Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Undiagnosing Autism: I don't get it

This morning, as I was drinking my morning coffee, I listened to what my mom had turned on. Jenny McCarthy was a guest and I decided to listen to what she had to say.

She claimed that her son was "cured" from Autism and was officially undiagnosed. This struck me for two reasons. One is that there is no "cure" for Autism at this time. There are therapies and programs, such as ABA, to help children cope but there is no cure. There are specific diagnosis and a battery of tests that one has to go through to be diagnosed.

The America Psychiatric Association has a list of rationales and a description of how one can be diagnosed in their DSM-5 edition. Secondly, while her son may not have the classic signs for Autism anymore, he still may manifest some of the social awkwardness signs of it.

I tweeted Sunday @xtremeparnthood and got her opinions on the matter. I asked her to explain how someone would be undiagnosed. She said "IMHO, they can't. However, they may excel as the years pass through therapy and no longer meet the clinical diagnosis of autism. But they still exhibit some of the social awkwardness...just not as much as before." Sunday has two boys on the severe end of the autism spectrum and I trust her opinion.

Jenny McCarthy claims that vaccines cause Autism but there is not enough evidence to back up this claim.
Despite there being no scientific evidence supporting any link between MMR vaccination and autism, this belief is still widespread. Jenny McCarthy, whose son is autistic, is the celebrity figurehead for this belief. 
With this widespread, albeit unfounded, belief researchers wanted to determine how this fear affected not only MMR vaccinations but other common childhood vaccinations. The study was led by Lenisa Chang, PhD, from the Carl H. Linder College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. Debunked Autism Decreased Number of Vaccinations: Medical Daily
I am irritated. Not only is she saying that vaccines cause Autism; she's also stating that there are "cures" for Autism. Unless she has a M.D. or a PhD behind her name, I take her statements like a grain of salt but others still hear her claims.

Others searching for a "cure" or treatment long to have their child "cured." Others who are not sleeping or getting help for their child from their local school districts. Others who wish they could understand their child for once.

Jenny McCarthy, please stop talking about this suggested cure! Please stop giving false hope to others.

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