Tuesday, August 9, 2011

autistics may have marriage and employment problems after all

Some persons may remember a previous post that I wrote about neurodiversity potpourri some time ago. I wrote about how Joseph of the natural variation blog was claiming that the study from last year with the questionable methodology that showed that the prevalence among autistic adults in the UK was 1% showed also that autistics were half as likely to marry as nonhandicapped people and that they were also employed in exactly the same manner as nonautistics. The "autistic bitch from hell" applauded Joseph and also implied that there was generally nothing wrong with autistics employability, as well as the coin-flip probability of marriage as compared to nonhandicapped people espoused by Joseph.

The autism jabberwocky blog has a new post up suggesting that this study's methodology may be extremely flawed.

It would appear that a high unemployment rate as well as a low probability of ever getting married is certainly a possible scenario for autistic people after all.


SM69 said...

The UK adult prevalence study is flawed and it should have been obvious to anyone taking the trouble to read the study, irrespectively of the more recent study by Brugha et al, 2011 that shows the unreliability of the AQ-20 tool. As Socrates commented on the jabberwocky blog: the authors almost certainly had the figure of 1% in mind whilst designing and analysing the data. I would add that anyone not able to read and critically evaluate this study also has in mind this 1% ASD rate figure.

The issues are not so much with regard to employment or marriage, the issue instead is that the adult ASD rate is clearly well below that of today’s children’s rate. Therefore, the reason behind today’s high rate is not just better diagnosis and greater awareness, it is not about genetic only, but about environmental factors (as other more recent studies like the California Autism Twin Study show). Anyone who has a sense of logic should conclude that some cases of autism can be prevented and can be treated.

Lets highlight again a very important report made in that 2009 UK Adult prevalence study:

p30 “If the selected respondent was not capable of undertaking the interview alone for reason of mental or physical incapacity, the option was available for a proxy interview conducted with another member of the family... The information collected was not sufficient for selection probabilities to be calculated, and therefore selected respondents interviewed via proxy respondent were not eligible for a phase 2 interview”

58 interviews were conducted by proxy from an initial screen of 13,171 addresses... These 58 cases may represent the rest of the spectrum, excluding Asperger Syndrome (as these individuals can answer the AQ phase I survey). They may also include other types of disability, it is unknown. Therefore, in adults, there is at most 0.4% of the addresses (that exclude communal or institutional settings) with a level of autism that is more severe to that of Asperger.

I am sure we don’t actually want to think much at the proportion of our ASD children who might be able as adults to complete online a self-assessment AQ-20 form. I doubt there will be many.

Anonymous said...

We also have problems with being well-rounded. In my case, having MRELD with an ASD makes it 10 times more difficult for me to be a well-rounded person. If you're not a well-rounded individual, you'll find it extremely difficult to get and stay married and have children as it adds more stress and responsibility. Having problems with executive functioning doesn't make those tasks simple.