Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lili's well-considered thought for the day

There are indubitably some cracked eggs among the group of academics and clinicians who are considered to be experts in the area of Asperger syndrome. I can think of no more disreputable area of academic research than the world of autism research and practice. Where there is parental anxiety the money will flow freely, and a mountain of funding will attract the wrong kinds of people, as sure as night follows day. 

Today I've been reading a chapter of a book about autism and Asperger syndrome which was published this year. I'm amazed that an academic text about autism has made it to the stages of online and paper publication with at least one chapter within it still choc-full of grammatical errors, idiotic errors in analysis and also at least one glaring failure in fact-checking (yes, it discussed Daniel Tammet as a case study with no reservations). Even the title of the chapter has an obvious grammatical error! How could that have been missed? I know how that could have been missed - the editor of this mess is a name well-known to me from the years of research that I have done in writing the content of this blog. Sloppiness is his middle name. His reference lists often include untraceable nonsense. His output as a author is matched by his lack of discipline in theorizing and his lack of depth of analysis and knowledge. He often co-writes pieces, but seems to jump from collaborator to collaborator, which makes me wonder whether the workload of the writing was fairly and evenly distributed. One thing nice that I'd say about this researcher is that he knows how to identify at type of person when he sees it, and he has clearly seen that type many times before. The question is - what is a sensible way to describe or label that type? His way off explaining people labelled with Asperger syndrome is not a sensible way. 

It's high time to give the concepts of autism and Asperger syndrome the big flush, and with them also banish to the S-bend the industry of parasites, dills and crackpots who have been making a living out of fear and loathing for way too many years. 

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