On April 17, 2007, Holly Bortfeld attended an autism hearing in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee run by Senator Tom Harkin. At that hearing Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, now current head of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, was there to testify.
Beforehand, Ms. Bortfeld, was waiting with her 11 year old son Max, who has autism, at an elevator on the way up to the hearing. When the doors opened they got on. After they did, Thomas Insel and a female companion approached and entered the elevator just before the doors closed. Ms. Bortfeld reports that once they were on the elevator together...
"...Max stimmed. Insel looked at him, looked at me (yes, he had his little name tag on, so he knew that I knew he was) then he hit the open door button and ushered his coworker off. As the doors were closing, he said "I'm not riding up with them", looking at my son."
The head of the National Institutes of Mental Health refused to ride an elevator with a child with mental health issues.
...again for clarity and perspective on this episode...
The chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee will not share an elevator with a child with autism, on the way into an autism hearing.
This odious behavior is not one of a healer committed to the well being of the disadvantaged or disabled, it is the behavior of a bigot.Adventures in Autism: Autism Chair Thomas Insel Refuses to Ride in an Elevator With an Autistic Child:
'via Blog this'