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Why What a Gormless Irish Self-Help Guru Wrote About Autism Matters...

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Firestormm, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Not the title of the blogpost from LBRB but from one of the reaction pieces to the subject matter. What has shocked me most (other than of course the sheer idiocy displayed by this 'Dr') is that my last thread on Autism was about physical evidence for brain abnormalities in young children.

    Now I read this and all right he might have been generalising, he might only have meant in relation to the study he was talking about with assumed authority; but even so there are parents who are engineers and mathematicians, scientists (even), and did he really think they would not be offended? Is this man clueless or what? :rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Tony Humphreys digs a deeper hole

    'Theres an old saying: the first step to getting out of the hole you dug is to stop digging. Tony Humphreys could do well to take that advice.

    On February 6th, Tony Humphreys published an article in the Irish Examiner. The article can be found here on facebook. Here is an excerpt:

    In studies in 1997 and 2001 it was found that the children and grandchildren of engineers were more likely to be autistic and that mathematicians had higher rates of autism than other professions. What is shocking is that Dr Baron-Cohen and the team of researchers are one: assuming that autism is a scientific fact and, two: missing the glaringly obvious fact that if the adults they researched live predominanently in their heads and possess few or no heart qualities, their children will need to find some way of defending themselves against the absence of expressed love and affection and emotional receptivity.

    After all, the deepest need of every child is to be unconditionally loved and the absence of it results in children shutting down emotionally themselves because to continue to spontaneously reach out for love would be far too painful.

    Childrens well being mostly depends on emotional security a daily diet of nurture, love, affection, patience, warmth, tenderness, kindness and calm responses to their expressed welfare and emergency feelings. To say that these children have a genetic and/or neurobiological disorder called autism or ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) only adds further to their misery and condemns them to a relationship history where their every thought and action is interpreted as arising from their autism.


    Id be interested to hear how people interpret that. I know how Liz Ditz reacted (the title gives you some idea): Why What a Gormless Irish Self-Help Guru Wrote About Autism Matters.

    Tony Humphreys is back in the news. This time in an interview on TV3 and an article in The Journal, Autism is a theory Tony Humphreys defends controversial article

    From The Journal:


    CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST TONY Humphreys has defended remarks he made in a controversial article about autism, saying that the disorder is a theory.

    Humphreys said his suggestion that autism is caused by environmental factors is substantiated by current research.

    When you use the word autism youre suggesting its a fact. Autism is a theory. It is not a fact, he said on TV3?s Ireland AM this morning.

    I never in all my life have blamed parents. Ive been absolutely saddened by the response [to the article]. It was not the response in any way which I expected, he said.


    Well, being called out for making insulting and unfounded remarks is probably not what he expected. Then again, a person who makes these remarks probably isnt well qualified to predict how they will be received.

    Why is this man given publicity (even bad publicity)? Heres another paragraph from The Journal:

    When asked about why he wouldnt discuss the article with the parent of an autistic child on air Humphreys said: I didnt want to get into an argument with a parent who must feel so hurt that suddenly research suggests that there is no such thing as autism.

    Does he not understand why parents are annoyed with him or is he just trying to deflect the flack he is getting. Parents arent annoyed that he made ignorant statements that there is no such thing as autism. Had he just said that he would have been quickly forgotten as an ignorant man making ignorant statements. Happens a lot. No, parents are annoyed (or at least I am) by statements like missing the glaringly obvious fact that if the adults they researched live predominanently in their heads and possess few or no heart qualities, their children will need to find some way of defending themselves against the absence of expressed love and affection and emotional receptivity.

    Tony Humphreys exposed himself as being completely ignorant about autism on many fronts. He bills himself as a consultant clinical psychologist, author and national and international speaker.

    Hes not-apologized. Hes damaged his own reputation by exposing himself as ignorant in the area he claims as expertise. I hope the Irish press does the right thing and just ignores him from here on out.'

    Small consolation but at least the Irish Government are not in agreement with this pilchard:

    Minister for Health James Reilly said last week that Humphreys claim that there was a link between parenting and autism was utterly outrageous.
  2. Glynis Steele

    Glynis Steele Senior Member

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    The problem's seen in autism are very similar to those seen in ME, that both conditions are both under the "expertise" of psychology. So they can make up anything they like really, to "explain" these conditions, and then because they are the "expert's" they secure funding that takes studies as far away as possible from investigating a real cause. A recent example is the latest study by Ian Lipkin which points out that some kids with autism have problems with carbohydrate digestion. So if carbohydrates escape digestion, what might happen? Could it be that this is used as fuel by certain strain's of gut bacteria, which might then release toxins that cause neurological changes in the brain. Is this why GF/CF diets, or low oxalate diets, or Specific Carbohydrate Diet's might work? The bacteria are starved, so the toxic load is lessened, and autistic behaviours then improve?

    A study was done way back in 2000, regarding abx and autism, and the autistic behaviours improved when on vancomycin (a very strong antibiotic, therefore not recommended as long term). It certainly should have raised interest into why these improvements might have occurred. That was 12 years ago. And what has been done in the way of research into this from then until now? And have psychiatrist's/ psychologist's fallen over themselves to investigate this???

    Here is a link to the Autism Research Centre's (ARC) current research. You will see about 30 project's listed, I think only one of them is looking specifically at gut bacteria. I have to add that this study has been there for several years now, without any update's or further information given. I think it was about 4 years since I first saw this study (it's called Urine Sample Study):

    http://www.autismresearchcentre.com/all_projects

    In my view the whole situation is an absolute disgrace. With "expert's" like the one at the start of this thread, we are eternally damned.

    Short-term benefit from oral vancomycin treatment of regressive-onset autism.
    Sandler RH, Finegold SM, Bolte ER, Buchanan CP, Maxwell AP, Visnen ML, Nelson MN, Wexler HM.
    SourceSection of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Rush Children's Hospital, Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. rushstudy@aol.com

    Abstract
    In most cases symptoms of autism begin in early infancy. However, a subset of children appears to develop normally until a clear deterioration is observed. Many parents of children with "regressive"-onset autism have noted antecedent antibiotic exposure followed by chronic diarrhea. We speculated that, in a subgroup of children, disruption of indigenous gut flora might promote colonization by one or more neurotoxin-producing bacteria, contributing, at least in part, to their autistic symptomatology. To help test this hypothesis, 11 children with regressive-onset autism were recruited for an intervention trial using a minimally absorbed oral antibiotic. Entry criteria included antecedent broad-spectrum antimicrobial exposure followed by chronic persistent diarrhea, deterioration of previously acquired skills, and then autistic features. Short-term improvement was noted using multiple pre- and post-therapy evaluations. These included coded, paired videotapes scored by a clinical psychologist blinded to treatment status; these noted improvement in 8 of 10 children studied. Unfortunately, these gains had largely waned at follow-up. Although the protocol used is not suggested as useful therapy, these results indicate that a possible gut flora-brain connection warrants further investigation, as it might lead to greater pathophysiologic insight and meaningful prevention or treatment in a subset of children with autism.
  3. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Outrageous firestormm - these psyches (well psychologist here) and their nutty theories quite ignorant of biological research findings can only be termed twaddle.
  4. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    It's like I suppose saying that as ME doesn't yet have a definitive cause - anything goes i.e. nobody can prove him wrong in what he said. But the weight of evidence... etc. Anyway, he's an obvious candidate for pilchard of the month in my book. Arse.
  5. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    As an engineer, married to an engineer raising an engineer, I am totally offended. The stereotype that engineers and mathematicians are cold and heartless dogs us from the moment we enter engineering school. The engineers I know are predominantly warm, kind, thoughtful, intelligent people and their children are generally the same. Sure, we have our share of screwballs, like any other profession, but we don't have more than the usual allotment.

    I once had a psychologist tell me that my daughter was showing signs of autism. When I asked what she was seeing, she told me that ability to focus, interest in mechanical things, and strong mathematical ability at an early age are signs of autism! I said it sounded more like signs of academic ability or talent for engineering. She said (not knowing I'm an engineer) that autism is a spectrum which goes from the free-thinking artistic type (most non-autistic) to the engineering types to nonfunctional autistics! Engineers, she said, are simply the functional end of autism.

    I did have my daughter checked for autism -- by experts in the field -- and she was determined to be in no way autistic, or to have asperger syndrome. In fact, she was evaluated to be (as I already knew), sensitive, social, intelligent and perfectly healthy and normal.

    What is it with some of these psychologists and engineering/math?
    Firestormm likes this.
  6. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Protractor envy.

    :D
  7. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    :eek:
  8. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    :Sign Good one:

    In college, we figured it was job envy, since we graduated with jobs in our pockets and psych majors didn't. :victory:
  9. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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  10. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Psychology was part of my Degree - I recall then a certain disdain reinforced ever since by it's misuse and arrogance in attempting to replace real medicine.
  11. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    My only claim to knowledge in that area was a year's worth of basic study prior to re-entering University. Mind you, I'm not saying it doesn't have it's place - just that this pilchard was failing to engage his brain before opening his mouth and on several occasions. Now sociology... don't get me started! :eek:
  12. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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  13. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    This thread wins the award for the most :eek: I believe
    ;)
  14. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    I taught autistic children for many years, and most of them were very well loved and cared for by their families. This man's suggestion that they are not is cruel.
    Firestormm and Enid like this.
  15. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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