Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Misconceptions still dominate the understanding of autism

Geneticist gives lukewarm "Autism Talk" with the usual, cookie cutter passively demeaning terms,  on Ted Talks.

I comment on the website and it seems it has been removed.... I still have it saved though....

This was a very disappointing talk... It's amazing how little it is known and how many misconceptions still dominate the understanding of autism, including 
in this TED talk... For example, the incidence is not lower in girls, the behaviors are simply different because the female brain is fairly different than the male brain. A good example: my wife. I compare my wife side by side with my son, who is moderate to severely autistic, and they have exactly the same problems and very similar behaviors. But because of our understanding of a girl's behavior relative to our understanding of boys (what we find socially "normal" for gender roles), my son was diagnosed at 3 and my wife at 25.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/.../Thousands-GIRLS... Chung's speech is just a random compilation of widely distributed data, nothing really interesting, with no insight. Here's some insight from a "savant". "Autism" is characterized by a powerful brain that perceives a lot more than the "neurotypical" and can process information far faster... my brain can perceive a lot of interactions that most "neurotypicals" can't. While my information processing speed is several times faster than that of a "neurotypical" (I can write a whole book in my head in just a few minutes), the number of perceptions is so much higher that it still takes me longer to process all the information. That is the reason why we get overwhelmed easily, while we have sensory sensitivities, executive functioning issues, communications issues, why autism is related to ADHD and so on... You don't have to only take my word for it either... if you also fall for the fallacy of expertise, you can check out this neuroscientist (he has the magical piece of paper) who says the same thing: https://medium.com/.../the-boy-whose-brain-could-unlock... It would be really REALLY helpful if people would actually ASK us about our experiences with autism...

Nelson Guedes


  1. Good article Nelson. I'm afraid I've lost faith in TED talks a bit. Many seem awfully sterile and a bit out of touch. That said, I watched Temple Grandin on TED recently and she was pretty cool. I think part of the problem with autism is it's such a diverse and complex animal that there are so many contradictions and exceptions. Even I don't understand myself at times. Hard to tell sometimes what is the aspie in me and what is just... me. I'm sure you must be sick to death of the Stephen Shore quote ("when you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.") but maybe it needs to be banged out a bit longer for some. Even my GP dismissed me point blank as a candidate for aspergers, because my eye contact is good (herp derp). The sad thing is this GP is a very professional, thorough and conscientious GP with just about every other more common issue I've had... just woefully ignorant when it comes to aspergers/autism. Bit frustrating, but articles are more and more in newspapers and media so hopefully the next generation of healthcare professionals might be a bit more in the know.

  2. excellent feedback Neil. totally agree.