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  • 1.  ASD

    Posted 01-30-2019 09:34 AM

    I had an interesting conversation with a colleague about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the impact of the last 100 years of industrial and technical advances to our entire environment. I did a little internet searching and came across this article from Harvard Medical School  This led me to start thinking is ASD an evolutionary next step? I was wondering if anyone might have more info on this idea?

    Steven Erwin
    Chico CA

  • 2.  RE: ASD

    Posted 01-31-2019 12:26 AM
    Hey, At-Risk & Special Needs Interest Forum Members,
    Anyone have any info about this?? Please join in.

    Mary Wonderlick
    co facilitator
    At Risk & Special Needs Interest Forum
    Chicago IL

  • 3.  RE: ASD

    Posted 02-01-2019 01:09 AM
    I am not sure what you are referring to when you state, "the impact of the last 100 years of industrial and technical advances to our entire environment."  Are you referring to causes of ASD or talking about the evolutionary refinement of skills necessary to be successful in a digital age?

    Regarding your thoughts on ASD and evolution, I think we must always remember that if an individual were, without interventions and supports, completely independent and did not demonstrate impairments that impact some area of life functioning (not masking their symptoms which leads to a host of issues) they would not qualify for an ASD diagnoses.  Clinical conditions are clinical bc they cause some type of functional life impairment.  This is an essential feature of any DSM or ICD diagnosis.

    We must also remember that approximately 50% of individuals with ASD have significant cognitive, adaptive, and communication impairments.  Many are non-verbal, require significant care, and have an intellectual disability.  So when we talk about evolution, we need to clarify social versus biological.   Socially, I believe we are becoming a more neurodiverse society.   Biologically the diversity has likely been there in one from or another all along.

    For more on the topic of the history ASD and neurodiversity I would recommend reading Neurotribes.  I do not agree with the chapter on ASD interventions but the rest of the book is well written and researched.

    Best wishes,
    Elizabeth Isralowitz, MA BCBA
    PhD Student

    Elizabeth Isralowitz
    UC Riverside
    Los Angeles CA

  • 4.  RE: ASD

    Posted 02-01-2019 09:34 AM
    Thanks for the reply and the resources. I will take your advice and read more about this interesting topic.

    Steven Erwin
    Kaplan Early Learning Company
    Chico CA