December 20th, 2007

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Retrograde: bad ads and stupid university

A pro-meds doctor at NYU (a pro-meds doctor with ties to the pharmaceutical industry, by the way) has put his and the university's name on ads that picture autistic, ADHD, and other children with neurological differences as "a detriment  to themselves and others" by reason of their diagnoses...with "Ransom Notes" implying that the children are "held hostage" by their conditions.  The ads are untruthful (it is not true that autism spectrum conditions totally destroy the capacity for social interaction and independent living) and they contribute to the backlash against disability rights and services that this Administration and its supporters promoted and continue.  They are "scare" ads, which will promote continued and renewed bias against children with these conditions.   There is already unwarranted fear that having disabled children in a classroom harms nondisabled children, and considerable fear of autism, fueled by just such misinformation. 

There's a petition available from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, an open letter found here:

because so far NYU has been supportive of Dr.Koplewicz  (he is head of their Child Study group and probably brings in a boatload of pharma-derived grant money.)  They've refused to pull the ads or even discuss the harm they do.

I encourage you to read about this issue and respond if you feel so moved.   I hope you will.