Sunday, February 28, 2010

Interesting op-ed piece about schizophrenia

In today's Los Angeles times there is a rather interesting op-ed piece that deals with the hardships of schizophrenia written by the sister of a schizophrenic. She talks about her brother's delusions, the fact he hears voices and threatened to kill their father and had to call the Sheriff's department on their own son to have him taken into custody.

It talks about his having to live in Santa Barbara County on SSI that is less than $845/month. He is always broke and living in poverty. Their parents bought the brother a mobile home in a trailer park. Next year the trailer park is requiring all of the tenants to buy the land under their mobile homes. The sister wonders what the brother will do or where he will live.

The last line of the piece states:

And What will happen when the last bit of my mother's estate runs out and my sister and I have nothing left to give him when he's broke Who is responsible? Who is responsible for them all?

This has got me to thinking. It has been pretty well known for years that the prevalence of schizophrenia in the general population of most countries runs about 1%. Back in the 1970s it was felt that autism was a much rarer disorder with a prevalence of about 1 in 2500. Now according to the most recent studies done by the CDC it is about 1 in 110 so very close to what schizophrenia is now.

There is now a point of contention of whether or not autism is just as prevalent in all age groups or is much more prevalent among persons born in or after 1990. Most persons in the neurodiversity movement don't believe there has been a genuine increase in autism that the numbers have always been the same and it has always been a high stable rate. If this is the case, then this means there are about as many autistic adults as adults with schizophrenia and what will happen when parents are not around to help their autistic children as adults after they die is an interesting question. This is aside from the fact that since autism exists in the person from early child on unlike schizophrenia which usually does not have an age of onset until about age 19 or 20 would be more costly since services for many would be needed throughout their lives and the parents of schizophrenia would at least get a break during their offspring's childhood.

If there is an equivalent neurodiversity movement for schizophrenia to the one for autism that is so salient in the blogosphere, they would certainly find this article offensive. They would not want to hear anything bad about schizophrenia or the hardships concurrent in it. They would be aghast that the sister could wallow in such self-pity as to complain in a piece published by a major metropolitan newspaper.

I seem to remember one neurodiversity blogger, Mike Stanton stated that schizophrenia was not autism and the comparisons were not apt when someone tried to make that comparison to counter his neurodiversity beliefs. Mike Stanton also engages in censorship placing me in moderation when I made a polite comment on his blog taking issue and showing inconsistencies to his neurodiversity logic.

I also found this article interesting as I had a good friend with schizophrenia for many years (one of the few friends I have had in recent years) but apparently he had a breakdown and may have stopped taking his medications and was just impossible to deal with. Our friendship is now over and it is sad indeed.

Though autism and schizophrenia are different disorders they are probably at least second cousins in that the so-called negative aspects of schizophrenia-the impaired ability to relate to people and make friends, the problems with theory of mind etc.-are strikingly similar to autism in some respects. Though I can't remember the exact articles there have been structural magnetic resonance imaging scans that have found cerebellar abnormalities that are similar in schizophrenics to the ones found in autism. So I do have somewhat of an interest in schizophrenia.

I can say the same thing for autistic persons to neurodiversity. Who will care? Who will be responsible for them all? Neurodiversity's response is that these problems don't exist, they find the fact that autism is viewed as a costly affliction offensive. They question a lot of the statistics in a "don't confuse me with the facts" response. They use Bill Gates and Stephen Spielberg and Vernon Smith as "autistics" who make great contributions to the economy and therefore balance out those who don't, so that in fact the costs are nothing more than a zero sum game according to neurodiversity logic.

But in spite of the disingenuous spin that ND puts on this along with everything else, the question still remains as Marcia Meier put it about her schizophrenic brother: Who is responsible, who is responsible for them all?

Our government finances the research of Morton Gernsbacher . She is also allowed to review grants for research for autism speaks and peer reviews the research of other scientists for journals. She has claimed autism is not harmful. Autism speaks finances the work of Laurent Mottron who made that same claim in a piece that he coauthored with Gernsbacher and Michelle Dawson.

Our government has appointed Ari Ne'eman who claims that autism is not even a medical disability and finding a cure for autism would be morally reprehensible to the highest disability public policy position in government.

It won't be easy sleeping at night knowing that these individuals are responsible for them all but I guess I will have to do my best.

Well an interesting op ed piece, hope you enjoy reading it.


Anonymous said...

"The Icarus Project" is the "Neurodiversity" of severe mental illness.

Many of them advocate not taking medication, despite severe mental illness, because everyone has a "different reality."

I just cannot understand any of these so-called "advocates" for "diversity."

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

There is indeed an equivalent movement in the Schizophrenia world, to neurodiverity, because we are all part of a greater pan disability movement.

One example of a movement would be the voice hearers network, which that has it's 'stars' and speakers too, who are involved in self advocacy generally. I went to a lecture, given by Ron Coleman to psychiatrists and mental health workers at my local psychiatric hospital (when I was volunteering there for the inpatient advocacy service)

Do you think there is no discourse between people who espouse a neurodiverse outlook and the psychiatric survivors movement. You would be surprised to find there is. Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Depression, OCD, they are all forms of neurological difference, it's all neuro-biologically determined. You cannot truly espouse a neurodiversity viewpoint without considering the world outside of autism and it's closer relatives.

The SZ world has it's superhero icons too, 'a Beautiful Mind' came out long before Temple Grandin's Hagiography.

jonathan said...

Sir Lawrence: hopefully there is a voice hearers network or icarus project member blogger who would tell your pal Mike Stanton that there is no comparison between schizophrenia and autism, making a converse statement to what he made.

farmwifetwo said...

"Who will look after them"... well according to (brain freeze) the anthropologist they all love - his other daughter is expected to - in his book. WHY?? Why would you demand that your other children look after the one that can't look after themselves. Then there's all of those that don't have other children to do it. ie... who's going to look after Charlie should something happen to his parents... Yes, they are honoured to have him... but what about reality... Why this constant sugar coating and ignoring of adulthood. I had to go outside of our siblings for trustees/guardian for my youngest. And they aren't taking him in after the age of 18... they expect to have him in care... but they will look after him/the estate etc. Who do you trust?? Why is autism "ok"?? What do you do with all these people who cannot live on their own with parents that can't keep care of them any longer.

It's great for Estee to say how wonderful her son is.... BUT... what about. And FWIW... my youngest is adorable... but adorable won't help him when he's an adult.

I just started "The history of psychiatry"... but hockey's gotten in the way :)

farmwifetwo said...

FWIW - Estee won't let me comment on her blog. She hates being told that she knows little to nothing about the realities of having a child with autism in Ontario.

Must be nice to have unlimited funds, to pay for your own personal in school support, and jump all the queues...

Thing is... she doesn't want to discuss the "realities" that the rest of us face.... daily.

M.J. said...

I think I remember reading that schizophrenia and autism share some common genetics and there are several genetic abnormalities that have been linked to both conditions.

I once had a commenter on my site suggest that it is hard to tell the difference between an adult with schizophrenia or with autism and that many of the adults claiming to have autism in fact have schizophrenia instead.

I don't know enough about schizophrenia to make a judgement about how likely this is - but if it were true it would go a long way to help explaining the number of people "diagnosed" as adults and their insistence that looking for a cure for autism is wrong.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

MJ indeed you do not know about Schizophrenia, there is one heck of a difference and therein is a problem of nosology, for the original connection comes from the fact that both words were coined by the same Austrian Psychiatrist, Hans Asperger explains more so than Kanner why he (Asperger) adapted this term and what the differences were.

Bipolar and SZ probably have more in common with each other, in that they are currently posited to be on the same 'spectrum'

I don't think any amount of genetics is going to sort out the similarities and differences between any number of extremes of brain funtion, it will cognitive neuroscience that does that.

Anyway voice hearing, is actually more common than the diagnosis of Sz would indicate, it is actually on a spectrum of normality if you count in hypnogogic and hypnopompic experiences, for when you dream, you do not distinguish between an internal representation of the world and an external one, you hear as you hear when awake, and it is the same parts of the brain that light up.

M.J. said...

The Author, you said -

"for the original connection comes from the fact that both words were coined by the same Austrian Psychiatrist, Hans Asperger "

I think schizophrenia is a much older concept than autism and it wasn't coined by Hans Asperger, see here -

If I am not mistaken, autism was originally considered to be a form of schizophrenia until it was broken out into its own category by the DSM III in 1980.

As I said, I don't know how similar the conditions are in presentation, but I do know that they are thought to result of similar genetics. For example, consider this -

"“The genetic studies so far are suggesting a common cause for both schizophrenia and autism, which is something our studies will help to establish,” says Clapcote.

“However, these illnesses are complex, involving not only inheritance, but other factors such as environment and experience. It’s possible the genetic mutation might create a predisposition, making people more likely to develop autism or schizophrenia.”"

or this -

"Autism and schizophrenia may be two sides of the same coin, suggests a review of genetic data associated with the conditions. The finding could help design complementary treatments for the two disorders.

Though autism was originally described as a form of schizophrenia a century ago, evidence for a link has remained equivocal. One theory puts the conditions at opposite ends of a developmental spectrum."

John Best said...

The difference between schizo's and autism is simple. Schizo's are crazy people who can pass for normal. They pass for normal every day, walking down the street, going to work, hanging out in bars, etc..

Autistic people could never pass for normal, not for two seconds.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

My blasted grammer, I did not mean to imply that Han's Asperger coined the words autism and schizophrenia both, that was Eugen Bleuler, what Hans Asperger does in his original paper is explain why he used the word autism to describe his specific set of patients, and how that varied from Bleulers concept of Schizophrenia.

Kanner on the other hand does not explain (that I am aware of) where he gets the term from, but it is clear that Kanner and Asperger were both Austrians who read papers in German by the leading psychiatrists of there youth, amongst them Bleuler and Kraepelin, not to mention Freud.

(oh I just did)

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

John I am not sure I can tell the difference between you and a 'crazy' person.

One thing is clear that you are severely deluded if not in the clinical sence, in the same relation your ideation bears to any kind of objective truth, and don't quote Immanuel Kant back at me.

One of the classic hallmarks of Sz is the obsessive delusion of persecution, delusions that do not accord with the generally culturally accepted observations of what is so. Now the point is there are many delusions, and RichardBentall would say that the propensity towards self delusion is inherent in the structure of the human psyche, all brains are built that way, but that in extremis this breaks down and the usual checks upon the facts don't work. They don't in your case John, there is is no evidence beyond your cry of "conspiracy" towards the hypotheses you defend.

It's a form of communal psychosis because it is not funtional to hold such beliefs, they become dangerous if not corrected.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

Incidentally now I see how MJ works in misquoting, he takes a sentence, and breaks it before the explanation becomes clear that it was not going to say what he wanted it to appear to say.

For I say that Asperger "adapted" the word, that means it was already in currency.

M.J. said...

"Incidentally now I see how MJ works in misquoting, he takes a sentence, and breaks it before the explanation becomes clear that it was not going to say what he wanted it to appear to say."

I did not intend to misquote you but your sentence was so poorly constructed that misunderstanding it was very easy. I had to go back and read what you wrote several times now to see what you were talking about.

If you do not want people to misunderstand, perhaps you should work on expressing yourself better rather than accusing me of purposely misinterpreting what you are saying.

John Best said...

If you become as learned as I have become through my education and experience of dealing with wackos such as yourself, you too may be able to spot the difference between crazy people and normal people.

For now though, Larry, it should behoove you to take stock of your own failings and learn how to see how you've been brainwashed by people who caused your diminished mental capacity so you can ameliorate your condition.

I don't recall reading anything from Kant about how drug companies brainwashed the people they poisoned so I guess he had nothing worthwhile to say that applies to the situation.

Anonymous said...

Then there are the people who claim all psychiatry is absolutely literally 100% nothing but a poisonous genocidal fraud and has zero reason whatsoever to consider schizophrenia symptoms a problem.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...


I apologize for the misinterpretation. Seems it is mutual. In case you were not aware, autism is not my only impairment, I am also dyslexic,hence some degree of difficulty in written expression given that comments on blogs go without benefit of proofreading.

Most of the support I get at Uni is on account of being dyslexic rather than autistic.

I am not sure where Immanuel Kant crept into this but he was famous for a number of things, there was his charachter, reputed to be of obsessive regularity in all his doings, then there was his philosophy and being one of the German pantheon of philosophers along with Hegel, I expect he left an influence on the University educatated elite from whence Kraepelin, and Bleuler are drawn.

His most famous work arguably the critique of pure reason, and perhaps another claim to fame, the obscurity of much of his writing, which some later commentators would ascribe to a brain tumour rather than Kant himself, (without anything other than circumstancial evidence for that)

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. said...

I think the true spirit of neuodiversity suggests that there are both pluses and minuses to each condition (autism, schizophrenia etc.). The idea of diversity doesn't imply that everything is just hunky dory all the time.
Thomas Armstrong, author of forthcoming book Neurodiversity: Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and other Brain Differences.

M.J. said...

"I apologize for the misinterpretation. Seems it is mutual. In case you were not aware, autism is not my only impairment, I am also dyslexic,hence some degree of difficulty in written expression given that comments on blogs go without benefit of proofreading."

My apologizes as well, and I promise to take greater care in the future to make sure I fully grasp what you are saying before responding to it.

John Best said...

Here's the truth about Neurodiversity

You should read this before you finish your book so you don't get it all wrong.

Oliver M Canby said...

Hey Jonathan, I'm having some trouble getting the comment section to appear on my new blog. Do you know anything about that? If so please help me. Thanks for your time.

EquiisSavant said...

First of all, it is a false claim to say Autism is not a medical condition.

But, I also don't interpret the Neurodiversity movement as arguing against the existence of disabilities and deficits within the classification. I think that is a misleading spin you are putting on it.

There are some drawbacks to Ari representing the Voice of all of us on the Autism spectrum, but in his official position, if he doesnt represent all of us accurately, he and his agency can be sued - who knows who will sue them for derelict (breach) of duty, but surely, if all you say is true, then someone will.

That will in turn lead to reform.

Regarding your other issue - who pays for all the lower functioning disabled people in every category ? That's a very good Question, since human rights treaties the U.S. signed requires SOME government entity in this Country to do so, and lately, many states have rejected the idea the one paying will be them.

You are correct to point out that some are sufficiently low functioning they have to be completely paid for and taken care of. I am not disagreeing, since unfortunately you are right in that regard.

However, I see a very failed governmental model that could be enormously improved - for example, instead of sending Autistics out to get jobs under the existing Neurotypical structure, our government should be seeding Autistics even lower functioning with enormous amounts of SBA lending and small business help related to using Internet and computers to facilitate many more Autistics to be earning the kind of incomes that would enable us to pay for our own health insurance and care.

It can be done, but we have to change the way government looks at how to structure a more Autism-friendly and accessible World.

I'm not saying this would eliminate the "Who pays for the lowest functioning" issue, but it would reduce the impact on both Autistics and our state and National economies.

I know there are many things I can do thru an Internet computer to work than in a brick and mortar Neurotypical structured World.

Also, I just don't agree with your interpretation of the meaning of Neurodiversity. I am not sure I agree entirely with Ari's either, and yes, it is also a concern for me that Ari has held or tried to hold so few *real* jobs.

Perhaps, if he did, he would discover he might have the sme problems as so many of the rest of us.


jonathan said...

Hi Oliver, I just sent you an email suggesting how you might go about solving this.

Ender said...

Can I just ask, what happens if we spend the next 20 years spending most of our money searching for this cure rather then spending it trying to help people who already have it, and then never get a cure. What happens then? You seem to think we will easily be able to find a cure if we just look... what if that doesn't happen? What if ND is right and it is just a genetic anomoly and can't be "fixed"? What if you are right and it is a disease but goes the route of so many others and takes forever to "fix" (still waiting for that cure to cancer) or the cure is worse then the disease (ala schizophrenia can many times be). You entire arguement is dependant on it being a quick, easy, and workable fix, what if thats not the case?

jonathan said...

Ender, conversely I can ask what if we don't spend the money on a cure or even if a cure is not possible in the foreseeable future or ever on maybe some sort of medical treatment that will at least improve the lives of these people. We instead spend on the money on ND causes like campaigns on getting rid of things like the ransom notes or other things that people just find offensive or on group homes or on housing for persons with autism or whatever it is that ND feels the money should be spent on? There is nothing that convinces me that anything ND spends the money on will be money well spent. So, I would like to take a chance and try to find a way to help people scientifically or a cure if possible.

There is no evidence that suggests to me the way you want to spend the money would do anything to benefit anyone, such as special education spending being such a failure and money on ABA programs being a failure and no evidence of speech therapy, occupational therapy, augmentive communications devices etc. helping anyone but maybe a small minority of people?

Therefore, I feel it is worth the gamble of doing scientific research so that some day persons won't have to suffer from this affliction or at least future generations won't.

Ender said...

I would rather spend the money on providing good schools, good job training, and the such. Think like Monarch Academy or Orion Academy, just paid for by the government. Unlike you (who coincidently grew up before much was known about the higher functioning side of autism) I believe that there is a great deal that can be done to help aspies out if we are just willing to invest in it. Provide them with social skills training and the like, meanwhile encouraging them to give into their passions or preservations or whatever you want to call them. Sadly I think right now much of that money is going to try to find a cure, a cure which might never come, or might be worse then the disease itself (imagine sleeping 18 hours a day like sometimes can happen in cases of schizo-effective or schizophrenia, and yes I have worked with someone with both).

But then again, how do you define, "a small minority of people." Many people on the autism spectrum are on the higher end of it, and I have seen great things done to help them out, in particular with the therapies you mentioned. Yea, the disorder sticks around (which means you will never accept it), but if they are functioning, have some friends, can get and keep a job, etc., then isn't that what we are striving for. Though can you find one doctor that says that therapy won't help those that are on the higher end of the scale?

The only real way we are going to be able to get your cure in a halfway decent way is through gene munipulation, or abortion... and who knows how much damage we could do there. How many billions of dollars have went into a cure for cancer, a cure for AIDS, hell a cure for the common cold. What has that gotten us, a bunch of stopgaps but nothing like what you want. Then there is the fact that those are nothing like autism, none of those effect the brain. Changing the brain is far harder then changing the body.

Anonymous said...

If Neurodiversity ever did something useful, for once, than maybe people would actually take it seriously.

Right now it is really nothing but an "anti-discrimination" movement. ND doesn't help people get jobs with this because the "anti-discrimination" rhetoric they spout isn't why people with autism can't get and hold a job.

ND doesn't help people make friends. Many people with autism are excluded from ND because they happen to speak their mind. And some that don't even have and ASD are a very large voice in ND.

ND doesn't do anything except tell everyone how "special" people with ASDs are and what good does that actually do?


Anonymous said...

"If Neurodiversity ever did something useful, for once, than maybe people would actually take it seriously.

"Right now it is really nothing but an 'anti-discrimination' movement. ND doesn't help people get jobs with this because the 'anti-discrimination' rhetoric they spout isn't why people with autism can't get and hold a job.

"ND doesn't help people make friends. Many people with autism are excluded from ND because they happen to speak their mind. And some that don't even have and ASD are a very large voice in ND.

"ND doesn't do anything except tell everyone how 'special' people with ASDs are and what good does that actually do?


They're pro-autism and pro-Asperger's, not pro-people-who-have-autism and pro-people-who-have-Asperger's.

It's like when you're poor and someone says you're betraying "your people" if you try to stop being poor. That's pro-poverty, not pro-people-in-poverty.

I got that impression from:

* the ASD-makes-people-smarter hype
* the calling people who do make friends and keep friends "sheep"
* the whining about other people reading social cues (like "he followed her all over the place, she complained, she discriminated against him for his Asperger's" when she had no idea he has Asperger's)
* the pressure on sons and daughters to not want to have friends and just do extra studying all that time instead (sometimes done in the name of cultures instead of neurodiversity, but these parents still sure seem they'd have been happier with autistic savant kids).
* the pointing to people who hurt other people and going "s/he can't help it, s/he has an ASD, not guilty and should be free to go!"

jonathan said...

* the pointing to people who hurt other people and going "s/he can't help it, s/he has an ASD, not guilty and should be free to go!"

Anonymous: Actually lead neurodiversity spokesperson, Ari Ne'eman has said just the opposite in his essay "Equality Demands Responsibility".

Of course I don't understand how he squares this with ASAN's interest in the Zahkquery price case and his previous statements that social pleasantries should be eliminated as hiring criteria for jobs. Of course many inconsistencies in ND which continue to baffle me.

Adrianna said...

"the calling people who do make friends and keep friends sheep.

The pressure on sons and daughters to not want to have friends and just do extra studying all that time instead (sometimes done in the name of cultures instead of neurodiversity, but these parents still sure seem they'd have been happier with autistic savant kids)."

Not in my experience, not at all. In fact, they insist that autistic people are just as capable of making friends as anyone else. They just prefer to hang around the geeks rather than the popular kids. The reality is that autistic people have difficulty making friends with *anyone* even the geeks.

Personally, I have a few close friends and that's it. I'm not a people person and never have been. But this is a choice that I made. I am not totally incapacitated when it comes to making friends. NDs need to learn the difference.

Unknown said...

I left a comment a couple of days ago but it was not published. Did you block it or did you just not receive it? It was quite flippant in tone, but I assure you what I wrote is true and I wanted to debunk the assumption that schizophrenia is a tragic incurable disease necessarily. I think it should be heard, as unlike the other commenters, I have first hand experience of schizophrenia.

I have contributed to the following standard textbook: Schizophrenia 2nd edition, edited by Steven R Hirsch and Daniel Weinberger.

jonathan said...

Oscilor: I know nothing about your previous comment

Unknown said...

Oh OK Jonathan. Unfortunately I didn't save it and am short of time now, but will try a repost in the next day or two.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

Anonymous this is for you:

"If Neurodiversity ever did something useful, for once, than maybe people would actually take it seriously."

I'm gonna qoute from Hansard now in reply to that question.

"The disability strand is unique, because the disability committee will be retained for at least five years with delegated powers and a sufficient share of resources to exercise those powers, which is vital to disabled people's confidence.

The noble Lords also raised the importance of retaining both the learning disabilities action group and the mental health group within the current Disability Rights Commission. Although that is not possible, Baroness Ashton of Upholland suggested that the disability commissioner should pay particular attention to those groups.

As far as I can see, no Member of the House of Lords mentioned the disability of autism. The DRC has just set up a neurodiversity autistic spectrum advice and action group—a mouthful. It has been set up very late, but is nevertheless welcome. Nobody argued for it to be included in, or at least listened to by, the new commission.

People with ASDs are not physically disabled and often do not look as though they have a disability. The condition is a developmental disability characterised by an inability or impairment in communication, socialisation and imagination. There is no cure. Some of those affected have learning disabilities and some have mental health problems, but they often fall into the gap between the two in relation to support services. Given that an estimated 500,000 people have an ASD, it must be treated as a significant and common disability with clear implications for mainstream policy and practice. It is now an exemplar in the disabled children's national service framework. Diagnosis in the young is better than it was, and support for children in pre-school and statutory education is improving.

However, we have an awfully long way to go to catch up in terms of the transition stage, supported living, employment, and support for carers. Seventy per cent. "

That was 2005 - this year we have an autism bill and now we have an autism strategy.

Do you think that was done by magic and sleight of hand.

Yesterday, I and other 3 other autistic people were interviewing for the new autistic centre to be set up by the NAS. Yes the NAS is prepared to support autistic people in having such an important role in the society not just board and Council members but it is training and supporting others who use there services to be involved, action not words ....

Are we being listened to? indubitably yes, and in high places.

What was Autism Speaks in the UK, is hearing us speak, and they have to listen.

Good luck to Ari, give him another 30 years and may well have a lot more experience, but you have to start somewhere.

To Jonathon, Matthew Belmonte can stop up his ears and howl whenever he hears the word Neurodiversity, he can reach for his revolver, as it were, but facts are facts, science is science and he can't deny that, and ethics are ethics, and there are many of us who are part of an autistic revolution, a revolution that is intended to reform the educational, political, econonomic, medical, legal and jurisprudential schemes for all people, all disabled people, all able bodied people, all neurodiverse people, all neurotypical people, all intellectual glitterati, all intellectually impaired people, The rich, the poor, the good, the bad and the ugly...

And it ain't no tea party.

Il neurodiversionisti venire pardon my pig italian.

Carp and whinge all you like in the cloud cuckooland of the blogoshpere.

I have been part of something, there has been change, and you cannot take that away from me, even if I were to die tommorow from minemata disease :)

jonathan said...

You know nothing about the hardships of Matthew Belmonte's family from having a severely autistic offspring/brother. Actually I don't know it either first hand but I can imagine.

May Matthew Belmonte succeed in his quest for finding a cure for autism and preventing it and hopefully will be awarded the nobel prize.

He did not even reach for a figurative revolver that day, he was just sick of hearing what you had to say and being attacked for wanting a better life for his brother and wanted you to shut up when you were being rude and disruptive that day.

Kent Adams said...

"People with ASDs are not physically disabled and often do not look as though they have a disability. "

I'm not so sure about that. People immediately recognize my son has a disability. They may not know its AD, but they know its something.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

Jonathon that is not the point, you haven't walked in my shoes either, nor has anyone else.

The guy was ruder than I am reputed to be, and I daresay both of us have our own reasons.

None of that diminishes the facts that I am listened to, and not because I am an arse hole, but because I do have a much wider perspective than my enemies and those who only see the surface are willing to grant.

I'm not really your enemy. I am not your friends, or his brothers enemy either.

We all have bad moments, but you have had one report of that meeting, others saw something different.

People who put me down, I really do ask you this, forget autism, forget neurodiversity, forget the social model of disability.

Do what I had to, in order to make my mums life bearable and durable, even survivable, do that, and then call me uncaring, call me someone who has not put my life, my future aside for someone elses welfare.

Never mind autism, it has cost me my physical health, and a lot more.

And then that is nothing much compared to having lost your house and family in Haiti is it?

The ties that bind are actually stronger than the ones that divide.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

Oh yeah Jonathon, is there any evidence you care to present that you are less intellectually gifted than me, putting aside autism, circumstance and everything else.

I'm not gunning for an IQ pissing contest. If I were up for a pissing contest I would chose something I know you wouldn't be able to compete with, cos life is not fair is it?

I'll tell you, life would be boring without you, and Matthew Belmonte too, he is on a journey, he won't be the same ten years hence, I hope his brother neither.

Me in ten years, I will just be a memory I expect, I will be most surprised if I am still alive ... the odds are against it.

Anonymous said...

"And then that is nothing much compared to having lost your house and family in Haiti is it?"

What Neurodiversity fails to understand is that if we cured one disorder, such as autism, billions of dollars would be saved and the people such as those living in Haiti wouldn't be living the way they currently do.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

'"And then that is nothing much compared to having lost your house and family in Haiti is it?"

"What Neurodiversity fails to understand is that if we cured one disorder, such as autism, billions of dollars would be saved and the people such as those living in Haiti wouldn't be living the way they currently do."

And don't forget those people who both live in southern Haiti and have autism!

Anonymous said...

Farmwife--"reality" doesn't factor into the world of Estee Klar, only image does. She cares only about the perfect image she desperately tries to portray when clearly it is mostly a farce. Her son is non verbal and sounds pretty involved yet she loves to pretend otherwise. She is a delusional woman who seems to want her life to read like some sort of novel. Maybe that's why her husband dumped her. It's impossible to live with someone who refuses to live in reality.

SM69 said...

On the science side, I was meant to comment on the schizophrenia autism blog entry by saying that of course the 2 conditions are very distinct in presentation even though a few decades ago it was not uncommon to misdiagnosed people with autism as schizophrenic. But this was mostly related to the fact that autism was not well understood in psychiatric settings.

Sometimes the diagnosis was made on a simple question, Do you hear voices? To which someone with autism able to speak would answer: yes. And the following question: How many voices do you hear? … Well, it depends, sometimes one other times, several. Hum.. (Lawson- reported in her books and at conferences).

I was aware of Volkmar’s work on incidence of schizophrenia in the early 90s that showed that schizophrenia is no more common in ASD than in the general population suggesting there is no genetic overlap. Am J Psychiatry 1991; 148:1705-1707. FR Volkmar and DJ Cohen. And more recently an evolutionary biologist, Bernad Crespi suggested that autism and schizophrenia could be 2 sides of the same coin. They identified 4 regions in the genomes that affect the risk of autims of schizophrenia. These are called Called "copy-number variants", these are stretches of DNA with seemingly accidental duplications or deletions. Crespi's team found that the presence of a particular variant – a duplication, say – was often associated with autism while the opposite variation – a deletion of the genetic material – was linked to schizophrenia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906080106

Anonymous said...

The people with autism in Haiti aren't going to live much differently than Haitians without autism.

I think the Haitians with autism wouldn't mind a "cure" since most of them have probably seen true suffering first hand and may have even experienced it themselves.

Estee Klar said...

I am quite entertained at the speculations and false-hoods spread about my family,my son, myself and now my marriage. The last I recall is that libel is indeed illegal. I suppose that has to catch up on the blogs. And I suppose that's what people with very weak arguments do.

Farmwife is tiring and dominates unconstructively. Other people complained so she had to be removed.

Anonymous said...

There is evidence schizophrenia is neurodevelopmental like autism. It begins with abnormal brain growth in the womb causing malformations and lesions, misplaced cell divisions, and more. Autopsies show abnormal ventricles and other abnormalities both gross and minor.

Scientists have watched videos of children before they developed schizophrenia in early adulthood and noticed clumsiness, late speech, and checked their records, usually poorer school scores and a gradual reduction in performance IQ in the years leading up to the first episode. Irritability and social withdrawal become pronounced in the years leading up.

So why does it not strike until adolescence or young adulthood? The brain doesn't stop growing until mid 20s to early 30s in some cases actually, not 18. What happens is these malformed areas of the brain similar to autism but unlike autism are dormant because they haven't formed connections that allow them to wreak havoc. When an adolescent's brain is forming new connections, at any time by bad luck the bad parts all link up and cause a cascade of destruction. A similar case can be made for regressive autism, or why in some cases two indentical twins can have one normal and one autistic/schizophrenic offspring.
Even if the brain develops abnormally in the womb, in some cases or subtypes of autism and schizophrenia, this may be a predisposition only (yet a very very strong one) some rare, very very rare few narrowly avoid forming the wrong connections at the wrong time leading to the cascade that is regression.

I heard you used to speak up till 2.5 but lost it then regained it at 5. You had regressive autism? I also did, the few memories I had before I regressed make it even more painful for me now. My parents told me I used to make eye contact and was outgoing, but I lost it, I felt different as a little toddler, I was in my body, alive, part of the world, but it somehow dissappeared....I want that same feeling back.