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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Autism is Vastly Misdiagnosed

An August 31, 2023 article in The Wall Street Journal ("My Son Sam Doesn't Need Special Ed - His autism demanded it, experts said.") aroused several thoughts. My first book, Troubled Children/Troubled Parents, the first chapter can be read on my website, included my lengthy treatment of an accurately diagnosed autistic child. The current frequent misdiagnoses are caused by widespread inadequate understanding of child psychological problems by school personnel and doctors. To treat an autistic child the therapist must enter their personal world, which is their protective shell but can be relinquished with proper treatment. The belief they are uncommunicative is false and as erroneous as relating to them with behavioral modification (reward-punishment) methods. These children do communicate but in their way. With rare exception, schools do a poor to disastrous job of interacting with or advising parents about their troubled children.


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