Ableism and Activism

Chronically Raz

I think I have been saying I would make this post ever since I started this blog, in fact it was one of the reasons why I made this blog in the first place because I knew tweeting my feelings about this subject wasn’t suitable. It needed a better home, a place where I could be more eloquent and explain things better than in a twitter thread. This blog is the perfect place to do that and it has still taken me ages to actually finish this.

This subject is a lot harder for me to write about than I previously imagined, yet it needs to be talked about. I am not saying activists don’t do amazing and important work, I am just saying that they are forgetting a group. Disabled people are forgotten in society and forgotten by a lot of activists, and it hurts. Besides that, we shouldn’t…

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Please Stop Saying That Bigots Are “Mentally Ill”

Black NeuroQueer Punk

Content warning: uncensored ableist and racist slurs, mention of electroshock therapy, Judge Rotenberg Center 

All the time, I hear people say that racists, misogynists, ableists, queerphobes and other bigots are “mentally ill”.  Some even call them “crazy”, “psycho” or “nuts”, which is ableist and sanist in itself.

I also hear people say that Donald Trump shouldn’t be president because he may be “mentally unstable”.  Make no mistake,  I have a very unfavorable view of No. 45, but to say that he’s mentally unstable is also wrong.

I have multiple psychiatric disabilities, but I don’t like to talk about them very much because there’s a lot of stigma for people like me.

There are people who do have psychiatric disabilities who aren’t bigoted.  There are people with psychiatric disabilities who are.  When we say that all bigots are “crazy”, we’re perpetuating the stigma for people with mental health disabilities.

It goes…

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Disability Erasure And The Apocalyptic Narrative

Shoshana Kessock

This week hasn’t exactly been a fantastic time for me. Losing a parent can really make you get stuck in a maudlin, even slightly dark frame of mind. So it’s no secret that seeing photos coming out of Hurricane Harvey of elder folks near drowning in a nursing home due to lack of evacuation and inability to move well put me in a foul mood. It also got me thinking of conversations I’ve heard over the years about disability and the end of society.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. You and your friends are sitting around and having some beers, and the conversation turns to the apocalypse. Maybe you’re watching The Walking Dead, or reading Divergent, or even going to your favorite post-apocalypse live action roleplaying game. But in between talking about what happens if Daryl dies on the show and exchanging larp armor suggestions, someone…

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David is disabled

David was discovered trapped in a concrete box and once he escaped he was transported forward in time where Bishop resided. It was a dystopian future and David was immediately captured and put into slavery.

Before we begin let me preemptively respond to your complaint: I talk about neurological divergence because, guess what? Some cripples are mentally ill, Becky.

FX aired a new show called Legion this year based off of the character Legion from X-Men. The show exists in the XMCU which means he lives on Earth-10005 or Earth-TRN414 (it involves time travel and everyone has their own opinion) so it’s the “real world” except mutants exist and therefore so do the X-Men. The MCU with the Avengers and such have absolutely no relation outside Easter egg jokes.

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I’m going to give you a summary of Legion’s canonical history that the show Legion was based off of. Legion from FX diverts from the source canon but constantly makes callbacks to it which takes it from and incomprehensible show to just pretty confusing.

I don’t feel like I’m selling this as I intended… The show is the most amazing thing ever made and despite my affinity for comic David I actually like it more than the comics. That’s a big deal. If I had said that in certain circles I would be killed on sight.

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Legion is a Jewish kid named David Haller and the the son of the most iconic disabled superhero, Charles Xavier. David Haller was never more than part of a secondary cast until a few years ago when Simon Spurrier took over X-Men Legacy and made David the star.

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Legion’s real name is David Charles Haller, a Jewish man from Haifa Israel who canonically can’t grow his hair into anything but a gigantic mohawk, and he is an omega level mutant which means he has practically God–like powers.

His father is Charles Xavier, Proffessor X himself, but his mother, Gabrielle Haller, kept that a secret for a very long time. Gabrielle met Charles at a hospital where he was using his psychic abilities to alleviate trauma of the Holocaust survivors. They had a short fling in which David was conceived but Gabrielle, suspicious of his psychic abilities, kept David a secret and David’s godfather, Daniel Shomron, stepped in to help raise him.

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When Gabrielle entered the Israeli Diplomatic Service she and her family were attacked by a Palestinian terrorist cell. Gabrielle and David survived, but Daniel used his body to shield David from the bullets and was killed. The trauma activated David’s mutant genes early (he was 10 years old and they don’t usually manifest until puberty) and as his psychic abilities turned on he killed all of the terrorists. David went comatose and absorbed the psyche of one of the terrorists who took control of his body, still comatose, and fought the growing alter egos forming in David’s Mindscape due to his DID

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Gabrielle turned to the renowned geneticist Moira MacTaggert, coincidentally another one of Charles Xavier’s ex girlfriends, who insisted Charles come to treat him personally. Charles found that David had very similar mutant abilities to his own, only much stronger, then found out he was his father.

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By joining the war in David’s Mindscape Charles was able to wake David back up and most of the alter egos were destroyed but they continued to develop unchecked.

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Legion/David gained and lost control of himself many times, hurting many people even murdering Destiny, Mystique’s wife, when she tried to intervene with him and he saw through her precognitive abilities how devastating his future would become.

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David decided he would realize his father’s dream of mutants and humans coexisting and to do that he traveled back in time to his own conception to kill Magneto who Charles was also with at the time.

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Time travel shenanigans ensue and Bishop ends it by showing David what future he is actually creating. David was ashamed and in the reconstructed timeline he was thought to be dead, his mother even questioned his conception.

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Years later David was discovered trapped in a concrete box and once he escaped he was transported forward in time where Bishop resided. It was a dystopian future and David was immediately captured and put into slavery. He got out of it somehow, these sort of things happen quite a bit to him. The X-Men finally took him in and Karma and Magik began working with him to get better but he still had major reality twisting hiccups while he was trying to be good but his ever increasing alter egos keep taking over. Meanwhile his relationship with his father continued to be estranged; Charles seemed to think he was too dangerous unless he wanted to utilize his powers or alternate personalities. Magick  is the only one that seems to consistently try to help him but sometimes with ulterior motives

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Now for the really good part. X-Men Legacy: Legion written by Simon Spurrier.

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Up until this point Legion was very inconsistently written because he had been a very minor character but in Spurrier’s Legion series the loose ends of the story are tightened and we actually see David as David. Before he only momentarily surfaced to find that he had caused a disaster and everyone was debating on whether or not he should be put down.

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Charles had sent David to a secluded place for rehabilitation and never came back, as is his pattern with David. After the event of Avengers vs X-Men where Charles dies David finally had to face the fact that his father was never going to come for him, he was never going to publicly acknowledge him, and he never planned to let David return to the real world.

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When he felt his father pass away David’s power surged and he wiped out the community he was living in, before his Guru died he told David to wait for the X-Men to come to relocate him again but David left, deciding he finally needed to change the pattern of his life, get a grip on himself, and find a way to see his father’s dream of coexistence come true. He does this by making himself somewhat of an invisible mercenary, trying to save mutants the X-Men hadn’t gotten.

David turns his Mindscape into a prison to keep all of the alter egos contained which worked relatively well, all things considered

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Blindfold, a mutant nearly as powerful and ostracized as he is, seems to have an instinctual connection to him.

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imageBlindfold is Ruth Aldine, and she takes after her legendary grandmother Destiny. The Destiny that David accidentally murdered years before. Ruth has a very traumatic history; she was powerful she was born with her mutant abilities already developing and she was born blind, specifically she was born with no eyes at all. When Ruth’s father left her brother Luca blamed her because she was a mutant and tried to kill her but accidentally killed their mother instead. Luca joins a radical anti-mutant group and ends up fracturing her mind which gives her schizophrenia and a very prominent speech impediment

She takes refuge in the X-Men mansion/school but the way she speaks, looks, and is unable to restrain herself from reading everyone’s minds makes her a social outcast

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The X-Men eventually track David down with the help of Ruth’s powers

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And David isn’t having it

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The X-Men try to keep Ruth from him but through their mysterious connection Ruth easily enters David’s Mindscape where she is partially able to speak normally, depending on her mood

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She is able to get through to him until one of his altars breaks out and attacks her, knocking her out.

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David lets the X-Men take the mutant children he had found and secretly follows them back to watch over Ruth who is now comatose. He enters her subconscious and sees her whole life, specifically her bullies

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He brings her back to consciousness and they meet briefly as he escapes

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She keeps track of him by following him in her astral body, not understanding quite how powerful he is and that he always knows where she is

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He tracks down the radical group her brother had joined and sets out to destroy them and her brother. She “reveals” herself to him telling him to knock it the fuck off.

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She makes him promise not to hurt them so he sort of complies by messing with their minds so they will no longer be a threat. David continues on his mission to save mutants and impress Ruth and she continues to be his conscious while they secretly meet on the astral plane

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As this is all going on David is trying to deal with what looks like his father’s consciousness personified in his Mindscape jail. The entity does claim to be Charles Xavier and it continually terrorizes all of the alter egos and mocks David, among other things…

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The golden pervert, David and Ruth’s inherent connection, and because it’s X-Men everything is leading to a future dystopia where David loses control again but this time destroys everything. Ruth will have to kill him because she’s the only one strong enough and deeply embedded in him to destroy all of the alternate personalities along with David

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but David insists that he can change fate. He’s powerful enough and with Ruth as his one that gives him “purpose” he’s pretty sure he can pull it off

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But he’s going to do it by changing the will of people that will influence the dystopian future. Ruth argues that it’s immoral, especially to punish people for things they haven’t done yet. It was against Charles Xavier’s dream to force people into anything (although he often did it, unbeknownst to them) but David isn’t empathetic, in fact he already took out Aarkus before asking her permission. Ruth was mad but soon thereafter she sought him out again by using Cerebra

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But he had already made a deal with the golden pervert in his brain that in exchange for checking on the future again the pervert could have controlled his body for one minute. (Each of David’s altars personify one of his thousands of powers.) David sees the apocalyptic future he creates and runs off to an ideological facility that “cure” mutants by giving them medication that will give them brain damage, blocking their ability to use their powers. Ruth goes to her peers and the X-Men asking for help to get David out of this but it takes a lot of convincing

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David he realizes that although the patients seem to be well their minds are shattered but another apparition of his father appears, reminding him of his failures and making him feel guilty for denying his heritage but David blocks amount and decides to go through with the cure anyway

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The operator of the facility reveals himself to be the Red Skull and the one that caused him to see his father because he had implanted Charles Xavier’s brain into himself, hoping the shame of giving up would make David want to fight but David still doesn’t want to

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He is given the medication and they air his conversion live on TV

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Ruth appears with X-Men she had convinced to come help her save him which is what the Red Skull had apparently been aiming for and the X-Men are live on TV appearing suddenly in what appears to be a peaceful facility to stop a man who admits to being a monster from “rehabilitation” but David had planned on him planning this and uses that moment to bring in a young mutant he had saved earlier. The boy’s ability was that everyone immediately believes anything he says, practically giving him the ability to change reality. Through live TV he convinced everyone watching that the mutants weren’t their enemy. He tries to evoke empathy but that doesn’t work as well

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Of course a battle with Red Skull ensues which is when the golden pervert who looks like Charles Xavier comes to take his one minute with complete control of David’s body. He wants Xavier’s brain for himself.

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Ruth fights to get the minute to run out so David can take control of his body again and then we have this really funny moment

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Read X-Men Legacy: Legion Vol. 1: Prodigal

Diary: IHSS should just drop the I and H

When I first got that call from Nice Guy everyone was so excited but I kept telling them not to get their hopes up and lookie lookie here, I was right. It wasn’t just pessimism. But pessimism had a lot to do with it. 

In our last episode I said I was done. Well, I’m even more doner now.

suicide-gif_zpsgmt7pcggAfter all this time it seems that auntie and I finally have something in common; we’re both done. But our “done”s are pretty different.

Remember Auntie said she was going to take mom to lunch? Of course you don’t. No one is reading this shit. Well guess what, when I asked her what time she went on radio silence.

Then I tried to explain the spoon thing again despite the fact I know it throws her into a rage. She literally disowned me the first and only time I gave it a subtle shot.

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Did that sound condescending?

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I really tried my hardest. This is the first text I sent her without running it by anyone to proofread for anything that could be construed as insulting. I just went with how I write formal emails. Unless she wants me to speak in AAVE I have no other options.tumblr_n66se03AA91rc7zl1o1_400_zpsuoig0sqk

And it would just be my luck that she would trick me into something racist like that.

She recently texted me asking for the infamous door alarm.

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That, apparently, was the wrong thing to say because then no one heard from her and like three days later her daughter, whose name I censored first, showed up one afternoon for it but said she couldn’t stay because her kids were in the car. It really made mom depressed because she was so excited to see her. It’s heart wrenching.

So, I guess when auntie said that she was done what she meant was done sticking the knife in but not twisting it.

tumblr_oun3tfW3y81rohg16o5_400_zpsasyoupfcI’m fucking done.

Like I said, I don’t think about my auntie unless someone brings her up but that void was quickly filled with IHSS.

And now I’m done with them.

I still have not heard from my caseworker/social worker. Let’s call her Amy Hoe. The one time she talked to me all she did was whine about how hard she used to work before she “got burned too many times.”tumblr_oqwrniL4sk1u940dvo9_500_zpsiijrkdzq

She did call once but I was here alone with mom and couldn’t get the phone. I then left multiple messages, all sugary and sweet like last time, apologizing for missing the call and I left my phone number, my address, and my email address. Each week. I left messages in every department, trying to find someone who will least call me back about how to get more hours my caretakers. No one called.

It’s been a month.

giphy11 days ago someone from payroll accidentally picked up and told me to call Amy Hoe. I know better than to talk shit so I told her that Amy Hoe said she would be “out on the field” for three months. She insisted and I hesitantly, and awkwardly, said, “um she said she was going to be busy and I haven’t gotten her to call me back so I was wondering who I can speak to instead in the time being?” No dice. “I really do think she was serious about being out of contact. She seemed pretty stressed. I know it’s hard; social work is horrible. She just said she was little burnt out by going out of her way for people.”

Dice on fire.

tumblr_inline_o5n7o8TrGT1t0ihy9_500_zpspfgwuqqyHow is that insulting? I was obviously choosing my words carefully (badly) but the chick isn’t responsible for going out of her way so long as she acknowledges that it was her choice. Bad things always happen to good people.

I’m not dumb, I know this sounded insulting but she was trying to hang up and this is the first I had spoken to anyone in a month and all that happened then was a promise to call me back.

tumblr_os57kgeMbh1rrkahjo4_540_zpsvogskbskApparently they are BFF because she immediately shouted, “she would never say something like that!”

I said, “well she did.” She tried to bite her tongue and said “that doesn’t sound like something she’d say.” And immediately transferred me to someone’s voicemail.

Idea for a movie: IHSS is actually a secret government agency that gas lights the most impoverished citizens as a way for the Illuminati to make turn America into inspirational porn to broadcast to the aliens.

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I hired that caretaker I was going to interview. Let’s call her Princess. She’s in her mid-20s and she acts like it. Savage rightfully pointed out that she was both unaware and reckless with her white privilege by saying, “she’s white.” tumblr_nxz6fnnsYq1r83d7lo10_540_zpsag45xhh5

She really is a nice girl but she actually told me she misses high school.

What do you say to that?

All I could come up with at the time was, “ew.”

So what did that payroll lady do? She connected me to some guy’s office whom, she made sure to point out, wasn’t there so I would have to leave a message. It turned out to be a supervisor who called me back pretty quickly and was very apologetic. He seemed nice but I’m smart enough not to trust anyone. Ever. About anything. Ever again. He helpfully told me things that I should ask Amy Hoe about when she does a home visit, which would be soon or he would do it himself or… Oh, Amy Hoe never came out and never spoke to me other than that one phone call in and entire year? Then he looked at my file to see who had come out and it was that guy.

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That guy, that superduper supervisor everyone at IHSS stands on their desks and recites O Captain! my Captain! to was the one that came out. The one that told me that IHSS would give me back pay and lost me thousands of dollars which, of course, is on one of my maxed out credit cards. He laughingly suggested that that guy should be the one to come out again.

I emphatically asked him not to reprimand Amy Hoe, twice. I’m not trying to start any trouble. I’ll do whatever. I’d suck a dick for some basic human rights.

Yesterday the was Friday before Labor Day weekend and I was over with the world. This is always a hard three day weekend for me and not just because of the labor irony, this is the weekend they used to play the MDA marathon but thank God this year Jerry Lewis is dead.

tumblr_ng32ibpEP71t7lixko1_500_zpsoxiogzipI meant to be facetious, the only time I ever knew it was Labor Day weekend was if someone told me directly but this year it was different. Maybe because everyone left so this was the first weekend in a long time that it was just me and my broken wheelchair.

Did I mention my wheelchair is broken? It’s been broken since before I even started this blog and I’m still fighting with insurance. I’m extra crippled so I use this electric chair and now it only holds a charge for about an hour or two of actual movement; this is a big reason I only eat once a day and even then sometimes I don’t bother. BTW, this is why you should be kicked in the kidneys if you’ve ever used the phrase “wheelchair-bound.

giphy 1_zps24wdkwdbDid I check the battery? Of course I fucking did. That’s as stupid as asking someone if they restarted their computer. I’m a professional cripple™ so I think I know what I’m doing.

Except that I rolled the dice and put out for a new battery on my credit card when the insurance wasn’t going to do anything, then it turned out to be the actual wheelchair that had finally died.

My wheelchair is over 10 years old.

tumblr_nyrq0aa42C1u9127so1_400_zpsrdaseelnYou are supposed to get a new one more often than that but the last time I needed to replace this wheelchair this mother fucker the salesman did exactly what I knew he would, exactly what all of those people do, fucked me because he was on commission. He ordered the most expensive thing and added everything he could despite my specifically saying not to put anything on the order after it was out of my sight. I couldn’t even sit in the thing because as soon as I did I would slide out. There was so much machinery around me that I couldn’t have driven it if I wanted to. I insisted he take it back with him. I had to yell at him before he took it. He told me I couldn’t get another one and he was right.

They told me I had to wait five more years and here I am.

Here I am…

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I called This Dude at 3 o’clock Friday morning, spit out all the serial numbers stamped on me, and explained why I was up at 3 o’clock in the morning. My caretakers have too little hours. My mom is getting worse. I’m getting worse. I have to stay up all night to keep mom from leaving the house even though all I can do is sit in front of the door. With no assistance I hadn’t been able to go to the bathroom in 12 hours.

Then my voice broke so if I had pulled off sounding like I wasn’t crying it was game over. I quickly asked him to call me back and got off the phone.

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This “nice guy” never called me back, of course. No one did. It’s been a little over a week.

When I first got that call from Nice Guy everyone was so excited but I kept telling them not to get their hopes up and lookie lookie here, I was right. It wasn’t just pessimism. But pessimism had a lot to do with it.

PS. Because of some paperwork auntie took from me back in what they tell me was May I owe Social Security $800 for the error and my disability is still $3.

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This a gas chamber reeks of pessimus.

Why the World Needs Neurodiversity

Neurodivergent Rebel

Neurodiversity relates to the way a person thinks and experiences the world.

The thoughts below evolved from a conversation with someone opposed to the theory on another blog. The opposer claimed neurodiversity ignores health problems commonly associated with the neurodiverse condition and questioned how identical twins could have one ND (neurodiverse) twin and on NT (neurotypical or “normal”) twin if neurodiversity is genetic.

I’m currently drafting another paper regarding environmental epigenetics to address the questions about twins, but the first statement, a misunderstanding of neurodiversity, I am addressing here.

Lots of neurodiverse people have co-occurring conditions (Anxiety, IBS, migraines, sensory overload, insomnia, etc.). These things can be disruptive to one’s life and may require medical attention. Nobody is trying to deny these medical conditions are, at best, an inconvenience.

Everyone has a genetic predisposition to some sicknesses, neurodiverse people just have a common list of accompanying illnesses.

The definition of…

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No, Bad TV Portrayals of Disability are Not Good Learning Opportunities.

crippledscholar

Atypical Poster Image Description: Promotional poster for Netflix series Atypical. The Main cast is lined up on the bottom of the screen Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine), then only the top of Sam’s (Keir Gilchrist), Doug (Michael Rapaport), and Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) a cartoon thought bubble surrounded by penguins is coming out of Sam’s head featuring the show title and release date (Aug. 11)

“Hey everyone, you should totally watch Atypical  it’s super informative about autism except for the pathologizing of misogyny, the uncritical look at the cult of compliance, the portrayal of autistic people as one dimensional more uncritical takes on using disabled family members as props for personal gain, serious misrepresentation of effective therapy and interventions but yeah, you should totally watch it anyway”

I wrote the previous paragraph on Twitter yesterday in response to someone who suggested that despite Atypical’s extremely problematic portrayal of autism that it was still a…

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