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Jumping to conclusions 101

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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby autismjabberwocky » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:18 pm

So do you believe that the ADOS and ADI-R are worthless as well and disregard what they say?
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby petrossa » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:39 pm

Any system that is based on a flawed hypothesis is obviously of little value. Confirmation of expectation.

First lets get straight what autism is, then we can observe what they do. If you are observing people with autism diagnosis based on a shaky set of criteria they can't do anything else but confirm the criteria.

Circular system.

Do a study of people diagnosed with autism AND having had a white matter scan showing anomalies. That should be your baseline.

Based on that baseline you build a set of diagnostic criteria.

That's called science. DSM is the other way around. That's not science, that's "let's take a swing and see where it gets us".
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby autismjabberwocky » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:34 pm

petrossa wrote:Do a study of people diagnosed with autism AND having had a white matter scan showing anomalies. That should be your baseline.


OK, then without referencing the DSM, ADOS, or ADI-R, how does someone get a diagnosis of autism? Those are the gold standards to which every other test of "autism" is measured/validated against.
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby mvic » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:44 pm

I think for now the DSM has to hold as the basis of diagnosis as it is all we have. But people should be aware when doing studies, that if you assume a DSM diagnosis as the definition of Autism, and then go on to study and make conclusions about "autism" then you are indeed using a circular proof. Studies need to be smarter than that - and sometimes unfortunatley they are not.
Also, the DSM needs to be regularly updated to reflect new scientific understanding.

In terms of the initial topic and where to define Autism (include non-neurodevelopmental forms or don't include them) - we can't really prove it one way or another until science advances a little further. For now we have to use the DSM definitions, but must be very careful with the conclusions drawn.
I think the real conclusion of the study should be and either/or. Either Autism had non neurodevelopmental forms; or these forms are just imitating true Autism. Further scientific advancements/understandings will hopefully show which is the case.
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby TNSe » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:53 pm

Problem with entire DSM III+ is that it was produced by a bunch of pscychs that were asking for names on their newly found disorder. They would explain how the disorder worked, and then a panel would accept it as a new disorder or not. So if someone were to go and say that they have 3 patients going around saying 'quack quack quack' 3 times every whole hour, and wanted to call it triquackities, it would be added. For all future, anyone saying 'quack quack quack' would be given the triquackities disorder. Instead of the DSM being based on what causes them to say 'quack quack quack'.
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby mvic » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:59 pm

Well said TNSe
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby autismjabberwocky » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:19 pm

mvic wrote:I think for now the DSM has to hold as the basis of diagnosis as it is all we have. But people should be aware when doing studies, that if you assume a DSM diagnosis as the definition of Autism, and then go on to study and make conclusions about "autism" then you are indeed using a circular proof.


By that logic taking the definition of word from a dictionary is also a circular proof. The word "autism" means whatever the definitive source says it means - that isn't circular. Remember, the word "autism" is just a label that is defined to mean a collection of symptoms. That is all the word means.

There isn't some "true" version of autism that supersedes the definition. Just like there isn't some true version of a "chair" sitting in a cave that we all just see a shadow of.

The label is useful in so far as it allows researchers to look at people with related behaviors and allows treatments that are targeted at those behaviors. It is also useful so that I don't have to explain to everyone that my children have issues with functional communication, understanding social situations, and have some strange obsessions and rigidities. I can just say that they have autism.

But when I say the word autism I mean those behaviors - I don't mean some brain composition disorder that someone has decided is the "true" autism. Just like when I label something "blue" I mean it is blue, not this other color that someone has decided that the word "blue" represents.
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby mvic » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:26 pm

autismjabberwocky wrote:By that logic taking the definition of word from a dictionary is also a circular proof.

I suppose it is. If a word is defined in a meaningless way, then the word is meaningless. If the word is defined on a more solid basis, then the word becomes more useful. Even better if the definition of the word is updated over time to reflect modern understandings.

This is arguing semantics. I guess what i am getting at is i would like the word Autism (and aspergers) to be meaninful and a true representation of what the condition really means. Not just the description given by the earlier professionals who defined it. So i would like to see its definition updated with time to reflect new understandings. And if it turns out there are subcategories of it - then they should be created too.

The word "autism" means whatever the definitive source says it means - that isn't circular
Edited to add - it is circular if people then take their own definition, do studies on what they have defined and then conclude things about the subjects/condition based on that study.
An example is early studies on Aspergers excluded women because they "muddied the data". These studies were used to refine what Aspergers meant and create new proofs and definitions - if they were really nonsensical it could have been taken as far as to prove "women don't get aspergers". Because it was defined by the male form of the condition. You see how this is meaningless.
Last edited by mvic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby TNSe » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:30 pm

I think the problem here is more like:

You see a purple ball. You call it blue as it has blue in it.
You see a green ball. You call it blue as it has blue in it.
You see a light blue ball. You call it blue as it has blue in it.
You see a dark blue ball. You call it blue as it has blue in it.
You see an orange ball. You say its not blue because it has no blue in it.

You see the pattern? Yes? Maybe?

Now what if we get more advanced, and I tell you that you are currently in blue light.
You see a purple ball. You say its blue.
You see a green ball. You say its blue.
You see a light blue ball. You say its blue.
You see a dark blue ball. You say its blue.
You see an orange ball. You say its blue.

Pattern more clear?

You are seeing what you are looking for because you are enlightened by what you are looking for.
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Re: Jumping to conclusions 101

Postby petrossa » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:40 pm

mvic wrote:An example is early studies on Aspergers excluded women because they "muddied the data". These studies were used to refine what Aspergers meant and create new proofs and definitions - if they were really nonsensical it could have been taken as far as to prove "women don't get aspergers". Because it was defined by the male form of the condition. You see how this is meaningless.


Yes good point. The reason is imo that diagnostic criteria in this field of medicine are based on interpretation not on scientific evidence.

Thus a DSM exists.

Psychiatry (and even worse psychology) suffer from having their basis in philosophy. I'm sure Freud and his cohorts were very dedicated but dedication alone doesn't result in solid data.

Burdened by their zeitgeist they lay a philosophical foundation for modern psychiatry/psychology that was quite out of kilter with reality. But it stuck nonetheless and still does.

Obviously there are common behavioral patterns and obviously you can group them somewhat. But beyond the extremely cut and dried cases it's gets very misty.

Patterns overlap, evolve, mix and diagnosis based on generalized observational criteria becomes a random chance thing.

If you observe someone and you have caught a detail of a diagnosis you are bound to look for more things to confirm this initial chance observation. And when you look you will find.

DSM and the like are the epitome of confirmation bias generators.
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