Respect Meme:5 Simple Questions
the way respect is perceived and expected is different from the different positions in the autism debate.For me, it is important to know about.
His answers can be found here
Jonathan Post on Respect Meme.
Yes, the questions from Jonathan are simple but for the answers I must say that I have thought a lot , looking at my own experiences.
1 What is respect for others?
For me, in autism world there are several positions: of the parents of autistic children, of the autistic adults/teens and of the researchers in autism. There are as many different positions in parents as parents of autistic children are. There are many different views of autism in the group of autistic adults/teens. There are other groups of parents that also are researchers in autism field or therapists, and autistic adults that also can be researchers in different areas.
Definition of respect will change then for one or others, depending of who you ask, IMHO, and what is respect for one group is not for another.
Respect for others is:
Besides A) and B ) of Jonathan
A) The avoidance of questioning of motive and the avoidance of personal attacks.
B) Trying to attack the most charitable interpretation of another’s argument as possible.
These are general, but in particular
C) Considering that each parent wants the best for his/her children not because of selfishness. For me as a parent not only the what and the how but also the whys-beyond genetics- and what else than ASD diagnosis are important. But again, each parent has her/his opinion about. Some parents consider ASD a disease (or a syndrome); many others do not.
D) Considering that each autistic adult/teen has –if he/she wants to share- a lot of important things to say IMHO -that must be heard about what and how is being autistic-neurologically, emotionally, medically, sensorially, sociologically, politically, scientifically. I consider that in this point autistic adults/teens must be asked about their opinion on respect, because I only can give a (my) perception of their opinion.
E) Considering that doctors in practice and research deserve consideration for their ideas and work in autism field, because many of them are interested on the whys and what else than ASD diagnosis in ASD is/are present. Their language is very related to autism as a disease-because science tries to maintain objectivity beyond the emotional issues- although taking into account the ethical ones.
Respect for a parent- at least for me- implies the consideration of my emotional status and the importance of my children in my life and also of my decissions about my children´s health as the best I could do for the individual presentation of concomitant medical conditions in him, beyond and besides the ASD diagnosis. Respect for a researcher does not imply emotion , but careful analysis of facts and ideas/hypothesis without the dismiss in advance or the label of unscientific in advance-not the emotional considerations about- Scientists consider ussually autism as a disease to treat as many others and are very involved in numbers and epidemiology and clinical data. Respect for an autistic adult has implied different things in my perception.
So it is what is respect and what is the perception of what is respect for each group, from the others-if interested.
With so different points of views the differences and the struggles and the misunderstandings for me are understable. BTW, Empathy ALWAYS matter and for me it is the root of a true understanding.
2 What are things that appear to respect issues, but are not?
It is certain that the argument (and the ethics and empathy that show ) is/are important but also mocking an argument, even if it can seem valid for a researcher
1-it is very hurting for a parent that has based on it his /her approach of the management of autism in his/her child
2-it is unfair for a scientist to be presented an argument from the emotion and not from the science- quality of the hypothesis, procedures and data. Criticisms can be done without questioning ethics or motives.
3-Sometimes, I have been surprised about how an argument can be understood different from an autistic adult, from his/her perspective and mockering depends on the context and understanding of, even if the original intention was not this.
Beyond the intentions, all can be misunderstood because the interpretations of the same written thing vary-beyond what is evident in language- because of personal concepts about ASD.
3 Is this relevant to the autism discussion and why?
Yes, it is. In a world of perceptions productive discussions depends on how we feel other people are considering us , are trying to understand us- or not- and how we manage the misunderstanding and –in the supposed case- the aggraviation ( or supposed/perceived aggraviation). In the autism discussion, susceptibility is the norm.
4. What can we do to help resolve these issues?
Beyond trying to separate the person of the argument, I do think that how the argument is presented, with what generalization/extrapolation- or not- and the tone/the “read between lines” make the difference between a discussion/debate and a personal war. The understanding of the different positions (even the unconscious differences and interests) is in general absent. The consideration of different positions as valid- not the personal one- is lacking or if you do your effort sometimes is not perceived as such. Many times it seems that the position is” It doesn´t match my thinking: therefore it is wrong”
Such as it is, it has no solution. If a parent thinking in a cure for autism talks with another parent thinking in autism as a way of being and both consider that the personal one is the absolute truth for all and the care about what is respect for each one is absent in the interaction-such as it happens ussually, it has not solution. If a parent thinking in a cure for autism talks with an autistic adult advocating for his rights, it has no solution if both consider that the personal position is the absolute truth for all levels (human rights, metabolism, biochemistry, physiology) and the care about what is respect for each one is absent in the interaction-such as it happens ussually-because the individual experience is not considered. If a researcher looking in biochemical/epigenetics in autism- and finding abnormal tests in ASD- talks with an autistic adult/parent thinking in autism as a way of being and the care (or the knowledge) about what is respect for each one is absent in the interaction-such as it happens ussually , it has no solution.
BTW, asking for clarification before the declaration of the hostilities would be an attempt to decrease the degree of misunderstanding. However, until a real interest in agreement-even partial- is going to develop when possible and depending on individuals I do not think that the situation is going to change easily.
5. How well do you think this will be accomplished?
Perception depends on the emotional status. Even if we want to separate, if we feel our children- or our relationship with them or our decisions about them- are freely criticised without knowledge of who we are or questioning our motives we will react in consequence. How we react in consequence probably makes a difference – or not. In my personal experience, it matters also the different understanding of some particular situation in the interaction with autistic adults or other parents thinking different. In the case of scientists, many times the personal beliefs in terms of potential consequences of research are discussed and they have no true relation with the research basis or goal or the scientists intentions.
I think it will be difficult to achieve a different situation. It depends on many individual perception/positions modifications to produce a true change because
“se necesitan dos para bailar un tango” this is
“you need two to dance a tango”
…and the same for a discussion with personal attacks instead of a progressive/productive debate.
I am very interested on all the opinions about this. Thank you in advance