Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Opinion: America's False Autism Epidemic

Post by Dr. Allen Frances, now a professor emeritus at Duke University’s department of psychology, chaired the DSM IV task force.

The apparent epidemic of autism is in fact the latest instance of the fads that litter the history of psychiatry.
We have a strong urge to find labels for disturbing behaviors; naming things gives us an (often false) feeling that we control them. So, time and again, an obscure diagnosis suddenly comes out of nowhere to achieve great popularity. It seems temporarily to explain a lot of previously confusing behavior — but then suddenly and mysteriously returns to obscurity.

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