December 12th, 2011

LA Times article about autism diagnosis rates

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/autism/la-me-autism-day-one-html,0,1218038.htmlstory

I'm _sure_ there are cure-oriented organizations committed to a non-genetic, biological/organic explanation who will be _very_ upset about this article. Me? It's the kind of thing that makes me feel like sanity is breaking out again.

The key missing component of the story (implicitly present very provocatively in the closing example/quotation: "If only she had the money, his mother said, she'd take him to Los Angeles to be diagnosed.") is a direct confrontation with the class issue. If you've got money/education/resources, you can get help for your child that might make the difference between a fulfilling life and a life of the frustrations inherent in being shuttled from one institution to another. This should not be regarded as a complaint. We don't like to talk about issues like this [ETA: NYT Opinion piece found here notwithstanding: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/opinion/the-unaddressed-link-between-poverty-and-education.html] and expecting an article already pressing the edges of acceptable speech/ideas is not to be dinged for failing to take on class in america.

It's a really good article: long enough to cover the relevant ground without getting bogged down in details. Referencing the right people and studies. Refusing to engage in issues that just get everyone worked up without giving any insight. Absolutely worth your time. I haven't read Grinker's book yet but I do own it, and any article that obliquely treats Lovaas as representative of a dark age gets my approval.

ETA: It's the first of four parts.