New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

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New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:48 am UTC

JPost wrote:The neuro-cognitive, developmental disease of autism, whose symptoms appear during the first three years of a child’s life, have for years been thought to involve a number of genes, but there was no concrete proof.

Now a team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory ... has for the first time provided functional evidence that inheriting fewer copies of genes on chromosome #16 leads to autism-like features.

...

"Mice with the deletion acted completely differently from normal mice,” said Horev, who is working at Mills’s lab. These mice had a number of behaviors characteristic of autism – hyperactivity, inadequate sleep, difficulty adapting to a new environment and restricted, repetitive behaviors.


This is cool news. Hopefully people will stop pushing bogus cures like "Gluten iz evil lulz!" but since when has science dissuaded crazy people?
Last edited by sourmìlk on Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:12 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Research Indicates that Autism is Genetic

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:09 am UTC

But I thought it was vaccines... What will Jenny McMoron do now?


Also, for future reference, if you ever want me to take a post seriously, do no start it with "research indicates." This is tangently related to having read a student paper that started with "Research indicates Sudan is a country in North-East Africa."

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:16 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote: This is tangently related to having read a student paper that started with "Research indicates Sudan is a country in North-East Africa."

What was the point of that? Also, fix't.
Last edited by sourmìlk on Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:24 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:16 am UTC

other possible gaffs involving 'new research':

'Recent research indicates that your new tattoo is not 'wicked awesome''

'Recent research indicates that Hootie and the Blowfish did not, in fact, rock'

'Recent research completed in my pants indicates your mom is totally banging, dudebro'

Seriously though, this is pretty interesting.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:25 am UTC

God dammit, what do you want me to call the article? I really want to indicate that this isn't a set-in-stone discovery, but that its a conclusion drawn from recent research.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:27 am UTC

Scientist Cure Autism. I can only judge what's going on by assuming it's less awesome than the science journalist headline.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:31 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Scientist Cure Autism. I can only judge what's going on by assuming it's less awesome than the science journalist headline.

Yeah, a bit of hanging around the XKCD fora will do that to you. Unfortunately, I prefer to go for accuracy. Title matches the contents.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:39 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:God dammit, what do you want me to call the article? I really want to indicate that this isn't a set-in-stone discovery, but that its a conclusion drawn from recent research.
Jahoclave wrote:Scientist Cure Autism. I can only judge what's going on by assuming it's less awesome than the science journalist headline.
SCIENCE ANNIHILATES AUTISM WITH DEATH-RAY MADE OUT OF MERCURY-LACED VACCINES AND KITTENS









EDIT: Better!

SCIENCE INJECTS SELF WITH MERCURY-LACED SUPER-VACCINES, GOES ALL HULK AND SHIT, SUPLEXES AUTISM THROUGH A STACK OF BAD JIMMY CARREY MOVIES AND COPIES OF CALLOUS DISREGARD



film at 11

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:59 am UTC

Science recruits Charles Norris / Mr. T / [Insert Badass Here] to roundhouse-kick / pity / [Insert Badass Action Here] autism out of existence.

I think I win.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:00 am UTC

Sorry, not nearly enough pop culture references.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Djehutynakht » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:04 am UTC

Hm...

This is good to know. I can now correct a certain someone or two... However it does raise some problems for me. While Autism may in fact be genetic, I've had a policy of little-leniency for the autistic in my own family behaviorally in that while I recognize this means certain predispositions to certain types of behavior, giving out a free pass based on "oh, they can't help it" is usually counterproductive (to a point. One can only expect so much).

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:06 am UTC

Come on, now I have to compile it out of memes?

I have one for the other post about the aids vaccine: Yo dawg, we heard you dislike AIDS, so we put HIV in your HIV so can get cured while you get infected.

Djehutynakht wrote:While Autism may in fact be genetic, I've had a policy of little-leniency for the autistic in my own family behaviorally in that while I recognize this means certain predispositions to certain types of behavior, giving out a free pass based on "oh, they can't help it" is usually counterproductive (to a point. One can only expect so much).

So, I can't really speak for people who are severely autistic, but for us high-functioning autistics (i.e. people with Asperger's), don't make any excuses for us. We're perfectly capable of behaving properly, we just have trouble with it, and thus deserve no sympathy if we fail.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby buddy431 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:22 am UTC

In 2007, CSHL Prof. Michael Wigler revealed that some children with autism have a small deletion on chromosome 16, affecting 27 genes in a region of our genomes referred to as 16p11.2


It's cool, but we already knew that certain gene defects were correlated with autism. And not all people diagnosed with autism have this gene defect. This study was basically just showing that giving the same defect to mice gave them "autism like behavior", which certainly helps corroborate the idea that this specific genetic defect is associated with autism, but doesn't really prove that [all] autism is [completely] genetic.

Autism is a diagnosis given to a diverse range of conditions, so it's pretty likely that there are a variety of causes. Many are certainly genetic, but I don't think it's prudent to rule out any environmental causes yet.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Diadem » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:54 am UTC

Famous false dichotomies: Genetic vs. Environmental.

Just because certain genes can be linked to certain conditions doesn't mean environmental factors don't also play a role. There's a complex and subtle interaction between the two, so that for most genes what effect they will have is far from set in stone.
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Re: Research Indicates that Autism is Genetic

Postby Arancaytar » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:57 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:This is tangently related to having read a student paper that started with "Research indicates Sudan is a country in North-East Africa."


Research indicates that prefacing random sentences this way will become my new hobby.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby teacupthesauceror » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Famous false dichotomies: Genetic vs. Environmental.

Just because certain genes can be linked to certain conditions doesn't mean environmental factors don't also play a role. There's a complex and subtle interaction between the two, so that for most genes what effect they will have is far from set in stone.


In fact, because Autistic Spectrum Disorder is diagnosed and categorised based on function, you may have the genes (assuming it is possible to pinpoint them) and mild versions of the symptoms without ever being (or needing to be) diagnosed. Also, as it is such a broad disorder, there are likely to be a number of genes, of which different combinations either just make you severely autistic, or increase the risk of autistic behaviours developing if certain environmental conditions are met.

The trouble is, with mental disorders such as autism, there is no clear mechanism. So unlike with cystic fybrosis, where they could pinpoint the gene that made the enzyme to make mucus easier to shift, here there's a host of things it could be, and the possibility that ASD actually encompasses a range of disorders with different causes, and so many other complications. I'd be less skeptical about this than the "gay gene" they purport to have found every few years or so, but it's unlikely we'll be able to screen embryos for autism any time soon.

I just hope they can understand it better before I have kids...

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Telchar » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:JIMMY CARREY


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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Wodashin » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:50 am UTC

Didn't you hear? Vaccinations definitely give you autism and retardation. Michelle Bachmann told me that, and she's a genius.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:09 am UTC

I find it interesting that Bachmann is so consistently wrong about even very basic facts. Seriously, if she said something like "Gravity decreases with the square of the distance" it would, in my mind, immediately invalidate anything Newton or Einstein said.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Bearboy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:50 am UTC

Ah great, another bit of evidence my friends can use to call me "socially retarded" (My brother is Autistic and my mates regularly say I am aswell, despite not knowing anything about the disorder/syndrome)

Also I keep hearing "Austistic people are geniuses thrown about", any actual evidence behind it? My brother is above average in mathamatics and science and is studying Engineering atm and quite a few of my friends and teachers like to use him as proof for this statment. Regardless I'm not diagnosed and have higher marks in maths, science as well as english and history yet he is the genius apparently...

P.S If it sounds like I'm in any way pissed at my brother it's because I truly am pissed at him. He's twice my size and takes brothers fighting to a whole new level.

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Re: Research Indicates that Autism is Genetic

Postby folkhero » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:06 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:But I thought it was vaccines... What will Jenny McMoron do now?

Ignore any evidence that doesn't confirm to what she already believes and shout all the louder. I think we can all agree on this prediction.
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Re: Research Indicates that Autism is Genetic

Postby Vieto » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:But I thought it was vaccines... What will Jenny McMoron do now?

Ignore any evidence that doesn't confirm to what she already believes and shout all the louder. I think we can all agree on this prediction.

Maybe even start a new political system... McCarthyism...

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby kazvorpal » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:19 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:This is cool news. Hopefully people will stop pushing bogus cures like "Gluten iz evil lulz!" but since when has science dissuaded crazy people?


First, is the ridiculous gluten myth related to the mercury-laden immunizations causing autism thing? I thought the former was just millions of sheeple folk-diagnosing their children with an ultra-rare protein intolerance.

Second, the premise of the latter is that children have a genetic tendency toward autism, that the mercury is triggering. So no, it's pretty much irrelevant, or even supports the argument.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Cleverbeans » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:43 am UTC

Bearboy wrote:Also I keep hearing "Austistic people are geniuses thrown about", any actual evidence behind it? My brother is above average in mathamatics and science and is studying Engineering atm and quite a few of my friends and teachers like to use him as proof for this statment. Regardless I'm not diagnosed and have higher marks in maths, science as well as english and history yet he is the genius apparently...


One autistic man I spent some time with couldn't speak, and certainly couldn't read or write. He once was so frustrated with a change in his breakfast routine that he didn't have a bowel movement for a couple of weeks and it required major surgery. For many Autism is a very serious disability preventing full-time care for life, so certainly not everyone is a savant.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:40 am UTC

There are some very talented autistic people and there are some very low-functioning autistic people. It's a broad spectrum of similar developmental disorders, so it's very hard to say anything resembling "all autistic people are X."

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Diadem » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

Indeed. You can't even say that all autists have poor social skills, or exhibit restricted behavior, which are the two defining characteristics wikipedia (I'm too lazy to look up the DSM right now) gives. It's a very broad and diffuse disorder.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Technical Ben » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:11 pm UTC

I use the example of physical disabilities when explaining it to others. Some people can manage a run, some a walk, others may not even be able to stand. They could all have the same physical condition or cause for the illness. However, the degree of effect is different for each person. So it's best not to judge others, especially with mental of development type illnesses, on their ability by the name of the condition alone.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:05 pm UTC

kazvorpal wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:This is cool news. Hopefully people will stop pushing bogus cures like "Gluten iz evil lulz!" but since when has science dissuaded crazy people?


First, is the ridiculous gluten myth related to the mercury-laden immunizations causing autism thing?

No, although I think it's largely the same crowd. And even if not, it's another unscientific assumption about the cause of autism.
I thought the former was just millions of sheeple folk-diagnosing their children with an ultra-rare protein intolerance.

There's that, but people have also attributed Autism to gluten for no obvious reason.

Second, the premise of the latter is that children have a genetic tendency toward autism, that the mercury is triggering. So no, it's pretty much irrelevant, or even supports the argument.

Aside from the fact that there's no evidence that mercury causes autism, even if it did cause autism, eating a tuna sandwich would be more dangerous than getting vaccinated, and you don't hear people going on about tuna. Seriously, a tuna sandwich has 9 times more mercury than a 90s vaccine regimen, and since then almost all the mercury has been taken out of vaccines.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:52 pm UTC

Personally, I'm willing to look at least a little more kindly on the people who recommend giving a gluten-free diet a try versus the anti-vax crowd. I mean, so long as you're willing to honestly assess and accept the results of said gluten-free diet, and don't try it to the exclusion of other treatments, it shouldn't actually *hurt*. That's not to say that I've seen any reason to believe a causal link there. But in cases like with my sister, where she tried my nephew on a gluten-free diet, saw it wasn't doing a durned thing for him, and moved on? No harm, no foul. If nothing else, there was always the possibility that he had an incidental gluten intolerance.

And for what it's worth, there was a time at least (I haven't talked to her recently about it) where she worried that the number of tuna fish sandwiches she ate while pregnant contributed to his autism. We have a history of ASDs in both my family and my brother-in-laws though, so we've long been pretty convinced that there was a genetic component. (Even though we all have strong enough scientific backgrounds to know the dangers of reading too much into limited data.)

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Technical Ben » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:00 pm UTC

There are (or were) worrying amounts of poisonous chemicals in circulation that no one even thinks about (see cars and power stations). Why pick on a single minor dose? Still, being told your "medicine" has a "poison" in it must be confusing.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:15 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:ersonally, I'm willing to look at least a little more kindly on the people who recommend giving a gluten-free diet a try versus the anti-vax crowd.

I think it's a dangerous road to go down, because as I understand it, these bullshit therapy approaches (hyperbaric oxygen chambers, holding your kid over the eternal flames of Valhalla, letting your kid sleep odd hours under a horn filled with the blood of a slaughtered ox, etc) may not themselves be as harmful as refusing vaccinations on equally bullshit grounds, but that they are often used as a substitute, not a supplement to, actual proven medical therapies.

These kids need help, these parents need help. Filling parents with false hope and peddling snake oil is only going to result in some kids who aren't getting proper medical and psychological treatment/attention from trained professionals. I don't have a problem with trying to figure out something unique to work for you, because hey, a lot of this stuff IS a giant black box, but there's a dangerous trend that Wakefield helped start/fuel with this assumption that any idiot who reads Wikipedia is as qualified as a doctor.

So yeah, cool, they found a genetic contributor to autism like behavior in mice. I think it's neat, insofar as it provides earlier detection, but lets be honest, the idiots who think that their unique treatments and vaccine links are legit aren't going to be swayed by this, and ultimately, the only people who are really harmed by refusing to recognize the science behind these disorders are the children whose parents are less equipped to provide them with the best care possible.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Feddlefew » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:19 pm UTC

Erm... Hold on, I think the Bad Science guy had a good blog post on how this shitstorm (people believing vaccines causing autism) began... And I think it is this one.

In summery: Go read it. All of it. I can't do it justice.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I think it's a dangerous road to go down, because as I understand it, these bullshit therapy approaches (hyperbaric oxygen chambers, holding your kid over the eternal flames of Valhalla, letting your kid sleep odd hours under a horn filled with the blood of a slaughtered ox, etc) may not themselves be as harmful as refusing vaccinations on equally bullshit grounds, but that they are often used as a substitute, not a supplement to, actual proven medical therapies.

These kids need help, these parents need help. Filling parents with false hope and peddling snake oil is only going to result in some kids who aren't getting proper medical and psychological treatment/attention from trained professionals. I don't have a problem with trying to figure out something unique to work for you, because hey, a lot of this stuff IS a giant black box, but there's a dangerous trend that Wakefield helped start/fuel with this assumption that any idiot who reads Wikipedia is as qualified as a doctor.

Well, yeah. Hence the bit in my post about honestly accepting the results and not trying it to the exclusion of other treatments. I'm right there with you on the dangers of using something like this as a substitute to actual medical therapies. Believe you me, I fully understand how much kids with autism and their parents need real help by actual professionals.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby kazvorpal » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:39 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:These kids need help, these parents need help. Filling parents with false hope and peddling snake oil is only going to result in some kids who aren't getting proper medical and psychological treatment/attention from trained professionals. I don't have a problem with trying to figure out something unique to work for you, because hey, a lot of this stuff IS a giant black box, but there's a dangerous trend that Wakefield helped start/fuel with this assumption that any idiot who reads Wikipedia is as qualified as a doctor.

What makes you think they need help?

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Feddlefew » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:52 am UTC

kazvorpal wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:These kids need help, these parents need help. Filling parents with false hope and peddling snake oil is only going to result in some kids who aren't getting proper medical and psychological treatment/attention from trained professionals. I don't have a problem with trying to figure out something unique to work for you, because hey, a lot of this stuff IS a giant black box, but there's a dangerous trend that Wakefield helped start/fuel with this assumption that any idiot who reads Wikipedia is as qualified as a doctor.

What makes you think they need help?

..... Because it's difficult enough to find accurate information on diseases as it is, and ASD tends to attract a lot of con artists and ignorant crusaders who make finding good treatments (Therapy and social skills lessons, mainly) extremely difficult for the average American? Because humans, you know, help each other get through difficult times? Because Izawwlgood is a decent person who has the ability to empathize with others?
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby kazvorpal » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:56 am UTC

Feddlefew wrote:
kazvorpal wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:These kids need help, these parents need help. Filling parents with false hope and peddling snake oil is only going to result in some kids who aren't getting proper medical and psychological treatment/attention from trained professionals. I don't have a problem with trying to figure out something unique to work for you, because hey, a lot of this stuff IS a giant black box, but there's a dangerous trend that Wakefield helped start/fuel with this assumption that any idiot who reads Wikipedia is as qualified as a doctor.

What makes you think they need help?

..... Because it's difficult enough to find accurate information on diseases as it is, and ASD tends to attract a lot of con artists and ignorant crusaders who make finding good treatments (Therapy and social skills lessons, mainly) extremely difficult for the average American? Because humans, you know, help each other get through difficult times? Because Izawwlgood is a decent person who has the ability to empathize with others?


Wait, there is an actual sensitivity to gluten, that impacts less than one percent of the population.

As far as I've known, the whole gluten fear thing is just people stupidly assuming their own kids have that rare problem, which causes behavioral changes.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:00 am UTC

kaz, what exactly are you contesting here? That people with autism spectrum disorders don't need any help, or that gluten free diets are an unreasonable treatment to alleviate those with ASDs?

Because if the former, you trollin' hard bro.
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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Feddlefew » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:01 am UTC

kazvorpal wrote:
Feddlefew wrote:
kazvorpal wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:These kids need help, these parents need help. Filling parents with false hope and peddling snake oil is only going to result in some kids who aren't getting proper medical and psychological treatment/attention from trained professionals. I don't have a problem with trying to figure out something unique to work for you, because hey, a lot of this stuff IS a giant black box, but there's a dangerous trend that Wakefield helped start/fuel with this assumption that any idiot who reads Wikipedia is as qualified as a doctor.

What makes you think they need help?

..... Because it's difficult enough to find accurate information on diseases as it is, and ASD tends to attract a lot of con artists and ignorant crusaders who make finding good treatments (Therapy and social skills lessons, mainly) extremely difficult for the average American? Because humans, you know, help each other get through difficult times? Because Izawwlgood is a decent person who has the ability to empathize with others?


Wait, there is an actual sensitivity to gluten, that impacts less than one percent of the population.

As far as I've known, the whole gluten fear thing is just people stupidly assuming their own kids have that rare problem, which causes behavioral changes.


I- where the fuck did you get the idea the Izawwlgood was- The fuck? Seriously? I was under the impression (s)he was referring to the parents of autistic kids not being able to sort the good information from the bad.
My spelling is abysmal. Just saying.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby kazvorpal » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:04 am UTC

Feddlefew wrote:I- where the fuck did you get the idea the Izawwlgood was- The fuck? Seriously? I was under the impression (s)he was referring to the parents of autistic kids not being able to sort the good information from the bad.

She seemed to be saying that the other guy, who found the gluten silliness less bad than the distrust of injected mercury, was wrong.

Therefore that it's the people with undisciplined kids, who blame it on gluten instead of being healthily troublesome boys, who need help for themselves and their children.

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Re: New Research: Autism is likely Genetic

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:12 am UTC

kazvorpal wrote:
Feddlefew wrote:I- where the fuck did you get the idea the Izawwlgood was- The fuck? Seriously? I was under the impression (s)he was referring to the parents of autistic kids not being able to sort the good information from the bad.

She seemed to be saying that the other guy, who found the gluten silliness less bad than the distrust of injected mercury, was wrong.

Therefore that it's the people with undisciplined kids, who blame it on gluten instead of being healthily troublesome boys, who need help for themselves and their children.

You need to read my post more carefully. And also pose your uncertainty more clearly: Are you suggesting that undisciplined children are being mistaken for ASDs? That's news to me.
But no, my post to that other guy was saying that a gluten-free diet, as a cure for autism, is certainly less bad than not vaccinating your children, but is ultimately also a dangerous road to go down when it is used in the place of actual therapies and help for ASD children.
I'm still wondering what you mean by this:
kazvorpal wrote:What makes you think they need help?

Are you specifically referring to parents of ASD children, children with ASD, or both?

Also, I'm a guy.
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