Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Huffington, woo!

After viewing the latest bit of quack-promoting stupidity at the Huffington post, I felt compelled to comment for some reason. I'm not quite sure why -- it's harder to take the author's ramblings seriously as an argument for her favored cause than it is to take Treevenge seriously an argument for abolishing Christmas.

Or, in other words, her rant is a pure appeal to emotion and a blatant pity ploy. I'm feeling particularly unsympathetic to those at the moment.

I wish parents would stop the "oh woe is me, I have an autistic child! Look at how I'm suffering!" ploys -- not only does this help perpetuate the environment of desperation that's feeding scum like the Geiers and Eisenstein, but is also actively encouraging harmful parental attitudes in ways that others have expressed far better than I can.

The fact that those selfsame autistic kids that they're complaining about are generally less than sympathetic to their whining is quite unsurprising. This stupidity regularly kills people like us.

One particularly nasty piece of her little rant, however, deserves specific attention:

One of the flimsy claims the insurance lobby makes for excluding autism is that its treatments are not proven. However, there are now hundreds of children who have recovered through IVIG, diet and chelation therapy. Further, there are thousands of cancer patients who die each year despite having received costly "medically proven" chemical treatments. The difference? There are ten thousand times more children with autism than cancer, and ten of thousands more coming down the pike each year who the insurance lobby don't want to treat. This is a tidal wave epidemic that government and society can longer ignore. As a champion in autism Rick Rollens often says: "Autism is the fire at the door."

Rick Rollens? A "champion in autism"? We're talking about the same piece of scum, right? Okay, so at least a few of his actions have shown some level of common sense, but that hardly excuses his actions over the years. We're talking about a piece of work who's referred to the existence of some of the people who I respect most in the world, the existence of people who I consider friends, and the existence of people like me as "this plague of a disease". We're talking about a guy who was instrumental in founding an organization dedicated to convincing our parents to torture us.

And that's hardly the most outrageous or offensive item in that paragraph. The blatant use of the whole autism/cancer thing is so unspeakably offensive as to be damn near unprintable. These are the idiots who call us insensitive?

I'm not even going to dignify her so-called "argument" using that analogy with a response. It's just too damn stupid.

I will, however, address the following:

One of the flimsy claims the insurance lobby makes for excluding autism is that
its treatments are not proven.

Actually, there is one proven "autism treatment", one thing which is consistantly related to better outcomes in every study I've read (that looks for it, anyway). The available evidence even suggests quite strongly that it's a causal relationship.

No, it's not chelation (of which the most complementary thing I can say is that it's less nasty than some of the other quackery out there). It's not megavitamins. It's not the mystic healing power of horses.

It's good, old-fashioned education... and no, I don't mean "special" education. Somehow, I don't see parents complaining that insurance doesn't cover it.

I do, however, see them ripping their hair out over the frustrations involved with IEP meetings. Given the level of psychosocial stigma that morons like this woman are perpetuating, every parent trying to get decent services for his or her child should be cursing her name.

And for the insurance companies not paying for quackery... seriously, lady. Could you imagine if emergency rooms were run that way? They only pay for evidence-based medicine for a reason!


  1. Alexander,

    Nicely done. If you missed her previous post on Huff, it's worth the look to see just how offensive her ideas are, both to people and children on the spectrum and to those with other disabilities.

  2. I don't want my insurance or tax money to go into torturing kids with things that don't work.

    There are parents advocating for insurance coverage of evidence based treatments, but I'm sure this woman isn't much helping that effort, either.