On reading Manuel Casanova's Cortical Chauvinism blog today, I see that Barack Obama has written a letter concerning autism. Here's the letter, addressed to attendees of the International Meeting for Autism Research, in full:
The White House
May 7, 2014
I send greeting to all those attending the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR).
Millions around the world live on the autism spectrum, including 1 out of every 68 American children. Those affected are our family members and friends, colleagues and neighbors. We all can play a roe in supporting those living on the autism spectrum and their loved ones.
Occasions like the IMFAR provide a special opportunity to share the latest findings in the science of autism, which have the potential to improve the quality of life for those with autism. By uniting researchers from across the globe, events like this pave the way for breakthroughs in detection, intervention, and education that can help those affected better prepare for their bright future.
I thank the scientists and medical professionals advancing our understanding of the autism spectrum. I am deeply grateful to all those who dedicate themselves to promoting the health and well-being of others, and I wish everyone gathered all the best for a productive, rewarding event.
All I can say to the POTUS in response to this letter is that he sure does have his nerve writing this.
First off, the 1 out of 68 of every American children is an inaccurate statement. That number only refers to the year 2002 birth cohort that the CDC's prevalence reports recently published. Even in this cohort, it is highly unlikely that every one of those kids was autistic. They did not have to have a formal diagnosis to be counted in this survey. A variety of records were reviewed, including school records. If there was anything that suggested the child had autism, they were counted in the survey. They did not enlist clinicians to confirm the child had autism.
The really nervy thing about this letter is the fact that Mr. Obama has appointed so many members of the neurodiversity movement to various government posts and the funding of their research. He appointed someone 21 years old who has said a cure for autism would be morally reprehensible. This individual has never worked a day in his life and he stated that one of the solutions for reducing unemployment in autistics is to eliminate social pleasantry as a criteria for hiring and evaluating a person's job performance. He appointed a high school dropout to both serve on the IACC as well as review scientific grants for the NIMH. This person has said that to a large extent the disability of autism is just a social construct. He also stated that he believes the 4:1 male to female ratio of autistics is the result of parents having sons as their first borns and daughters not having a chance to catch up. He's also appointed an individual who has compared parents who want a cure for autism to the Ku Klux Klan.
He funds the research of rogue scientist Morton Gernsbacher who has opposed a cure for autism and has stated that rhetoric such as 'suffering from autism' is offensive
Barack Obama, I realize you'll never read this, but I just want to say to anyone who may happen to read this you sure do have a lot of nerve writing this letter. You don't care that many persons on the spectrum such as myself and members of their families suffer tremendously from this affliction.