RAADS “emotions”: Our New Voight-Kampff test?

In the article of the Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders,  “A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism and Asperger’s Disorder in Adults (RAADS): A Pilot Study” authored by Riva Ariella Ritvo, Edward R. Ritvo, Donald Guthrie, Arthur Yuwiler, Max Joseph Ritvo, and Leo Weisbender (2007); the reader is provided with “An empirically based 78 question self-rating Scale.” As much the aim of this, test, according to the article, is that it “[..] can be administered and scored in less than an hour and may be useful as a clinical scale to assist identification of autism and Asperger’s Disorder in adults. The RAADS does not distinguish between autism and Asperger’s Disorder.”  This blog entry looks at this test, in relation to ASD, as well draw into the discussion reference to a brilliant novel as analogy device.  The focus of this RAADS criticism, and as much the proposed lumping by the upcoming DSM-5 the condition of “autism” (APA) with “Asperger’s Syndrome,” (APA) goes to the quality of “empirically based” criteria by way of this purported test, specific the objectivity potential discerned through question twenty seven albeit one of many questions.  The argument made here, and really the question formed here is this: Sixty minutes to graph the crazy, and lumping during a time when science became more precise in figuring the mind?

Yeah, I said it – crazy.  As in, more than a few cards shy of a deck, tin-foil hat fashioned, prefers ants to people, sex-potted and tactless, crazy.  But wait, there’s more offense at hand so please, read on.  The part of political might subduing science is where I am heading, and we first need to consider some history and money with regards to autism.  Next we will look at the autistic framing getting a do-over, importing the present day landscape propagating the subjectivity of “emotions” responses as grounds for scientific assessment – this all leading to the upcoming DSM-5 disaster.  Our guild for this blog entry will be the premise in novel Blade Runner by Philip K. Dick as means to get at Question 27: “It is very difficult for me to understand some emotions (like lust, infatuation, empathy, or embarrassment).” – the answers possible for this Diagnostic Scale question being, “True now and when I was young” or “True only now” or “True only when I was young” or “Never True.”  For good measure – no pun intended – some personal considerations are also mentioned whereby an acknowledgment of my own bias in this matter.  Hell, it’s a blog right?

Just as the dust settled on the “retard” word ban, I happen up the little fascist in the making decrying a ‘no curse’ word campaign sprung from McKay Hatch, making it all the way to a California Assembly Vote today.  The Sacramento Bee writing, “Hatch, now 16, has seen his cuss-free campaign embraced by 35,000 people online and more than 100 schools and churches.”  “Here we go again,” I thought.  Could it be that I’ve got a shred of voice in the matter? “Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton, dismissed Thursday’s resolution as insignificant. “With the state broke, I don’t know that this is what we should be spending time on,” Norby said.” continued the Sanders article.   Maybe Norby, and this is just speculating, but maybe Norby has a “very difficult” time understanding “some emotions.”  Maybe Chris Norby, has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), if we’re going to lump and all.  It is context, not absolutism, it is pragmatism, not fascism that has humans taking steps forward – we are individuals, and the only under tax codes and insurance pools should there reflect greater lumpation.  It should be distinguished these ideas and we the people, then bound, or the whole thing will burn.  I blame Roy Blunt, because it’s convenient and he marched on about flag-burning, makes as much sense as McKay Hatch; the dismissive of context over ideology.  Forthwith, science has done the same with the human difference, with the “disease” (CDC) autism, and as much no good can come from it – however well intended the evaluative prescription.  Behavior, if any matter hold context, is mine to have – words and all.  Asperger’s Syndrome should not be lumped.  Why not consider neurosis along psychosis while we are at it?   Even a better idea from which to infect the conscience for social control: let’s establish a Voight-Kampff test to be administered by the state.  You know, like that in the story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by P.K. Dick, better known as screen adaptation “Blade Runner.”  That for sure will help us weed out the un-empathetic.  Got your monitor professional, your questionnaire – then presto, in no time; disease detection courtesy of American Psychiatric Association, aka the Tyrell Corporation in Dick’s nightmare story.  What could go wrong with the round-up – given that the science “was standardized on 17 autistic and 20 Asperger’s Disorder and 57 comparison subjects” (Ritvo et all, 2007)?  Tomato, tomoto – let a legal fight decide difference, case by case. Courts are cheap right?

“In 1944, Hans Asperger first described a group of individuals he labeled as having ‘‘autistic psychopathy.’’ He characterized these individuals as having problems in social integration and nonverbal communication.  He also noted that they had idiosyncratic verbal communication, preoccupations with unusual interests, deficits with empathy and intuition, and were clumsy. He did not, however, provide specific diagnostic criteria.” (Ritvo et all, 2007)  Since the advancement of at least common sense in the talk of WW2 era of person distinctions and equalites – how pray-tell did this country sellout science objectivity since then?  This new blurring of lines, it should come as no surprise, comes at a time in the California state budget the 18.9 billion dollars shortfall, more than ‘thirty five’ percent, more and a third accounted as “”Solutions” Lost to Court Decisions/Costs Mandated by Courts” (25.9%), and “Erosion” of Prior Solutions” (12.2%) an additional “18” percent accounted as  “Lower Than Anticipated Revenues”  Along this statistical data from California Budget Project, quite sobering in fact, of California schools expenditure ranking in the national picture – not pretty.  I can’t speak for those ‘‘The Autism-Spectrum Quotient’’ (AQ) nor “adult of normal intelligence” (IQ) (Ritvo et all, 2007) for two reasons; first the college undergraduate may only lay claim to that unknown called something as unknown, and second and at the core of this argument – it would be completely crazy even with wiz-bang subscale question qualities “social relatedness” “Language” and “sensorimotor” to graph to obtain in a matter of hours, the mental disposition of a person.  But hey; maybe it just me having a “very difficult time” understanding “some emotions” thus I wouldn’t score well, maybe, in that first survey question “I am a sympathetic person.”  What I can say is that with respect to health-care and education, at least in California; trouble is a-brewin for for the many of us, and a pretty twisted penny is being fashioned for the few, again.   Lumping of Asperger’s Disorder with autism; a costly disaster — or progress?  Hit me up, and tell me what’s up with this crazy world.


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