For a long time I believed there was no group more wretched and abandoned by mainstream medicine than children with autism and their families.
However, after reading the magnificent book Osler’s Web – Inside the Labyrinth of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic by Hillary Johnson I have found a group which can reasonably lay claim to a similar level of hostility and indifference from the medical community.
I’ve often thought that all sufferers from mystery ailments, ranging from autism and chronic fatigue to Gulf War Syndrome need to band together in an army of the wretched and ignored to put science back on its proper course. Osler wrote, “Medicine arose out of the primal sympathy of man with man; out of the desire to help those in sorrow, need, and sickness.”
How I wish Dr. Osler were alive today.
Read the rest of the post here: http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/07/oslers-web-a-prequel-to-autism.html
Also interesting is a doctor’s opinion, linked to in the comments:
It has become absolutely safe to say, 99.9% of children being diagnosed as “Autistic” do not have Autism (as the term is understood or used), but rather reflect a disease state, a CNS [central nervous system] dysfunction, manifested by many Autistic symptoms, but unlike a developmental disorder, treatable, changeable IF we act quickly enough. (http://nids.net/myth.pdf)