Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Passes for Autism Research?

A new "study" informs us that persons with Asperger's Disorder and High Functioning Autism  are more likely to be atheists

How does that help us understand the biological basis for autism disorders? How does that help us understand the causes of autism disorders? How does that help us find treatments or cures for a serious neurological disorder? How does that help us understand the lives of those severely affected by autism disorders who live their lives dependent on the care of others? 

Apart from the subject matter the study also excluded low functioning persons with autistic disorder, those with intellectual disabilities and those living in institutional care. The chart above distinguishes between NT "neurotypical" and ASD "autism spectrum disorder" which were all Aspergers and High Functioning Autistic persons. Apparently it is OK to excluded the large numbers of persons with autistic disorder who are intellectually disabled and/or low functioning when reaching conclusions about persons with autism spectrum disorders. 

Apparently anything can constitute "autism research"?


Anonymous said...

I agree, I can't believe that they would waste time and money for something irrelevant as this. It should be spent on research that actually makes a difference.

Jim W said...

while I agree on the whole that this particular study is less than useless, this seems more like a poll than a study.

Like a People Magazine or USA Today poll. They'll poll ANYTHING.

Suzanne said...

Why should all research involving auties have to contribute to understanding the causes of autism? I think this is perfectly fine as far as research topics are concerned. The sociological aspects of autism is a perfectly valid research area.

The study design was pretty crappy. The sample consisted of the forum members of Highly biased.

Cameron said...

WTF??? This is ridiculous. Further jaded now on the Autie/ Aspie debate.My kids don't/can't speak and don't feed themselves. They don't know what day of the week it is.We need to educate people on the difference between Aspergers and Autism. This is serious. Families are falling apart and hardship comes hard and relentless. God ain't even a factor for me. No god of mine would do this or anything else that we "just live with" on this earth, to a child. If my kids on the other hand grow up atheist, christians or chicken worshippers that's fine by me. But I'm not holding my breath. Thank's again Howard. Cam.