Friday, April 6, 2012

On growth attenuation

I've written before about the topic of growth attenuation, and I'm not going to repeat myself. What I am going to do, though, is quote from blogger Claire at Break It, and stand in solidarity with her as another Methuselah. I so admire her convictions here and her bravery in stating them.

I will not mince words. There is no justification for this mutilation in any arena, moral, legal, health or otherwise. Parents are being lied to. This is no solution. The issues of constant care, lack of support, inaccessibility to the world at large, stress, pain, sexual and physical abuse of our vulnerable children are not addressed by this “treatment”. Cognition, that red herring that “professionals” and public alike seem to fall back on as the appropriate line to draw in the sand is so arbitrary, so narrow as to defy logic and even the most basic understanding of how the brain functions and acquires knowledge and awareness.
We are a stupid people, loathe to study and learn from our collective history.  We have burned the witches, strung up the niggers, gassed the kykes, lobotomized the crazies, beat up the faggots all in the name of what was right and good. We look back now, in horror at our primitive ancestors’ sins, failing to remove the mote in our own eyes: we’re on to the ‘tards.  Disability rights…especially the rights of those most severely affected…are the final frontier of civil rights action.  Sadly, I suspect a few more generations of dehumanization of our most vulnerable will pass before any sort of serious political action will take place to bring about real change.
And mark my words, the day will come when we see growth attenuation for the misguided barbarism that it is. On that day, be I the age of Methuselah, I will stand up and point my finger vigorously and without qualms say “I told you so.”
William Peace, at Bad Cripple, also writes of this issue far better than I might. Heavy stuff, I know, but important.


  1. Fully agree with much sadness and dismay. GA is mainly directed at female children and I have seen an underground culture develop on support chats that I engage in.
    Equally dismal is the fact that I am seeing parents ask if GA principles can be applied to young boys to keep them as "pillow angels" ...castration? Much outrage about female genital mutilation, now we need to protect our boys also!
    It's disheartening that we move backwards as a culture and society!

  2. GA is dehumanizing. I worked at Michener Centre years ago, a warehouse for the mentally handicapped. That was inhuman as well.

    Katie has a mental handicap which makes it difficult for her to learn and understand things but she still learns, still understands, still has a sense of humor, it's just harder for her. To deny her the right to grow and learn, both literally and figuratively is beyond wrong.

  3. Powerful words. I admit my ignorance here; I didn't know this practice existed.

    I used to clean for the family of a boy I went to high school with. The father was an executive, and the mother was the primary caregiver of the boy I knew. He had been born able bodied, until the entire family was in a car accident when he was ten. He never walked again, as he was paralyzed from the neck down. The rest of the family wasn't permanently injured, as he was.

    By the time I came to work for them, we are obviously both adults out of high school. I can't imagine his mother castrating him, or telling him he couldn't have any sort of amorous feelings, just because he couldn't physically have children, or always had to have a caregiver.


  4. I agree as well. We have no right to manipulate others in order to make our lives simpler. None at all.

  5. This is so well said , Elizabeth. It's so hard when it comes to 'vulnerability' -I use this word rather then 'disability' because I think they can be synonymous - in any shape or form.

    Invariably we either idealise it or abuse it. We find it hard to nurture and respect it.

  6. AMEN! The world's awareness cannot come to quickly for me and for those who suffer from these atrocities. I love you... and claire!... for speaking what others do not speak.

  7. There are those who are caregivers to children who show so little sign of interacting with anything--I am talking about the very severely, most severely disabled her (the children, not the care takers) who strongly feel that the care they give those children is compromised by size and weight. (the problem I am having keeping child and caretaker clearly identified shows the absurdity of the issue) Some such caretakers feel the answer is to make it easier to care for the kids by keeping them small and childlike.

    My answer is to amputate the limbs while at it. You'll have easy care, cute glo worms like bundles that would be much easier to carry, clothe and diaper.



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