BREAKING NEWS: Autistic Academic’s Sooper Sekrit Identity(TM) Revealed!

It would appear that I have a secret.  A big secret.  A secret so secret that it has escaped my hair and flowed out into the world.  A secret so secret, even I didn’t know I was keeping it.  Like Nick Fury, my secrets have secrets.*

But there is no denying the inevitable truth:

I am actually a prissy suburban SUV-driving soccer mom who moonlights as a Sooper Sekrit Spy(TM) for Autism Speaks.

I know!  You’re as shocked as I am!

It makes sense, though.  In fact, there are huge parts of my life that now make total sense.  Why else would I live in an urban center, spend my weekends doing farm chores for my in-laws**, have no children, and drive a Yaris – unless it was to hide the fact that I am in fact a suburban-dwelling, SUV-driving soccer mom?  There’s no other explanation!

And my sooper-sekrit identity – well, that explains so much of my life.  Like how I have an irrepressible urge to shout “VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM!” every time I see a blue light.  Or that one time I woke up in a bathtub full of puzzle pieces.  Man, was that a wild weekend!

“Wait,” you’re probably asking yourself.  “What’s going on here?  Is there some in-joke I’m not in on?”

Well, here it is.

I.  SOOPER SEKRITS REVEALED

At least a dozen people received the following message in their Facebook inbox last night.  Since it went to such a wide audience, I’m not removing the author’s name in respect of his clear wish not to remain anonymous:

(Screenshot from a friend, who felt the need to stick up for me with swears.  I approve.)

It reads:

Jacob Szalapski

Dear member of Just Us Autistics (Discussion, Education, & Support Community), one of the admins, Dani Alexis Ryskamp, is a prissy suburban SUV soccer mom, and a sympathizer and spy for Autism Speaks. She is secretly a curist and ableist herself, because she condemns any notion of us autistics having talents (and banned me for saying that we do). Autism Speaks is in a conspiracy to advocate against a cure WITHIN our groups while condemning the notion that we have talents, so as trivialize and pacify our movement and thus make it less appealing to neurotypicals in the general populatin so that they will be more likely to prevent autism in the first place and genocidally abort autists. By claiming to support neurodiversity but condemning any scientific evidence that supports neurodiversity, she is intentionally trying to make our cause appear like “denial” and “trying to make the most of something bad now that it already exists” in order to make it appear less serious. Autism Speaks, the organization that supports a cure, prevention, prenatal testing, torturing us, and videos about parents wanting to kill their autistic kids, also has made euphemistic claims “okay to be different” (when sponsoring the Sesame Street character Julia, and in other contexts), and has even published and sponsored stories of perseverence DESPITE autism (yet no reference to success BECAUSE of autism), also proving that she is a liar who claims to support our acceptance but really secretly works for Autism Speaks. Please help warn everyone in the Aspergers/autism community that she is a spy who is trying to hurt our cause.

Here is the version of the message that Jacob sent to me:

jacob writes to me

Which reads:

Jacob Szalapski

Because of how overly offended you were, you are a prissy suburban SUV soccer mom.  And you are an autism curist and ableist yourself.  You are a spy for Autism Speaks, in a conspiracy to advocate against a cure WITHIN our groups while condemning any notion of us having talents, so as to trivialize and pacify our movement and thus make it less appealing to neurotypicals in the general population so that they will be more likely to prevent autism in the first place and genocidally abort autists.  By claiming to support neurodiversity but condemning any scientific evidence that actually does support neurodiversity, you are trying to make our cause appear like “denial” and “trying to make the most of something bad now that it already exists” in order make [sic] it appear less serious.  Even so, you may be against a cure, but that does not mean that you are against prevention in the first place.  I am against curing autism, and tho I agree with the cause against the cure, that does not mean that I agree that the cause is successful in convincing others with how it is currently wording everything.  How dare you work for Autism Speaks and try to infiltrate our neurodiversity movement, you prissy suburban SUV soccer mom.

Let’s back up a bit, for context.  I don’t want anyone thinking that Jacob is lobbing these allegations at me out of nowhere.  That would be unfair to him.

II.  Backstory

I am one of the moderators of the Just Us Autistics group on Facebook.  It is, as the name implies, a Facebook group consisting solely of autistic people.  In the interests of making it a safe space for autistic people to be autistic, our rules reflect a pro-neurodiversity approach.  (In fact, the group was the brainchild of Nick Walker, author of the linked piece and academic with extensive work on neurodiversity concepts and approaches.  In other words, Nick knows his stuff.)

On Feburary 18, two members of Just Us alerted me, via Facebook PM, that a member named Jacob Szalapski was breaking one of the group’s rules – specifically, the one against espousing “Aspie supremacy”-type views.  I popped in to have a look.  Jacob was, at that moment, telling the group that he believed the greatest “strength” in autism to be our superior intelligence (non-autistics, by contrast, he believes to have superior social skills), and that without making the case for our greater intelligence, we have no case for not being cured or prevented.

(I believe I’m paraphrasing that correctly.  Jacob Szalapski is certainly free to correct me in comments.)

Analyzing the concept of “intelligence” under the neurodiversity paradigm, however, leads pretty quickly to the conclusion that even if intelligence and intellectual disability are identifiable, measurable “things” – and the research is pretty convincing that they are not – they are not adequate measures of human worth.  In other words, even if we could definitively measure everyone’s “intelligence,” we have no business keeping some people and discarding others based on that number.  In fact, to do so would be to reduce the amount of neurological diversity in the population – an unacceptable result to a pro-neurodiversity approach.

Tl;dr, the group’s rules are clear that we treat all brains as having equal and inherent value.  Jacob’s comments were treating some brains as more valuable than others.  I, in discussion with two or three other moderators, determined that Jacob’s comments were violating the group’s rules, and I removed him for it, per the rules.

Jacob protested his removal in a PM to me later that day:

Jacob defends himself

It reads:

Jacob Szalapski

I do not nkow [sic] if you can see this message or if it is in your Other Folder or appears as a message request, but I did not see your comment telling me to stop as I was replying to the other comments, as they were appearing faster than I could reply.  I would have stopped on my own had I seen it sooner.  Do you think I am a curist?  I am looking forward to a future in which everyone has autism.  I am currently publishing “The Autistic Manifesto: A New & Unprecedented Approach”, which is against curing autism and wanting everyone to have autism.

Jacob was correct that this message landed in my “message requests” folder, which meant that I did’t see it for about two weeks after he sent it – I only check that folder periodically.  When I did read it, I did not reply to him.  I simply didn’t think anything in this message demanded a response.  Since I’ve posted it here now, however, I’ll respond briefly.

Nothing in the first half needs defending from my perspective.  I did give Jacob a warning before I removed him.  However, the group’s rules do not require me to do that.  They do require members not to be supremacists.

I did not remove Jacob Szalapski from the group because I thought he was a curist (that is, that he advocates for a cure to autism).  In fact, I understood from reading his comments before I removed him that he is not advocating for a cure.

“A future in which everyone has autism” is anti-neurodiversity on its face.  This shouldn’t even need an explanation.  The word “neurodiversity” has “diversity” right there in it.

After this, I didn’t hear anything from Jacob for several weeks.  Then the messages above.

III.  Frontstory

Frankly, I don’t even know where to start, so I’ll just break down the wall o’ text sent to everyone else, as it’s given above.  I’ll also respond to the two allegations that appear in Jacob’s message to me, but do not appear in the message sent to other group members.

Jacob Szalapski

Dear member of Just Us Autistics (Discussion, Education, & Support Community), one of the admins, Dani Alexis Ryskamp, is a prissy suburban SUV soccer mom, and a sympathizer and spy for Autism Speaks.

I laughed so hard at “prissy suburban SUV soccer mom” that I actually hurt myself.  That’s not even hurtful.  It’s just hilarious.

I was astonished to learn that I am an Autism Speaks “sympathizer and spy,” however.  Google was equally astonished.

She is secretly a curist and ableist herself, because she condemns any notion of us autistics having talents (and banned me for saying that we do).

No.  I banned Jacob for using intelligence as a yardstick for worth, which explicitly violated a stated group rule.

 Autism Speaks is in a conspiracy to advocate against a cure WITHIN our groups while condemning the notion that we have talents, so as trivialize and pacify our movement and thus make it less appealing to neurotypicals in the general populatin [sic] so that they will be more likely to prevent autism in the first place and genocidally abort autists.

I’m aware that Autism Speaks supports cure and prevention research, treats our talents like sideshow curiosities, and is one of the driving forces behind the attempts to find the genetic “source” of autism, making it much easier to prevent or abort us.  I was not, however, aware that Autism Speaks was conspiring to undermine autistic groups from within.

Jacob Szalapski sure seems to know an awful lot more about Autism Speaks’ espionage activities than I do – including who is and is not spying for them.  Is Jacob my handler?

By claiming to support neurodiversity but condemning any scientific evidence that supports neurodiversity, she is intentionally trying to make our cause appear like “denial” and “trying to make the most of something bad now that it already exists” in order to make it appear less serious.

[citation needed]

Seriously.  I can’t even find myself saying this, and I write this blog.

Unless Jacob is under the impression that me removing him from a Facebook group for violating that group’s rules is the same as me claiming that (a) intelligence isn’t a scientifically measurable “thing” or possibly (b) autistics don’t have more of it than non-autistics?

There’s plenty of scientific evidence to support both (a) and (b), by the way.

In the version Jacob sent to me, this section is followed by these two sentences:

Even so, you may be against a cure, but that does not mean that you are against prevention in the first place.  I am against curing autism, and tho I agree with the cause against the cure, that does not mean that I agree that the cause is successful in convincing others with how it is currently wording everything.

Jacob has my position on prevention and cure almost exactly backwards.  I say “almost” because I don’t actually favor either prevention or a cure.

I am willing to listen to already-living autistic people who would take a cure if offered one, because I believe that all feelings about our brains are valid just as all brains are valid.  I also find that listening to pro-cure-me-please autistic people tells us a great deal about how society is currently set up to disable autistic people (despite my complications of it, the social model remains relevant), thus suggesting ways in which can stop that nonsense.

I am vehemently anti-prevention.

The second sentence is the only one in all the screeds Jacob has sent that contains even the germ of a legitimate, debateable argument.  I wish Jacob had cut everything else and started over here.  This seems like it’s leading toward a conversation worth having.

 Autism Speaks, the organization that supports a cure, prevention, prenatal testing, torturing us, and videos about parents wanting to kill their autistic kids, also has made euphemistic claims “okay to be different” (when sponsoring the Sesame Street character Julia, and in other contexts), and has even published and sponsored stories of perseverence [sic] DESPITE autism (yet no reference to success BECAUSE of autism), also proving that she is a liar who claims to support our acceptance but really secretly works for Autism Speaks.

I’m a bit confused by this sentence.  Yes, I’ll agree with everything before the parenthetical aside about Julia. Yes, I’ll also agree that the Julia storyline has problems – not the least of which is that Julia is an object for “awareness” by non-autistic kids, not the narrator of her own story.

After that, I’m not sure whether the accusation of “published and sponsored stories of perserverence [sic] DESPITE autism” is being leveled at Autism Speaks or at me.  Or if Jacob Szalapski is leveling all the accusations on this list at both Autism Speaks and me at the same time. Since I have neither done anything on this list nor been reticent in my opposition to these things, I don’t understand how this “proves” I even agree with Autism Speaks, let alone secretly work for them.

Also, in this context, the misspelling that inserted “perseverence” for “perseverance” above is particularly amusing.  Downright Freudian.

 Please help warn everyone in the Aspergers/autism community that she is a spy who is trying to hurt our cause.

I’m happy to help.  The people need to know.  Especially about my secret soccer-mom double life.

___

*LEGIT QUESTION: Where does Nick Fury keep his secrets if he does not have big hair – or any hair at all, for that matter?

**WORD PROBLEM FOR REDNECK FARM KIDS:How large is a cord of wood?  Express your answer in the unit of measurement “loads that fit in the back of a 1984 Chevy S-10.”  Assume that anyone who rode out in the back of the S-10 will ride back balanced on the rear bumper.  (The answer is “Rear bumper? Well la-di-dah, Mr. Fancypants.”)

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14 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Autistic Academic’s Sooper Sekrit Identity(TM) Revealed!

  1. Douche-noodliness crosses all neurological types. And he wins the “I didn’t get my way, I think I’m better than you” douche-noodle award.

    Nick Fury’s eye patch is actually a Tardis – he keeps all his secrets in it. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Jacob has my position on prevention and cure almost exactly backwards. I say “almost” because I don’t actually favor either prevention or a cure.

    I am willing to listen to already-living autistic people who would take a cure if offered one, because I believe that all feelings about our brains are valid just as all brains are valid.”

    You know, I feel similarly. A true “cure” probably isn’t feasible. But I think autistic people who *are* in pain or distress from any feature of autism should have access to whatever treatment or therapy would make them more comfortable or improve their quality of life that they want. I think we should listen when people talk about which features of autism, as opposed to societal factors, really make their lives hard that they would like help with.

    But “prevention” attempts are unilateral judgments that a certain kind of people should just not be allowed to exist, our own feelings about the worth of our lives be damned, and I am unequivocally against them.

    (And yet people believe they’re better for believing the other way around. “It’s not that *you* aren’t worthwhile as an autistic person. It’s just that people like you shouldn’t be allowed to exist ever again.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, I’m an admin of Autistics Against Anti-vaxxers, an all-autistic group as well
    Could we possibly connect over there?
    It seems like we have much the same philosophy (I’m writing this on my phone, I’m about to leave to get my computer from the shop, when I do I’ll link my call for community), and it seems you’ve been at this admin of an all-autistic group longer than I have…would like to converse
    If you want to, this (with the Âû) is my Facebook name

    Like

  4. Uggggh whaaaat

    I mean, I’ve encountered this basic type of douchenoodly thing before, but it is still redonks. Sorry you’re going through that. I hope nobody who got the messages about you is taking them seriously.

    Like

  5. i hope jacob get some serious help. he stalked me on facebook for months and insisted we be married for some kind of all Aspergers family thing. i myself am on the spectrum and he made account after account to pursue me as i blocked him. i googled his name today to see what had become of him. he still contacts my friends as they didnt block him but this is someone who wants to use our community to full a sick ego.

    Like

    1. He has since gotten himself removed from a second FB community (one I do not mod) that I know of. Maybe more. After I failed to respond to his FB posts he started posting this screed in a bunch of autism-related FB communities, accusing the entire mod team at Just Us (not just me) of the same copypasted things.

      I’m really sorry he treated you that way. I’m not sure why he’s stalking and defaming people but I hope he gets the help he needs, too.

      Like

  6. This guy is still doing this. He goes from group to group propagating his autistic supremacy rubbish and accuses those who remove him- after he refuses to comply with rules- of being spies for AS.
    In this fantasy world where AS sends spies around the world, they always go after Jacob. How he expects, with his super intellect, anybody to by this I don’t know.
    But he’s getting nastier and threatening people. He has multiple accounts set up for his inevitable ban.

    Like

    1. Since this post went up, I’ve heard from a couple people who were contacted by him. My advice has been to block and ignore, if only for one’s own peace of mind.

      Like

  7. He is messaging me on several new fb accounts. Tell me to delete the truth about him harassing me, by harassing me. I’ll just block and delete him until he sees I am not afraid and will not be bullied.

    Like

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