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  1. #21
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Anyway, my opinion (probably wrong, I can see the holes in this reasoning myself) is that any "mild" form of these psychological "dysfunctions" - ADD, autism, etc. would be better left undiagnosed, because it adds further pressure and it might erroneously lead a person to associate all his-her problems to his-her "condition".
    I don't know for sure. It probably depends on how you handle it. With my sons, I could see that they were struggling in school, not because they were unruly or less intelligent than the other children, but because they just didn't 'get it.' They lacked the ability to pick up on social cues and they were emotionally immature and with my youngest son, his need for a consistent system was causing him problems with learning to read (English is such a pain in the butt!).

    I wasn't thrilled about the idea of having them labeled autistic, but decided it was preferable to having them thought of as 'bad' or 'stupid' and those were the choices I had. If you can get the label, the school gets the extra funding and they are legally required to accommodate your child's needs. If you don't have the label, they probably aren't going to make a lot of extra effort.

    Now that my sons are older (11 and 13) they don't need as much help, but the help they are getting (like my 13 y/o being allowed to have a set of books at home and one in his respective classrooms because he is pretty uncoordinated) is truly helpful, but doesn't interfere with their development.

    OTOH, I have noticed that sometimes when they are just being bratty the teachers want to treat it like it has to do with autism. They won't believe me when I tell them they are just being bratty sometimes. But since I know about it, I can lower the boom on them at home, so it's okay.

    They know they have autism and understand fairly well what that means. We're pretty open about it. They have tried to play the autism card with us a couple of times, but quickly find that it doesn't get them very far.

    I expect them to behave courteously and to get good grades (and not dumbed-down grades because the have 'special needs'). They are competitive on the state standardized tests -- IOW, they perform better than the average student in our state on most areas of their tests. One son does get to use a keyboard for his answers on the test and the other gets the use of a scribe (the scribe is something I want to eliminate in a year or two) and they get a little extra time to take the tests, but they are taking the same test as everybody else.

    My older son probably won't have any problems leading a 'normal life' without any major accommodations. He wants to teach elementary school and I think he could do that very well.

    My younger son is less high functioning -- imagine an INTP times three -- smart, logical, nice, but extremely disorganized, absent-minded, and oblivious. Obsessed with learning about certain things (machines and animals -- science) but not particularly focused or interested in practical applications except for daydreaming and drawing crazy contraptions. He might find something to specialize in and do really well at it or he might end up wiping off tables in the mall and going home to watch documentaries on TV. Or anything in between. No idea how it's going to play out, but I'm working towards getting him a good education so he will be ready to specialize if something strikes his fancy.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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  2. #22
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Did you read this part?

    Oh yes i read the whole article, i did not say i agreed with the article's findings but i was interested in the stats, i'm sure you would also find areas of high frequency in rural parts of africa if studies were ever done there. I know of a compound in Ghana which has quite a high frequency but no diagnostics to assess the children.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  3. #23
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    That you "feel it and see it everywhere" is precisely a function of the awareness being higher, which is part of what leads to more people seeking diagnosis or even knowing what to look for! 20-30+ years ago, there were just as many children with autism, but the ones with lower intelligence were being labelled retarded and the ones with higher intelligence were slipping through the cracks altogether. They were not identified in any way. My husband probably would have gotten an Asperger's diagnosis under the new criteria. He wasn't counted under LD or special ed because he was in gifted classes, and would have been even with a diagnosis. Dual identifications are very, very common for kids with ASD.
    While i appreciate your kindness i also find some of your remarks fairly condesending. As soon as my child was diagnosed with autism i was actively on the lookout when we were out, more for contact with other parents and information than anything else but none the less i was alert. My knowledge of asd beforehand was fiarly limited. I have twin cousins with asbergers that are 10 years younger than me and i used to babysit them as i was one of the few people able to communicate with them, that was 18 years ago. Asides from this personal contact i had very minimal knowledge...i had read "A curious incident..." and seen rain man with very little other imput.
    So at age 15 i was aware of asd and had no other experience what so ever with anyone else with asd for many years. 5 years ago when i was most alert i met very few people with asd but did occaisionally meet parents of children with asd. Now 5 years on when i am not watching all the kids in the playground to see signs i meet them all over the place. This is not due to awareness this is due to a rise in asd cases.

    30/40 years ago many children with autism were indeed labelled retarded or simply mad, many were institutionalised and when thinking of how instititutions used to run it is saddening. Even the royal's here hid family members with autism but i believe there was one nanny who knew different (bless her heart).
    Last edited by Betty Blue; 06-20-2010 at 03:55 PM. Reason: clarification
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  4. #24
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Genetic variation is not teleological. There are no advances in evolution, only changes. If autism doesn't lead to premature death or failure to reproduce, then nature has selected for it. Otherwise, it has selected against it.

    No value judgments are necessary otherwise.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Genetic variation is not teleological. There are no advances in evolution, only changes. If autism doesn't lead to premature death or failure to reproduce, then nature has selected for it. Otherwise, it has selected against it.

    No value judgments are necessary otherwise.
    The point i raised regarding natural selection was that more poeple are being born with autism... if thats natural selection (rather than mutation) then isn't it possible that it is evolution?
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  6. #26
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    I haven't read this whole thread, but in my skimming, I've seen a lot of you saying/implying that since ASD is not a beneficial trait for humans, you don't think its theorized increase in prevalence can be due to evolution.

    There is a clear misunderstanding of what evolution is and how it works. A trait does not have to be a good one to evolve in a population. Evolution is not a movement towards "better/improved" traits. It's simply the change in allelic frequencies in a population over time (one of the primary evolutionary pressures is natural selection, which is where many people get the false notion that evolution is a drive towards better traits).

    Anyway, if there is any significant change going on in the human gene pool, and this change is causing an increased number of ASD cases, then ASD increases indeed are due to evolution. The change in the gene pool could be indirectly due to some other good trait that ASD brings that we are unable to realize from our current perspective on ASD, or it could be occurring for some other unknown reason. Just because it's a disorder doesn't mean it can't be due to evolution; depression is a disorder, and it came about due to evolution. Nearly all of the traits that we humans possess as a population have come about due to evolution; that's how a population becomes what it is.

    However, I am pretty skeptical as to whether ASD numbers really are increasing. How long have we been able to categorize and diagnose ASD? If we are more significantly more capable now, than in the past, of diagnosing these disorders, then it would certainly make more sense to see a rise in the numbers.

    It's all due to the vaccines though anyway, right? ()

  7. #27
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    The point i raised regarding natural selection was that more poeple are being born with autism... if thats natural selection (rather than mutation) then isn't it possible that it is evolution?
    We won't know until those people successfully have children. If they can, then it's not selected against. If they cannot, then it is selected against. That's all that matters at this point.

    "Evolution" simply describes the effects after they happen.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    We won't know until those people successfully have children. If they can, then it's not selected against. If they cannot, then it is selected against. That's all that matters at this point.

    "Evolution" simply describes the effects after they happen.

    Oh thats interesting, because it is already and has been happening, do you mean in a further 20+ years when the new generation after the boom is appearing?
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  9. #29
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    Oh thats interesting, because it is already and has been happening, do you mean in a further 20+ years when the new generation after the boom is appearing?
    C.A.P.: Celebrating Autistic Parents
    Only if autistics out-breed neurotypicals. Not sure how likely that is.

  10. #30
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Only if autistics out-breed neurotypicals. Not sure how likely that is.
    Oh i see, it's clearer what you mean now. I am not sure how likely many things are, but what i am talking about is possibilty. The what if question.
    Also as i understand it evolution would not be simply that people outbreed each other but more that they merge with some traits taking a stronger genetic role and yes a lot more time is needed to actually see what will happen in future generations.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

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