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By Michael Fitzpatrick

Autism: illness, ailment or distinction?

What motives autism – genes or setting?

Can biomedical remedies treatment autism, and are they safe?

An elevated public information of autism has ended in a emerging pattern of diagnoses, developing the influence of an ‘epidemic’. many oldsters of kids newly clinically determined with autism were inspired by way of believable theories blaming vaccines and different environmental explanations. Many have additionally been captivated via claims that ‘biomedical’ remedies – together with particular diets and supplementations, detoxing and drugs – can in achieving dramatic effects.

In Defeating Autism, Michael Fitzpatrick, a relatives medical professional and father of a son with autism, questions the clinical foundation of environmental reasons of autism and exposes the incoherence of unorthodox ‘biomedical’ theories and treatments. This booklet unearths that those treatments are faraway from pioneering interventions they usually stay unsubstantiated by way of clinical experts. Campaigns promising to ‘defeat or treatment autism now’ have attracted a lot help between mom and dad being affected by their tricky little ones. however the campaign opposed to autism dangers dehumanising and stigmatising those people who are pointed out as autistic and their households. This compelling booklet is key interpreting for college students and execs operating within the box of autism, in addition to teachers excited by the general public knowing of technology and the remedy of clinical and clinical controversies within the media.

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Qxd 03/09/2008 20:23 Page 33 Age of autism 33 or science’ as areas in which the ‘eye for detail’ of some people with Asperger’s syndrome could ‘lead to success rather than disability’. Furthermore, he argued, in the world of business,’ a mathematical bent for estimating risk and profit, together with a relative lack of concern for the emotional states of one’s employees or rivals, can mean unbounded opportunities’. Though many people with Asperger’s syndrome continued to experience problems of unemployment, bullying, loneliness, depression and divorce, the changing character of employment raised the possibility that more could escape social exclusion.

One consequence of the inclusion within the umbrella of the autistic spectrum of more able individuals is the emergence from within the world of autism of voices critical of both the mainstream concept of autism as a disorder and of the unorthodox biomedical movement’s biological fundamentalism. From the perspective of those who more or less align themselves with the ‘neurodiversity’ movement, autism should not be regarded as a disorder and still less as a disease, but as a different way of thinking and behaving, which should be accepted and respected: ‘Neurodiversity is both a concept and a civil rights movement.

To understand the autism epidemic more fully we need to turn to the cultural context in which it has emerged over the past 20 years. From ESN to SEN In June 2005, philosopher Mary Warnock provoked controversy with a pamphlet arguing that the policy of inclusion of children with ‘special educational needs’ had gone too far, leading to the closure of special schools and problems in mainstream schools (Warnock 2005). qxd 03/09/2008 20:23 Page 29 Age of autism 29 Warnock’s argument had a particular force because her 1978 report is widely acknowledged as having had a major influence on the 1981 Education Act that established the concept of children with ‘special educational needs’ and promoted the ‘integration’ of such children within mainstream schools (Warnock 1978).

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