I am writing regarding the story in last Friday’s (Nov. 3) 530 entitled “Research Finally Reveals What Causes Autism and Parents Can’t Believe It.” First and foremost, the headline is ridiculous, misleading and totally incorrect. Believe me, there are many parents, teachers, doctors, and researchers who want nothing more than finding out what causes autism; however, there is no known cause. Researchers are making progress, especially in the area of genetics, but much more research is needed.
Secondly, although the article is strung together with some facts, the overall tone is extremely offensive to any parent of a child on the spectrum. Can you actually imagine using the term “faulty” genes to refer to one with Down Syndrome, or Multiple Sclerosis, or Muscular Dystrophy? Hopefully, we have evolved.
And beginning the article with all the debunked theories that have existed and calling them “potential reasons” is irresponsible. The doctor who first stirred the vaccine debate on autism was found to have made up the research and lost his medical license. And yet, this theory will not die because it still gets press. Also, the harm done to so many mothers in the past over not showing their child enough love was real. Can you imagine their twofold suffering … the realization that something was seriously wrong with their child and being told they caused it!!
The good news is that we have excellent people right here in Great Bend that are helping children with autism and their families. Next time 530 needs to fill some space, don’t turn to an article ripe from social media that most people would simply pass by. Contact local people who would be glad to help spread awareness.
On April 7 of 2018, the Pilot Club of Great Bend is bringing an Autism Conference to Great Bend. From the keynote speaker on down, they have assembled a top notch panel of excellent speakers, and will provide attendees the latest and best knowledge we have at this time. Please plan on providing ample space in the Tribune to let them share their knowledge on this important topic.