Quoted and Noted: On autism, circa 1985

11 Apr

“Autism is a form of childhood schizophrenia characterized by acting out and withdrawal from reality. Symptoms can include bizarre, self-destructive and animalistic behavior in otherwise normal-appearing children – victims have been known to spend hours in repetitive activities such as flushing a toilet.” ~ The Press-Courier, July 26, 1985

Thank God I wasn’t diagnosed with autism. I was two when this came out. It’s part of a larger story about a 22-year-old autistic man who died from a treatment where he was “helmeted, shackled hand-and-foot, and forced to listen to static through earphones.”

The man’s godmother, meanwhile, was “completely satisfied with everything — happy with the treatments, the people who worked there and anything else that took place.” (The Associated Press)

Thank God we’ve learned more about autism (it’s not schizophrenia, for one, and such a heartless bitch of a godmother would likely be de’godmothered after expressing happiness with a treatment that killed her godson) — and yet there’s still so much we don’t know. This was a mere 26 years ago. What will we know 26 years from now?

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One Response to “Quoted and Noted: On autism, circa 1985”

  1. Sarah @ The Crazy Baby Mama April 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    oh this is horrifying. truly the stuff of nightmares.

    thank G’D we have more understanding now.

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