Skip to comments.Thomas Sowell: Real Autism (NOT LATE-TALKING CHILDREN!)
Posted on 07/17/2008 8:35:57 AM PDT by neverdem
My daughter was a late talker. My family kept pestering me about why she wasn’t speaking. I told them her father was a quiet person, maybe she is too. Plus with older siblings, not much need as they tended to be her mouthpiece. Now she is just fine and I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.
People are obsessed with putting their kids on some kind of medication, its almost like they are looking for some kind, any kind of excuse to do it.
I know Autism is real, as I know ADD and ADHD are real, but hell, I have the common sense god gives a screwdriver to know that way to many kids are diagnosed with these things, when they simply don't have it.
I do not personally know of any parent who cares about their child that doesn’t pursue every avenue trying to disprove a diagnosis of Autism.
It's a roller coaster ride and I have great empathy for those folks.
“For example, a study of high-IQ children by Professor Ellen Winner of Boston College found these children to have obsessive interests and often play alone and enjoy solitude, as well as being children who seem to march to their own drummer and have prodigious memories.”
This would be my Stephen.Although testing has not pointed towards autism, but rather central auditory processing disorder.
I was an only child and a late talker. Initially, they thought I might be autistic. However, some bright bulb decided to test my hearing first and found out I was deaf in one ear, just in time to prevent me from being labeled autistic for the rest of my life.
[... If A CHILD is not AUTISTIC to begin with, almost
anything will cure him with the passage of time...]
If THE WORLD is not WARMING to begin with, almost
anything will “cure” it with the passage of time.
Thomas Sowell always makes sense out of the senseless!
Autism is the new badge of honor for deficiency in parenting and has taken the place of ADHD and ADD in misdiagnoses. My neighbor works with Autistic children only, and she is frustrated that the disease has been watered down to undisciplined children and the true Autistic children are getting less attention. She is afraid of becoming a glorified babysitter of bad children.
Follow the money, from Pharmaceuticals to handouts.
If you build it, they will come.
My sister (who is a public school administrator) yanked him immediately and sent him to a private all-boy school, where he thrived. He's a senior in college now, and doing quite well.
I’m amazed he didn’t mention Asperger’s in his article.
Hmmm. I have a cousin whose 3 year old could be the poster child for Professor Winner’s description. He is now on the “autism spectrum.”
I have told my mother that this diagnosis is bunk and he should be encouraged to develop his single minded problem solving skills (where do you think good researchers come from?)
Of course, according to my mom, he needs this “intervention.” Interestingly she held up the neighbor’s kid who was just like this at 3. I asked her how he turned out without intervention. He had the lead in his high school play last year.
“Follow the money, from Pharmaceuticals to handouts.”
Indeed, the pharmaceutical industry has nearly succeeded in convincing this nation as a whole that it it NOT normal for a person to live without some kind of chronic medication. The goal seems to be to have every child on meds for some sort of attention disorder and now even some young children are being put on cholesterol meds. It is obvious that the goal is to have every single adult taking cholesterol medicine and or blood pressure and or blood sugar meds. Notice that tv ads for one brand of cholesterol medication featured an onscreen disclaimer saying there is no evidence that it reduces heart attack risk! We are supposed to take it and expose ourselves to all kinds of very dangerous possible side effects with no reason to believe we might obtain any benefit from doing so!
I am gaining more respect for my late father with every passing day. He only went to the eighth grade but he had a very healthy distrust of internal medicine and steadfastly refused to take most of them, he died less than a month before his 82nd birthday and outlived most of the doctors who were convinced he would die in his fifties if he didn’t take his medicine.
Dr. Sowell and Dr. Savage, and I love them both, run periously close to getting it wrong about autism. While a clear diagnosis still is hard to come by, it is clear “something” is wrong and it is more than just delayed speech or bad parenting.
Trying to minimize austism by suggesting many cases are just a matter of delayed speech is just poor logic. There are so many other problems found with autistic kids, we wish it was just delayed speech.
So, Dr. Sowell, Dr. Savage, please spend some time with PubMed, talk to more parents of autistic children, read up on it more.
For Dr. Savage, there can be a subset among what are called “high functioning autistics” who fit your critique and where, yes, parents can use more discipline.
It is when you are sitting there with an austistic child who has problems with math, month in month out, year in year out, that you begin to see that there might be an issue.
Also, the way many autistic boys talk, you can tell, and their peers can tell right away, there is something “off”, something not right in the way they talk that is more than just delayed speech.
Many conversations are outright inappropriate, or disturbingly repetitive. The ability to read social cues is impaired.
Finally, suggesting delayed development is statement that needs to be scrutinized. So much of childhood development involves capabilities showing up at the right time. Some may need to show up at the right time, otherwise overall development is impaired. Where that might be true in autistic kids is one of those open questions.
As was my oldest son. I encountered the same sort of well-meaning people offering advice and concern. I loved it when I read Sowell's first column on the subject. I was already a Sowell fan but that made me feel a certain kinship.
My late talker finally started talking at around 3 years old. His first word was, "Stop that kitty" as his new kitten was scratching him. He was my oldest of three and very likely the one with the highest IQ although I think all three of my children are very bright.He is also the most 'straight edge' of the three now adult children. All my kids are quirky in their own way. Late talking was the oldest's quirky thing.
I'm not into diagnosing personality traits. A diagnosis implies an illness. Why saddle a kid with the belief there is something wrong from day one. My middle son could not read until fourth grade but he is definitely the wittiest one of the bunch. I think wit is a great indicator of intelligence. We spent a lot of time and money to get him up to a basic reading level but he still has some trouble with reading and writing. He recently graduated from a Whittier College. It was difficult for him but he made it. Because he is so athletic and handsome and witty, we like to tell him, "Thank God you can't read or there would be no living with you!"
In the presence of a high IQ, all those other “symptoms” just look like normal responses for a child who’s intelligence level is simply far above that of available similar-aged playmates. And the preference for playing alone and appearance of “marching to their own drummer” is common among low IQ children whose available playmates are all normal-to-high IQ children.
The money spent on advertising unknowns in the industry far and away dwarfs anything spent on R and D. Sham and scam.
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