Autism Wars (Oct 31, 2013)

  • October 31, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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In December 2006, President Bush declared War on Autism and dedicated one billion dollars in expenditure over the next 5 years.

What is Autism?

How much did we know about autism in 2006; and how far have we reached in this "crusade" after 7 years?

And which enemy is this "war" going to rid us from?

This is a topic about which I know little, and therefore I have invited two experts, whose practical and theoretical expertise will help us understand the complexity of the "Autism Wars".

Dr Mayada Elsabagh has coordinated researchers across the world to understand more about what we know – and don’t know – about the prevalence of autism. She will discuss the diagnostic criteria, and based on her epidemiological surveys of autistic disorder worldwide, will discuss the possible impact of geographic, cultural/ethnic, and socioeconomic factors on prevalence of the disorder.

Professor Erin Manning, the director of Senselab (where we gather to meet), is an artist and philosopher, and the author of "Always More than One: Individuation's Dance", will also be there, perhaps challenging us to think beyond "pathologization", to consider the processes of be(com)ing an(y) individual in a "neurotypical" society.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Naj for the link. Very interesting. Will be checking out other videos from the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion.

    1 · November 19, 2013

  • Naj

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ32T8q4LdU This is an interesting perspective on autism. Enjoy!

    November 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very interesting discussion and guest speakers. Thank you. There was one thing I had thought of bringing up but it's so jaw-dropping to me that I figured that I must have confused it with something else. At one point, we were sort of joking about the causes of autism, but you've got to wonder what type of causes they're working with in France to choose to treat autism with, yes siree, psychoanalysis!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17583123
    Still in the "refrigerator mother" era, I guess.

    November 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      But again, even if maternal care might have something to do with autism, does the autistic person have the verbal skills and insight to truly benefit from this type of treatment? I've known quite a few non-autistics who don't.

      November 3, 2013

    • Naj

      Well, from what I gathered, autism is a spectral disorder; and although some suffer mute-autism, not all do. Here's a book that touches on psychoanalysis and development. I think autism IS a work in progress; as the discussion of Thursday made clear: it is NOT a definite class of neurological disorder (yet). And I won't rule out ANY studies and approaches, until its etiology is discovered in a wet-lab :) http://www.amazon.com...­

      November 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    And this is the third part of what I was trying to say:
    I realized I was having a seriously bad brain day when I got back to my car and found a ticket - even though I had thought I had paid the machine. I simply did not, and do not, know what I did wrong.

    I could not understand the words. I could not understand how to make a comment. I could not understand how to use the parking machine. Not every day is like this. There was no recognizable warning.

    This is why I am interested in the brain, self and society and will not torture myself with another one of these meetings. On the days when my brain functions well enough, I will read a useful book in my search for answers.

    November 3, 2013

    • Naj

      Dear Dorothy; thank you so much for coming to the meeting for the second time; and I am sorry that the room condition and the noise did not make it easy for you to grasp what was said. I think what you write here is very central to the questions that we were trying to address in this particular meeting. How to accommodate individuals with neuronal damage and deficiency. I wish we had a chance to talk about the brain damage you suffered due to toxicity, at some point. These are informal meetings and I wish you had asserted your wish to ask something. I was actually noticing your discomfort, and figured you could not perhaps hear well, and I was impressed that despite that, you stayed for two hours. The meeting ran for another hour and it was very stimulating.

      November 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This is a continuation of what I wrote below:
    The room was moderately toxic and I developed burning eyes and a headache. This, of course, adds to the difficulty in understanding. I did, however, have a comment I would have liked to have shared, info I would have liked to have asked about. It seemed that every time I drew a breath to speak, someone else had already started. I stood up, in the hopes that someone would recognize I was wanting to say something - and finally put on my coat and left.

    I am well acquainted with autism, have read many books, attended workshops and have worked with youngsters diagnosed to be on a variety of spots on the autistic spectrum. I am appalled by the apparent change being made in the DSM.

    1 · November 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    One of the symptoms of autism is difficulty with auditory processing. Like Sound Under Water, by a mom whose child did not learn to speak until she was fortunate enough to find an intensive training program for him to learn to process the sounds people were making. I wonder if this is not one of the root problems for those who are non-verbal. Why would one learn to imitate sounds which have no meaning to them? Although I understood only about 25% of the words spoken on Thurs, I really cannot say what was left out. I was left out. The background noises precluded my understanding the main speaker. I had better luck with the woman with lots of red-gold hair. The blonde woman on the far side of the room spoke more clearly and was more understandable.

    1 · November 3, 2013

  • Christine

    Informative and interesting; good to hear views about what is being researched.

    1 · November 1, 2013

  • teresa

    interesting and stimulating. New approach to communication challenges

    1 · October 31, 2013

  • Susan K.

    Can I get directions from beaconsfield?

    October 31, 2013

    • Naj

      Hi Susan, so sorry about this. This building is on St Catherine, right at the Guy Metro station. Wish I had seen your comment earlier to give you direction. we had a super-interesting meeting!

      October 31, 2013

  • Naj

    Heading out to pick up our guest; this is going to be a very interesting informal discussion about Autism with a world-expert. Hope to see you soon!

    October 31, 2013

    • Susan K.

      This address won't go into my maps and I can't get there

      October 31, 2013

    • Susan K.

      Can u give me directions?

      October 31, 2013

  • Gilles L.

    I'm really sorry, friends organize a dinner I can't miss. If this subject comes again, I'll be there.

    October 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bonjour!
    Malheureusement, je ne viendrai pas, j'ai une conférence.
    Merci de votre compréhension!

    October 28, 2013

    • Naj

      Thanks for letting me know; hopefully next time!

      October 28, 2013

  • Susan K.

    Is it Oct 31st or Nov 31st?

    October 28, 2013

  • marie

    i would like to attend but i'm free from 21H00 is it too late ?

    October 12, 2013

    • Naj

      Hi Marie, I am still waiting to hear from friends I invited to present in this meeting; so the date and time are tentative. I will update us all as soon as they let me know.

      1 · October 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would like to know who the "experts" will be so I can google them in advance. I have a strong interest in autism and some strong ideas about it. I have found few whom I trust, other than Temple Grandin and this man whom I found after much searching: http://www.daroldtreffert.com/links.htm

    August 7, 2013

20 went

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