HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Health » Health (Group) » PLOS Blogs Book of the Ye...

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 01:24 PM

PLOS Blogs Book of the Year: Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2011/12/19/book-of-the-year-thinking-persons-guide-to-autism/

"A sea-change is happening in the world of autism. Just a few years ago, the loudest voices in media coverage of the issue were those of Jenny McCarthy’s “warrior moms,” defending Andrew Wakefield’s now-discredited claim that the combined measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism, while spending hard-earned income on the latest cure for their “vaccine-injured” kids — which could allegedly be found in megadoses of vitamins, chelation therapy to remove heavy metals like mercury from the body, elaborate elimination diets, home hyperbaric chambers and saunas, and untested gray-market drugs.

It’s not hard to understand what motivated these parents: Intense love and concern for their children, along with healthy skepticism of corrupt multinational corporations and government agencies that have proven themselves fully capable of covering up crimes against humanity that resulted in the injury and death of thousands. The mothers and fathers of kids on the spectrum have excellent reasons to distrust the medical establishment — notably its unquestioning acceptance of Bruno Bettelheim’s “refrigerator mother” theory in the 1950s, which cruelly blamed parents for their kids’ developmental disorders, adding shame and stigma to the challenges of raising an autistic child.

...

The book doesn’t make light of the diligent work required to make the world a more comfortable, supportive, and joyful place for atypically developing kids, while helping them cope with the stresses and sensory challenges that are an inevitable part of life on the spectrum. But it also makes clear that one of the toughest things to deal with as a parent is the pervasive view of autism as a tragedy. The deeply networked science-and-tech-literate parents who put the book together have happy children who are respected and treasured for being who they are, rather than pitied as unwitting victims of a Big Pharma conspiracy. (That was cherubic Leo Rosa rocking the iPad in a clip played at Steve Jobs’ last keynote).

...

One of the most progressive aspects of the Thinking Person’s Guide is that it includes a section of essays written by autistic people themselves, which gives it an intimate, insiders’ view of a way of being that is all too often depicted as an impenetrable enigma (represented by the ubiquitous puzzle-piece iconography employed by many fundraising organizations, which many self-advocates have come to detest). Their accounts indicate the pressing need to debunk stereotypes of autistics as either amazing savants or automatons who lack empathy, and to create neurodiversity-friendly workplaces — needs that are not addressed by the usual star-studded “autism awareness” campaigns that raise millions of dollars a year to scan genomes and hunt for new drug targets.

..."



----------------------------------


This is now on my "must read" list. I'll post about it again, once I've had a chance to dig into it.

3 replies, 1058 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply PLOS Blogs Book of the Year: Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (Original post)
HuckleB Dec 2011 OP
Odin2005 Dec 2011 #1
HuckleB Dec 2011 #2
LeftishBrit Dec 2011 #3

Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 02:00 PM

1. And there is finally a focus on adults on the spectrum.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Odin2005 (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 02:04 PM

2. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 06:08 PM

3. Sounds really interesting; I'll make sure to get it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread