Anne Dachel, Age of Autism Editor, makes remarkable claim

27 May

I was browsing the comments section of a seemingly innocuous story about autism – that early intervention might not be the universal panacea once thought – when I came across a comment from Anne Dachel, one of the leading ‘thinkers’ and editors behind the online anti-vaccine blog Age of Autism.

…I think a disorder that was unheard of 25 years ago…

I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I was seeing it right – I was – Anne Dachel believes autism was unheard of prior to 1985.

To say this is a remarkable claim is being overly fair to Dachel. Its one of those claims that is regularly made by the Age of Autism team that leaves one’s jaw on one’s chest with the sheer audacity of either its boldness or stupidity. It reminds one of John Best’s claim that autism was unheard of in China prior to 1999. Another rampant piece of stupidity.

As previously noted, Dachel writes for Age of Autism. I’ll leave you to form your own conclusions as to the accuracy of their blogging based on their Editors own bizarre beliefs about autism.

15 Responses to “Anne Dachel, Age of Autism Editor, makes remarkable claim”

  1. David N. Brown May 27, 2010 at 08:40 #

    I think it’s just that they have a problem with numbers. Other examples: 1 in 2500, 1 in 10,0000. 6 million, 29 million. 70 deaths, 400 deaths. No flu deaths, 50 deaths in a week. And so it goes…

  2. livsparents May 27, 2010 at 15:39 #

    Anne has been making outrageous claims, commentary and gross manipulation of data for years now. She’s one of the most zealous of the zealots, because she hasn’t changed her position for more than 25 (I mean 6) years, despite the overwhelming evidence that simply contradicts most all of her outmoded data that prop up her precepts. She simply spouts it out and plugs her ears…

  3. Bill May 27, 2010 at 17:33 #

    I’m thrilled I can inform my 30 year old son that he doesn’t have an autism spectrum disorder, and I’ll have to re-think my own Asperger’s diagnosis since autism couldn’t have possibly existed when I was born.

  4. Prometheus May 27, 2010 at 22:26 #

    I’ve heard some of the “thimerosal-causes-autism” crowd (now largely extinct) say that autism didn’t exist until thimerosal was invented (1927 – 83 years ago) and I’ve heard others say that it didn’t exist until just before Kanner’s landmark paper (1943 – 67 years ago), but I don’t think I’ve ever heard (before today) anyone claim that it didn’t exist before 1985.

    If that were true, then the argument that the apparent rise in autism prevalence is due to greater awareness would be even more persuasive. After all, if autism didn’t even exist prior to 1985, think how many pediatricians in practice today graduated from their residencies without every hearing about it!

    Ms. Dachel’s extraordinary claim also begs the question: “What was it that doctors were calling ‘autism’ prior to 1985?” All of the graphs showing the autism “epidemic” show autism prevalence rising from a low – but non-zero – level prior to 1985; what did these people have, if it wasn’t autism?

    If this is the level of accuracy we can expect from an editor of AoA, the quality of their posts is finally explained.

    Prometheus

  5. Joseph May 28, 2010 at 00:49 #

    One of the earliest modern-criteria prevalence studies with good case-finding involved children born in 1985 (now adults), incidentally. It found a prevalence of 1.21%. I’m referring to Kadesjö et al (1999).

  6. LAB May 28, 2010 at 13:27 #

    Growing up, we had a neighborhood friend who was autistic. He was born in 1967 and his diagnosis was, in fact, autism. Even us little children were aware of that back in the early 1970s!

    • Sullivan May 28, 2010 at 20:08 #

      The entire “autism didn’t exist before such-and-such a date” is beyond silly. My guess is that Anne Dachel just forgot the usual talking point that the rate used to be reported at a much lower rate.

      another note–the CDDS has records on autistics born pre 1920. That’s pre thimerosal.

      Congental Rubella Syndrome is a cause of autism. Are we to believe that CRS didn’t exist before thimerosal? I would love to see the explanation for that.

  7. David N. Brown May 28, 2010 at 20:26 #

    “John Best’s claim that autism was unheard of in China prior to 1999.”
    This poses a “culture bias” problem: If autistics are quiet, intellectual, emotionally withdrawn, and don’t make eye contact, would the Chinese be concerned or even notice?

  8. Graphictruth June 1, 2010 at 19:35 #

    Hm.. I must have contracted autism from a toilet seat in my 30’s… :/

  9. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 1, 2010 at 23:12 #

    “This poses a “culture bias” problem: If autistics are quiet, intellectual, emotionally withdrawn, and don’t make eye contact, would the Chinese be concerned or even notice?”

    David, most likely they won’t.

    In Finland, the Asperger diagnosis is hard to get. I used to put it down to stupidity on the part of diagnosticians but then … I got into ethno-psychology and psycho-anthropology and reaaalised that there is a cultural perception issue going on.

  10. AutismNewsBeat November 16, 2010 at 20:41 #

    PTSD was unheard of 35 years ago.

    • Lawrence November 15, 2014 at 21:34 #

      Shell shock was rampant during WW1……what we would call PTSD was also well known during the CIvil War.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Quackery in my back yard! – Pharyngula - November 15, 2014

    […] Ann Dachel, an editor at AoA, who doesn’t know any history at all. […]

  2. Quackery in my back yard! - Atheist Boutique - November 15, 2014

    […] Ann Dachel, an editor at AoA, who doesn’t know any history at all. […]

  3. Quackery in my back yard! [Pharyngula] | Gaia Gazette - November 16, 2014

    […] Ann Dachel, an editor at AoA, who doesn’t know any history at all. […]

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