'I-28Sfuuy-WR10okMSia3VYeZTm2RHA2LZDel59TlF8' name='google-site-verification'/>www ghs.google.com 6dseurqgapmn gv-v6egtfduggmq3k.dv.googlehosted.com Autismwarriormama: January 2012

Living with Autism


January 31, 2012

DSM-5 Autistic Spectrum Disorder Disaster

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Has the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Lost It’s Collective Mind? Have the “36,000 Physician Leaders in mental health” ignored history? After all, decades of autism research show self-injurious behavior is a hallmark trait of severe autism.

Hundreds of research studies have been published on autism and self-injurious behavior. Hundreds of papers are written about autistics who present with self-injurious behavior. Thousands of experts have discussed the challenges of self-injury among autistics. Yet, today, you see no mention of self-injurious behavior in DSM-5 autism diagnosis.

Yes, the modern mental health leaders of the APA would have us believe autism with self-injurious behaviors doesn’t exist.

I call into question the professional integrity of some involved in pushing the autism diagnosis of the DSM-5. Indeed, the revised autism diagnosis illuminates the work of scrambled, shuffled and compromised thinking—the work of individuals who know little, or don’t want to know much, about autism with self-injurious behavior, but would have us believe, they do. They don’t.

This over-intellectualized mess believed—by some— to be a diagnostic masterpiece in making, is insulting to severely-autistic community. I don’t know what the alleged professionals revising DSM drink when sitting around conference tables to discuss autism diagnosis, but someone should investigate. It’s not Kosher.

Furthermore, we must ask:

Why does APA include “flapping fingers” in Asperger’s Diagnosis, but omit “flapping fingers” from autism diagnosis?

Why does APA omit self-injurious behavior from Level One (most severe) category of autism spectrum disorder?

Why does APA create a new category called: “Non-suicidal self-injury,” which excludes persons with autism and self-injury?

Why does APA ignore clear, common traits and characteristics of low-functioning autism?

Studies show High-functioning autistics may struggle with self-injurious behaviors. So, are we to forget autistic people may have self-injurious behaviors? APA hopes we’ll forget and drift into Abstractland.  

Does APA forget some autistics have aggressive outbursts? Yes, they’re probably drinking around that darn table again.

Are we to forget that severe behaviors are, and have always been, a hallmark trait of severe or “classic” autism? No, we should never forget. Also remember: SIB is NOT a hallmark trait of high-functioning autism, but it CAN be an issue.

Is the APA scared of addressing autism and self-injurious behaviors due to challenges, costs and complexity of treating self-injurious behaviors among autistics? Yes. Yes. Yes. Research shows an embarrassing failure of treating self-injurious behaviors among autistics.

Why would APA try and shift severe autism with behavioral issues into an ‘intellectual disability’ category, especially when high-functioning autistics and highly-intelligent NON-autistics exhibit self-injury?

Hence, Self-injurious behavior disorder isn’t rooted in intellectual ability.

Are some professionals who work with autistic children terrified and contemptuous of severe behavioral issues? Yes. Do some professionals prefer, even demand and orchestrate, working with ONLY the highest functioning autistics with mild to no behaviors because it makes their job easier? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Are college students being taught to view autism from a false definition? Yes.

What’s happening to research on autism and self-injurious behavior? It’s disappearing. Autism research today focuses on high-functioning autism with few behavioral issues.

Has the autism diagnosis been romanticized by movies and news? Yes. Not one Hollywood Producer has shown the courage to tackle severe autism with severe behavioral issues.

Do some Directors of Autism Clinics lack skills to discern different levels of autism? Yes.

For instance, let’s take a look at one recent statement from a Kirsten Schaper.  Schaper is a speech-language pathologist and Director of a small Autism Clinic in Illinois:  We do have a lot of referrals for [autistic] kids for challenging behaviors, tantrums, head-banging, aggression, self-injury, but these are not characteristics of autism spectrum disorder," Schaper said.

Shape up Schaper, you don’t know what you’re talking about…

“Self-Injurious Behaviors in AUTISM have multiple topographies with different biochemical and social environment causes and effects. The most common topographies of these behaviors include, but are not limited to head-banging, head-hitting, face-punching/slapping, hand-biting and excessive self-rubbing and scratching…”  (Edelson, 1999;

Schaper’s ignorance of behaviors in autism is astonishing. Autism presenting with behaviors is out of Schaper’s league of expertise so she pretends behaviors don’t exist among autistics, and hopes, with revisions to diagnosis, these autistics will become someone else’s burden. 

Historical evidence of self-injurious behavior among autistics has been studied for years. We must never forget it, as these autistics need extensive support and tolerance, lest they be cast into abstract jargonland and forgotten. I would hope, given unique connections, the highest-functioning autistics, as well as persons with HF Asperger’s, would be advocates for severely-afflicted autistics who can’t advocate for themselves.

  1. Autism Research Review International, 2001, Vol. 15, No. 4, page 3. Controlling
    self-injurious and assaultive behavior in autism. Bernard Rimland, Ph.D.
  2. Fact sheet on self-injurious behavior and Autism .... Auditory integration training
    has also been shown to reduce sound sensitivity (Rimland & Edelson, 1994).
  3. Characterization and Treatment of Self-Injurious Behavior. ... Source:
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, v30 n5 p447-50 Oct 2000
  4. Risk factors for self-injurious behaviors among 222 young children with autistic
    disorders. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research , 47, 622-627.
  5. Some argue an autistic person who exhibits self-injury is intellectually disabled, yet we find High functioning autistics and people with Aspergers struggle with self-injurious behaviors.
  6. Jan 1, 2002 ... It also serves as an illustration of how aggression and self-injury can be ..... The
    changes in these behaviors in individuals with both Asperger's ...
          Source: ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=175265
      7. Asperger syndrome is often considered a high functioning form of autism. ... to
people;      odd or peculiar speech; Has behavior that may lead to self-harm ..www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001549.htm
     8. Aspergers diagnosis in adults will come from symptoms such as violent
outbursts, hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, rituals, self-injurious behavior, odd …....www.aspergersnews.com/Aspergers-Diagnosis.html
     9. Self-injurious behavior is one of the most devastating behaviors exhibited by
people with autism ..... Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 18, 99-117.
    10. injurious behaviors are one of the most concerning forms of lower-level repetitive stereotypic behaviors (RSB) (Bishop and Kleinke, 2007)

11. Allen Frances: “Severe, classic autism is clearly defined and absolutely unmistakable. But, at the milder end of its spectrum, autism has inherently fuzzy boundaries merging imperceptibly into many other childhood mental heath, behavioral, and learning problems and is also difficult to distinguish from the individual differences that are a normal and (even desirable) result of human variability”. Huffington Post
12. In most cases, though, severe autism is marked by a complete inability to
communicate or interact with other .... Journal of Autism and Developmental
Disorders.  Source:
www.mayoclinic.com/health/autism/.../DSECTION=symptoms -

13. Autism Research Review International, 2001, Vol. 15, No. 4, page 3
Controlling self-injurious and assaultive behavior in autism
Written by Dr. Bernard Rimland, Ph.D.
Autism Research Institute
 "Nothing is more difficult for the parents of autistic children to tolerate than self-injurious and assaultive behavior (SIB/A). SIB/A behaviors are unpleasant to observe, to think about, or to discuss, but they do exist, and must be dealt with. Some autistic children hit their heads against walls or floors so hard that they have fractured their skulls, detached their retinas, or caused deafness. Others hit themselves with their fists or their knees so hard that they have broken noses, deformed ears, and even blinded themselves. Some children bite themselves and others, and hit other children and their parents with such violence they have broken bones."
WAKE UP APA...please, wake up. Researchers who devote their time and effort into studying autism and self-injurious behavior deserve some credit. You can't ignore their research.

While some people with autism are mildly affected, most people with the condition will require lifelong supervision and care and have significant language impairments. In the most severe cases, affected children exhibit repetitive, aggressive and self-injurious behavior. This behavior may persist over time and prove very difficult to change, posing a tremendous challenge to those who must live with, treat, teach and care for these individuals. Source: http://public.tgen.org/tgen.org/downloads/autism/AutismFAQ.pdf

Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. .... Catherine E. Lord, Ph.D. ...... Problem
behaviors may include but are not restricted to self-injury, aggression, dis- ...www.nationalautismcenter.org/pdf/NAC%20Standards%20Report.pdf

September 27, 2011 by autismsciencefoundation ... York Institute for Basic
Research); Dr. Catherine Lord (New York Institute for Brain Development); Dr.
David Mandell (University ... His primary focus is repetitive self-injurious behavior
autismsciencefoundation.wordpress.com/.../dr-joseph-buxbaum-and-dr-bryan-king-join-our-sab/ -

Autism Research Institute | Autism is Treatable ... Self-injurious behavior often
refers to any behavior that can cause tissue damage, such as bruises, redness, ...
www.autism.com/ind_self-injurious_behavior.asp -

Behavior analytic research on dementia in older adults. .... treatment for the self-
injurious skin picking of a young man with Asperger syndrome. seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/articles_selected/

January 27, 2012

Budget Cuts to Disabled Programs

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Oh dear....say it isn't so. Why does she have to write about this stuff. Damn it. Let's just go back to watching Dancing with the Stars....But you can't...because this is true and you need to hear it.  

Prejudicial attitudes towards persons with special needs that exist today have foundations in historical influences.

For example, in Ancient Rome, entertainment at the Coliseum included throwing disabled children under horses. 

In the 18th and 19th centuries, 'ships of fools'- containing mentally and physically-disabled children and adults— sailed from port to port, where people would gather and pay to laugh at them.

In Nazi Germany, films such as “Ich klage an”, painted disabled people as 'useless eaters', a burden on the state. Eliminating disabled persons became known as “T4”. 

Today, politicians call it “making painful cuts" and "necessary reductions.”

Back in the day, in Glorious England, the hard drinking Winston Churchill didn't bother to mince words. He was a supporter of the British Eugenics Society, as were Sidney and Beatrice Webb, founders of Labor Party, and many other influential alleged “intellectuals” of the left and right.

Other eugenics supporters included authors D.H. Lawrence, and the economist John Maynard Keynes. Given such attitudes, we can see why, back in early 1900’s, Queen Mary and King George V hid their epileptic son with mild autism (see the BBC drama, “The Lost Prince). They must have been terrified and ashamed. 

History also shows, under the UK Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, two of the Queen Mother's cousins were incarcerated for being disabled.

Similar laws in America led to President John F Kennedy's sister forced into getting a frontal lobotomy.  

So now you’re thinking but we’ve come so far from these backward times. Not so fast. 

Some politicians are still using psychological manipulation to justify “eliminating” programs that help disabled children and adults. 

Do not be fooled by policy makers using psychological manipulation. Whenever you hear government official's bull shit excuse that there is a budget crisis, just remember the same government is spending billions to search for unknown life on other planets. And a half million on studying the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam. Along with another 2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly. Groovy. 

Do not be fooled by the politicians with superficial sympathy and excessive apology. These are cunning people of power who conceal true intentions. I'd have more respect for these calloused hearts if they just came out and said, "f%$ the disabled, instead of penning more phony mission statements about how they are here to help."

At least then, you'd hear the truth, for a change. 

Those who advocate targeting “painful cuts” to the most vulnerable of our society (the elderly, poor and disabled) will lie, deny, rationalize, vilify, shame and divert, before every American, to promote their “painful cuts.” 

What politicians like Governor Brown don’t understand about parents of, let's say, autistic children and adults, is that we aren’t fooled by politicans like him. We've been through too much reality to fall for the unrealities presented to us. We see the games. We see the corruption. We know what they're doing. 

NOTICE AFTER Gov. Brown announced his “painful cuts” to programs serving disabled, he later proclaims,

“At a time when children, the disabled and seniors face painful cuts to essential programs, the state of California cannot justify a massive expenditure of public dollars for the worst criminals.” 
Said Governor Brown, "California will have to find another way to address the housing needs of condemned inmates. It would be unconscionable to earmark $365 million for a new and improved death row while making severe cuts to education and programs that serve the most vulnerable among us." Well, excuse me Governor, but if it's so horrible to make cuts to the most vulnerable among us, then WHY are YOU speaking out to STOP the cuts to these vulnerable among us? 

What Brown did here is a classic psycho=social manipulation to gain approval of something controversial. He spoke of cuts to disabled and then quickly paired these cuts to something totally unrelated that would evoke outraged emotion, tricking unsuspected minds to think by rejecting an expenditure on "worthless" criminals this would lessen the cruelty of making cuts to the "worthless" disabled. It must be a hard, long road to survive in the political arena. I wonder how much of yourself you have to sacrifice. How much of your heart has to be compromised. What kind of regrets you will face when you're old, forgotten and just a name in a history book. 

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice…” Proverbs 31-8-9

Kim Oakley