regulations on human experimentation so that they can treat their children as guinea pigs for whatever dangerous “treatment” the quacks are praising this week. That’s pretty much what happens whenever I argue with an antivax parent online.
At the risk of looking foolish, I’m going to speculate wildly here. I think it’s significant that the neighbors’ hate campaign started when one’s son started bullying Spencer, and Gary Trussle confronted his father about it.
While a lot of things can create a childhood bully, the parents can have a lot to do with it. My guess is, it’s that father who is unstable, unpredictable, and potentially violent. He may have tried to intimidate Mr. Trussle — which probably didn’t go very well for him. After that, maybe he wanted to get revenge however he could. The article doesn’t state what relationship the other problem neighbors had to him, but I’m willing to predict that it was very close.
My point: this may have to do with the pathology of said neighbors more than fear of autistic children.
“I do think that hyperbolically negative descriptions of autistic people do create a false impression in the minds of people who don’t know much about it, and that these descriptions contribute to the mistreatment of, and discrimination against, autistic people. Do you agree?”
I agree, whether the hyperbole is anti-people-with-ASD or pro-people-with-ASD-who-also-happen-to-be-violent. Both can give the false impression “if your kid is on a playground or on a date with someone with ASD, then he or she asked for anything and everything that person dishes out.” 🙁
“At the risk of looking foolish, I’m going to speculate wildly here. I think it’s significant that the neighbors’ hate campaign started when one’s son started bullying Spencer, and Gary Trussle confronted his father about it.
“While a lot of things can create a childhood bully, the parents can have a lot to do with it. My guess is, it’s that father who is unstable, unpredictable, and potentially violent. He may have tried to intimidate Mr. Trussle — which probably didn’t go very well for him. After that, maybe he wanted to get revenge however he could. The article doesn’t state what relationship the other problem neighbors had to him, but I’m willing to predict that it was very close.
“My point: this may have to do with the pathology of said neighbors more than fear of autistic children.”
Actually, that’s another reasonable hypothesis.
“It’s just speculation, but demonization of autistic children in that manner can’t help but add to the prejudice against the different, especially those with behavioral problems.” You have no business throwing around ideas like that! Don’t employ such rhetoric to support you arguments when you’re supposed to be persuading people with objective information and analysis.
My experience with the prejudice from the regular ed. parents about the speech/language special ed. program my son was in was about 15 years ago. The kids in the program were not autistic (officially that is, under the present rules many would have been diagnosed as such, though a couple were “hyperlexic”, which can be considered to be part of the spectrum).
The animosity towards special education kids runs long and deep.
For a while I was active in contacting my legislative representatives to voice my opinions. I wrote the city council to make sure that the community centers stayed open, the building department on the local hospital expansion, the parks department supporting lighted soccer fields, and after my son was diagnosed and was getting special ed. services I wrote my state and federal representatives asking them to support funding for special education (IDEA is a nice concept, but very underfunded).
One US senator from my state wrote back supporting the idea, and she knew about the issues since she had been a high school teacher.
The other one sent a canned letter telling me that school violence was up and it was because of the special ed. students! What!?
In my letter I had even included a copy of an award my son had received for “Random Acts of Kindness.” Also, I had just attended a district wide meeting of parents of special ed. students where the superintendent of schools told us that school violence was at a twenty year low!
I am so glad that particular senator was voted out within a couple of years. It just happens we live in a state where both US Senators are women.
A similar thing happened to my cousin, whose son has autism. Before the neighbors were informed about the diagnosis, they whispered and spread rumors about child abuse, and would refuse to look at the family when they saw them. Then when people finally realized that her son’s occasionally unusual behavior (but never behavior that caused a disturbance) was related to a disorder (they never bothered to figure out or ask what), they would start to immediately remove their kids from the park when my cousin and her son visited, or do other things to deliberately exclude or express panic. I know that there is sometimes fear of the unknown, but if someone doesn’t know, then there is an obligation to find out, rather than make negative assumptions.
Golly gee. How insightful. You must have had to be particularly attentive to notice that hidden advertisement. I guess the rest of us missed it because of our drug induced mind control. Only you can save us.
Wait, Jake Crosby? Must be related to Bing Crosby. Who was in a movie (High Society) with Grace Kelly, who married into the royal family of Monaco. Clearly this is part of some monarchist plot that you did not disclose. For shame.
I’m on to you now. You, with your Black Helicopters (with lovely Crown Jewels in a Feng Shui motif). You dirty rotten evil doer, you.
Go to any of the blogs that point out you irrational behavior. Those with Google Ads will run ads for Prodisease products any time they criticize the Prodisease movement. Are these bloggers conflicted? Are they part of a vast Prodisease Fifth Column? Jake, confess now that you have hacked Google and you are taking over the world.
There is an autistic boy on my street who rides his bike a lot and often stops to smile and wave at me and my kids.
I had no idea he was softening us up for a brutal massacre.
I will speak to some of my neighbours about this problem as soon as I get home.
Thanks for the warning!
Disgusting is too mild a word. A four year old who tells you his age, his sister’s name, and that he likes to ride his bike all day is just a 4 year old! Sounds like his parents are doing more than all right by him. Someone kick the neighbors where it counts.
I don’t believe Jake realizes how foolish he makes himself look with that comment. I’m not even familiar with the ad he’s referring to. I haven’t found it. He says it’s an ad for an initiative by Schering-Plough, which is being bought by Merck, and because of this, Orac has an “obvious” connection to Merck.
That’s ridiculous enough by itself.
As pointed out, the ad is Seed’s responsibility. If you know anything about how website advertising works, Seed might not even be aware of the ad necessarily. Orac might not have been aware the ad exists.
In the Hub, for example, you’ll notice that a few blogs have ads, typically Google AdSense-based. Many of these ads are for things like autism quackery, which the blog owners probably don’t even agree with. Or go to Skeptico’s blog, and look at the AdSense ads on the right. They are typically ads for woo.
Additionally, my guess (and I know a thing or two about click-thru rates and conversion rates) that particular ad probably makes no more than $10 a day from this blog. Orac’s traffic is high, but website ads don’t convert too well.
Odd, I never realized there are adds on scienceblogs.
Noscript to the rescue.
Joseph, I think you’re probably right that the bloggers themselves have no idea which ads are up at any given time. I seem to recall several bloggers telling their readers this during the obnoxious animated ad drama. (Readers were leaving comments on unrelated asking for the animated ads to be removed, and the bloggers didn’t even know the ads were there, much less have the power to take them down.)
As has been mentioned, if they are truly integrated, then the question is not how many special needs kids are on the waiting list, but how many non-special needs kids they have (assuming my son will not be special needs – it’s too early to tell). It will be the daycare’s decision about what they want/need to do the best. If they are committed to integration, then they will need all types of kids.
To the other (great) comments:
Belinda: it’s great that you live in a diverse community. However, your comment “You just need to look around the community and the schools that are available. ” strikes me as strange. Aside from the fact we are talking about daycare (he will be 1 year old when he starts daycare), isn’t that basically what we’re doing? We’re looking around the community for a daycare that has a diverse group of students!
Chris: we don’t have a large university program near where we live (I work at one, but commute). However, our town does in fact have a child services daycare program that tries to serve underprivelidged and special needs families. We are neither, but are exploring going with them.
Texas Reader: a fair point, and something that might have to be addressed, depending on the severity. It will depend on the kids and their abilities. For example, as mentioned I grew up with neighbors and friends with Downs. The amount of interaction I had with them was variable, and even then, the things we did were different than I did with other friends to some extent. But this was sort of the lesson, we still had fun together even though we couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do. Moreover, we were able to explore our range of activities to find the types of things that we all enjoyed and could do.
I actually looked up the development the Trussels moved into — ad here. It is relatively new, so the Trussles weren’t moving into “an established neighborhood”.
Hmmmn. What motivated the three harpies (Sarah Fisher, Danielle Harway, and Kelly Plaster–lead harpy = Fisher)? Is it possible that they paid more for their homes than the Trussels? Are the harpies’ homeloans underwater?
That of course doesn’t excuse the harpies’ behavior.
“just as you have not answered my question to you on when I should get another Menactra vaccine”
Hmm, I found the answer in under a minute, in exactly the place I was expecting it, and I’ve never even heard of the vaccine until this thread.
Tell me Jake, what is the answer, what makes it a legitimate (or illegitimate if you prefer) answer, and what does this represent in terms of the current state of research into this vaccine?
Aside from the concerns that you have grotesquely misunderstood and misapplied Blooms’ taxonomy (understanding systems indicates a higher level ofunderstanding to retention of detailia or rote learning, even if the latter is taken to a extreme degree, thus lack of knowledge of non-essential details is not an indication of overall lack of skill), it appears that you have already read the answer, but there appears to be no evidence that you have understood what it means.
Home values might have something to do with it. In a McMansion neighborhood, you have nothing to distinguish YOUR house from the next when you sell, so something “offensive” the potential buyer sees (like a kid staring at you in an odd way) might make the buyer turn the identical house two streets down.
Well, it is San Diego. What the hell did anyone expect?
I am stunned. Just stunned.
I spent all day yesterday with so-called “normal” kindergarteners and my Asperger-diagnosed son on a LONG bus ride and a long day at a zoo in another city. My kid was required to have me along for supervision– great, no problem!– but it struck me how completely similar the mood cycles of ALL the kids were. Mine just acted out by tuning out and hand-flapping, instead of throwing a fit, pouting, or kicking other people’s chairs.
Let’s face it– all four- and five-year-olds are pretty wacky. These ladies singled this poor kid out because of a label, and because of their own ignorance. Liz Ditz called them harpies, and that label fits them just fine.
Sorry Orac, but you will need to do more than present one bad anecdote then start wondering.
Very good point Jake.
In fact right after this Orac blog post went up, I saw a very large black helicopter, bearing the Merck logo, land in Orac’s back yard.
Three men, all dressed in expensive black suits and wearing black sunglasses smoothly disembarked. The man on the left and the man on the right were each bearing strange-looking rifles. The man in the center bore a HUGE SUITCASE FULL OF MONEY. This money was delivered to Orac PERSONALLY.
When the men left in their helicopter, it spewed chem-trails all over the neighborhood. I was the only person wearing my aluminium foil gas mask and aluminium foil protective suit. The memories of ALL other witnesses to this event have been ERASED. As a result, no-one believes me. Even though they will continue to have NIGHTMARES about this event for the rest of their lives.
This is what happens if you read too much huffpo.
Perky Skeptic: I’m curious about how you were required to go along with your son to supervise. Shouldn’t the school have to provide that? I’d think that would be an ADA violation.
By the time the by-out is complete, Merck will have become the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world.
Concern troll is concerned.
This could really be a teaching moment. It’s possible that the people who were so terrified of the autistic child had heard of a case where an autistic person became violent, and then assumed that violent behavior is a characteristic of autism (rather than the more reasonable explanation that autistic people are individuals with different personalities and different capacities for anger management.)
It’s really not all that different from run-of-the-mill racism/xenophobia. (“My Grand Fenwickian neighbor beats his wife and gets into bar fights. Therefore all Grand Fenwickians are violent.”) Unfortunately, the neighbors who harassed the Trussle family are probably not capable of reasoning through their own panicked prejudices.
It’s not the violence that bothers me, it is the arrogance. Where do they come off calling themselves the “Grand” Fenwickians? What makes them so special?
Welcome to my world! Kids with identified behavior-related disabilities are often scapegoats. Every other kid in the class might be a total nightmare, but since the teacher has a piece of paper that says the Asperger’s or ADHD kids have “behavior problems,” she sees those kids thru that lens.
I have a son with Asperger’s close in age to your son, and everything my son is allowed to do in school is watched, guarded, and meticulously planned in advance. They see him as this cute, brainy little time bomb, and this perception has severely limited his exposure to “typical” peers and in some ways has stunted his ability to have a normal school day. The school is doing nothing wrong, it’s just that the extra awareness (and diagnosis) of “difference” makes the officially “different” kids seem more different, even if the “normal” kids are acting just as “different” (or worse!).
Check that – wife beating is not acceptable, so the violence does bother me, too. Bar fights depend.
However, I think their arrogance is the source of the problem…
(ok, I’m done now…:-))
I think this is a simple case of ignorance/stupidity perpetrated by superficial housewives with WAY too much time on thier hands on those who don’t contribute to the image they would like thier elitist neighborhood to reflect.
what is opinion based on? the fact that I personally know one of them, Danielle Harway. She’s a goldigging ex-beauty pageant whore who carried on a long affair with her then married rich boss while befriending his wife and babysitting thier two young children until she was sucessful in breaking up thier 15 year marriage and snagging herself all expenses paid trip to easy street. this woman is not very well liked in general and is manipulative and an expert in getting what she wants.
Consider the source. It’s poetic justice that all of the authorities threw their cases out and are making them pay for the family legal fees. Maybe when Danielle’s brand new husband realizes her big mouth is already ruining his reputation and costing him money he’ll re-think the whole trophy wife thing…but probably not.
Insider – 2 points
1) “It’s poetic justice that all of the authorities threw their cases out and are making them pay for the family legal fees.” See my first post yesterday (#2 I think). I don’t think it is justice at all. Real justice would have them paying for all the damage they caused. They did more harm than just legal bills.
2) You say she is not well-liked, but somehow she got two others to join her in her witch hunt. What about them? Were they duped? I fear that there was more support for her activities than you would like to admit.
Let me elaborate. I agree that they should have to be held accountable for ALL of the damage they did for this family. Not sure how that’s accomplished exactly other than monitarily, but outing them for being horrible people on several websites is a pretty good start I think.
Secondly I don’t think Danielle started this. She’s a follower. I think it was one of the other wastes of DNA who spearheaded this operation and she jumped on the bandwagon.
Yes, it would have to be monetary, and it would have to be a hard hit. Then again, as I mentioned yesterday, you have to be careful because they could get treated as victims, with the real victims considered the cause.
“Secondly I don’t think Danielle started this. She’s a follower. I think it was one of the other wastes of DNA who spearheaded this operation and she jumped on the bandwagon.”
That’s kind of my point. This goes well-beyond “a bad person nobody likes.” There was enough support in “the elitest neighborhood” to make them go forward with it.
As bad as this is — very – it’s still nice to know that the land of George Orwell will top any stupidity any Americans manage to think of:
Mother given parking ticket “for reviving her severely disabled son”
A mother who says she stopped her car on a pavement to revive her profoundly disabled son, was given a Â£100 parking ticket.
By Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter
Last Updated: 5:50PM GMT 21 Mar 2009
Penny Batkin, 40, says that Richmond Council has refused to back down over the fine despite receiving a letter of explanation from her, supported by her GP.
She says she was taking her son, Freddie, 4, to the Shooting Star children’s hospice in Hampton when he began gasping for breath and turning blue.
Mrs Batkin, who has three children, was unaware that she had been captured by traffic wardens who were patrolling the area in a CCTV camera car.
Mrs Batkin, from Hampton Wick, near Richmond, south-west London, said her son is unable to walk or talk and has frequent seizures. “I was so furious when I got the letter. I could hear him gasping in the back seat. My immediate reaction was to pull over and deal with him. I had to release him from the rear passenger seat and resuscitate him. I was away from the busy traffic on a wide pavement and would not have restricted anyone walking past.”
The council’s appeals’ officer quoted a section of the Highway Code in a written response to her letter. It related to parking on the pavement and the official insisted it had been unnecessary to park there.
Mrs Batkin said it had been “rude and insulting” to quote the Highway Code in the letter. “I hadn’t parked. I had stopped to deal with an emergency situation,” she insisted.
Richmond Aid, a disability advice charity, has taken up the case. A spokeswoman said: “It is absolutely shocking to discover that Richmond Council’s parking office cannot find it in their hearts to rescind a parking fine incurred by a desperate mother who had no choice if she was to save the life of her child. We are so appalled we struggle to find the words.”
I initially thought that someone should pay that for her, but then I changed my mind. Doing so would only satiate the idiots.
She should not pay it. What are they going to do, put her in jail? A little public revolt, holding the Council responsible.
I realize there it is going to penalize her and her son and family, but this is nonsense.
“Welcome to my world! Kids with identified behavior-related disabilities are often scapegoats. Every other kid in the class might be a total nightmare, but since the teacher has a piece of paper that says the Asperger’s or ADHD kids have ‘behavior problems,’ she sees those kids thru that lens.
“I have a son with Asperger’s close in age to your son, and everything my son is allowed to do in school is watched, guarded, and meticulously planned in advance. They see him as this cute, brainy little time bomb, and this perception has severely limited his exposure to ‘typical’ peers and in some ways has stunted his ability to have a normal school day. The school is doing nothing wrong, it’s just that the extra awareness (and diagnosis) of ‘difference’ makes the officially ‘different’ kids seem more different, even if the ‘normal’ kids are acting just as ‘different’ (or worse!).”
Bleah, what an ordeal for you and your son! 🙁
Personally, remembering my time at school, I think the schools (both admins and teachers)ought to be more consistent with their discipline no matter if the aggressor has special needs or not.
For a non-autism example: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-02-09-first-grader_x.htm Basically, some people complained about telling a 6-year-old to keep his fingers out of his classmates’ pants, as if 6 years old is too young to hear “don’t do that” but old enough to have to put up with misbehavior like that at school. WTF is up with that?
Other kids, no matter if they have special needs or not, deserve to get an education without obnoxious behavior getting in the way! Then your son could enjoy a typical school day without bullying for however he is different, your son’s peers could enjoy a typical school day with him instead of the teacher thinking “that one’s allowed to grope any girls if he’s curious, all I can do is keep the girls away from him,” etc.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “brainy little time bomb” idea comes from idiots telling certain kids dangerous bullshit like “you don’t need conversation skills, you just need an education to get a good job,”* “if she won’t [put out for you/marry you]* that means [neurotypical/Western]** society rejectings smart people,” etc. and then a few of these individuals exploding when the job interviewer, potential date, etc. says no after the parent, teacher, etc. promised a yes. If those idiots didn’t make those false promises in the first place, I bet they wouldn’t be raising time bombs!
* My parents gave me this advice too. Fortunately they’re since realized that a high GPA isn’t enough in societies with jobs that don’t all require only specialist degrees, dating instead of arranged cousin marriages, etc. and you do need to care what other people think if you want them to care what you think.
** Which one seems to depend on whether they’re telling him this in the name of “Aspie pride” or in the name of “Asian family values” or whatever.
Yeah, it probably was an ADA violation, but since my reaction on being asked to go was to jump for joy and squeal at a pitch that only dogs could hear, I suspect a complaint would be hypocrisy. 😉
LAB, on balance I’ve been pleased at how the school has handled my son, but also I do frequently worry that his behavior is seen too much through the lens of his Asperger’s diagnosis and not through the equally-freaky lens of Being A Kindergartener. His Reading teacher totally gets it, though, and for that I will adore her forever.
“…but also I do frequently worry that his behavior is seen too much through the lens of his Asperger’s diagnosis and not through the equally-freaky lens of Being A Kindergartener. His Reading teacher totally gets it, though, and for that I will adore her forever.”
His Reading teacher is awesome! Maybe she’ll be the one that gets promoted to principal? 🙂
“Yeah, it probably was an ADA violation, but since my reaction on being asked to go was to jump for joy and squeal at a pitch that only dogs could hear, I suspect a complaint would be hypocrisy. ;)”
Could you suggest that other parent/guardians* take turns chaperoning the field trips too (so your family wouldn’t be singled out and it wouldn’t be an ADA violation) and also volunteer to be one of the chaperones yourself for every field trip (to relive the joy)? When I was a little kid, my school field trips often had a few parent/guardian chaperones each instead of just 1. 🙂
* I remember this term from every permission slip I brought home. I guessed that some of my classmates must have been living with grandparents or other relatives instead of their biological and/or adoptive parents, and the school wanted to make it extra clear those people counted too.
My 3 year old nephew has been reverse mainstreamed (non-special needs child in a special needs preschool) for 2 years.
Not only is he a wonderful roll model for the kids with special needs, he benifits by learning attributes that are sadly lacking for most kids growing up today.
He is learning it’s not all about him. He does not hesitate to help others. He knows not everyone has the same skills and he will grow up more tolerant and accepting of those who are different then he is. He is learning compassion and he is capable of being friends with people who are slightly different.
ALL things that those neighbors would have been better off knowing as they grew up.
It’s almost hard to believe that this kind of prejudices appears in XXI. century… I think learning about some disorders should be compulsory. Gosh, fools really grow without watering.
Julie – that is very touching. I hope we can find something like that for our son.
Oh, I can believe this. I can believe it after six months of constant persecution of our ASD teen (who is a delightful, if thoroughly quirky young man) by large groups (7+ people each time) of local youths which extended in the end to multiple criminal damage to our house including arson.
And what did the Police do? Why, nothing of course (due to ‘lack of evidence’), until his father detained (utterly non-violently) a couple of stone throwers, hoping a passer-by would respond to his asking to call the cops. *Then* the Police acted – they arrested *him* and made sure (by misstating the facts at pretty much every turn)he got a conviction for assault based on perjured testimony by two little hooligans. We were actually asked: “why do you let him out of the house?” in a ‘what do you expect’ tone (this is a lad in mainstream school)…
Message: don’t be different if you value your sanity and freedom to go out of your own front door, and don’t try to get people in positions of power to actually do their job or they will get revenge on you any time they can.
“He is learning it’s not all about him. He does not hesitate to help others. He knows not everyone has the same skills and he will grow up more tolerant and accepting of those who are different then he is. He is learning compassion and he is capable of being friends with people who are slightly different.”
“Message: don’t be different if you value your sanity and freedom to go out of your own front door”
Unless it’s being different the way those asshole bullies and arsonists were different. 🙁
If you had even looked at the ACTUAL LEGAL LAWSUIT,and done your homework instead of making blind accusations, you would of seen that the lawsuit was against the father, who feels the need to carry a gun in a suburban neighborhood… I would feel uncomfortable around someone like that. But you have your head to far up your ass you can’t see what the real case is… “Orac”. Get a life and stop blogging to gain attention.
Get your facts straight before writing slander about a situation you obviously haven’t done your homework on. The lawsuit was against the husband, who does in fact carry a firearm, in a suburbarn neighborhood, that has many families in it. That would tend to make anyone uneasy, especially if there has been confrontations between him and several other families. Since it has been several other families that all happen to agree on this man and his behavior, then it begs the question, how did random families all happen to come together and live next to each other if they, like you claim, “feared a four year old boy who had never shown any signs of violence only because he is autistic” This isn’t about autism. It’s about an unstable man living next to families with children of their own, or are you saying that they are less important than his son who has autism?
Oh, wow… it is a matched pair of concern trolls.
By the way, Billy-Bob, did you read the linked article?
Nah, they’re sockpuppets. And not particularly bright ones to post two sequential posts that allowed me to easily notice that they were posting from the same IP address.
What a maroon!
Maybe he/she/it is a buddy of the idiots who tried to sue the Trussles.
Hmmmm. I’m a hardcore liberal in favor of many forms of gun control, BillyBob, and this still smells fishy to me. If you sued them because you didn’t like the fact that the husband legally carried his DHS-issued firearm in public, then you deserved to pay the legal fees. If what he did was illegal, you should have been able to nail him on that. If he was actually “very violent, unstable” then he should have been nailed on THAT (beating up neighbors, etc.)
Of course, all this assumes your implication is true that the autism issue was just a red herring raised by the Trussles, which given your apparent integrity as a SockpuppetMaster, I’m hesitant to do.
The autisitc childs father is also an airline captain, an occupation not noted for squirlieness.
Billy Bob or Billy and Bob, you posted the same nonsense on another site. Give it a rest. You haven’t done your research, you don’t know the facts. Read what’s filed with the court and check the transcript. Trussell doesn’t carry his firearm around the neighborhood as you allege. It is issued by the DHS. check out the requirements for the FFDO program. He’s a Lt. Col USMC, 23 years and an airline captain at a legacy carrier. Those organizations have pretty stringent requirements for membership.