Maybe autistics are getting too much of kid glove treatments

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emax10000
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03 Mar 2015, 11:34 pm

Verdandi wrote:
I apologize for referring to the OP as a concern troll. I misunderstood the concerns expressed.

No worries, much of it was a part of an anxiety attack on my part. I still have a fair number of real anxiety issues about this that hopefully can be cleared up further as I continue to post here.

And of course, it is nice to for once be on a forum where people are truly understanding when I get an anxiety attack.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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05 Mar 2015, 12:04 am

emax10000 wrote:
We know by now the story of Reginald Latson, the autistic man who was recently pardoned by Virginia's governor. However, there were so many reports about how peaceful and gentle he was, but I did not even know about this during the story: http://law.justia.com/cases/virginia/co ... -11-4.html

http://potomaclocal.com/2011/03/11/auti ... to-appeal/

Why was this ignored when talking about this case with autism? I am getting worried that maybe there are certain subsets of the autistic advocacy community who really do think autistic people should never be accountable even when they violently attack others. I mean, the autistic community was up in arms over this but refused to discuss Latson's criminal history. Why is this? Did the autistic community feel that Latson should not have been held accountable for breaking and entering? Do we want everyone to assume everyone with autism is a saint? Do we expect others to be ok with it when autistic people assault others, even on their own property, because they are autistic? What is going on exactly? I am getting worried here. What am I missing?

If you don't believe that district attorneys and the police lie as a matter of course, then that's part of what you don't understand.
If you think that the police and news reporters don't do each other favors; exchange favorable coverage for access...
If you don't believe that bullies, who like to physically assault others for no reason (and bullies are very adept at recognizing and exploiting the low social status of their victims), are attracted to police work...
Similarly, for racists...
If you don't believe that people call 911 and lie that someone has a gun (because they know it increases the odds the police will show up)... (and, no, Latson was not found to have a gun).
If you think that small towns can't be corrupt...

If that's what you think then that's what you're missing. As far as Latson's criminal history we don't know that it isn't entirely composed of events just like the last, police and hysterical-neighbor-instigated instance ("there's a black man in front of my library! I swear he has a gun and sarin and a baby! He looks just like Osama bin Laden in black form!!".

I also think a lot of people also mistakenly think the the judicial system is about the truth -- it isn't. It an adversarial process where the 'strongest' case wins and that hopefully coincides with the truth. I heard/read a while ago of several former prosecutors admitting they simply liked "winning," and didn't care about the truth at all. (One prosecutor offered a guy a plea deal without even reading the police report or asking him any questions, and then threatened him with a possible 20-year conviction if he demanded a trial (the guy had done literally nothing -- it was literally a bureaucratic screw up but the d.a. didn't care and wanted the guy to plead to a felony).)

A low(medium?)-functioning autistic in prison for questionable reasons, being made suicidal by being trapped around predators 24/7 doesn't make me feel safer or better about anything. With autistics being 1% of the population every autistic could be a criminal and hardly affect the overall crime rate at all.



emax10000
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05 Mar 2015, 12:10 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
emax10000 wrote:
We know by now the story of Reginald Latson, the autistic man who was recently pardoned by Virginia's governor. However, there were so many reports about how peaceful and gentle he was, but I did not even know about this during the story: http://law.justia.com/cases/virginia/co ... -11-4.html

http://potomaclocal.com/2011/03/11/auti ... to-appeal/

Why was this ignored when talking about this case with autism? I am getting worried that maybe there are certain subsets of the autistic advocacy community who really do think autistic people should never be accountable even when they violently attack others. I mean, the autistic community was up in arms over this but refused to discuss Latson's criminal history. Why is this? Did the autistic community feel that Latson should not have been held accountable for breaking and entering? Do we want everyone to assume everyone with autism is a saint? Do we expect others to be ok with it when autistic people assault others, even on their own property, because they are autistic? What is going on exactly? I am getting worried here. What am I missing?

If you don't believe that district attorneys and the police lie as a matter of course, then that's part of what you don't understand.
If you think that the police and news reporters don't do each other favors; exchange favorable coverage for access...
If you don't believe that bullies, who like to physically assault others for no reason (and bullies are very adept at recognizing and exploiting the low social status of their victims), are attracted to police work...
Similarly, for racists...
If you don't believe that people call 911 and lie that someone has a gun (because they know it increases the odds the police will show up)... (and, no, Latson was not found to have a gun).
If you think that small towns can't be corrupt...

If that's what you think then that's what you're missing. As far as Latson's criminal history we don't know that it isn't entirely composed of events just like the last, police and hysterical-neighbor-instigated instance ("there's a black man in front of my library! I swear he has a gun and sarin and a baby! He looks just like Osama bin Laden in black form!!".

I also think a lot of people also mistakenly think the the judicial system is about the truth -- it isn't. It an adversarial process where the 'strongest' case wins and that hopefully coincides with the truth. I heard/read a while ago of several former prosecutors admitting they simply liked "winning," and didn't care about the truth at all. (One prosecutor offered a guy a plea deal without even reading the police report or asking him any questions, and then threatened him with a possible 20-year conviction if he demanded a trial (the guy had done literally nothing -- it was literally a bureaucratic screw up but the d.a. didn't care and wanted the guy to plead to a felony).)

A low(medium?)-functioning autistic in prison for questionable reasons, being made suicidal by being trapped around predators 24/7 doesn't make me feel safer or better about anything. With autistics being 1% of the population every autistic could be a criminal and hardly affect the overall crime rate at all.


So then when it comes to the story about Reginald Latson going to another house of another kid after a bus stop argument and getting into a fight with that kid when he opened the door, are you saying the police and prosecution could have completely made it up? if so, how is it possible that they would get away with making something like that up?

Also, you speak of this as though you have insider's knowledge and so I was wondering what your experience is with the criminal justice system is that would give you this insight, to the extent that you have it.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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05 Mar 2015, 12:46 am

emax10000 wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
emax10000 wrote:
We know by now the story of Reginald Latson, the autistic man who was recently pardoned by Virginia's governor. However, there were so many reports about how peaceful and gentle he was, but I did not even know about this during the story: http://law.justia.com/cases/virginia/co ... -11-4.html

http://potomaclocal.com/2011/03/11/auti ... to-appeal/

Why was this ignored when talking about this case with autism? I am getting worried that maybe there are certain subsets of the autistic advocacy community who really do think autistic people should never be accountable even when they violently attack others. I mean, the autistic community was up in arms over this but refused to discuss Latson's criminal history. Why is this? Did the autistic community feel that Latson should not have been held accountable for breaking and entering? Do we want everyone to assume everyone with autism is a saint? Do we expect others to be ok with it when autistic people assault others, even on their own property, because they are autistic? What is going on exactly? I am getting worried here. What am I missing?

If you don't believe that district attorneys and the police lie as a matter of course, then that's part of what you don't understand.
If you think that the police and news reporters don't do each other favors; exchange favorable coverage for access...
If you don't believe that bullies, who like to physically assault others for no reason (and bullies are very adept at recognizing and exploiting the low social status of their victims), are attracted to police work...
Similarly, for racists...
If you don't believe that people call 911 and lie that someone has a gun (because they know it increases the odds the police will show up)... (and, no, Latson was not found to have a gun).
If you think that small towns can't be corrupt...

If that's what you think then that's what you're missing. As far as Latson's criminal history we don't know that it isn't entirely composed of events just like the last, police and hysterical-neighbor-instigated instance ("there's a black man in front of my library! I swear he has a gun and sarin and a baby! He looks just like Osama bin Laden in black form!!".

I also think a lot of people also mistakenly think the the judicial system is about the truth -- it isn't. It an adversarial process where the 'strongest' case wins and that hopefully coincides with the truth. I heard/read a while ago of several former prosecutors admitting they simply liked "winning," and didn't care about the truth at all. (One prosecutor offered a guy a plea deal without even reading the police report or asking him any questions, and then threatened him with a possible 20-year conviction if he demanded a trial (the guy had done literally nothing -- it was literally a bureaucratic screw up but the d.a. didn't care and wanted the guy to plead to a felony).)

A low(medium?)-functioning autistic in prison for questionable reasons, being made suicidal by being trapped around predators 24/7 doesn't make me feel safer or better about anything. With autistics being 1% of the population every autistic could be a criminal and hardly affect the overall crime rate at all.


So then when it comes to the story about Reginald Latson going to another house of another kid after a bus stop argument and getting into a fight with that kid when he opened the door, are you saying the police and prosecution could have completely made it up? if so, how is it possible that they would get away with making something like that up?

Also, you speak of this as though you have insider's knowledge and so I was wondering what your experience is with the criminal justice system is that would give you this insight, to the extent that you have it.

No direct knowledge, just listen to the news, i.e. Democracy Now, Frontline, etc. and my observations of human behavior. It's that injustice and corruption really bother me and stick in my mind. It's harder to have that view because a lot of people have the just-world fallacy and if they assume that they know what really went on it's not really questioned.

For example, that police and DA's lie: in interrogations it's taught as a standard method and is legally permitted. They can even fabricate evidence and put it in front of you and tell you it's real. I heard that on a Frontline program about how easy it is for innocent, non-criminal people to be coerced into false confessions. I think most people would be surprised to hear that and would find it disturbing if they knew. The latest revelations about the secret, police torture center in Chicago does nothing to reduce my cynicism about human nature as it relates to power, authority, abuse, prejudice and the like.

As far as observations of human behavior: which kid in 7th & 8th grade seemed to get beat up almost daily? The retarded kid. Why? Because he had low social status which made the authorities likely to discount his claims and the bullies knew it. (Luckily, he was very resilient kid; more resilient than I would've been.)

I once had an employer who would hire people he could get away with treating like crap. His business partner was constantly apologizing for him. I don't know if it was conscious on his part, but it was clear pattern after working there a year. That boss was a typical bully type. I have observed that and many other patterns many times by my age, now. Sometimes there's an upside to being an "outsider."



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05 Mar 2015, 1:11 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
A low(medium?)-functioning autistic in prison for questionable reasons, being made suicidal by being trapped around predators 24/7 doesn't make me feel safer or better about anything.


Hmmm sorry this made me slightly irritated. People with low functioning autism charged with committing a crime are highly likely (in western countries at least) to receive involuntary commitment to an institution for psychiatric treatment based on having impairment to their ability to reason.

People with high functioning autism/Aspergers charged with a crime are more probably more likely to end up in a regular prison and be subject to predators 24/7 due to their "perceived" high intelligence (i.e. Anders Brevik) and therefore greater personal responsibility for their crime/s....

It would be nice if we could take more care not to stereotype folks on the lower end of the spectrum....



emax10000
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05 Mar 2015, 3:40 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
For example, that police and DA's lie: in interrogations it's taught as a standard method and is legally permitted. They can even fabricate evidence and put it in front of you and tell you it's real. I heard that on a Frontline program about how easy it is for innocent, non-criminal people to be coerced into false confessions. I think most people would be surprised to hear that and would find it disturbing if they knew. The latest revelations about the secret, police torture center in Chicago does nothing to reduce my cynicism about human nature as it relates to power, authority, abuse, prejudice and the like.

As far as observations of human behavior: which kid in 7th & 8th grade seemed to get beat up almost daily? The retarded kid. Why? Because he had low social status which made the authorities likely to discount his claims and the bullies knew it. (Luckily, he was very resilient kid; more resilient than I would've been.)

I once had an employer who would hire people he could get away with treating like crap. His business partner was constantly apologizing for him. I don't know if it was conscious on his part, but it was clear pattern after working there a year. That boss was a typical bully type. I have observed that and many other patterns many times by my age, now. Sometimes there's an upside to being an "outsider."


Ok, that helps but I still do not see how it would be possible to create a breaking and entering story if it did not happen. If Neli never went to that house and attacked his neighbor, how could it be possible for the police and the courts to fabricate the story? How could the police be able to make up a story about what Neli said and did and get the neighbors to help them fabricate the story? How exactly would that work?



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05 Mar 2015, 9:42 pm

I received an inquiry about this thread concerning Reginald Latson's previous offences, and whether I felt if he was let off easy. I'll post my response here..



I'll preface this by saying I am in favor of a judicial system that focuses on rehabilitation vs punishment.

I think both sides of the issue are skewed (look at the accompanying photos for example). The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle, and I believe that the appropriate outcome was reached in sending Reginald Larson to a secure psychiatric facility.

I don't see this as encouraging the public to condone any aggressive action by an autistic. I think that the police should have more training in handling mental health/neurodiversity issues, and it can't be denied that racism is an issue in some cases.

In the end, we can only evaluate each case on its individual facts. In the above instance, he is kept segregated from the general public while receiving appropriate care. I don't see additional jail time doing much but exacerbating his symptoms. It isn't going to deter future criminal behavior, as it often doesn't even in the general prison population.

Do you agree or disagree?



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05 Mar 2015, 10:37 pm

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
I'll preface this by saying I am in favor of a judicial system that focuses on rehabilitation vs punishment.

Agree

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
I think both sides of the issue are skewed (look at the accompanying photos for example). The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle, and I believe that the appropriate outcome was reached in sending Reginald Larson to a secure psychiatric facility.

Agree although its important to determine the underlying issues in Latson's psychiatric history before committing him to a secure psychiatric facility...the temptation for the latter course of action is perhaps knee jerk...

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
I don't see this as encouraging the public to condone any aggressive action by an autistic. I think that the police should have more training in handling mental health/neurodiversity issues, and it can't be denied that racism is an issue in some cases.

agree - Probably the race factor was more important in this case. The general public look at news stories such as this one at a superficial level. The moment people read "Afro-American" they put into a mental basket

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
In the end, we can only evaluate each case on its individual facts. In the above instance, he is kept segregated from the general public while receiving appropriate care. I don't see additional jail time doing much but exacerbating his symptoms. It isn't going to deter future criminal behavior, as it often doesn't even in the general prison population.

agree - people who cross the line acting on a psychological compulsion or unable to cope with a psychological triggers are compelled to do so regardless of the severity of deterrents in place. This is hardly restricted to autism and includes a suite of other conditions....



emax10000
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05 Mar 2015, 11:24 pm

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
I received an inquiry about this thread concerning Reginald Latson's previous offences, and whether I felt if he was let off easy. I'll post my response here..



I'll preface this by saying I am in favor of a judicial system that focuses on rehabilitation vs punishment.

I think both sides of the issue are skewed (look at the accompanying photos for example). The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle, and I believe that the appropriate outcome was reached in sending Reginald Larson to a secure psychiatric facility.

I don't see this as encouraging the public to condone any aggressive action by an autistic. I think that the police should have more training in handling mental health/neurodiversity issues, and it can't be denied that racism is an issue in some cases.

In the end, we can only evaluate each case on its individual facts. In the above instance, he is kept segregated from the general public while receiving appropriate care. I don't see additional jail time doing much but exacerbating his symptoms. It isn't going to deter future criminal behavior, as it often doesn't even in the general prison population.

Do you agree or disagree?

I think much of this makes sense. When I hear accounts of these stories, there's a police and prosecutor side and there is the side of the defendants and their families. Often, they are completely opposite each other and this case is like that. I tend to take a sort of default position that the truth of what happened is somewhere in the middle of these extremes and that we cannot tell for sure which side it is closer to.

I just worry that autism advocates could get a reputation for expecting NTs to accept violence towards them by autistics on a regular basis due to it supposedly being an immutable part of them. I think that in this case, whether the truth is close to the defendant's side or the prosecution's side, it seems like the criminal justice system failed embarrassingly to do its job either way. And this showed that we as a community continue to fail when it comes to dealing with those who have mental defects as well as those who might be harmed by someone with mental defects.

I think the concern is even bigger when it comes to parents of autistic kids. For example, there have been stories like this one: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=4885322 http://www.startribune.com/local/19085694.html where it seems like a subset of autistic advocates who do so because their children are autistic actually do expect NTs to accept initiation of violence towards them by autistics. That clearly is a fundamental problem unless I am missing something about these specific stories and the issue at large, and if I am I would be glad to be corrected.



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06 Mar 2015, 12:00 am

Again, I feel middle ground is key. I don't think someone who is disruptive to the whole should be completely segregated, but there shouldn't be a complete dismissal of societal boundaries in deference to an autistic child either. There has to be boundaries and limits set for any child-- autistic or NT. If the child is unable to grasp those boundaries, there should be appropriate limits to respect the rights of others.

Again, this isn't an either or scenario. Each case and appropriate response is individual. What few facets that are represented in today's news cannot be held representative of a whole.