Thursday, May 29, 2008

could Cesarean sections be partly responsible for autism increse

Today I was reading an article in the Los Angeles times on how Cesarean sections are on the rise due to ob/gyn doctors being fearful of lawsuits and sometimes doing them unnecessarily. This has lead to premature delivery of babies who might be vulnerable to autism or other types of developmental disabilies. Don't get me wrong. I still believe that most of the perceived increase in autism is due to changes in special education law which have allowed persons to qualify for services such as ABA. This is in addition to changes in diagnostic criteria and the increasing recognition that persons of normal intelligence can be autistic.

However, no one really knows for sure if more persons with autism spectrum disorders are being born then were 15 or more years ago. As there is no real biologic marker to determine whether or not someone is autistic it is mostly just guesswork. I believe it could be possible that there is a slight increase in autistic children being born, though not the huge increases that SAFE MINDS and other vaccine causes autism groups claim. One of the theories is that at least some of the cause of autism is due to increased paternal age of fathers of autistic children. I know that some people who blog on the internet such as Harold Doherty and John Best had their autistic sons when in their 40s. Also, ironically enough Donald Trump who recently became a father at age 61 said that he was going to not have his offspring receive a multitude of vaccinations at once to minimize the chances of the baby becoming autistic.

It seems to me that premature birth is one of the factors that could cause a person to become autistic. Another irony is that Sally Bernard, one of the leaders of the vaccines causes autism movement had an autistic son who was a triplet, born prematurely. It is much more likely this is what caused her son's autism than mercury in vaccines. It seems that there might be a temporal relationship between cesarean sections and the rate of autism increases. Of course with my problems that won't be easy to research and I don't know if I am going to pursue that avenue. I have shown, I believe, there is no temporal relationship between autism and vaccines in my article "Autism and Thimerosal is there really a correlation?" However, there is still a temporal relationship between changes in special education law and the commercialization of ABA treatments with their pie-in-the-sky claims of normalcy for nearly 50% of autistic children who undergo the 40 hour per week paradigm starting before they are age 36 months. I suspect, as I said before that this is a factor.

However, the incidence of Cesarean sections and how much they have increased and whether or not this is a factor in some autism deserves some exploration. It could be the basis for scientific research into the etiology of at least some autism also.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

would you like some cheese with that whine department

I recently posted a comment on the left brain/right brain blog in response to blogger Kevin Leitch's comments that though he might not stand in the way of a cure, he was not sure it would be necessary as there might be some alternatives. As is so typical of those involved in the neurodiversity movement, he neglected to give any specifics. In response, I asked what alternatives are there. The only person who responded to my question and gave any answer was Joseph of the natural variation blog. He stated that we should study the successful adult outcomes and see what influenced them. I did respond to him, but one point that I did not but should have made in my response was that this might be a legitimate thing to do, however, if we could find what influenced the adult outcomes and modify the environment or diet or whatever factors might lead to these outcomes assuming they exist(which is questionable) and the person was able to live a normal (or typical for those who prefer that word) life why would they not be cured? I also asked that question of Kevin in my original post. It seems to me that Joe and Kev just want to have it both ways, which is not an uncommon phenomena for those who preach neurodiversity.

Another person diagnosed me with clinical depression and suggested that i get some sort of treatment for this. I guess it is inconceivable to some that a person can be depressed because their autistic symptoms have so greatly impaired their life and made it so difficult.

One of the most, in my opinion, interesting responses was from someone who calls herself alyric who accused me of making one big whine and saying my whining does not accomplish anything.

If anyone holds the records for the most non-productive whining in the world it is those who are involved with neurodiversity. They take umbrage to someone using a ransom note metaphor concerning autism and spend their time complaining about something so silly and quashing this, pressuring the New York University person to pull these ads. They whine about a non-existent cure which even if it did exist, no one is proposing they be forced to take it against their will. It does not seem to occur to them these parents who wish their children could be cured have no interest in curing them, just their own children. They whine about organizations like autism speaks accusing them of bigotry and genocide. They whine about the direction tax payer funded research should take. Interestingly enough, I am pretty sure two of these whiners, Michelle Dawson and Mike Stanton have never paid a dime in American taxes yet feel they should have a say on how U.S. tax dollar research should be funded.

They whine about the murders of autistic children like katie McCarron and blame anyone who wants a cure for those murders. Yet they shed no tears for children like Ashley Brock who recently drowned most likely due to being autistic. They shed no tears for the boy who was killed by a train in North Carolina due to being too autistic to know the danger.

They whine about parents saying autism is any sort of deficiency or pathology or bad thing.

They attempt to engage in petty censorship claiming that publically funded usenet newsgroups are "autistic friendly space" saying anyone who posts anything negative about autism is violating them. Steve D., one neurodiversity activitist, complains when someone posts a link to my article "neurodiversity just say no" in the autism speaks newsgroups because he is offended by it. Yet it is okay for them to post all sorts of things that undoubtedly offend other people.

All I can say to Alyric and other neurodiversity proponents is, "would you like some cheese with that whine?"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Neurodiversity article in New York Magazine

An article about neurodiversity has just come out in New York magazine. I just finished reading it and I am pleased to announce that yours truly got a brief mention in the article and author Andrew Solomon quoted a sentence or two from my article "Neurodiversity: Just Say No" It was an interesting article and fairly well-balanced, though seems a slight bias towards the ND side of the story.

I was not mentioned until close to the end of the article. so wondered if someone whose diagnosis would be autism (even high functioning) rather than asperger's syndrome would be mentioned. I also wondered if any mention would be made of autistic adults who have tried to make a living and the problems that so often happens to those of us on the spectrum who are too disabled to be continually "substantially and gainfully employed". The reason I was concerned about this were that Mr. Solomon's shining examples were Ari neeman and Alex Plank, two individuals diagnosed with asperger's syndrome rather than autism, neither of whom, at least in my book, should be considered an adult. They are both under 21, are still developing college students and are not yet old or mature enough to have attempted to go out in the world and make a living at a serious job, so the problems that many of us on the spectrum have of holding down a job are really an abstraction to these two. Once they finish school and are adults, they will have to think about supporting themselves, which might be difficult for them if their asperger's significantly impairs them. It is not unthinkable, they might come around to my viewpoint, once they understand the real problems autistic adults face. I seem to remember also both of these individuals were diagnosed quite late in childhood. I also wonder if Alex Plank has ever been in a special education setting. I have been told by Michelle Dawson and Ari himself that he has been a special ed student. So I am still waiting to hear about someone who is an adult, gone out in the world tried to make a living has an ASD disorder that involved a speech delay and was a special ed student as I was who is a neurodiversity proponent.

I was also reading the left brain/right brain blog's author Keven Leitch, who now seems to have come around to the prospect that a cure might not be so bad, but might actually not be necessary, though he gives no alternatives to a cure that might help an autistic. But Kev seems to say, he would not get in the way of a cure if there could be a cure. A long way from the "we don't need no stinkin' cure" motto of the autism hub that they apparently changed for some mysterious reason to something about acceptance of autistic people.

Kathleen Seidel seems to say that she is not opposed to treatments being found for people with autism so she does not seem to think that autism is not all joy and beauty, so this may be another example of one neurodiversity proponent trying to have it both ways.

Alex Plank, does make some sense in that he says that since there is no cure there is no point in arguing about it, but wants something done for the autistic people on this planet now whom with his alleged asperger's diagnosis i don't think he has much in common with. But we also have to think about the lives of children who will be born in the future and what we can do to ensure they will not have to suffer from all the hardships an ASD can bring. This is why the work of autism speaks and other organizations are so important.

On the subject of autism speaks, i was very disappointed to again read Ari Neeman as being quoted that autism speaks is complicit in the murders of autistic children just because of one dumb remark one person associated with the organization made in a video. It is unfortunate this kind of demagoguery has to be used by these people to justify their otherwise unjustifiable position.

Lenny Schaefer was saying don't write about these people, we don't need to give them publicity. Though I find neurodiversity as distasteful as Mr. Schaefer (though I don't agree with him on vaccines causing autism and the likelihood of a true rise of autism), I don't believe he is correct on this. Neurodiversity is no less of a fringe movement than people who believe the earth is flat and at some point, when they start getting more publicity people will see how silly their position truly is. I hope then at some point that parents of newly diagnosed children will reject this movement. I hope this will motivate people to find medical solutions to autism.

I realize that Plank's point about we want something done for autistics who are here now may be well taken. It is true, that the scientific research that autism speaks funds may not provide beneficial treatments let alone cures for people with autism in our lifetime, though as I said in the previous paragraph we do have to think about future generations. However, what can be done for the autistic persons on this planet now? I wish I had some easy quick fix answers but I don't. However, I don't believe that ABA, poorly thought out laws like the IDEA and the IEPs (Idiotic Expectations Programs) are any answer. I also don't believe that acceptance, preaching neurodiversity provide any answers to autism either. Also societal acceptance certainly provide no answer to nonspeaking head-banging autistics whose problems neurodiversity proponents won't seem to acknowledge. Therefore I hope that people will reject this way of thinking. I also hope that pieces like those published in the New York Magazine will allow those to see for themselves what a misguided movement this is and will lead people to reject it.