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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. 14, 2007 / 4 Kislev 5768

Crusades Versus Caution, Part II

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The recently launched crusade to have every child tested for autism before the age of two has as its reason an opportunity for "early intervention" to treat the condition.


Dr. Scott Myers, a pediatrician, has been quoted by Reuters news service as saying that autistic children who get earlier treatment "do better in the long run."


That may be true if the children are genuinely autistic. But the dangers of false diagnoses of toddlers and preschoolers have been pointed out by Professor Stephen Camarata of Vanderbilt University, who has tested and treated children with autism for more than 20 years and has encountered many cases of inaccurate diagnoses.


A prudent trade-off, as distinguished from a crusade, would weigh the dangers of false diagnoses against the benefits of "early intervention."


There is already considerable evidence of false diagnoses of preschool children as autistic, and the treatments inflicted on them can be abusive, with incalculable negative effects on their development.


What about the positive effects of "early intervention"?


According to Professor Camarata, those children "with true autism" are "very difficult to treat and may never say 'mommy' or learn to take care of themselves without Herculean efforts by their parents and teachers."


The limitations of what can be achieved with even early intervention mean that there can be real heartbreak, whether a toddler or preschooler is either falsely or correctly diagnosed as being autistic.


Much has been made of statistics showing a sharp increase in diagnoses of autism in recent years.


What has gotten much less attention is the changing definition of autism, which raises the question whether there has been an actual change in the real world or simply a change in the way words are used when collecting statistics.



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People today are often spoken of as being "on the autistic spectrum," rather than as having autism.


While there are some conditions which are much like autism, there are other conditions, such as having a very high IQ or simply being late in talking, which often include characteristics listed on checklists for autism. These are open invitations to false diagnoses.


We would see the dangers immediately if people who wear glasses were included on "the blindness spectrum" or people with harmless moles were included on "the cancer spectrum."


Blindness, cancer and autism are all too serious — indeed, catastrophic — to use loose definitions that fudge the difference between accurate and inaccurate diagnoses.


Loose definitions of autism produce bigger and more newsworthy statistics, which in turn can attract more children into existing programs and attract more money from the government, foundations and other sources to support those programs.


Many parents have told me that they have been urged to let their children be labeled autistic, or on the autistic spectrum, in order to get money for speech therapy or other conditions from grants that are available to deal with autism.


Professor Camarata points out that the "less precise 'autism spectrum'" label "has had the unintended consequence of diluting resources, research and services to those children and families who most need the support" — that is, families whose children suffer from genuine autism.


Loose definitions also promote the illusion of "cures" for autism, since most late-talking children who were never autistic in the first place "will be miraculously 'cured' because most late talkers who are otherwise unimpaired learn to talk with little or no treatment," according to Professor Camarata.


Parents whose children are late in talking or have other troubling problems would do well to seek diagnoses from the most highly qualified professionals they can find — but not rely on the facile checklists being promoted in the current crusade for universal diagnosis of infants and toddlers for autism, without facing the question whether or not there are enough people qualified to make such diagnoses.

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