Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Digby Tantam's Reply

I emailed Didgy Tantam awhile ago with a reply to his article Malice and Asperger Syndrome. I've now received the following reply:

"Dear Ettina
Thank you for your interesting observations. It is possible that you do not meet the criteria that Elizabeth Newson used.
Best wishes
Digby Tantam"

That's all? Just 'you might not have PDA'?

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Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

To be precise, what they said was, *according to the criteria used* ... meaning, even with a DSM or other diagnostic manual in hand and a supposedly common understanding of what the criteria means, it can be tricky to come to any sort of universal agreement on who does and who doesn't "have" a particular condition, especially when there is no biological marker or agreed upon test. What one psychiatrist decides might not be quite what another psychiatrist decides, so you could be labeled with PDA by one "expert" and not by another.

But that said, I agree that it is kind of disappointing that they went straight to the possibility that maybe you didn't fit the criteria used, etc., instead of wrestling with the interesting questions your letter raised about what PDA really means (and the indirect questions, at least in how I read it, about whether some experts might themselves be stereotyping PDA). That would have been a more interesting dialogue, and I suspect beneficial for them and "experts" generally to wrestle with those questions instead of simply dismissing their cause as being inherently irrelevant for discussion simply by the very fact that they're being asked at all.

Hope I'm making sense. I'm writing this shortly after waking up, so I'm not fully alert yet ;-)

Andrea Shettle, MSW

4:42 AM  

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