The Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand applauds the Press Council’s finding that Andrew Bolt breached their standards through words calculated to cause or contribute to “substantial offence, distress or prejudice, or a substantial risk to health or safety”.

Bolt published a response to the finding in the Herald Sun on Wednesday.  ASAN Chair Kathy Isaacs says: “Bolt’s immature and defensive rejoinder shows that his understanding of Autism and related conditions is limited, and his ability to reflect on his actions non-existent.”

His primary contention appears to be that being Autistic creates an aura of “mystical certainty” around Thunberg, without it being backed up by knowledge or experience.
This is not borne out by evidence.  Research shows that Autistic people tend to learn deeply about subjects of interest, have a broader array of interests than allistic people, and that knowledge gained through special interests tends to be more scientifically based, and of a higher order than non-Autistic knowledge.

Climate scientists have acknowledged Greta’s understanding of the concepts involved, and her grasp of the complex issues of climate science is certainly many levels higher than that of this serial denier of truth.

We are fully aware of the futility of trying to explain anything to a man whose writing contains far more emotional manipulation than Thunberg’s “fiery-eyed certainty” could claim, and invariably contains all of the faults he pastes onto Greta and all other Autistic people in his article. The foundation of most of Bolt’s writing is a lack of expertise or understanding, an overbearing false certainty, “solutions” that are neither practical nor helpful, intolerance of dissenting views, and lack of any capacity for compromise.

The mirror-like reflection is completed when you see Bolt’s inexplicable appeal amongst people who don’t understand the real issues involved in his pronouncements, and who already agree with him. 

For comment please contact Board Member Samantha Connor 0400 890 571

1: https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1560

2: https://doi.org/10.1352/1934-9556-50.5.391

3: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00438