Tale from the 'hood

... Personhood, that is.

So you think you have a handle on how the brain works? You're sure, absolutely sure, the Terri Schiavos of the world are incapable of thought or feelings? Do you think you even know your own mind?

We've discussed babies with no brains, people with "vegetables" for brains, and preborns who experts (at spin) say can't possibly think.

Well from her fingertips to your ears, here is yet another voice.

Makes you wonder who is really lacking in grey matter. Or it should.

About this video and its author, Amanda Bagg, Wired.com reported February 25....

The YouTube post, she says, was a political statement, designed to call attention to people's tendency to underestimate autistics. It wasn't her first video post, but this one took off. "When the number of viewers began to climb, I got scared out of my mind," Baggs says.

autism.jpg

As the hit count neared 100,000, her blog was flooded. At 200,000, scientists were inviting her to visit their labs. By 300,000, the TV people came calling, hearts warmed by the story of a young woman's fiery spirit and the rare glimpse into what has long been regarded as the solitary imprisonment of the autistic mind. "I've said a million times that I'm not trapped in my own world,'" Baggs says. "Yet, what do most of these news stories lead with? Saying exactly that."...

Baggs is working on some new videos. One project is tentatively titled "Am I a Person Yet?" She'll explore communication, empathy, self-reflection — core elements of the human experience that have at times been used to define personhood itself. And at various points during the clip, she'll ask: "Am I a person yet?" It's a provocative idea, and you might find yourself thinking: She has a point.

Can't wait to view that one.

[HT: moderator MK, who also composed most of this post; graphic courtesy of autism.org]


Comments:

Beautiful video, and very moving too, Jill. I have an autistic nephew, and I wish he could find a way to communicate as well as this young lady does.

Posted by: Doyle at February 29, 2008 11:22 AM


We have so much to learn! I loved her thoughts!

Posted by: Carla at February 29, 2008 11:35 AM


Good for her!

Posted by: Nathan Will Sheets at February 29, 2008 11:57 AM


I second that!

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 12:03 PM


An autistic person is so completely different from someone in a vegetative state. How can you compare the two? Terri Schivos brain was basically mush, if you cared to look at the autopsy report. I know autistic people who can talk, listen, run, laugh, express themselves, show emotion actually see.

Posted by: Jess at February 29, 2008 12:12 PM


I mean this woman is obviously a fully functioning individual. She is able to express herself and be independent.

Posted by: Jess at February 29, 2008 12:15 PM


Jess, I am also PL, but I do tend to agree with you. Nursing Homes make a good profit on keeping people alive in a PVS. To me, it's sad. Sorry. No matter which way I toss and turn it, I just can't see the bright side of being kept alive this way.[[just my say]]

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 12:19 PM


That video is beautiful.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 29, 2008 12:25 PM


Also, I am a huge believer in respecting someone's last wishes. I thought that Terri had requested that she NOT be kept alive this way. Why weren't her last wishes respected?

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 12:27 PM


Oh and the whole PVS thing...just create a will or legal document that expresses your wishes. That would be the simple way to resolve that.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 29, 2008 12:27 PM


PIP, I was under the impression that she had one.

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 12:29 PM


"Also, I am a huge believer in respecting someone's last wishes. I thought that Terri had requested that she NOT be kept alive this way. Why weren't her last wishes respected?"

Heather, check out http://www.priestsforlife.org/euthanasia/terrisfinalhours.htm It's an account from Father Frank Pavone about the last few hours with Terri. She was starved and dehydrated to death, as opposed to being kept alive on a ventilator or something extra-ordinary. Food and water are basic human necessities. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 29, 2008 12:32 PM


Sorry to get off topic but since we were talking about Andrea...
http://www.yateskids.org/
I can understand the website to remember their children but this site seems rather morbid and cruel towards Andrea, talking about all the things the children could do if they were still alive. I don't like that guy.

Posted by: Jess at February 29, 2008 12:34 PM


Oh, Heather, I"m not sure. I don't know much about the Shiavo thing.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 29, 2008 12:38 PM


Bobby, thanks for the link. PIP, I'm not sure either. Bobby, I am off to read. Hope the baby is okay.

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 12:41 PM


*Schiavo

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 29, 2008 12:41 PM


Jess,

One has to keep in mind that there was a time when autistics were viewed as hopeless, retarded, uneducable, non-communicative and best put away in an institution to vegetate and forgotten.
In fact, at one time deaf children were also assumed to be retarded and/or brain damaged and put in institutions and forgotten.
Better diagnostic and early intervention, special education, more understanding, and communication aids are proving our "knowledge" of autism has been in the dark ages. Computers enabled autistics to communicate where before they could not. This also enabled autistics to explain their condition and how they perceive their surroundings where before this was a complete mystery.
The same is true of people with cerebral palsy. Technology has opened a whole new world for them as well where before they were pretty much relegated to institutions to vegetate.
I think this article and video illustrate the more we learn about the brain and nervous system, the more unanswered questions we have. Again and again its been shown that we cannot assume we know what goes on inside someone else's brain.

Posted by: Mary at February 29, 2008 12:47 PM


Jess, 12:34PM,

GAG ME!!! Don't get me started on this devoted husband and father! GRRRRRRRRRRRR

Posted by: Mary at February 29, 2008 12:51 PM


Heather,

So great to see you back:)

Posted by: Mary at February 29, 2008 12:53 PM


Mary, thank you. Did you get my e-mail? I haven't had any internet service since 1-23. Thank you for your concern!;}

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 12:56 PM


Jess,

I'd expect Jill's followers to be critically thinking about the
propaganda they hear incessantly from the mainstream media.

The statement that Terri's brain was basically mush is particularly cruel and I'm certain if her family reads Jill, as they very well might, they would take strong offense at such a lie.

Terri would light up and smile when her mother walked into
the room and she would try to speak.

Imagine your self isolated in a dark room for years, with visitors
restricted from your room at the whim of your cruel spouse.
Even tho you are just inside the grounds of a beautiful park
setting, you are denied the opportunity to be outdoors, basking
in the sunshine - listening to birds chirp and breathing
fresh air.

Imagine what your brain would look like on autopsy were you
to be denied even ice chips or a drop of water on your parched
tongue for 13 days.

Imagine how frustrated you'd be to be called a vegetable,
even while you hear the unkind things being said by your
spouse who mistreats you so - and you sadly can't speak out
but the thoughts are exploding, desperately wanting to be
shouted.

Imagine that hundreds, if not thousands are outside your
hospice literally shouting your dignity and humanity to the
watching world while you weaken from the starvation and dehydration regime being forced on you, till the point of
death.

IMAGINE and then please soften your heart for the torture
Terri endured.

Please find some kindness to share with others about her plight.

Please.

Posted by: lesforlife at February 29, 2008 12:57 PM


Mary/Jess -

What's the problem. I tried going to the website but my computer practically crashed...

I haven't heard much about Yates in awhile, but I thought he got remarried.

I don't know if you ever heard of the Lemak case. Marilyn Lemak picked up her kids early from school and drugged them to death in Naperville, IL. She basically did it to get back at her estranged husband. She left him several times and then got mad when he started dating someone else.

My kids were in the hospital in Naperville with Rotovirus when the brought her in because of her half-hearted attempted suicide. It was the buzz of the hospital and everyone was horrified. I just can't imagine the heart-ache of that father and can't blame anyone for what they do to remember their kids.

Posted by: Kristen at February 29, 2008 1:03 PM


Lesforlife, that was so beautifully spoken, and every word so true. Thank you for your post.

Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 1:04 PM


Rusty Yates did remarry. He was on the Tyra Banks show. I don't know why everyone hates him so much. Can someone shed some light?

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 1:05 PM


Bethany, there you are. I think I had the wrong e-mail for you. I tried resending. Anything yet?

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 1:06 PM


Bobby, I am reading the link you posted and I have never seen that particular account before! I am close to tears again. :-( It just hurts to think there are such cruel people in this world.


Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 1:13 PM


I haven't gotten the email yet, Heather ...try mail(at)sketchesbybethany.net

Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 1:16 PM


The most important quote in that link, and one that I wish people would REMEMBER, is this:

"Terri's case is not about the withdrawal of life-saving medical treatment, but rather about the killing of a healthy person whose life some regarded as worthless. Terri was not dying, was not on life support, and did not have any terminal illness. Because some thought she would not want to live with her disability, they insisted on introducing the cause of death, namely, dehydration."

Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 1:17 PM


"Rusty Yates did remarry. He was on the Tyra Banks show. I don't know why everyone hates him so much. Can someone shed some light?"

He knew his wife was very sick and she couldn't be on the medicine she needed if she became pregnant again yet he insisted she have another child. He basically isolated her and invited people into his life who mentally tortured Andrea, he ignored the doctors orders not to leave her alone. Then without telling her he got remarried right before her appeal. He's as just as much if not more to blame for those children's death and yet he plays the innocent victim game.

Posted by: Jess at February 29, 2008 1:18 PM


Bethany, I just tried that one. I was denied access. I was sending it to the adelphia address. I'll try the address to my right again.:]

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 1:19 PM


An autistic person is so completely different from someone in a vegetative state. How can you compare the two? Terri Schivos brain was basically mush, if you cared to look at the autopsy report. I know autistic people who can talk, listen, run, laugh, express themselves, show emotion actually see.

what about the ones who can't express themselves? Do they not have the ability to think, because you cannot understand their language?

Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 1:22 PM


Heather, I'll email you, then you can try replying to the email. Let me know if you don't receive an email in the next 10 minutes.

Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 1:23 PM



An autistic person is so completely different from someone in a vegetative state. How can you compare the two? Terri Schivos brain was basically mush, if you cared to look at the autopsy report. I know autistic people who can talk, listen, run, laugh, express themselves, show emotion actually see.

Also, Jess, did you not see the man's brain scan which showed that his brain was nearly completely liquefied, yet he was able to think just fine? He is one that would be deemed "incompatible with life", yet he was perfectly able to think and be aware of his surroundings and even was able to be a productive member of society.

If he can think with mostly liquid in his head rather than brain, how in the world can you know for certain that Terri possessed no capability of thought or awareness?

Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 1:28 PM


Bethany, got it.

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 1:29 PM


Kristen and Heather,

RE: Andrea Yates. Please refer to my 2/28 4:08PM and 4:32PM and posts on the "New Planned Parenthood Slogan" thread.

Posted by: Mary at February 29, 2008 1:42 PM


Mary, I read you loud and clear! I did read the book about Andrea and Rusty Yates. I was under the impression that he really did try to get her help. It was also an error on the part of her psychiatric team. She was released from the hospital in a catotonic state....At least this is what the book claims. Did the husband help matters?..No. I definatly see your point.

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 2:04 PM


Wow what an incredible video. I've never quite thought about autism like this before.
Jess,
Who says Terri's brain was mush? No one really knows the whole truth about Terri and her condition. We won't ever know what might have been because her "husband" never did all that he possibly could for her.
We don't know enough about the mind to categorically reject someone and call them a vegetable worth starving to death.

Posted by: Patricia at February 29, 2008 2:06 PM


First Carrie and Now Heather! Excellent! Any chance ABLaura and Hooves will be coming back?

Welcome back Heather. Poor Val has been having post all the statistics you used to...lol

Anywho, I'm glad you came home!

Posted by: mk at February 29, 2008 2:15 PM


mk, thank you. I sure hope we can get our team back on track. Satan delights when we bicker. Thanks for the welcome. I have to ask you how the March For Life went!!!?? I saw you guys. You all looked great! Details, details..pleaassse? I lost my internet service on the 22 or 23rd of January, but I watched the March on ESPN. I was looking for you guys.

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 2:21 PM


Deathroe.com has updated it's site. Did anyone take a look at Operation Rescue? Former abortionist Laurence Reich was arrested AGAIN!

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 2:26 PM


I want to make one thing clear. I want to kind of clear the air. We all have a different style of debating. I would love to try to help everyone see that abortion is wrong. However, I know that some will go to the grave believing otherwise. I prefer to point out facts. It's all I can do. My attitude? Pro aborts can take it or leave it. Did anyone watch "The View" the other day? Actress Tracy Gold was a guest. She is pregnant with her 4th child. She and Elisabeth Hasselbeck were discussing the joys of being pregnant. Whoopie and Joy were rolling their eyes. HOW RUDE!! Whoopie and Joy are both PC, but they didn't have to show such disrespect. Whoopie is still a rabid pro deather. She's had several abortions. I'd like to think she might "get a clue" one of these days, but it doesn't look promising.

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 2:36 PM


tracy Gold? Wow, haven't heard about her for awhile. Last time I saw her, she was doing lifetime movies.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 29, 2008 2:55 PM


pip, I call it Wifetime..he he.

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 3:01 PM


lol heather ;)

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 29, 2008 3:18 PM


Television for women..lol!

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 3:20 PM


Heather,

Facts are our friends. Point them out all you want. Of course we all have different debating styles. This is a good thing. We can't all be Bobby's and Bethanys. As long as it remains debate and not insult swap, everyone should feel free to indulge their own styles...

Peace.

Posted by: mk at February 29, 2008 3:24 PM


I have been spending about an hour watching the other videos the girl with autism (Amanda) posted... she is incredibly brilliant and really makes some beautiful points in all of her videos.

What an inspiration she is to others. Just imagine what God is doing in her life for others like her who have faced such harsh criticism for being themselves and who have to deal with people who are ignorant of how they think.

It is so good to understand a bit more about what Autism is, and I am thrilled to hear from the perspective of the individuals themselves exactly how they perceive the world around them.

This video made an exceptionally good point:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WK144ZdxFU


Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 3:24 PM


I don't suppose there is a youtube link to that Veiw episode...

Posted by: mk at February 29, 2008 3:25 PM


MK, I would think that there should be, but I don't know how to pull it up. I think it was on 2 days ago. You have to see this to believe it!! Whoopie seemed especially irritated as Tracy explained that she loves feeling the baby move. I was outraged. How long before Goldberg gets the boot?

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 3:30 PM


*peace back at you*

Posted by: heather at February 29, 2008 3:31 PM


@Bethany: Eep! I tried calling you this afternoon, but I think I may have wrote the wrong phone number in my cell phone. :(

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 29, 2008 3:37 PM


I think Rusty Yates should have done jail time for leaving those children with Andrea when it was obvious she was unstable.

Posted by: TexasRed at February 29, 2008 4:03 PM


@Bethany: Eep! I tried calling you this afternoon, but I think I may have wrote the wrong phone number in my cell phone. :(

Ari-Chan, I will send it to you again by email, but since I was gone this afternoon you may have just missed me! Sorry about that. :)

Posted by: Bethany at February 29, 2008 4:11 PM


TR 4:03PM

We finally agree on something!

He should do more jail time for taking that woman off her psych meds cold turkey so as to impregnate her (against medical advise) and allowing her to mentally deteriorate to the point she did. She wasn't competent to make such a decision, he has no excuse for making it.

Posted by: Mary at February 29, 2008 5:26 PM


That video is great. I have an autistic grandson (he is 11 now) and though he speaks, I'm sure he does not articulate all that is in his mind.

Before he was diagnosed at about 3 (yes, we were all in denial), I'm sure I and others dismissed him without a thought. My wife (his grandmother) and his mother both thought he was the greatest kid.

Must be something about women's intutition, huh?

Posted by: Andy at February 29, 2008 6:13 PM


Rusty Yates did remarry. He was on the Tyra Banks show. I don't know why everyone hates him so much. Can someone shed some light?

Heather, welcome back.

About Rusty Yates - ICK! Good grief.... Supreme Creepazoid alert WOOP WOOP WOOP....

Posted by: Doug at February 29, 2008 7:39 PM


LOL Tyra Banks. One of my friends is on Top Model so I watch it for her (and she is amazing)...but tyra sometimes is just sooooooo hypocritical (or stupid).

The last challenge raised "awareness" about "homelessness." Tyra said, "I know about this first hand because for my show, the Tyra Banks show, I was homeless for a day." Tyra SHUT UP, you do not know crap about being homeless. One of the contestants used to be homeless, I'd rather her talk about it being a huge problem than Tyra. The irony of having girls pose as being homeless while wearing thousand dollar designer clothes was pretty glaring, too.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 29, 2008 7:57 PM


(LMAO) No doubt, PIP - I mean come on, Tyra really being homeless for a day? Get outta town...

Posted by: Doug at February 29, 2008 8:36 PM


LOL Doug, I know. I almost spit out my diet coke when she used a perfectly good charity to just promote her show and her own self-righteousness.

It's like, seriously Tyra? She is more like Oprah than I thought, did you see that episode where Oprah couldn't find the entrance to Wal Mart?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 29, 2008 8:51 PM


I've never actually seen the Tyra show, but watching Joel McHale ridicule every Friday on The Soup is priceless.

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 29, 2008 9:45 PM


FF and Doug

We agree again!? I love Joel McHale. He often makes fun of Tyra.

Another great show is My Big Redneck Wedding.
This is one wedding show Doug you wouldn't be embarassed to admit you watch.

Posted by: Mary at February 29, 2008 9:53 PM


That video was just....amazing.

You always hear about how tragic autism is and how terrible it is for people. It made me look at autism in a whole new way.

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 29, 2008 11:20 PM


Wow! I really had no idea how autistic people really felt about being autistic. That video was absolutely amazing! And so is Amanda!

I agree with Carla...we (the world) has so much to learn.

Posted by: JLM at February 29, 2008 11:27 PM


Amanda is wise beyond her years. The full article is definitely worth reading!

Let's give our dollars to autism research and education instead of PP.

Posted by: Janet at March 1, 2008 6:08 AM


Pip, I can agree with you about Tyra. BTW, the girl has no rhythm....Tyra, please stop attempting to dance. Pip, good luck to your friend. That must be quite an experience.

Posted by: heather at March 1, 2008 7:36 AM


JLM, 11:27PM

Our knowledge of autism was so limited because autistic people were often unable to communicate or do so effectively. They were assumed to be retarded or hopeless and put in institutions. The same ofter happened to misdiagnosed deaf children.
We've come a long way in our "knowledge" of autism, when it was at first "known" to be caused by poor mothering, and still have a very long way to go.

Posted by: Mary at March 1, 2008 8:03 AM


I agree, Mary. We have come a long way from it's beginning beliefs, and we do have such a long road to come. Amanda's words are proof of this.

I was astoundingly amazed when I watched that video. Amanda is such a beautiful person, and I've never read such a thought-provoking response to the definition of "personhood" as it comes from her own words.

Amazing!

Posted by: JLM at March 1, 2008 11:13 AM


LOL Heather! Thanks ;)

Posted by: prettyinpink at March 1, 2008 11:34 AM


JLM, she also has a blog which I thought was fascinating...read it here:
http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org/

There is a WORLD of information there.

Posted by: Bethany at March 1, 2008 12:12 PM


JLM,

I have a very good friend who is a special ed teacher. I have tremendous respect for her dedication and knowledge.
She had a student diagnosed as "retarded". Working with this student my friend was convinced she was not retarded but autistic and insisted on a reevaluation. My friend was proven correct, the child was indeed autistic. My friend revised her teaching method for an autistic child and far from being retarded, the child was in fact highly intelligent and responded quickly to the revised teaching method.. Thankfully for this student she had an experienced and determined teacher or his/her true abilities and potential would have gone undiscovered.

Posted by: Mary at March 1, 2008 4:12 PM


Another great show is My Big Redneck Wedding. This is one wedding show Doug you wouldn't be embarassed to admit you watch.

Mary,

Posted by: Doug at March 2, 2008 10:39 PM


Posted by: Doug at March 2, 2008 10:42 PM


Posted by: Doug at March 2, 2008 10:46 PM


Posted by: Doug at March 2, 2008 10:50 PM


Posted by: Doug at March 2, 2008 10:51 PM


DALE EARNHARDT


DALE EARNHARDT

Posted by: Doug at March 2, 2008 10:54 PM


Thanks Doug,

What a hoot. I always thought rednecks were just a stereotype but they're for real.
I'm a big fan of Jeff Foxworthy.
I had relatives in Michigan that fit this stereotype to a tee. A very interesting branch of the family tree to say the least. You should hear my mother describe the wedding and reception she attended there 40 years ago. She'd have you in hysterics.

Posted by: Mary at March 3, 2008 7:41 AM