Saturday, July 19, 2008

Michael Savage On Autism


Oh my God - it's as if John Best had gotten a nationally syndicated talk radio show.

Sometimes people wonder why I post stuff like this.

As a matter of fact, sometimes I get frantic emails from people asking why I post stuff like this.

Answer: ALOT of people think this way who make MAJOR business decisions (including hiring decisions) but who make deliberate attempts to keep as low of a profile as possible.

There are a great number of people on this planet who think that every action is very carefully acted out. Perhaps they have good reason to think that way because every action they take and every statement THEY make is very carefully crafted in an attempt to communicate some sort of message.

It's almost as if they're in a stage play 8 - 16 hours/day 4 - 7 days/week. I mean, if you're in a run of Hamlet you do put on period clothing, heavy make-up, and, as DeForest Kelly once said, if you're doing your job right you DO experience some of the thoughts, feelings and motivations of your character.

On talk radio or TV your "character" can have life for four hours or so. For instance, as I've been thinking of doing for quite some time now, although Brian Thomas on the 55KRC morning show sounds like a very nice, professional young man, he just doesn't sound credible. No, I don't think he's secretly a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I don't believe he is personally ANYWHERE as conservative as he tries to sound on his show.

Morton Downey, Jr., God rest his soul, ADMITTED in an interview that the person he portrayed on his WOR show was a character.

But I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how people can possibly stay in character 8+ hours/day 260+ days/year.

However, apparently there are people who can do just that, because when they do see behavior associated with Autism somehow they automatically assume it is some sort of "act" carried out in the attempt to get something they might not otherwise be entitled to.

What of course is absolutely fascinating about some of this criticism is that, yes, okay, bring on the flaming emails, but it is POSSIBLE for a sufficiently motivated 30-year old adult to "fake" being unable to speak, unable to successfully use the facilities on a consistent basis, and unable to cook/clean, etc., in order to avoid having to put up with the b*llsh*t that goes on in pretty much EVERY work place, but how in the WORLD would a TWO-YEAR-OLD who gets so angry and frustrated that he beats his head on the pavement until he bleeds be "faking it"?

I suppose Michael Savage would propose that the two-year-old be beaten senseless until he stops "acting out".

No ... autism is real, people ... and it takes many forms ...

Related:
Savage on autism - Media Matters
Michael Savage Autism Apology! - AutismParents.Net
Michael Savage: Autism is a fraud (yeah right, idiot) - Big Blue Wave
Idiot of the Week: Michael Savage - Blogging Blue
"I hate the Michael Savage Show." - Marcia Mickelson
Radio talkshow host call autism a hoax and fraud - The Chronicles of C.J.
Action Alert :: Talk Radio's Michael Savage Trashes Individuals With Autism.. - Six. Almost Seven..
Savage Successfully Sucks Time, Money and Energy From Autism Community - About.com Autism Blog

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21 Comments:

At July 20, 2008 at 6:49 PM, Blogger Foresam said...

Savage must have been reading neuroinsane blogs to think all autistics are like these liars.

 
At July 20, 2008 at 10:22 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

I am a parent of a autistic son. I hope that Mr. Savage did not say the things I read. If he did, then he needs to be educated and apologize to everyone he has offended. Autism is real. I hope one day that we will find out what the cause is so that other children can be helped. Mr. Salvage, have you ever been in the company of a autistic child? I think it is time you should.

 
At July 21, 2008 at 1:33 AM, Anonymous RainMan said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Z_8bvg1zU

 
At July 21, 2008 at 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Dr. Savage's point was that many doctors over diagnose people, claiming they have certain illnesses in order to benefit in some way or another. I know autism is real, and I know a special boy who has the disorder. I think it is an insult to this particular child when a brat is diagnosed with the same condition. Thomas Sowell wrote an article about the over-diagnosing of autism. I don't have a link for it, but if you do a google search you may be able to find it. Dr. Savage can definately overstate things, but I think that there is some truth in what he is saying. I think that I would have been diagnosed with autism, or at least Asperger's, if I was growing up today.

 
At July 21, 2008 at 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the Thomas Sowell article. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/11/crusades_versus_caution.html

Savage can sometimes sound insensitive, but if you get passed his rough personality, you can see some truth.

 
At July 21, 2008 at 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the entire text of the Sowell article.

Testing, Testing
Intervening dangers.

By Thomas Sowell

The recently launched crusade to have every child tested for autism before the age of two has as its reason an opportunity for “early intervention” to treat the condition.

Dr. Scott Myers, a pediatrician, has been quoted by Reuters news service as saying that autistic children who get earlier treatment “do better in the long run.”

That may be true if the children are genuinely autistic. But the dangers of false diagnoses of toddlers and preschoolers have been pointed out by Professor Stephen Camarata of Vanderbilt University, who has tested and treated children with autism for more than 20 years and has encountered many cases of inaccurate diagnoses.

A prudent trade-off, as distinguished from a crusade, would weigh the dangers of false diagnoses against the benefits of “early intervention.”

There is already considerable evidence of false diagnoses of preschool children as autistic, and the treatments inflicted on them can be abusive, with incalculable negative effects on their development.

What about the positive effects of “early intervention”?

According to Professor Camarata, those children “with true autism” are “very difficult to treat and may never say ‘mommy’ or learn to take care of themselves without Herculean efforts by their parents and teachers.”

The limitations of what can be achieved with even early intervention mean that there can be real heartbreak, whether a toddler or preschooler is either falsely or correctly diagnosed as being autistic.

Much has been made of statistics showing a sharp increase in diagnoses of autism in recent years.

What has gotten much less attention is the changing definition of autism, which raises the question whether there has been an actual change in the real world or simply a change in the way words are used when collecting statistics.

People today are often spoken of as being “on the autistic spectrum,” rather than as having autism.

While there are some conditions which are much like autism, there are other conditions, such as having a very high IQ or simply being late in talking, which often include characteristics listed on checklists for autism. These are open invitations to false diagnoses.

We would see the dangers immediately if people who wear glasses were included on “the blindness spectrum” or people with harmless moles were included on “the cancer spectrum.”

Blindness, cancer, and autism are all too serious — indeed, catastrophic — to use loose definitions that fudge the difference between accurate and inaccurate diagnoses.

Loose definitions of autism produce bigger and more newsworthy statistics, which in turn can attract more children into existing programs and attract more money from the government, foundations and other sources to support those programs.

Many parents have told me that they have been urged to let their children be labeled autistic, or on the autistic spectrum, in order to get money for speech therapy or other conditions from grants that are available to deal with autism.

Professor Camarata points out that the “less precise ‘autism spectrum’“ label “has had the unintended consequence of diluting resources, research and services to those children and families who most need the support” — that is, families whose children suffer from genuine autism.

Loose definitions also promote the illusion of “cures” for autism, since most late-talking children who were never autistic in the first place “will be miraculously ‘cured’ because most late talkers who are otherwise unimpaired learn to talk with little or no treatment,” according to Professor Camarata.

Parents whose children are late in talking or have other troubling problems would do well to seek diagnoses from the most highly qualified professionals they can find — but not rely on the facile checklists being promoted in the current crusade for universal diagnosis of infants and toddlers for autism, without facing the question whether or not there are enough people qualified to make such diagnoses.

 
At July 21, 2008 at 10:07 AM, Blogger eva greenwald said...

I am the president of WE BELONG: Inclusion in Fairfield County. We promote the full inclusion of people with disabilites. Of course Michael Savage's comments are untrue, irresponsible and obscene, hopefully it will shake up the "typical community" to realize that all people should be integrated into society. While Michael Savage is a loser and should lose his job, it should be a win-win for the disability community as our children and adults are more accepted into public education and the community. Feel free to contact me.

Eva Greenwald
President, WE BELONG: Inclusion in Fairfield County
evagreenwald@sbcglobal.net

 
At July 21, 2008 at 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a parent of a seven year old boy with autism I can tell you that autism is devastating to not only the child who has it, but the entire family. I suppose it should be amusing for me to think that there is a perception out there that we have our children diagnosed in order to "rake in the bucks". Sorry, I am too busy trying to figure out where I can find the extra $ 1000 a month we have to cough up so my son can attend his school all day. Things that other parents take for granted are generally out of reach for a family with autistic children. I had to give up my job to stay home, because finding good quality, affordable childcare for an autistic child is incredibly difficult to find to find in our area. My son is nonverbal, which makes him the perfect victim. He could easily be abused, but since he has no way to tell anybody about it... I cannot and will not let that happen. I have never looked at my son's autism as a blessing and never will. Autism is the stranger who came and took my child from me and I will not rest until I get him back. To those who actually believe that autism is a discipline issue: come on over to my house and give it a try, door is open! One of the things I rarely see anybody complain about is that Federal programs like medicare glady pay for medications like viagra and subsidize those who have never bothered to take care of their health in any way, but when it comes to coughing up the funds for things like speech therapy or other modalities that have been proven to work again and again it's "sorry Charlie".
Why is the food we feed our children laced with so many chemicals? There are many other options available. Not everything we eat has to be the color of a circus clown and last forever. As a nation we are facing a catastrophe and our children are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. Would we not be better served stopping the bashing of those who are suffering the dire consequences and try to find the answer to this riddle, so other families will not have to suffer through the kind of pain we are experiencing every minute of every day.

 
At July 21, 2008 at 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are our children’s parents, and no one will care nor protect our children like us - Nor give a damm.

All of us have been through hell as you know, fighting against an establishment of pharma and Savage and such, which must be shut down with this type of disgusting comments and attitudes.

Unless we all take action, and make the point that his behavior is unacceptable, it will continue. Then you will only have yourself to blame, for not taking the appropriate action. Not fighting back, fails our children.

We are guardians of our children and will not take any crap from anyone – Failing them, is not an option, PERIOD!

 
At July 21, 2008 at 8:12 PM, Blogger Zach W. said...

It saddens me that folks like Michael Savage - who believe the same things he's said - are far more common than those of us who've been affected by autism would like to believe. The fact is, there's a great deal of ignorance out there about what autism is and what children who are affected by autism are really like. I've had more than one person say, "Oh, so your son is retarded..." and we need to keep fighting to make sure everyone knows what autism is and how it manifests itself.

 
At July 21, 2008 at 10:33 PM, Anonymous Christina B said...

It's sad to hear there are many people wanting to say right away that your child is BAD or Has a behavirol problem. My daughter is 6yrs old and I just found out last year that she is AUTISTIC. Her school is selling t-shirts that has cool things about Autism she also is trying to make people MORE AWARE of Autism. I have a shirt that I got for her and every time we go some were I make sure she has it on so people can understand what my child is going through. I THANK EVERYONE for understanding those of us that is going through this. I just watched Larry king live and that guy "Savage" has a bigger problem. If you don't understand or have the knowledge then don't talk or assume because then it makes an a-- out of YOU!!!!

 
At July 21, 2008 at 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Savage that autism is just a disease that doctors and drug companies made up to convince all these "parents" with poor parenting skills to buy medication and treatment programs for their kids. If autism is a disease that causes kids to be generally disruptive, stubborn, loud and a bunch of spoilt brats, why isnt there a disease that causes kids to be perfect angels? Thats the problem with our culture we have become people who want an instant fix. When we can't control our kids, we want the doctors to label them ADHD or autistic so it becomes something wrong with the kids not something wrong with us as parents.

 
At July 22, 2008 at 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to www.latetalking.org.
There is overdiagnosis , but it is not because of "bad" behavior.
It is simply because of claiming that a different personality , or speaking later, is automatically autism. It is completely incorrect.
I have seen children with perfect eye contact , but with a slightly different way of learning , deemed autistic.
And it does take away from children who really are autistic who needs help.
More than one school professional has admitted off the record that it is done for more funding .

 
At July 22, 2008 at 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What professionals have said this off the record? No offense, but if someone already has a preconceived notion about over diagnosis I can't just "take his word for it" about off the record conversations. You have an agenda.

In additon, the link for the Thomas Sowell article gathers quotes from only one doctor??? If there is such an abundance of over diagnoses (sp.) surely he could have gotten more than one doctor to comment. This sounds like conservatives rallying around one of their own no matter what ignorant babble he spews. Before any liberals jump in, this happens on their side as well.

The world will be a better place when people use their critical thinking skills instead of just regurgitating whatever they read.

 
At July 23, 2008 at 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone posted a comment about what sounds like true autism. if you have a totally nonverbal seven year old, how is speech therapy helping? ABA has limited success with autistic kids. they do need structure but its difficult to extract meaningful speech. I dont think there is such a thing as ASD, its just a natural variation that is not tolerated by parents who want it easy. kids used to not talk until age 3 without having them evaluated and stigmatized. now parents cant handle nontalkers and picky eaters and nonwalkers at 15 months. what b.s. and this parent of an autistic child is blaming food additives. we have no clue what causes autism and true autism is a rare disorder. it does seem to be in part genetic so stop blaming the vaccines and food additives until you have actual proof!

savage makes a point in that parents dont want their nonperfect kids. he knows squat about autism or he wouldve been really pissed. its such a racket going on with autism "spectrum disorder" Autism is a serious disease, to say someone is mildly autistic is baloney. the parents are dense and intolerant. leave mike savage alone. even if you think he's an idiot, he just made a statement. people who are intolerant of genuinely autistic or even just bratty kids, theyre not going to change anyway,

 
At July 23, 2008 at 7:48 AM, Blogger Axinar said...

"I dont think there is such a thing as ASD, its just a natural variation that is not tolerated by parents who want it easy."

I think you're meaning to say that what we thinking of as Asperger's symptoms are not pathological.

And, let me tell you, Asperger's is "not tolerated" by ADULT CHILDREN who would have liked at least one of their parents to COME TO THEIR WEDDING but couldn't because they are freaked the f*ck out by loud noises and are paranoid about not being able to get home.

 
At July 23, 2008 at 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow what an idiot but than again fools always want to put their 2 cents in. My Princess has been dianosed with it since the age of 2, she has it mildly Thank God and goes to specialized school that has TEACHH program and this school has been a blessing. What comes around goes around, GOD doesn't like UGLY. See and this is why I keep my stuff private because of horrible people like him. People don't understand until it is visibly infront of them, it is like a picture book.
wow I am really disgusted but it just shows what I teach my Princess not everyone in this world is nice there are REAL BAD people at here that would verbally or physically harm you and Micheal Savage proved my point and what makes it worst he got paid to put down disabled children so sad.

 
At July 24, 2008 at 10:45 AM, Anonymous Chuck said...

Whatever you good people do, do not let Savage off the hook. His apology is disingenuous and contradicts the real insult he has inflicted on autistic children and their parents everywhere. The sniveling coward can not even own up to his own remarks, but he did say “99%” and has previously said the same about these kids and their parents. No amount of his spinning or whining about being taken out of context undoes what he says. Do not be taken in, this man is a vile enemy of all of you and your children. Your protests are righteous and should be expanded. Getting sponsors to stop funding his insane rantings is NOT CENSORSHIP– it is YOUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH. He, as all of us, has the right to speak, but NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HAVE SUCH HATRED ON THE AIR. Keep the pressure up, and don’t fall for the free speech arguments or the phony excuses. It would be so easy to defeat this legend in his own mind doofus in a debate, but he’s too cowardly for that too. Keep the pressure on. Go to his sponsors. This isn’t against free speech. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO A RADIO SHOW. And the speech of listeners is, itself, protected in their right to call for boycotts, and to hold sponsors accountable.

 
At July 29, 2008 at 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Savage- its more like there is no excuse for your own ignorance. "My son has autism, whats your excuse? You heartless Bast-rd!!!!

 
At July 29, 2008 at 11:44 AM, Blogger FieldingHurst said...

The Weiner Nation ... http://autismparents.net/the-weiner-nation-great-michael-savage-pic/

 
At January 5, 2010 at 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wake up people. ASD is a fraud. I am NOT saying kids arent delayed developmentally but unless someone is impaired really from functioning its probably not even a moderate autism and all these kids grow up as normal enough adults. have you seen these "living with autism" blogs from people who are entirely coherent married with good jobs? they need the label. now we're reverse diagnosing people like einstein who was married, very funny guy, had plenty of friends, yes he was quirky but so are many highly intelligent people. Im so sick of this autism crap. people are intolerant. it used to be ADD. Kids running in a circle used to be ADD, now they are "stimming." Let me tell you something someone told me- late potty trainers are autistic. they really thought that! just bc they potty train late. i worked in an integrated class and I was shocked that certain kids were on the spectrum. some of them were SO MUCH better behaved and SMARTER than the so called "NT" kids and the NT kids werent so noticably better at paying attention, esp the boys. the girls overall were better.

 

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