Watch out for Autism woo-woo

I began to research autism and connect myself with that condition when I took my first online “autism test”. Results said I was most likely autistic and that I should try to learn more, maybe seek professional examination.

The problem at present seems to be that there are very few Doctors/psychologists/neurologists interested in Autism in old people, and that women are often overlooked completely. Autism presence has risen from one in a thousand estimates to one in 58, as diagnostic criteria are defined, taught, and finally beginning to be recognized.

Some people would use these statistics to draw the false conclusion that there is an epidemic of terrible things causing more and more autism.

Claims are made that “something is causing this extreme rise in autism” , and there are all sorts of frantic stampedes to push unproven theories, cures, and diets, supplements, exercises, therapies, and causes.

Autism has always been with us. We are just getting better at recognizing it. Hidden generations such as my mother’s and my own are being discovered because we now are learning to recognize autism as diagnostic information and deeper understanding of autism’s complex effects are coming to the public eye through scientific research.

Since I began learning about autism, I have noticed there are more and more claims from groups about curing autism, autism recovery, miracle treatments of special diets, therapies, etc… In the short time I have been searching I have seen so many websites, and recently, proliferation of books about autism. Disturbingly, I have also seen so many false and even potentially harmful ‘treatments’, “therapies”, diets, “cures” etc. I urge the reader not to take these claims at face value. Many things claiming to be researched and approved by scientists, doctors, and “experts” who agree…..
are not, in truth, worth the time, effort, expense, or consideration.

Some are simply ineffective, many can be harmful! Just because somebody makes the claim, doesn’t make it fact. People desperate to help loved ones can be played by their heart strings, rather than engage their brains. Look for links to scientific studies, published in peer reviewed groups, look for multiple studies proving or refuting claims made. Do your homework and be skeptical of miracle, quick cure, and otherwise hope raising false claims.

As a child, when I would argue for permission to do something, because “everybody else is doing it” the standard response was ” if everybody jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” Keep your eyes open and your mind questioning, skeptical and looking for real scientific documentation. Your own safety and health are too precious to risk for fads, confabulations, and quackery.

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