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View Diary: The belly of the anti-science beast (150 comments)

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  •  here is the thing..... (3+ / 0-)

    all children should be treated like individuals.  Some need more stimulation and some need a little less.  But they are all quite flexible.

    I think the whole autism definition has broadened out in a way that makes folks fear profound autism is increasing, while much of what is increasing are people recognizing the odd variation in human behavior.  

    I know a woman who is very brilliant and successful as an academic.  She is undoubtedly mildly autistic in some way.  Her very brilliant son is a mathematician (two time Math Olympiad medal winner, working on his Ph.D. at Harvard) but definitely diagnosed as autistic.  As a parent she worked hard to give him opportunities and help him relate to society.  His odd variation was undoubtedly genetic- like his mom and dad.  This isn't the kind of autism most of us need worry about deeply in our children.  But he needed assessment and help in school to make sure his social needs were met- she sent him to private school until high school.

    The real problem is when we have children whose intellectual ability and social interactions are low-profound autism.  We can have those children at any time if they choke on a hot dog or hit their head on the driveway.

    There is a limit to which that can be increased.  With some problems like Down's Syndrome, continued education and enrichment can result in continued intellectual growth- that is the source of the term "mental retardation" which is now obsolete.  With additional work, children and young adults can continue to learn more- including learning to read and become an employee able to live independently.  

    I hesitate to mention the real problems of infectious disease except in the context of vaccination.  What could your friends have done?  Why should they feel guilty or blame that their child has more risk now?  Risk is assessed in populations, not individuals.  

    There is a component of the environment, but there is also a component of genetics- your genes and the environment.   But if an effective vaccine is available, people should consider taking it.  I plan to get vaccinated.  It won't be 100% risk free but neither is the rest of life.  

    And in the meantime, people should wash their hands.  Often.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:52:43 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  i understand probability & statistics.... (1+ / 0-)
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      dconrad the point of taking added steps with their child is one of attempting to shift the probabilities in terms of outcomes.  

      And I do wash my hands often, and carry hand sanitizer in the truck, and use it after every client site visit or other stop.  Sanitation has always been the first line of defense in public health, and that hasn't changed.  

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