New MIT lab wants to cure autism

In the occasionally some news is good news department, Gadfly is happy to report that there’s a new kid on the block, a new lab at MIT started with a private donation, that has expressed a desire to find a cure and prevention for autism.

Hock Tan and Lisa Yang, parents of two autistic children and MIT alumni, have donated 20 million dollars for this laboratory.

In another article they state they want to erase the devastating effects of autism and want a world free of the burdens of autism.  Read more New MIT lab wants to cure autism

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Jonathan Mitchell: Reflections Before the Election

NOTE FROM WALLACE: This note was penned by Jonathan Mitchell, prominent autism advocate, before the recent US election result. I think this piece is of good historical interest, as it captures some of the uncertainty and anxiety in the air at that time.

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The election is today and I’ve already cast my vote. I wanted to make a blog post before it ends tomorrow.

Donald Trump believes that autism is caused by vaccines. I think he may also believe in a government conspiracy. He also mocked a disabled reporter which means he mocked me and all other disabled people. Read more Jonathan Mitchell: Reflections Before the Election

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Male/Female Sex Ratios and Neurodiversity Revisited (2/2)

One of the problems with this line of thinking is that similar ratios have been reported in other developmental disorders. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, intellectual disabilities, and stuttering are among those. The social problems of autism do not exist in these conditions and it would be a lot harder to hide them; a dyslexic either has difficulty reading or doesn’t, a stutterer either talks fluently or doesn’t. Read more Male/Female Sex Ratios and Neurodiversity Revisited (2/2)

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Male/Female Sex Ratios and Neurodiversity Revisited (1/2)

One of the hot topics in autism lately has been skepticism over the reported ratio of autism in males versus females. Ever since autism was first described, an approximately 4:1 male:female ratio has been reported. This started with Kanner’s initial paper with eight boys and three girls and Asperger’s first paper which had four boys and no girls. Read more Male/Female Sex Ratios and Neurodiversity Revisited (1/2)

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October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (2/2)

Last time:

After the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed piece by Steve Silberman that included the analogy between autism speaks and the NAACP that I wrote about above, Liz Feld, Autism Speaks CEO, responded urging the autism community to work together. This was years after not responding to repeated criticism by the neurodiversity movement, including that they were eugenicists whose only goal was to find a pre-natal test for autism and urge the abortion of autistic fetuses.

The essay continues:

Another significant event took place. Suzanne Wright contracted pancreatic cancer. This was so difficult for their family, that the Wright’s resigned from the autism speaks board and others took over. This made Steve Shore believe that autism speaks was now a safe haven and after some years of unsuccessfully trying to recruit him for their board of directors, he finally decided to get on board and become a team player. Valerie Paradiz who has stated that she has Asperger’s was the second autistic board member to be appointed by Autism Speaks. Valerie has not only been an opponent for a cure for autism, she stated at least according to one media source that autism is not a disability but a strength. Read more October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (2/2)

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October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (1/2)

WALLACE’S NOTE: Although the following story is about the ‘October Surprise’ from Autism Speaks, the decision in question may have some long term implications.

Autism speaks has published a new mission statement:

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Saliently absent is the word “cure” from their mission statement which they had in the past: Read more October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (1/2)

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Autism: Advantage with Women & Aphrodisiac? Autism Can Land You a Hot Girlfriend

Autism diagnoses started to soar in the 1990s and those new cases are now adults in their early twenties.  Society and the media have noted the need for employers to hire those on the spectrum.  This has lead to major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times publishing articles on how autism is an advantage in the workplace and how it can land you a job.  Read more Autism: Advantage with Women & Aphrodisiac? Autism Can Land You a Hot Girlfriend

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Autism and the Single Life: Humorous Quotes to take the Sting out of Celibacy

Celibacy is a real problem for many autistic males. You don’t get to hear about it much because the powers that be only publicizes writings of successful autistics like Stephen Shore who can get married and Temple Grandin, a female who claims to be celibate by choice. The problems of the invisible autistic adult are ignored and people act like autistics remain Peter Pans.

Most of the internet autistics do not write much about this problem. Trust me, it is there, it exists. Read more Autism and the Single Life: Humorous Quotes to take the Sting out of Celibacy

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