Tuesday, February 02, 2010

On Autism

I had already started this post when I was helping with the reserve books this morning and discovered that a colleague and friend with a young baby had reserved Jenny McCarthy's new piece of tripe on how she "cured" her son's autism. I occasionally comment on the NY Times blog Motherlode and did so on a piece this week called "The False Prophets of Autism". I copied the piece and attached it to McCarthy's little rag. I hope my friend reads the article and thinks about it before she bothers to read McCarthy. You can find it here. Here is my comment--it's #19 on the post-- and I'm tickled to say it's the 7 or 8th most recommended. SRM, the 6th commenter I refer to had said that she is "postponing" vaccines in order to protect her child: SRM (#6)while you are delaying that vaccine I hope that you are keeping your child in a nice bubble, isolated from the elderly, pregnant women and kids with compromised immune syndromes. Your healthy child may be able to handle childhood diseases with no risk of death or complications (I knew kids in my childhood who went deaf from German measles). Others may not. The fact that we are diagnosing 1 in every 110 with autism may very well point to the fact that we now have such a diagnosis. There was a recent British study that showed that by such a diagnosis, 1 percent--1 in every 100 ADULTS would be diagnosed as autistic: http://tinyurl.com/lx8auq Think about kids you went to school with who had problems, adults you have known with who are considered "strange" or "quirky", start thinking about their symptoms and you may very well realized, as I did recently about a colleague, that their behavior is that of the autistic. I don't believe there's an epidemic. I believe we've become better at diagnosing the condition. And as the mother of two healthy girls (who had all their shots), I sincerely hope that we find a way to treat it so that all these children and their families can have happy, productive lives.

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