Wow! This is “science”? Notice any bias in a statement like this?
According to researchers, children with ASD had higher fractional anisotropy “followed by slower change over time relative to infants without ASDs.” Radial and axial diffusivity also seemed to be associated with ASD. These results appear to indicate that infants with aberrant white matter development go on to develop ASD.
I have no problem with the title of the article linked above. But in the body of the article, the words “atypical” and “autism” disappear and are replaced with “aberrant” and “ASD.” Use your own favorite dictionary, but one I found defines “aberrant” as “straying from the right or normal way.” That’s very judgmental, as opposed to “atypical” which is much less value-laden. And, of course, the “D” in “ASD” stands for “disorder” — which is also a very judgmental word. Autism, in my view, is not a “dis”order but a “different” order. Neither better nor worse, but certainly different. It is, however, clearly a disability in a world that demands conformity with the way the other 97% of the population thinks and acts.
When you strip away all of the loaded language, what this study confirmed is that the autistic brain has more white matter and develops more slowly than the (neuro)typical brain. This is hardly news, but has been known for years. But I guess if you accept a research grant, you have to publish something if you’re to have any hope of getting more grants, and the more incendiary you can make the language, the more you are making the case that more research needs to be done to get at the “cause” of this serious disorder.
What malarkey! How about some research into the implications this has for the way that autistic people think and learn? Perhaps that way we could develop training programs to help neurotypicals think like autistics.