Don’t you just love how during finals your world becomes a little microcosm of nothing but studying and coffee? That would be what happened to me last week, when Tuesday Thoughts weren’t, well, thought of until Thursday afternoon.
What reminded me of my endeavor to blog regularly was something one of my lab mates shared with me. Last week, Autism Speaks posted a link to a blog post on it’s Facebook page. In the post, an MD/PhD student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine discussed the potential links between autism incidence and increased parental age.
The striking thing is nature of the 110 Facebook comments that followed the link. Parents, caregivers, and even people without children with autism lashed out against the study, the student, and science as a whole. Talk about public communication backfiring. These individuals seemed to interpret the post as an expression of blame against parents who had their children at older ages. Interestingly, their responses didn’t admonish this supposed blaming. They simply repositioned it the FDA, pharmaceutical companies, and researchers.
My question is: Should we be playing this blame game?
In the post against which so many argued, the grad student humbly admits what all autism researchers know to be true: We know X,Y, & Z about autism, which begs A to Z more questions. The clash between scientists and the community regarding autism stems out of this predicament. There is still a lot we don’t know.
Understandably so, parents of children with autism are desperate for answers. And researchers are desperately trying to provide them. What’s for certain is that no one should be blamed when so many questions remain unanswered. The blame game is only throwing a road block in the long path ahead.
[This post was originally published at my previous blog, Neurolore.]