DSM-IV or DSM-5 the autism research community still clings tenaciously to the belief that with respect to the autisms "it's gotta be genetic". While lip service is paid to the concept that autism results from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors research dollars still flow overwhelmingly to genetic based autism research. Calls for an environmental autism research strategy by respected authorities like Grandjean, Landrigan and Birnbaum are largely ignored.
Convenience and the false belief in a "pure" autism also continue to strip autism research of any value. Autism research subjects tend to be high functioning autistic persons who are easier to work with in conducting studies. The exclusion of more challenging lower functioning participants from autism studies is justified by the non evidence based belief in a pure autism.
The truth is autism research has produced nothing of significant value in the 16 years since my son's autism diagnosis 16 years ago today. The autism research community failed persons with autism and their parents and families when they twiddled their thumbs while the cold mothers fantasy was allowed to prevail and cause harm to all touched by autism. Since then there has been many dollars spent on autism research with precious few results to show.
I am being realistic about the state of autism research over the last 16 years just as I am being realistic when I describe the great joy that our severely autistic son Conor has added to our lives. To Conor I say thanks Buddy. To the autism research community I say get your acts together, start producing some results.
Conor at age 2 loved his cake and icing and that is still true today. He was and remains a happy, joyful blessing in our lives despite the many serious challenges that his autism disorder and "co-morbid" intellectual disability and epileptic seizures present.