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To think I know better than an 'expert' what caused my dc's autism?

131 replies

ShamefulDodger · 11/07/2017 22:18

Had a rather heated exchange earlier with a friend of my dsis.

This friend has apparently 'done a degree' in Autism, and was asking me some questions. I'd previously agreed to talk to him (I usually would avoid a social situation where I am the focus on pain of death)

I stated that in my family's case I believed it was a genetic cause.

Straight away he it seemed to me jumped down my throat and started to argue that actually he thought it was more likely to be certain factors during my pregnancy and that there are always multiple factors, never just genetic Confused

My dd has been diagnosed with ASD, as have I and my father, though we were diagnosed much later on in life. From stories we've heard about my granny (Df's mum) I would hazard a guess that she would have been too.

He kept trying to talk over me or to me like I was stupid so I got upset and left Blush

It's not even really that he disagreed with me, it was the way he did it.

AIBU in thinking that even if you have a degree in something you shouldn't start arguing about it with someone who is actually living it?

OP posts:
AudacityJones · 11/07/2017 23:10

Another one asking WTF is a degree in "autism"? I'm a neuroscientist, I work with adults with ASD. (I don't study causes of autism, I study some of the effects in high-functioning adults). If this chap has genuinely discovered the causes of autism please ask him to have his world breaking research sent to the editors of Nature. We don't know if it's genetic, if there are environmental factors etc.

We do know that decades of medical malpractice and women bashing led to mothers being blamed without any evidence for "being cold" or "withholding affection" and causing autism in their children. Citing "environmental factors in pregnancy" without any evidence sounds like it's in the same vein of twattish behaviour.

notaslimceagirl · 11/07/2017 23:10

A degree doesn't make you an 'expert' in anything.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain · 11/07/2017 23:10

I have no personal experience of autism beyond working with one or two colleagues with a high-functioning form (and possibly more as I work in a HE/research sector that lends itself to individuals with some of those traits) but can say categorically that the scenario and 'interview' technique you describe is a rubbish method for conducting any form of meaningful research into anything Grin

Queenofthestress · 11/07/2017 23:11

Funny enough in my family it's always the first born and they're always male, judging from the family archives, my great great uncle was even sent to a 'Looney bin'

user1473494811 · 11/07/2017 23:13

I think that anyone can read a book, pass a test etc. Until you have lived a life it doesn't mean jack shit. And yes I have had a gin because I am sick of people talking to me like I am knob

AudacityJones · 11/07/2017 23:13

wizzywig not meaning to quibble but the programme you linked to is a taught masters that is offered by the school of education. It equips you to work with people diagnosed with ASD. What you'd learn on the course about the causes of ASD are pretty much what anyone with access to scientific journals can learn anyway. It isn't a research degree, and certainly doesn't seem to equip one to comment above and beyond what published research on causes.

user1473494811 · 11/07/2017 23:13

full stop

wizzywig · 11/07/2017 23:14

Hope you are feeling better op. Fingers crossed you never see him again. Sometimes some people forget there are people behind all the facts n figures they know. Im a parent of kids with asd and i dont like getting all stirred up about why its happened.

GinAndGooseberry · 11/07/2017 23:16

Total mansplainer. I have a dc who is on the spectrum although his issues are not typical, I dated a man with a child with aspergers and he KEPT explaining about autism to me. I said that I had read the entire internet thanks and the conclusion is that if you've met one child with autism you met one child with autism. I preferred not to talk about it really.

LellyMcKelly · 11/07/2017 23:18

You can't do an undergraduate degree in autism, not in the U.K. (Kent looked like it had one, but it's been pulled if it has). There are lots of postgrad opportunities though, and I'm guessing that he had done one of them (looking at the varius syllabi) he wouldn't be saying to you what he said. Write him off as a chancer who fancied a bullshit discussion. A professional in the field would never have said that to you, especially not in an informal situation, and in such a forceful way.

SunnySkiesSleepsintheMorning · 11/07/2017 23:36

Ignore the cockwomble. People always have their opinions which they can shove right up their arses.

Cake and Wine for you.

TheAntiBoop · 11/07/2017 23:37

It's actually irrelevant who was right or wrong here

You were doing him a favour and he was rude and disrespectful. He needs to work on his bedside manner because he's not going to go very far with this attitude!!

Ericaequites · 12/07/2017 18:52

I have Asperger's. Both my parents exhibit some soft signs of autism. I have three second cousins with high functioning autism. Though they received other diagnoses, another late relative or two had autism as well. I know of other families with two or three generations of high functioning autism/Asperger's.
There are probably genetic and environmental causes of autism, but this is true for nearly all psychological disorders. I'm curious about prenatal exposure to testosterone, as so many women with Asperger's are lesbian or trans.

Dawndonnaagain · 12/07/2017 19:07

Chap's an idiot. Flowers

TheGoblinKing · 12/07/2017 19:22

He's a twat.

I also have ASD and I'm sure I have better social skills than him. Twat.

ShamefulDodger · 12/07/2017 21:58

I also have ASD and I'm sure I have better social skills than him. Twat

My feelings exactly Grin

I'm sorry, I have no more information than he had 'done a degree in autism'.

I didn't think to question it.

OP posts:
Weebo · 12/07/2017 22:07

I have a degree in autism, I'll have you know.

I got it from the University of 'Having Two Autistic Children'.

It's very prestigious.

Italiangreyhound · 12/07/2017 22:13

He sounds very rude and arrogant, and knowing nothing about your child's medical records etc I would say he is an ignorant plonker.

zzzzz · 12/07/2017 22:17

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlackeyedSusan · 12/07/2017 22:35

ds is diagnoised with autism. my dad died before he was diagnosed but reckonned there was nothing wrong with ds... nope, not in his world no, as looking back he was so aspie.

dd is on the waiting list for autism assessment. looking up autism in females, well shall we say it explained a heck of a lot about my life.

ex is very aspie, but again he will be the last to know.

kids got a double whammy.

Pigface1 · 12/07/2017 22:37

What audacity said about medical malpractice and blaming women. Can't cut and paste it as I'm on my phone. But that.

frigginell · 12/07/2017 22:48

Studies have shown that if one identical twin is autistic there is a 60% chance that the other is too, but that the chance drops to 0% for non-identical twins.

This suggests that autism is predominantly genetically determined, but if there were no other factors in play, then the chance that an autistic twin's genetically identical sibling is autistic would be 100%, wouldn't it?

I imagine that the appropriate genes are probably 'turned on' by environmental factors. BUT, I am a complete idiot when it comes to this kind of science and I find out most of my info from TED talks, so I may be talking complete shite.

I'm autistic, along with two of my children. And despite the above, I would've been annoyed with this guy too. I probably wouldn't have agreed to see him though (because I have a pda presentation Grin)


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zzzzz · 12/07/2017 23:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frigginell · 12/07/2017 23:40

Sorry, the study I read was old and showed a concordance rate for fraternal twins ranging from zero to ten percent.

A larger more recent study found a concordance rate of 77 percent among identical twin boys and 31 percent among fraternal twin boys.

PickAChew · 12/07/2017 23:43

Surely it just drops to whatever the usual non-twin chance is for non identical twins - though probably slightly higher, as they have had the same "assaults" in the womb due to being twins, which is not non stressful.

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