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More on the other Ashley Treatment

from everyone's favorite LJ community (why'd I look):

I'm in women's health, and I've had several patients with CP or other severe mental retardation. And yes, menstruation can be a traumatic experience for such girls. The patients I've had have been placed on Depo-Provera (or, in rarer circumstances, other forms of hormonal BC) to inhibit menstruation, with great success. But hysterectomy? VERY extreme, and given the alternatives, IMO, thoroughly unnecessary.
"Other" severe mental retardation?

Strange, I wasn't aware that CP = retardation. Strangely enough I've always been under the impression I don't have that...


Yes, I get that this girl is probably retarded (though the article making the rounds doesn't actually mention anything about this person's cognitive capabilities, unlike the Ashley X case. There's a vague mention that menstruation will "confuse" her, which indicates inability to understand, but it's never stated outright what her cognitive capacity might be or how people know it.) And I get that in some cases, yes, CP and retardation go together.

But saying "other severe mental retardation" is dangerous. It spreads the myth that we're all cognitively impaired. Which in turn means that when even extremely intelligent people with severe enough CP that only affects them physically go about in the world, people see them drool or flail or not move or hear their speech impediments or see that they cannot talk at all and use some alternate method of speech and assume they are mentally incapacitated somehow.

This sloppy language thing has got to stop.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 9th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
fyi I found an article estimating her cog. skills at the 18 month range
Oct. 9th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
Okay. At least there's some data. :) I figured that, but the whole mental age thing was conspicuous to me in its absence in that BBC article.
Oct. 9th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
Here's the article I found.


Worth noting it took some googling - it's not the article everyone else seems to be linking.

Also in one place I saw an article referring to Ashley as having a "rare brain condtion." I thought I would share that with you, and the half dozen other people in my friends group alone who share that rare condition. . .
Oct. 9th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
Well, they used different wording for Ashley. I'm wondering if that's a US vs. UK thing, or if this time people just aren't bothering to hide it.
Oct. 9th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
No, it's just an Ashely's parent's thing. They don't say CP on their website, they say static encephalopathy.

I see that once in awhile, with kids I've encountered. Instead of getting a CP diagnosis, they are given a Static Encephalopathy diagnosis. Then the parents don't have to face what CP means. (I think this is more done to the families by physicians than deliberately by families)

Mind you, there are theroetically other things which cause static encehelopathies, although I can't list any off hand.
Oct. 9th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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