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 ones. We 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.