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What is Autism, Article Critique Example

Pages: 1

Words: 295

Article Critique

Jaqueline Lapa Sussman’s article What is Autism? is an example of what can happen when  scientists or clinical practitioners becomes journalists, or vice versa. The result, at least in this case, is an obvious medical tract. Sussman holds a Masters in Counseling and is a Ph.D. candidate in “Eidetic Image Psychology”. She has been in private practice in New York and Connecticut for twenty years and works closely with Dr. Akhter Ahsen, founder of the field of  “Eidetic Imagery.” Her article was published in Total Health magazine, a self-described advocate of “natural health.”

The article begins with a list of seven signs of autism in infants (when they don’t smile or imitate sounds, etc.). It then discusses the work of Dr. Ahsen in eidetic imagery, but without mentioning that the scientific community has not fully accepted that humans possess true eidetic capabilities. She then lists seven simple thought-exercises that parents can do to form an eidetic image of their child, thus allowing them to intuitively apprehend their child’s world. But such a conclusion, indeed how that outcome would be achieved, is itself non-intuitive.  In the process, Sussman contexts one of her own patients within the now-discredited theory of poor parental socialization with their child, specifically in the case of divorcing parents.

Sussman describes Ahsen’s theory that autism is linked to “mirror neurons”, and explains their functions as established facts, not mentioning that, as in the case of eidetic memory, not all scientists accept that the functions of mirror-neurons are known and clinically useful. In concluding, Sussman describes a would-be synthesis of eidetic and neuron therapies that has, she claims, been notably and demonstrably successful.

What is Autism’s chief value is in advancing the frankly dubious professional career of its author. Magazine readers of such material should beware.

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