Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Countdown towards a ban of all forms of conversion therapy — Autistic Collaboration


ABA is perhaps the best known “therapy” for autistic people – especially autistic children, but it’s still conversion therapy, and is just as harmful in the view of many autistic adults. What is less well known is that this form of “treatment” for autistics is the basis of all forms of conversion therapy, and now widely condemned in other fields. Unfortunately people who are autistic can still be subjected to electric shock “therapy” in order to make them appear less autistic (a recent SCOTUS decision means it still continues in America). All conversion therapy is cruel and inhumane, and I don’t care whether it’s in the “treatment” of those in the LGBTQI+ community or the neurodivergent community. It must stop!

Today we have presented our submission to the government’s Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill. From today we will will start counting the days until all forms of conversion therapies are banned in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our hope is that this page will only need to be appended a few times with further activities to remind…

Countdown towards a ban of all forms of conversion therapy — Autistic Collaboration

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

6 thoughts on “Countdown towards a ban of all forms of conversion therapy — Autistic Collaboration

  1. I fully agree Barry. Conversion therapy often causes pain and can certainly lead to mental health issues later when someone tries to remove something that is part of your DNA. Churches in the US have tried to change people from the LGBTQI sector believing that being gay is a conscious choice. While their methods may prevent someone from having sex with someone of the same sex, they don’t make the person not gay, they just remove the chance of joy in life.

  2. I remember a TV programme about this in the US, it was horrific. It was like treatment to from the Victorian Times.

  3. The recent SCOTUS decision means that it will probably only get worse for neurodivergent people in the US.

  4. Since so much of our lifelong health comes from our childhood experiences, childhood mental health-care should generate as much societal concern and government funding as does physical health, even though psychological illness/dysfunction typically is not immediately visually observable. The pain — which unlike an open physical disability or condition, such as paralysis, a missing limb or eye — is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head, solitarily suffered. To others, one’s mental turmoil, short of expressing it through incoherent screams, does not exist. …

    When around their neurotypical peers, young people with an autism spectrum disorder typically feel compelled to “camouflage,” a term used to describe their attempts at appearing to naturally fit in, which is known to cause their already high anxiety and/or depression levels to worsen. And, of course, this exacerbation also applies to the high rate of suicide among ASD people.

    Also, I’d really like some relevant specialist/author to pen a book on high-scoring adverse childhood experience trauma resulting from a highly sensitive and low self-confidence existence, especially when its effect is amplified by an accompanying autism spectrum disorder. This, of course, can readily lead to an adulthood of various forms of hazardous self-medicating. As a highly sensitive child, teenager and adult with ASD compounded by a high ACE score, I largely learned this for myself throughout my adult life. It’s what I consider to be a perfect-storm condition with which I greatly struggled yet of which I was not aware until I was a half-century old.

    If one has diagnosed and treated such a condition when very young, he/she will be much better able to deal with the scourge throughout their life.

    • It’s not only young people who need to mask/camouflage. I’m 72 and still sense a survival imperative to continue doing so. Perhaps at my age the imperative is no longer valid as society seems much more tolerant of the “eccentricities” of older folk than of younger folk where the social imperative seems to require a high level of conformity.

      Shortly after I discovered I am autistic, around 12 years ago (I dislike “diagnosis” as it’s a form of pathologising neurodivergency), and while receiving stress management guidance, it was discovered that my brainwave patterns were way off where they should be. In fact according to one health professional, the levels of Alpha waves I produced meant that I should have been in a paralytic or comatosed state, although clearly I wasn’t.

      Who knows how long that had been going on – 10, 20, 50 years? It was certainly affecting my health in many ways, and it’s only since learning that I am neurodivergent that I understand why.

  5. I turn 54 next month, and I, too, continue to camouflage. It has become intensely habitual.

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