“Environmentally-acquired Neuroimmune Disorder” or “E.N.D.”: That was a new term that journalist David Kirby suggested that should be used for autistic children with numerous gastrointestinal problems, over a year ago.
More recently—in writing about the case of Hannah Poling—Kirby has suggested that some type of “vaccine aggravated mitochondrial disorder” is “mimicking” autism. And then there’s the autism organizations such as Safe Minds and Generation Rescue who would suggest that autism is “mercury poisoning” or a “mercury-induced neurological disorder.”
And now today in the Huffington Post, Kirby uses the term “autistic encephalopathy” to describe what Hannah Poling has.
Orac at Respectful Insolence has referred to Kirby’s new “terms” for autism as rebranding.” Kirby does seem to be playing the chameleon with each “rebranding,” changing how he describes autism and its causes as the latest news and developments in autism research suit him.
Contrast these creative diagnostic slights-of-words with the often-expressed relief of parents to get a diagnosis, to know that “it’s autism” so they start figuring out services and therapies for a child, and Kirby’s repeated attempts to rebrand “autism” as something-or-other biologically based disorder seem to be so much playing with words.
And saying “it’s autism” or whatever—that’s just the beginning to helping a child achieve all that she or he can and will.