An #ElmoMum elaboration in three short parts. Links should be accurate as the posts are published.
Part the first: Background [You are here]
Part the second: Context (3/17/18)
Part the third: Advice (with swearing) (3/18/18)
1 – Background
One reason I wrote my last post about evaluating books about parenting Autistic children is because, at the time I wrote it, there had already been several responses from both Ellenby and her husband to Autistic book reviewers. These reviewers had read the entire book before contacting the publisher to complain, but the publisher (very unprofessionally) passed the reviewers’ concerns on to Ellenby who took it upon herself to (again, very unprofessionally) respond.
The responses made it abundantly clear that Ellenby would not consider the possibility that it was harmful to put her abuses towards her Autistic child out into the world for public consumption via a book geared towards other parents of Autistic children who may very well be feeling desperate for advice and support.
Furthermore, after I published my post I discovered that the publisher had made a dismissive and patronizing response himself.
The publisher’s response made it abundantly clear that he mainly cares about making money. At least, that’s the primary theme I got from reading it, along with a heaping side of “We have freedom of speech and you can’t censor us!” because apparently the Autistic Community is now the US government AND we have magical censoring powers. He clearly doesn’t like that real Autistic opinions and concerns don’t match up with what he imagines Autistic people might think (his assumptions are expressed in great detail in his response linked above).
Given that the author and publisher see nothing wrong with this book and, in fact, have urged vulnerable Autistic people multiple times to read the book despite Autistic reviewers being clear about how much they were harmed by reading the book, it is clearly up to the consumer to be discerning.
The reason the most important criteria in my previous post was that the author either be Autistic or listen to Autistic adults is because Ellenby likely could’ve avoided many bad situations had she listened to us instead of trying to find her own way. This is, I believe, likewise true for anyone trying to parent or work with Autistic children in a way that will cause the least amount of trauma and be most helpful.
I’ll attempt to illustrate this premise in the next two posts (scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, respectively).