All opinions and views stated on this site belong solely to Corina Lynn Becker, and do not represent or reflects the views and opinions of any organizations, unless otherwise specified.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I posted this on Countering Age of Autism , in response to a reference to the belief that there is a conspiracy in the government and companies to use vaccines to turn the entire population autistic.

I'm still trying to figure the whole conspiracy theory out, as much as I can.

As fair as I can tell, the only motivation for "making everyone autistic" is for profit. While yes, there may be some greedy individuals in the government and industry; however, this is not a bushel of apples where one bad apple corrupts the entire lot.

Also, the point about adult vaccines making people autistic is somewhat ridiculous. If there was a conspiracy of this nature, then making "normal" people autistic in their adult and senior years is rather stupid. Think about it, an NT adult goes in for his or her vaccine, and within 10 days, suddenly stops being NT and diagnosed as autistic? Um, I think people would notice, and a good conspiracy is one that no one knows about.

Seriously. I know that some governments aren't as competent as we'd like, but I doubt that they're THAT incompetent.

Also, generally from accounts and experiences of others, adult autistic diagnosis tends to go similar to this (if it helps, imagine this with hand puppets):

person sees doctor "Gee doc, I've been having these problems all my life."

doctor listens to person and directs person to appropriate specialist.

specialist asks more direct questions "I think you have [insert ASD], because of this, this and this"

person "thank you, now I know what is going on and can get the appropriate help if I need it"

ta da, adult diagnosis of autism. It kind of isn't a spontaneous regression into autistic traits.

September 13, 2009 1:50 PM


  1. Corina,

    My blogroll shows you've got a post on Ginger Taylor; where'd it go? :-)

  2. I think there might be other reasons for 'making everyone autistic' than profit, assuming they are doing so. Wouldn't it be deeply costly if they were doing so for only that reason?

    Love the handpuppets.

    There is a little thing called 'the broader autistic phenotype' which is folded into 'shadow syndromes'.

    If there is a conspiracy, it probably focuses in the other direction.

    But this making something into something else ... when does it bypass construction and step into the conspiracy zone?

  3. @Kim I'm still working on it. I just accidentally hit the "publish" button instead of the "save". Oops. It'll be up soon.

    @Adelaide, indeed, it would be very costly if that were only the reason for doing so, which is a rather inefficient way of making money.

    Broader autistic phenotype? I don't think that I've had that defined. Could you explain it to me? It sounds kind of like what I call "media-induced ADHD", which which kids have gotten so used to a fast paced society that they have attention trouble when things slow down.

    I'm actually more inclined to believe a conspiracy behind the conspiracy theory. But that's merely my speculation.

  4. A book called Asperger syndrome: a gift or a curse seems to explain the Broader Autistic Phenotype very well.

    Essentially it is when family members or relatives also have traits, though the traits can be in a non-related person too. Some traits that might be part of a broader phenotype (which is characteristics: behavioural - remember 'genotype') include preference for solitary activities, repetitive interests, abnormalities in social language and mild impairment in executive functions.

    I'm not sure about this 'media-induced ADHD'. Susan Greenfield, the neuroscientist has talked about similar characteristics to do with information processing.

    Asperger syndrome: a gift or a curse?
    Susan Greenfield's ID

  5. Yeah, a bit different. "media-induced ADHD" is something I came up with from watching my peers get increasingly impatient with speeds that aren't practically instantaneous. I could probably just call it "impatient society syndrome".

    But interesting, since I can see occasional traits with my parents, some with my brother and a few with other relatives. I always figured that they were in the Not Otherwise Specified region of the spectrum or a "cousin", as is called in a lot of autism communities.

    But I'll look up the books, thanks!

  6. "I'm actually more inclined to believe a conspiracy behind the conspiracy theory. But that's merely my speculation."

    I don't think you are far off. In fact, it is a bit of bitter irony that these individuals are more than likely being manipulated by fear mongering fools with their own agenda. If they put as much energy into seeing how they are being manipulated by false studies, crack pots and Jenny McCarthy, they might just achieve something of value rather than holding up progress for the cause.

  7. @noyer2, considering all the products that are being sold as "alternative" medicines, I honestly wouldn't be surprised. As humans, our worst enemy is ourselves, really, and the threats that we imagine outside.

  8. Corina,

    The broader autism phenotype is discussed in Klin, Volkmar, & Sparrow's (2000) Asperger Syndrome text. Adelaide explained it quiet well, but if you want a clinial explanation, Klin et al. does it quite well. It certainly argues to a genetic tendency and places the symptomology of autism on a personality/behavioral spectrum where it is accepted that there are a wide range of personality traits.

    Environmental influences are also acknowledged, as well, in this framing of the autism spectrum, as we know that behavioral patterns are learned and passed down, so that there is a recognition of the complex dance that genes and environment do that makes us the individuals we are. :-)

    I would and have freely admit to being on the broad autism phenotype (as is my husband); I have some of the traits, but not all. I bet you couldn't find a specialist in any field who doesn't have narrow interests or a professor who isn't pedantic.

    As a society, we need to speak more of autism as a function of personality, which almost every one accepts as an innate part of who are. :-)


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