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Autism Therapy Named To Time Magazine’s Top 10

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A new finding about the potential of behavior therapy for kids with autism is one of Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs” for the year.

The newsweekly called out the autism development in one of a series of year-end lists featuring the highs and lows of 2012.

The study highlighted by Time found that an approach known as the Early Start Denver Model has the potential to normalize brain patterns in children with autism in addition to helping them improve social skills.

The research, which was published this fall in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, came in at number five on the Time list under the headline “hope for reversing autism.”

Other remarkable medical advancements that made the magazine’s medical breakthroughs list include new findings about breast cancer, HIV and the human genome.

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Comments (15 Responses)

  1. Tacitus says:

    So because of a study that was lead by a researcher with clear biases, and which was not replicated, this is now deserving of a fifth place award? This is ridiculous.

  2. Ian says:

    “…and which was not replicated…”

    I’m not familiar with this area of research. Are you saying that others have unsuccessfully tried to replicate this study?

  3. patm says:

    Tacitus,you got that right! There are so many snake oil salesmen in the autism field it’s pathetic.

  4. Glen S says:

    Ian: Tacitus is saying the study which demonstrates the success of Early Start Denver Model has not be repeated. But what is worse is the statement “clear biases” considering that Tacitus is an Identity Theory follower who believes the rest of us should accept the wants of individuals with high functioning Autism as if they are the needs of all. They further claim that Autism is a “different” way of thinking and should be accommodated in the whole of society.

    The problem is not that the therapy is without merit. The problem is again a newsweekly jumps the gun by praising the worthiness of an idea before that worthiness has been firmly established. This all in the name of raising subscription rates in an industry which needs to join the 21st century. But one should not be surprised by this. They also have named numerous presidents “Person of the Year” before that president has demonstrated their worthiness. This is demonstrated so clearly by the candidates for this years “honor.”

  5. Tacitus says:

    Glen S.– You keep putting words in my mouth. I don’t know why you think that repeating the word “identity” again and again proves anything to anybody. Autism Speaks are only in it for the money. That has nothing to do with my “identity” which you happen to know nothing about.

  6. Glen S says:

    It amazes me when a poster who insists on posting anonymously makes a claim for which his/her posting record clearly defies. First, Autism Speaks is a 501(c)3 organization. So the organization as a whole cannot be “in it for the money”. Second, as individuals we are all “in it for the money” to some degree. We all have to keep gas in the car, fix the car, pay the light bill, etc. So this belief that some individuals have no expectation of some degree of return is crazy. Finally, a belief that we should not be looking for a cause, treating the cause, or at least alleviating outward symptoms is equally crazy. Children with and families dealing with autism need our help with the syndrome not just our accommodations and understanding for the behaviors.

    Again, advocacy gone wrong from a jaded adult.

  7. Phil says:

    As with everything in life…don’t put all your eggs in one basket just yet. Further studies need to be done.

  8. Tacitus says:

    Glen S.–Anyone who wants to can read my posts for themselves. I don’t know what you think you gain by misrepresenting what I’ve said. I have never argued that we should neglect autistics who cannot speak, nor have I argued against the inclusion of people with other disabilities.

    And of course I support equal participation in society. Some people may feel uncomfortable when being around others who look, or act, or even think slightly different from them, but that is not an accomodation that disabled people need to make. Yes, society should accomodate people with disabilities. The refusal to do so costs us a lot more in terms of lost talent. Even people who can not speak can have great intelligence and talent, as well as the capability to put it into practice, but even those of us who have a great facility with words are chronically under employed and unemployed. Exclusion costs everybody.

    As for “looking for a cause,” yes, I do think that it’s silly to go all around the house searching for your glasses when they have been sitting on your forehead the whole time. Autism is genetic. It’s time for the money to go somewhere useful.

  9. Glen S says:

    Tacitus: 1)The idea that Autism is only genetic has no basis in science. Any syndrome which is currently diagnosed at a rate of 1 out of 88, must also be demonstrated to some degree within the linage of the child. There must be some other factors which moderate the function of the genes. I have never argued otherwise. 2)There is and always will be a limited funding stream. Asking for accommodations for high functioning adults with anger management issues removes resources from children and others who are not able to gain the necessary skills needed to be self-sufficient. 3)Your correct! Anyone can read your posts for themselves and determine you have a bias against anyone not like you. 4)How about addressing the real points in the last posts?

  10. Tacitus says:

    Providing services for adults does not take away services for children. I don’t know why we are expected to believe that lie. It’s ridiculous. Excluding adults on the spectrum from services like job training costs more because even after the often dubious services they received as children (usually limited to mythological “cures” and not dealing with the acquisition of actual skills), they are left without the necessary means to become self-sufficient. Oh, and your reference to “anger issues” was adorable. This is classic “discredit the crazy” language. I’m not surprised to see you using language that victimises people with mental illness when you find yourself unable to argue cogently for your own point of view. Like Autism$queaks apologists often are, you are unable to use facts to make your point, so you invent things about what your opponents are suggesting and when that fails you make things up about the opponents themselves.

  11. Glen S says:

    Tacitus: Simple mathematics and logic. If we argue that a state is going to budget $100,000,000 for all programs within its version of health and human services. (This figure is simply used to make the math and logic easy to understand.) If you (and I mean all adults who wish to have their services increased) wish to increase your budget by $5,000,000, then you are asking for an additional 5% from your state’s total health and human services budget.

    Tacitus: From where do you think this increase will come? Perhaps you are among those who believe the FED can continue to print money without any consequences. Or maybe you are part of liberal wing who believes we can pay for this increase, an increase in our federal transportation budget, an increase in all other realms of health and human services, an increase in military responsibilities, etc simply by increasing the taxes on the wealthiest 1 or 2%. Either way, that is as illogical as it will be harmful for the general populous.

    Again, the postings from those who believe: 1) that autism is the disability which has a majority stake in the greater discussion, 2) adults who can provide for themselves but won’t, so they get a “pass” in life, or 3) that life has dealt these same adults a bad hand so the rest of society owes them a living; are enough to warrant the label “advocate gone wrong.”

    They will continue to erode the good will the rest of society has held for individuals with disabilities in general, thus are causing great harm to the great advocacy movement.

  12. Mooncalf says:

    Glen S, I’m so sorry that the existence and beliefs of folk like myself and Tacitus make you so fearful and angry.

    We are every bit as Autisitc as your loved one(s); a professional said so, just as in your loved one(s) case.

    We have the right to disagree with you; to believe that the Nation we share could and should alter its priotities to more humanistic ones. Perhaps even to demand that the Will of the Nation include tender care of the Disabled, instead of the Rich and Athletes. Would that really be so terrible? How could that fail to improve our Nation as a whole?

  13. Mooncalf says:

    I’d like to address the contents of the article. As near as I can tell, ABA is, yet again, being praised. I consider this methodology to be deeply flawed and abusive. And I speak from emperical evidence. Some of my earliest memories in the early 70s are watching my elder and only sibling across our dining room table as our mother did endless small sessions with him. Kitchen timer bells dinging. I found it traumatic, I can only imagine its effects on Brother. Then, when Brother went off to ‘school’ – all those small Autistic boys made to lug their own large coolers of treats. All of them ended up with eating disorders. ABA was inflicted for a couple of decades on my brother with little to no reselts that I saw. It is a wholely outdated and abusive means of control. I believe there are far better ways to teach Autistics and have been for a long time. We cling to this methodology simply because practitioners cant admit that they are wrong.

  14. Glen S says:

    “Glen S, I’m so sorry that the existence and beliefs of folk like myself and Tacitus make you so fearful and angry.” – Mooncalf

    Your existence is not and never has been the problem. God loves all! And not once have I said anything that would indicate I am angry or fear you. I am so sorry that you again are having difficulty following the conversation.

    “We are every bit as Autisitc as your loved one(s); a professional said so, just as in your loved one(s) case.” – Mooncalf

    Another instance of misinterpreting the conversation. I have never indicated that I have a loved one with ASD. In fact, I have specifically stated that my son doesn’t have ASD. But your post has again highlighted the issue that is at hand. Why is it that a vocal minority believe that the only disability is ASD or assume that if a person speaks out they must be speaking for or against ASD. As I have said numerous times, individuals with ASD are not the stakeholder and are not even the majority of all individuals with disabilities. Why then are they actually getting the majority of the press and the majority of services are geared in that direction?

    Secondly, I have never doubted the diagnosis of many. I do doubt the diagnosis of some. Just as I doubted the diagnosis of many of the students who came through my doors handing me a doctor’s explanation of ADD or ADHD. What I have a problem with is this insistence that all adults with an ASD diagnosis should receive public assistance even if they can hold down a job.

    “We have the right to disagree with you…” – Mooncalf

    Yes, you do. Just as I have the right to speak up as one of millions of stakeholders who will have to pay for all of the adults who can hold down jobs but don’t because they refuse to get the reeducation they need to function in society.

    “to believe that the Nation we share could and should alter its priotities to more humanistic ones. Perhaps even to demand that the Will of the Nation include tender care of the Disabled, instead of the Rich and Athletes. Would that really be so terrible? How could that fail to improve our Nation as a whole?” – Mooncalf

    First, I think you mean humane or humanitarian. Second, you cannot realistically legislate the kind of change in society which you advocate here. If society chooses to pay CEO’s, athletes, actors, (insert rich job title here); that is the choice society makes. If these individuals choose to be generous or stingy, that is the individual’s choice. But, it is illogical to believe that government can legislate generosity. Whenever it has, it has been problematic. And the first question that is always asked as we try to legislate generosity is: “To whom must the wealthy be generous?”

  15. Mooncalf says:

    [Glen S.] “Why is it that a vocal minority believe that the only disability is ASD…”

    I believe this to be hyperbole. No one thinks this.

    [Glen S.] “…..individuals with ASD are not the stakeholder and are not even the majority of all individuals with disabilities.”

    Stakeholders are not just those paying. If you and your ilk are being affected by the whims and decigions of others then you are by deffinition a stakeholder. If your disability is being discussed and you are not represented at the table and/or consulted when you should be (or even if you are) you are a stakeholder.

    Autistics are under no delusion that we are the majority of folks with Disabilities. For the record, most of us have co-morbidities; the most common being Anxiety and Depression – also Disabilities,

    ” Why then are they actually getting the majority of the press and the majority of services are geared in that direction?

    We are the scary Disability of the moment and receiving a lot of press – this will change. Only Autistic children and adults with IQs under 70 receive services. Historically in the US services are geared to persons with obvious physical Disabilities, actually. I personally receive very little and know many other ‘vocal Autistics who receive the same.

    [ Glen S.] “What I have a problem with is this insistence that all adults with an ASD diagnosis should receive public assistance even if they can hold down a job.”

    You know nothing about Autism if you can say this. Many of us are unemployed or underemployed because we fail interviews. Why? Because we literally can not make or sustain eye contact. Because we literally can not give off or notice the non-verbal cues of the interviewer. This lack makes the interviewer so uncomfortable that they will not hire us even if we are the most qualified. Most of us cant figure out small talk. Some of us do work and have our coping mechanisms crumble as we age; this happened to me in my mid-30s. What part of ‘socail disability’ is difficult to understand?

    [Glen S.] “…. I have the right to speak up as one of millions of stakeholders who will have to pay for all of the adults who can hold down jobs but don’t because they refuse to get the reeducation they need to function in society.”

    This attitude is blatently unfair and untrue. Social. Disability. Sensory. Issues. You cannot possibly comprehend how exhausting it is to to sit under flaurescent lights, to absorb all the noise the building makes, to try to figure out what the co-worker really wants/means. Why are they laughing now? Why are they staring now? What does it all mean? Why does the boss keep checking in? Why cant you just work?

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