It's not my policy to respond to ignorance, except for the occasional, "I'm sorry, but you are hopelessly misinformed," when the occasion warrants it. So as the talk continues to fizzle over Michael Savage's assessment of autism, its fraudulence and overdiagnosis, I won't respond to it. I will simply relish the fact that as his insipid blather echoes across YouTube, autism awareness gains momentum, misunderstood children benefit, the ultimate irony materializes. ***
I think some more about what it is to overdiagnose a disease, and who are the ones who determine rampant overdiagnoses. Physicians? Statisticians? Or shock jocks living out their attention deprivation over the radiowaves?
I wonder if any of these people know what it is like to live with someone who is undiagnosed. What it is like to see your parents puzzled, grievous, blaming themselves when their son, who is perfectly verbal, smolders to a teary-eyed mess when it's time to go to pre-school, who bawls his eyes out at a parade, his hands covering his ears as the fire trucks blaze by, when all the other children are raucous, opening their shirt-tails for free candy.
I don't know what good Mr. Savage thinks could possibly come from telling an autistic child to man up and stop acting like a fool.
I only know that I watched my brother stand up proudly at his high school graduation last year, turning his tassel from one side of his flatboard cap to the other as he received his honors diploma, and then hugging all the people, the coaches, the teachers, his family who never ever gave up on a boy with autism. I wonder how he learned how to hug.