By Jennifer S. Singh
Is there a gene for autism? regardless of a billion-dollar, twenty-year attempt to discover out—and the extra elusive the reply, the better the quest turns out to become—no unmarried autism gene has been pointed out. In a number of Autisms, Jennifer S. Singh units out to find how autism emerged as a genetic disease and the way this impacts those that research autism and people who dwell with it. this can be the 1st sustained research of the practices, politics, and which means of autism genetics from a systematic, cultural, and social viewpoint. In 2004, whilst Singh all started her examine, the superiority of autism was once pronounced as 1 in one hundred fifty young children. Ten years later, the quantity had jumped to one in a hundred, with the illness 5 occasions extra universal in boys than in women. in the meantime the analysis replaced to “autistic spectrum disorders,” and investigations started to concentration extra on genomics than genetics, much less on unmarried genes than on hundreds and hundreds of interacting genes. a number of Autisms charts this shift and its results via 9 years of ethnographic observations, research of clinical and comparable literatures, and morethan seventy interviews with autism scientists, mom and dad of kids with autism, and other people at the autism spectrum. The e-book maps out the social background of parental activism in autism genetics, the medical optimism approximately discovering a gene for autism and the next failure, and the fee in own and social phrases of viewing and translating autism via a genomic lens. How is genetic details worthwhile to humans residing with autism? via contemplating this question along the clinical and social concerns that autism learn increases, Singh’s paintings indicates us the real achieve and implications of a genomic gaze.
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Additional info for Multiple Autisms: Spectrums of Advocacy and Genomic Science
46 The ADOS is a diagnostic observation conducted by a trained professional, and the ADI is a diagnostic interview of caregivers. 47 Far from existing as diagnostic tools, however, the ADOS and ADI–R48 have played a pivotal role in defining autism in research initiatives throughout the United States. 49 CPEA centers had to agree on standardized diagnostic tools for research and settled on the ADOS and ADI–R. Thus, these diagnostic tools and many others became central in the development of various autism genetic-research initiatives and served as standardized protocols in the organization and alignment of genomics research in the twenty-first century.
8 This way of viewing autism causality put the blame on parents, which was later referred to as the “refrigerator mother theory” when the cause was relegated to mothers. This damaging and cruel portrayal of mothers placed them at the center of blame for their child’s autism. 11 CHALLENGING MATERNAL BLAME, IMPLICATING GENETICS In the 1960s Dr. Bernard Rimland, a psychologist and parent of a child with autism, was among the first to challenge the psychogenic theory of autism. He did this primarily through his book Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behavior.
The prevalence of autism has dramatically increased since Kanner first described autism in 1943. 40 Given the range of factors contributing to the rise in prevalence, there is no consensus on whether a numerically verifiable increase in autism cases exists. However, a range of stakeholders involved in promoting autism genetics research use these statistics to justify continued priorities in this particular mode of knowledge production. 42 Figure 2 shows that epidemiological studies often report the prevalence of ASD, which captures the range of behavioral characteristics of “autistic disorder,” “PDD-NOS,” and “Asperger’s disorder” in the DSM–IV.