Interviewed: Special Needs Book Review

Lorna D'Entremont of Special Needs Book Review just published an interview with me, in which we talked about Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, the fabulous team of editors who made TPGA happen, autism, pseudoscience, parenting, and more. One excerpt below, but you should read the whole thing. Lorna asks great questions!
Lorna: One of the essays you wrote for Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is Identifying and Avoiding Autism Cults. You said, “The best investment you can make in your autistic child’s future is a commitment to intense scrutiny of treatment options.” Would you elaborate?

Shannon Des Roches Rosa >> Unfortunately, there are people who view autism as a cash cow, and want to milk every dollar they can out of worried parents who want definite answers or guarantees or cures. Other people — generally but not always parents — embrace that same autism misinformation, and fight for it with all the righteousness and zeal of true believers or cult members. If you don’t learn to think critically, and evaluate autism information using rational criteria, then you might fall for the charlatans’ guarantees or surrender to the believers’ enticing groupthink and exhilarating rage. And those two paths hurt autistic people — they misdirect resources and energy, they promote horribly disrespectful attitudes that autistics are damaged or broken unless “cured” or “recovered,” and they can cause physical harm through gray-area and unsubstantiated medical treatments like chelation or Valtrex.
More of Lorna's reviews and interviews can be found at www.specialneedsbookreview.com.


  1. Hi Shannon, it's really great to see an approach to autism that doesn't treat the condition like a 'disease' to be cured, and focuses on individuals not stigma and stereotypes. I enjoyed every line of your book interview - well spoken and well done!

  2. Thanks, Ursula. I'm standing on a lot of shoulders, gratefully.

  3. Great article ! You always post interesting things!

  4. In this day and age, people still take advantage. It is indeed horrible that there are those that would refer to children with special needs as "damaged" or "broken" as if they were commodities. Tsk.



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