In case you were not aware of autism, there’s autism out there

In case you may have missed it, there are autistics out there, and autism organizations want you to be aware of it this April. But only April, okay? The rest of the year, ignore the needs of those with autism who require special accommodations and assistance to live meaningful lives. Heck, if you believe some so-called “pro-autism” groups, you can even relieve yourself of that “burden” of a child and kill them and be held totally innocent by them. (Thankfully, not by the law.)

Okay, maybe I’m being too cynical. The intent of an autism awareness month is good because you always want to bring to the attention of the country/world something that afflicts between 1% and 3% of the population. (Contrary to the shrieks of horror at the “1 in 68” statistic, that number is a prevalence number, and prevalence is not indicative of an outbreak situation.) As I see it, the thing about autism and an autism awareness month, is that the subject has gotten too political, too nasty. Just the other day, I told you about anti-vaccine activists and their followers celebrating a mock story about Dr. Paul Offit being sick.Ā I don’t know about you, but people who have “porno fantasies” of Dr. Offit being injured in any way really don’t have much of a moral leg to stand on when they demand for autism to be investigated:

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

You do not want the anti-vaccine, anti-science crowd to be the ones to promote an autism awareness anything, not even a special at Chili’s.

Instead of this whole “awareness month” thing, why not make it a point to be “aware” of the social and biological problems of autistics (and those with other neurologic conditions) year-round? Why have a whole month punctuated by constant infighting between autism organizations, fighting between pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine groups, and pompous declarations from elected officials? What does that help? Has any of that brought relief to the families of autistics with manifestations of their autism so severe so as to require special care and assistance? If it has, I’d like to see the citation, please.

I’m not much of a public policy guy, though I’ve been told that I need to be if I plan on moving up in the world. You don’t see a lot of epidemiologists be in front of cameras and such when it comes to policy, but we are in the background. We’re always advising people with more charisma and better faces for television and voices for radio than us. Just the other day, one of my friends got to go and brief a US Senator on BPA toxicity from water bottles. Another friend is going to her state congress in a few weeks to talk about vaccine exemptions. Both of them epidemiologists, but neither of them making a lot of hay about it. (Public Health Week is coming, by the way.)

Anyway, instead of this autism awareness month thing, I propose autism awareness year-round. I propose that we each find a reputable, reasonable organization that helps children and adults with neurological conditions live meaningful, productive lives, and that we volunteer our time with them. For that one or two hours a week or a month, let that time be our own “autism awareness” time. I bet we can do way more than we can by putting on a tee shirt or going to a restaurant to eat crappy food… Or lighting up our house blue. (What’s all that about?)


14 thoughts on “In case you were not aware of autism, there’s autism out there

  1. You are such sick fucks to believe that pharma OR our gov has the people’s ‘best interests’ in mind when it comes to vaccines.

    I’m GLAD you are getting these crap shots. So glad Darwin will prove the anti-vaxxers RIGHT when you get sicker than you ever would have from your false protection.

    • Believes in Darwin’s theory of evolution but doesn’t believe in the science behind vaccines. Why, I think we have an early candidate for ironic comment of the year on this blog.

      • I believe you are right Reuben. Will there be an awards ceremony? I’d like to meet “Sucks”…I’m so impressed with his fact-free rant and his command of the English language.

        • One ponders that poster’s control of emotion and ponders if the control of emotion, control of the usage of language in a polite conversation and the control of bladder are equally poorly controlled.
          One also ponders how that poster managed to see what was being typed through all of the projected foam and spittle.

          But, such is the projected wrath of the mentally imbalanced person, who swears that the government is out to get the populace.
          Because, it’s *so* good for the government to lose population and hence, tax dollars.
          If anything, it is telling of the shambles that is our mental health care system.

    • Prior to the first measles vaccines in 1963, almost every American child had measles before age fifteen. In recent measles outbreaks almost 20% required expensive hospital care.

      Now please provide the financial data showing that letting every child in the USA to get measles, with about one in five needing hospital care, is cheaper than proving two MMR vaccine doses. I expect a citation from a reputable qualified researcher as detailed as An economic analysis of the current universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccination program in the United States.

      Do get on to that, I hope to see an answer by tomorrow morning. Or an apology for the use of insults in lieu of data and evidence.

    • Your compassion and charm shines through your every word. You must be a delight to all that know you, and a source of pride to your parents. No one could read your words without being led by their beauty to take them precisely as seriously as they ought be taken.

      • That’s one quite similar to my good mood dismissal reply to such people.
        My grouchy because the ibuprofen hasn’t relieved my joint pain in the morning response is, “Is that the same mouth that you french kiss your mother with?”
        For some reason, the latter one tends to get negative responses from the original, low vocabulary individual.

  2. Update from Chili’s Restaurant’s FB page. The fundraiser is cancelled. šŸ™‚

    • Well, Chili’s bowed to the overwhelming majority of sane and rational adults who trust science over pseudoscience and quackery.
      Good for them! I’ll still not eat there, as I really don’t like their food very much and far prefer my or my wife’s cooking, but at least I respect them for admitting an error in judgement and correcting for it.

      • This is great news for the autistic community (which doesn’t deserve to be associated with antivax propaganda), and of course for society as a whole. It’s nice to see activism by actual autistic people and their allies have such a prompt and thorough success. I should write Chilis a thank you note.

  3. I dunno…large swaths of the autistic community are pretty fed up in general with “awareness.” If it were real awareness of the challenges of being autistic, that would be one thing, but it’s usually not. We’re attempting to turn April around into Autism Acceptance Month…which in my not so humble opinion, should indeed be continued year-round.

    Because acceptance, by necessity, entails *really* understanding why being autistic should be an accepted aspect of the human condition, and autistic people fully included and our autonomy supported in all aspects of life.

  4. Gee Reuben, I didn’t know that you were following that never-ending blog and the nonsense posted by Lisa and Mr. Stone. Lisa just posted a comment about the supposed 36 infant deaths due to a vaccine, making the outrageous claim that “mainstream media” and the CDC has avoided publicizing those deaths. She lifted that claim from or any of the other crank websites which are her sole source of information about vaccines.

    Dorit Reiss actually replied to Lisa and I commented that her post “is not worthy of a reply”.

    You’re correct about the Chili’s restaurants campaign to raise money for an anti-vaccine, anti-science group. It has turned into a public relations disaster for them. Let’s hope that their PR staff has learned the lesson to look into the mission and the activities of any charity, before they commit to a fundraising campaign.

    • One ponders what kind of PR disaster it would be if many more parents ceased vaccinating their children and the support of Chili’s became known as their reason for stopping vaccination, which then paved the path for a vaccine preventable epidemic and its associated death toll.

      Likely? No, the only ones could potentially prove a link would be epidemiologists, who are too busy to look and report on such nonsense during an epidemic.
      The epidemiologists would then end up in civil court, both to testify as to their findings and in litigation against them for “defaming” the poor innocent company. Likely resulting in further spread of communicable disease.

      But, I recall another thing that peeves me.
      We get an entire month of autism awareness, we military veterans get a single day. Those who died defending this nation get a single day of drunkenness, assorted other groups also get a month.
      Which brings up another epidemic that is ignored. On every damnable holiday one can think of, there is a massive upswell in deaths. Preventable deaths, many of them children. For, this nation uses every holiday under the son as an excuse to imbibe excessively of alcohol, resulting in motor vehicle crashes that claim lives.
      Many more lives of children than the wildest dream claim of an antivax maniac in their most foaming at the mouth fantasy.
      Pity that they can’t turn their attention to that major problem.

      Then again, best that they not do so. Their antics would only spur greater abuse of alcohol, as people attempt to escape the disgust for their antics via overindulgence in ethanol.
      In short, a treatment far worse than the disease. šŸ˜‰

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