Breaking the Narrative Episode 120: So Your Son Isn’t Autistic? A Consistency of Disdain!

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Recently I tried to once again apply my son for preschool or as they are loving to call it nowadays “Pre-K.” My in-laws were attempting to help me out and in their ‘testing’ they misdiagnosed my son autistic because of a 4 point differential under what’s tested. Apparently part of this testing is attributed to how they act socially. Being cautious parents my wife and I taught him to be wary of strangers. My in-laws did not take this to account and we weren’t at this test because we were told a different story on the outset of where he was going for the day (we thought he was going to an amusement park for crying out loud,) so they interpreted his wary response as a sign of autism, as they had no explanation for it.

My mother-in-law’s Munchhausen’s by-proxy aside, this led to a concern I have in connection to how boys are treated in school.

I was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a kid, without any consideration for my Tourette’s until I was 14. I was given Ritalin, which didn’t help my development any. So now I must ask, how many boys are misdiagnosed with learning disabilities specifically because they are boys? To check this point first I’m going to go for current statistics on how many boys versus girls are attributed with Attention-Deficit disorder (ADD,) ADHD, and Autism. Next I’m going to look and see if these definitions have been changed over time and how. If something seems fishy I’ll point it out. However I highly advise to any parents out there to get a second opinion from another child psychologist and not just blindly trust the school district. If my prior article is any indication, they might not have the best intentions at heart. Let’s Hammer This In!

One of the complications we have to deal with is that ADD and ADHD are often coupled together in diagnosing, even in the CDC’s numbers. This is due to the man who coined ADHD, Dr. Leon Eisenberg, stating himself that many often misunderstand and misdiagnose the condition and often over-prescribe medications for treatment. Some believe this as him claiming its a fraudulent disease on his deathbed. This can be considered questionable, however.

Why would such diagnoses be wanted by public school boards? Money, obviously! The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides funding for programs for students with disabilities, including learning disabilities, in both pre-school and elementary school. Couple that with the penalties that No Child Left Behind blindly imposes on schools when non-learning-disabled students don’t perform to specific testing standards, and the federal government has created compelling incentives for over-diagnosis of learning disabilities by school staff. However, they might get flak for diagnosing a lot of girls, especially in a system that is designed primarily for them, so that’s part of why special education courses are primarily male (Linked article is free access). Male disposability well at work. Why do I say that? The teachers don’t want to teach the boys but they still want money off them. So just shove them in a dark corner of the school and pawn them off on an overworked teacher. Add to that the fact that most superintendents don’t dole out money like they are supposed to and this shows why they push for more pay in that fashion.

So how does this concept apply to Autism? Well the rate at which those diagnoses increase is astonishing within a 15 year period. Understandably the money connected increases as well. Even the Smithsonian admits that similar gender disparity exists in diagnosis of the conditions. To be fair we have to also admit while boys get the rough end of things due to this over-diagnosing. The girls who may have these conditions who get overlooked are harmed as well. This should be more than enough evidence to prove the supremacist bend to feminism, because in a feminist’s mind, these are likely ‘male diseases.’ Women are ‘too good’ to be autistic! How does this mesh with the idea of the victim narrative around women? Easy, because they can use the under-diagnosis as a scapegoat to distract from the real problem of boys being over-diagnosed.

So how is this being misdiagnosed? My hypothesis stems around the expansion in the DSM over the past 25 years of the definition of Autism. Much like the conversation around gender dysphoria, the DSM, in its newer editions, has broadened the criteria for autism diagnosis to include things it hasn’t in the past. This is why Asperger’s is considered a form of Autism. Eventually Tourette’s, like I have, may be brought under the umbrella. The lack of clear defining of terms causes several issues. If we don’t know exactly what we are discussing, how can we find a proper solution? We can’t! However, those in charge have shown in recent years to not want a proper solution. They want to break something to say they fixed another thing. This keeps them in control if they are being asked to fix more and more “problems” when they haven’t even fixed the first issue they were supposed to solve.

In fact, with recent facebook bans, many people who consider themselves conservative are being pushed to try to regulate and therefore codify the establishment social media as a required service. This is an example of ‘breaking something to fix it.’ Due to the importance of this issue, people are being rash, and not considering better solutions to the problem. As a libertarian myself, I don’t think more regulation and codifying of shit companies is the solution. I think more freedom is the solution and have explained such in the past. We need to defend not just our inalienable rights as citizens of the country but our inalienable rights as consumers. Everyone needs the means to obtain goods and services through which to live, interact, and create for ourselves and our families.

That’s right, I’m gonna say it! Commerce in the marketplace of goods and services and the marketplace of ideas is a human right! The corporate oligarchs running the show don’t want you to realize that, though, because that means an end to their stranglehold over the conversation. Its my personal estimation that if such were implemented, unions would become largely redundant, because workers rights fall under consumer rights as the job marketplace is included.

We can streamline this thought process down the line, but overall, we need to realize that regulation isn’t the necessary answer. It’s freedom. We also need to realize that more information from more provable sources is better than just a blind potential misquote from a proposed expert. This applies to evaluations of our children as well as evaluation of facts. This is why we need to encourage freedom of discussion along with our freedom to speak. Well I better go get that second opinion on my son now. I’ll tackle something different next week. Until then, Please Remember to Game Freely!

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Alex Tinsley

A student of Fine Arts and Japanese culture of six years at Murray State University. Having never graduated due to difficulties with a specific teacher has gained a unique perspective upon the issues being faced by men and boys. A father of a young boy and loving husband.
Alex Tinsley
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About the author

Alex Tinsley

A student of Fine Arts and Japanese culture of six years at Murray State University. Having never graduated due to difficulties with a specific teacher has gained a unique perspective upon the issues being faced by men and boys. A father of a young boy and loving husband.

By Alex Tinsley

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