Live From New York It's Dr. Andrew Wakefield!
Health Fascism in Australia.

The Invisible Epidemic

Elevator-up1 By Anne Dachel

Some people miight be getting worried because so many kids have an autism diagnosis and yet officially, the cause is unknown.  The good news is Dr. James Coplan recently had three articles published on the Psychology Today blog all about how we aren’t really in the midst an autism epidemic.  Coplan is described as board-certified in general pediatrics, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and developmental-behavioral pediatrics.  In addition, he teaches in the medical and nursing schools at the University of Pennsylvania.  The articles also announced that Coplan has had “four decades of experience caring for children with special needs and their families.”

The three stories, No autism epidemic - Part One, June 29th 

And No autism epidemic - Part 2.

And No autism epidemic - Part 3, July 3rd

All three articles make it clear---having one percent of children with an ASD diagnosis is nothing to worry about because autism has always been around like this.

All the issues surrounding autism aren’t really relevant either because, as Coplan believes, “Most of the fears about the allegedly deleterious effects of mercury, gluten, yeast, immunizations, etc., and many of the claims for dubious ‘therapies’ such as chelation, hyperbaric oxygen, and dietary supplements, are based on the unfounded assertion that we are in the midst of an autism epidemic. Take away that touchstone, and a lot of those fears and claims collapse.”

That’s it in a nutshell---If we can just accept that autism has long been part of the human condition, albeit unrecognized, all the controversies magically disappear.

Coplan gave lots of reasons for his conclusions by explaining why people may mistakenly think autism is on the rise.  In Part One, he focused on changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.  Coplan explained that since 1980, when autism first made its appearance in the DSM, the definition has continually been expanded to include things like Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified and Asperger’s Syndrome.  As Coplan put it, “Each edition of the DSM has cast a broader net, pulling in more children.”  He also expects the increase in autism prevalence to continue.  Coplan predicted, “As we speak, the DSM-V is under development. Will the DSM-V recognize Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD) and the Broad Autism Phenotype (BAP) … as part of the autistic spectrum? If so, we can expect another big jump the prevalence of ASD - with no change in incidence.”

In Part Two, No autism epidemic, Coplan expanded on his beliefs about autism.  First of all, they’re doing the numbers all wrong.  Coplan doesn’t think that we actually know what the rate of autism is. “We don't know the incidence of ASD, because nobody has figured out how to stand in the delivery room and count babies with autism-to-be as they are born (or to count the number of children who regress each year). The next best piece of information would be prevalence: the percent of children who already have ASD. The correct way to determine prevalence is to test all children by standardized methods, making sure that all examiners are adhering to the same techniques and criteria for classifying the results. Or, if testing all children is too big a job, then we need to test a large, random sample of the entire pediatric population.”

Right now, all we’re doing is looking at the number of children receiving services for autism.  As Coplan put it, “Service numbers are a poor substitute for population-based prevalence data, and they tell us almost nothing about incidence.”   In other words, just because lots more children are receiving services for autism, doesn’t mean more kids have autism. 

Coplan made the claim that parents may just be more aware of the disorder.  There are more facilities for autism out there now. “Perhaps there are simply more diagnostic resources than before. The presence of specialists drives up the rate of specialty procedures. We know, for example, that the more plastic surgeons there are per capita, the higher the rate of plastic surgical procedures. In a similar fashion, if more diagnostic facilities for ASD are established, then the number of identified children will probably rise! This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it boosts service figures irrespective of true prevalence (or incidence) of ASD.”

He evens charged that parents and school districts might be making phony autism claims to access services. “Service data can never tell us how much of the ‘explosion’ is bogus, because parents or school districts are gaming the system in order to access funds that have been earmarked for children with ASD.”

Coplan is a firm believer in “better diagnosing” too.  “Prior to 1990, kids with ASD were routinely labeled something else: ‘Emotionally Disturbed,’ ‘Other Health Impaired,’ ‘Mentally Retarded,’ or one of the other federally recognized categories of disability.”  (If Coplan has been in pediatrics for forty years, he must be culpable too.  He doesn’t tell us about any of autistic kids he missed.)

He also focused on changes in requirements for special education.  According to Coplan, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 meant that schools could no longer discriminate against the disabled.  IDEA may be behind the numbers because, as Coplan pointed out, “The ‘explosion’ in service data for autism coincides with the passage of IDEA.”

Despite these assurances from Coplan that we’ve always had one percent of children with autism, he doesn’t note this:
When the autism rate went from one in 150 to one in every 110 children this past December, that new number represented a 50% in autism for children born in 1996 compared to children born in 1994.  Even health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to admit that an increase of that proportion in two years could not be accounted for with claims of better diagnosing or expanded spectrum.  As Safeminds pointed out, “The children born in 1994 and in 1996 were diagnosed under the same version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IV).” HERE Therefore, the claim that DSM changes account for the soaring increase, just doesn’t work.

Finally in Part Three, Coplan tackled something I’m always talking about: Where are the adults with autism?  He had an answer for this too.  Coplan cited the British study from last year that used a survey that found 19 autistic individuals aged 16 and older.  Coplan described it as “a random sample, door-to-door study of all households in the country, using standard diagnostic tools, to determine the prevalence of ASD among adults. (Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England.”

“When we look closely at adults, using today's diagnostic standards, we have proof that the prevalence of ASD was at least as high 70 years ago as it is today. Not only is there no proof of an epidemic, there is no ‘explosion’ either.”


I noticed that he didn’t mention any of the criticism that this survey engendered. 

That criticism would include the fact this survey found only 19 high functioning/Asperger’s individuals—people who could response to statements like:

  • I find it easy to make new friends.
  • I would rather go to a party than the library.
  • I particularly enjoy reading fiction.
  • I prefer to do things the same way over and over again.
  • I like to collect information about categories of things (e.g. types of cars, types of birds, types of trains….)

Respondents could choose one of the following:

  1. Definitely agree
  2. Slightly agree
  3. Slightly disagree
  4. Definitely disagree

Based on a sampling that could involve only pretty high functioning individuals, we’re to believe that the autism rate is the same for adults as well as children. 

The whole idea of an autism survey is absurd.  I know far too many children and teenagers with autism who don’t have a clue what the library is or what the word fiction means.  I’m talking about young people in need of constant supervision because they wander away and are a danger to themselves and to others.  These are kids still in diapers as teenagers.  They don’t speak but they’ll run in circles for hours and endlessly bang holes in the walls.  These kids have serious health problems accompanying their autism like bowel disorders and seizures.  Many of them were once happy, interacting, normally progressing toddlers who lost learned skills and regressed into autism.

Doctors like Coplan could end the debate by finding even a fraction of the adult population with full-blown autism like the children I described.  Where exactly are the thirty, fifty, and seventy year olds who display the same signs of classic autism that we see in our children?  Until research can clearly show us these misdiagnosed adults that Coplan says exist, no one can legitimately make the claim that there’s been no real increase.  Phony surveys only create more anger and suspicion.

I’m interested in how Coplan would explain what Dr. Thomas Insel had to say in a talk given at the National Institutes of Health this past spring.  HERE  Insel doesn’t accept Coplan’s belief about no real increase.  He talked about autism as "a huge wave that is moving through the system.”  Insel pointed out that back when he was starting in medicine, he never heard about autism.  (And as someone who’s both director of the National Institute of Mental Health and chairman of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, Insel would be able to say if all the autism is really better diagnosing---but he didn’t.)  Furthermore he added, "Eighty percent of the people with a diagnosis of autism [in the U.S.] are under the age of eighteen."  

And although Coplan wouldn’t agree it’s going to be necessary, Insel made that stunning statement that we need to “prepare the nation for million people who may need
significant [adult] services.”  It’s hard to imagine that someone in Insel’s position could be so misled about the autism numbers.
And back in December 2009, at MIT, Insel also stated that the increase is real and that there have to be environmental triggers to explain it. HERE

Also in December, Insel also made this comment about the rate of autism: "As far as I can tell, the burden of proof is upon anybody who feels that there is NOT a real increase here in the number of kids affected." He said better diagnosing and expanded spectrum,"don't really explain away this huge increase" and that "you really have to take this (increase) very seriously -- from everything they are looking at, this is not something that can be explained away by methodology, by diagnosis."

And what about what was said at the CA State Senate Autism Committee press conference in April, 2009?   This was one of the scariest things I’ve ever watched.   State officials made comments like:

"Autism is epidemic in this state as it is throughout the country."

"The autism population is skewed dramatically toward young children."

"Eight-four percent of the autism population is under the age of 21." 

"More six and seven year olds [are] in the system than all the adults with autism combined.”

"[There were] fourteen thousand students with autism [in California ] a decade ago… and forty-six thousand students today, and growing."

I can’t imagine that all this is based on unfounded science.  If these people have always been in the system, why is the government of California so worried?

As many people are aware, I write on the autism numbers and services all the time.

(E.G. The Rising Tide;
Adults with Autism, What a Novel Idea;
Who's Going To Care for Him)

 When I found the Psychology Today stories by James Coplan, I also looked through a number of news articles that have come out recently.  Here’s a sampling.  Does the Coplan’s view of autism make any sense in light of these stories?

PRESS RELEASE June 7 New York Public Schools Challenged to Serve More Students with Autism Despite Budget Cuts HERE

School districts across the U.S. struggle with the combination of two harsh realities: an increasing intensity of budget cuts for 2010-11, and complying with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which guarantees "free appropriate" education to all disabled students including the growing number of students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In addition, parents are pressuring schools to either comply with the IDEA or face legal action.

“...There may be no greater challenge facing public schools today than the staggering increase in children diagnosed with autism," writes Fran Smith(1), a contributing editor at, a website published by The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
“...An estimated 637,000 children ages 3-17 in the U.S. (or 1 in 91) had a current ASD diagnosis in 2007 according to a widely accepted study(3) published in the October 5, 2010 issue of Pediatrics. That represents a 67% increase from a previous estimate from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, which reported autism rates of 66 per 10,000 children (or 1 in 150) in 2002.”

IL Schools adapt to autism increase HERE.
“Educators across the U.S. must adapt to an increasing number of students with autism.”
MI Unique [Autism] High School Opening in Ann Arbor HERE   
WI Special autism school set to open this fall HERE
“Common Threads is a family resource center in McFarland that offers support and direction for families dealing with autism. Soon, it will be a full-time school.”

TX Two autism classes added Teachers warned of greater need  HERE

"With autism on the rise, the Wichita Falls Independent School District will add two new autism classes this fall to serve children in its lower grades.

“One new class will serve exclusively 4-year-old children with autism; a second class will serve as a transitional kindergarten class, created for children who have completed the district's 4-year-old preschool autism class but aren't quite ready to make the leap to a regular education kindergarten class.

“...The rise in autism is a trend in other school districts as well. …Many districts have added staff members to cope with larger numbers of special education children.

“...In past generations, an autistic child was diagnosed once in 10,000 students. …Today, autism shows up in once in every 100 children.”

FL Autism Center planning K-12 school? WALA-TV FOX10 HERE

“Autism Pensacola Inc. filed a Letter of Intent with the Escambia School District on June 1, 2010 to begin the process of creating Autism Pensacola Charter School for children with autism in grades K-8 and eventually K-12.”

AZ Schools must have autism training HERE
“The solution is training. Professional development must be provided to all staff members so they can learn exactly what autism is and understand how to work effectively with these children.”

CA Autistic students' parents air lament HERE
“A group of parents and advocates concerned with the education of autistic students say they will not stop until they are satisfied with the educational options available to their children.

“Seven of them spoke to the Redlands Unified School District Board of Education at its final meeting of the school year. They said the district fails to provide an adequate educational environment for middle and high school students who have the neurological disorder.”
This is where Coplan’s arguments really fall apart.  If these kids were always here, what did we do with them?  Why is there such an acute need for services?  Why are we building schools and having to train teachers?   It surely isn’t just on account of the better recognition.  Regardless of what we used to call autistic kids, we still would have had to provide for their needs.  I’ve been writing about the critical lack of services for several years now, citing endless news stories.   None of the articles talk about how we provided for autistic kids a generation ago.

The British adult autism survey was heralded all over the press in Britain and it was used to once again try and disprove a link between the MMR and autism.  (See Guardian story:
What I found most interesting in Coplan’s stories was the acknowledgement that if we can just make the epidemic go away, the claim that vaccines cause autism is also moot.  That’s what he does by trying to pretend that kids have always been unable to talk, to develop normally, to communicate.  But Coplan’s arguments just don’t work in the real world.
And I couldn’t help but notice the pharmaceutical ads along side the story.  The prescription drugs Dexilant, Intuniv, and Cymbalta were featured along with a Merck ad for four teen/preteen vaccines.  Coplan’s claims really make sense when you consider the overriding influence of the pharmaceutical industry everywhere.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.



Beware of mercury glass vases, etc. sold at some chains mentioned here. My wife has been getting very ill with a strange, itchy dermatitis. Its really bad. I bought mercury testing swabs to test things around the house. A decorative glass vase was OFF THE MAP so very toxic. The reflective glass spheres they sell are exactly the kind of thing that an autistic child might play with. It absorbs through your skin. BEWARE! You can lose your health from one mistake.

john fryer chemist

Hi looking through the comments we see someone with a severely disabled child that are described as not autistic while other people missed out for a decade are then accepted as being ill. Others describe their child as autistic from birth.
A chemical illness will produce people with unique symptoms and this is where the unknowns come in.
Although people glibly talk of their children being autistic the actual diagnosis is rarely autism.
So everyone can claim their idea is correct. Autism is going down as doctors refuse to acknowledge the illness. Autism is going up as parents claim their child was autistic at birth and so on.
What we do know and is acknowledged is that globally in USA one child in three has neurological problems requiring lifelong medication.
Now why isnt everyone taking arms against those responsible?
I watched for the second time the flight where 3 people held up a plane of more than 100 people and took them on a flight to death. When the pilot asked the passengers to overthrow the terrorists NO ONE did anything. In the event more than a 120 perished because of LACK OF ACTION.
I for one have campaigned andtold governments, scientists, regulators for years of harm here and in MANY other areas.

For a pay of ZERO for 15 years I am up against billion dollar players who tell me in "all sincerity". I have two teenage daughters. If what you say is correct why should I continue to plan the exermination of the World?

I have paraphrased that as he does not accept that toxic products are TOXIC.


funny onesies

This argument just drives me bananas! It's so frustrating - because there is a little bit of truth to it... and that little bit of truth hits home with most people, so they buy it hook line and sinker - even when it is pushed to the extreme. It's that "we all knew the quirky, geeky, weird kids" in school theory. What IS true - is that in past generations the higher functioning forms of autism were missed. How many is hard to tell. But I know that for me, having been born in 1970, my parents were very concerned about me, thought I had autism - and took me in for an evaluation. But because I spoke, they were told that I did not. I wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome until I was 17. And there were probably many out there like me. But, I was passed off as a shy child. The children we are seeing today could not be passed off as such. No way, no how.

With better awareness, some children are also being diagnosed erroneously at a young age. But, what is missing from the discussion is that the 1 in 100 we have today meet the current DSM standard for autism - not Asperger's . And, the counts are done on 8 year olds for a reason - so that those misdiagnosed at an early age have time to resolve. To make sure that the diagnosis has "stuck". These are children with true, no denying, no overlooking it - autism.


john fryer chemist

Going along the Alice in Wonderland World of some people who say autism has not increased:

One USA child in three has permanent neurological problems. In this modern catastrophe of illhealth that helps USA fall from top to bottom in the first world health stakes comes a breakdown of illnesses that puts autism at 1 in 100 or one thirty third of the total problems.

Vaccines, Bt gut destroying GMO foods, substitute sugars containing variously carbon monoxide, mercury and organochlorine chemicals long banned for killing insects are all in part assailing modern USA citizens and nowhere with greater effect than that of the young developing infant.

I was reading of the CDC five year hunt for the killers of people in one small village with the only clue being a half eaten meal of toxic mushrooms.

No wonder after 75 years that the possibility that organomercury brain destroying mercury still in 2010 vaccines despite being removed at least by CDC propaganda does not even reach the status of a possibility but of an impossibility.

Even in the 5 years hunt for the mushroom killer CDC say that despite the smoking gun the mushrooms don't kill.

We are still very much in the World of Alice in Wonderland.

john fryer chemist

I have seen no research to show that autism is getting more and more rare.

The debate that there is no increase is simply obfusction and anyone who believes this must be suspect.

He claims he gets no money for his blog but in the next breath he talks of "my next book".

Writers of books get paid fortunes. For example Spycatcher made the author a millionaire. Dr Coplan will be looking to big profits from his book but how accurate will it be?

In our Alice in Wonderland World we see Dr Andrew Wakefield's book will not be stocked in UK bookshops.

Who is behind this embargo and should the Autism World use the same tactics as for Spycatcher to outsmart the prohibition.

For me I do need to say that GMO and especially that of Bt toxins in GMO may be more than a theoretical role in propagating the pandemic of autism.

Ferris wheels tell the tale

We went to a large regional fair today, taking along our recovering daughter and her NT twin. On each Ferris wheel was a sign:"Persons with developmental limitations should be accompanied by a supervising adult." Ferris wheels have been around since the late 19th century, if memory serves me correctly--and if autism has, too, then why has it taken over 100 years for someone to notice the danger and put up a sign? Oh, that's right--autism HASN'T been around all this time. As Ann Landers was fond of saying, wake up and smell the coffee. If you'd walk out your door more often, Dr. Coplan, maybe you'd know what's really going on.

Raymond Gallup

Here after I think parents should drop the autism, ASD, etc. labels for their kids and call it what it really is.......vaccine-induced encephalitis (VIE) and in the case of our son, Eric it is vaccine-induced subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (VISSPE). Encephalitis and Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE)has been used by Andy Wakefield and others and it is on the money and more definitive. SSPE is caused by measles while encephalitis could be induced by any number of ways. Clearly this is better than using the autism, ASD, etc. labels and personally what I will define our son's case as ,,,,,,,,VISSPE.


Maybe you can ask that jackass why Crate and Barrel sold out of their autism Christmas ornament nation-wide very early in the season. Stuff like that still shocks me; apparently it shocks a very small portion of those who have been to medical school


What is this garbage about "gaming" the system? Most parents I know beg for their kids to be allowed to be included in NT rooms, not shuttled away in the closed off classrooms down the hallway.

What did an ASD dx do for my son? ST for a non-verbal child, 120 minutes a month? HAHAHAHA... oh, good thing I gamed the system for that!!!

I got into a heated argument with some moron who told me (not knowing I had an ASD child) parents plead with schools to get a diagnoses so they can get money from the government. Oh, dear. I tried to explain the only government money my child qualifies for is a Medicaid waiver that has a 10 year waiting list. He called me a liar. I called him other things. People just have no clue.

Sue Cranmer

I kind of like the idea of surveying the population at large rather than just those who are recieving services. From what I understand and see, services for our kids are so hard to obtain, it would seem that if they surveyed the population at large, the #s would be much higher. I know there are a large number of people out there who are not getting services.


From "across the pond":- What I do know is that, in our small community, they've had to use a distance-learning course to train teachers so that they can cope with the ASD children appearing throughout the ability range with birth dates starting in the late 80s/early 90s.

I wish there was a medical research team willing to investigate the situation in some of our more isolated island communities in the UK. Are there any USA communities that could be/have been investigated in this way - Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island?


From "across the pond":- For whatever reason, Marks & Spencer have now produced a range of gluten-free bakery products which include small white loaf, small brown loaf, white rolls, rich fruit cake, chocolate cherry cake, etc. Believe me, M&S wouldn't be marketing these products if there wasn't the demand. BTW only about a month ago I'd enquired in my local outlet about GF bread and been asked politely to contact M&S's headquarters.

Mr T

Great, another shrink that suffers from E.D.
Did they have to get a replacement for Eric since he was having problems at McGill?


Guess he hasn't read this from University of California, Davis, which shows that there HAS been a real increase.

I like the several references to market forces. That Coplan is making a killing off the autism epidemic. And that there are tons of products being sold for autistic issues. My kids aren't autistic, and I'm not buying them. I don't know any non-autistic kids who use such products. I think they are being bought by the parents of autistic kids.

Traci Yochum

Psychology Today actually published this trash? Shame! Shame!


Exactly Jack;
What is even more amazing is the gluten free flour is now ending up in the regular baking/flour isle at Krogers. It is a rather small box for 6.99 though!


I think everyone has different perspectives based on their own experiences. Some people have seen their children regress after a vaccination and will swear the injection caused autism. Some people believe it was there at birth, which I do about my daughter's terrible SPD. There is probably some of both going on... nothing is usually so one-sided. Here are the resources that have helped us navigate our daughter's issues: - forum for parents - auditory therapy - education for mild to moderate autism
Good luck to all those searching for answers.


I agree with Mary. Yawn. Ridiculous lies like these actually discredit the person telling them. The general public is very aware that there is a childhood autism epidemic going on today. I have a recovered 6 year old, and get requests DAILY for vaccine and/or autism information. There is an affected child on every corner. This was not the case 40 years ago, and people know that. Yawn.


How ironic. Dr. Coplan worked at CHOP, then left to start his own practice. He accepts no insurance -- cash/credit card only. He charges about $2K for initial diagnosis, $600-$1000 for a follow-up. CHOP waiting list to see a developmental pediatrician was running as long as 18 mths.

For someone who denies the epidemic, he certainly did a good job of capitalizing on "market" forces (plenty of supply with an 18 mth waiting list) and making a profit.

Theodore M. Van Oosbree

I'm reminded of my son's pediatrician years ago (who was also Chief of Pediatics for our HMO) who, upon witnessing my son's flagrantly autistic behavior, pronounced him healthy and just a little behind the developmental curve (he had lost speech and begun stimming constantly!). He also admitted that he knew little about autism and sent us to a child psychologist who assured us that my sons were not autistic and would catch up if allowed to watch lots of videos! These guys are the Coplans of the world and are quacks no matter how many initials they put behind their names.


I read this when the fool first posted it and commented. Although the comment and the things referenced in my comment are no longer around I do remember that this CHOP pediatrician said he was "neglected" as a child due to his sister's "mental retardation".

"I can attest to the fact that my sister's disability was the center of my parents' lives."

This old as sand doctor has major problems with sibling rivalry that reflect heavily on his "data" which of course is his own made up data. (I mean take a look at his graphs!)

He has a website that he is promoting himself on as a speaker. Ill be sure to follow it for updates.

Coplan's touting himself as having 40 years experience is odd since he began in 1977.

The old man has some serious issues considering he edited his post to eliminate his obvious disgust with the attention paid to anyone that reminds him of his sister and the attention she drew away from him as a child. Yeah I'll be sure to take this shameless self promoter seriously.

John Stone

Coplan doesn't seem to have a straight story - like Fombonne before him he cites the absence of controlled data as evidence that there isn't a problem instead of evidence of negligent data collection. But then in the last part he turns to the bogus UK adult study:

Scouring a population for cases they only found a fraction of the numbers using the loosest methods to make up the 1 in 100 figure that they were looking for in the first place, so they just projected the rest. Moreover, they were unable to find lower continuum cases and a second part of the study had to be abandoned. And then the study was launched by at a National Health Service press conference as evidence that MMR was safe. It has to be said that if that was the evidence they really have got problems.

However, there is I believe much much more to come out about this matter yet.


I work for a pediatrician. I spent many days at his office working with him to help my son. With all the research I'd done, he finally hired me to help families like mine in our town. We have seen 250-300 families. I'd like to know why all of a sudden this is needed? Has any pediatrician ever hired someone to handle his/her population of polio victims, mentally retarded, CP, or any other chronic childhood issue? To me, it is quite telling of what is going on in our world. The health and developmental issues that I am dealing with may have been around before, but these kids are EVERYWHERE now.


Usually we use it in a negative light but I think in this arguement there is much truth in the phrase "follow the money."

When you look at all the products on the market geared (subtely or specifically) to kids on the spectrum or kids with sensory needs it gets pretty hard to deny. Retailers and marketers are in the business of knowing what sells and making cold hard cash and have been for a long time.

I could give tons of examples, but one will do. If there had been such huge numbers of kids 30 years ago who were so crippled with sensory issues that they couldn't wear a shirt with a tag we would have had tagless shirts 30 years ago. It was 1980, not the stone age. We could have made a damn tagless shirt. Our parents cared enough to buy them if we needed them. But no, there wasn't the demand. Now there is. And now there are tagless shirts....and gluten free food aisles....and sensory-friendly film showing.....and a whole section of the barnes and noble for books about autism...and four OTs in my small town...and on and on and on.


Yeah most parents I know can't wait to "game" the system so that they can have their neurotypical kids access services that may get them locked in a room, and/or abused. We are really pulling one over on the system aren't we? Actually, most school districts fight like hell not to have to provide services. No wonder this kind of trash is on a psychology blog. That field has done as much harm to our kids as pharma. I agree w/ Dr. Wakefield's comment in his book re how he wonders where autism research would be today if it hadn't been first discovered by psychiatrists.

Maurine Meleck

Hey, he's got a new blog out today. he compares us to Madoff suckers.

Heidi N

Unfortunately, I met a college student yesterday who relayed to me that he is being taught that "these are personality issues, and not really biological problems." I set him straight. He will never forget my conversation. I told him that he will need to get Googling to learn what's really going on if he wants to help people with autism and the other special needs that are abundant nowadays.

Maurine Meleck

Opps, I forgot to add:
Thanks to Anne, who is truly descended from Angels. Love the article.

Maurine Meleck

Well, I have been raising my blood pressure for some days now in an attempt to put to death some of the comments on his articles. I finally had to stop because it was interfering with my sanity. One thing about those Psy Today blogs, the author always responds to everyone's statements-positive or negative. I can see him sitting there with yellow fangs and his Thesaurus waiting to praise those who think he's descended from angels and bite those who don't agree with his Dracula like musings. He's especially good at telling autism parents that they'll believe and do anything to help their children because they are so emotionally stressed. Get ready for his next
outburst. He's going to talk about therapies. I believe that will include ABA, ABA and some more ABA.

Theresa O

Excellent article, Anne. It's hard to imagine how guys like Coplan keep getting published--oh, wait, it's not. Those pharmaceutical ads give us a big hint.

I saw an interesting article the other day about ADHD medication. I'm sure you hear people say that (just like autism) ADHD has always been there, and isn't on the rise. Well, ask anyone who tries to sell you that story to explain this one: Shire Pharmaceuticals sells an ADHD drug patch (Daytrana). Initially, it was only approved for children aged six to 12. Now, the company has received approval for teenagers (ages 13 to 17) to use the product. Most drugs are tested on, and approved for, use in adults before they are approved for children; clearly, this new Daytrana approval is a case of the poisoned generation growing up, and the drug approvals moving with them.


Is this really their game plan? Yawn.

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