“Not A disease. Not a defect. Not a deficit. Different.” Thanks to our Anne Dachel for calling out this dingbat in Florida, a shrink named Morrier who sure isn’t a worrier when it comes to autism. He seems to have no experience with or understanding of the PLIGHT of people with autism, and their families. Not a deficit? To be unable to speak? Care for yourself? Protect yourself? Autism itself is a word – a useless word. Some of the characteristics are indeed deficits. Take the word AUTISM and tell the shrinks they can have it, love it, wrap it in 24K gold tissue paper, and continue to make their FORTUNE prescribing seriously dangerous drugs for it. I know a local Mom who has worked so darn hard for her son – and yet his rages just keep escalating and he is a HUGE young man. The psych answer? THORAZINE. THOR A ZINE. Dr. Morrier, step aside, you are an impediment. Rant over. With apologies to Alfred E. Neuman from MAD Magazine.
By Anne Dachel
I recently found a pointless piece about autism in the Fort Myers Florida Weekly. The title was a misnomer, Understanding Autism.
By the end, the reader doesn’t really understand what autism is. The real message is: There’s nothing wrong with being autistic, get used to it.
It featured Michael Morrier, a psychiatrist at Emory University in Atlanta and Diane Adreon, who has a doctorate in special education and works at Miami-Nova Southeastern University.
This is a perfect example of autism busy work: AUTISM IS STILL A MYSTERY, BUT NO ONE IS WORRIED. Educated people are looking into autism.
We were told that autism is like being left-handed, just a difference, not a defect/deficit,
Reporter Mary Wozniak had no really challenging questions for Dr. Morrier
In short, Morrier dismissed autism as a crisis. He was still unsure if more kids really have autism. He gave us the history of autism back to the refrigerator mom theory of Bruno Bettelheim.
Morrier was not asked about regressive autism where healthy, normally developing children suddenly lose learned skills and sink into autism.
Morrier talked about a “genetic predisposition” and “some kind of environmental trigger,” but failed to cite even one of the possible triggers.
Morrier was “absolutely” sure there are just as many adults with autism out there; they’re just misdiagnosed.
Finally Morrier sang the praises of the neurodiversity movement and how we all just need to “work together to better the world for all of us.”
This piece hardly addressed the reality of autism. Nothing was said about what it’s like to care for the nonverbal young adult son wearing a helmet, still in diapers and a physical danger to himself and others.
A really competent reporter would have asked Morrier where all this undiagnosed/misdiagnosed autistic adults are and why hasn’t he used his position to find a comparable rate among adults. (And I don’t mean finding people who’d rather stay home on Friday night and read a book instead of going to a party.)
Morrier should have been asked why so many autistic kids have serious gut issues and other co-existing medical conditions.
A really informed reporter would ask why the better diagnosing never seems to end. Just when we see the rate level off?
Wozniak should have asked Morrier to explain the rate of one in every 14 students /one in every 8 boys in schools in New Jersey with autism.
The last twenty years of watching how the media and the medical community talk about autism has taught me this will never change.
And when autism finally bankrupts schools and social services, I can guarantee that all the Dr. Morriers and Ms Wozniaks out there will still be undisturbed, scratching their heads over the mystery of autism.
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- Dr. Scott Jensen’s Run for Governor of Minnesota