Saturday, March 31, 2012

Autism: America's newest industry

Autism: America’s newest industry

Autism presents as a group neurological disorders associated with a diffuse series of symptoms and signs. Autistic behavior is characterized by the inability to interact with others on an equal social basis, poor communications skills and the performance of repetitious actions. This is a very serious diagnosis and carries many consequences when it is applied. Historically the prevalence of this disorder in America reflected that of its worldwide presentation of 2 per 1,000 people. Centers for Disease Control ( CDC ) presently claims 1 child in 88 has this disorder. Less than a year ago autism was noted in 1 in 110 children. Did our diagnostic ability take a quantum leap or is there a more sinister reason for these skewed numbers? Many who have been assigned this diagnosis have quasi symptoms which appear to be variants of normal behavior. Children who are introverted or shy find themselves being issued this diagnosis by the tens of thousands. Intellectually endowed children, unchallenged by their educational or social circumstance, now come under the aegis of this disease. A list of activities and or in-activities by those under five years of age which have alternate explanations
are now categorized under the heading of one of the three major autistic emblems. The overreach of the diagnostic machine pushing for this disorder to be at the forefront of childhood disabilities may have an economic basis. An entire industry has arisen to meet the demands of a disease that has been over diagnosed to support it. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, paraprofessionals, teachers and many more derive their livelihoods from this abused diagnosis. Any challenge to the diagnostic approaches utilized to define this disorder, have been met with outrage by those who bathe in the money it brings to them. Worse, the statistical anomalies regurgitated weekly by the CDC continue to be refined to bring more children under the umbrella of this horrific disease state. Categorized as autistic, a person is labeled under this title for life. Social, economic and personal consequences when a person is marked as autistic could be profound. The effort to misdiagnosis and or broaden the definition of this disease continues at an accelerated rate. Soon every other child will somehow and in some inconceivable manner be touched by a disorder which has been politicized to the extreme and diagnosed to the maximum. Moms and dads question those who push your children towards this diagnosis, they have a very good chance of being wrong. Mark Davis MD, President of Healthnets Review Services.

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