Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 13, 2007 / 3 Kislev 5768

Crusades Versus Caution

By Thomas Sowell


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Autism is a devastating condition, both for those who have it and for their parents. At this point, its causes are unknown and if there is any cure for it, that is unknown as well.


There are many ways of coping with tragedies. One of the less promising, and often dangerous, ways is to launch a crusade.


Crusades may be emotionally satisfying, politically popular and welcomed by the media. But crusaders are not known for caution, for weighing evidence or for counting the costs, which may extend well beyond the cost in money.


There have already been many casualties in the crusade against autism, and there may be far more if recent recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics are carried out to have every child tested for autism twice by age two.


Think about it: How many people are qualified to diagnose autism? Enough to test every child in America? Not bloody likely.


Professor Stephen Camarata of Vanderbilt University has tested and treated children with autism for more than 20 years.


"While it is relatively easy to identify a five year old as autistic," according to Professor Camarata, "it is much more difficult to reliably diagnose a preschooler or toddler."


The word "reliably" is crucial. Anybody can unreliably diagnose autism, just as anybody can unreliably predict the weather or the stock market.


The consequences of unreliable diagnoses of autism can be traumatic for parents and children alike.


As a result of organizing a group of parents of late-talking children back in 1993, I encountered many stories of emotional devastation that these parents went through because their children were diagnosed as autistic — diagnoses which the passing years have shown to be false more often than not.


As a result of writing books about these parents and children — the most recent being "The Einstein Syndrome" — I have heard from more than a hundred other parents with very similar stories.


Professor Camarata at Vanderbilt has a far larger group of parents of late-talking children, since he specializes in studying and treating speech disorders, and he has likewise found numerous cases of false diagnoses of autism among children who are late in beginning to talk.


More is involved than the needless emotional stresses of the parents. Many of the treatments inflicted on children diagnosed as autistic would be called child abuse if they were not done as medical procedures, and they can set back or distort a child's development.



OWN DR. SOWELL'S LATEST BOOK


at a discount
by clicking HERE.


Once the "autistic" label has been put on a child, it can follow him and her into schools and beyond, causing that child to be treated differently by teachers, nurses and others.


Too many people refuse to reconsider any evidence contrary to the label, however blatant that evidence becomes or however much that evidence increases over the years.


The initial evidence on which a diagnosis of autism was based may be nothing more than a checklist of characteristics of autistic children, often administered by someone with nothing more to go on than that checklist.


The fundamental problem is that many items on such a checklist can apply to many children who are not autistic. A study of gifted children, for example, found many of them showing the kinds of characteristics found on checklists for autism.


According to Professor Camarata, "because there are no reliable biomedical markers for autism, diagnosis must rely on subjective rating scales making it difficult if not impossible to conduct accurate screening in toddlers or preschoolers."


But it is precisely the checklist approach that is being urged by those who are crusading for every child to be diagnosed for autism before age two.


Like most crusaders, they seem unwilling to consider the possibility of errors, much less the consequences of those errors.


The very definition of autism has been expanded in recent years to include what is called "the autism spectrum." What this means, among other things, is that there is now far more wiggle room for those whose diagnoses have proved to be wrong, who refuse to admit it, and who are now even more unaccountable than ever.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.

Up

Thomas Sowell Archives



© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles