60 Minutes Glosses Over the Lifetime Reality of Autism
CBS used to give us the most worthwhile coverage of autism. Sharyl Attkisson bravely presented reports on the shoddy oversight given to vaccine safety, the children damaged by an out-of-control vaccine schedule, and the conflicts of interest of those who deny that vaccines are behind the epidemic of autism.
Now it seems CBS is determined to downplay the autism disaster. Vaccines are no longer the issue. These clips from recent 60 Minutes stories on autism make it clear that CBS isn’t interested in what is causing autism. We only need to accept an autism diagnosis in a child and struggle on the best we can. Autism happens—just hope your child is another Temple Grandin.
Lesley Stahl did several interviews about autism. One was with Neuroscientist Walt Schneider and one was with Grandin, an outstanding woman with high-functioning autism. (HERE)
Dr. Schneider described a brain image of Temple Grandin’s brain as “interesting” and “a cool opportunity” to understand the brain better.
Lesley Stahl: “Do you see the day when you’ll be able to say to a parent, ‘Your child will never speak …so don’t put all your energy into trying to teach them this. Put it into other ways for this child to communicate.’”
Schneider: “I see a day when we’ll be able to say to a parent that there are multiple subtypes of autism. Your child looks like this subtype. And in other individuals of this subtype, they did or did not acquire language through various methods. That would be information that would help these parents who are desperately trying to find something that works, to perhaps, make a better first choice of which method.”
Stahl: “I wonder if you did have an autistic child, who had a brain like that, and showed it to a parent, if the parent would be almost relieved.”
Schneider: “When you have a serious disorder, the parents or the family have to come to understand it. You’ll find in communities people want to say, ‘Well what really went wrong? Can you show me what’s different? What’s wrong?’ Once you can see a pattern, then you can go through the grieving process, understanding that it’s not typical. And what you have to work with.”
Both Stahl and Schneider are at a loss to tell us anything of significance about autism, something affecting one percent of children and almost two percent of boys. Schneider admits that parents are “desperately trying to find something that works,” but he can only look for subtypes of a disorder that is now an epidemic far worse than polio ever was in the 1950s.
For those of us in the autism community who live with this disorder everyday, the idea that there are subtypes is hardly anything new. Schneider can’t tell parents why their child is autistic. He doesn’t know what an expectant couple can do to prevent their upcoming baby from also ending up on the autism spectrum and he can’t explain why tens of thousands of parents report that their children were born healthy and were developing normally and suddenly they stopped talking, lost learned skills, and ended up with a diagnosis of autism.
Schneider advises that parents have to go through “the grieving process” when a child is diagnosed with autism. Stahl acknowledges that some autistic children “will never speak.” Neither of them expresses any real acknowledgement of what a nightmare autism has become for this country. One is left with the understanding that autism is now an acceptable part of childhood.
Stahl talked with Temple Grandin in an online segment called “Understanding Autism.”
Lesley Stahl: "If there were...a cure for autism tomorrow,...would you say, wow, give that to me?"
Temple Grandin: "No I wouldn't because I like the logical way that I think and I wouldn't want to give that up."
Stahl: "I've heard that the idea of ridding the world of autism isn't something that you think should be a goal."
Grandin: "You see, autism in a very mild amount is all the geeks and nerds who keep CBS News running. ...the kinds of minds that are interested in things. ..."
Grandin and Stahl speculated that it was an autistic person who made the first stone spear back in prehistoric times.
While I admire Temple Grandin because she's such an accomplished person and she offers parents hope, she has little to do with what’s happening to our children. Grandin herself admits that in “a very mild amount,” autism allows people to be successful. She’s done well as an individual. Tens of thousands of parents however, have children with autism who bear no resemblance to Temple Grandin. Many of these children don’t talk. They’re in severe pain from bowel disease. They live with seizures. Many are in diapers as teenagers and are in need of constant care because they’re a danger to themselves and to others. And their parents are scared to death about how these children will live out their lives as adults in a world totally unprepared to care for the autism generation.
Grandin is from another era when autism was rare. Autism is now an epidemic. If all autism were like Temple Grandin’s, parents wouldn’t be desperate to find answers. Maybe when this generation of autistic children reaches adulthood and becomes dependent on the taxpayers for their support and care we’ll get serious about finding the cause and stopping the epidemic. Maybe then CBS will go back to giving us legitimate coverage.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor of Age of Autism.
My son is now 31 and we fought the good fight since he was three - explaining to people what autism was and then trying various Rx limited to my wife's fear of using any "drugs" to treat him. He's made very slow progress after years of behavior modification, but he does have the ability to perform the essentials (hygiene) - his other talent is map reading and like most autistics we have been unable to "harness" his abilities in any way.
I'm amazed that this disorder has been so poorly dealt with over the years despite huge increases in victims and huge dollars available for research. I spent about ten years of my life as a clinician and the rest as a creative director in advertising - a weird combination. So I made films and wrote about the subject from the 80's on - but I haven't gotten very far with my own son. He is in a group home and thank God not living with us - I know it sounds awful but we used up 25 years of our family life dealing with all the sacrifices that befall siblings relatives and parents of autistic people. It has indeed been a cross to bear.
Posted by: Dan Fardella | November 12, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Kathy and Benedetta,
The cooking oils today are more refined,heat processed and some chemicals are used to get out
the lost drop of oils from the seeds. People are
essential fatty acid deficient(Omega 369)also the oils have
poorer quality and less Vitamin E (anti-oxidants)due to heat damage and the refining methods.Corn and Soy also are genetically modified.
Organically certified ois are the best,I recommend variety
of different organic oils : Olive,Sunflower,Coconut, for
cooking,Hemp-seed (omega369) or flax-seed(omega3) oils for salad dressings or smoothies (used cold temp.only); and Norwegian Fish oils for supplements if needed.
Posted by: oneVoice | November 01, 2011 at 11:17 PM
Do you think that a low cholesterol diet maybe part of the problem?
I don't think so, but I will admit that my kids could of, should of ate more meat during the early years instead of soup beans.
Posted by: Benedetta | October 28, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Does Temple talk of how silicon valley has one of the highest mercury levels due to old silver mines in the Santa Cruz mountains (which use mercury in the process), which leaked into the bay, or, the fact that the silicon valley indsutry leaks horrid chemicals, including silico fluoride into the water, or the fact, that as a mom to two autistic children, was influenced by LeHigh Cement Plant, now a superfund site leaking over cupertino and San Jose areas with high levels of mercury and benzene? In my book, there is always a biological mechanism for this damage. The levels of autism in the cupertino school district alone would frighten any of us here...so what do I do? I move to Oregon, where it continues to be a high rate, due to mercury in the soils (from Japan/China pollution on jet streams and the drift across the pacific and volcanos), high use of pesticides, a rainy low selenium soil (which makes VIT D and selenium uptake next to impossible, which is needed to detox mercury and have some kind of immune system left) and deliberate high mega fluoride doses in the water etc. There's no winnin.
We met Temple years ago at a conference in Seattle, sat with her at lunch (perspective of years here, that's like twenty five years ago). My son is thirty, my daughter 24 today. It was like meeting the Dhali Lhama. I needed to understand what my kids were going through, and she helped my husband and I to see what it was.
Does that make her an immunologist, virologist, disease expert?? No. She is just a spokesperson.
Her ideas on vaccines are off, and I hate to say it, she doesn't understand the exact mechanism of biology of autism as we know it today. I still say, cut her a break however, she's still autistic...sigh..
But like Temple, or Jenny, doesn't being a spokesperson come with some amount of accountability and responsibility? We need to have the science behind us to speak of what we speak of. One college professor told me, if you can't get up here and explain the theory, then, you don't know the theory.
What has happened to our children, is that we have trusted far too long our medical authorities to take the responsibility of research and thought and safety. We now have to trust our own research, our own thoughts, and do what is right for our kids and protect them even more. That means avoiding their "recommended procedures" or "to not believe" that "chemicals" and "pesticides" and "medicines" are for our benefit.
Proactive searching for health...how many americans do that, who, in my minds eye, still line up at McDonalds and pharma counters, eat rather crappy, think nothing of GMO's or pesticides and go on their merry ways never thinking, gee, maybe this will affect the chromosome and immune strength in my genes thusly affecting my progenity? If only that was taught in high school health classes as much as birth control methods, sigh... And to top that off, we sit on our behinds all day watching "health reports" from MSNBC, CBC, CNN, ABC, Dr Oz, and the Doctors, actually thinking, that they are laying upon the truth to the masses? We will not get anywhere until this trust is totally broken. Unfortunately, that happens when damage happens to you personally, or your child...and slowly but surely, you wake up to the reality. They want us dead, soft killed, or non questioning.
That is why Temple suddenly become irrevelant to me...because at this point, autism is not a choice or a gift, or a difference, but in fact, is the result of us turning off our brains and not thinking about the agendas still present in our world. That agenda may be profits, it may be perceptions, it may be fear of a job, to make sure we don't propogate and so forth.
Yes, there is some autisms not noticably a vaccine injury (which I question...because what if moms vaccines are to blame)...and or you have a gamma retrovirus in you from your vaccines passed down to your kids, and or, you have a lot of toxicity, you have lyme, etc...and on and on it goes. Temple may not know these nuances as well as we do...but, I still think it is irresponsible to not put some sort of caution on being so deliberatly poisoned and or hypnotized that trust us we are after your best health by mankind.
Yes, if I want to brow beat myself for all thsoe times I ate horridly, or had a low cholesterol diet, or when I had amalgams placed in my teeth..or even trusted a white coat to deliever my babies without drugs or immediate cord clamp...there is a lot to beat your chest with...but again...these are things we can learn to avoid, change, turn around and refuse. Isn't it time she speak of those? Isn't it time to prevent autism from happening in the first place? Sorry high functioners, this may offend, but, I have very severe children, sigh...
I remember Temple talking of high IQ and low level immune function once...don't quote me...but, she talked of how systemizers or math or engineers often marry those with musical IQ's and this is the formula for autism. ARGH. Thats our family. But isn't it interesting that a high IQ person also has a more vulnerable immune system? Perhaps the way the synapses lay down goes both ways, either for higher IQ, or disordered IQ? When we did gene studies with a multiplex family this was so. We had complement deficiency C4B, we had synapse genes (however, those genes were expressed in NT's so what is up with that?)..again, if there is a vulnerability question...why isn't mankind recognizing that...just like a vet holds off if an animal is not up for the shots? I mean, how simple could an expanded question/contraindication before vaccine shots would be? Or a series of markers or tests which wouuld go, hey, this child's immune system is pretty funky, lay off? Nah, not going to happen...but will it? It will if we become smarter than the white coats, a little less trusting, and a little more independent of the white coat system. For all the other exposures, it means being proactive in all fronts, better water, better air...I mean, I practially sound like a democrat wanting more regulations (which I am not). But how can you regulate morality? How can you regulate greed? Sorry, I know this is an off tangent post, and not really answering the Temple Grandin question...but, we are talking about someone who makes death a little less painful...in animals...sorry...I have a problem with that...trying vegan here.
Someday I wish the rockstar spokespersons were real mommies and daddies in the trenches...the ones who have figured out why, without having autism, but knowing on the outside, what it must have been, and yet, know more about why the autism than someone with autism...does that make sense?
Posted by: kathy blanco | October 28, 2011 at 01:09 PM
As a parent of a very ill, young adult, regressing into a DSM diagnosis of Autism 16 years ago, I applaud Temple Grandin for being a face AND voice, since my daughter cannot speak.
What is distressing is that a message that Temple seemed to be trying to share is now missing. From a year ago:
"Q. In recent years, many parents have blamed vaccines for causing autism. That theory has been discredited by recent research. What do you think?
There's one study that still hasn't been done. There's a type of autism where the child gets language... can say a few words... and then loses it. There's a regression at about 18 months or 2 years. That subgroup needs to be studied separately. Until that study is done, the book is not closed.
Q. So you think it's possible vaccines could play a role?
I'm leaving that open. That study has to be done. I've brought that up with some of the top experts and they get very silent. That's all I'm going to say about it."
Too much silence and meanwhile, more children continue to regress into many form of immune-mediated disorders, including autism. Blaming Temple is not my message at all. She has become the poster child, now grown up and functioning well (God bless) but her remarkable journey is not the norm for many of the children diagnosed "autistic" today, who appear to have more immune dysfunction (autoimmune), GI disease, seizures and ongoing, chronic, viral and bacterial infections. Vaccines and regressive autism seem to be a silent issue and that is a disturbing reality, one in which we can't be shy about as children's lives are at stake.
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | October 27, 2011 at 09:57 PM
I am displeased at the attack on Dr. Schneider. I for one applaud his work. I think that being able to identify and understand the different subsets of autism will help researchers understand the potential different causes. Also, if a brain scan (like the one shown by Dr. Schneider) can help parents navigate the maze of treatments and therapies best suited for their child's unique brain disorder, then perhaps more children can get the help they need and at a much younger age.
Posted by: DJ Alvado | October 27, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Mike, I don't think any of the commenters here on AoA are declaring war on Temple Grandin. Most, maybe all of us, admire her very much
What we are declaring war on is the media, for attempting to use Dr. Grandin as the "Face of Autism," when so many, especially those whose children are clearly vaccine-injured (i.e., vaccine-induced seizures that led to brain damage), whose conditions bear little resemblance to that of Dr. Grandin.
Furthermore, the media is asking Dr. Grandin for her opinion as to whether or not she wishes she could be "cured," and using it to pressure parents of autistic children to just accept their children's damage. Dr. Grandin is in no position to judge the symptoms of another autistic person's condition, especially if she has not suffered the same physical symptoms (for example, vaccine-induced seizures, severe bowel disorders, etc.), and the media should not be asking her opinion as though she were a medical expert on autistic spectrum disorder.
Posted by: Taximom | October 27, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Concerning the comments regarding Temple Grandin I would like to add mine, maybe it will help you understand how Temple has had possibly an unintended affect regarding the future of our children....
We recently hosted a meeting with our State Representative Connie Doepke (R) and State Senator Gen Olson (R) along with ARC of Minnesota and 6 families in our home. The concerns were the severe cuts to the HHS budgets as they related to citizens with disabilities. Autism was only represented by 2 families.
Senator Olson used nearly 15 minutes of our valuable time detailing her meeting Temple Grandin and how she had such great hope for our children thereafter. Sen. Olson is the Chair of the Education Committee and holds power over Special Ed funding and also power over legislators who wished to better fund disibilities in our state.
Many of us at the meeting got the sense that because of her experience with Temple, Sen. Olson is not getting how incredibly serious the future is for children like my son and the children of many others who commented here on AoA. What you choose to call "a "declaring war on Temple Grandin" I simply see as an expression of dissatisfaction of the media's inability to show the world that some kids with autism are very, very sick, and will cost the rest of society a very, very large amount of money.
Unless of course, the public chooses to just cut the money off and let them rot in the streets after we parents are gone, which unfoturnatley seems to be were at least here in the United States, the tide seems to be turning.
Posted by: Tim Kasemodel | October 27, 2011 at 01:55 PM
My commentary on 60 Minutes is based on the videos that are out on the Internet on 60 Minutes Overtime.
Lesley Stahl's attitude toward autism in asking if Grandin would want a cure was very concerning. It sends a message about autism.
"On Overtime, Lesley tells producer Reid Collins Jr. that she loved interviewing Temple Grandin. Lesley says that her favorite part of her interview was when she asked Grandin whether she'd want to be cured of autism. The answer is amazing, as Grandin explains how from cave-dwelling times to these digital days, the world has always needed people just like her."
I have the same feeling listening to Dr. Walt Schneider discuss Grandin's brain image.
On 60 Minutes itself, Lesley Stahl showed us a non-verbal young man with autism who struggled to communicate until he started using apps.
"Josh is typical of people with autism in that he rarely looked directly at me, he rocks and he has obsessions. In his case, it's World War II."
Stahl talked about apps "created specifically for autistic people."
We're shown a special needs school in Toronto and we're told that "half the students are severely autistic." They're trying out the ipad with these children. We see children interacting successfully with the ipad.
Stahl: "I hear that autistic children often prefer machine to having an interaction with a human being. Is that what we're seeing?"
We're shown lots of children severely disabled with autism and told many are really helped and teachers are discovering hidden abilities and understanding.
At the end Stahl tells us, "Figuring out why so many autistic people are unable to speak, as many as 30 percent of them, is the subject of a major new research study at the University of Pittsburgh. "
Schneider: "We don't have a biological maker for most cases of autism at the moment."
Stahl reported on Schneider's research on connective circuits in the brain. He studied an image of Temple Grandin's brain and talked about the differences in brains.
Stahl: "He hopes that ... one day a brain scan will be able to diagnose autism early and tell parents early if their child will ever speak."
In all the coverage from CBS, there is no explanation for why so many children are like this. No call for real answers. No discussion of children who regress. These videos present autism as now an acceptable part of childhood.
Anne Dachel, Media
Posted by: Anne McElroy Dachel | October 27, 2011 at 01:07 PM
I know news coverage isn't always the greatest, but I was pleased with this piece for finally showing some children who were severly impaired during the segment about use of the iPad. All I ever see in the media are stories about high functioning people with Aspergers, who are getting jobs, and staring on reality TV shows...all seemingly implying that that is really what autism looks like. I appreciated the fact that for once they at least showed kids who couldn't speak, who were crying over their frustration and the frustration of parents and educators not knowing how to help. No media coverage will be perfect, but I am just happy for some that shows just a glimmer of what my life is like for a change, and not just the heart warming story of success for those with Aspergers. Those are great to see, but it is a far cry from my life.
Posted by: Shari | October 27, 2011 at 08:13 AM
Anne, thanks for keeping us posted on media coverage, and thanks to all of the parents and family members who have responded to this. The media should talk more with parents. We have had to find out everything possible about autism to help our children, and in fact know much more than the "experts."
My son just turned 49. He is thankfully high functioning, but still unable to be fully self-supporting. He loves children, but will probably never marry or have a family. The experts snicker at us for our non-acceptance, but there is nothing acceptable about autism.
Thanks again, and keep up the pressure to report on reality, and to include all that parents can provide to clarify the horror of autism.
Posted by: Eileen Nicole Simon | October 27, 2011 at 07:26 AM
I think it is very important: Temple Grandin has always had a complex message
and it is the air-headed CBS journalism which is the real problem. The point about Grandin is that she is exceptional, and it can turn into bullying if somehow not everybody's autistic child turns out in this unique way and they are blamed for it.
I have to admit that I don't buy into everyone in Silicon Valley having autism either.
Posted by: John Stone | October 27, 2011 at 06:19 AM
Anne Dachel, I recommend you watch the 60 Minutes piece. I don't know what you watched but it bares no semblance whatsoever to the 60 Minutes segment that aired this weekend. But bravo to Age of Autism's commenters for declaring war on Temple Grandin. That takes serious balls. Maybe their next target will be blind nuns, adorable puppies, and AIDS-infected orphans.
Posted by: Mike | October 27, 2011 at 01:45 AM
My biggest fear regarding Temple Grandin is that she'll replace Rain Man as the best-known example of autism. Neither have any real relationship to the generation of disabled children out there. A savant who can count cards in Las Vegas and a PhD who handles cattle serve only to distract us.
Anne Dachel, Media
Posted by: Anne McElroy Dachel | October 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM
Remember friends that one aspect of autism is the lack of awareness of other people's motives, so it is hardly surprising that Temple Grandin cannot sense that she is being USED by someone to subtly convince the population that autism is the new normal. The pharmaceutical companies and/or public health folks must have entire divisions devoted to this art . I recently saw a magazine for people in education which devoted one page to juvenile diabetes. They informed you at the top of the page that this was one in a series of 4 articles on "common childhood diseases" . Diabetes was common and no problem ,according to the article ; the only thing a teacher really had to do was watch for a "hypo" ( cute word- dont you feel good now that you know the jargon)
Notice that the questions framed for Temple Grandin are never such that you hear answers like this:
It would have been nice if I hadnt had those night terrors for years. Yes, I guess it would have been nice if I had ever had a friend as a child. Yes, it would have been nice if I could have been happy and friendly like my sister and not bullied and teased for years. Yes, I guess maybe it would be nice to feel close to another human being and to get married, but it's difficult for me to imagine it. I guess it would be nice to be able to understand other people's emotions, but most of the time Im too busy to notice that.
One of the most difficult things to fathom in autism is why people dont seem to care about the suffering of the autistic kids. I think perhaps they simply cant imagine it and when you only interview Temple Grandin in this manner, you will not understand that.
And isnt that a clue- Which article of this type is going to miss telling you about all the supposedly autistic people who run Silicon Valley. Who ever proved that? My daughter and her husband are part of that population and area of employment and I havent yet met any autistic friend of theirs or heard them speak of one.
Posted by: Cherry Sperlin Misra | October 26, 2011 at 11:25 PM
The animals who most benefited from Temple Grandin's type of autism are cows and other livestock. Perhaps they are the ones who should speak, but they can't. Just like so many children with autism.
Posted by: michael | October 26, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Me too, Kim. I have seen E.T. come back from the dead 5,786 times(and that's only this year). Specializing in living organisms--a lot of money in that.
Posted by: Maurine Meleck | October 26, 2011 at 10:30 PM
In all fairness to Dr. Gandin, we most likely will never know what she said in the interview in its entirety. Unfortunately, when dealing with the media, one never knows how much of what they say will make it into the piece, how much will be edited out nor how the piece will differ once it has been edited. You are completely at their mercy, one you agree to an interview. It is always a risk.
As someone who has met with both Temple and her mother on more than occasion, first let me say that Temple is very definitely autistic. Second, she always acknowledges those whose autism differs from hers. I believe her to be as empathetic to those individuals as is possible for her, having autism herself. I also believe she would love for nothing more than to see some earnest research done to answer the many questions all of us have still to this day about autism. She prides herself on conducting as much research as is possible on her own with individual families whom she has contact with.
Having said all of that, I blame the media source for the soundbites we are spoon fed, not the messenger trying to further their advocacy for our community. Mainstream media is a huge obstacle for the many problems our nation faces, not just in accordance with autism. So sad.
Posted by: Lin | October 26, 2011 at 10:26 PM
60 minutes never really gave two sides of the vaccine story just pretended to.
James Cherry came on one time (after) a couple of naive parents made claims that the DPT shot had caused regression and explained it all away.
Subset of autisms. I don't know - when they keep vaccinating and further damaging them how do they know when a child is or is not going to slip deeper on in the mire?
Posted by: Benedetta | October 26, 2011 at 08:57 PM
Susane, if they were to do brain scans before a child is ever vaccinated in the US, they would have to do the brain scan in the first hour or two after the child is BORN.
My boys were given the Hep B when they were 4 hours old. That's been the standard for at least 16 years.
Posted by: Taximom | October 26, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Temple is a pioneer and a brilliant, lovely person. I completely agree with you. I know she has talked about regressive autism and the need to study those children but it has become less of a message these days. For so many with sick children, my Meg included, it is a frustration and an imperative need that we cannot ignore. I hope knowing her personally, you can let her know how much that would be appreciated.
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | October 26, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Re those who are 'sick' or Temple Grandin or feel she is not helpful. Actually, Knowing Temple Grandin personally, I have to say that she has a very clear understanding of what many of us go through. She has provided information to parents like me - who have a non-verbal stimming son who is trapped in his body (as he describes it)- that has been very helpful. She has helped many of us with children who have sensory processing issues. Temple understands the gut brain connection and the importance of diet etc. She had to overcome a lot to be the person she is today - 12 years ago she was not as social as now - she proves people can improve.Temple was severely autistic as a child.
Please remember, not ALL children or teens or young adults are the same. Not all have gut issues, not all are sick, not all have Asperger's, not all are nonverbal. So hearing different experiences are important. Temple does alot for the community. She is a pioneer - one of the first who informed the public about autism, and this a positive thing.
Posted by: chantal Sicile-Kira | October 26, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Susane, good idea, it might prove too threatening to the AAp and CDC, though. It would be esp good to do brain scans of vaccinated VS unvaccinated children.
Nobody in high places seems to give a crap about how many kids have autism. I do wonder with all these late vaccines (Gardasil, flu, endless dpt's if some teenagers will start to develop autism-like symptoms, or just more vaccine side effects at a higher rate. Maybe that will have to be what it takes. So pathetic the damage the CDC has done and continues to do.
Posted by: Jen | October 26, 2011 at 06:55 PM
Temple Grandin took autism out of the unknown and put a face on it, a brilliant thinker in specific areas yet disabled in many others. Like Helen Keller, she overcame a disability to become a fellow citizen, with a famous type job, publicity and notoriety. She IS the NEW Helen Keller and the media loves her and goes to her because it is a feel good story.
As we all know here, it is a rare story of a person who wrote that she would "stim" for hours if left alone and needed to be "pulled" out of her "isolation" and through the "window."
The negative effect of those words and that image is that many people do not understand that the type of autism present in many of the children and young adults today has an autoimmune nature, causing pain, seizures, bacterial and viral infections and chronic sensory dysfunction. "Pulling" them out is impossible without propwr medical care and because many of them regressed due to vaccination, the media, politicians, and the pharmaceutical-highjacked doctors do not want to talk, research or identify the REAL issues. Temple is safe.
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | October 26, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Just wait till the autistic individual throws that iPad across the room in a tantrummy rage, ok?
Posted by: Sue Morgan | October 26, 2011 at 06:42 PM
I can't stand it when they romanticize autism and focus on accomplishments of high functioning individuals. There is nothing good about autism.
They don't know and don't care to find out, how exhausting and debilitating it is. How difficult just getting through the day can be. Mainstream can't give us any answers, and when we think out of the box and try different things, we're idiots.
Reports like this one do more harm than good.
Posted by: Marianella | October 26, 2011 at 05:54 PM
Personally, I'm sick of Temple Grandin. I wish she would retire from her autism career and stick to her other career. It feels like she is taking advantage of our children by speaking out on their behalf when she has none of the profound disabilities they have. She is the official autism spokesperson though and people with families that are unaffected constantly tell me how wonderful they think she is. Ugh!
Posted by: tiredmom | October 26, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Maybe brain scans of children before they get vaccinations and then again 1 yr later when they stop speaking and lose body/mind control---now that would be significant I'd say. Is this even being done?...But this would look like scientific experiments on kids...oh yeah that is what they're supposed to have tested BEFORE they approve the vaccines right?!!...I forgot.
Posted by: susane | October 26, 2011 at 02:29 PM
I thought the part about the iPad was good, but how many of us can actually afford an iPad after paying off all of our bills that accumulate? I pay $8900 a month to send my son to a private ABA school in NYC. I am the only one working in my family and I have to sue the NYC Dept of Ed every year because they cannot offer my son a proper placement in the public schools. For months, I cannot spend any money on anything while I wait for my impartial hearing date and then hope and pray that the NYC Dept of Ed will reimburse our family in a timely manner. I agree that there should be a story about the HUGE financial burden that this puts on our families.
Posted by: Christine | October 26, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Temple Grandin is a very good example of Temple Grandin - of course, she has said helpful things in the past and it is pretty much a matter of how she is edited.
All this good news autism stuff has been around a long time, but it particular feeds the new generation of on-message non-enquiring journalists. Of course, people will always be moved by examples of overcoming disability but even with colossal input it only sometimes happens.
Not to be sentimental, competent journalist ought to be asking what all this costs in human and financial terms: the fact that this still is not even on the public agenda reflects on their general incompetence, laziness, dishonesty and cynicism. And, of course, a programme like this just helps to put off the day, which is why ultimately it stinks.
Posted by: John Stone | October 26, 2011 at 01:37 PM
I thought the iPad piece was pretty good, too, mainly for the way it (inadvertently?) contrasted the "research" that's being done, with the work of actual moms and teachers (and Apple) in helping people today:
Contrast the researcher, who dreams of telling parents their children will never learn to talk...
"Schneider ... hopes, among other things, that one day a brain scan will be able to diagnose autism early and tell parents if their child will ever speak."
...with the mom who is helping her kid communicate today:
"Meantime, parents like Amanda Williams - Nathan's mother, are latching onto the iPad. Marveling at how the device is opening windows into their children's minds...even if the windows are only open a crack."
Of course, I am a biased observer, but I do think that others watching the program or reading the transcript online will see that the people getting the lion's share of the money are not the ones helping families today.
Posted by: Theresa O | October 26, 2011 at 01:03 PM
The images of Temple Grandins brain wiring compared to a "normal" brain were interesting but lets face it that was one persons scan compared to another. I'd like to see a comparison of 25 "normal" brain wiring scans vs. 25 with autism to see if there's truely a difference in brain wiring. Perhaps all those scans, normal or not, would show differences. My point being there need to be a bigger context, a wider sample. I also want to know why they aren't showing scans that show areas of inflammation?
When it comes to autism reporting, the mainstream media likes stories on genes and brain wiring. They rarely report on toxic exposures, GI and brain inflammation.
I like Temple Grandin but I agree that she may be being used to sway public opinion. We rarely get a glimpse of the full spectrum or the host of medical problems our kids present with.
I did like the Ipad piece b/c it shows that children with autism can show amazing intelligence given the right tools.
Posted by: Sarah | October 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM
I watched with great disappointment but not much surprise as the s0-called experts presented various scenarios and comparisons to, for example brains wired differently for "autistics" versus the brain of a "normal" person.
In the overview presented, there was no reference to a triggering event which might alter the course to a brain being wired differently, nor a scenario proposed that might then demonstrate the reverse, that when the course can be changed back, and some of damage reversed how that could then change development again.
Extremely shoddy science that leads to nothing productive. Separating everything is a product of the typical Newtonian based allopathic approach. No real solutions will ever be found with that approach and millions down the tube.
In my opinion Temple Grandin has indeed become an unwitting shill for big science and big pharma.
It seems the only thing that allopathic science does not want to separate is the name of the disease from the person, instead of thinking of it as a person with the name of a particular condition. Doing as such would be a good first step.
THe media campaign is insidious, and trying to reprogram the perception that the person is an "istic". Instead of merely digging a little deeper and synthesizing some of the newly emerged science of epigenetics as well as the not so new anymore discoveries of brain plasticity. (though it is often said that it can take 40 years to bridge the chasm of research and application in the medical world... though not so much with vaccination ...)
Allopathic medicine is not looking in the right direction about the cause or the solution. Too blinded by potential of profits and potential for more with the sub-grouping of different children with autism on the horizon. News pieces like the one on CBS are just part of that layering process.
There is a big difference between pursuing a scientific approach to unlock potential versus a deterministic approach.
The CBS news-piece showed an emerging picture of what will be a very dangerous direction to follow in the search for answers and solutions to the burgeoning Autism epidemic with the sub-grouping and deterministic approach.
I would like to be able to say God forgive them for they know not what they do, but instead I think it might be more apt for me to say, God forgive them for they are too tempted by the path that points to bigger profits and ease of application.
Posted by: jean | October 26, 2011 at 12:09 PM
I had a child and then a grown up who never spoke through his whole life, never uttered a word before he died last year. I cannot say that he would have told me, if he could have, that he would not have liked to have talked. And in the 60-Minute segmant Temple Grandin says she would not want to be different because of her wonderful mind. Temple Grandin displays quite a bit of arrogance when she says that she doesn't want to be different. It's one thing to overcome your autism and learning to live with it; it's quite another to deny that autism is probably a result of an increasingly toxic environment. That kind of arrogance shows why the non-autism community is unwilling to start thinking out of the box and adopting a different mindset.
Posted by: Birgit Calhoun | October 26, 2011 at 11:53 AM
IF listening to the same Sesame Street song for 13 years is a brain specialization then we're gonna be rich rich rich!!! Silly me for not having discovered the ability sooner.
Posted by: Stagmom | October 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM
I think Dr. Grandin may be confusing the varying types of brain specialization with full blown, disabling autism. I think a kid can have sensory processing issues without qualifying as autistic. Then they'll tend to specialize in pursuits that are friendliest to the type of sensory input the brain is most comfortable with. And curing the body's ability to properly support brain development is NOT an abandonment of the ability to use logic. "Despecializing" the brain can help these kids develop skills in more areas...most notably social skills. But there will always be strengths that they can exploit. My daughter NEEDS a cure, or God help her if something happened to me. She is COMPLETELY dependent on me. Autism doesn't make her special, it is a limitation of her potential.
Posted by: Erik Nanstiel | October 26, 2011 at 11:47 AM
I just finished watching the piece about the iPad online. It was well done, but of course, sponsored by Pharma. Therein lies the reason that the media will never cover the true story of autism. :o(
Posted by: Sueswanson | October 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM
Also--what Barry says.
So let's continue to focus online, with e-mails, and face-to-face.
We do have enemies, and we need to be clear as to who they are.
Posted by: Terri Lewis | October 26, 2011 at 10:33 AM
The mainstream media--none of it--will ever again be our friend.
Some of them are openly enemies, and some of them--as the kids say--are "frenemies."
Posted by: Terri Lewis | October 26, 2011 at 10:31 AM
I hate to say it but Temple Grandin has done more harm than good for autistic people. There is a reason the mainstream media pushes her story so relentlessly. The average person has a false, candy-coated picture of autism because Grandin has become the poster child. I think she is being used in a very cynical way by the media whose goal is to distract from the main cause of autism-- vaccines.
Posted by: julie | October 26, 2011 at 10:27 AM
Temple Grandin says that she thinks like an animal, in pictures rather than words, and that it is her ability to empathize with them that led her to her trademark discovery of soft, embracing chutes to guide the cows to the slaughter while alarming them to the least degree possible. Using your capacity for empathy to trick, betray, and painfully kill those who have fallen for your ruse is certainly very human, but I would be ashamed if my gentle, loving autistic daughter were to "ascend" to that level.
Posted by: cia parker | October 26, 2011 at 10:07 AM
"If all autism were like Temple Grandin’s, parents wouldn’t be desperate to find answers."
Really? I wonder if Ms. Grandin's mother, who worked tirelessly to find a voice and a place for her daughter, would agree. I can't help but imagine that when Ms. Grandin struggled as a child (she said she was a late talker, among other fairly severe issues), her mother desperately wanted answers for what to do and how to fix it. I don't know why you think parents wouldn't be desperate for an answer if their child were 'merely' socially inept, OCD, riddled with anxiety, prone to meltdowns, fixated on blades of grass or glass bottles, known to wander, LOVES water especially when unsupervised, unwelcome wherever they go, the target of unrelenting bullying. Oh, but the child can speak and do math so that makes it okay? There's nothing to worry about, then? Those kids don't have 'real' autism. Okay, I'm sure the parents of verbal children will feel better about that.
Posted by: The REAL Concerned Mom | October 26, 2011 at 08:25 AM
I'd like to see Stahl, Schneider and Grandin watch my kid try to "keep CBS news running" for just one day.
I have to scream now.
Posted by: Donna L. | October 26, 2011 at 07:52 AM
CBS was never legitimate, it was Sharyl Attkisson that was legitimate. They gave her a little too much leash, and now we have to listen to the likes of Lesley Stahl, who's obviously been tasked with covering up everything what Sharyly worked so hard to uncover.
Posted by: Barry | October 26, 2011 at 07:16 AM
"Grandin is from another era when autism was rare. Autism is now an epidemic."
Unfortunately, Leslie Stahl is also from another era .. when reporters for "60 Minutes" practiced hard-hitting "investigative journalism" .. instead of the smarmy "advocacy journalism" that is now "epidemic" throughout journalism.
In the good old days .. "60 Minutes" would have been all over the following unfolding story:
"Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that CDC officials were aware of Danish data indicating a connection between removing Thimerosal (49.55% mercury) and a decline in autism rates. Despite this knowledge, these officials allowed a 2003 article to be published in Pediatrics that excluded this information, misrepresented the decline as an increase, and led to the mistaken conclusion that Thimerosal in vaccines does not cause autism."
Perhaps delving into the reasons that Poul Thorsen .. lead researcher for that very same Danish study .. has been indicted for stealing critical research funds for his own benefit .. and .. whether or not high level CDC officials deliberately chose Thorsen over all others because they knew he would guarantee the now "tainted" results they wanted.
Unfortunately, the producers of "60 Minutes" are just like producers of "The Doctors" .. far more interested in "entertaining" rather than "informing" their viewers.
Anyone with common sense who watched this particular episode was left to wonder: "What could possibly cause the brains of autistic individuals to be so radically altered from normal"?
That is the ONLY question Ms. Stahl should have asked .. and .. that only makes her failure to ask it even more regrettable.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | October 26, 2011 at 06:55 AM
As much as I admire Temple Grandin I have to ask - is her life is what we wish for our kids?
If I'm not mistaken she isn't married and doesn't have kids.
Career success is not all there's to it.
Posted by: vaccine.explorer | October 26, 2011 at 06:44 AM
Thank You Anne for posting this. I saw this interview Sunday. I was so disgusted with their mindless drivel while talking about the brain image of Grandin. (who I do admire). I was screaming at the t.v. "ANNNNDDD........What does it mean!!!!!! What could alter brain development? Any wild guesses out there?!!! I mean that is a process that must have everything go right and nothing go wrong to come out normal. (typical) So what about neurotoxins? What about chronic brain inflammation? I guess its more important to classify and sub classify symptoms than to figure out what's driving all this. Anything to avoid having to tell the whole truth.
Posted by: Adam M | October 26, 2011 at 06:10 AM