Donvan and Zucker are now the darlings of the U.S. media. Their book, In a Different Key, is about recognizing autism and providing for those who have it--no questions asked.
The Boston Globe claims that there are more 3 million Americans with autism. There is ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF OF THAT. The current rate of one in 45 comes from STUDIES OF CHILDREN. The Globe is applying that rate across the population.
Yesterday on ABC's GMA with George Stephanopoulos,
Donvan and Zucker talked about the fact that there is no link to vaccines and that "it shouldn't matter if there's an epidemic." It's hard to rationalize what they say. To me the cruelest form of child abuse and neglect would be to say that shouldn't matter if more and more children are lost to a disabling condition that can leave them totally dependent for life and that doctors are helpless to address.
Jan 19, 2016, Boston Globe: Tracing autism, from past to present
More than 3 million Americans, including one in 45 children, have autism, a spectrum of disorders characterized by impaired social interaction and repetitive or ritualistic behaviors. Increasing rates of diagnosis, the vigorous efforts of advocacy organizations like Autism Speaks, whose jigsaw puzzle logo adorns countless bumper stickers, and a discredited though widely publicized claim about a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism have all thrust the condition into the national consciousness.
...Triplett was not actually the first person with autism. Donvan and Zucker recently wrote an article for Smithsonian about their discovery that Samuel Gridley Howe, founder of Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, described several people who likely had the condition in the 19th century. But in 1943, when Triplett was 10, he became the first patient to whom pioneering Johns Hopkins neurologist Leo Kanner applied the newly coined term “autism.’’ Triplett’s parents had brought the boy to Baltimore from their home in Forest, Miss., because they were concerned about his extreme social awkwardness and obsession with numbers.
...The authors do see some progress in the acceptance of people with autism, led, in part, by proponents of neurodiversity, They feel more people with autism could reach their full potential if they had the kind of support Triplett has had in his community. Zucker acknowledges that not everyone can live in a small town like Forest. Still, she thinks it’s realistic to expect her son, now 21, to live in a society that considers him “one of
(VIDEO) Jan 12, 2016, Maybe There Is No Autism at All, But Many Different Kinds of Autism
John Donvan: "The world we live in today, in terms of autism, was really created over the last 50, 60, 70 years, from the time that the diagnosis was first recognized, which goes back to 1943...
"Families had to fight so very hard to change the world; to make a place in it for their loved ones because, 50, 60 years ago, the world didn't want them. People with autism were sent away to institutions. They were hidden. They were not allowed into schools. They were discriminated against. They were isolated.
"The fact that we live in a world now where things are so different is the result of very hard battles fought by their families, by their parents in particular.
"And the reason that the past matters, the reasons that we want to revive the stories of what those parents did, and those families did over half a century is because the job is only half done. We're in a world now where there are now more people with an autism diagnosis than ever before.
"In a decade 500,000 teenagers are going to turn into adults with autism, and there really is no place for them.
"We figured out what to do when people are kids with autism. We've made a lot of adjustments in terms of giving them education, bringing programs into the schools, seeing kids in TV shows. But there's not very much set up for adults. There isn't a place for them to live, there aren't employment opportunities. And with so much left to do, we think we find in the past, the inspiration for what to do, that activism works. It's worth trying to battle. It's worth trying tjo change society's mind because society's mind was changed in regard to the kids, but we really haven't come that far with regard to adults."...
"We don't know what the real cause of autism is--and there have been a lot, a lot of ideas put forth over the years. ...We're lived through a period of time where it was a very popularly held idea that vaccines cause autism. There are still people who believe that firmly, but the scientific studies that have looked at that have disputed that.
"Going back 50 or 60 years ago, it was the absolute gold standard psychiatric opinion that autism was cause by mothers not loving their children enough. ..."
"The vaccine theory has been disputed. Well that leaves us in a place where we don't know still what the root cause of autism is. We don't know if there is such a thing as just autism or many different autisms. Autism doesn't have any biological markers; you can't do a cheek swab for it. ...
"There are very, very successful professionals, particularly in the sciences, professors at universities who are brilliant at math, who nevertheless are now labeled autistic because the definition is so broad that it includes them..."
"One misunderstanding nowadays comes from the fact that we have not really agreed on what we mean by 'autism,' although we all think we have. Right now autism is an umbrella term for a list of behaviors whose cause, or possibly causes, we don't know.