Tag Archives: autism research

Reading Neurotribes

I just finished reading Neurotribes, and found it impressive, inspiring, and depressing. I should know better than to be depressed by it, because I already knew that the history of progress in understanding the mind is a black pit of shams, scams, and baseless theories. Psychology, as a whole, is the least scientific of the sciences, and it’s unfortunately true that most attempts to quantify it with legitimate standard scientific methods have been doomed to failure.

The human mind is not quantifiable, and it’s the insistence that it is, that has prevented the “experts” from granting any legitimacy to the reports of actual experiences of real people. Of course, autism isn’t the only topic that suffers from the blinkered view of science that devalues mere “anecdotal” evidence. Nevertheless, there are areas of enlightenment, and the light is slowly beginning to shine on autism. It will continue to be a fight, of course, but there is going to come a time when the last six or so decades will be seen as typical of any period when entirely new concepts are trying to make their way through the morass of ignorance and biases.

Women and Autism Over the Life Span

This is a theme I’ll be getting into now and then, but very carefully. The lives of older women on the spectrum have hardly been touched on, so it’s something that’s going to be difficult to do right. I’m skimming over a research study that is a rather sad commentary, since it was conducted recently, with a group of only 14 woman, and limits the age range from 22 to 30. That’s what they consider late diagnosis. And, “To our knowledge, this is the first study to specifically investigate the experiences of late-diagnosed females with ASC…”

One reason I’m not rushing into writing about older women on the spectrum, particularly those who have never been officially diagnosed, is that I want to avoid using my own experiences as the template. If this blog’s readership grows large enough that I can construct some sort of questionnaire, or just ask for personal experiences, I might have enough data to draw useful conclusions. The alternative, not an entirely bad one, would be to theorize broadly.

Ideally, I’d like to work just with women who grew into adulthood and even into old age before the possibility of diagnosis even existed. Most of the women in the study said that their lives would have been easier if they’d been diagnosed earlier. In contrast, I’m mostly glad that I never even heard of autism until I was well into seniorhood. One of the themes I’d like to explore is the pros and cons of diagnosis, at whatever age.

So this is just a little introduction to what will be coming up eventually, I don’t want that single issue to dominate the blog, though. The blog’s central theme is creativity, intellect, and Asperger’s, not gender.

The Experience of Late-diagnosed Women with Autism Spectrum Conditions: An Investigation of the Female Autism Phenotype

Eugenics by Any Other Name –Eliminating Autism

Here’s a series of blog posts by Silent Wave that everyone on the autism spectrum should read. They’re based on her discovery that MIT will be doing research on autism, thanks to a $20m grant. The goal isn’t just to find the causes of autism, but to eliminate it completely. And, I suspect, by any means necessary.

Asperger’s / autism, genetics, & MIT ~ Part 1: Consent?

Asperger’s / autism, genetics, & MIT ~ Part 2: Jurautistic Park (nature likes us!)

Asperger’s / autism, genetics, & MIT ~ Part 3: The Lernaean Hydra

Asperger’s / autism, genetics, & MIT ~ Part 4: A (mistaken) “utopia”

And here’s the press release from MIT. Notice the language being used. And note (from other sources since MIT didn’t think it was that important) that the munificent donors have two grown autistic children of their own. One can only assume that they would have preferred to make sure those two could never have been born.

New Center for Autism Research established at MIT’s McGovern Institute