Sunday, March 11, 2012

On the Dearth of Realistic Information Countering the Violence-Motivated Crimes Against the Neurodivergent

A big concern of mine is that it is very difficult to find much of anything that proposes that "autistic" traits can be functional. Society has changed dramatically in the last several decades but none of that seems to matter to just about everyone. Some people have suggested that ADD/ADHD traits have some advantages such as Thom Hartmann (and I am sure many many others). Psychiatry also gets a lot of flack from antipsychiatrists such as Thomas Szasz. Most of these people have been arguing that schizophrenia is not a real illness for decades. Only recently has someone like Thomas Armstrong taken a stab at speculating about autism's function. In my view most of the few writers aren't doing a very convincing job.

As I understand it, genetic defects are rare, at least genuine ones anyway. Even "diseases" such as obesity could be explained by a tendency pack on pounds when times are good in preparation for leaner times. If it is statistically impossible for more than one gene to cause a defect and occur more often than say, something like one in 50,000 (with perhaps extra or mangled chromosomes occurring at higher frequencies), why aren't at least some geneticists or biologists raising hell about this? As far as I know they aren't. Or is it that it is not just the medical and anthropological establishments that are Afrocentric and speciest?

Unbiased or less biased researchers are harder to find than people who didn't believe that Africans where "mud people" hundreds of years ago. Even Thomas Jefferson wanted to include a tirade blaming Great Britain for the slave trade in the Declaration of Independence. He also freed his slaves upon his death. As for not doing so earlier, perhaps he picked and chose his battle, I don't know.

Most of those people that are writing anything positive are few and far between. Geneticists and biologists saying that the "medical" "Defective Mutant Hypothesis" isn't plausible and simply has to be wrong -- there are too many autistics for one thing (let alone the entire six neurodiversity groups in "Aspie"-Quiz) -- would be most helpful in getting things on the right track.

Otherwise the handful of exceptions such as:

Leif Ekblad -- Neanderthal Theory,, ----- MY FAVORITE

Andrew Walker -- What is the point of Autism?

Andrew Lehman -- Neoteny Theory (and many others)

Alan Griswold -- Autistic Symphony

Morton Ann Gernsbacher -- How to Spot Bias in Research, Association for Psychological Science -- Autism Research page

Michelle Dawson (autism research papers, often with others such as Gernsbacher)

Olga Bogdashina -- Ukraine, U.K activist (President of the Autism Society, Ukraine)

Jared Edward Reser -- Solitary Forager Theory

Tyler Cowen -- Create Your Own Economy

Michael Simonson and others at the "Hunter School" in New Hampshire,

Penny Spikins -- Mental problems gave early humans an edge, New Scientist 2837 02 November 2011 by Kate Ravilious

Dinah Murray, Mike Lesser and Wendy Lawson -- Montropism Hypothesis

George Church, Ph.D. (Professor of Genetics-Harvard Med School) -- modern humans could learn about difference from resurrected cousins ----- Doesn't say neurodiverse people are behaviorally neanderthal, but does say we could learn from the experience since they are undoubtably different since they are "highly optimal sibling or cousin variations on the human existence."

David Anderegg -- Nerds : who they are and why we need more of them

Katharine Beals -- Raising a left-brain child in a right-brain world : strategies for helping bright, quirky, socially awkward children to thrive at home and at school

Thomas Armstrong -- Neurodiversity : discovering the extraordinary gifts of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other brain differences ----- Not impressed with his logic, but at least he makes the attempt -- an A for effort.

William Stillman -- Autism and the God Connection ----- A bit on the flaky side, but I believe he is on to something.

Richard Louv -- The Nature Principle, Last child in the woods : saving our children from nature deficit disorder ----- Autism barely gets mentioned in at least one of the books and his site.

Thomas Sowell -- The Einstein Syndrome : bright children who talk late ----- Should have gotten it, assumes that there are people with a neurological disorder that is called "autism."

are just howling in the wind of a category five hurricane.

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