What, Me Fear? Not Dr. Morrier.
“No disease. No defect. No deficit. Different.” Thanks to our Anne Dachel for calling that dingbat in Florida, a shrink named Morrier who certainly isn’t worried about autism. He appears to have no experience or understanding of the plight of people with autism and their families. No deficit? Can’t speak? Take care of yourself Protect yourself Autism itself is a word – a useless word. Some of the characteristics are actually deficits. Take the word AUTISM and tell psychiatrists they can have it, love it, wrap it in 24 karat gold tissue paper, and keep making their fortune by prescribing seriously dangerous drugs for it. I know a local mother who worked so damn hard for her son – and yet his anger just keeps escalating and he’s a HUGE young man. The psychological answer? THORAZINE. THOR A ZINE. Dr. Morrier, step aside, you are an obstacle. Upset about. With apologies to Alfred E. Neuman of MAD Magazine.
By Anne Dachel
I recently found a pointless article about autism in the Fort Myers Florida weekly. The title was a misnomer, Understand autism.
In the end, the reader doesn’t really understand what autism is. The real message is: there is nothing wrong with being autistic, get used to it.
It was shown by Michael Morrier, a psychiatrist at Emory University in Atlanta, and Diane Adreon, who has a PhD in special education and works at Miami-Nova Southeastern University.
This is a perfect example of autism busy work: AUTISM IS STILL A SECRET, BUT NO ONE WORKS. Educated people look for autism.
We were told that autism is like left handed, just a difference, not a defect / deficit.
Reporter Mary Wozniak didn’t have any really challenging questions for Dr. Morrier
In short, Morrier dismissed autism as a crisis. He still wasn’t sure if there really were more children with autism. He gave us the history of autism back to Bruno Bettelheim’s refrigerator-mother theory.
Morrier was not asked about regressive autism, in which healthy, normally developing children suddenly lose learned skills and sink into autism.
Morrier spoke of a “genetic predisposition” and “some kind of environmental trigger,” but did not even name one of the possible triggers.
Morrier was “absolutely” certain that there are just as many adults with autism; they are just misdiagnosed.
Finally, Morrier sang the praises of the neurodiversity movement and how we must all “work together to make the world a better place for us all”.
This piece barely dealt with the reality of autism. Nothing was said about what it is like to take care of the non-verbal young adult son who is wearing a helmet, still in diapers and a physical danger to himself and others.
A really knowledgeable reporter would have asked Morrier where all these undiagnosed / misdiagnosed autistic adults are and why he hasn’t used his position to find a comparable adult rate. (And I don’t mean finding people who would rather stay home on Friday nights and read a book than go to a party.)
Morrier should have been asked why so many autistic children have serious bowel problems and other concurrent illnesses.
A truly informed reporter would ask why better diagnosis never seems to end. Just when we see the rate fail?
Wozniak should have asked Morrier to explain the rate of one in 14 students / one in 8 boys in New Jersey schools with autism.
The past twenty years watching the media and medical community talk about autism has taught me that this will never change.
And when autism finally ruins schools and social services, I can guarantee that all of Dr. Morriers and Mrs. Wozniaks are still out there undisturbed, scratching their heads over the secret of autism.
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