Saturday, January 14, 2006

Open letter to A. Cohen (editorial response #12)

Spoken like a person whose life has not been touched by the 'autism hysteria,'
I can assure you that my children and the children I have been around as a result of the 'autism hysteria’ in our lives have far more going on than simply having different personality types. Simply being quirky doesn’t cripple an entire family’s ability to function and particpate in the world. I don’t know what kind of people you have been running around with who would be “eager” for an autism diagnosis, but I only know people who are eager to get out from under the autism umbrella. But what do I know? I am just an obsessed and hysterical parent.
Your response is remarkably uninformed and officious. Check out the DSMV IV and do some reading about the disorder (Autism is not a disease, as you mistated). Also, there are effective treatments and interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders. No cure perhaps, at least in the traditional sense of the word, but remediation with early and intensive interventions is well documented. Because it is a disorder and not a disease, there is not a 'one size fits all' plan for recovery, but recovery does happen. It is happening around here everyday.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

Here is the editorial letter to which I am responding. I guess this ignorant person's missive is well-suited to the ignorant editorial that sparked it.

"Hand-in-hand with the hysteria over vaccines and autism, is the hysteria about autism itself. In my neck of the woods (Boston), it seems that any kid that talks late, is shy and/or is introspective gets labeled as having some disease on the “autism spectrum”, e.g., Asperger’s syndrome.
Autism is clearly a disease; but an autism “spectrum” has never been demonstrated (only hypothesized), and no effective treatments for either autism or the supposed “spectrum” have ever been demonstrated.
While it’s great that society recognizes that some children have different personalities, we’ve become obsessed with turning personality differences into pathologies. I expect that this eagerness to label kids as autistic is causing a great deal of the “explosion” in autism, and is causing uneccessary parental anguish and societal expense.
Comment by A. Cohen — January 13, 2006 @
8:36 am"
And people wonder why I am forever pushing to raise awareness. This fool is exactly why.


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