This is a funny story I found written by Emily Willingham. I have found a lot of stories written by her about Autism.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a list. Here are the 10 weirdest–and in some cases, most dangerous–factors I’ve seen linked to autism.
1. No worms. Without question, my all-time favorite autism-linked factor has to be “an absence of worms.” It’s a wriggly hypothesis that lacks even a correlation to drive it, but it sure did get a lot of attention. I can confirm anecdatally that I’ve never heard of an autistic person who had worms, but I also haven’t known non-autistic people who have, either.
3. Relative finger length. According to my own relative finger lengths, I am either male or a lesbian. I am neither. Of course, at the link, we’re promised that our finger lengths will also predict our tendency to develop cancer. Cancer, autism, homosexuality–hey, there, one of the 10 signs of pseudoscience!
4. Too much money. Counts us out. Of course, what the study really indicates is that having resources–like money–means readier access to services and diagnostic testing.
5. An amino acid. I think. I’ll quote myself on this one: “You know that modern art that you stare at, trying to figure out why it’s supposed to be art? This is the science version of that.”
6. Too much air pollution. A.k.a, “living near a freeway.” Has anyone checked for super-double-plus-high autism prevalence in the nations of the world with the worst air pollution, like Iran, Mongolia, India, China, or Pakistan? Or noticed that in the US, pollution’s actually decreasing?
7. Too much androgen. Not as in “in the womb,” but just a presumption of an overwhelming amount of androgen that at least one delicensed doctor (it’s kind of trendy in the world of autism pseudoscience to be delicensed) tried to parlay into a patented treatment that involved using a chemical castration agent on children without medical indication.
8. The Internet. It was a completely ridiculous thing to say, but it sure did start an entertaining Internet meme: I point to Baroness Greenfield, I point to viral memes. That’s all.
9. Vaccines. It’s dead, Jim. Stop flogging the poor, dead hypothesis. Let’s just bury it in a simple, private ceremony.
10. Mothers. Not that mothers are necessarily strange, but everything we do seems to be linked to autism: Having children close together, having them in a certain order, being a certain age, having antibodies, having children in summer, having wombs and gestating embryonic and fetal humans in them, using Clomid, IVF, terbutaline, or labor induction, being pregnant near freeways, donating bad mitochondria to offspring, partnering with older fathers, passing genes to our children, eating, treating depression, getting an infection during pregnancy, including the flu, not getting an infection, being depressed, or behaving like refrigerators.
The list of maternal factors linked to autism is actually much longer than this, so I thought I’d just say “Mothers” and leave it at that. So from now on, instead of elaborating on new research findings, the news media can simply write, “We point to mothers, we point to autism. That’s all.” Don’t worry. It’ll be OK. We’re pretty used to it.
I found the story on Forbes.com