David Malins: The Asperger's Syndrome Pioneer

Blog (Anecdotal)

Autism Awareness: Science or Psuedo-Science???

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 2:05 PM

For many of you in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area are aware, I recently was made aware of a poster and talk that made some astoundingly neive claims surrounding awareness of Autistic Spectrum Conditions and other ralated diagnoses (Here it is below in full for you to share widely with) and was shocked also when learning the contents of the talk, at the the assumption that the conditions listed could be magically "prevented" and "coped with" despite the fact there is no scientific evidence to back-up this claim, which for most are lifelong conditions that affect everyday abilites and functions:

Whilst I have alot of faith in the abilites and experiences of parent-representatives, particularly in RCT, I was astounded that despite a parent first noticing this mistake of claims in a commercial advertisement, that it took the wise decision by a relative of a fellow aspie in the area to finally bring it to the view of the rest of the Aspie Community, simply because the parent thought "the matter was in hand" when I questioned the events that led-up to this (including the fact that this parent knew the person running the talk)

Needless to say that from all that I found out about the incident, was on the back of immediate outrage by many of you to the claims being made, the wording and the fact that on questioning the company involved on their social networking site as to their qualifications in this area led to improptu deletion of an adult aspies question in this respect.

From this, I felt morally abliged both with the interests of the Aspie Community and under the law to report the company 'Lifetime Wellness' in Rhondda, to RCT Trading Standards Team for misleading advertisement and information being given by a company that had no scientific foundation, nor any sanction to say what they said could "prevent" or "cope with" Autistic Spectrum Conditions, and the fact that it had even been miscatergorised as "neurobehavioural", when it is actually neurodevelopmental (or the example I put is that our behaviour isn't necercerily from impulses, but more on moments when like a baby who only has two communication options to gargle or cry for food, nappy changes, etc, can only cry to indicate the need of the former, as they have no other tools to do so). Also, the qualified nature of the "doctorates of chiropractic" (a hypocritical term, since many are only qualified up to Masters level and no further) to train on Autism "prevention", when they are more likely to deal with issues concerning individual muscular and body pains, etc.

RCT Trading Standards took my complain on behalf of the aspie community and our collegues on the RCT Autism Strategy Group (who also were equally shocked of what was being proclaimed and taught) seriously and took it forward to have a word with the company, of which a report will be made very soon on their findings.

The story you would of thought would have ended there, but the interlocking interests and the threat to neurodiversity and awareness raising of scientifically-proven facts on Autistic Spectrum Conditions were about to get alot more serious.

Despite the claims of the parent rep that divulged this information, also dropped several other bombshells that they felt was just a trivial issue: The fact that this scheme was only part of a bigger, similar course at £200 per participant, touting the same pseudo-science quackery of for example "drink carrot juice during pregnancy to prevent the chance of autism" and "sit round a table more often to cure social problems", etc.

This "bigger course", led by the same people and businessman, were given (believe it or not) sanction to be paid by the Welsh Assembly Government to roll-out the course to school teachers across the region and then across Wales by next year - of which scheme is touted as an "awareness-raising course", approved shockingly of all not by the Cross Party Autism Group nor the Deputy Minister, by the Education Minister, Leighton "Taxdodger" Andrews, whom I have no doubt may have financial motives to carrying this through.

If this is the case, then the Education Minister, based in the Rhondda, has yet again caused another controversy to develop in an area that wasn't even his remit to approve whatsoever without informing the Local Authorities and those leading the Autism Strategy for Wales. It is an absolute farce that all the while when his mates in this scheme are getting paid for delivering an unproven and quite frankly damaging course that will certainly have parents and others wanting to know more about Autism taken advantage of for £200 profit per time: and yet, all other more scientifically and statistically-proven methods that we in the Aspie Community as children,adults and families have repeatedly demanded for are literally begging for pittance in comparison to this sham!

To those who shelter such awful business practise - I will have no hesistation to bring you to the attention of the relevant authorities (and if required ask for your business to be frozen til investigations for business malpractise and trade descriptive violations are followed up) - as you have NO BUSINESSS touting off unproven methods to those who need professional assistance from the like of myself and collegues who are in charge of delivering the Autism Strategy.

In conclusion, whilst we do have a good start to the Autism Action Plan here in Wales, pseudo-scientific schemes like the above will do nothing to assist - Whilst I would like to ask that those who think they have a viable method to come to an autism strategy meeting to look at how you can help, you will not be allowed to do the same thing as you have done in the United States in fooling the public trust.

At least I've done my job - which didn't cost a single penny to do: Defending the hopes and wishes of the Aspie Community in RCT :)


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