Kosher Autism Prevention?

Correlation is not causation.

But sometimes it points out interesting things…

I’d seen an interesting RSA illustrated talk about education on Link TV. It had a chart in it of Autism rates by State. There was no particular date given for the data nor all the technical details needed to figure out from where it came. It claimed to show autism increasing as you moved eastward across the country, reaching a peak on the East Coast. I wanted to find such a map.

After some amount of looking, I didn’t find it. I did find a couple of charts of prevalence by State that were much more complex (and leads me to think the map in the talk was over simplified).

But as is often the case, I found something even MORE interesting along the way. That is the prevalence rate in Israel is incredibly low. Which begs the question: “Is there something about keeping Kosher that prevents Autism?” (More precisely ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder, that includes many variants including Asperger’s at the low end).

I’m going to quote some numbers from the wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_autism

Canada

The rate of autism diagnoses in Canada was 1 in 450 in 2003. However, preliminary results of an epidemiological study conducted at Montreal Children’s Hospital in the 2003-2004 school year found a prevalence rate of 0.68% (or 1 per 147).
[…]

United States

The most recent estimate states that up to 1 out of every 88 children, or 11.3 per 1,000, have some form of ASD.
[…]

Europe

Denmark

A 2003 study reported that the cumulative incidence of autism in Denmark began a steep increase starting around 1990, and continued to grow until 2000, despite the withdrawal of thiomersal-containing vaccines in 1992. For example, for children aged 2–4 years, the cumulative incidence was about 0.5 new cases per 10,000 children in 1990 and about 4.5 new cases per 10,000 children in 2000. A subsequent critique of the Danish study by Mark Blaxill of SafeMinds pinpoints several discrepancies associated with the collection of autism data. Such discrepancies include changing the autism criteria in the middle of the study, 1994, from inpatients to outpatients, adding the numbers of a large Copenhagen clinic after 1992, etc.

France

Eric Fombonne made some studies in the years 1992 and 1997. He found a prevalence of 16 per 10.000 for the global PDD. The INSERM found a prevalence of 27 per 10,000 for the ASD and a prevalence of 9 per 10,000 for the early infantile autism in 2003. Those figures are considered as underrated as the WHO gives figures between 30 and 60 per 10,000. The French Minister of Health gives a prevalence of 4.9 per 10,000 on its website but it counts only early infantile autism.

Germany

A 2008 study found that inpatient admission rates for children with ASD increased 30% from 2000 to 2005, with the largest rise between 2000 and 2001 and a decline between 2001 and 2003. Inpatient rates for all mental disorders also rose for ages up to 15 years, so that the ratio of ASD to all admissions rose from 1.3% to 1.4%.

Norway

A 2009 study reported prevalence rates for ASD ranging from 0.21% to 0.87%, depending on assessment method and assumptions about non-response, suggesting that methodological factors explain large variances in prevalence rates in different studies.

United Kingdom

The incidence and changes in incidence with time are unclear in the UK. The reported autism incidence in the UK rose starting before the first introduction of the MMR vaccine in 1989. A 2004 study found that the reported incidence of pervasive developmental disorders in a general practice research database in England and Wales grew steadily during 1988–2001 from 0.11 to 2.98 per 10,000 person-years, and concluded that much of this increase may be due to changes in diagnostic practice.

Asia

Hong Kong

A 2008 Hong Kong study reported an ASD incidence rate similar to those reported in Australia and North America, and lower than Europeans. It also reported a prevalence of 1.68 per 1,000 for children under 15 years.

Israel

A 2009 study reported that the annual incidence rate of Israeli children with a diagnosis of ASD receiving disability benefits rose from zero in 1982–1984 to 190 per million in 2004. It was not known whether these figures reflected true increases or other factors such as changes in diagnostic measures.

Notice that is per million. or about 1.9 per 10,000. That’s about 1/10 th of most countries and 1/100 th of the US rate.

So what’s the deal with Israel?

Japan

A 2005 study of a part of Yokohama with a stable population of about 300,000 reported a cumulative incidence to age 7 years of 48 cases of ASD per 10,000 children in 1989, and 86 in 1990. After the vaccination rate of MMR vaccine dropped to near zero, the incidence rate grew to 97 and 161 cases per 10,000 children born in 1993 and 1994, respectively, indicating that MMR vaccine did not cause autism.

Saudi Arabia

Studies of autism frequency have been particularly rare in the Middle East. One rough estimate is that the prevalence of autism in Saudi Arabia is 18 per 10,000, slightly higher than the 13 per 10,000 reported in developed countries. Estimates for ASD prevalence in Saudi Arabia are not available.

That Saudi number is particularly important as Halal dietary laws are very similar to Kosher (being based on the same parts of the Bible and with similar prohibitions). But it is an estimate based on unknown things. Not very usable, really.

In California, the UK, and Denmark, the rate knees up near the time when MMR is put into common use. In Japan they dropped MMR and rates didn’t drop. Germany has a drop for no identified reason.

All I can find is that vaccination rates in general in Israel may be lower, or later in life (not as infants with immature immune systems).

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=3270

Finds a connection between a measles outbreak in the UK and low vaccination in Israel.

Since August 2007, there have been approximately 50 cases of measles in Israel, the majority of which have been serologically confirmed. Most cases have been concentrated around the Jerusalem area, with almost all patients from the ultra-orthodox community.
[…]
A three-year-old girl who was hospitalised in Jerusalem in mid-August with measles encephalitis was also ultra-orthodox and non-immunised, but she was neither a tourist nor from the Satmar community. Her contact was traced back to an ultra-orthodox un-immunised child who had travelled from London (with her parents) to a different wedding in Jerusalem that took place earlier in the summer.
[…]
Routine measles immunisation was introduced in Israel in 1967, and a two-dose schedule for the MMR vaccine at the ages of 12 months and 6 years was introduced in 1994 . Israel’s Ministry of Health has estimated that coverage for MMR in the ultra-orthodox community is between 60 and 70% [Y. Amitai, personal communication]. It is likely to be lower in the Satmar, a group who are known not to officially recognise state institutions.
Nationally, an estimated 94-95% of the general non-ultra-orthodox population take up the first dose of the MMR vaccine according to Ministry of Health recommendations, and the coverage for the second dose is 95-97%.

So for the last 18 years they’ve had an MMR program, but some unknown percentage of folks are “reluctant” (and may only get vaccinations later in life).

In any case, it sure looks to me like there’s a very nice A/B test case waiting to be studied. Look at Christians in Israel to see if the food habits make a difference. Look at ultra Orthodox Jews in the USA and Europe to see if they have a different rate. Look at the various sub-populations inside Israel, with special attention to things they prohibit or with which they do not comply, to look for correlations. (BTW, this is also a very good example of just why uniformity is evil. Having a government mandated “everyone must” makes it much harder to figure out where you screwed up… having individual choice gives divergent populations and much better understanding.) Also compare diagnostic processes to see if it’s just a procedural thing.

Or maybe they just don’t put junk like Pink Slime in their food… or don’t have a lot of cats with toxoplasmosis… Or maybe they just don’t spend all day soaking in EMF fields from cell phones, TVs and everything else we stew in here in California. (I do find it funny when a friend is paranoid about his cell phone but lives a couple of miles from the airport radar under the aircraft radar approach ;-) Or maybe they just don’t dump a lot of pesticides on their ‘sand lawn’ ;-) and don’t like Crisco Hydrogenated Shortening and Fast Foods with trans-fats…

What is pretty clear to me, from a casual look at the numbers, is that there is something pretty well across the board in the “Industrialized West” that is harming kids, it ramps up in the ’70s to 90’s (with variation in when by country), and Israel has managed to dodge most of it.

It ought to be possible with that A/B set to figure out just what.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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44 Responses to Kosher Autism Prevention?

  1. AMG says:

    I only found out last year that I was at the so-called adult functioning end of the autism spectrum. Explained a lot! Looking back to when I was younger, I was just the strange kid who sat in the corner and read or day-dreamed all day. Now, I would be on medication and visiting a therapist twice a week…….

    From my readings (aimed at an Australian life) there are a number of things that point to the increase in allergies, autism etc. The first one is that diet has changed dramatically – fads are in and common sense out. Low fat, no fat, no eggs, no meat, vegan etc. etc. Fat is a basic requirement (at the very least you need it for cell walls and hormones) and meat provides B12, especially important for the young. Australia now has an increasing rate of vitamin D deficiency due to the cover up mantra; we all know about bones but how many other cellular processes require the big D??

    Another food-related concern is that many children may be intolerant to substances as simple as salicylates. The Allergy Unit at the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney has done lots of research on this matter; low salicylate diets have greatly improved the life of many an ‘allergy’ and ‘autistic’ child. And where do you find salicylates? Basically in all friut, vegetables, leaves and bark. It is the basis of the plant’s defense against being eaten; strangely enough, organic produce leads to greatly increased levels as there is no artificial help to stop those snails munching.

    There is also now an intolerance to dirt, where babies used to sit in the garden and eat it. Much research suggests that this may have helped our immune systems. Supermarkets sell antibacterial wipes so that every surface in the house can be sparkly clean; no immunity build up there.

    I wonder if places like Israel just do not do the food fads/ultra-cleanliness/no sunshine? Would be interesting research. I doubt if it is anything to do with radio waves; this seems to be a catch-all when people do not want a real answer. Radio waves after all, are just one part of the electro-magnetic spectrum and are right at the other end from those nasty gamma and X-rays.

    And, finally, strange kids never used to have to do sport, music, interact with others. Maybe if they were just left alone a little more they would not have so many issues.

    Apologies for the rant!

  2. xyzlatin says:

    testing

    { No idea why, but this got put in the SPAM queue. Perhaps WordPress doesn’t like a posting containing only ‘testing’? -E.M.Smith }

  3. Pingback: Kosher Autism Prevention? | Musings from the Chiefio | My Autism Site | All About Autism

  4. xyzlatin says:

    Although Hans Asperger described the syndrome in the 1940’s, it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that this syndrome was highlighted and named after him and psychologists were trained to recognise it. It is no wonder then that since then there has been an apparent explosion of Asperger’s and Autism in the general population.
    There are increasing numbers of people with psychology degrees. They have to have some work to do so they are looking for people with problems. Cue the autistic area which is looking for recognition.
    Diagnosing it is an inexact science but as more people are aware of it, more people are diagnosed with it! One country (France) for many years said it was caused by bad mothering!
    Another factor is Government funding of special needs students. If your child misbehaves, he is punished. If you can get a diagnoses of autism, then he is not punished, and you or the school gets a subsidy and special teaching.
    Autism is probably just an evolutionary branch of human beings. It runs in families and thus is probably not caused by food, pesticides and so on.
    Many geniuses seem to be on the spectrum.

  5. omanuel says:

    As society becomes increasingly controlled, deviance from the “norm” receives additional attention. Does autism correlate with fraction of the population in prison?

  6. Adrian Vance says:

    What is an “RSA?” Please define terms. It is both polite and good technique.

  7. Adrian Vance says:

    Much of what is now called “autism,” is opportunism by school administrators.

    As long as the schools get more money for such children they will find more of them. It is just that simple and believe me, I know, as I had eight years teaching experience in LA City Schools, over 1,000 students and one case of autism. This is more BS for money just like man-caused global warming.

    Come see us at The Two Minute Conservative at: http://adrianvance.blogspot.com Today we will show you how to make a job with a very high income potential.

  8. adolfogiurfa says:

    Kosher VACCINES (not those from the Gates foundation, with Mercury)

  9. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. Now you have to tell us what is the relation between higher statistical numbers of autism and donated vaccines:
    http://www.whale.to/vaccine/mercury_poisoning.html

  10. A. C. Osborn says:

    xyzlatin says:1 April 2012 at 10:44 am and
    Adrian Vance says: 1 April 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I would love to think that my Grandsons do not have problems other than bad parenting or their schools trying to get finances.
    However one has slight Dyspraxia and severe Dyslexia where the younger one has full blown ADHD.
    The older one is now 10 and struggles to read or write.
    The younger one just never stops moving while awake, even when eating. The only time he slows down is when he is ill.

    Chefio, well spotted, what you have found is very interesting, I wonder if someone who already has the problem improves if they move to Israel?

  11. adolfogiurfa says:

    @A.C.Osborn: Some kids do not eliminate Thimerosal (a mercury salt in vaccines) like the majority, though there are several drugs to make it eliminate from the body in a chelated state:
    Metal chelation
    Owing to the presence of two thiol groups, dihydrolipoic acid is a chelating agent. It chelates both intracellular and extracellular mercury in the brain and in the body. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) has a half life of 3 hours. Due to this half life issue it can be dangerous to take chelators unless they are taken on a very strict schedule (every 3–4 hours even at night, a few days on, 10–14 days off) or they can cause more mercury to enter the brain, especially within 3 months of mercury filling removal. Lipoic acid administration can significantly enhance biliary excretion of inorganic mercury in rat experiments, although it is not known if this is due to chelation by lipoic acid or some other mechanism.[97] Lipoic acid has the potential to cross the blood-brain barrier in humans, unlike DMSA and DMPS; its effectiveness, however, is heavily dependent on the dosage and frequency of application.[98]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipoic_acid

  12. John F. Hultquist says:

    I don’t think anyone wants to downplay the serious cases of disorders discussed here. As mentioned in comments there are reasons and incentives why many cases are now found. I’ve no problem with that. But as E. M. says something seems to have happened in the last 50 years and it needs to get sorted out.

    I was of a young age when children were still getting polio so there was great interest in the disease and in the development of vaccines. These were developed in the 1950s. My wife and I do not recall any children in our areas (her/ large-city; me/small-town) with Autism. If there were any they must have been packed away someplace and not talked about. None of our friends every said something like “My mother’s cousin has a kid that is ——-.” It just didn’t happen or was so rare that most of us never knew of it. That’s no longer true. We do, now, know of a few cases and hear of many more. So, I believe there is a real cause for this beyond the better reporting and incentives to do so. As with solving the polio crisis, there will be a significant reward of doing so. And as with polio, there will be a long time before those so inflicted have passed through the demographic treadmill and their problems cease to be a burden to them and to their families.
    http://www.cprf.org.uk/homedir/Ourresearchintothelong-termafter-effectsofpolio.htm

  13. j ferguson says:

    I worked with a researcher whose son was diagnosed autistic, and by that term, in 1964. As I remember, the symptoms as he described them were related to having little interaction with his environment, including people, things, etc. The place was a behaviorist lab, and the belief was that the problem was nurture, not nature.

    This led to my colleague’s suspicion of his spouse’s management of the child’s nurturing. She was described as doing everything for him. He would reach out to get a toy, and she would be there in a split second to hand it to him, even though it was within his reach. She did this in every possible way such that nothing that the child did or attempted to do was accomplished without the mother’s intervention. This is an example of how colleague saw the problem. This may have led to the divorce but not the cure – there was none, or at least none before he entered his teen years. And yes, I doubt that mother had any authorship of the problem, but she might have abetted it.

    John Hultquist, we may be in the same cohort. I recently asked an MD what became of the kids who were in iron lungs when we were little.

    “They almost all died.”

    I have found out what sometimes happens to kids with attention deficit disorder. i suspect that it (ADD) was always there and the following may support this view.

    We had cause to have a major repair done to the boat we live on. After some telephone discussions to ascertain who did, and who did not, have some insight into the cure, we selected a yard where the owner had a machine shop. The repair required the fabrication of several tools which I had designed and which I wanted made “my way.”

    The boat was hauled, blocked, and i continued to live on it while i did the preliminary work myself with an eye to saving money. The man i thought to be the yard owner wasn’t. He leased the place from a retired admiral who ran a very laid back marina and was there most of the time.

    The repair operation employed 3 men in addition to the engineer who I had been seduced by. They were each very bright. I never had to describe anything more than once and sometimes they had better suggestions on how the thing might be done.

    As the days elapsed, i noticed that they tended to work for an hour on one job then move to another. And this wasn’t so the paint or fiberglass work could cure. It appeared that they lost interest. I also noticed that a discussion with any of them singly could seldom exceed a couple of paragraphs and at most one subject. If two of them were involved it was harder.

    At some point it occurred to me that this could be what adult ADD looked like. So i asked the admiral. He complemented me on picking it up so quickly, only a few had. But then very few customers of this operation had been there “hands-on” for weeks as had I.

    Admiral told me he’d raised the issue with the Engineer who denied it. But the engineer had hired the other three and they all exhibited same tendencies. I found it fun to work around.

    Maybe I shouldn’t take up so much space at E.M.’s.

  14. j ferguson says:

    complemented, complimented? ah, better grammar on the installment plan – see Ferdinand Celine for another application of this note.

  15. adolfogiurfa says:

    @j ferguson: She was described as doing everything for him. He would reach out to get a toy, and she would be there in a split second to hand it to him, even though it was within his reach…
    Does it sound familiar for you?: It´s what all liberal governments want to do with us!!; they have been spoiling generations of people all over the world.

  16. wearetruthbc says:

    A new Movement has started and is spreading like wildfire…please check it out and share
    If you have a child/grandchild, brother, sister, or friend with autism and if they weren’t born with it – please join Autism Mothers for their worldwide photographic event on World Autism Awareness Day. Go NOW to the NOT BORN WITH IT event page and post a picture of the child/adult with autism, together with their first name and a short comment.1 in 88 and so many NOT BORN WITH IT. Enough is Enough

    The event page is here:

    https://www.facebook.com/events/333401013384098/

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    I know the problem very well. I often have several “jobs” going on at the same time. I must force myself to start fewer things then I wish to make me finish those in process. Farming requires one to complete projects on time or all the effort is wasted. I never could stand a real job as the boss would want me to stay at the same thing all of the time. And THAT is no fun at all!
    When I was very young in the early 1950s, no one “had” Autism or Dyslexia. It was considered deliberate misbehavior, so I was sent to a Catholic school to have that problem corrected. After a year the sisters gave up on me and 3 years my parents gave up on them. I did become immune to all dogmatic teachings. I also learned to educate myself as they considered me as not teachable.
    Rampant Autism, Dyslexia, ADD etc. diagnosis is a man made thing. It may be unwelcome behavior to average school teachers but it is not uncommon. My guess is that at least 10% of humans have this problem to some degree, THE SMARTEST 10%. Most just adjust themselves to the system and live with it. After all, didn’t I say, THEY ARE THE SMARTEST 10% of humans. I my family this is a common problem, in girls as well as boys but high IQs also predominate. Also there are other mental ability benefits. pg

  18. Dave says:

    My wife; who has a medical background, spent a great deal of time researching all of the vaccines that were “offered” and required for our daughter who is now a healthy and happy 3.5 year old. In all cases that it was possible, she would allow only one vaccine at a time and draw out the period over which they were administered so they didn’t have a cocktail effect on our daughter’s system. The sad thing is that most people are not willing or able to put this kind of effort into managing things related to their children’s health. We are taught to trust and not question doctors. All procedures should always be questioned until they are understood and if you have a physician who belittles you or makes you feel like you have no right to ask, you should go find another practitioner. I respect that this is often easier said than done, but it is critical to you and your family’s well-being.

    That being said, vaccines are a crucial factor in the management and prevention of epidemics that used to ravage societies. Like all things though they can be over emphasized and lead to excesses with potentially negative results. The MMR link had been proven to be false. Here is a recent article from Nature related to that and the continued controversy:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111109/full/479157a.html

    If a doctor says you have to have a shot, especially for a child, be reasonable, ask them why, ask them what the alternatives are, and ask them what varieties are available (which vendors). Then take that list and Google the brands for complaints and other adverse effects that you and perhaps also the doctor were not aware of. Take the internet with a grain of salt of course, but usually if there is a genuine issue, you will be able to determine that from your research.

    In my case, I tend to agree that ADHD is over-diagnosed. I have met children who have autism. One child would endlessly spin a ball on his finger. He was unable to speak at age 12 but was a happy child. As far as children moving too much, find ways to encourage that energy instead of trying to drug it down. I’m sure I would have been diagnosed with some type of AD disorder. I was motivated but at the same time not challenged by the public school system. I think the main issue is discipline and I think it was in my case. I made it to college but almost dropped out due to goofing off my first year. The school and my parents stuck with me. At the same time I was diagnosed with narcolepsy which I found out was why I could only read two pages of a text book before I fell asleep. I was put on Ritalin and I ended up graduating with honors with a major and minor. Did it help, yes. Was it the only reason, no. I found that a liberal arts education where I could read and express my ideas was easier for me to engage in. I have always had a hard time reading theoretical materials such as math or physics, but can ready history or fiction for much greater periods of time without dozing off.

    I have not taken Ritalin for some time. I drink one cup of coffee in the AM and that gets me through the day for the most part. Now I design virtual infrastructures and manage a 250 node IT network so all is well.

    Going back to the basis for the article I agree that it does seem like the similarities should be able to be controlled for to expose the cause of the increase if in fact it is not due to some type of misdiagnosis to begin with.

  19. j ferguson says:

    Hi p.g.,
    You too? I got sent to military school for 4th anf 5th grades after it was discovered that i seldom made it to school – playing in the yard full of ww2 wrecked aircraft left over from a tornado in south minneapolis in 49 or 50.

    My problem was boredom. Mother had taught me how to read so that I could entertain myself during the month-long bed confinements driven by the sequence of illnesses we all seemed to get in the ’40s. The reading material became a stack of old Readers’ Digests. I doubt if I had any idea what most of it was about at age 5, but i do think my concepts of what is funny were forever warped by this experience.

    For some reason, there is real suspicion of the public schools in Minneapolis and many send their kids to private day-schools. I haven’t lived there as an adult so have no idea whether this continues, but I think it does.

    Whether ADD graduates cluster, if they do, and whether they do indeed graduate (from the ADD) would certainly be an issue for investigation.

    Somehow, i get the feeling that the most productive detection of this disorder is by people who will somehow benefit from the count.

    I might add that my experience with military school was quite good. i was given a college history text when i showed up and asked to read aloud. I did. i was then allowed to read whatever I wanted,(but not Scrooge McDuck), rather than the assignments for the rest of the class. In a sense, I had two years of private tutoring.

  20. Power Grab says:

    Some say the increase in autism is due to a lack of vitamin D, and the fact that more and more people have a bigger and bigger lack of it. Check out this web site: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org .

    Perhaps the women (and children) in Israel get more vitamin D because the ladies aren’t covered head-to-toe with sunblocking garments like the Muslim countries’ ladies are. If the moms have more vitamin D, then their babies likely will, too.

    I can see where having fewer kids spending time outdoors, and even fewer NOT being slathered with sunscreen when they do go outdoors, would lead to a huge deficiency of vitamin D, which is a significant mood lifter. If these kids are spending most of their waking hours reading, watching TV or movies, and playing computer games indoors, I can see where that would tend to prevent them from having first-hand contact with the “real world”. I can clearly see where that would cause them to have atrocious people skills and probably next-to-no interest in interacting with the real world.

    I would like to see less fear mongering by the establishment. I had no television from 1976 to 1986. I could tell that my level of anxiety lowered significantly after I got rid of it. I got more done, too. I figure people were exposed to less fear from the media, then parents would be less afraid to let their kids play outside.

    Some say they think kids should be forced to spend some time doing volunteer projects. Maybe. I’m inclined to think that taking a sabbatical from media would do them a lot of good! Even better if they could spend some time outside building something or playing in the sun.

  21. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Power Grab: Follow the money! until you get Power Grab AND Money Grab!. I have heard that now there is a new business: Everyone against SUGAR!. Can you imagine how it will look your country after all these silly issues have been implemented?, can you? It´s really funny!
    We should recur to the great mind of E.M.Smith to write a new post enumerating all those issues:
    From Gay marriage, not smoking, abortion, not eating meat, not eating sugar, not eating unsaturated fats, saturated fats, “trash food”, not leaving a big carbon footprint, etc.,etc.
    Such an article would call the attention of all the people having “common sense” to the gigantic stupidity that it entails.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Vance:

    http://www.thersa.org/

    RSA Animate. It’s an organization. Like “IBM” or “DEC”, not typically written out. Don’t know what the RSA stand for. Something Something Animate?

    Found the particular video about education:

    Yes, there is SOME increased diagnosis for extra money. No, it’s not the dominant thing going on here. (See description below per my spouse). The original Autism diagnosis only covered folks who where, essentially, non-communicative and substantially headed for institutional care. The “Autism Spectrum Disorder” has, legitimately, been expanded as it was realized that the original Autism group was only one polar end of a spectrum. Near the other end is Asperger’s, and they are now sometimes called “High Function Autistics” just to confuse things even more. Then there are high function ‘normal’ folks who are “socially awkward” – which is what I was. It’s now been realized that folks, like me, are ‘on the spectrum’, just a tiny bit over the line from Asperger’s … So am I a “socially awkward and sensitive normal kid” or a “High Function Asperger’s”? IMHO, ‘same thing’. THAT is the end of The Spectrum where you can get ‘definition expansion’. (Then there is PDD… Pervasive Devolopmental Disorder otherwise unspecified… Or “Kid ‘has issues’ but who knows what category they are…. Some systems count PDD in with ASD. And some folks (wrongly) call it all by Autism as a convenience. The folks who do this for a living generally do not. ( Spouse uses PDD, ASD, and Autism in very specific ways, and an Autistic kid is NOT an Asperger’s kid…)

    I’d guess it could, at most, account for maybe 1/2 the number. We’re dealing with a 1/10 and 1/100 ratio compared to the past and to Israel… So even if you down rate it by 1/2, you’ve got to explain the 5x or 50x increases. My personal memories of my school years (in a town where I graduated high school with the same kids who are in my kindergarten picture – i.e. not a lot of ‘turn over’ and “we knew each other’ well…) is that there was roughly ONE kid who was PDD and me as “High Function Socially Awkward” out of 134. NONE were “Autistic” or fully Asperger’s (Can’t think of any in the classes a few years either side of mine either, but didn’t pay close attention.)

    Sidebar: The PDD kid was named Mark. He was a nice kid and we were friends in 1st grade. By 2nd grade he was pulled out for ‘home school’ and to be kept away from ‘mean kids’. It was traumatic for me, as I really liked him (and helped him in class…).

    The present rate for ASD with PDD is between 1:88 and 1:40 or so. AND you would have at least one Autistic. “something has changed” even allowing for the diagnostic shifts. (I would not be counted in the ASD group, per the spouse, as I’m “just over the line” with higher social skills and would mostly just need a high interest GATE like environment… well Duh…) So we can take a 1:134 ratio and compare it to 1:88 or 1:40. (I think it’s closer to 1:500 from ‘back then’ as I don’t remember any PDD kid either year before or after mine).

    BTW, what must be diagnosed and / or have services provided is driven by law (and often case law) not the school districts. The costs to educate Special Ed kids are WAY out of line with ‘normal’ kids (running about $50,000 / year / kid vs $5,000 or less) and most school districts wish they had less of them, not more, as that money MUST be spent by law and the leftovers go to the rest of the classes… For example, my spouse is now having a load of text books transcribed into Braille for her one blind student. It would be far more cost effective to send her to a blind school (as was done ‘in the past’) but that is no longer allowed. (The school district MUST accept all students.. and ‘accommodate’ for them).

    @Xyxlatin:

    There’s more to it that just more diagnosis. There’s some of that (in that folks, like me, who are essentially normal and was just called ‘gifted’ (and occasionally ‘a challenge’ ;-) when I was a kid would now be called “High Function Asperger’s” on the ASD (Autism/Asperger’s Spectrum Disorder often just called ‘the spectrum’); YET I can say with certainty that the incidence is risen quite a lot.

    The spouse is a specialist in Special Ed. She must administer tests and made a finding before a kid gets special ed treatment. Yes, a doctor must diagnose the severe cases, yet many kids are given special education services based only on her findings of need. ( She also just learned Braille as she now has a blind student, and does sign language and … and… ) So “we talk”. She has seen over her years a fairly clear increase in kids of severe defect and a flood more kids with modest issues. (Yes, along with more parents ‘pushing’ for it… which she must set aside in making determinations.) She was the one who first pointed out that yes, I was “on the spectrum” but only by a tiny bit, and would not qualify for any added services other than the GATE program (Gifted And Talented Education) which has now been discontinued…

    @Omanuel:

    While many sever Autistics are in institutions, they are typically medical, not penal. Though you raise an interesting point (in the negation). As I think about it, the prison population is strongly devoid of folks “On the spectrum” and the traits of the prison population are in many ways the exact opposite. Autistics avoid interaction with others, retreating from most human contact (often not accepting touch from others). Exactly the opposite of folks who commit physical acts of violence that typically involves seeking out a target person and having physical contact “against their will” (be it abuse, assault, or sexual assault). Autistics prefer quiet and low stimulus environments (noise and confusion are difficult). The typical “rowdy” seeks out noisy bars, loud music, high stimulus (adrenaline rush) events, etc. Perhaps there is an opposition here, with one end being prone to crime, the other prone to victim…

    If you’ve seen the movie “Rainman”, it’s a decent depiction of a modestly severe Autistic. (Asperger’s generally has decent social skills along with some of The Gift of surprising mental skills, but still shy and / or socially awkward. See “Big Bang Theory” for several on screen examples ;-) Often called “little professors”, speech tends to be formal and ‘conformance with rules’ is often a bit ‘over the top’… again, the antithesis of the criminal; though occasionally an Asperger’s sort will just ‘give up’ on trying to ‘follow all the rules’ and go a bit Goth… which is it’s own set of rule based behaviour… So you will sometimes find minor infractions as they try to do the “bad boy” stuff to “fit in” with a counter culture, but can’t quite get it right either… Think of Hawkeye and Pierce of M.A.S.H. with the sporadic pranks and being exceptional as doctors, but emotionally ‘tried’ by their context. (Hawkeye especially has several episodes where he has emotional troubles from the intensity of the human problems around him). Those are folks, like me, who in the past were “normal” and now would be “one the edge” of “the spectrum”.

    So, in short: No.

    If anything, The Spectrum folks are the other end of the stick from the typical prison type.

    @Adolfo:

    The mercury connection has been explored many times and typically found to not be causal. (Japan, IIRC, banned Mercury in vaccines and had no change…); yet there are lingering doubts due to things like mothers getting flu shots with mercury in them…

    @A.C. Osborn:

    Ought to be ‘checkable’ via looking at immigration records and outcomes. But I’d doubt it. There was a study that found the brain size of kids with ASD were larger AND the neuron density was higher as well and that it started before birth (so might be what the MOTHER had, not the kid).
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108200710.htm

    So I’d suspect an environmental factor, pervasive through the society, that has an effect on the mother as well as the child. Either a food, packaging, or drug / vaccination.

    Ran into a rather interesting thing on the ‘dip’ in Germany that I’m going to put in a distinct comment in just a few minutes (lest it get lost in this long one ;-)

    @John F. Hultquist:

    My home town was 3039 or so total population when I was a kid. At that time, Autism was a 1:10,000 disease (full autistic) and there were NONE in my home town. We had some PDD, a deaf kid (measles, IIRC), and me as “socially awkward yet gifted”. I don’t know of any others (though there might have been a few, much older than me, that left town before I noticed).

    At 7 years of age we opened a restaurant. One of 3 of significance in town (and one of THEM was the Chinese place, so if you didn’t want to eat Chinese, the choices were small… and we had good steak and fried chicken ;-) So pretty much everyone in town came into our restaurant at one time or another and pretty much every one knew everybody’s life story. So a kid with full blown Autism or even significant ADHD would have been noticed. We had zero of what I’d call ADHD in my cohort of 134 but did have a couple of ‘cut ups’ and a couple of ‘delinquents’. Most of the kids with PDD type problems I’d chalk up to either oxygen deprivation during birth or viral diseases (the deaf kid, one who had a high fever and didn’t learn well).

    FWIW, my older sister had a very good friend who ‘walked funny’. She finally got out of her braces in high school. Everyone celebrated… I remember the “march of dimes” for Polio, and ‘the friend’ was one of the few to live a more or less normal life after infection. I got the live virus as my first vaccination dose, then they swapped to the killed stuff on the sugar cube instead for the second dose… Administered IN school, BTW.

    So for some of my life I was swimming in exactly those warm not so clean waters where polio lived. But for fortune, I could “walk funny” too…

    Vaccination has done so much good it’s hard to explain to folks who didn’t live through those times.

    I had “one mump” (Rare, but you can get mumps on only one side as the lymph system divides the upper right quadrant from the rest of the body. IIRC it was the left side.)

    I had “measles” a couple of times. It’s unclear if it really was measles each time or if I just make spots easily from a variety of viruses ;-) There were at least 3-day and 7-day measles and then I had something else with a load of spots, high fever, and light sensitivity, but who knows what it was…

    Then there was what my Mom called “Whooping cough” but I think may not have been. Some kind of very strong cough that DID sound kind of like a ‘whooooph’… with a fever…

    All things my kids got to skip.

    @J Ferguson:

    I suspect that there was, in the past, an easier path for folks to ‘get by’ with ADHD. If you work on a farm breaking horses, you don’t have to sit still in class for 8 hours ;-)

    The ‘yard’ does sound like a fun place to work, though ;-) (and space is not an issue…)

    @P.G.Sharrow:

    And thus my “Socialism Posting” that is 1/2 done and asking for a finish while I do an Autism discovery instead while I’ve got a dozen sets of seeds started for the garden while watch stock markets and thinking a WSW is “due” but not much of interest other than shipping starting to warm up and… ;-)

    FWIW I was just a Royal PITA to the school teachers as I was a strong enough personality so as not to be easily “molded” into what they wanted… At one point, in 3rd grade, the teacher took all materials from me and moved my desk away from all the others to the very back of the class as “punishment” for not doing homework or “paying attention” in class. It was returned to the rest of the class when, after the math test, I scored in the top 10% or so despite “doing nothing and having nothing” (not even a pencil…) It did teach me to “think my own thoughts” without external display and to “work problems without materials”. This was very useful in 5th grade where I’d read the math book a few chapters ahead and score in the very top of the class. (We would be ‘allowed’ to sit in the row by the window if in the top 10). As weeks would go by, I’d gradually move back down the row (looking out the window all class long, thinking MY thoughts…) and eventually end up somewhere out in the far side of the room (alphabetically by last name…) and then read a few more chapters that night… and back to head of the window row.

    I put in about 3 hours of ‘effort’ per 3 weeks, in one lump.

    That kind of thing was how I survived school. I can only be thankful they did not succeed in damaging me.

    One other story: In 8th grade we had to pass “History”. I liked the historical stories I knew (read some, watched many movies). So I’m excited the first day. The classroom as as “time line of history” around the entire top perimeter of the room. I’m enthralled and read it end to end a couple of times. For the first time ever, the Roman Movies and the Westerns and … they all “fit”. I could see the unfolding of this grand sweep of history. I could sense how this was Very Important to understanding context and “getting it” about how the world worked.

    Then the teacher, who had the best of intentions, destroyed history for me for the next decade+ via a broken teaching theory. The “theory” was that if you copied a narrative, you had to read it, then manually form the words, and write it (often echoing it again in the read-while writing). Visual, tactile, auditory (internal) modes all functioning for ‘superior learning’. Except… the brain is absent as a thinking thing in that process… She proceeded to spend all of every teaching unit drawling chalk lines on the board and writing out ‘history lessons’… then giving a quiz end of week. Virtually nothing spoken. No movies. No discussion.

    So the entirety of that year was spent doing a rapid “scan 3 words, dump 3 words, scan 3, dump 3,…” and I remember effectively nothing of it. I also was left with a hatred of pencils and writing that persisted until the middle of college and damaged my grades in English and other “social studies” and got me tracked into being a “Science Type”…

    I was basically flunking the class as I saw no reason to do things like, oh, homework, nor could I answer anything on the weekly quiz as I’d learned to do the “3 in dump 3” as a completely autonomous task while “thinking MY thoughts” on completely unrelated things. There was an interesting time with about 1/3 of a year to go. The principle and teacher pulled me out into the hallway. “we talked”. For the first time EVER, they talked to me as a person, not as a stupid little kid to be given orders (orders didn’t work for me ;-) In essence, the principle said “We know you are very smart, and we can’t at all see any way it would benefit anyone to hold you back, but the law says you must pass this class or be held back. I know you don’t want that. We don’t want that. You are presently getting a failing grade. Can you do enough to get a passing grade?” I said ” I think so”, or “Maybe”. Something modestly non-committal like that. IIRC I had a D running at the time.

    As luck would have it, that late in the year we were getting to ‘current events’. As I watched the news on TV every single night, and read a load of recent history stories at home, we had a ‘current affairs’ test. Where I scored highest in the class… I also had the Time – Life series of books of history (rich in painting reproductions) that have since ‘gone missing’ at home (I think my sister got them…). A ‘quick read’ and acing the final got me a B in the class. Causing some relief for the teacher and principle (along with some consternation, I’m sure…)

    Substantially every grade I got was a statement about the teacher, not about my abilities. Good teachers got A and A+. Bad teachers got C or D (and the occasional F). Lucky for me, grammar school grades don’t count for much on college admissions ;-) By high school I mostly caught onto the idea of ‘gaming the system’ to keep the grade up while ignoring most of the crap that passes for education. Only one teacher pissed me off enough to get the “passive aggressive do-nothing” treatment. I repeated Freshman English and got a B+ IIRC from a very nice young lady who was about 4 foot 8 inches tall and fresh out of school. She actually talked to me and asked what I cared about and why I was repeating… I explained, and she “got it” that I was very bright and it was the “bastard aggressive behaviours” of the other teacher than got a bad grade… To her I owe, entirely, any thought I might have that I can write and that English can be enjoyable.

    So would I now be “diagnosed” as something or other and medicated? Probably. Don’t know that it would change anything… but I might like the drugs ;-)

    We really need to find a better way to educate that does not require everyone to be a half numb automaton…

  23. Jason Calley says:

    @ Power Grab “I had no television from 1976 to 1986. I could tell that my level of anxiety lowered significantly after I got rid of it. I got more done, too. I figure people were exposed to less fear from the media, then parents would be less afraid to let their kids play outside.”

    I got rid of my TV years ago and noticed the same drop in anxiety. Our brains are wired in such a way that what we see is “real.” We have some discretion in whether we accept what we are told, or what we imagine, but images that are processed through the visual cortex are so immediate that they bypass many of our conceptual filters. Just as we humans are not intuitively able to deal with numbers in the millions, the billions and the trillions, we are poorly able to deal with seeing things from half way around the world. Sure, we KNOW that we are seeing an earthquake in China, but our visual cortex tells us that no, it is HERE, right here in our living room. We KNOW that serial murders are very rare and that we are unlikely to ever be a victim of one, but LOOK, there is one staring out from our television! We KNOW that werewolves don’t exist, and yet, there we are, watching one right in our home!

    Kill your television. Today. Rest easier at night.

  24. j ferguson says:

    E.M. re: gaming the system. Through sloth, i found myself out of one university and into an at best third string state institution. This place had required phys. ed department courses. One was Health (name may have been more institutionalized, but that was the gist of it). First day, we found a multiple choice test on our desks. I looked through it and it occurred to me that I could get 100% or pretty close. So I did my best.

    At the end of the course we were again confronted by a similar test. this time I set out to get 0. Apparently I did.

    After a few weeks i was called in to a session which included someone from the education school, the head of the PE department and my instructor. The Ed person stated her professional opinion that 0 was not a score gotten by ignorance or chance. The instructor wanted to know what I thought was so damned funny about his test. Everyone but me had improved their understanding of health issues in his class and he was upset about my contribution to his now less than perfect record. He didn’t understand that a perfect zero was a very unlikely score.

    The department head noted that i would need no more of their offerings. I was asked not to sign up for any and sent on my way.

    I’m sorry if I’ve told this story here before. I think it’s in the hope that other people would do this sort of thing – maybe get their kids to try it. I know my daughter, now PhD, thought it worth trying.

  25. E.M.Smith says:

    @Dave & J. Ferguson:

    Well… I think I’m starting to see a pattern ;-)

    Hey Teach, you can give me a bad grade, or hand me the college books and leave me alone ;-)

    @Jason Calley:

    I dumped my TV when I went to college. It stayed dumped until I “married a TV”…

    In many ways, life on boat, with no TV nor radio nor telephone, just sun and water and sky, was some of the most centered and peaceful of my life.

    @Adolfo:

    It would be a full time job just enumerating all the manufactured fears…

    @PowerGrab:

    Interesting line of reasoning… But maternal Vit-D during pregnancy likely also counts. Given ever more women working indoors, and fewer hanging laundry in the sun, that part ‘clicks’. More office work, less time harvesting vegetables. Hmmm… Need to look into that.

    Wonder if the Germans started getting more sun in 2000:

    Looking into the German Dip, I thought of doing web searches with vaccination and food tags in them, then scan for “odd connections”.

    This one stuck out. No idea if there’s anything other than a coincidence. Then again, the use of things like Bis-Phonol-A in can liners has been shown to be a potential synthetic hormone and with Lord Knows what kind of other stuff acting like some other kind of hormone analog:

    Yes, it’s an ‘odd source’ (Ethiopia? REALLY?) but had the best write up. Many other sources had more ‘fluff’ but the same basic story:

    http://www.ethiopianreview.com/news/130440

    Beer cans return to German supermarkets

    EthiopianReview.com | DB | June 1st, 2010 at 5:59 am

    By John Blau

    German food discount chain Penny, a member of the Rewe Group, is re-introducing beer and soft drinks in recyclable deposit cans. The rollout is already underway in North Rhine Westphalia.

    Penny is the first big food discounter in the country to offer beverages in aluminum cans after they nearly disappeared at the beginning of 2003.

    Mandatory deposit

    Back then, deposits of between 25 and 50 euro cents became mandatory for all beers, fizzy soft drinks and mineral waters packaged in disposable cans or bottles. The system was triggered when the market share of refillable beverage containers fell below the 72 percent level mandated in Germany’s 1991 packaging law.

    For years, food retailers and manufacturers of one-way beverage containers fought the scheme. Many pointed to a string of flaws, particularly the lack of a clearing system, forcing consumers to return their containers to the store of purchase to collect their deposit.

    Now, the problem with this is simple: The diagnosis was dropping in 2001 to 2003 while the deposit law began in 2003. So part of the question would be what happened prior to the deposit requirement? Was there any ‘shift’ to other packaging going on in preparation? Was there a ‘social movement’ to less disposable packaging? Clearly cause must happen before effect, but in this case ‘something else’ can be causal to both. What was the social trend in packaging that led up to the ‘can ban’ and what effects did it have in, oh, 1999 – 2003?

    Related was a partial ban on GMO foods:

    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jul2000/2000-07-13-11.asp

    Under the current directive, passed in October 1991 and known as Directive 90/220/EEC, GMOs have to undergo a scientific assessment of risks to human health and the environment before receiving Community authorisation. Some 18 authorizations have been approved for the commercial release of GMOs since 1991. No consents have been granted since October 1998 and there are currently 14 applications pending approval.

    So, in general, was there a “whole and fresh” foods kick with minimal packaging going on?

    I also note in passing that there was a partial ban on mercury in fillings in Germany (though I can’t find info on ‘when’) that might also indicate a tendency to more awareness of mercury in filling leading up to 2001-3. As the total mercury in the body is significantly higher when amalgam fillings are present, those folks thinking ‘it is mercury’ might want to look at when a country started using polymer filling materials instead of amalgam…

    It might also be interesting to look at dental practice in Israel. Do they avoid ‘unsightly metal fillings’ more? Or just have better rates of decay in any case?

    At any rate, the dual threads of canned drinks and cavity restoration are likely to have overlap. Whenever I drink a lot of soda, I get a lot of cavities. No soda, no problemo…

    So to the extent there is a a dental filling mercury connection, it ought to reflect in a soda consumption number too.

    It would also be interesting to plot the degree of dental repair of the mothers vs the rate of ASD in the kids. A mouth full of amalgam (at 40% to 50% mercury) is much larger than the few micrograms in a vaccine… and it does move into the body (and into the fetus from the mother) to some extent.

    But something changed in Germany in the years leading up to that 2001-3 drop. Perhaps someone who was living in Europe then can comment on social changes in the 1998-2003 time period…

  26. j ferguson says:

    No TV.

    For some reason, my graduation present after 7 years at the universities was a very small Panasonic battery television (this was 1968).

    The thing was charged. I turned it on and asked if anyone knew what one of the Saint Louis channels was. My Dad cracked up. Given my academic performance, he’d imagined I’d spent my time watching TV. So he asked, if not tv, what?

    “Let’s just leave it at ‘not tv’. ” (where the hell is that period supposed to be in there?)

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    @J Ferguson:

    Funny Story! Don’t think I’ve heard it before…

    It is amusing when you have more understanding than the teacher… That a zero is only gotten by effort is obvious to some, like the Ed teacher and the Dept. Head… On a multiple choice, especially, the odds are essentially zero of getting a zero. ( If it’s a 4 choice, then a 25% score is roughly ‘random’ and less than 25% ‘takes effort’… to do a ‘perfect zero’ means you knew exactly which answers to avoid… the right ones ;-)

    In high school, the “social studies’ teacher did all ‘multiple guess’ questions. A friend noticed that the right answers all had a feint underline under the letter. He asked the teacher, who told him “Yes, very observant”. Then, after asking ‘what now’, was told by the teacher “Well, just don’t tell anyone and you’ll get an A, won’t you?” With a bit of a grin. The teacher seemed to enjoy the point that almost nobody ever noticed his ‘easy for him to grade – key built in’ system… I was already getting an A (and my friend has asked me to confirm his belief prior to taking it to the teacher) but both of us “did very well” in his class… Nice guy who kept things interesting too. IIRC his degree was in business but they gave him ‘civics’ and related ‘social studies’ as it was sort of related and there were no “business” classes…

    There have been times I’ve asked folks “What score would you like me to get?” on various things, and come pretty close ;-) The latest was not a score, per se: For the wisdom teeth, they where going to take my blood pressure prior to drugging me. I asked the nurse “What would you like it to be?”, and she chose normal. Using my newly developed skill (from the BP posting) I raised my breathing rate and relaxed the anal sphincter some ( I was nervous at the time…) and in a moment said “OK”. The reading was “normal”… 127/82 or some such.

    For some reason I find that “hitting the bid” a more interesting game than “make the max score”… but don’t get many chances to practice it. Going undercover you get to “level” at the desired apparent skill level, and that’s kind of like it… I’ve also done something similar with ‘learning about languages’ where I’ll pick how much I want to know of a language and go that far, no further. (So, for German, I can handle the basics, but stopped short of mastery of the case system… then again, that use of conjugation of “die” to mark “in” vs “into” is a bit bizarre anyway…) So things like getting the dialect and speech right to ‘fit in’ at the Braves Game in Atlanta was satisfying. The kid liked it too ;-) Though one time I was talking with a guy who was ‘leveled’ at about I.Q. 100, community college, and ‘mild midsouth’ accent. I leveled on him. After about 5 minutes, I noticed a slight indicate of higher level ‘available’ from something he said, so ‘kicked it up a notch’… Long story short, we each started “notching” and pretty soon the baud rate was about doubled and the average word length was about Masters Degree and with ‘standard American MidWest’ accent and was each eye-ing the other… We then spent a short time talking about “passing” and “leveling”…

    Things people do to keep the world interesting ;-)

  28. j ferguson says:

    E.M.
    re: leveling. your story is wonderful and I doubt that this doesn’t happen frequently when you are mixing with people you don’t know.

    I had to get a new GP (the MD kind). Spouse liked her’s. He worked on men too, so i made an appointment. He was close to my age, a Rumanian immigrant, and liked to start a medical relationship with some discussion – getting to know you sort of thing. As we were tossing this and that around, he said something technical – engineering technical – had to have had thermo. I asked and it turned out that against his MD father’s recommendations he’d gone to engine school at McGill and graduated a EE.

    Then he tried to get a job. I had no idea this could have been difficult in 1966, but in Canada it was. Naturally, his father pointed out that this was a clear consequence of ignoring his advice to go into medicine. So he went to med school and here he was, the guy who ran interference for the specialists.

    I love that guy. It turned out we both were building computers up from motherboards and the introductory session went on about 1 1/2 hours and threw his office into turmoil.

    Another sorta similar story:

    Boat is in the yard getting paint. Owner of boat next to mine shows up and asks about my dinghy lift (designed and built by me). After a couple paragraphs he asks about deflection under load. “OK, OK, where did you go to engine school?”
    “Brown.”
    “What did you do with it?”
    “Went to work at Grumman in Beth Page for about a year, then quit and went into finance on Wall Street.”
    “Why”
    “It took about six months to find out what the guy that ran engineering was being paid there and I had hopes of a bit more.”

    Sailing in Maine is a good way to meet people like this. I sat at a picnic table with 4 guys and a gal at one of the SSCA (Sailing club) gams in Isleboro a few years back. Some of them knew each other and all were about my age. At some point, it was observed that everyone at the table was an engineer. Not me. Architect. So they talked and I listened. Some of them had spent their time since MIT at Lincoln Labs. There was some discussion about black programs and one name (which i remember but won’t repeat) stopped the conversation. It had been so well compartmentalized that 3 of the people at the table had worked on aspects of it without knowing each other. The conversation then turned to a very allegorical cryptic discussion of the program’s issues which I couldn’t quite understand. It was one of those great ideas which should have worked but no-one could figure out how.

    I would add, that had I continued to be nailed to the ground with real estate, i would never have met some of the really interesting people i’ve met on the water. But then blogging isn’t too shabby either.

    best, john

  29. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “For some reason I find that “hitting the bid” a more interesting game than “make the max score”… but don’t get many chances to practice it. ”

    There is a story of a Japanese Go Master visiting New York many decades ago and engaging in multiple simultaneous Go games with the members of the local club. The teller of the story recounts how he (the teller) lost his game, but only by one point, a score to be very proud of. Speaking to the other members who had played against the Master, he heard from each of them, “… and he only beat me by ONE point!”

  30. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Jason; At times a true master allows a new player a one point win ;-) pg

  31. Power Grab says:

    @ Jason Calley: I appreciate your comments about things we see seeming real, even despite our realization otherwise.

    Actually, though, I think I tend more the other way. Things seen through a glass (i.e. TV or movie) seem faked. The only time I’ve been out of the country, I was struck by the consistent thought of, “Oh, there really are places like this!”

    When I heard that President Kennedy had been shot, my first thought was, “They shouldn’t put on so-called comedies like these. People will think they’re real.” Is it odd for an 8 year old to react that way?

    Or the time a tornado went over my little apartment — The first notice I got was the whine of the sirens outside. I was just about to sit down and eat supper over a rerun of the original “Star Trek” series. The sirens annoyed me and I thought, “They shouldn’t do those siren tests on a cloudy day like this! People will think there’s a storm coming.” I kept going out and looking at the sky and at my neighbors, asking if they had heard anything. I even phoned my boss (one of those people who has ham radio and always seems to enjoy the challenge of severe weather) to ask if he had heard if there was a tornado coming. Funny story — a strange teenager answered their phone. I got a little concerned. I asked if [my boss] was there. The strange teenager said he wasn’t available because he was outside on the roof. Concern level rose a little more. I asked the teenager to ask him if there was a tornado coming. I waited for 5-10 minutes before the teenager returned to the phone. His words were, “There’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.” Famous last words! Shortly after getting off the phone, I went outside again and checked the sky. This time the clouds overhead were circling. First time I had ever seen that. I decided to take cover. I figured my dad would never forgive me if I got myself killed in a tornado. I put on my motorcycle helmet and got my purse and battery-powered radio and wrapped up in my sleeping bag, then sat down in my shower stall, which was the innermost corner of my efficiency apartment. Shortly after I sat down, I heard the window air conditioner stop running. I couldn’t really hear much else because the motorcycle helmet covered my ears. After not too much waiting, I felt like it was passed. I got my camera and went out and took pictures of all the damage, dodging downed power lines and tree branches and broken glass. The newspapers said it appeared to have been at treetop level when it went over where I lived. It took some cupolas off some buildings that were not replaced for many months. Eventually, though, when it reached the edge of town, it wiped out a trailer park.

    I don’t know that that story particularly relates to treatment of autism, but heck, maybe it does!

    i’ll save for another time the story about how we once took shelter from a tornado by going out to the car.

  32. Power Grab says:

    @ E. M.:

    I missed the BP posting. Got a link?

    I’m trying to stay off the radar insofar as all these screenings and crap go.

    I must say, though, that if one wants to avoid cholesterol-lowering drugs, they can go a long way fixing their numbers if they get off bread and sugar.

    It’s not the dietary fat that raises the score – it’s the starch and sugar. I try to get 50-60% (at least) natural fat in my diet every day. The last time I got the test done (for my own information) I had a 182. That was two weeks after I dropped the M&Ms. Before that, it was 207. That was after I dropped the wheat. Before that, it was 230, right after I had had a fast food cheeseburger meal. So I had lots of starch (from the bun and fries) and soda in my system.

    My sister, the lab tech, seemed jealous about my recent low scores. She said her scores usually ran between 180 and 200, and that’s with her trying pretty hard to avoid all fat in her diet. I told her I couldn’t believe she still believes that nonsense about dietary fat raising your scores, when I’ve been telling her for 10 years that it isn’t!

    I usually have relatively low BP, but the last time I gave blood, it was higher. I talked the whole time. Somewhere I read that talking while they take your BP makes it go higher. I offered to do it again and not talk, but they didn’t really care, I guess. That’s why I’m asking about the old BP post.

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @PowerGrab:

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/kaiser-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-and-blood-pressure/

    Short form: I had “white coat high blood pressure”. Turns out that, to be helpful to accuracy and as I can go without breathing for 2 minutes (one whole minute without much prep, 2 1/2 personal record) I’d just “not breath” while they were taking the BP. That, as they say, was wrong…

    I got to wear a BP recording harness for 24 hours ( as I declined to take pills based on a couple of office readings). It showed “no problem”. (I know it did, as I was using a wrist cuff to check what was being recorded…)

    That’s when I started to notice some things. So I “played with it”.

    Turns out part of ‘spy craft’ is to fool a lie detector by giving a ‘false high’ on dummy questions. You do this by tightening your anal sphincter that cause a high excursion (for reasons nobody could explain to me). So don’t be a ‘tight ass’ when getting your BP checked at the Doctor…

    Turns out also that BP adapts to whatever your breathing rate is. I”ve spent a lot of my life working on ‘very slow’ (party to avoid breathing in tobacco smoke and pollen when very young… later as a ‘training to low metabolism’ for long free diving and scuba diving…) Exactly wrong for the BP test. For that, long deep regular “tantric breathing” can run your BP down nicely.

    Between the two of them, I can place the BP just about anywhere. So in that posting you will see my BP record as a ‘played with it’. On one occasion I did something like 160 / 95 to 100 / 75 in about 20 minutes. Then back to normal. Just two tricks, that’s all it takes.

    Which, of course, left me wondering how many folks are medicated due to slowing down their breathing and getting some anal pucker going at the doctor’s office ( I usually only go in if I think there is evidence of “dying soon possible”… you know, things like “Is this irregular dark spot skin cancer?” and “Is this particular pain in the chest a heart attack?” (No, a ‘severe freckle” and; no, a peculiar kind of heart burn / esophagus sore…) Not the stuff to leave you relaxed and breathing meditatively…

    Now I just start huffing on the walk in and by the time I sit down I’m nearly hyperventilated. I’ve only been low enough for a comment on it once ;-) (Kaiser has you hike a few hundred yards through the parking lot, clime flights of stairs, walk to the nursing station, stand on the scales, and then takes your “resting” BP… while asking a bunch of annoying questions…. and not wanting to hear what you think might be killing you… Yeah, THAT ‘resting’ BP…)

    I think the talking will depend on how much you ‘ventilate’ while talking. Some folks take one long breath then let it out slowly over a lot of ‘talk time’. Not good. Also diaphragm tightness and belly jiggle will likely come with anal sphincter tightness…. So tantric breathing, deep and regular, and go all loose in the belly and legs.

    Ah, the MC Helmet… I have a nice full face one. Once had a guy make threatening hand motions at me while I was wearing it. All I could think of was “Don’t laugh at the idiot, he might break his hand and dirty the visor.” If I can take asphalt at 70 MPH on the leathers and helmet, his fleshy hand is pointless… Probably ought to put a note in my preparedness pages about MC gear…

    What’s it got to do with ASD? Well, different modes of cognition? I know a lot of NTs that think all sorts of fiction on TV is real. I’m in the “it is all just fake” group. Now a full screen movie that goes to the edges of peripheral vision and NOBODY talking in the theatre, that I can get sucked into… Or a book and a quiet room… But some guy on the TV saying aliens have landed, or that the Federal Budget is going to be balanced? Crazy talk! :-)

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and I think Keith De Havelle has a story about eggs.

    He figured out that the lecithin in them would act as a fat transport and cholesterol remover. So added something like 1/2 dozen to his daily routine. Cholesterol dropped significantly…

    The Florida Friend has adopted my idea of “Butter good, margarine bad” after his heart attack. He got a stent. And regular close monitoring. Despite doing a significantly high fat diet (he’s going more the ‘lots of fats, low carbs’ that helps him loose weight – so we had a lot of BBQ chicken and ribs…) and having butter on his toast and eggs… he keeps getting “Good Boy, keep doing what you are doing” from the doctor… who he’s not been willing to inform that he trashed the doctors diet and ‘rolled his own’…

    Based on the Florida Friend, I’d also avoid any Trans-Fat (if the word ‘hydrogenated’ is in the ingredients, pass it by. 1/2 gram can be in a ‘serving’ and still display ‘zero trans fat’ in the numbers… and 1/2 gram is enough to screw you up.) and cut the fructose way down.

    FWIW, I don’t know what my cholesterol number is. I’ve never had it raised as an issue. I eat all I want of anything I want, including loads of butter and meat. Just zero hydrogenated anything and only eat meat where I know what part of the animal it is… Little packaged stuff (other than canned) either. Mostly ‘meat, vegetable, starch’ where the starch is a potato (with butter) or rice (with butter sugar and milk for desert or soy sauce with oriental) or noodles (often with Alfredo cream sauce, sometimes pesto, occasionally a full on lasagna ;-) Vegetable may be from a can or frozen. Often with butter on it. Meat may be roast chicken to fried steak to fish sautéed in 1/2 and 1/2 olive oil and butter, drizzled with capers. (Sometimes they all go into one dish. Chile Beans, for example. Meat, Beans (both a vegetable and a starch), and tomatoes / sauce. Or a nice lasagna with meat, noodles, and vegetables – spinach / 3 cheese mix, mushrooms, olives).

    Notice what is NOT on that list: A pre-fabricated boxed something with a forty line list of ingredients never seen in nature. “Hydrogenated” anything. Trans-fat anything. Loads of sugar. (Though I do sweeten my tea and coffee… gotta have some vices ;-) and I will eat the occasional cake or cookie – about once a week or two. Just not that interested in them, though fruit pies don’t last long, and the breakfast toast must have butter and a spot of jam on the last 1/4…) Artificial or synthetic stuff (though I’m sure I get enough at fast food places when ‘out’).

    I don’t tell the doctor how I eat, and they don’t ask the right questions ;-) But not had a bad number yet. I’m sure they would be shocked to hear: Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled in a table spoon or two of butter, toast with t tablespoons of butter, coffee and sometimes tea with whole milk in it, jam. Lunch: Tuna noodle casserole made with real butter and cheese. Added peas to it for a balance meal ;-) Dinner: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes. Drippings gravy with all the chicken fat in it. LIma beans with butter sauce. (Meat, starch, vegetable…) So I don’t tell them…

    I dread the day when I finally do have a high enough cholesterol number and get asked the diet question. (Perhaps after a road trip with ‘whatever’ the restaurants serve…) I’ll have to choose between lying and trying to educate the over educated…

    At any rate, I may just have a ‘special’ metabolism. (We’ve seen that I’m a bit odd in many other ways… and Neanderthals were reputed to eat a lot of whole fat meat…) so I suggest doing the tests yourself before depending on you metabolism to react the same was as mine.

    FWIW, Dad died of smoking related cancer at 56. At autopsy he was found to have no heart or circulatory problems. He was raised on the typical Iowa – Amish diet of buckets of eggs, pork, lard, beef, chicken, ham, more cheese than you can imagine, … and just could not stand margarine or ‘fake food’ as he called most of the boxed stuff. I have 3 older sisters, none with cholesterol or heart problems. Dads Dad lived to 90 something on an even richer diet, on the farm. Many of Dads brothers (who did not smoke) lasted into their 80s and 90s on similar diets. I suppose a study of the Amish (were the to allow it) might find them a similar “anomaly” to the French (who are reported to have said they would rather die young the give up buttter) the Indians (who hold clarified butter “Ghee” to be the secret of longevity), and the northern Italians (who live into the 120 range on a diet rich in sheeps milk cheeses and lamb… one guy shown running around the hills chasing sheep was a young guy, “only” 90… the researchers thought there might be something ‘special’ in the pecarino romano. There is. Goats and sheep have milk with VERY short chain fatty acids in them. Short fatty acids are very special.

    Cocoa Butter, Coconut oil, and Palm oil were all vilified as ‘solid fats’. Despite the fact that tropical people who ate a lot of them lived long and healthy lives. They all have very short chain fatty acids. Butter has the shortest at 4 (butieric), Goats and Sheep run about 8 to 12. Coconut and Palm oil are also in the 8-12 range. Cows (Stearic acid) run about 18 (and tri-stearate showed ZERO impact on cholesterol when tested in isolation). “Polyunsaturated” corn and soybean run in the 18 to 22 range and peanut is up around 24 (and gives my son greasy pimples… and makes my skin greasy and if I eat enough peanut oil I’ll get pimples too.)

    So my suggestion is learn how long the different fatty acids are. FWIW, to tie this to the topic, I’ve wondered some times just what a lifetime of transfat would do to a developing brain. The brain is largely made of fatty materials, and it normally gets a LOT of Omega-3 derived materials. So, in a diet desperately high in Omega-6, and low in Omega-3, what will be used to build the developing brain? Hmmm? When I was a kid, Mom fed me Cod Liver Oil (high in Omega-3) and lots of fish. She ate it too. We all had high scores on tests… Could that be the difference between “gifted” and “sits in the corner”? Could our ‘epidemic’ be just a matter of the gradual rise of Omega-6 plant oils and the removal of the fish oils, saturated animal fats, and Omega-3 oils that our bodies have used for the last 6 million years? Maybe I ought to do a search on Israeli fish and flax consumption or butter vs margarine …

    I’ll bet your typical Jew in Israel has a lot more lamb and goats milk and a lot less margarine and soybean oil. A log more olive oil and cheese and a lot less hydrogenated Crisco and corn oil…

  35. Pascvaks says:

    Thoughts-
    Epilepsy is still a medical ‘catch all’ term for ‘something wrong’, more and more we have given ‘names’ to certain conditions that were previously glumped into epilepsy. You all know that. Repeating myself. Got a touch myself. Not to worry, I pop pills;-)

    Chemical Food Additives, Insect Repellants, Suntan Lotions, Water (Waste & Not) Purification Systems, Manufacturing Processes, etc., etc., going all the way back to the beginning of time (1950? 1960? 1970? 1980? 1990? 2000?), have been increasing every year. We are poisioning ourselves people! I can’t get it out of my mind, somehow I want to ask any woman who ever had a child with a medical problem, what she ate and drank every day of her life; and then I’d be sorely pressed to not also ask if she ever rode her bike in back of an insect fogger truck as a kid, and 1,001 other things, like what brand of bubble-gum did she chew, or the pimple cream she used… More true than ever, we are what we eat, and drink, and breathe, and touch, as well as all the damn things (and people) that bite and poke us.

    With all the real problems we have, why are our ‘finest’ and most ‘gifted’ scholars ripping their clothes off and hand cuffing themselves to City Hall/Court House doors and jumping up and down about 2099AD Global Warming theories? IT HAS TO BE IN THE WATER!!! I’M TELLING YOU IT’S IN THE WATER!!!!! DON’T DRINK THE WATER!!!!!

    OK! It is serious! It’s also telling about what’s happening in other areas. Is it true the Romans built their Penthouse Villas with leaded water pipes? I guess the problem is not new, we’re so eager to make a buck and kiss someone’s rear end, that we sell things that we shouldn’t and way too soon. We need a safety commission for consumer products, or something. People ARE stupid, they really are; especially, if there’s money in the mix. Right? People also tend to think that everyone else is pretty close to being just like they are. It’s a lie. There are people out there, some very near by, that don’t deserve another breath of air; they couldn‘t care less about you or your children, they couldn‘t care less about their own children. (I think most of the smart ones that fit this classification in the USofA are lawyers too;-)

    Correlation is not causation.
    But it‘s a start…

  36. Power Grab says:

    @ adolfogiurfa:

    Not only have they tried to make villains out of natural fat, meat, sugar, and those other items you mentioned, they are trying to reduce the amount of salt Americans eat, as if it were some kind of poison. My supervisor has bragged about how he no longer salts his food – as if that were some kind of virtue! I have tried to remind him that, during the summer when he is working in the sun, he will need to take in extra salt. He doesn’t seem to understand that concept.

    I have a hard time allowing myself to imagine what this country will be like if Obamacare is allowed to stand and the Internet is muzzled! If people no longer have access to health-related information that isn’t promoted by the drug companies, and if everyone is forced to undergo all the mindless vaccinations and screenings that lead to overtreatment of overdiagnosed, trumped-up diseases, and if the option of consuming healthy traditional food is eliminated, I’m pretty sure we won’t have very many senior adults left, and the young people will be unable to manage their lives in an independent manner because their ability to concentrate and think for themselves will have been destroyed.

  37. Power Grab says:

    @ E.M.:

    I agree about the need to avoid transfat. I learned about that in the late 1980s/early 1990s. After growing up on Parkay margarine and Crisco oil, DH and I switched to real butter, olive oil, and some peanut oil. My sister who is 14 months older than I did not start avoiding transfat when I did. She had a hysterectomy in her 30s. I had a healthy baby at age 40. I always wondered if the natural fats I switched to had anything to do with that difference. I had been on natural fats for about 8 years before I had my baby.

    Currently, I use butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, as well as tallow and rendered chicken fat for frying potatoes. I have 2 free-range eggs cooked in a tablespoon of butter each morning — with SALT and pepper and some jalapeno catsup I recently found. Also a couple of slices of bacon, some whole milk, and coffee with cream and about a half teaspoon of sugar. I gave up the toast because wheat no longer likes me and it makes me stay hungry all day. Potatoes, rice, and corn don’t have the same effect. I do enjoy almonds most days. And chocolate. Sometimes together.

    I have read several articles that say the folks Down Under associate Alzheimer’s with industrially processed vegetable oil. I read a peer-reviewed paper one time that said that when transfat is used in building cell walls, it causes them to be floppy and not hold their shape properly. I can imagine that affects cellular respiration negatively.

    I got the cholesterol tests done recently because there has been a push at work to get everyone to have the “health check” done. I figure if they are going to coerce everyone into getting tested the way they coerce my sister into having flu shots at her work, I wanted to have an idea where I stood ahead of time. I hadn’t had a cholesterol test done since 2005, the first time I gave blood. I didn’t react when they said it was 230 because I already knew that isn’t really a risk factor — especially for women! I know the drug companies want to make you take drugs to lower it, but I will have to be dead or in a coma before I will let them give me those drugs!

    At work they offer a $250 break on your annual insurance deductible if you get the tests done, but as I normally don’t go to the doctor, that’s not a motivator for me. When the HR person at work came into a chat session where I was sitting with my supervisor and the director, and she pointedly asked if I had had the tests done, I said I had not because I do not want to take their drugs! I figure they’re just fishing for new drug customers.

    A co-worker recently went through a pilot program they ran to treat metabolic syndrome. After a few weeks of working closely with them (diet, tests, exercise), they did a series of exit tests. All her numbers had improved, but she could no longer lift the weight bar. Well, I lost interest at that point. Losing muscle is definitely going the wrong way!

    When I learned about the benefits of natural fat (not just avoiding transfat, but purposefully increasing the amount of natural fat we consume) and switched us back to whole milk, my kid and I both became stronger and gained stamina. My kid gained noticeably more emotional control, which I know now is a benefit of having sufficient vitamind D. I had been developing heel spurs for about 20 years and was about to seek medical advice, but they went gradually and haven’t come back.

  38. Power Grab says:

    Oh, I also use lard these days!

  39. Judy F. says:

    I have a few observations on the ADD/ADHD thing. My son told me recently that they are considering having my grandson tested, ” because he doesn’t listen and won’t sit still”. I told my son that he was nuts if he thought that my grandson had a problem. I am not being a ” my grandchildren are perfect” grandma, I base my thoughts on observations. I went to pick my two grandkids after school a few weeks ago. I met my grandson in the hall ( he’s in kindergarten) and we went to the pre-school room to get my granddaughter. My grandson was talking a blue streak, writing on the board, walking around looking at everything and being “antsy”. Even the pre-school teacher ( who’d been his teacher for the two years previous) commented on how hyper he was. I finally got the coats, backpacks and kids all together and we walked back to my house, about 1/4 of a mile away. Then we had juice and home made cookies for a treat and went outside to do a little bit of yard work. When we had filled the wheel barrow with yard debris, we came back inside and pretended we were running a restaurant. In that short amount of time of being with me, I saw both of the kids calm down. I have noticed this behavior in them before.

    I am beginning to think that sometimes the kids are over-stimulated in school. I helped for a few weeks in a kindergarten class and I noticed that the kids never spent much time on any one project and they didn’t have time to complete what they did start. In the classrooms, kids don’t have to stay in their seat ;they get up to get a drink, blow their nose ( there are “community” boxes of kleenex) or go to the restroom at all times during class. The kids don’t seem to be taught to sit still, be quiet and get their work done. I understand that younger kids have a shorter attention span, teachers have to keep classes on schedule, etc. The kids moved from sitting on the floor in a circle, to tables facing each other, to chairs in groups. It seemed like they were always moving around. I know that I am old and curmudgeony, but in my mind, teaching the kids to learn to calm themselves down, instead of always moving them around, would add some calm to the classroom situation. If the kids are naughty in the classroom, as punishment they aren’t allowed to participate in recess. I think if the kid is acting up in class, he probably has an excess of energy and needs to run around outside and get rid of some of that extra energy. The kids also can’t go outside if it is below freezing, because they might get too cold. (sheesh. It gets cold in Colorado in the winter. Get used to it.)

    Then I noticed my grandkids’ toys at home. The trucks make noise, blink lights and talk to you; the dolls cry and talk; the stuffed animals meow or bark. The kids can’t make up their own sounds when they are playing, since the toys all make the sounds for them. It seems to be sensory overload.

    I wonder if all the action, noise and stimulation, that most people think is education, is teaching little minds chaos instead of patterns. After I told my son about my observations about my grandson and how he just needs some project to do that truly uses his mind and imagination, my son and grandson are now building model rockets and firing them off. ( I don’t know who is having more fun).

    So, when I am Queen, I will dictate that kids need a quiet, calm classroom with few primary colors; they will play outside for a while every day; they will not be involved in organized sports or dance until they are at least in third grade; they will enjoy a hobby that engages their imagination, eat wholesome food and live happily every after. Oh, and it is not the end of the world if Dick and Jane and Spot are boring and the student reads a fourth grade book that she tucks inside the Dick and Jane book. Really, I know. :)

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  41. Eric Barnes says:

    Here’s what I’d consider a great article (IMO) that elaborates on the schizophrenia toxoplasmosis link.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/8873/1/

    Hopefully serious progress is in store for both schizophrenia and autism.

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  43. doug says:

    I’m almost 58. When I was almost 50 I was diagnosed w/ADHD. It wasn’t an excuse. It just explained a lot of things, like why things like coffee & speed (in my younger more foolish days…albeit I am still working on becoming an adult, having been clean & sober for only almost 10 yrs, thanx to some tough love from my former wife of 24 yrs who, if she hadn’t told me to leave, i would not be writing this, nor would I have had the blessing of finally having & seeing some grandkids) would put me to sleep. In fact, my buddies would say “Jake, how can u go to sleep on speed?” To which I would just simply say “I don’t know but my brain is shutting down, & I got to lay down!”

    Now being involved w/an ADHD support group, and also having been a former Disability Adjudicator for SSA, I have seen both the underdiagnosis & overdiagnosis of ADHD. To get an accurate assessment is no easy task, and requires truthfulness from parents, teachers, & a knowledgeable physician (for adults & children), as well as time. Not only is it important to make the right diagnosis, but also figure out the right treatment, which also takes time & effort, careful monitoring, including before/after, diet, exercise, environment, etc. Unfortunately the importance of time is pushed aside and a diagnosis is quickly rushed to, often times leaving the child themselves in the dust, ending up being undermedicated, overmedicated, or not medicated at all, all of which could be either due to a public school system anxious for federal dollars (when I was doing child disability cases, the nationally accepted norm for testing for MR (the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children, [WISC (1949), WISC-R (1971), WISC-3 (1993), & now WISC-IV (2003)], or the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI), depending on the age of the children, or if 16 or over they would do the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale [WAIS]) are what SSA would use for initial criteria. However, CA had their own intelligence testing, which I discovered to rate children on average at least 10-20 points lower, thus almost guaranteeing them a diagnosis of MR (Mental Retardation), which benefit I could only assume would be for the garnering of those valuable Federal $’s via the Medicaid program (SSI-which is a needs basis program, which does not require you to pay a single penny into the system, which funds even foreigners were privy to (see if you can find any information on “Aged Alien cases” for SSA. I used to work on them too.)

    Too often it seems that people in general make the following assumptions when they hear about ADHD: “All they want is drugs!” “They’re just lazy!” “They just need discipline.” or like I used to hear my teachers tell my mom (God rest her soul, as she was a rapid-cycling bipolar who, until I was about 11 yrs old after she left my 1st step-dad when I was 4, was either working 2-3 jobs to keep my brother & I off welfare (altho we did get AFDC gov’t surplus…boy those were the days, b/c back in WI it was against the law to have colored oleo, and so it just looked like lard to me, & despite seeing my friends marginate their toast & sprinkle cinnamon & sugar on them, I could not bring myself to doing it, & when my mom was dating a UW-Madison prof whose home roots were Chicago, we would drive down to see his mom, & we would “smuggle” in cases of colored oleo across the border, & being the fearful, gullible kid that I was (I won’t go into the molestation period as a little kid), well, I thought for sure we were going to prison!…then came the yellow food coloring capsules eventually, and all was well with the world!), or dating someone, not just to get a husband but to find a dad for my brother & I, & oh the ups & downs of “I’m getting a dad!”…”I’m not getting a dad…”, or spending 30 days in the psych ward getting shock treatments. I was raised more by baby-sitters the 1st almost 11 yrs of my life until she married that professor, who was a wonderful dad but unfortunately passed away in 78, right during his 1st day back to school at the UW…(he would have wanted to go that way, as he loved teaching, business & international marketing, & a number of millionaires owe their humble beginnings to him having them start their imaginary businesses in the classroom-in fact they voted him teacher of the year one time…his motto was that the job of a teacher was to bring the student up to their level so that they could go on from there). I briefly mention this b/c they had to rule out bipolar in me as part of the diagnostic testing which eventually revealed the ADHD.), “he’s got it up here (brains) but not in here (heart).”

    And so, I say all this b/c just like ADHD, all of a sudden we have a pandemic of astronomical proportions of autism. When I hear stats in the US ranging from 1 in 88-110 children, I’m going like, wait a minute, how is this possible? That just seems way too many. As some have pointed out, we have new & changing criteria regarding the diagnosis. Why? What is the purpose? I am thinking that many of these people being diagnosed as such have somehow, like moi, managed to survive despite our “challenges.” We just had to buck up. But now it “oh, we need to coddle the little fellers b/c we don’t want to hurt their self-esteem…”
    [ Long meandering graphic sidebar on abortion deleted. -E.M.Smith]
    …well, sorry, I have not taken my meds at all today & looked what happened…i got sidetracked. Chances are this wont take b/c it’s so long. Where was I? Oh yes. CA trying to make their kids look dumber to get more money. And as long as the people continue to grow more dependent on the gov’t, well, the more they will just keep on rolling them out onto the doles until…well, eventually you’ll run out of workers. But then you can just keep printing the money. And the sad thing is, 9 will get you 10 that somewhere among the 56 million + babies that have been slaughtered, you think that there just might have been one among them that might have had the cure for cancer, MS, Lou Gehrig’s…I’m thinking chances are pretty good.

    So, back to the under/over diagnosis of these conditions, if you have concerns, take the time (I’m talking to parents now) to get all the facts, make sure you get the right diagnosis (for instance, is it Autism, ASD, Asperger’s, etc…is it one of 6 types of ADHD, each one with their own idiosyncrasies as well as unique treatments…don’t be giving an amphetamine-type med to #6, the “ring-of-fire” type!), have you paid attention to the diet? I will bet you that there are innumerable kids out there who have been diagnoses w/autism or ADHD or something, and it’s nothing more than food allergies, brought on by our incessant need for processed sugar & flour, etc. There are so many factors involved. Please just don’t be ready to throw a label on your kid, and don’t let a dr or school district or particular teacher (sad to report that there are teachers out there who have no business being teachers but b/c of the seniority system (I know there’s another term for it but I can’t think of it) they are locked in & you can’t take them out…and these teachers will either report bad or report bad about kids they just don’t like. They may want them reported as bad to put them on meds just to try & shut them up…or they may report them as no problems, thus denying that there is a problem when there is, thus reporting bad as well. Thus a child either gets something he doesn’t need, or doesn’t get what he does need.

    And finally there are simply the bad parents, ones who have no business having kids to begin with, and use them for the system benefits, including legal drugs like amphetamines which are supposed to be for their kids but either those kids really don’t need them and have been coached, or they do need them & the drs end up prescribing them lots more than they need, which in turn supports their parents habit. Sorry folks but that the real world out there. A lot of kids out there, gifted kids, drift on to oblivion, b/c the failure of the adults around them to allow them to be just what they are….kids. We’re cramming homosexual grooming down their throats in preschool (oh yes parents, like it or not, it’s a PC public school system out there), before the kids even have a chance to just be…kids. We push them in front of a TV or, now we’ve evolved…a computer. I think half the ADHD kids are due to being planted in front of a 2-dimensional screen w/that instant pop-pop-pop flashing of the camera scenes, and so when they are suddenly put into a 3-dimensional real world in real time, it is either too much stimulation for them to handle, or not enough to keep their attention. ADHD is partially genetic, partially environment. You can have a kid w/the genetics but not the environment, & they will grow normal. You can have a kid w/the environment but no genetics and they will grow normal. But when you get the 2 together, and unfortunately I think we are having too much of the environment these days, it simply is a recipe for disaster.

    Remember when you had to go to school, you got your research assignment, or a choice, you had to do a rough draft on your subject, go to the library, look up the old cards files, which required learning out to think about the dewey decimal system, find your subject & related material, & learn to abstract that info out & rewrite it all into your own words? Hmm, remember that? There was a learning process that developed from that. And to be honest, I don’t think it mattered if you had ADHD or autism or whatever, b/c it was just expected of you, and somehow w/o all this technology we have today, we were the envy of the free world with our education system. [More abortion stuff deleted -E.M.Smith] oh wait…the death panels…by gosh, how efficient you are. You PC people, I gotta hand it to youse guys, you think of everything…the PC schools, PC nurseries, PC churches, PC colleges, PC media, and of course, the PC gov’t. And don’t forget the PC PC…after all, someone has to push the buttons…

    Adios muchachos. Sorry about my ADHD moment here. I truly forgot my meds today & b/c of that I’m wide awake when I need to sleep. Oh well. Sanity is only a temporary disillusionment. have a great day and, by the way, all you PC moms out there…don’t forget to hug your little choices out there…you just might want to treat them nice…after all, they just might be the ones on the death panel that you will sit before as they decide if you’re worth spending those valuable gov’t $ on, when they need to run to Paris along w/500 friends for a birthday party…and when they tell you “let them eat cake” just know that they are simply following in your footsteps of tolerance. Ciao!

    [ Reply: Please keep the graphic stuff out of here. Also, abortion is an inflammatory topic unsuited to this particular thread (or any other I’ve posted) so inflammatory off topic political topics are generally unwelcome in non-politics threads. Take your meds and try to be a bit more PG-13 or I’ll have to put you in the moderation queue and pre-check your stuff. -E.M.Smith ]

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