By Anne Dachel
Dr. Nancy Snyderman is the NBC medical expert who's gone on the record a number of times solemnly declaring that autism is nothing to worry about and that vaccines have nothing to do with it.
On the Today Show in 2008, Dr. Snyderman defended millionaire vaccine developer Paul Offit, and joined his adamant denial of a link between vaccines and autism. (Offit is featured speaking while we're shown the back of his head.)
JB Handley wrote a piece in 2008 about how Snyderman told parents on the Today Show that there are only 14 vaccines in the childhood schedule (when in truth the total was 36 shots).
Remember Snyderman in 2009 telling us autistic children really didn't have GI problems?
"The findings are important because they really dismiss that link between the gut and these neurological problems that we see in autism. And primarily they were looking for problems like mal-absorption and inflammation. These findings are very conclusive: There is no link between illness in the gut and the signs and symptoms we see in autism. ...This is a really important study for parents because it means that if you're putting your child on a restrictive diet, ...extra vitamins or nutrients, and you're spending a lot of money and putting your child through that, there's no reason to."
On the Today Show recently Snyderman, along with experts Catherine Lord and Fred Volkmar, weighed in on the upcoming changes to the autism diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).This was the gist of the conversation:
Snyderman: "The standard for diagnosing psychiatric conditions, including autism, is something called the DSM-IV. Today most children with autism fall in one of three categories: autism, Asperger's Syndrome, or PDD-NOS, ...which is characterized by milder symptoms....
"But the guidelines are now changing. Dr. Catherine Lord is a psychologist and on the American Psychiatric Association panel appointed to see that the DSM criteria are up to date."
Lord: "In the new DSM-5 criteria, there's just one category of Autism Spectrum Disorder, so there will no longer be PPD-NOS and Asperger's."
Snyderman: "And that has some parents and experts worried. Dr. Fred Volkmar at Yale University is one of them."
Volkmar: "The problem is, if you take away the autism label or the Asperger's label, it interferes with people thinking conceptually in a very sensible way about what does the person need."
Snyderman: "His study found that over 39 percent of individuals with autism or related disorders would no longer meet diagnostic criteria. Most of them higher functioning children..."
Volkmar: "Sadly, my worry is that the people that are going to be penalized essentially, are the ones who we've included now, the most able people who can the people with support can be productive members of society."
Snyderman: "For many parents...the possibility of losing government funded services is terrifying."
Snyderman: "But Dr. Lord and other experts on the panel caution that these changes are in patients' best interests."
Lord: "One of the things that our committee really wanted to do was to have a single Autism Spectrum Disorder that implies that anyone who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder needs services."
Snyderman: "With the DSM-5 expected to come in May of 2013, the stakes are high."
Parent: "What we don't need are economic or political issues to distract us from the fact that regardless of what ...the label is, the needs that these children have, don't change."
Snyderman: "The reasons for the proposed changes is that doctors believe that this field is too segmented, too complicated, and that this move will help narrow the playing field. And in a weird kind of way, ...if we make it simpler, it can include more kids. The idea is if we make if simpler, we can maybe make the tent bigger and include more kids.
Anchor: "But the idea is that if you make these changes, some kids will fall through the cracks."
Snyderman: "And I think that group, the high functioning kids. Look, these kids can be mainstreamed, they need as much help. But those kids, some parents would argue are exactly the kind of kids you should invest in because those children are the Silicon Valley of tomorrow. So this is, I believe a battle in medicine, sociology, and funding. I don't think this ones over."
Anchor: "This is a really interesting story..."
No one here sees a problem, let alone a crisis.
For these experts, this is all academic of course. Autism in the real world has little relationship to what Volkmar, Snyderman, and Lord are discussing. We're told that changes in the DSM-5 are intended to make things better. Their idea of autism presents no problem: there's no epidemic, there's no acknowledging of the miserable response from the medical community where no one knows the cause, cure, or prevention for autism, and no one is worried about the cost.
If this were a legitimate interview with honest, in depth coverage, questions would have been raised about the timing of these changes to coincidence with more and more young Americans with autism aging out of the public school system with nowhere to go. Nothing would make the epidemic more evident than the children with autism now becoming adults in numbers no one has ever witnessed before. How convenient for those covering this up to have half of these young adults suddenly lose their diagnosis.
In 2010, in a talk at NIH, Dr. Thomas Insel, head of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) created by Congress to deal with autism, said that 80 percent of Americans with autism are under the age of 18 and he warned that we need “to prepare for a million people who may be in need of significant services.”
Of course, nothing is being done to provide for the approaching tsunami of dependent adults that will descend on social services in the coming years. The IACC now calls autism “a national health emergency.” Estimates for lifetime care cost start at $3.2 million per individual. That’s a conservative estimate from 2006.
After perpetual studies linking autism to bad genes and just about everything under the sun--EXCEPT VACCINES, there are still no conclusive findings. The numbers are the real problem. We've had endless lies covering up the exponential increase and now those lies will have to be expanded to include adults. "Better diagnosing" will now become "over-diagnosing." The message is clear--MAKE THE EPIDEMIC GO AWAY.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. Subscribe to her news feed at AnneDachel.com.