Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On Yet Another Stupidly Harmful Therapy

"Helminthic therapy" is the treatment of autoimmune disorders via deliberate exposure to parasitic worms. I know this for two reasons: One, I live within easy driving distance of what is apparently the quack capitol of the United States. Two, the parents of the kids I work with often have no common sense whatsoever.

If you've reached the obvious conclusion, you are entirely correct. I now know more than I ever wanted to about this, including the name of a company that will ship whipworm eggs from Thailand.


There really isn't much on the 'net about helminthic therapy and autism as of yet, but what I have found is suitably disturbing. The rationale is discussed here and here. The first part of a three-part video lecture is available here (with parts two and three available here and here, respectively). A very disgusting blog post can be found here.

Any other sources would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On a Recent Huffington Post Article

Around a week ago, this article was posted to the Huffington post.

Quite frankly, my initial reaction to it was to think that it was an April Fool's joke. The sheer absurdity of the juxtaposition involved in talking about healing divides while spewing hate speech is striking.

Yes, hate speech. It's pretty unambiguous. Reading through the comments, however, it quickly becomes apparent that people don't get it.

Well, some commentators do. Thanks, Kim! (And, of course, all of the other people who I don't know...)

At the moment, the commentators seem to be divided between those who engage in reification error and those who don't. This is... pretty typical, really.

In any case... let's see. The post characterizes the neurodiversity movement as being made up of "people with Asperger's Syndrome or higher functioning autism" (this is nowhere near true, and "high functioning" is considered insulting), describes ASAN as "a self advocacy movement for people with high functioning autism" (ditto), and ends by stating that "We aren't the enemies. Autism is." (Which qualifies as blatant hate speech).

I really don't know what to say here...