Thursday, July 31, 2014

Irresponsible Autism Story at Good Morning America

This story really pisses me off. I'd love to think that my child can get to the point where she doesn't need an IEP. Here are the problems with it:
  • These boys received upwards of 48 hours of therapy PER WEEK in their home. Anyone who has gotten therapy for their children knows how expensive that can be. How on Earth do I pay for that? I can't.
  • The one mother said that they told her she should institutionalize her child and have another baby. I call bullshit. That kid wasn't born in the 1950s. He was born in the late 1990s. They weren't going to institutionalize her child in the late 1990s.
  • The story starts out by talking about new research suggesting that children can be moved off the spectrum, then you get an expert saying "There's no magic bullet; no secret sauce. More research is needed." That statement sums up the difference between media hype and actual science. The media seize on a story about two boys--TWO--who APPEAR to have moved "off the spectrum" (when they probably had high-functioning Aspbergers in the first place, and just had therapy to get around the behaviors associated with it), and they run with it as hope to all parents that they can move their kids off the spectrum.
  • They bring in another expert who says that it puts pressure on parents to say that they can move their kids off the spectrum. He suggests that early therapy can get kids to reach their potential, WHATEVER THAT IS. The experts in this program in no way suggested that ALL children can be moved off the spectrum. Good Morning America is irresponsible for showing this story and hyping it to be hope for all kids to "move off the spectrum." Recent research has demonstrated that there are physiological differences in the brain in people with autism. You don't get off the spectrum; you get around the symptoms of the disorder.
Here's the link to the story: