This morning, as read through the daily news, I came across a blog on the Psychology Today website: Making Sense of Autistic Spectrum Disorders by Dr. James Coplan, MD. He is a pediatrician with a specialty in developmental disabilities. He doesn't have any ties to vaccine companies, doesn't have a treatment he's pushing, he just studies and educates parents that visit him on the developmental disabilities their children are experiencing.
I'm often wary when I read autism blogs. Many are written by people trying to push a specific agenda, such as gluten-free diets, poisoning children with industrial chelation drugs, and other such quackery. But with this particular blog, both written by an expert in the field and backed up by actual research spanning 40 years, I found something that could be trusted.
His first post (and I highly recommend reading them in order) explains his background and the importance of consulting a professional. Please don't take any blog entry as medical advice (and that goes for my blog as well), since only a physician can properly diagnose and treat any sickness or disorder.
The second post explains Autism. This was brilliant, and sold me on the blog completely. Here Dr. Coplan explains autism, not as a linear list of symptoms, but interrelated symptoms and levels of IQ. Both are responsible for autism symptoms, and the ability to work past the symptoms. The second post explained the relationship between atypicality and intelligence, and how diagnoses are assigned based on the spread on the graph.
In subsequent posts Dr. Coplan explains the relationship of time in the diagnosis, and why there really isn't an Autism epidemic. That one I was a little concerned about, until he explained the ever widening diagnosis of Autism, the increased number of disorders that are being added to the Autism Spectrum, and finally the lack of any real tracking ability from the past beyond the search for services.
This blog is an absolute must read for anyone with a family member with Autism, or for those who interact with children or adults with Autism. It is now one of my favorite blogs, and has been added to my Google reader.