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ASD from Miriam Stoppard's viewpoint!

(39 Posts)
Tessofthedinnerbells Mon 19-Oct-09 11:34:07

AIBU to be shock at this:

When my ds showed signs of being a little different, it was Miriam's baby books that helped me stay on the long straight and narrow road of denial.

What do you think?

magso Mon 19-Oct-09 12:42:45

Hmm I think it is very hard to get a dx of autism (well that is my experience with a child on tne mid to severe end of the spectrum) and surely a doctor would know that. I agree that nonmedical experts not in a possition to diagnose should avoid label useage. However some 'experts' do have a duty to recognise differences and refer on and/or adapt to the differences depending on their specialty. I cannot imagine anyone is in a rush to get a diagnosis for their child, but many of us our in dire need of understanding and support for our different children and can often only get that with a diagnosis. In some way it is the regulation of the school system - good in most ways and consequent loss of flexibility which has forced the need for more labels.
I do however wonder if the labels themselves are a problem. There is a world of difference between profound autism and severe and moderate and even a world of difference between my social loving but quirky hyperactive MFASD child and another child with the same severe grading of their asd but different needs and skills.
Hope I have not upset anyone - but this article upset me!

magso Mon 19-Oct-09 12:44:32

oops upset my spelling too!

mysonben Mon 19-Oct-09 12:48:13

Yes shock and angry that's what i think about this article.
Maybe Dr.M.Stoppard should stick to what she does best, writing books about pregancy and babies.

mysonben Mon 19-Oct-09 12:49:22

wink my spelling too Magso. "pregnancy"

5inthetomb Mon 19-Oct-09 12:52:55

Another busybody who knows nothing about the subject she is writing about. angry

likeacuppa Mon 19-Oct-09 13:47:03

All I can say is that Miriam hasn't read any of the posts here by parents struggling to get schools to meet their child's needs, or she wouldn't write "Once you have a label, it relieves people of the responsibility of being accommodating and putting in any extra effort." Oh really? angry

There is an argument to be had about whether the 'oddness' of people with an ASD was more tolerated in the past, though personally I doubt it. When you look back a few decades and think of the vitriol heaped on single parents, gays, black people, irish people etc etc it's hard to believe it was a much more tolerant society than we have now. But anyway that's a different matter from what this shocking article.

PerryPlatypus Mon 19-Oct-09 13:53:15

"Just because someone is socially awkward, I don't think they should be called autistic."

Um, neither does anyone else, Miriam. hmm

The woman is so clueless that I'm not sure whether to feel annoyed with her or just plain sorry for her.

Makes me want to write my own article called:

"Why we're too ready to call Miriam Stoppard an 'expert on health'"

debs40 Mon 19-Oct-09 14:48:03

This peice was pointed out in another post here last week and I added a response.

It is not easy, and rightly so (although there is no need for it to take so long) to get an ASD diagnosis.

This is a woman talking out of her field which means she has little more knowledge about this than the average Jo, although her words as 'Dr Miriam' carry more weight.

If she was really worried about this issue, why not shine a spotlight at the inconsistencies in diagnostic practice and the lack of support for parents. Why not do at least a basic summary of some of the issues parents face?

It's just populist nonsense and she should know better.

MumOfThreeMonkeys Mon 19-Oct-09 15:25:14

she's a twat!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 19-Oct-09 15:34:15

Message withdrawn

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 19-Oct-09 15:40:46

Message withdrawn

tethersend Mon 19-Oct-09 15:41:31

IME, it is the young people with ASD at the 'higher' end of the spectrum who are in greatest need of a diagnosis. Often depressed, they are aware enough to know that they are somehow different to their peers, yet do not have sufficient social skills or empathy to address this; they need support in doing so. They cannot access support without a diagnosis.

One young person I taught showed palpable relief at being 'labelled' with a diagnosis of ASD- all his life he thought he was just 'stupid' and 'unpopular'. His self esteem improved dramatically, and he benefitted from social support groups aimed at teenagers.

MumOfThreeMonkeys, I concur- Miriam Stoppard is indeed a twat.

tethersend Mon 19-Oct-09 15:45:53

And important to remember that young people- even Miriam's son- will not be at school forever.

A diagnosis is not just a means to access in-class support at school, it allows someone to access support throughout their lives.

Barmymummy Mon 19-Oct-09 15:55:51

Am so angry at the stupid cow. This article has done her no favours and judging by the 21 comments after the article everyone agrees she is bang out of order, inc MN very own Peachy I believe grin

frazzledazzle Mon 19-Oct-09 16:04:13

My lovely mother "thoughtfully" gave me that article last week,one week after a dx of autism.Gee thanks mum hmm.

ouryve Mon 19-Oct-09 16:24:36

I'monly half way through and annoyed on 2 fronts already.

Firstly, I've never known anyone to be diagnosed as autistic simply for being a bit socially awkward.

Secondly, teachers are ot qualified to diagnose anyone with ADHD, so she's talking out of her arse trying to suggest that this would happen. I thought she was a doctor, herself, ffs.

AboardtheAxiom Mon 19-Oct-09 16:53:46

Why won't it let me add my comment, is it because it is not glowing with praise? Will post it here instead:

Shame on you 'Doctor' Stoppard.
Your article is incredibly offensive, badly researched and just highlights your extreme ignorance on the topic of autism.

Why not spend some time with several families who have children/adults on the spectrum. The difficulties faced by a person with ASD are very real and serious (even for those at the high functioning end of the scale) and the need for help and support is often not matched unfortunately. A 'label' can help access these services. Eventually. After YEARS of campaigning and advocating for your struggling child. If you are 'lucky'. If the local authority have enough in their budget. If you are adept enough to make your way through the labyrinth of professionals and form filling.

The fact that you are a mother yourself, as well as Doctor make your article even more disappointing. Your arrogance and ignorance are astonishing!

TotalChaos Mon 19-Oct-09 17:21:00

what a steaming pile of poo. she lives in some sort of la la land where undx'ed kids with traits gets loads of help from school. and she's utterly callous in thinking it's better for kids to be "social outcasts" than dx'ed and supported. she completely overlooks the mental health comorbids.

cornsilk Mon 19-Oct-09 17:28:41

'I have a son whose teachers wanted to label him as having attention deficit disorder (now know as ADHD) but I refused to accept the label.'
As a Doctor I'm sure she knows that Teachers are not qualified to 'label' or diagnose ADHD. Silly cow.

Tessofthedinnerbells Mon 19-Oct-09 17:38:00

A call for Justine at MN to invite Dr Miriam on for a live chat must be in order surely?

Perhaps she'd like the opportunity to explain in detail?

catkinq Mon 19-Oct-09 17:43:05

I also tried to comment but it wouldn't let me - the article was very badly argued and then gave a badly incomplete list of "typical symptons" - ie it just gave the communication ones - not the other ones - which is worse than not giving any info as now half the population will think that their children are autistic! Also didn't really get why ADHD was so relevant unless she thinks that having 2 letters in common means that the 2 must be similar! My guess is that she was commisioned to write somethign on ASD and couldn't be bothered to loo kinto it properly. Would be v interested to have her on here though as suggested by Tess

cornsilk Mon 19-Oct-09 17:44:06

Wonder what her favourite biscuit is?

Tessofthedinnerbells Mon 19-Oct-09 17:55:16

Nah! I prefer to ask her the "Do you think you're lucky?" question.

'Cause I bloomin' well think she certainly has been lucky to get away with this sort of waffle that she passes off as informed opinion.

cyberseraphim Mon 19-Oct-09 20:23:59

I think these types of articles just muddy the waters of understanding. If a child of 8 is being considered for an ASD dx on the basis of weak 2nd or 3rd hand information then yes it should be questioned, but if parents of a 2 year old with many red flags for autism are themselves being questioned then articles like this will lend weight to the view that parents are just silly to be worried because their child is not developing according to the path laid out by Miriam Stoppard's books. I think it is a very juvenile piece of work - either of my cats could have done better.

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