Katie Wright demonstrates AoA mentality

30 Sep

Over at the Clown Blog, Katie Wright pens a sulky screed targeting Peter Bearman. Lets go through it.

Dr. Peter Bearman, a professor of sociology at Columbia University, recently released a research paper alleging that half of the meteoric rise in ASD cases is an artifact. You know- “better diagnosis” and “greater awareness.” A blind, non-medical professional, could have diagnosed my son. Nevertheless in the case of HF ASD and aspergers (which comprise a small % of overall ASD) certainly greater awareness has played a role in the increasing number of those diagnoses. Still- 50%? Ridiculous.

And why ridiculous? Well….just because. Wright offers no evidence to counteract Bearman’s. No science is referenced to challenge Bearman’s work. It simply is ridiculous apparently. One can almost hear the foot stomp of a poor little rich girl out of her league intellectually.

After Dr. Bearman concludes that 50% of the increase cannot be attributed to greater awareness Insel asks what Bearman believes is driving the other 50%. Bearman answers: “genes, old parents and possibly a virus.” This is the best he has got? The NIH gave this guy millions to come with that?

Well no Katie, thats not what the NIH gave him his research money for. According to _you_ Insel asked Bearman what he _believed_ was driving the other 50%. He gave his answer as to what he _believed_ . But these beliefs were just that – beliefs. He presented the science he had done and then shut up on the evidence and opined and on what he was asked to opine on by Insel.

And even his opinion, his beliefs, are rooted in science. There _is_ a genetic component to autism, thats simply a fact. There _is_ research that links ASD to older parents. Katie Wright’s beliefs revolve around one extremely unscientific thing. Vaccines.

Yes, Bearman does acknowledge the possible role of some kind of toxin. Bearman is not sure what that toxin is but he is sure what it isn’t. Take a guess.

See what I mean. If it ain’t a vaccine, it ain’t worth considering according to Katie Wright.

…unbelievably Bearman says: “it isn’t autism that parents are worried about. They know they can deal with that, they know they can help their child, (and he would know this a non parent of an ASD child?) but it is autism organizations scaring parents!” I had no idea that a bunch of stay at home Moms with no money, no federal backing, no million dollar grants- who are already busy parenting autistic kids- have this kind of extraordinary power! Wow, what’s next for us? Ending the recession, solving the mortgage crisis, creating electric cars?

And hot damn Katie Wright, guess what? In my opinion he _is_ right! I’m not scared of autism. I’m scared of one note zealots stealing away research monies, scaring away legitimate researchers with their threats of violence and scaring the public into believing that autism is some kind of tsunami of evil ready to engulf them all in a tide of social security claims.

As for Katie Wright personally, it makes me sick to think of this little rich girl, who’s children will want for nothing, playing the ‘poor little me’ card. There are families out there struggling to get by on a day to day basis and she has the temerity to liken herself to a ‘stay at home mom’. Feh.

As far as blaming the parents for the national crisis of confidence in vaccine safety- grow up Dr. Bearman. The problem is the problem- not people talking about the problem.

Nice quote from that intellectual giant Jim Carrey there. Oh and guess what Katie Wright? You and people like you *are the problem* . Whilst you play offended at legitimate science, there’s a whooping cough outbreak in California that is killing children. You do know that don’t you Katie Wright?

Here’s what you need to do Katie Wright. You need to accept the fact that the science is against you. You need to accept the fact that you are a small scaremongering minority of the autism community. Sounding off about stuff that you clearly have absolutely zero knowledge about (science) makes you look foolish and all it does is show you to be frightened. You are behind the times. Get out of the way of progress.

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15 Responses to “Katie Wright demonstrates AoA mentality”

  1. Liz Ditz September 30, 2010 at 23:14 #

    Ms. Wright claims:

    Nevertheless in the case of HF ASD and aspergers (which comprise a small % of overall ASD)

    Is that even remotely true? I thought that Asperger’s + PDD-NOS accounted for >50% of diagnoses, currently.

    • Sullivan September 30, 2010 at 23:33 #

      Liz Ditz,

      there are two parts to the answer.

      First, Peter Bearman looks at California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) data combined with birth record data. CDDS data for the “autism” category is supposed to be just for those with autism diagnoses, not PDD-NOS or AS. There is always much debate on how accurate that idea is. But he is speaking largely about autistic disorder. There have been major shifts in the CDDS “autism” consumers with time. Certainly the fraction with intellectual disability has gone down markedly with time. Somehow I doubt that Ms. Wright is aware of any of this, though.

      Second, AS and PDD-NOS do comprise a large fraction of ASD. Joseph would be a good one to comment here, but I believe there are data available including a paper by Fombonne’s group.

  2. Liz Ditz September 30, 2010 at 23:47 #

    Found something, anyway:

    Chris Plauché Johnson, Scott M. Myers and and the Council on Children With Pediatrics Disabilities

    Identification and Evaluation of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

    DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-2361

    http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/120/5/1183

    One of the few studies that analyzed the prevalence in regard to type of ASD revealed that in Canada, where the overall rate was 6.5 per 1000, the individual rates were 2.2 per 1000 for AD, 1.0 per 1000 for AS, and 3.3 per 1000 for PDD-NOS

    Citation:
    27. Fombonne E, Zakarian R, Bennett A, Meng L, McLean-Heywood D. Pervasive developmental disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: prevalence and links with immunizations. Pediatrics. 2006;118(1). Available at: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/ content/full/118/1/e139

    There isn’t a diagnostic category of “high functioning autism”, and as has been exhaustively discussed by adults with autism, a “functioning label” is relatively useless.

  3. Sullivan October 1, 2010 at 00:04 #

    Kev,

    Ms. Wright gave the standard AoA response: Your data doesn’t agree with my opinion.

    That’s good for a starter, *if* you have some data to back up your opinion. She doesn’t.

    She also gave the standard AoA blog piece: Here is someone we think you should hate. It doesn’t matter that in addition to having no data of her own that she often doesn’t understand what Prof. Bearman says.

    Just a little history here. The first public mention I recall of Prof. Bearman’s work was by David Kirby when he interviewed Tom Insel. Kirby had no idea who Prof. Bearman was (he misspelled Bearman’s name). That aside, Kirby was using Bearman’s results to promote the epidemic. It was precisely the idea of an autism cluster which Kirby latched on to. (I seem to recall Jake Crosby commenting her with something like “the epidemic is real!” and a link to that interview).

    The cluster that Prof. Bearman found, and the clusters found by Dr. Hertz-Picciotto of the UC David MIND Institute, were not associated with any toxin. (clusters also argue against the vaccine hypothesis. Vaccines should be a common environmental exposure across a state).

    When Prof. Bearman’s papers came out I started blogging them here. I followed up with the videos of his lectures. Some time later Anne Dachel blogged the videos at AoA. Now, Katie Wright is blogging them too. Looks like she doesn’t read Anne Dachel’s work.

    Katie Wright has now created another of the myths. AoA does this quite often. They misinterpret what someone has said or written and no amount of proof will ever change their minds. Katie Wright did this to Story Landis when Ms. Wright made up much of the content of a note Story Landis wrote (Story Landis was on the IACC and quit after than note was found and made public.) Now Katie Wright wants us all to believe that Peter Bearman says that parents aren’t afraid of autism. The context is when it comes to fear of vaccines, parents aren’t afraid of autism. But it is a good myth and no one commenting at AoA seems to have actually watched the video carefully enough to catch that.

    Kev, I don’t know if “little rich girl, who’s children will want for nothing” is needed here.

  4. Roger Kulp October 1, 2010 at 02:26 #

    “I had no idea that a bunch of stay at home Moms with no money, no federal backing, no million dollar grants- who are already busy parenting autistic kids- have this kind of extraordinary power! Wow, what’s next for us? Ending the recession, solving the mortgage crisis, creating electric cars?”

    Obviously it hasn’t dawned on her.that the likes of Safe Minds,and Generation Rescue who seem to have no trouble finding money.All of them,not to mention the very blog she posts at,have done a pretty damn good job of coopting the research.They just get in a snit when they can’t coopt it ALL.

    “As for Katie Wright personally, it makes me sick to think of this little rich girl, who’s children will want for nothing, playing the ‘poor little me’ card. There are families out there struggling to get by on a day to day basis and she has the temerity to liken herself to a ‘stay at home mom’. Feh.”

    I realized a while back,that the antivaxers are pretty much a self-centered bunch,who have no regard,or interest in other people’s problems.

    I thought those with Asperger’s,or HFA were in the majority,it was those who had intellectual disability,metabolic disease,or such in addition to autism,that were not.Liz,I know you don’t believe this,but the way you phrased it,makes it sound like “adults with autism” believe there is no difference between AS and AD.And Sullivan,we all know these people are permanently stuck in the early part of the last decade,they will just keep writing the same old tired posts until the keyboards are pried from their cold dead fingers.Maybe we just ought to ignore them, like the Amazon,et al customers are.

  5. livsparents October 1, 2010 at 03:47 #

    As I stated elsewhere, I really don’t think Katie READS these studies, just sees the phrase ‘better diagnosis’ and glazes over:

    “Diagnostic changes are the most important influence. After 1987, the definition of autism used in California was broadened several times. Bearman and his colleague Marissa King examined the medical records of around 7000 Californian children with autism and found that one in ten had initially been diagnosed with mental retardation. Extrapolated to the state as a whole, they estimate that this change in diagnosis created almost 5000 extra cases of autism between 1993 and 2005, or 26 per cent of the increase of recorded over that period.”

    Gee, how many of the spectrum would have been dismissed with a mental retardation ‘diagnosis’ in the 1980’s, Katie? Since it doesn’t explain 100% of autism, that means it’s 100% ignorable, huh, Ms Wright? The reason she plugs her ears and hums loudly is that even 50% of autism explained blows a thimeresol/vaccine autism ‘epidemic’ in the 90’s 100% out of the water, dunnit?

  6. FreeSpeakercs October 1, 2010 at 04:39 #

    Katie Wrong, as usual, just acts like one of AoAs attack puppies. She is a spoiled brat who was born into affluence and does not have a clue about what parents ate dealing with.

  7. David N. Brown October 1, 2010 at 07:24 #

    Sullivan,
    The cluster issue is interesting… In my book “Urban Legend of Vaccine-caused Autism”, I came up with a model for distinguishing “vaccine scare” reports from possible evidence of REAL vaccine injuries. One of the factors I came up with was that “scare” reports (of events perceived subjectively as vaccine-caused, or even psychosomatic) would concentrate in specific regions, particularly in relatively small and isolated subpopulations. A further irony: The same pattern seems to apply very much for “vaccine refusers”.

  8. Joseph October 1, 2010 at 23:26 #

    A blind, non-medical professional, could have diagnosed my son.

    This is a very basic thing she gets wrong. Diagnoses of autism are non-trivial, time-consuming and expensive.

    Screening tools with dozens of questions are unable to classify autism with accuracy beyond 0.7 or 0.8. If you could “know them when you see them” a classification algorithm would be trivial, and expensive evaluations would be unnecessary.

    @Liz:

    Is that even remotely true? I thought that Asperger’s + PDD-NOS accounted for >50% of diagnoses, currently.

    You’re correct. ASD with MR is at most a third of all ASD, under the current definition of ASD.

  9. Roger Kulp October 4, 2010 at 05:44 #

    @ Joseph

    This is a very basic thing she gets wrong. Diagnoses of autism are non-trivial, time-consuming and expensive.

    Indeed they are…when they are done right.When I finally got a proper autism diagnosis,it was after a long drawn out series of tests and interview questions.The whole evaluation process lasted over ten hours.It was done over a two day period,and done by a team of three people,led by the chair of developmental psychology at a large teaching hospital.Like a lot of people,I ended up with a far more severe autism diagnosis than I thought I was going to get going in.

    I think this is the way everybody ought to go to go about getting a diagnosis. Yet I have seen countless stories from parents, whose child is diagnosed after just being “observed” for two or three hours.This is no better than an adult who takes that famous online quiz,and then diagnoses themself as being “on the spectrum”.

    One is no better than the other.

  10. stanley seigler October 5, 2010 at 00:31 #

    “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!”

    the post this refers to has not posted (tried several times) to LBRB Katie Wright thread…not important just wondering if i should try again or just move on…

    stanley seigler

  11. stanley seigler October 7, 2010 at 04:38 #

    [joseph say] Diagnoses of autism are non-trivial, time-consuming and expensive…

    ancedotals to consider:

    [circa 1967] neurologist at emory (Atlanta GA-USA) a reputable university medical facility DXed my daughter (age 3 yo) as autistic in one devastatingly short visit…measured head size and ask us questions. His DX was correct and confirmed (age 3-5) by psychiatrists at UCLA and Cedars-Sinai. (LA-CA-USA)

    much later (age 30) a PhD psychologist for regional center (a california DDS funding agency) said she was NOT autistic… “a blind, non-medical professional, could have diagnosed our non-verbal daughter as autistic.”

    BTW after 40 some years with autism believe I can spot it…weeel, at least with more accuracy than the regional center PhD.

    My daughters peers (30 some autistics) had similar DXes, behavior, gait, social, and communicative, issues. Oh/and, our daughter and none of her peers have been cured of autism by ABA-etal…behaviors improved with acceptance, love and age (now 45), There was no spectrum in days of yore…

    [on LBRB Lenny Schafer say] The whole autism spectrum labeling is a mistake…and let us hope that the upcoming DSM-V gets clearer about defining autism…

    clearer definitions are definitely needed…many discussions are of the apples/oranges, mars/venus, parallel universe variety.

    Tho, I disagree with many of schafer and wright opines…there are concerns they are so easily mocked and dismissed (on LBRB) by “scientists” who deny observational science, the original basis of most science.

    stanley seigler

    ref xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    *Schafer on LBRB
    https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2009/08/asperger-syndrome-is-not-a-disability-just-ask-lenny-schafer/
    *Head size gives autism early warning (2003)
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3948-head-size-gives-autism-early-warning.html

    NOTE: head size paper 2003, used in 1967 to DX our daughter. interesting. was emory that far ahead of the field…think its standard for pediatricians to measure a childs head..do not see it mentioned re possible autism factor.

  12. stanley seigler October 8, 2010 at 04:44 #

    [stanley say] clearer definitions are definitely needed…many discussions are of the apples/oranges, mars/venus, parallel universe variety.

    ps. add hi/lo functioning variety…not sure hi world knows the lo world…would love to be proved wrong as: there is a connection…needs much research/study.

    stanley seigler

  13. Hyman Roth January 7, 2011 at 18:28 #

    I knew Katie Wright in junior high school and high school.

    She was a self-absorbed airhead then, and nothing appears to have changed in the years since.

    Must have been nice for her, having a rich TV executive for a dad to keep the harsh reality away. And then she had an autistic child, and started looking for someone to blame.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Katie Wright demonstrates AoA mentality « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - September 30, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev, Liz Ditz, Liz Ditz, Mimi Poinsett, Gavin Williams and others. Gavin Williams said: RT @lizditz: The harm that attacks on science by "autism organizations" do to the autism community at large http://bit.ly/9EC69i […]

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