Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shocking WebMD Medscape Autism Article

WebMD Medscape has published a shocking autism article in which it .... acknowledges the existence of large numbers of persons with Autistic Disorder and .... Intellectual Disability.  The article even dares to refer to Intellectual Disability under its name in the DSM-IV ... Mental Retardation.  Apparently the Medscape article authors do not appreciate the decades of committed research aimed at helping persons with MR that have resulted in profound medical advances like ... renaming Mental Retardation as Intellectual Disability  (DSM5).  

Dr. Laurent Mottron, and his mentor Michelle Dawson, for whom autism is a strength,  Estee Klar for whom autism is a joy, Ari Ne'eman, and the members of his  ASAN (Autism Self Advocacy Network) corporate board of directors,  for whom autism is a culture, even those who acknowledge the existence of persons with autism AND intellectual disability but KWibble over the numbers, would probably be shocked to read  Medscape's blunt references to autism and mental retardation/intellectual disability:

Autism is a condition that manifests in early childhood and is characterized by qualitative abnormalities in social interactions, markedly aberrant communication skills, and restricted repetitive and stereotyped behaviors.
Most individuals with autism also manifest mental retardation, typically moderate mental retardation with intelligence quotients (IQs) of approximately 35-50. Although children with autism are often difficult to evaluate with intelligence tests, three fourths of autistic children function in the mentally retarded range.
Generally, the lower the IQ, the greater the likelihood of autism. However, the low functioning level hinders assessment for key characteristics of autism in individuals with profound mental retardation and IQs below approximately 20. A small portion of those with autism never develop spoken language. Thus, diagnostic instruments for autism may give spurious results in children with profound mental retardation.
This article addresses autism in individuals with mental retardation. For information concerning individuals with autism spectrum disorders and related conditions without mental retardation, please see Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder."
As the above quote clarifies the Medscape article is referring to Autistic Disorder when it refers to autism and makes clear the real divide on the autism spectrum of disorders: those with an autism disorder with intellectual disability and those with an autism disorder without intellectual disability.  
The article continues to shock with its honest discussion of other autism realities including the fact that many persons with autism disorders also suffer from seizures or that pharmaceutical therapies are ineffective in treating core deficits of autism.  
For this father of a son severely impacted by Autistic Disorder deficits and Intellectual Disability it is a refreshing change to read an article that speaks honestly about the nature of autism disorders and which acknowledges the realities of persons with autistic disorder and intellectual disabilities.  The DSM5 Autism Do-Over Committee, and various Neurodiversity ideologues, should follow the Medscape lead by providing "better information, better health".


Anonymous said...

I am heartened by this. I have taken to responding, by the way, to survey requests for "people with autism" which require answering complex questions regarding human interaction (in 50 words or les - LOL) by pointing out that when the results are published they will be presented as applicable to people with autism, yet actually only apply to a segment of the population. The TITLE of the study should reflect that bias. -I LOVE being part of the academic discourse: these researchers must consider and respond to input from a fellow academician; they would blow me off as a 'mere' parent. Truth trumps!

Anonymous said...

"MOST" people with Autism manifest "metal retardation?" Not the ones I know! Including my son. I have met a few that were severely Autistic, but even then, look at people like Carly who they thought was so, & found her voice through typing & showed everyone she was just an average gal inside with plenty of brains.

Unknown said...

Anonymous 9:22 PM yes, the article did say MOST people with Autism manifest "mental retardation" now commonly referred to as Intellectual Disability. The article, as I pointed out, uses the term "autism" to those with Autistic Disorder not those with PDD-NOS or Aspergers.

The article provides sources for its statements. I have posted many times on this blog site the many sources for the FACT that the "vast majority" of persons with Autistic Disorder, are also Intellectually Disabled.

It is unfortunate that you take offense that so many persons with Autistic Disorder, including my son, are Intellectually Disabled. If fact I take offense at your attempt to deny my son's existence and the existence of the vast majority of those with Autism and MR/ID.

Anonymous said...

You still didn't answer though anonymous 9:22PMs question about individuals like Carly who is severely autistic but also extremely smart? There are plenty of children and adults out there every bit severely afflicted by autism but can type amazing intelligent thoughts nobody knew! What about persons like those? How would saying "most individuals with autism also have an intellectual disability when that is not entirely correct!?

My child was every bit affected by autism, smearing feces, in diapers, completely nonverbal except for 2 or 3 words he could repeat on his own, refusing to wear any clothing, spending countless hours redirecting him from biting his skin off his arms and legs and we lost all hope! Three years ago at 9 years old, we had a break through just by him able to point to letters on a keyboard, took us 5 years for him to even show interest in this plastic keyboard!!! He isn't as far along as Carly is, but we found out he has a photographic memory and enjoys such subjects as geometry. He still has some accidents, but no longer bites himself or smears feces! He was once labeled ID too, is it possible this article may be just a tad bit over doing it by saying "MOST" when it may not even be true?

I meet with a couple families once a month, who just like ours believed our child was intellectually disabled along with autism, but found a break through either though an ipad, picture exchange system, letter board, or computer and found out their children are far from intellectually impaired. I'm not saying there aren't persons with autism who really are ID, I'm just saying, that "most" is pretty far fetched to say when that may not even be the case!

Unknown said...

Anonymous 2:18 AM

i did answer the comments of the previous "anonymous" commentator to whom you referred. The numbers of persons with Autism and Intellectual Disability to which I refer are taken from the article which is the subject of my blog comment and is backed up by credible professional sources which I have posted on this blog many, many times.

The Carly example, and other similar personal examples does not negate the existence or the numbers of persons with autistic disorder and intellectual disability. If your child is now able to function well in daily life then I am happy for your and your child. Many do not enjoy your good fortune.