Sunday, 31 March 2013

Autism Framework of Restricted Vision

Today's post is about a new framework to help us all understand what is going on in the world of autism.  If you read a lot, you will have heard of Mindblindness and Mindreading.  It is an interesting idea developed by Borat's big brother, Simon Baron-Cohen.

You may recall that Monty's afternoon therapist and pal is called Dule ("Doolay"); well Dule and I agreed a long time ago that at least half of the problem lies not in the mind of the autistic child, but rather in the mind of the "normal" adults. Simon's brother Sacha (Borat) would probably find this amusing, but it is actually true.

The Autism Framework of Restricted Vision shows how the adults cannot  see over the long red secret wall.  All they can see is their family doctor, and if they live in the US, their DAN doctor; not to mention quackery found on the internet.

Here is what the other characters can see:-

  1. Family doctor can see the NICE guidelines
  2. DAN Doctor can see the quackery and if he/she chooses also the fundamental scientific research.  There is a lot of money to be made in various "laboratory" tests, supplements and potions.
  3. Neurodevelopment paediatricians are basically good.  They see everything, they note that the wizz kid researchers rush off to patent their ideas and set up a "Micro Pharma" company to exploit them.  They will wait until everything is FDA approved, before they try anything new.  Nobody wants to be on the wrong end of a lawsuit, do they?
  4. Micro Pharma are the start-ups, created by the wizz kid researchers. I wish them the very best of luck, Mr Lemmonier and Mr Hardan in particular.
  5. Big Pharma is showing some interest in autism and they have some drugs being trialed, but I would put my money on Micro Pharma. 
  6. NICE we covered in an earlier post. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will tell you in 780 pages what the Neurodevelopment Paediatrician will tell you in a short email.
  7. Quackery is the lucrative field of exploiting the plight of desperate parents, it seems to be mainly a US-based activity.  There are elements of quackery that are actually interesting; the reason being that there are only so many elements in the human brain.  If you mess around with enough of them, you may in the end hit on something that does actually work.

My approach is to take off the blinkers, climb over the secret wall and go direct to the data, that is to say, the fundamental scientific research.  There is plenty of it.

Coming next is a series on biological markers in autism.  These markers should lead us to our final destination. 


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