Click HERE to read and comment on ABC's Claire Shipman and Katty Kay's HuffPo, "Did Anyone Else Think The Newsweek Photo of Oprah Was Misogynistic? And Just Plain Dumb?"
Last year we at ABC news ran a series on autism, and new methods being used to diagnose it which are--to say the least--controversial. The medical community and established autism community tried hard to get us to kill the report--which suggested (gasp)--that it might be a good idea to actually look at the brains of kids who are thought to be autistic. Do MRIs and EEGs. Hardly a stretch, and there is a growing body of evidence that autism is such a huge catch-all phrase that kids need more diagnosis. A number of prominent neurologists now believe it helps to look at the brain, especially to rule out seizure disorder, which can often produce autistic symptoms, and which is treatable. (That's what McCarthy found, among other things, by the way, when she decided to trust her instincts instead of conventional wisdom.)
But because this sort of diagnosis is expensive, and because it goes against the more established, behavioral method of diagnosing kids, we had to fight to get this on the air. Especially because there were no formal and conclusive studies. Not because nobody wants to do them--all of the top doctors say they need to be done. But nobody has put the money forward to get them done. So every time I asked--why should we wait? Why should I have access to this information but nobody else until 10 years from now when study is finally complete? Nobody could give me a good answer. In any event, I experienced the wrath of the establishment firsthand.
The fact is we just don't know about this stuff yet. Nobody wants to admit that. The medical community has a hard time admitting what we don't know, but there is plenty we don't know about autism, and the staggering rise in cases. Surely that is obvious to everyone. That's why a top doctor at Harvard who works on these issues told me he thinks there has to be a link between vaccines andsome of the cases of autism. Why? They don't know.