Society slowly learns to deal with autism

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 8, 2012 - 8:30 PM

As diagnoses of the disorder increase, understanding the disability is key to accommodating its many permutations.

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minn12Apr. 8, 12 8:47 PM

I'm afraid this is turning into a new 'cottage industry'. I refuse to believe that there is ANY disease that could affect 1 in 88 children. That high of a number is riduculous and unprovable except by some wildly overbroad criteria. I have seen many reports that state there is NO definitive diagnosis test for autism. When I say new 'cottage industry', here's what will happen: many more doctors will start jumping on the bandwagon, and start diagnosing any child that even seems like he might have autism. Next, since it is now considered a 'disablility', millions more will apply for lifetime disability benefits. Not to mention taxpayers could potentially be liable for billions in medical payments for new, intensive 'therapies', given by thousands of new providers and clinics springing up to cash in on the fad. And let's not forget all the trial lawyers who will start suing anyone and everyone who doesn't provide all sorts of bogus 'accomodations'. As you can see by this 'story', this scenario is already starting. No wonder we're going broke.

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threed61Apr. 8, 12 9:37 PM

What society really needs to deal with is the cost of this disorder that is massively over-diagnosed for the benefit of big pharma and care providers.

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mlhallApr. 8, 1211:52 PM

I am guessing the two of you who answered about over diagnosis do not live with this disorder. I suggest you talk to those who work with those affected by autism before you make assumptions. the number is actually higher than one in 88 for boys. Just pay attention is is becoming more and more apparent this epidemic is growing.

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tmauelApr. 9, 1212:22 AM

Private industry is allowed to administer and profit from the vaccination program which in the past used known toxins like mercury and aluminum to preserve vaccines in order to reduce the cost of storage. When parents reported autisim like symptoms immediately following thir childs vaccination regimen the same private industry players were allowed to investigate themselves. The first results of those studies showed a higher incidance of ticks in young males. The industry immediately declared that mercury based vaccines were safe but follow up studies related to the ticks in young males. While mercury has reportedly been removed from all but some adult flu vaccines I am unaware of any follow up studies on these children who developed "ticks". Common sense dictates the government take over the administration funding and study of the nations entire vaccination program. Private industry and their single minded quest for profits developed a ghastly solution that has imperilled the health of our entire society. Finally why is a mercury based vaccine still allowed for some adult flu vaccines?

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richterscaleApr. 9, 12 6:21 AM

I work with kids for a living, and there might be a percent of kids who are diagnosed who may not need to be but in all honesty I think there is about an equal amount of kids who go UNDIAGNOSED that should be. This is a serious problem. Something fishy is going on in the environment folks... That's as much as I'll say.

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hobothobotApr. 9, 12 8:47 AM

I think there is an issue here but I also think it is also made worse by things like helicoptor parents, etc. There are many people who are socially awkward who have not been diagnosed with this -- much of it is socialization and some of that by choice. There are many people who would not be able to stand up in front of 200 hundred people and give a speech -- at least not without some extra practice.

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elynn1Apr. 9, 12 8:50 AM

Certainly it's possible that it is overdiagnosed. The children and young adults who are "borderline," who would not be diagnosed in a more restrictive diagnosing environment, would -- almost by definition -- be the ones who are more adept at adapting to conventional instutions, who need intervention less. However, those individuals who are _not_ borderline, who are clearly impaired, will benefit from a more flexible approach to their education and employment.

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TeddyWelshApr. 9, 12 8:51 AM

Asperger's syndrome which falls on the Autism spectrum of disabilities seems to be a fairly common "disability" for very intelligent scientists and engineers. While I don't know of any studies that document the prevalence of it among students of high powered universities such as Cal Tech or MIT, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence. It might be that that Asperger's was not recognized as much in the past for what it is.

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FrankLApr. 9, 12 9:31 AM

Having a son with autism in college, I find the real challenge is courses where there is no identified objective. For example, his freshman english course seems to be more about existential readings than actual writing. For example, one of his essays was to read a 50 page discussion on the inner meaning of Calvin Klein ads and discuss all of the social implications. That was tough to help him understand that, thank god for cell phones and skype. The sad part is that his actual writing is not improving, which when I went to college was the whole purpose of freshman english.

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potatobugApr. 9, 12 9:40 AM

As a teacher who has had many students with Asbergers and Autism in the past, I am SO proud of Medtronic. . . and not surprised that these individuals are successful. There is a place in our society for everyone, regardless of the labels that have been placed on them.

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