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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team
AmyNelson

Anyone else seen this? Outraged!

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darky   

oh daily mail, why dont that surprise me *rolls eyes* say no more!! i wish these people would learn to keep their gobs shut. imagine the outcry if someone was to report on partialy blind people being able to see and putting it on in order to claim dla grrrrrrrr why cant they just leave us alone?? because it makes money thats why. these people are ruled by their wallets and not their concience.

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lotty   

I have emailed them, she needs to spend a week with a family to see what its about, I cant figure how they can publish an article on a womans made up opinions.is she a doctor?

Edited by lotty

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clintess   

However, although some may be autistic, I doubt that most are really ill. Some may just be clever and bookish while others are simply suffering from a peculiarly modern kind of neglect and adapting their behaviour to cope.

 

There are no perfect parents. But it must surely be the worst kind of damage to label your child with an ?ism? when there is nothing wrong except that you?ve not done a great job at child rearing. With effort, you can often remedy your own failings, but once you place your child in the hands of the ?ism? authorities, who knows where they may end up? For the sake of all our children, let?s treat these ?shock, horror? autism statistics with extreme care.

 

 

 

if that was the case,then why are 3 of my 5 children fine and the other two being adhd,asd.they are all being brought up the same.

it took my ds1 to be dx after he was five(so three yrs) and with my ds2 he has taken for a dx five years. dla i faught for nearly a year with being turned down twice and with the support of the autistic trust at the appeal finally won,not to mention all the paperwork that was involved and resulting in the dla saying sorry for putting us through it all.all i can say is another unqualified no gooder.

Edited by clintess

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hollie   

what i've learnt is how clueless people not directly affected by asd are about the disability.There seem to be a lot of ignorance out there about autism. This woman clearly has very little knowledge about autism, the impact it has on families.

i would give up everyything to have an NT child, to have a day when dd does not scream, attack brothers and the usual daily mayhem.

would have expected better from the' times'.

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Having just read the part of the article someone linked to, regarding mentally handicapped people making the clearly totally non enlightened Ms Grant I think this is another prize comment displaying her ignorance

 

"Three days before my oldest daughter, now 14, was born, my cousin and his wife also had a baby, Mary. For no apparent reason Mary was born with Down's syndrome."

 

This woman needs to STOP writing about things she clearly has NO IDEA about! :angry:

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Suze   

How do such ignorant people achieve to the point where their voice and opinions are heard and discussed.It is a sad fact that the wise are rarely heard,this article does,not in the least bit surprise me. I,ve met many ignorant ,narrow minded people, with no knowledge or experience of autism who profess to know all about the condition, diagnosis, and behaviour..........my sons been called a nutter, spastic, f*cker, weirdo by his"NT"........peer group..........he,s been spat at, had stones thrown at him.......the real joke here is it,s not the autistic who is the problem it,s the "ignorant" NT population..........fronted by ar*eholes like this journalist :angry:

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Flora   

Suze you're so right. I've been trying to compose a response to send to her but it's impossible not to sound like a ranting lunatic so I'll have to wait until I've got enough time to word better. I'd really like her to be sitting in front of me. I'm tempted to issue her with an invitation to my house so she can see that a)my boys are lovely B) that I'm a good mother c) that their problems are very very real and d) so I can show her the error of her ways :devil:

 

It is so obvious that she's sat there coming up to her dead line for submission of something they can print and wrote this off the top of her very smug narrow minded head. She has clearly not researched it and wrote it in a fit of smug complascency while her NT children are tucked up in bed.

 

We should bring back the stocks for folk like that. She's too dangerous and devestatingly ingnorant to be allowed a platform from which to preach her vile drivvel.

 

The ignorant b**ch

 

Lauren

Edited by Lauren

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Just wondering if any of those whom emailled the paper or the cow herself, ever got a reply??

Probably not! :rolleyes:

Edited by Tylers-mum

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I have had no reply yet. I am hoping its because they have been overwhelmed by complaints and they are planning an apology.

 

Also waiting to hear back from the NAS to see if they can make a comment on it.

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oracle   

I have had an auto response but so far that's it. Not so quick to print the other side of the coin are they :(

 

Oracle

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LizK   
Amongst other bits, I wrote that while there may be people that want a diagnosis of Autism as an excuse for their child's behaviour and their own financial gain. For those of us with a genuine diagnosis the article is an insult to both us and our children and has tarred us with the same brush

 

Too right. Am completely gobsmacked by that article :angry: . What gives her the right to say that? What is the point of it even apart from being hurtful and displaying woeful ignorance. What evidence does she base these supposed facts on apart from her bigoted illinformed views. What a waste of ink

 

There may be some parents out there falsely claiming their child has ASD or ADHD but I'm sure they are in the majority. Her paragraph "However, although some may be autistic, I doubt that most are really ill. Some may just be clever and bookish while others are simply suffering from a peculiarly modern kind of neglect and adapting their behaviour to cope".was particularly insulting and ignorant

 

Lx

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loulou   

Hi,

 

I've just read the article and i am outraged :angry: . I can't believe journalists are allowed to print material that is not research based or proven. I would not expect the Times to print such trash.

 

My only hope is that most people who read the Times have enough brain cells not to be influenced by this nonsense.

 

Loulou x

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Have not had a reply to my email to the editor, was there an email address directly to this excuse for a journalist herself? as I would love to help educate her

 

Have just sent my email again to the editor TWICE more!

Edited by PinkSapphireAngel

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pingu   

:angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry:

 

Words cannot describe how angry i am HOW DARE SHE ? :angry::angry::angry:

 

utterly Speechless

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Flora   

I've sumitted my letter to the editor. Wonder how may he's had in relation to this article??

 

Lauren

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supersec   

are you sure we cant use rude words on this forum?

 

Oh well just as well really.

 

People like that need to live with a family with a child/children with AS/ASD. What gives her the right to accuse us of being bad parents...we spend all our time trying to do what is right for our kids and then you get some stupid woman, whose children I am sure are little angels !?!?!, telling us what we do right or wrong.

 

no wonder we have so many problems with people reading c**p like that.

 

Supersec

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mandyque   

I think what I am thinking and feeling has already been expressed in many ways on this thread.

 

How DARE she :angry: Maybe we should invite her into an NAS accredited school, see how uncomfortable she feels then :wallbash:

Edited by mandyque

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Kathwa   

Maybe I'm distancing myself too much from this, but one of my first thoughts was "Rita Skeeter". Very tabloid. Very insulting. Twisting the truth. The earlier article about obese children confirms this. She either has no idea at all about the problems parents/children face with either ASD or obesity, or she is ignoring the truth just for a good scoop. She is not worthy to write for the Times. She needs sacking. Trouble is, people like her pop up elsewhere. Too much creative writing. I hope the readers of the Times are not too much inclined to believe what they see in the press, but are more discerning.

 

I would like to see her trying to get my son to do his homework (especially when it involves a lot of writing), and to persuade my daughter to get changed for dancing. Let her try to cope with my son when he's forgotten to take his medication, and can't settle, and paces up and down!

 

Kathwa

 

1x age 11 ASD, ADHD; 1x age 8.75 dyspraxia, ASD.

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annie   

I haven't heard from The Times, but I've this reply from the NAS today.

 

Many parents have contacted the National Autistic Society about the article that appeared in the Times last week. It was entirely unhelpful and very upsetting for many families who are dealing with autism on a daily basis in their homes. Just like many negative portrayals of people with ASD that appear in the press, the NAS is very active in making sure that both sides of the story are presented.

 

The press team in Scotland have been considering the response and have a letter from the Chief Executive, Vernon Beauchamp, that has been sent to The Times in response to the article. We are hoping that it will be published this week, however there is no guarantee that this will happen as it is at the discretion of the paper itself. However, I believe that Vernon's response may be appearing on our website. Please check www.autism.org.uk to see if it gets posted in the near future.

 

I am sorry I could be not of any more direct help, however hopefully you should see a response printed this weekend in the upcoming Times.

 

 

PS Hi Kathaw,

 

Welcome to the forum :)

 

Annie

xx

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Katie Grant - mother of an autistic child, proponent of ABA as the only effective therapy, involved with the ABA school in guildford (possibly)

 

found another article by her, also refering to autistic children as ill, begging cherie Blair to promote the MMR to debunk public fears

Zemanski

 

 

A different Katie Grant perhaps? This one is a regular 'Opinion' writer in the ST Scotland edition. Not surprising that it's the ST.

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allure   
I an't a violent person but heck, just reading that made my blood boil and I wished I knew what she looked like b/c I'd go over there and kick her butt til she's too friggin sore to sit down and type these pathetic, stupid and rediculous articles out!

:angry::wallbash::angry::wallbash::angry::wallbash::angry::wallbash:

 

To those who have emailled her, let us know what the response is. If I emailled her, it would be full of things that are unprintable! :angry:

 

 

I've emailed the times about this. I'm outraged that they would even allow her to post such slanderous stuff!!

this is what i've mailed them:

 

I was appauled to read the report by Katie Grant on Sunday. For her to suggest that "a good deal" of kids that are labeled with autism just have issues at home such as neglect or bad child rearing, is outrageous!! My son is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which is a high functioning level on the Autistic scale. The pain and challenges that parents of autistic children go through is enough, without someone who has no clue what it's like to deal with this, day in and out, jumping in and stating that our child's behavious is in some way the fault of the parent! Perhaps she should spend a day walking in the shoes of a parent with an autistic child, and then see if she can make the same claims! It is the utter ignorance of people like her why our autistic children are so misunderstood and labeled in the world today!

 

Melissa

Nottingham

 

 

I will let the board know if I recieve a response.. although I am not holding my breath!

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Unfortuately she is giving expression to a view that is becoming more widely held as more individuals are diagnosed as being on the spectrum. When my son was diagnosed with Aspergers I had never heard of it and could only find a handful of references about it on the internet. I had to learn very fast. He was diagnosed by a leading specialist at a top centre. He is an adult now, but still struggling to get an education. Currently he is attending a college with support. He has a "genius" IQ and learns some things easily but generally is hampered by such things as a hot classroom. He was late back to class recently because he had become overwhelmed by the sudden noise of a lawnmower starting up by an open window he was sitting by having lunch and had withdrawn to somewhere quieter so as not to "kick off". (A lot of learning went into that strategy!) The lecturer said that this was a pathetic excuse for someone his age and proceeded to have a rant about what he thought of the trendy diagnosis of autism/AS/ADHD. He implied that all my son needed to do was to grow up. Had this just been from my son's perspective I may thought it was his understanding, but his LSA confirmed what had been said and went to her boss. Despite being spoken to, this lecturer still persists in refusing to make any adaptations to his thinking or his course!

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allure   
Just wondering if any of those whom emailled the paper or the cow herself, ever got a reply??

Probably not! :rolleyes:

 

 

i emailed the times... as of yet, no reply! i'm not holding my breath!! :wallbash:

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2090-2177218,00.html

 

I cannot believe that this was published.

She claims that 9 out of 10 children with autism are just naughty, being abused or neglected, and that parents are labelling their kids in order to get "?80 a week disability living allowance".

Katie Grant: Some "autistic" children aren't ill, they're just badly behaved

 

Extract "Children know that if they suffer from some kind of behaviour 'ism', good things result: reduced expectation, indulgence instead of punishment, safety from even the gentlest rebuke. At the first sign of a teacher's impatience, the child can rush home and cry 'abuse'. Autism, a serious condition when real, is being exploited by others for all it's worth.

 

And it's worth quite a lot. A diagnosis of some kind of behaviour 'ism' might result in ?80 a week disability living allowance. If a parent has to become a carer, it is worth even more."

Extract "However, although some may be autistic, I doubt that most are really ill. Some may just be clever and bookish while others are simply suffering from a peculiarly modern kind of neglect and adapting their behaviour to cope.

 

There are no perfect parents. But it must surely be the worst kind of damage to label your child with an 'ism' when there is nothing wrong except that you?ve not done a great job at child rearing. With effort, you can often remedy your own failings, but once you place your child in the hands of the ?ism? authorities, who knows where they may end up? For the sake of all our children, let's treat these 'shock, horror' autism statistics with extreme care."

I have written to the editor to complain.

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Hi, I cannot believe this.

 

I am a new member (today) and have a 6 year old son with Asperger Syndrome and am at my wits end with his appalling school behaviour - I couldn't care less about a disability allowane or a carers allowance - we just want a little bit of normality regarding his school life.

 

I could smack her one!!

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Jill   

Chaps - it might be worth looking at the paper on Sunday, I am led to believe that there will be an article printed from our POV. Apparently the Editor was quite shocked at the response received ref this article & someone has written a new article providing an opposite viewpoint.

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Hi, I cannot believe this.

 

I am a new member (today) and have a 6 year old son with Asperger Syndrome and am at my wits end with his appalling school behaviour - I couldn't care less about a disability allowane or a carers allowance - we just want a little bit of normality regarding his school life.

 

I could smack her one!!

 

Well said Billy - and welcome by the way!

 

Jill - thanks for the info - can't wait to see the next article :o

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2090-2188147,00.html

 

Katie Grant - Autism: we need a debate

Her column last week prompted a vociferous reaction, reflected in the column and letters, at the bottom of this web page. Here Grant answers the critics

My views on autism last week upset many people who have autistic children. I am sorry for the pain, but not for raising the issue. My desire was ? and still is ? to question the reliability of the most recent statistical analysis of autism in Scotland. I believe work needs to be done to differentiate between those who have the condition and those who do not. Unfortunately, this past week I have become something of a hate figure for those who are not even prepared to concede that this matter should be debated.

 

I would ask those who have written attacking me to consider these words: ?There is a risk of the diagnosis of autism being extended to include anyone whose odd and troublesome personality does not readily fit some other category. Such over-inclusion is likely to devalue the diagnosis to a meaningless label.? This was written by Dr Tom Berney in the British Journal of Psychiatry. He is a lead clinician and autism specialist at Northgate and Prudhoe NHS Trust in Morpeth. He was writing in 2000, when figures were far lower than they are today.

 

There are others within the health profession who privately share Berney?s view, perhaps reluctant to confront the wrath of a lobby group that has called into question my motives in writing the article. The fact remains that the question of autism diagnosis needs far more debate and examination. Suggestions from individuals and groups that my column should not have been published ? and that the views contained should not have been expressed ? are downright dangerous, not just in the context of freedom of speech, but also to those people struggling to cope with genuine cases of autism.

 

I support wholeheartedly all those whose children need to be helped, but autism should not be hijacked and turned into a woolly generic term. It should retain its diagnostic integrity. The condition exists and as a society we need to deal with it. But, faced with a massive statistical increase in autism, we have a duty to examine all the causes of children?s behavioural difficulties. If sceptics about official statistics are shouted down, there can be no debate.

 

Not everybody who disagrees with my views would have me silenced. Sophie Dow, the formidable founder of Mindroom, the charity dealing with learning difficulties, agrees a wider debate would be most welcome. Dow is against any of the different camps in this debate claiming exclusive understanding. ?We need to accommodate all theories,? she says. ?It is very dangerous for one group of people to claim the right to understand what learning difficulties really are.?

 

For a condition only identified in 1943 and only distinguished from schizophrenia in 1971, autism clearly is an evolving concept. As there is no cure, ideas and theories play a large part in both diagnosis and treatment and, as many experts, including Berney, agree, diagnosis is extremely difficult.

 

We need to find out more about why children develop what Berney described as ?odd and troublesome personalities?, and any research must include not just the personal but also upbringing, family circumstances and other societal factors.

 

?Over-inclusion? ? making autism a catch-all for various complaints ? cannot help those children or their families whose plight is genuine. As Berney says, putting somebody on the autistic spectrum cannot become the default option, since once a label becomes meaningless, help is far less likely to be forthcoming. When figures for those on the autistic spectrum rise dramatically we must be as certain as we can be that each diagnosis not only is completely legitimate, but is recognised as such so that when help is needed, we all listen attentively.

 

Half a million people in Britain fall within the autistic spectrum, although it must be remembered that this figure increased when people with Asperger?s syndrome, who are often extremely clever and manage to integrate reasonably well, were included.

 

Last May?s BBC Horizon focussed on the controversy surrounding the triple vaccine MMR and its supposed link with autism. It found ?rising awareness of autism has undoubtedly played a role in the increasing numbers,? particularly as there is ?no objective test for autism and therefore the numbers diagnosed depends on the skill and experience of the medical community?.

 

These skills, as most would agree, have ?improved significantly? but when the goal posts keep changing, violent alterations in statistics are bound to follow on.

 

A study by Drs Jick and Kay at Boston University Medical School revealed that ?as more people have been diagnosed with autism, there has been a similar decrease in other less specific diagnoses (such as ?behaviour? and ?developmental? disorders)?. Though you may disagree ? and many do ? that bad behaviour, as opposed to a behavioural disorder, is sometimes responsible for increases in autism diagnoses, it at least seems right to ask whether autism, by taking in other previously individualised disorders, is becoming too much of a ?catch-all?.

 

It often seems that the MMR controversy, which still rumbles on, has hijacked any other debate about the autistic spectrum. Yet nobody has more of an interest in getting the diagnosis right, and removing from any list those who should not be on it, than those faced with autism every day.

 

?There is a need to define clearly what the correct numbers are to provide the appropriate statistics and then the appropriate help,? says Professor Lawrence Weaver, a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill, particularly as, so he points out, ?the more you look for something, the more you find it?.

 

The numbers of children on the autism spectrum that he sees are growing and, by the time they reach Weaver, there is no doubt about their condition. Nevertheless, he thinks statistics must always be treated with caution, particularly statistics over diagnoses which cannot, by their nature, be completely objective. ?Physicians must constantly ask themselves two questions: one about definition and one about ascertainment,? he says.

 

Since being on the autistic spectrum is not like having chicken-pox ? there are few fail-safe physical signs like a rash, for example, and no two autistic children, just like no children, are exactly the same ? great care must be taken.

 

We live in confusing times where mental health is concerned, and even the experts have a huge amount to learn about autism and its symptoms. Definitions of autism are not set in stone, and nor should they be. Yet this has its dangers. Berney concludes that autism can, at times, be ? indistinguishable from a dissocial personality disorder?.

 

Those who live with autism can only be helped by opening up the debate. Shouting down those with unpopular views will do them no favours at all.

 

These are the published responsese:

 

 

It's not a trendy excuse

 

Children with a disability should not be treated as a source of ridicule, but time and again they are. For every article that is sensitively written about the difficulties families dealing with disability have to face, there are countless others ? like Katie Grant?s column last week ? that decried the rise in diagnoses as an ?epidemic? and an excuse for children to be ?badly behaved?.

 

What would you think if you read that nine out of 10 cases of autism were just a fashionable excuse for bad behaviour? This type of reporting is why parents move their offspring away from the ?naughty? child as if they were contagious, when the child in question is simply unable to understand human interaction. Except this isn?t naughtiness we?re talking about. Autism is a lifelong disability that permanently changes families? lives.

 

If I had ?1 for every time someone said to me, ?It?s just a stage he?s going through,? or strangers demanding, ?Why can?t you control your son?? then I?d be able to retire to somewhere hot to live the ?fashionable? lifestyle Grant described last week.

 

Grant gives the impression that the diagnosis of autism is a gravy-train to Prada whereas, in reality, parents with autistic children are battle-scarred veterans. The fight for diagnosis is just the beginning. Assuming you don?t get accused of Munchausen?s syndrome by proxy (MSBP), and can find a specialist who takes you seriously.

 

The disability living allowance (DLA) forms are heartbreaking. Being forced to describe just how different your child is from the norm shakes most people to the very core. Grant assumes that people can stroll in and demand DLA; it?s not true. In our support group, most parents were turned down; the vast majority only received middle or lower band after appeal. That?s worth as little as ?16.50 a week.

 

Grant exhorts us to seek the ?true reasons they (children) are doing badly at school?. This can be answered simply. With the political pressure on special schools, children have been forced into the mainstream, often with disastrous results. Teachers are ill-equipped to cope due to inadequate resources.

 

No parent would want a diagnosis of autism. No parent chooses to be shunned by some family and friends. No parent wants to be criticised almost every time they leave the house.

 

When I see my eight-year-old daughter and three-year-old son caring for their brother, I feel fiercely proud of all three. Autism isn?t about bad parenting; it?s about fantastic children.

 

Michaela Child is founder of ASDfriendly, an internet-based support network for parents

 

Increase is no surprise

 

KATIE GRANT?S article suggests that the increase in the number of young people diagnosed should be treated with caution. This is a reasonable point. We should note, however, that our understanding of autism has moved on over the past 10 years. We are now more informed and better able to identify autism. Similarly, there are improved systems for diagnosis, with a rise in diagnostic resources throughout the country, although long waiting lists across Scotland still prevail.

 

In many subject areas, improved understanding and reporting leads to increased identification of problems that have been there previously, but not dealt with appropriately. This is also the case in other social concerns such as domestic abuse. We should, therefore, not be surprised by the increased diagnosis of more young people with ASD if the system is working more efficiently.

 

The article suggests that there may be a queue of people aspiring to achieve the ?fashionable? label of autism. This assertion is particularly unhelpful. I do not know any individuals with autism or families who have sought out a diagnosis as a trendy accessory for their lives. To suggest this is simply uninformed.

 

The article may well have been offensive to thousands of individuals with autism and for many parents whose children live with the disorder. The reality for many individuals and families involves considerable stress, fear and anxiety.

 

John McDonald, Chief Executive, the Scottish Society for Autism

 

 

SENSATIONALISM: Katie Grant?s article in last week?s Sunday Times left many people in Scotland shocked. Autism is not a consequence of poor parenting. That autistic spectrum disorders are still under-diagnosed is a given fact; that diagnostic criteria have widened over time is common knowledge.

 

What possible evidence does Grant have for her claim that ?the condition has been adopted by many other parents on behalf of children who are not ill, just badly behaved?? When autism was first identified as a condition in the 1940s, a theory developed that parents were to blame. Such psychogenic theories were discredited 50 years ago, so it is sad to see them even hinted at again.

 

Worse still, we are asked to believe parents would seek this particular ?ism? ? the ?ism? that dominates Grant?s article is nothing short of sensationalism.

 

Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop, National Centre for Autism Studies, University of Strathclyde

 

 

APPALLING BEHAVIOUR: Full diagnosis of an ASD can take from 18 months to two years, with input from parents and health, social and education professionals. To accuse these people of diagnosing a child with ASD for petty behavioural issues is appalling.

 

Does Katie Grant believe parents would place their child under the supervision of an educational psychologist, social worker and speech therapist, be given a record of needs and placed in a special unit, in order to receive an extra ?80 a week, or a free taxi to school?

 

Stephen Carr, Falkirk

 

 

CHEMICAL OVERLOAD: Ms Grant should consult with toxicologists, biochemists and environmental researchers about the various chemicals innundating children, which affect their behaviour, abilities and health.

 

For my autistic son, repeated exposures to mercury pushed him to a toxic tipping point. However, with testing and treatment he improved drastically. People such as Grant and our unresponsive governments discourage proper testing and treatment for these sad, poisoned children.

 

Nancy Hokkanen, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

 

 

NO RICH PICKINGS: I?ve been submerged in autism for five years now, day and night, with precious little financial assistance towards a condition that has already cost our family ?35,000. Where are these parents who view autism as trendy and who find the ?rich pickings? of benefits so irresistable? I've never come across one.

 

Stephanie Grabiec, Nottingham

 

 

LACK OF RESEARCH: Katie Grant is confusing autism with ASD when she suggests there could be any level of confusion between a neurotypical child with bad behaviour and a child suffering from ASD. When a child has autism there is no doubt whatsoever about their inability to behave normally. She obviously put very little research into the article.

 

Rebecca Hoskins, Alnwick, Northumberland

 

 

THAT?S LIFE: The 600% increase in autism is quite simply due to the fact that medical professionals (and other individuals) are becoming more aware of the condition. A lot of research has already been carried out, but more still needs to be done.

 

It would have been far better to have raised awareness of the condition by doing a feature on how this disability can affect people. A child in a wheelchair is given much more sympathy than a child with a mental health disorder. Unfortunately, that?s life, but articles like the one published don?t help.

 

Caroline Muir, Edinburgh

Edited by AmyNelson

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I am very glad that she has had to face the music, and glad that the editor has published some responses (and must have edited the swear words ;) )

but when she says "We live in confusing times where mental health is concerned, and even the experts have a huge amount to learn about autism and its symptoms. Definitions of autism are not set in stone, and nor should they be. Yet this has its dangers. Berney concludes that autism can, at times, be ? indistinguishable from a dissocial personality disorder?.

 

Those who live with autism can only be helped by opening up the debate. Shouting down those with unpopular views will do them no favours at all."

 

it shows she is really missing the point.

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justamom   

She is clueless and will remain clueless until she maybe has a child with ASD until then she will never know what us parents go thru, "walk a mile in my shoes " comes to mind....

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Elanor   

It's interesting how much more research Ms Grant seems to have put into her defence, than she did into the original article.

 

The backlash was not about censorship or shouting down - it was about shock at the ignorance and prejudice displayed in the article.

 

If - and its a big 'if' - some feckless parents are lazily blaming autism for their children's bad behaviour (without ever going to the trouble of getting a diagnosis) perhaps it was worth an article, but I don't recall that Ms Grant ever showed any evidence that this is happening.

 

Elanor

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She STILL does NOT get it does she?

 

All she is clearly bothered about is being critisised, what does she expect when she presumes to say such ignorant attention seeking statements without having a clue what she is talking about or what damage she is doing?

 

Here is the email I have just sent...

 

Dear Editor,

I am very sorry to have to be contacting you again especially regarding the same issue!

 

Katie Grants second article about Autism is basically someone trying to excuse the inexcusable.

 

Ms Grant is STILL missing the point by MILES!

Getting your child diagnosed with Autism or its related conditions such as Aspergers (Which by the way Ms Grant has totally got her facts wrong and has been stereotypical about yet again!)

is not only heartbreaking and has been known to break up many families as it puts amazing pressure on a family

 

It takes a LONG TIME and involves many assessments and reports from EXPERTS and PROFESSIONALS who are the ones who actually DO know about the conditions and DO NOT diagnose them for NOTHING!

 

The reason there is an increase is obvious

It is because there are MORE experts and believe it or not less IGNORANCE (Hard to believe when reading articles such as Ms Grants though)

This woman is showing NO concern for the children and the families and is only serving to make things HARDER for them, I do not understand why someone who COULD be using her position to HELP by raising awareness etc is using it to do so much harm and to cause so much pain?

 

Ms Grant-it seems to me you are merely trying to make a name for yourself and build a reputation,

well in that case I can tell you you ARE SUCCEEDING but its not a very positive one!

 

I really though The Times was better than this,

I would not even expect this from a gutter rag paper.

 

regards

 

 

 

 

( BTW Is there an email address to contact this woman anyone?)

Edited by PinkSapphireAngel

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I am saddened to read so much red hot anger.

If you don't have experience of ASD children, it is a natural suspicion.

You'd probably suspect the same.

Even some of my boy's teachers seem half-inclined to think it, to blame us a little.

 

The media are bound to spread controversial gossip - that's pretty much their function.

We can use opportunities like this to educate people.

We can (some have) communicate better knowledge and facts to those involved.

 

Surely, a small number of cases of ASD are misdiagnosed - the question for professionals is how many - and whether that number can be discovered and reduced.

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I am sorry but many of us ARE angry as we have had to fight against ignorance and suspision based on such ignornace for a long time and many still are.

 

I have said this woman COULD have used her position to raise awareness better than we who are not journalists for example are given the oppprtunity to.

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k9ruby   

I wonder whether she would still spurt out this rubbish if HER children were on the spectrum?

 

And did you get a reply from the email? (sorry to be incredibly nosy but could we have a peek?

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Flora   
Surely, a small number of cases of ASD are misdiagnosed - the question for professionals is how many - and whether that number can be discovered and reduced.

 

maybe that is true, but I bet you there are massess more who don't get dx when they should. I don't know figures but I'd put money on it that there are far more cases not diagnosed than those diagnosed incorrectly.

 

Lauren

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Jill   
I think Michaela Child's response said it all. What a brilliant reply!

 

Simon

 

I'll let her know, she'll be chuffed to bits.

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