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Incentives matter – repeat after me

Number of children on disability benefit jumps after surge in ADHD and autism cases
Government spending on disability support for children doubles in just a decade

Of course, there is already some tosser out there insisting that the rise in autism must be caused by capitalism. Sigh.

16 thoughts on “Incentives matter – repeat after me”

  1. I thought it was caused by MMR (or some other cocktail of drugs injected into babies and young children)?

    And are you claiming there has been no increase of children actually sufferring from ADHD and Autism, only an increase in the numbers claiming benefits for it?

  2. Note: Mostly boys age 9-13….. Almost as if The System has grown to be utterly inable to handle rowdy lads in their pre-puberty…

    In my experience most of them dry up quite nicely once they get past 16-17, with only an occasional reminder of the Cause-Effect Clause inherent in Real Life™ to keep them within “socially acceptable” margins.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    As it happens we had a my side of the family gathering last weekend* and I learned that my 34YO niece has just been diagnosed as autistic. She was always a bit weird, being a Goth from pre teen years and a bit self centred, but I don’t think any of us would have said she was autistic in the commonly understood way. This now means that she gets extra financial and other support for degree she wants to do plus she doesn’t have to do any sort of assessment to see if she is up to it.

    Her husband has just been diagnosed with some form of hyper active brain disorder that requires medication and gets him some support. Their 10YO son has also just been diagnosed, although there was definitely something not quite right with him, but more in the ADHD area and we put a lot of it down to parenting, but he did seem better now he is being medicated.

    I know, anecdotal but in all these cases incentives to get the diagnosis were dangled in front of them.

    *In Tewkesbury. It was my first visit and I was quite impressed. Shame the main road goes through the centre of town becuase its got a lot of character, but that’s a different story.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset


    My wife, a former infant teacher, has been saying that feminisation of education is a serious problem for a long time because they don’t know how to handle boys. In the school she taught in 25 years ago the head and the other teacher hadn’t had boys, the head hadn’t had children, and despite their positions they struggled with boys’ behaviour.

    Ask a parent who has had girls first they’ll all tell you they just weren’t prepared for brining up a boy and its worse if their first introduction is as grandparents, as my wife’s sister found out the hard way.

  5. Humans are different. Increasingly those differences are being medicalised and diagnosed and monetised, sorry medicated…

    A friend’s daughter had a tricky time at university and dropped out, which led to a diagnosis of autism and medication. She was a bright and personable kid so I am not convinced. I suspect the upheaval of leaving home, getting banged up in halls due to the lockdown madness and choosing the wrong course threw her off balance. I do not believe there is anything significant wrong with her, but now she’s on meds and seeing a therapist once a week… Great for the Pharma and therapy industries, not so good for her.

  6. There’s a suggestion that the threshold for diagnosis has fallen, such that children who previously were just a bit odd or irritating now have autism or ADHD. But that doesn’t exclude the possibility that rates overall have risen.

    Autism data from Sweden:
    ADHD data from Sweden:

    In the case of ADHD, there are plenty of treatment options; so I don’t see why a parent should still qualify for disability support. But apparently under the Equality Act 2010, your claim for disability benefits is based on the *untreated* condition. Very odd.

  7. “…some tosser out there insisting that the rise in autism must be caused by capitalism.”

    Whereas in fact, of course, it’s caused by Brexit.

  8. Some observations:
    Interesting that the Amish community in the USA, who reject the shite America (the western world?) has swallowed, have little to zero incidence of autism.

    I saw a study many years ago that the ‘easiest’ family unit to raise was Mum, Dad and two girls. The hardest was Mum, Dad and three girls. Having raised a boy and a girl, I am only qualified to comment on such and others only qualified to comment on what they have experienced. Dr Spock had none of his own as far as I can see, but fucked over generations of families with his pyschobabble bullshit.

    Merkel, May, Macron have no children. I appreciate Boris is on his way to a first eleven, Sleepy Joe, has a crackhead / coke head criminal for a son and a daughter still recovering from the trauma of daddy showering with her when she was twelve… so he says, the one he lost in Iraq – in 2015, but due to his military service in Iraq in 2009 within the JAG Office (so not exactly front line or anything, no being on the painful end of IED’s or firing depleted uranium shells at the Taliban then…….)

    And lastly, why has the education system in the west (and healthcare, every government department seemingly) been flooded with a group of people who have absolutely no understanding of 50% of the people they are supposed to be looking after?

  9. The rise in *reported* autism is mostly due to the increase in diagnosis (part of which is due to a lowering of the threshhold for defining someone as being “on the autistic spectrum” and part due to doctors having more time to look at these cases because there is less Mumps, Measles and Chickenpox and TB and anaemia and bronchitis to occupy their time). A little is due to higher survival rates among young children which disproportionately benefit those with unusual disorders or differences.
    I expect to be screamed at for suggesting that some incompetent mothers are claiming that their ill-behaved children are autistic to shift the blame for their behaviour. My experience of meeting a group of autistic children from my younger son’s school (on several occasions) was that they were, in general, *better-behaved* than the average for children their age.

  10. Oh, yes – the *survival* of children with autism is due to capitalism. In feudal times, they were taken to a strange part of the woods and left to fend for themselves or starve: there is a study of one of them that survived into his teens.

  11. I did notice the Treasurer, since heroic Labor have got the National Insurance Disability Scheme really rolling, whinging that all the charities and state and local governments have just left them alone to get on with it.

    Strangely enough, it means the lucky, or most skilful, get plenty of cash while the odds and sods get zilch. And there is huge competition to be showered with government money.

  12. @Addolff

    I’d be interested in seeing that study that shows that three girls is the hardest family unit.

    It’s been good fun so far for me.

  13. I used to observe quite a lot of lessons in primary and secondary schools, as students I was supervising did placements with schools. Hardly any male teachers, but most of them were good. There is a certain tongue-in-cheek disciplinarian tone that the boys really related to; a bit like playing at being a tough NCO in the army, but allowing the genuine concern to show through. The girls seemed to respect it as well. I’ve not seen women capable of it. They were all either soft targets, witches, or bellowing lezzie types.

    Probably the root cause is lack of fathers in the home.

  14. That headline effectively reads: increase in number of ADHD cases in wake of increase in number of ADHD cases.
    In other news, increase in number of small humans in wake of increase in births, and increase in number of puddles in wake of increase in rainfall.

  15. @ Andrew M
    Thanks. That is useful evidence of which I was unaware.
    It’s nice that it supports what I have already said, but that does not disqualify it as an independent report.

  16. Interesting that the Amish community in the USA [ . . . ] have little to zero incidence of autism.

    Dunno, I think there’s an argument to be made for a 100% rate with that lot.

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