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  • AND SPEAKING OF BIGOTS AND ASSHOLES

    Filed at 6:57 am under by dcobranchi

    Conservative moran Thomas Sowell shows his ass in his latest column on autism. (Yes, I really did just link to freerepublic.com)

    What Camarata has also encountered is something that I encountered in my smaller group— parents who have been told to allow their child to be diagnosed as autistic, in order to become eligible for government money that is available, and can be used for speech therapy or whatever other treatment the child might need.

    How much this may have contributed to the soaring statistics on the number of children diagnosed as autistic is something that nobody knows — and apparently not many people are talking about it.

    Another factor in the great increase in the number of children diagnosed as autistic is a growing practice of referring to children as being on “the autistic spectrum.”

    In other words, a child may not actually be autistic but has a number of characteristics common among autistic children. The problem with this approach is that lots of children who are not autistic have characteristics that are common among autistic children.

    [snip]

    Real autism may not get as much money as it needs if much of that money is dissipated on children who are not in fact autistic. But money is money to those who are running research projects— and a gullible media helps them get that money.

    “Autism sprectrum disorders” aren’t real? Tell that to Dr. Asperger and the parents of all the AS kids.

    14 Responses to “AND SPEAKING OF BIGOTS AND ASSHOLES”


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    July 18th, 2008
    at 8:28 am

    No need to consult Dr. Asperger.

    Dr. Sowell will diagnose which child has “real” autism and which one is just feeding at the tax-dollar trough.

    Kids!

    Nance


    Comment by
    John
    July 18th, 2008
    at 10:55 am

    Reading the part of that article you quote, I can’t actually see the bit where Sowell says ‘Autistic Spectrum Disorders’ aren’t real. Isn’t it the case that with a spectrum of disorders, there may indeed be some controversy over diagnosis at the margins?

    Sowell tends to write about how incentives affect behavior – I think it would be naive to imagine that incentives could not influence the behavior of either concerned parents or researchers.

    I didn’t see the bigotry here either, but then I didn’t follow your link to Free Republic.


    Comment by
    Toni
    July 18th, 2008
    at 1:25 pm

    Bashing the concept of autism is all the rage, and not just among Freepers: mediam...170005


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    July 18th, 2008
    at 1:49 pm

    Savage is one sick fuck!


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    July 18th, 2008
    at 1:59 pm

    I think it would be naive to imagine that incentives could not influence the behavior of either concerned parents or researchers.

    ***

    And?

    Nance


    Comment by
    John
    July 18th, 2008
    at 2:17 pm

    “And?”

    ***

    And that appears to be the point Sowell is making – that incentives for concerned parents and researchers might have the effect of diverting resources from the truly needy to those whose diagnosis is more controversial.

    Whether he has supported his argument with evidence is another matter (I don’t see any), however, the basic argument seems plausible to me, if applied at the margins. That does not mean, and nor did I infer from the extract above, that “autistic spectrum disorders are not real”, nor does it show that the current levels of government subsidy for research or treatment are either too high or too low.


    Comment by
    John
    July 18th, 2008
    at 2:22 pm

    Savage, however, is obviously a provocatuer and will no doubt watch with glee as the controversy he is trying to stir up is spread around the blogosphere and MSM.

    Clearly an oxygen thief.


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    July 18th, 2008
    at 3:56 pm

    So his argument is meaningless. And sounds like it could be applied to just about any situation concerning distribution of resources. There might be a few people in any such situation who misuse funds. And what does that tell us? As always, nothing. It certainly doesn’t lead to anything helpful or in any way indicate that Sowell and friends have some special insight into who is more needy and deserving. As his type of rant always implies.

    Nance


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    July 18th, 2008
    at 5:08 pm

    “Parents need to be spared the emotional trauma of false diagnoses and children need to be spared stressful treatments that follow false diagnoses. Yet the “autism spectrum” concept provides lots of wiggle room for those who are making false diagnoses.”

    False diagnoses. Not incorrect ones. Seems to me that he is accusing the doctors of fraud and of making up a “false” disease.


    Comment by
    don
    July 18th, 2008
    at 11:49 pm

    I can tell you that here in Iowa, kids who are diagnosed with autism and are mentally retarded have access to a lot more services than the kids on the rest of the autistic spectrum. There is very little available to kids with Asperger’s or High-Functioning Autism. So there really isn’t any incentive for a parent to get a child diagnosed unless the child is lower functioning. That may be different in other states, though.

    I don’t agree with the idea that Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism aren’t real disorders, but after working nearly 20 years in the human services/mental health field, I can tell you that some diagnoses do tend to be overused. They go through stages where a certain diagnosis gets more frequent usage, and at the same time you see more books/articles/seminars on related topics available, although it’s hard to say whether the increased attention drives the increased usage of the diagnosis or vice versa.

    I personally tend to have a lot of Asperger’s traits. When I was in second grade, my teacher thought I was different and socially withdrawn and sent me for a psych eval. The psychologist said I was fine, but I wonder if I would have ended up with a diagnosis of Asperger’s if it had been in the DSM at that time. I also wonder how that label may have limited my opportunities from that point on. There can be disincentives to getting a diagnosis, too and I don’t think any concerned parent takes the decision lightly.


    Comment by
    John
    July 19th, 2008
    at 7:12 am

    Daryl,

    you may be right,: though I had not inferred ‘fraudulent’ from ‘false’, I can see that interpretation is also possible.

    I wonder if, as a general rule, we should try and put the words of those with whom we disagree, in the mouths of those with whom we agree, in an effort to cast a more charitable interpretation on their words.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    July 19th, 2008
    at 11:19 am

    Depends on what the point of one’s general rule IS, John. If actually learning and understanding and seeking progress through solving problems together is the point, then of course.

    That however, is NOT the point of most political commentary I see.


    Comment by
    John
    July 20th, 2008
    at 3:25 pm

    “If actually learning and understanding and seeking progress through solving problems together is the point, then of course.”

    Not merely – I have no wish to work together with certain statesmen I could name, but if one comes up with a good idea (they come up with so many – a few must be good) I’d like to judge it on its own merits.

    So much of political life – and of course political commentary – is entrenched in a partisan battle which has very little to do with evidence or reason, far more to do with the emotional tribalism involved in supporting one’s ‘team’.

    This blog, for example, can be quite interesting when discussing education,home schooling and religion, but I am sorry to say is far less so when puffing the democratic presidential candidate. Is that my partiality showing? I don’t think so – not being an American I don’t have much of a dog in that particular fight.


    Comment by
    Anonymous
    July 20th, 2008
    at 6:12 pm

    don said:
    I can tell you that here in Iowa, kids who are diagnosed with autism and are mentally retarded have access to a lot more services than the kids on the rest of the autistic spectrum. There is very little available to kids with Asperger’s or High-Functioning Autism. So there really isn’t any incentive for a parent to get a child diagnosed unless the child is lower functioning. That may be different in other states, though.

    It’s the same in all states. There are no “extras”, there is no incentive, for kids to be diagnosed with conditions on the higher end of the autism spectrum. And kids who have “a few traits” do not get diagnosed, because “the A word” is still considerd so awful that doctors use that diagnosis only when nothing else can be applied.

    In fact, many kids are given a diagnosis of “Asperger” or PDD-NOS” just so the doctor won’t have to actually say “the A word” to parents.

    There is more money for mental retardation. Does that qualify as an “incentive” Are teachers and parents plotting to mislabel kids?