Now that Autism Speaks has got your attention with its Autism Awareness Month–can’t you just feel the ground swelling with support for more to be done about this growing epidemic?–out comes another study on autism, to go with the recent release of the Centers for Disease Control’s study on its prevalence.
This time, researchers in California found a sixty percent greater probability that an obese/hypertensive or diabetic mother would have an autistic child than would a non-obese/hypertensive or diabetic mother. But here’s the rub–there were only a thousand kids in the study. Even if autism occurs at the CDC’s recently-released rate of one in eighty-eight children, that would mean there should only be about eleven or twelve autistic kids in the study. Plain randomness could explain a sixty percent greater occurrence of an autistic child coming from an obese/diabetic or hypertensive mother amongst a population of eleven or twelve children.
Here’s what one of the study’s authors said about the study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, and reported by Yahoo!:
“It’s hard to say if they’re [autism and maternal obesity/diabetes or hypertension] linked,” said study author Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health sciences at the University of California at Davis. “It might be there’s some environmental factor that contributes both to the obesity epidemic and to the rise in autism cases. Or it could be the increase in obesity is, in fact, contributing to the increase in autism. But it’s certainly not going to account for all of it.”
You really don’t have to think very hard to realize that this study was pointless. It is mathematically impossible to have any confidence that a causative relationship has been established out of such a thinly-correlative and limited data set.
And you needn’t think much harder to realize that autism, or now as its expanded and expansive conjuration describes things, “autism spectrum disorder”, is not at all more prevalent than ever it was. It is instead simply the disease de jour, and since it is diagnosed in childhood, it makes a fantastic money machine for the pediatric disease industry; and since it is now considered to be treatable by intensive therapies, it also makes a fantastic money machine for the special education industry–the only growth industry in preparatory education these days; and since government benefits accrue to the parents of autistic children, particularly social security disability payments, among others…well, you get the idea.
Autism spectrum disorder is yet another fraud being perpetuated on the American public. Decadence and corruption obtain in any society that reaches a certain level of material wealth. The increase in diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (like the disease itself, which is claimed to have no single origin) is the confluence of a bit of each. It is a slothful decadence that prompts parents and educators to wish to treat any imperfect or simply different child as if diseased. And it is societal corruption that not only allows, but actively promotes, the silly idea that all human beings should relate to their environment, and to each other, in the same manner. Only a very rich and very lazy society would fall prey to such thinking.