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April 14, 2008


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Of course, this won't put a dent in the Mercury Militia because they've made themselves impervious to logic. Kind of like being too stupid to die, but it actually works to a degree.

On the other hand there may well be an increase in autistic spectrum disorders, and this might be attributable to some environmental insult. However the anti-vaccination troopers have so deeply clouded the issue that few legitimate researchers will touch the subject.

I'm not suggesting that there is an external cause (or that there is in fact a real rise in autism) only that by politicizing bad science, these groups are keeping good science from being done.

As I also pointed out in LB/RB, there are multiple studies of adults that are similar to Bishop's, going as far back as 1982. See my summary.

I just wanted to say that I do really like your blog--I wasn't just trying to be a pain the other day. Stuff like this is great, and should really be talked about more. It's a shame it's so hard to get sane, logical ideas out to the general public. I enjoyed the discussion, and I hope I wasn't rude! Thanks for blogging.

I'm looking forward to when studies come out tracking the outcomes of all these kids diagnosed in the last 15 years. My kid diagnosed at three with mild autism would now at 10 more appropriately be labeled PDD-NOS; just like his father (a teacher) and grandfather (a German professor). I think many of the hidden horde are just living their lives passing as normal.

I think many of the hidden horde are just living their lives passing as normal.

Since normal covers a multitude of sins, then why not?

Thanks for a great post. From here in Silicon Valley, the capitol of over-diagnosis, it's nice to see that there are people making sense.

Hooray! A sensible, easy to understand explanation for the "autism explosion". Far be it for the media to apply even the most basic of questions to this over-emotionalized topic.

Incidentally, I would love to see a post on abandoned medicines. I was in a 100 year old drug store today and they had a great display of old medicines. Many would be little more than "home remedies" (senna leaves as a laxative), save that they all bore the packaging of major pharmaceutical firms (Lilly, Merck, etc.).

Why did drug companies abandon these elixirs? And why do many of these older "medicines" resemble the snake oil being peddled by supplement manufacturers today?

Lenora, I whole-heartedly agree. I fit all of the diagnostic criteria for a mild case of Asperger's except the bits about being impaired by my differences. I've had to learn to act certain ways in public, but I'm not inhibited from a normal life. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that my being forced to learn to at least give the appearance of fitting in has benefitted me: I'm now a reasonably talented actress and am a, if not entirely comfortable, capable diplomat. I have to really pay attention to nonverbal cues and tone, and know when my breaking-point is so I can leave before I reach it.

Of my four friends (yes, I only have four people I'd call 'friends'), two also have the same pattern: meeting all the diagnostic criteria for Asperger's but also able to cope with symptoms well enough that they don't really impair daily life, and in turn a talent for acting and performing. All three of us are synaesthetes, too.

If there is a hidden horde, my personal suggestion would be to look in the theatres, playhouses, and drama departments. When you have to constantly watch, learn from, and mimic others for your social cues, you develop a lot of skill.

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