When researchers are duped by policy wonks

There seems to be a pattern of researchers in the field of autism inadvertently being duped into interpreting their research in a way that harms children with autism. A word to the wise: if you are a researcher in the field of autism, do not get caught interpreting your research so that policy wonks can ration treatment for children with autism. You do so at your peril.

In the same way as Cancer researchers do not routinely recommend denial or rationing of treatment based on the progression of the Cancer, neither should autism researchers predict the efficacy of treatment for hypothetical children based on their limited studies regarding the effectiveness of treatment after a discrete amount of time. The moment these researchers dive into the murky waters of prediction of an individual child based on their research, they have become advocates instead of researchers. They have in a brief moment moored from pure researchers into policy wonks.

What am I talking about? I’m referring to the rich history of denial of services based on researcher testimony.