Re: Evolving Geeks?

From: Alex Ramonsky (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 04:39:47 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter C. McCluskey" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2002 17:20
Subject: Re: Evolving Geeks?

> (Alex Ramonsky) writes:
> >Is there any evidence to suggest a link between autism and birth / early
> >parenting methods? I read some while ago that this was the case but have
> >been unable to find any reference to it.
> Judith Harris, in a book called The Nurture Assumption, makes a strong
> argument against the general claim that parenting methods affect
> behavior outside of the home. She specifically says that "autistic
> are born that way", but doesn't refer to any evidence that is specific to
> autism. (Simon Baron-Cohen, the autism researcher quoted at the start of
> this thread, describes The Nurture Assumption as "shockingly persuasive").
> The book Shadow Syndromes, which has a good chapter on autism, says
> "Autism is not caused by bad parents", but it also fails to cite any
> specific evidence to support that claim.
I was referring mainly to birth methods and very early childcare, ie the
first few hours after birth. The research that was mentioned to me was
implying that autism is the result of failure to meet the requirements of
biology at and just after birth. I haven't been able to find the relevant
publications about this. Just wanted to make it plain, I'm not talking about
'bad' parenting here, I'm talking about the possibility of damage done
through ignorance, by some current medical practices...?

> It sure looks to me like the increased ability of autistic people to
> reproduce is a significant part of the increase in people diagnosed as
> autistic, although changing criteria for diagnosis probably play a big
> part too.
> I think it's misleading to credit the airplane for enabling people to
> change their culture. The automobile was more important at doing that
> than air travel was.
> I also doubt that a mildly autistic person is more readily accepted
> in places where cultural differences make social oddness more normal.
> I think the main effect is that it has become easier for mildly autistic
> people to find cultures (such as that of Silicon Valley) that attract
> other mildly autistic people, and therefore become cultures that seem
> less foreign.
> --
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------

> Peter McCluskey          | Free Jon Johansen!
> |

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