In the press, news that a team have found a way to give fewer diagnoses to autistic children.
"Autism therapy aimed at infants may reduce likelihood of later diagnosis: Study suggests tailored therapy could help some children develop social skills before school age", reads the headline in the Guardian newspaper for example (20 September 2021).
The alleged therapy appears to be based on ignoring a young child if they behave autistically, or giving them a 'time out' for doing so. Parents are taught to reward any behaviour that matches non-autistic social skills, such as eye contact, waving when someone else waves, etc. The end result is to deliver to the parent one child who appears normal and can make eye contact. Like the picture at the top.
"This is the first worldwide evidence that a pre-emptive intervention can reduce autism behaviours and the likelihood of a later diagnosis,” said Prof Jonathan Green at the University of Manchester, breathless with excitement. OK, I may have added the 'breathless with excitement' bit. But that's the general tone of the Press - that if we can 'reduce autism behaviours' we can stop the autistic children getting a diagnosis, and isn't that fantastic!
OK. Reality check. I asked autistic people if they had stopped being autistic, once they learned to do eye contact, waving, etc.
Because autism is some terrible thing that needs hiding, is it?
Who says so?
Thank you for reading.