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Denial: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future

Denial: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future

by Mark Blaxill, Dan Olmsted


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Even as the autism rate soars and the cost to our nation climbs well into the billions, a dangerous new idea is taking hold: There simply is no autism epidemic.

The question is stark: Is autism ancient, a genetic variation that demands acceptance and celebration? Or is it new and disabling, triggered by something in the environment that is damaging more children every day?

Authors Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted believe autism is new, that the real rate is rising dramatically, and that those affected are injured and disabled, not merely “neurodiverse.” They call the refusal to acknowledge this reality Autism Epidemic Denial. This epidemic denial blocks the urgent need to confront and stop the epidemic and endangers our kids, our country, and our future.

The key to stopping the epidemic, they say, is to stop lying about its history and start asking "who profits?" People who deny that autism is new have self-interested motives, such as ending research that might pinpoint responsibility—and, most threateningly, liability for this man-made epidemic.

Using ground-breaking research, the authors definitively debunk best-selling claims that autism is nothing new—and nothing to worry about.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510716940
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 07/25/2017
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Mark Blaxill is the father of a daughter diagnosed with autism. He has authored peer-reviewed articles on time trends in autism and founded advocacy groups to spur action. He co-wrote two books with Dan Olmsted—The Age of Autism and Vaccines 2.0—and is editor with Dan Olmsted of the widely read He received degrees from Princeton University and the Harvard Business School. He resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dan Olmsted was an award-winning journalist, co-editor of, and co-author, with Mark Blaxill, of two books. He was a former editor at USA Today, USA Weekend, and United Press International and a graduate of Yale University.

Table of Contents

Dramatis Personae vii

Prologue: Waiting xii

Introduction: "What Hump?" xiii

1 Desperately Seeking Gulliver 1

2 Absence of Evidence: Gulliver in Lilliput 21

3 Evidence of Absence: The Empty Quadrant 38

4 Autism Arrives 64

5 Unqualified Observers 93

6 The Epidemic and Its Implications 113

7 The Dynamics of Denial 142

Epilogue: Normalizing Autism 172

Notes 182

Acknowledgments 198

Coauthor's Note 200

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