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Greatshield17

Claritas Prayer Group#9435
I realize a lot of stuff like this has probably been discussed on here before; but I what I want to do on here, is make the strongest case possible, that Autism existed before it was discovered. The reason I want to make this case, is because in my thinking over the apologetics I will employ in advocating for Autistic people, I think that the strongest argument our opponents could make for Autism being a disease that needs to be prevented and/or cured; is to assert that it is caused by modern toxins and the like, and was never around in the past, prior to its discovery. What evidence do we have to the contrary to refute this claim? (I mean, more than figures like St. Thorlak, not that people like that don’t help but, I want the strongest case possible with the hardest evidence)
 
Thorlak sounds like a Romulan name.

:)

Of course it existed before. It is (as current theories go) the result of genetic variations/mutations. It can be the result of the mother's exposure to toxins (insecticides are heavily implicated) but also from other situations such as advanced age of the father. And also random variations that occur in every single reproduction event. DNA replication is quite good, but never perfect. You can also have it passed down if either parent has the variations. There isn't just one variation, but 100 so far identified, and a person having just some of these can present enough symptoms to be considered on the spectrum.

It is a area of researcher theorizing of how autistics got along in prehistory. The bottom line being we can possess skills that would be useful in any time and place. Personally I think we may have even excelled at certain things, making us valuable members of any group.
 
Autism genetics, explained

Largest autism sequencing study to date yields 102 genes associated with ASD

Over 100 identified markers on the human genome associated with autism. In other words,...It's been around for a long, long time.

This does not include all the other associations like maternal obesity (insulin and growth factor alterations), testosterone and thyroid levels at key points during fetal development, etc.

Keep in mind, these are the identified "associations", not "causations",...from what I can glean from the literature, autism "seems" to be caused by a "perfect storm" or convergence of multiple factors.
 
Well, back in the day, the more higher functioning autistic people would be abused by their parents and get bad grades in school, even though they understood the subject, further leading to more abuse.

The lower functioning people would be hidden by their families, institutionalized, called addlebrained, or maybe not even allowed an education.

The ones who slipped through the cracks without being noticed would get a string of jobs, that they always were fired from, get married, have kids, and always feel like the world was somehow not for them. Like there was a fundamental flaw in who they were that made them be hated by society.

Perhaps a few with money would isolate themselves, surround themselves with books, and discover scientific principles that launched society into the future, or create great works of art that we still are in awe of to this day.
 
I totally agree with the view that Autism has been around for a long time and don't agree with the toxine / vaccine as causation view. however, the evidence for this in pretty much all cases is circumstantial and "just so stories" evolutionary psychology.
For me, the most solid evidence are the gene markers as mentioned by @Neonatal RRT. But, as he writes, association is not causation.
 
I totally agree with the view that Autism has been around for a long time and don't agree with the toxine / vaccine as causation view. however, the evidence for this in pretty much all cases is circumstantial and "just so stories" evolutionary psychology.
For me, the most solid evidence are the gene markers as mentioned by @Neonatal RRT. But, as he writes, association is not causation.

Agreed. I believe that it's genetic.

A lot of us tell stories about having a narcissistic parent that was very unloving and cruel. And about a parent of theirs that was narcissistic as well.

What if that narcissistic parent was actually an aspie who grew up before autism was even recognized and before there were any supports in place, and so they had to learn unhealthy coping mechanisms in order to survive in neurotypical society?

Maybe they don't understand that sometimes they allow themselves to be sensory or socially overwhelmed, and don't realize they're taking it out on their family?

Maybe they have trouble with empathy or physical touch, but they have masked so much (not even realizing what they're doing), and they think their reaction to people in their house is normal?

And the lashing out was just the sensory stuff getting to be too much for them? And the cold emotional state towards their family was them shutting down after a breakdown?

I was thinking about that a lot lately. Part of my journey of forgiveness.
 
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I think that the strongest argument our opponents could make for Autism being a disease that needs to be prevented and/or cured; is to assert that it is caused by modern toxins and the like, and was never around in the past, prior to its discovery. What evidence do we have to the contrary to refute this claim?

That's a tall order, Greatshield17 /rolling up my sleeves ;)/

It is very difficult to talk about things that were not yet defined, labeled, and agreed upon although biographies can be rich sources once you know which bios to read. So one does end up with a lot of

evolutionary psychology

The best treatment of this that I have read is "Not Even Wrong". The author (a writer specializing in history, memoir, and unusual antiquarian literature) wrote it in response to his two-year-old's diagnosis. He asked the same question you do, and the book has the answers he uncovered. Might be a good starting point.

Another excellent piece is Autism's First Child (full document). It describes the first child that Kanner diagnosed with autism and gives some context to how he lived. The whole village showed up for him ;)

I know in my personal history is genetic and not anything with vacines or toxins. Both of my parents, all three sibs, and paternal aunt and her youngest are all aspie. My five children range from mild to moderate aspie. Oddly, I have never found evidence of kanner's style in the family history. In the three generations with whom I am personally familiar, the XYs are all engineers and the XXs empaths (embarrassing, yet true).

My mom was totally into healthfood (in the 50s). We had to send away to Bulgaria for yogurt starter and we made all of our bread. The Wonder bread was delivered to the house in those days, but it was banned for us. We grew most of our veggies. I was obviously autistic before I ever got my first vaccine in the 50s (polio on a sugar cube - we did not have sugar in our house and that was a treat!).

The entire autism genetics field has been messed up by choosing to study autism through syndromes (trisomy 21, fragile x) and ignoring aspie-rich families.

I hope you keep us all in the loop with this project @Greatshield17!!
 
That's a tall order, Greatshield17 /rolling up my sleeves ;)/

It is very difficult to talk about things that were not yet defined, labeled, and agreed upon although biographies can be rich sources once you know which bios to read. So one does end up with a lot of



The best treatment of this that I have read is "Not Even Wrong". The author (a writer specializing in history, memoir, and unusual antiquarian literature) wrote it in response to his two-year-old's diagnosis. He asked the same question you do, and the book has the answers he uncovered. Might be a good starting point.

Another excellent piece is Autism's First Child (full document). It describes the first child that Kanner diagnosed with autism and gives some context to how he lived. The whole village showed up for him ;)

I know in my personal history is genetic and not anything with vacines or toxins. Both of my parents, all three sibs, and paternal aunt and her youngest are all aspie. My five children range from mild to moderate aspie. Oddly, I have never found evidence of kanner's style in the family history. In the three generations with whom I am personally familiar, the XYs are all engineers and the XXs empaths (embarrassing, yet true).

My mom was totally into healthfood (in the 50s). We had to send away to Bulgaria for yogurt starter and we made all of our bread. The Wonder bread was delivered to the house in those days, but it was banned for us. We grew most of our veggies. I was obviously autistic before I ever got my first vaccine in the 50s (polio on a sugar cube - we did not have sugar in our house and that was a treat!).

The entire autism genetics field has been messed up by choosing to study autism through syndromes (trisomy 21, fragile x) and ignoring aspie-rich families.

I hope you keep us all in the loop with this project @Greatshield17!!
Okay, I’ll see how things go. :)
 
The book "In a Different Key: The Story of Autism" has historical accounts of ordinary autistic people from 100s of years ago. Along with the more detailed information on the notable people.

I understand for a long while the "poor house" was the catch-all institution for people unable to live independently. Certainly they would have housed autistic people. When "insane asylums" were started, autistic people probably weren't the only people inappropriately sent there. They may have been the largest group who didn't belong there though.

Then there's the history of kids being excluded from an education. Perhaps that's tied into why "the spectrum" was unrecognized for so long. Public schools could refuse to accept kids with a autism diagnosis and those with ID as well. The story of the legal challenge that was the beginning of the end of that injustice is in the book above. Parents challenged PA to allow their ID kid to get an education and when it got to court PA just gave up without a fight.
 
The book "In a Different Key: The Story of Autism" has historical accounts of ordinary autistic people from 100s of years ago. Along with the more detailed information on the notable people.

Thanks for sharing, MyLifeAsAnAspie. I look forward to reading it

Then there's the history of kids being excluded from an education.

My sister was one of the first special educator in the country. She had to follow rumors to knock on doors to let families know they could send all of their children to school. She then created her first classroom from cardboard boxes.

Remember that old bumper sticker, It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.
 
Public schools could refuse to accept kids with a autism diagnosis and those with ID as well.

That has been illegal since the early 70s. What kids do you think a private school will accept???

Better to offer salaries that attract better quality candidates (in most states a teacher's salary for a family of 4 qualifies for welfare), improve the teacher/SPED training to focus on evidence-based instruction, and take some pressure off. A quality school is a beautiful thing. I have worked in several.
 
A lot of us tell stories about having a narcissistic parent that was very unloving and cruel. And about a parent of theirs that was narcissistic as well.

I also think it's genetic.

I haven't read though too much yet, but this is an interesting new perspective for me. I've thought of my mom as having narcissistic personality disorder, I've never thought of her as having ASD before. She left us when I was young and I lived with her off and on for a bit. That possibility opened up a shift in my forgiveness capacity. I love how a new perspective, even if untrue, creates doubt on my certainty.

I think of generational trauma and how things are passed down environmentally. I was talking to my husband yesterday about how neither of my parents (or various step-moms) had the tools to deal with me more skillfully as I was growing up. I may have been a more difficult child than I ever thought.

I imagine those unskillful practices and habits throughout the ages, on repeat.
 
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