• 2016 AA Editor Search
  • Get Ready for the Annual Meeting

    From t-shirts to journals, 2014 Annual Meeting Gear Shop Now
  • Open Anthropology
  • Latest AAA Podcast

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 17,432 other followers

Surprising Prevelance of Autism in South Korea

AAA member, Roy Richard Grinker is making global headlines as senior author for a study unveiled this week on autism. The study, a collaborative effort by Yale Child Study Center and George Washington University and to be featured in The American Journal of Psychiatry, sought to gauge the rate of childhood autism in a middle-class city in South Korea. The rate within the community studied indicated that 2.6 percent of all children aged 7-12 years old were diagnosed with autism.

“South Korea was chosen not only because autism prevalence had not been measured there, but also because its national health care system, universal education and homogeneous population made it a promising region for a planned series of studies that will also look at genetic and environmental factors in autism,” said New York Times reporter, Claudia Wallis.

CNN reported Grinker’s response to the study as surprising but not alarming. Grinker believes the study’s estimate reveal that “autism is more common than we think it is.”

Nature.com interviewed Dr. Grinker on their news blog to gain an insight on the study. Aside from discussing the take home message of the study, blogger Meredith Wadman asks:

It seems that by definition, if you were largely in schools that are not for special needs or intellectually impaired kids, that you must have been discovering milder cases on the autism spectrum. Wouldn’t it be hard for a profoundly affected child to pass in a mainstream school?
In the US we are so sensitized to picking up special needs and providing services. But not every country in the world does that. Depending on the state, 10-15% of American kids are getting some special education services. That number is less than 1% in South Korea. So of course you are going to find those kids in mainstream school environments. Sixteen percent of the kids that were in the mainstream schools that we diagnosed had some degree of mental retardation. Also there were certainly children that I saw in schools that had significant impairments. But South Korea has a pretty strong mandate for inclusion, legally. They have laws in place for inclusion. Unfortunately that inclusion does not come along with a lot of services. Some kids can get by and adapt to the situation.

Visit the links below for additional details of this study and media coverage:
Autism Speaks
CNN
Nature.com
NBC Today Show
National Public Radio
New York Times

Looking for more information on autism? Check out the Ethos issue on Rethinking Autism, Rethinking Anthropology.

Are you an AAA making headlines? Let us know! We feature newsmakers on the AAA Members in the News webpage.

RACE exhibit spurs discussion from Boston to San Diego

When Boston’s Museum of Science opened its doors this past weekend to debut the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit, the museum challenged Bostonians to learn and discuss the common assumptions about differences amongst people. Discussions certainly have the buzz around the city these days; here’s a roundup of the latest:

Callie Crossley, of The Callie Crossley Show on Boston’s NPR station WGBH, interviewed Evelynn Hammonds, Dean of Harvard College and a professor of the history of science. In their discussion, they look at the scientific approach to race and the impact of historical and cultural influences. Listen to the episode: Callie Crossley – RACE episode

Jody Feinberg, reporter for The Patriot Ledger, interviews museum attendees on their perspective of race in relation to the cultural versus biological differences amongst people. She speaks with AAA member, Alan Goodman and the chairwoman for the museum’s educational team, Nina Catubig Nolan, about the concepts and goals of the exhibit. Fienberg also highlights the variety of programs and activities that the Museum of Science offers in tandem with the exhibit. Read Jody’s article here.

The 10th grade students of the Community Charter School of Cambridge welcomed media during a the exhibit’s press preview. Wicked Local Cambridge interviewed students and teachers on their experience with the RACE exhibit. Click here for the article.
 
A second RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit will debut next month at the San Diego Museum of Man. An exhibit sponsor, Luce Forward announced it will host a private showing of the exhibit in February in recognition of the diversity of the legal community.  View the announcement here.

For additional information on RACE: Are We So Different?, visit the RACE website.

Want to read more press coverage on RACE: Are We So Different? Visit RACE in the News.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,432 other followers