Thursday, November 20, 2014

DSM5 ASD Criterion D: No Clinically Signifcant Impairment in Current Functioning = No Autism

The DSM5 is certainly open to criticism; particularly in its combining of the pervasive developmental disorders into one Autism Spectrum Disorder ignoring the very large numbers of persons with DSM-IV Autistic Disorder who also suffer from Intellectual Disability.  One point which did make sense in the Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic criteria though is the one that is routinely ignored by those who glorify autism disorders ... Criterion D (underlining added):

Diagnostic Criteria for 299.00 Autism Spectrum Disorder

D.Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.

The subscribers to the irrational view that autism disorder, a mental health disorder diagnosis, is not really a disorder after all are able to maintain their beliefs by ignoring reality particularly the realities faced by those with severe autism disorders.  They routinely claim every historical genius or artistic talent as an "autistic".  They argue for the purity of the autism spectrumm "condition" by pretending there intellectual disability is just a coincidence and has nothing to do with autism.  In that regard of course they are on the same page as the professionals who separate ID and ASD and call them comorbid conditions.  They fall off that page though and put distance between themselves and the autism health care professionals by ignoring the plain wording of the DSM5 ASD Criterion D.  

Unfortunately a Jerry Seinfeld has only to speak and his words are heard and debated around the world. JS "migh be autistic" and that is good enough for those who want to put distance between themselves, or their family members, and the intellectually disabled and impaired in their everyday life activities at the severe end of the spectrum were autism is exactly what it has always been ...  a disorder.

Very high functioning persons claiming to be autistic must be able to demonstrate, as stated in DSM5 299.00 Autism Spectrum Disorder  that the DSM5  autism symptoms cause  .... . clinically significant impairment in current functioning.  Otherwise they should not receive an ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and should not claim to be autistic. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Seinfeld-Descartes Autism Diagnostic Tool: "I think I am Autistic therefore I am Autistic"

The Seinfeld-Descartes Autism Diagnostic Tool: I Think I Am Autistic Therefore I Am Autistic

Many, especially many with very, very high functioning autism diagnoses have embraced Jerry Seinfeld's new test for autism "conditions" one that the great comic borrowed from philosopher Rene Descartes:  "I think I am autistic, therefore I am autistic".

With the Seinfeld-Descartes diagnostic tool it is no longer necessary for those who want to join the truly amazing autism club to obtain one of those pesky medical diagnoses.  Nor will it be necessary to demonstrate the presence of that nasty Criterion D in the DSM5 Autism Spectrum Disorder:

D. Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning. 

I am not aware of what limits or impairments that the extremely rich successful comic and family man Jerry Seinfeld has in everyday functioning. For that matter it is not clear what impaired everyday functioning has ever been exhibited by many claiming to be autistic, including former free ranging Aspergians but it doesn't matter in today's world.  Jerry Seinfeld's speculation about being autistic is enough for him to receive a warm embrace from the very high functioning autism self advocacy world and the mainstream media.

Seinfeld-Descartes Autism Diagnostic Tool - I think I am autistic therefore I am autistic.  JE Robison and Ari Ne'eman couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

My Son With Autism Disorder And Jerry Seinfeld Have Nothing In Common; Not Even An Autism Disorder Diagnosis

(Grainy) Composite Photo 0f Jerry Seinfeld by Harold L Doherty, 
Moncton Coliseum,  February 2012, 2 Years Before His Revelation That 
He "Might" Be "On "The Autism Spectrum"

Picture by Harold L Doherty of My Son Conor Doherty On His 2nd Birthday, The Day Before His Autism Disorder Diagnosis Was Received After Six Months Of Tests And Pediatric Observation

Jerry Seinfeld has revealed, at age 60,  that he thinks he might be "on the autism spectrum".  He may be right, I don't know and won't know unless he seeks a professional assessment and makes the result of that assessment known to the public.  Jerry Seinfeld is one of the great comic geniuses of our times, IMHO, and I and am a huge fan, which is why I travelled with Conor's older brother, Brandon, to see Jerry Seinfeld perform at the Moncton Coliseum 2 years ago.  (Thanks also to Charlotte and Luigi for their hospitality that evening).

 We were not disappointed and I am reminded of his amazing social observation based jokes everytime I "have a coffee".  I am, and am sure I always will be, a Seinfeld fan but I do not think for a moment, regardless of whether Jerry Seinfeld receives an autism disorder diagnosis that his condition or disorder resembles my younger son's in any meaningful way. My son like many "on the spectrum" suffers from intellectual disability, seizures, self injurious behavior, obsessive, persistent behaviors, sensory issues and  limited verbal communication. There is no way he could possibly put on a command performance and entertain an audience as Mr Seinfeld does.

Many high functioning autism "self" advocates and parents of high functioning children speak up for Mr Seinfeld's right to speculate about being "on the spectrum".  They don't really have to because to my knowledge no one challenges Mr. Seinfeld's  right to do so but they do anyway, a courtesy seldom extended to those with severe autism who can not speak for themselves and whose parents, family members and other caregivers,  THEIR ONLY REAL SELF ADVOCATES, must speak for them.  

My son was diagnosed at age 2 plus 1 day after several months of testing and observation because we, his parents, sought medical attention for his developmental delays and behavioral issues at an early age before we had even heard of autism.   Mr Seinfeld who has been a very generous supporter of autism causes thinks he "might be" "on the spectrum" at age 60.  The gap between those two realities is huge and says all that needs be said about the "unified" autism spectrum disorder. It also says much about the media which will jump for every adult who "comes out autistic" with an alternative way of thinking they call autism while ignoring the severe challenges facing those with severe autism disorders and their families and caregivers. 

Time for me to "have a coffee".  And thank you for sharing with us all your incredible gift for humor if you happen across this humble blog Mr Seinfeld.

Monday, October 27, 2014

New Jersey Dad: "Reality Of Autism Is Often Very Grim"

I chose the name of my email account "" because, from my perspective, the harsh realities of autism disorders are usually ignored or worse,  intentionally misrepresented, by the mainstream media, autism awareness organizations, some high functioning autism "self"advocates and even some parents and autism professionals.  An online friend of mine who shares similar perspectives, Roger Kulp, shared an article on my Facebook timeline yesterday which surprised me because it was a commentary published in the New Jersey Courier-Post which presented a realistic view of some of the harsher realities faced by some with autism disorders and their families.

James Terminiello is the father of a 26 year old autistic son.  His commentary, Reality of autism is often very grim,  describes in detail many of the harsher realities faced by those with autism disorders and their families and other caregivers. Terminiello pulls no punches and will quite possibly incur the wrath of those who wish to paint autism as a pretty picture of alternative thinking and unusual genius:

"In  the world of autism, the autistic who pens short stories, designs bicycles, plays a mean piano or builds his own advocacy website gets the lion's share of media attention. And it has gotten out of hand. As a result, in the public eye, what was once regarded as a future-annihilating, invincible condition has become just a quirky little detour on the merry road to success.

Very nice and very, very untrue."

I  will not re-post  Terminiello's entire commentary here but I strongly encourage anyone who wants a realistic view of autism disorder realities to read it on the Courier-Post. And the next time you read a feel good story about the wonders and accomplishments of the more fortunate with autism remember there are many, many more whose lives, and the lives of their families and caregivers are actually impaired, restricted and shortened by autism disorders.