Are Autistics Retarded?
May 10, 2013
The Tragedy of the Ramps
June 25, 2013
Show all

Wakefield and Effective Whistle-Blowing

I have to believe there is room in this world to both make the world a better place, and to earn a decent living, at the same time (check out The Natural Step for a source of hope). None of us need be losers, especially those of us with the capacity to think outside the box. There also has to be room for us people to make mistakes and learn better, one way or another, as all of us have done at different times.

Andrew Wakefield

Andrew Wakefield

It isn’t always fun to have to engage with people who are a lot farther behind on that “learning better” process, or with people who have gotten stuck and stopped their growing process almost entirely. But I have been tremendously grateful (if not always at the time, when embarrassment can be foremost) for the people who have stopped to tell me, in clear and direct language, where I could do better, and how. The ones who’ve learned to do it the most kindly and directly, and the least judgmentally are the ones with whom it is most easy to laugh at myself in my own learning process, let go of my own self-judgments and defensiveness, and identify how to move forward.

It is a skill that can be learned, I’ve found, and highly worth the effort, to be able to step into that direct and non-judgmental place, both when I’m needing to learn better, and when I’m wishing to support someone else in learning better. There are books, and there are courses, and there are places to practice, and always, there are our family and friends, the people with whom we most want to be both loved for who we are, and at the same time, supported for who we can become.

Plain speaking has been used as an excuse for much unkindness, some downright rudeness, and far, far too much judgmentalism. Politeness has been used as an excuse to step aside, to not step into our responsibility towards each other in supporting each other in reaching for and striving for better. It all seems to come down to a very few questions.

  1. Are you aware that you are causing harm, and to whom?
  2. Is it really your intention to cause this harm, in striving for what you most want?
  3. Are there ways to get what you most want without causing this harm?
  4. What process is necessary to change to an action that helps everyone, with nothing harmed?
  5. Are reparations needed, for the harm that was done previously?

Corporate and bureaucratic structure seem in some ways to not only allow, but encourage the shame-blame game, where people will do anything to point the finger at anyone but themselves. As long as one doesn’t get caught, cheating is how to get ahead, making sure that rewards skirt those most deserving and cluster around those willing to harm, steal, lie, and manipulate. I can’t tell you how many white collar workers I’ve known who have outfitted their home offices and friends with paper and other office supplies from work, with the justification that “everyone else is, why shouldn’t I get the rewards, too?” It’s a bit like a grade-schooler saying, “all the other kids get to stay up past midnight”; whether it’s true or not has nothing to do with whether it is ethical, healthful, or caring.

The shame is that those most suited to make ethical decisions are often those least likely to want to participate in this game, and those most willing to step aside and allow unethical acquisition of power and resources, because to name this game is to risk the mud being flung at yourself and those you care about. Whistle-blowers are not kindly treated, and often lose the access to information and resources which allow them to blow the whistle effectively. Even in this circumstance, some refuse to be silenced, refuse to engage in the reciprocal mudslinging, and hold their course of serving the greater good.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the latest video by Dr. Wakefield regarding the measles outbreak in Britain, but he is a master at direct and incisive questions about nothing less than the public good, which is an inarguable benefit. I sincerely hope that more of us are able to step forward as he has, with thoughtful words and careful questions, to help all of us ‘learn better’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your free Autism Decoder report

Where do autism behaviours come from?  Answers blend autistics’ experiences with relevant health research that turns lives around.

  • Thrive With Autism will use the information you provide on this form to share resources with you, to provide updates, and to let you know when I or others have programming or products that might be useful to you, as someone dealing with autism. Please check the boxes below to let me know all the ways that you're open to hearing from me. For more information about the Thrive With Autism privacy practices, or terms of service, please click these links: http://thrivewithautism.ca/legal/privacy-policy/ http://thrivewithautism.ca/legal/terms-and-conditions/ By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their privacy policy. For more information about MailChimp's privacy practices or terms of service, please click these links: https://mailchimp.com/legal/privacy/ https://mailchimp.com/legal/terms/
    You can change your mind at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link in the footer of any email I send, or by sending an email to jackie@thrivewithautism.ca. I (and MailChimp, my email service provider), will treat your information with respect.
×

Questions About Speaking

Tell me a little bit more about your organization and what topic you are most interested in learning about.

  • Please let me know if I can add your details to my contact list. If you select No, I will immediately delete your entry. Note that I need your contact information to respond to your query!
  • If you wish to subscribe to my newsletter, please click Yes below.
×

Mentoring Inquiry

Tell me a little bit more about yourself and what you are most interested in learning about.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

×

Download your free report

Please fill out the following form, so I can send your FREE report,
The Five Root Causes of Autism – What’s Causing the Symptoms You’re Dealing With?
Submitting this form subscribes you to my mailing list…

Since you’re looking for better support and answers (or you wouldn’t be here), it’s important to me to know that you’ll only stick with me if you feel inspired and informed. If you don’t find we’re a good fit, please unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of any email.

Thank you for caring about someone with autism…

  • Thrive With Autism will use the information you provide on this form to share resources with you, to provide updates, and to let you know when I or others have programming or products that might be useful to you, as someone dealing with autism. Please check the boxes below to let me know all the ways that you're open to hearing from me. For more information about the Thrive With Autism privacy practices, or terms of service, please click these links: http://thrivewithautism.ca/legal/privacy-policy/ http://thrivewithautism.ca/legal/terms-and-conditions/ By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their privacy policy. For more information about MailChimp's privacy practices or terms of service, please click these links: https://mailchimp.com/legal/privacy/ https://mailchimp.com/legal/terms/
    You can change your mind at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link in the footer of any email I send, or by sending an email to jackie@thrivewithautism.ca. I (and MailChimp, my email service provider), will treat your information with respect.

×

Get Help Now

For every 5 people helped at full price, Jackie supports one who couldn’t otherwise access her materials and guidance.

  • Your contact information will not be added to my mailing list unless you specifically download the Autism Decoder report, or indicate that you want to join my mailing list below.
  • Most of our contact will occur through email, Skype, Facetime, or conference calling. However, if I have any challenges getting in touch with you, a phone number can solve things quickly!
    If you wish to subscribe to my newsletter, please click Yes.
×
Get In Touch
  • The autistic spectrum includes ADHD, Asperger's, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Kanner's, OCD, PDD-NOS, and Tourette's. Females in the spectrum are often misdiagnosed with Anxiety/ Panic Disorder, Bipolar, Eating Disorder, Fibromyalgia, and OCD.
  • Because I have autism and the associated heightened variability in daily function, I am not on the computer every day. Thank you for your patience.
  • Please note: Your name and email will only be used to contact you directly. Your information will not be added to my newsletter mailing list unless you select that option below.
  • If you wish to subscribe to my newsletter, please click Yes below.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×
Get In Touch
    (Check as many as apply)
    The autistic spectrum includes such diagnoses as: ADHD, Asperger's, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Kanner's, OCD, PDD-NOS, and Tourette's. Females in the spectrum are often misdiagnosed with Anxiety/ Panic Disorder, Bipolar, Eating Disorder, Fibromyalgia, and OCD.
  • Because I have autism and the associated heightened variability in daily function, I am not on the computer every day. Thank you for your patience.
  • Please note: Your name and email will only be used to contact you directly. Your information will not be added to my newsletter mailing list unless you select that option below.
  • If you wish to subscribe to my newsletter, please click Yes below.
×
Get In Touch
  • The autistic spectrum includes ADHD, Asperger's, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Kanner's, OCD, PDD-NOS, and Tourette's. Females in the spectrum are often misdiagnosed with Anxiety/ Panic Disorder, Bipolar, Eating Disorder, Fibromyalgia, and OCD.
  • Because I have autism and the associated heightened variability in daily function, I am not on the computer every day. Thank you for your patience.
  • Please note: Your name and email will only be used to contact you directly. Your information will not be added to my newsletter mailing list unless you select that option below.
  • If you wish to subscribe to my newsletter, please click Yes below.
×
Get In Touch
  • Because I have autism and the associated heightened variability in daily function, I am not on the computer every day. Thank you for your patience.
  • Please note: Your name and email will only be used to contact you directly. Your information will not be added to my newsletter mailing list unless you select that option below.
  • If you wish to subscribe to my newsletter, please click Yes below.
×
Autism Turnaround Session
  • If in your culture your personal name and family name come in a different order, please rearrange them for the sake of my database!
  • Let's try not to get slowed down or stymied by a spam filter!
  • Depending on your location and preferences, we will either use a conference line, Skype, or FaceTime so that you have a recording of our call. However, if there are last-minute challenges, a phone number can help us get things straightened out.
    If you wish to subscribe to my newsletter, please click Yes below.
×