Autism advocates demanding an Apology

 

Political season…the time when a few things grind to a halt as candidates compete fiercely with one another to gain or hang on to the very thing that millions lost in the recession: jobs. Autism is no stranger to the political realm, although debates have centered largely around the vaccination controversy. Not this time. Autism advocates and maternity groups were furious earlier this week, demanding an apology from Nevada GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle. Endorsed by the Tea Party. A video surfaced in a rally last year where Angle argued against health care mandates in the state of Nevada, saying that “everything…is covered under autism.” The groups demanding an apology suggest Angle has extended those claims since, suggesting that families and individuals mislabel other symptoms as autism. 

Personally speaking, I’m not one-sided, as I don’t believe one party with complete control of the presidency, House and Senate is always a good thing. Applying similar principles, Angle’s comments from the 2009 rally may not be totally misconstrued. Determining whether they were tact or appropriate is another matter and one I won’t discuss.

Angle’s claims are understandable when cross-examined with the specifics of autism, which are few and hard to find. While several biological tests are currently in the experimental stages, they remain years from widespread use and the condition is still diagnosed by behavioral observation, a process that many know by now isn’t foolproof. There are also a few scattered skeptics regarding who exactly is autistic, including kids who go on gluten-free diets and are supposedly cured, when medical experts, organizations and resources all suggest no cure is available. Autism’s range of severity is no secret either, with cases drawing parallels to the unique features of snowflakes. While no details are known about how many incorrect diagnoses are made, the possibility of one exists with current testing criteria.

Regarding the article, any juicy comments from politicians hit the web and news circuits faster than most people can read this sentence. The bulk of the story highlights a press event that appears to be little more than a rally. The speed of communication can be lethal if comments are made that are considered shocking enough to make the news, but this story barely makes it out of the Las Vegas area, and the video was posted by Angle’s political opponents from Nevada’s Democratic Party.

If shocking statements are made by a candidate, there’s a possibility that someone who works for the candidate’s opponent is behind the spark. The tactic is simply nature of political campaigns in the 21st century, and something news outlets will eat up if they see value.

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Mike Peden
Mike Peden brings a rarely discussed perspective on autism news: he was diagnosed with the disability in 1991. His explorations on autism led to an Alliance for Community Media Hometown Video Award in 2008 in the Documentary - Public Awareness category, and he currently deciphers evolving trends in autism coverage.
Mike Peden

Mike Peden

Mike Peden brings a rarely discussed perspective on autism news: he was diagnosed with the disability in 1991. His explorations on autism led to an Alliance for Community Media Hometown Video Award in 2008 in the Documentary - Public Awareness category, and he currently deciphers evolving trends in autism coverage.

0 thoughts on “Autism advocates demanding an Apology

  • October 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm
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    She really doesn’t.  And the “quote marks” in the air with her fingers is particularly distressing.  Insurance reform is just not a contrversial issue.  Period. It’s a no-brainer and it MUST BE DONE.  End of story.  And that’s not a partisan statement: she may be “conservative,” but the majority of states that have enacted autism insurance refomr are traditaionnaly consider RED States.  So this aint a PARTY issue!

    What’s more, Autism is diagnosed by TRAINED PROFESSIONLAS  And if she thinks that “other illnesses” are being misdiagnosed as autsim?  Guess what: It doesn’t matter, cost-wise, becuase those other things? Already GET COVERAGE.  For both medication AND therapy.

    This issue is about no more than insurance companies being allowed to discriminate against families with autism.  Period.  And what’s the great cost-savings for the people of Nevada?

    Of hand IDK what Nevada DOES but let’s take Flordia’s Law as an example:

    They cover up to $35,000 per year, per child.

    Assume a 1% occurance rate (which really exagerates the need, in terms of full coverage.) That’s $350 per year, per family plan.

    That’s ~$30 per month.

    A lot perhaps, but when you consider that 80% of people have their employer pick up ~80% of the tab?

    Now it’s just $6 a month, per family.  Fine, $7.20 if you want don’t want to charge anything extra to those who pay entirely for their own. 

    That’s it.

    Hardly seems worth pushing so many families to the brink of bankrupcy (or well into it) especially in these economic times, over a lousy $6-7 a month.  I found her remarks to not only be offensive, but she’s apparently bad at math as well.

    Reply
  • October 2, 2010 at 11:04 am
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    One day, perhaps with the coming of the biological tests, I don’t think autism will be diagnosed anything like as widely. I think its a catch-all for various sets of behaviours, and that’s what’s important. It won’t matter what you call it, it will still exist and will still need treatment, so she doesn’t really have much of an argument.

    Reply

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