Hala posted an article about a little boy who was ‘voted off the island’ in his class, and the point of the story is that the five year-old is (soon-to-be) dxd with Aspergers.

[My first reaction was irritation that the reporter spelled Asperger with a ‘b’ in it. Damnit, people. It may sound like ‘burger’, but it’s not. If you can’t spell it properly and don’t know how to use dictionary.com, relearn how to pronounce it as a mnemonic.]

However, the gut reaction for me was not so much the advocacy of disability discrimination – which is real when it comes to disabilities that can create negative reactions, e.g., behavioral issues – but the stunningly STUPID fact that that teacher thought the game(?) would be a good idea for any child. I mean, come on, has she never heard of that brown/blue eyed experiment?

I can’t imagine any teacher pulling a young child to the front of a class and having all his classmates say what they DON’T like about him, and then vote to kick him out of class. Add to that that the child in question has a dx including social difficulties – and had made ONE FRIEND in the class – and she thought to herself that not only was that not cruel, but was in fact altruistic or …wait, my head’s exploding… didactic?

Sweet Mary I can’t even imagine what I would do if someone did that to Jack. As it is I want to shake that teacher until she gets whiplash. And the thing is, part of this is my old debate about special treatment of autism in regards to viewing it as a disability or a neurodiverse thing. I don’t always agree that everything should be kumbaya and unrealistic in learning environments. So maybe with different constraints (Older kids? Couched in a psych lesson?) it could be interesting. Maybe. But it just seems an unnecessary experiment (and, done before), and knowing the extra and long-term damage to this boy in particular is what takes this from stupid to outright malicious.

But the part that makes me saddest of all (again, like Hala) are the comments after the article. Disagree how you will about autism being a factor, but being unsympathetic to a child’s emotional damage is.. wrong. And that’s the base factor here.

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