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All that President Trump needs to know about autism

Concern in the community is if a cause is found it can be used to stop birth of children with autism

Luke Beardon | The Conversation 

Donald Trump, Trump, US
Donald Trump

“So what’s going on with ” wondered President, Donald Trump, in a recent discussion with educators at the White House. “When you look at the tremendous increase, it’s really – it’s such an incredible – it’s really a horrible thing to watch, the tremendous amount of increase.” Is President Trump right? Is there a tremendous increase in the prevalence of

Knowing the true number of people with is so fraught with difficulty that any bold statements about prevalence should be treated with caution. The fact that every time a diagnostic manual has a new edition the criteria for autism change is evidence of just how difficult it is for diagnosticians to identify when the very definition of the term is in constant flux.

There is a clear difference between the numbers of people in existence and the number who are diagnosed with Anyone in the community will tell you that is underdiagnosed. So how do we know how representative actual figures of identified (diagnosed) and are? The answer is, until we have accurate epidemiological data, we don’t.

A further consideration – say we take the least conservative UK figures which claims a rate of more than one in 100. If the same criteria were applied with the same number of clinicians diagnosing, the same referral rates, and the same levels of autism understanding back in the 1940s when Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger were first writing about autism, how do we know what the rate would have been then? We don’t know, but I bet my mortgage it would be a lot higher than the figures those clinicians were talking about. So the actual rate of increase (or otherwise) is open to question.

We know that more and are being diagnosed today, but we do not know why this might be the case. Is it as a result of a change in criteria? Is it a better understanding from doctors? Is it better recognition that have a right to a Is it the growing understanding that women can also be

Take the latter. There has been an increase in the number of adult women referred for a over recent years, and yet presumably few would suggest that this is because more women are being born autistic. It is far more likely that people are beginning to be more aware of how autism might present in women, and a debunking of the myth that is a male-only (or exceedingly male-dominated) existence. So we simply don’t know whether or not there has been a “tremendous increase” despite what statistics tell

So what if there’s an increase?

And even if there has been a big increase, so what? I don’t mean that in a trite, condescending, dismissive way, more in a “why would anyone refer to increases in in a global sense as horrible?” Both the US and the UK spend vast amounts of money trying to figure out what causes autism, but with what goal if it’s discovered? There is a growing concern in the community that if a cause is found it could be used to stop with being born. This is not only scary, it is wrong in so many ways. I am not for one second dismissing the extreme difficulties that some people have with autism, but my experience tells me that most of the issues that people face are not because of their autism, but as a direct result of the lack of understanding and support from the rest of the world.

We know for a fact that there are plenty of successful and productive members of society who are autistic – some famous, just happily living their lives. Again, we don’t know how many there are which causes its own problems, but we do know they exist.

Should we be seeking to put a stop to these people, some of whom are leaders in their own right in their chosen fields? Or should we be investing more research money into developing a better understanding of to decrease the problems people face, to reduce the difficulties in accessing education, to get more successful students into university and employment, to better support families, to better understand that is not “horrible” for all people? After all, that’s what people are asking for.

Mr President, if you want to understand autism, try talking with the community – you may well get a very different perspective.

The Conversation

Luke Beardon, Senior Lecturer in Autism, Sheffield Hallam University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Conversation

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All that President Trump needs to know about autism

Concern in the community is if a cause is found it can be used to stop birth of children with autism

Concern in the community is if a cause is found it can be used to stop birth of children with autism

“So what’s going on with ” wondered President, Donald Trump, in a recent discussion with educators at the White House. “When you look at the tremendous increase, it’s really – it’s such an incredible – it’s really a horrible thing to watch, the tremendous amount of increase.” Is President Trump right? Is there a tremendous increase in the prevalence of

Knowing the true number of people with is so fraught with difficulty that any bold statements about prevalence should be treated with caution. The fact that every time a diagnostic manual has a new edition the criteria for autism change is evidence of just how difficult it is for diagnosticians to identify when the very definition of the term is in constant flux.

There is a clear difference between the numbers of people in existence and the number who are diagnosed with Anyone in the community will tell you that is underdiagnosed. So how do we know how representative actual figures of identified (diagnosed) and are? The answer is, until we have accurate epidemiological data, we don’t.

A further consideration – say we take the least conservative UK figures which claims a rate of more than one in 100. If the same criteria were applied with the same number of clinicians diagnosing, the same referral rates, and the same levels of autism understanding back in the 1940s when Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger were first writing about autism, how do we know what the rate would have been then? We don’t know, but I bet my mortgage it would be a lot higher than the figures those clinicians were talking about. So the actual rate of increase (or otherwise) is open to question.

We know that more and are being diagnosed today, but we do not know why this might be the case. Is it as a result of a change in criteria? Is it a better understanding from doctors? Is it better recognition that have a right to a Is it the growing understanding that women can also be

Take the latter. There has been an increase in the number of adult women referred for a over recent years, and yet presumably few would suggest that this is because more women are being born autistic. It is far more likely that people are beginning to be more aware of how autism might present in women, and a debunking of the myth that is a male-only (or exceedingly male-dominated) existence. So we simply don’t know whether or not there has been a “tremendous increase” despite what statistics tell

So what if there’s an increase?

And even if there has been a big increase, so what? I don’t mean that in a trite, condescending, dismissive way, more in a “why would anyone refer to increases in in a global sense as horrible?” Both the US and the UK spend vast amounts of money trying to figure out what causes autism, but with what goal if it’s discovered? There is a growing concern in the community that if a cause is found it could be used to stop with being born. This is not only scary, it is wrong in so many ways. I am not for one second dismissing the extreme difficulties that some people have with autism, but my experience tells me that most of the issues that people face are not because of their autism, but as a direct result of the lack of understanding and support from the rest of the world.

We know for a fact that there are plenty of successful and productive members of society who are autistic – some famous, just happily living their lives. Again, we don’t know how many there are which causes its own problems, but we do know they exist.

Should we be seeking to put a stop to these people, some of whom are leaders in their own right in their chosen fields? Or should we be investing more research money into developing a better understanding of to decrease the problems people face, to reduce the difficulties in accessing education, to get more successful students into university and employment, to better support families, to better understand that is not “horrible” for all people? After all, that’s what people are asking for.

Mr President, if you want to understand autism, try talking with the community – you may well get a very different perspective.

The Conversation

Luke Beardon, Senior Lecturer in Autism, Sheffield Hallam University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Conversation
image
Business Standard
177 22

All that President Trump needs to know about autism

Concern in the community is if a cause is found it can be used to stop birth of children with autism

“So what’s going on with ” wondered President, Donald Trump, in a recent discussion with educators at the White House. “When you look at the tremendous increase, it’s really – it’s such an incredible – it’s really a horrible thing to watch, the tremendous amount of increase.” Is President Trump right? Is there a tremendous increase in the prevalence of

Knowing the true number of people with is so fraught with difficulty that any bold statements about prevalence should be treated with caution. The fact that every time a diagnostic manual has a new edition the criteria for autism change is evidence of just how difficult it is for diagnosticians to identify when the very definition of the term is in constant flux.

There is a clear difference between the numbers of people in existence and the number who are diagnosed with Anyone in the community will tell you that is underdiagnosed. So how do we know how representative actual figures of identified (diagnosed) and are? The answer is, until we have accurate epidemiological data, we don’t.

A further consideration – say we take the least conservative UK figures which claims a rate of more than one in 100. If the same criteria were applied with the same number of clinicians diagnosing, the same referral rates, and the same levels of autism understanding back in the 1940s when Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger were first writing about autism, how do we know what the rate would have been then? We don’t know, but I bet my mortgage it would be a lot higher than the figures those clinicians were talking about. So the actual rate of increase (or otherwise) is open to question.

We know that more and are being diagnosed today, but we do not know why this might be the case. Is it as a result of a change in criteria? Is it a better understanding from doctors? Is it better recognition that have a right to a Is it the growing understanding that women can also be

Take the latter. There has been an increase in the number of adult women referred for a over recent years, and yet presumably few would suggest that this is because more women are being born autistic. It is far more likely that people are beginning to be more aware of how autism might present in women, and a debunking of the myth that is a male-only (or exceedingly male-dominated) existence. So we simply don’t know whether or not there has been a “tremendous increase” despite what statistics tell

So what if there’s an increase?

And even if there has been a big increase, so what? I don’t mean that in a trite, condescending, dismissive way, more in a “why would anyone refer to increases in in a global sense as horrible?” Both the US and the UK spend vast amounts of money trying to figure out what causes autism, but with what goal if it’s discovered? There is a growing concern in the community that if a cause is found it could be used to stop with being born. This is not only scary, it is wrong in so many ways. I am not for one second dismissing the extreme difficulties that some people have with autism, but my experience tells me that most of the issues that people face are not because of their autism, but as a direct result of the lack of understanding and support from the rest of the world.

We know for a fact that there are plenty of successful and productive members of society who are autistic – some famous, just happily living their lives. Again, we don’t know how many there are which causes its own problems, but we do know they exist.

Should we be seeking to put a stop to these people, some of whom are leaders in their own right in their chosen fields? Or should we be investing more research money into developing a better understanding of to decrease the problems people face, to reduce the difficulties in accessing education, to get more successful students into university and employment, to better support families, to better understand that is not “horrible” for all people? After all, that’s what people are asking for.

Mr President, if you want to understand autism, try talking with the community – you may well get a very different perspective.

The Conversation

Luke Beardon, Senior Lecturer in Autism, Sheffield Hallam University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Conversation

image
Business Standard
177 22