Conservative Pundit Thomas Sowell Links Autism to the Welfare State
Conservative columnist Thomas Sowell attacks the legitimacy of the autism diagnosis for all but the most obviously disabled children:
Genuine autism is a truly tragic condition, both for those afflicted by it and for their parents. Few people would have any problem with the idea that voluntary donations and government expenditures are well spent to help those suffering from autism.
"Autism," however, has been sweepingly redefined over the years. What was discovered and defined as autism back in 1943 is just one of a number of conditions now included as being part of "the autism spectrum."
Many, if not most, of these conditions are nowhere near as severe as autism, or even as clearly defined...
Every dollar spent on children falsely labeled autistic is a dollar lost — and urgently needed — in dealing with the problem of genuinely autistic children. But money added to the federal budget for autism is money that can be given to people, in the expectation of getting their vote at election time.