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At 8:59 PM -0600 2/19/07, Melanie McCalmont wrote:
>So to the SftP list, if we followed the money trail from such 
>politicization of diagnoses, where would it lead?

It's pretty clear that at least some of the apparently dramatic 
increase in autism rates over the past few decades is simply due to 
increased reporting and probably the classification of some cases as 
autism that previously might not have been so designated, but the 
extent to which this has happened is a subject of intense 
controversy. Interestingly, this is a point that is emphasized 
strongly by defenders of the genetic view, since if autism is largely 
a matter of genetics, then one would not expect to see large 
increases in its incidence from decade to decade.

The bottom line is that you have to keep your wits about you in 
evaluating the claims and counter-claims about autism, bearing in 
mind the various ideological, social and economic factors that can 
influence the conclusions that various people draw, but that none of 
this by itself determines who is right. On that question I have no 
considered opinion.

--PG