The recent article on autism in "Discover" magazine has raised many hackles, including my own. I received the latest issue after reading about the the article on a few sites (abfh's was the first one I read, & she included the link to write to the editor- thanks!), so I was "prepared" when the magazine arrived- but how can anyone really be prepared for such idiocy...? I've spent the past couple of days ruminating (in between dealing with a kid with a sore mouth :( ) & this morning Kristina's post finally put me over the edge. Here's what I wrote:
As the parent of an autistic child I was absolutely dismayed by the recent article on autism in Discover magazine. The focus of the article on unproven & sometime dangerous "therapies" for autism has done a great deal to foster the widespread misunderstanding of autism. Some of the therapies mentioned, such as chelation, have killed the children they are supposed to help & there is no scientifically-proven basis for their use. Also, most of the parents & "experts" quoted in the article represent autism as a dreadful & devastating "disease", which is an extreme view & does not reflect many people's experience. I would also like to point that none of the "experts" interviewed for this article are autistic people, who are arguably the most expert "experts" of all on this subject. Contrary to popular belief, many autistic people are able to communicate what it's like to be autistic & do so regularly in blogs such as these:
In the future it would be of great assistance to all if your article showed the true balance of opinion on such an important topic as autism, & actually reflected the scientific data available. My family lives every day with autism & we embrace life with our autistic child with great zest. I write about it here:
A podcast of a radio show describing our positive approach to raising an autistic child may be found here:
You should know that I have been receiving my copies of Discover through a promotion from Edmund Scientific & had been seriously considering subscribing, but in light of this recent article have decided not to (in fact, the issue went into the recycling as soon as I read this article). Please do consider all of your readers in future when publishing such ignorant reporting. I am not asking for you to refrain from certain topics at all, but to make sure the reporting is balanced & at least accurate! Thanks for your attention.
The web address to write is:
I encourage anyone else who feels strongly about this careless sort of journalism please write, too!