The Right Thing to Do 6

Today I am grateful for support and understanding. Thank you to all of you who have e-mailed Fox and blogged about the recent Glee episode. I sincerely hope they respond in some way and try to make things right.  

I want to make clear that the opinions I express on this blog are my opinions not my daughter’s. There are times we see eye to eye and there are times we do not. Therefore, I ask that you do not try to drag her into the campaign to e-mail Fox. She is choosing to stay out of this and I ask that you respect her wishes.

Now, I know there are those of you who will ask why I am doing this if she is not on board with this cause. My reason is simple. I cannot be a quiet bystander when I feel something is wrong and my views of the world as an adult are different from my views at age sixteen. This is not to say my daughter is wrong and I am right for that is not the way I see it. Rather what I see is that in our generation there were people who thought Archie Bunker on All in the Family was funny and there were people who found it offensive. Some who thought it was funny still find it humorous and others no longer do.

Everyone has a right to their opinions. However, laughing at a group that is vulnerable should never be okay in my book and Allen Frances’ very public opinion that many with an Asperger’s diagnosis do not really have it and those who make very public comments that people with Asperger’s use it as an excuse for bad behavior makes this group vulnerable. Therefore calling someone “self diagnosed” does not negate the harm done to those with a diagnosis of Asperger’s. The writers of Glee need to show tolerance for this vulnerable group.


  1. Hello Sue,
    Yes, I do hope the Glee writers will “make things right.”
    I don’t watch TV (I like my BritCom DVD’s, and talks on TED, YouTube, etc..) and so I didn’t see the show. I am very glad I didn’t or I might have had several sleepless nights!
    Thanks for your advocacy on this issue.

    • Thanks Bruce! Me too, but I have not heard from them and with the time difference I do not know how today’s show played out yet and frankly I am not sure I want to watch.

  2. I don’t watch T.V. I’m assuming this is a show. It often amazes me when people choose to be an advocate for an opinion when they have no experience with it.
    Those people who are extremely visible and have the power to influence others that will not choose to investigate it any further than their ears and what they hear need to be very careful in the opinions they suggest.
    I’m sorry for this recent ms-information that has been voiced and causing more problems to those that have to live with the situation.
    Best Wishes for your fight.

  3. Hi again. With all due respect to your daughter, I do not know if she fully realizing the extent of experiences others on the spectrum have had. I recently had another Aspie reply to my Glee blog article who like me, have had very negative experience with mental health professionals (I tweeted a link to her blog), and she too see a very troubling message in Sugar’s maybe-fake “self-diagnosis”. I’d like to share with you, your daughter and your readers my reply to this fellow Aspie:

    “I do think this is an injurious portrayal of what a self-diagnosis really means for those of us on the spectrum. I was technically self-diagnosed until I found the strength to talk to a psychiatrist about it. Like you said in your article, many of us have bad experiences with mental health professionals, and that may cause us to avoid seeking a diagnosis or make it difficult to advocate for ourselves when dealing with therapists, psychologists, diagnosticians. etc. I know for myself, having been abused as a teenager in a treatment center that mistook my autism for “gender confusion”, resulting in my developing full-blown PTSD, I was terrified of seeing a mental health professional for many years. When Asperger’s was first recognized in the US, I knew I had it, but it would take a few more years and yet another mental health crisis before I could bring myself to see a psychiatrist. It took a lot of courage for me to take a magazine article on Asperger’s to one of my sessions and ask the doctor if she thought I had it. I remember my hands were shaking so much that I dropped the magazine as I was handing it to her. I knew I had Asperger’s. I just was very afraid my doctor wouldn’t see it, or wouldn’t listen. She was hesitant and doubtful, but I wasn’t going to let another person tell me what I was without listening to me. That day I learned what it meant to advocate for oneself. So I know it’s not easy. It’s hard for people who haven’t been there to understand how isolating, alienating and frightening it can be to have everyone tell you you’re not what you KNOW you are, to feel that everyone is assuming they know you yet never listen or try to truly understand. So what is troubling me deeply about Glee is that this character Sugar gives people license to assume, to dismiss, to not listen. We should not tolerate that. We’ve suffered enough from other people’s ignorance. It’s time for this to change.”

    Thank you again for keeping on this. You and your daughter may not agree, but you are not alone in sensing something very unhealthy and wrong with this!

    • Cade,
      I see your point and it is valid. I do agree that Glee’s writers need to realize they are setting up children for worse bullying. My daughter had bad experiences with mental health professionals too and it took four years to get the right diagnosis. Her reasons for not supporting the cause are complex and I support her choice even if I do not agree.

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