The Bloomington Alternative Presents Part 3 with David Kirby
13 Year Old (Autistic?) Shoots Father Dead Due to "Balloon of Anger That Burst."

Dan Olmsted in Spectrum Magazine: Debunking Epidemic Denialism

Olmsted eye on autism Read Dan Olmsted's Debunking Epidemic Denialism in Spectrum Magazine.

Of all the nonsense that people who believe autism is an environmental illness have to put up with, perhaps the most pernicious is this: “It’s just better diagnosing.” It’s just better diagnosing that 1 in 100 (or more) children now have an ASD. It’s just better diagnosing that this number has leapt something like 100-fold from the early days of autism in the 1940s, and tenfold in the past two decades.

The assumptions buried in this seemingly benign argument are not benign at all. They suggest autism is not increasing, is not an emergency, and is not environmental—it’s genetic. Autism is unfortunate (some don’t even agree with that!), but there’s no reason to get all worked up about it. The autistic, like the poor, are always with us. Let’s focus on early detection and lifelong care...


Craig Willoughby

Yes, Minority...and Jakes response is excellent, as usual. Gave that idiot a serious trouncing, which is always humorous to watch.


I have known diabetics who have had parents, grandparents, and great grandparents who were diabetic. If anyone seriously thought that autism were a genetic disorder wouldn't they study the previous generations of autistic children to identify the occurence of autism in lineal ancestors? My experience is that there are no autistic individuals in previous generations of families who currently have autistic children. While it is probable that there is a genetic predisposition to autism, it really takes a good soaking of the immune system with vaccines and antibiotics to trigger it.


I read this when it came out. I so look forward to your coverage, Dan. You're the master of clarifying perspective.


There are now two comments at the Spectrum Magazine: one from Autism News Beat, debunking Dan's article and one from Jake Crosby, debunking ANBs response.

Kathy Blanco

Although detection and life long services ARE important, what is more in my mind is the acknowledgment this is an epidemic, this is a biomedical disorder, and that there are many environmental factors involved. I also would like to get on the thought pattern, of PREVENTION of damage in our children. This can be done, more than we think.


This is a terrific piece of writing and investigative reporting. My guess is it's a good indicator of what's to come in Dan and Mark's upcoming book.

I can hardly wait!

As always much gratitude for your efforts, Dan, in debunking the errant information that circulates about autism.

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