Sunday, January 02, 2011

lbrb Blog Opposes Autism Causation Research? Why Now?


At the risk of encouraging visitors to head over to the lbrb site I feel compelled to question the  rationale for the site continuing to describe itself as being one about "autism news, science and opinion".  Frequent lbrb blogger Sullivan  states in a comment titled Upcoming IACC Subcommittee on Safety Conference Call – Wednesday, January 12, 2011 that:

"At present, much of the focus and the budget recommended by the IACC goes towards causation (with the majority of that of that going towards environment and gene-environment causation) and early childhood therapies."(Bold highlighting and underlining added for emphasis HLD.)

Sullivan appears to go on to suggest that services would be a more proper focus for autism funding. It is only now after more than a decade of  an almost exclusive concentration of funding of autism research dollars on genetic autism research that LBRB blogger Sullivan objects to autism research because the money should not be spent at all on causation?

Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, who knows something about autism research as a lead autism researcher with the CHARGE study and with UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute,  stated on the UC Davis web site in early 2009 that:

"Right now, about 10 to 20 times more research dollars are spent on studies of the genetic causes of autism than on environmental onesWe need to even out the funding."   -  (bold highlighting and underlining added for emphasis HLD)

Even NIH and IACC director Dr. Thomas Insel acknowledges that research dollars have flowed predominantly toward genetic focused autism research at the expense of environmental autism research:

"As with many complex disorders, causation is generally thought to involve some forms of genetic risk interacting with some forms of non-genetic environmental exposure. ... In addition, a number of other environmental factors are being explored through research because they are known or suspected to influence early development of the brain and nervous system. Recent studies suggest factors such as parental age, exposure to infections, toxins, and other biological agents may confer environmental risk. ... Progress in identifying environmental factors which increase autism risk has been made recently (Eskenazi et al., 2007; Palmer et al., 2006; Palmer, Blanchard,; Wood, 2009; Rauh et al., 2006; Roberts et al., 2007; Windham et al., 2006), although this area of research has received less scientific attention and far fewer research dollars than genetic risk factors"  (bold highlighting and underlining added for emphasis - HLD)

Sullivan and LeftBrainRightBrain now sense a move toward a balanced distribution of autism research funding dollars and object to causation research receiving funding at all?  

Why now? Do they really believe that parents who actually care about finding out what  happened to our children that resulted in these life limiting disorders are going to stop asking for autism causation research to be done? Do they really think it is unimportant to find out what causes these serious disabilities and try to prevent them from arising in future or finding treatments and cures for those who suffer from autism disorders today?  Are they concerned that environmental research will find external triggers and causes of autism that might undermine the neurodiversity ideology, the autism is just a beautiful, natural variation, a different way of thinking, nonsense that they have peddled to a gullible mainstream media and some ill informed members of the public since 2003? 

lbrb is abandoning the science component of their autism blog now that the "it's gotta be genetic" autism balloon is collapsing?  Curious, very curious. 

14 comments:

Minority said...

This makes me wonder, again, if the whole neurodiversity meme was simply an industry front. There are almost no environmental factors which will not point a finger at some industry or another.

Autism Mom Rising said...

Interesting HArold. When my son was on a high dose of steroids all flapping, sound making, stimming, and aggression stopped. Completely. It was stunning. Development took off. As the dose titrated down these things came back. This does not reflect some normal brain difference, it reflects a disease process with massive brain inflammation at its root, at least in case. It should't surprise anyone when I say that he also happened to be in the regressive autism subset.

jonathan said...

The IACC grew out of the combating autism act whose stated goal was the curation and prevention of autistic disorders. In spite of this fact, Ari Ne'eman and Stephen Shore, who oppose curing autism have been appointed as public members. To date they are the only persons on the spectrum to have been appointed. The number of pro-cure autistics appointed to the IACC to date equals zero.

This is the goal of neurodiversity, to take over IACC and autism speaks by infiltration. They have succeded with the IACC and also with the half million dollar grant given to Mottron and company and Morton Gernsbacher serving in an advisory capacity. So naturally Sullivan will take the ND stance that the money that was voted by congress that is supposed to go for researching causation and ultimately a cure for autism should be redirected elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Whether someone is ND or not should not object to any science that is funded in regards to autism research from the NIH or NIMH. Especially a blog that likes to advertise itself as supporting "science".

Science by itself should lead the way to find the path, whatever the path. To advocate that only genetic research is acceptable is itself a litmus test for science that LBRB supposedly is opposed to.

By the way, Sullivan's real name is Matt Carey. Ironically, Matt's a big supporter of ABA and did ABA with his son for 4 years. You can read "Sullivans" er. Matt's story on the AAP website. Matt should fully disclose that he supports the AAP position rather than astroturf as he is currently doing under a pseudonym. Of course astroturfing is nothing new to the ND crowd.

passionlessDrone said...

Hi Anonymous -

While I may not agree with Sullivan on some stuff, or lots of stuff, outing his real name (if that is his real name) is a dick move; especially coming from someone with the least imaginative psuedonym of all time. You are a coward.

- pD

Anonymous said...

pD wrote: "outing his real name (if that is his real name) is a dick move; especially coming from someone with the least imaginative psuedonym of all time. You are a coward."

I think privately seeking the remediation and "cure" for his own child while dissuading and mocking other parents doing the same thing all the while astroturfing as an AAP shill under a pseudonym is a bigger dick move than me outing said astroturfer and closeted cure seeker. If its good for his own child, then why is he trying to persuade others that it isn't good for their child? Who's the bigger dick? The whistleblower or the hypocrite?

Sandra said...

pD,

"Socrates" had already outed (if indeed he is Sullivan) Matt Carey within the first page of comments on Handley's post about Bonnie Offit/Sullivan on AOA. Did you manage to comment then on what a dick Socrates was at the AOA site?

passionlessDrone said...

Hi Sandra -

You may or may not be aware, AOA heavily censors comments, though, it would appear, in that case, when the content involves a personal attack on someone they don't like, it slips thorugh. Other comments, such as my own, sit in moderation limbo. It is the epitomization of a position that cannot be substantiated through strength of argument, and it offends me greatly.

Socrates actions on AOA were a dick move. Therefore, he's a dick. See how easy?

You don't seem to bothered by Mr. Anonymous's actions, or for that matter, Socrates. Full transparency must be a priority for you, with all of your concern over whether or not I thought Socrates actions were equally wrong. That being said, why not post your full name, so every idiot on the Internet can google your vitals? After all, it's no big deal!

- pD

Sandra said...

Hi pD,

I would have no problem posting my full name. I don't, simply because I am respecting my son's wishes that his peers do not know about his autism. (Not everyone with autism loves having autism.) It's not a decision that I agree with, but it is his life. It should then be evident that I do not support outing people who wish to remain private for noble reasons.

I would not have a problem with people being outed who hide behind anonymity to purposely deceive others or hide their conflicts (astroturfing) when there is evidence to support that is what they are doing. However, outing is one thing; harrassing people, no matter who they are or what they do, is not acceptable.

My earlier post was only to point out that Matt's name had been put forward previously as the person (or possibly one of a few people) writing under the name "Sullivan" . And from what I can see, no one on the ND side jumped on Socrates on any site.

Autism Reality NB said...

pD, Anon, Sandra

From the blog Conversational Hysteria Philosophical Transactions:

http://conversationalhysteria.blogspot.com/2010/11/age-of-autism.html

"Age of Autism"
JB Handley, one of the silliest of the Silly who populate the Age of Autism blog, has a bee in his bonnet about the real identity of “Sullivan”, a regular contributor to the LeftBrainRightBrain website.

Handley claims as a result of extensive research, which doesn't appear to have included using Google, that "Sullivan" is Bonnie Offit, wife of the ardently pro-vaccination Dr Paul Offit.

It will come as something of a disappointment to him and conspiricists in general, to find out that "Sullivan" is in fact Matthew Carey, generally known as Matt Carey....

By Norton Gunthorpe

passionlessDrone said...

@Anonymous -

Who's the bigger dick?

You. By a light year.

@ Sandra -

Do you suppose it is possible that Sullivan's child might want to have his or her wishes respected as well? Or is it only your child's wishes to be respected, due to how nobly you behave online? Please contemplate this question with intellectual honesty.

Your views on nobility, and perceived 'conflicts of interest' on Sullivan's part are a stunning illustration on how a position without any evidentiary backing can be justified if it is important enough to maintain a state cognitive dissonance.

@Sandra and Harold -

The fact that others have previously printed a name which may belong to Sullivan is largely irrelevant towards whether or not continuing to do so serves any purpose in moving discussions about autism forward, much less the ethical problems with such out loud speculation.

What if, indeed, Socrates, anonymous, and Norton are all wrong, and a real, live Matt Carey is out googling himself and jerks why all of these autism idiots are bringing him, and his children, into their discussions? Oops.

If a fellow ND advocate has made this accusation previously, so what? Does a lack of response from that community make it OK to repeat it? Why?

More than likely, it is, instead a reflection of people just wanting to leave Socrates, and his temper, alone as opposed to condoning his behavior; which funny enough, fits your behavior here, as well.

Unfortunately, despite my sudden and intense interest in berating you, continuing this discussion, ultimately draws attention to what should be a private matter. I don't have a clue in the world if Sullivan is actually Matt Carey or not, but I do know that any independent observer of this exchange is absolutely going to think that whoever Sullivan is, they'd sure hate to share any personal information with Anonymous, Sandra, Socrates, or Northup, as they certainly aren't to be trusted with it. If your goal is to make a very vocal and visible proponent of neurodiversity look good; espeically in comparison to those who think autism is a disability to be cured, you are doing a stand up job. Nice.

- pD

Autism Reality NB said...

pD

My post simply confirms that the Matt Carey is Sullivan claim has already been made on other internet sites. The anonymous blogger on this forum did not "out" anyone.

From my reading of the information linked on the original comment at AoA, and from what I have read from Sullivan at lbrb, the views of MC and Sullivan appear to be identical and both appear to use personal attacks in their arguments.

For what it is worth I doubt anyone can post frequently on the internet under any pseudonym and remain anonymous.

Sandra said...

pD,

“Do you suppose it is possible that Sullivan's child might want to have his or her wishes respected as well?”

Wouldn’t that be the responsibility of Sullivan, much like the responsibility for my child’s privacy falls to me?

“Your views on nobility, and perceived 'conflicts of interest' on Sullivan's part are a stunning illustration on how a position without any evidentiary backing can be justified if it is important enough to maintain a state cognitive dissonance.”

Please read my comment more carefully: I was speaking about people in general and not Sullivan specifically. I seriously do not know much about Sullivan other than s/he blogs at LB/RB. I rarely go to that site because it is akin to watching American talk shows; amusing but ultimately eats at your soul.

“What if, indeed, Socrates, anonymous, and Norton are all wrong, and a real, live Matt Carey is out googling himself and jerks why all of these autism idiots are bringing him, and his children, into their discussions?”

Have you ever googled your own name and had anyone come up that was clearly not you? Did it get your knickers in a twist? I found it pretty
funny to see what people with my same name were up to. Are you saying that people with the name Matt Carey would be upset to be associated with the blogger called Sullivan? Wonder why that would be?

“If a fellow ND advocate has made this accusation previously, so what? Does a lack of response from that community make it OK to repeat it? Why?”

Actually when it comes from within their own community, it seems more like a statement of fact than an accusation. I don't know what the relationship status is between Socrates and Sullivan but I didn't see it as Socrates grassing Matt up; rather, as Socrates coming to the aid of Bonnie Offit.

“Unfortunately, despite my sudden and intense interest in berating you, continuing this discussion, ultimately draws attention to what should be a private matter.”

Perhaps you should have followed the example of the NDs and remained stum. You seem worried that this will affect your standing in that community.

“but I do know that any independent observer of this exchange is absolutely going to think that whoever Sullivan is, they'd sure hate to share any personal information with Anonymous, Sandra, Socrates, or Northup, as they certainly aren't to be trusted with it. “

Wow pD, it really seems like to may have a lot to lose should your identity be revealed judging by your over the top reaction and irrational thinking here. I did not divulge anything that was shared with me in confidence, as I do not know Matt, nor do I support the ND community as represented by LB/RB and their ilk and therefore would hardly be privy to this information. I merely pointed out that anger toward Anonymous was misplaced as Matt’s name had already been put forward very early on in the comments on Handley’s post on AOA and by none other than someone associated with the ND community.
Perhaps it is you who needs to take an intellectually honest look at the reasons why some people, including yourself, fear the revealing of their real identity.

Anonymous said...

pD wrote: "Do you suppose it is possible that Sullivan's child might want to have his or her wishes respected as well? "

Let's put this to rest. Matt Carey use to have a blog dealing with autism and he used his own name. Here is an email he sent to me in July of 2009. His full email address has been redacted.
your recent comment on LBRB
From:
Matt Carey
View Contact
To: ####@yahoo.com

Hello,

I pulled your recent comment on LBRB. Many people know my real name from my old blog. Unfortunately, one of them is big at TACA and GR. I think they would very likely put together who Sullivan is based on that post. People are not as interested in hurting he person who had that blog as hurting "sullivan"

The reason no one at TACA or GR would want to "hurt" the old Matt Carey is because the old Matt Carey was very pro cure. He was a big cheerleader for ABA.

pD should ask Matt Carey why he felt it ok to use his real name on his own blog but now that he is blogging for LBRB, suddenly he doesn't?