Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Study Discovers Higher Rates of Autism in Educationally Superior South Korea, U.S. Struggles to Compete

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- A new study finds that approximately one in every 38 children in South Korea may have some form of autism, which outpaces the U.S. estimate of one in 166. Researchers had expected to find higher rates by using a broader survey sample and by focusing on children in mainstream school populations, but they were surprised at how high the rates were. According to the report, two-thirds of the children with autism traits in the study had no previous diagnosis, nor had they received any special services.

Regis Ketamine, a leading sociologist at San Narciso College, called the results of the South Korean analysis troubling: “The U.S. must find a way to increase its number of autistics, if we are to compete against Asians in math and science.”

When the Killer Becomes the Cure
“South Korea, beyond other countries, has made serious investments into public education as a crucial part of its economic future,” Ketamine explained. “Young people in South Korea’s workforce are more likely to have a college degree than anywhere else in the developed world. The United States has fallen catastrophically far behind, especially in the fields of math and science. For years, academics have struggled to determine South Korea’s methods of success. But now the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak. They’re more autistic than we are. They have the natural advantage, and we in the United States must find a way to catch up.”

Children with functional levels of autism often excel at complicated mathematical and scientific processes, even though their social skills remain impaired. Many autism assistance programs emphasize socialization training and psychological counseling. But Ketamine advocates cutting these projects altogether.

“The sacrifice is worthwhile. We need to stop trying to make these children socially adept, and embrace their abilities. Sometimes you have to cut off a finger to save a hand.”

The New, Expressionless Face of Public Education in America
“The ratio of autistic math savants to neuro-typical savants is 10 to one,” Ketamine cited. “Your typical geniuses, intelligent as they may be, can barely calculate pi to the one-hundredth decimal place. That might turn heads at a Mensa gathering, but I’ve worked with autistic children who can instantly recall pi to 22,514 decimal places. And because their disorder causes them to focus on a niche skill set with unerring accuracy, we could be exploiting this to our advantage.”

Ketamine went on to suggest that South Korea’s findings will also help justify the drastic cuts to school budgets that Republicans across the country have proposed.

“Clearly, the fiscally conservative Republicans have made their point: we have no reason to be spending tons of tax payer money on an educational system that will never truly work. Our best schools can only make kids as bright as their normal intellects will allow. But if we just gave up on them entirely -- and instead concentrated our efforts on locating and cultivating naturally brilliant autistic pupils -- then problem solved. We must not allow for an autism gap. South Korea’s already way ahead of the curve on this. If we’re going to regain our strength in the global economy, we must not only put all our energy behind autism, we must also find ways of inducing it.”

Ketamine’s group at San Narciso College has already offered Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the man credited with popularizing the notion that autism could be caused by inoculations, a position on the faculty.

“He was wrongly stripped of his medical license,” an indignant Ketamine proclaimed, “but we have an opportunity to correct that mistake. With Dr. Wakefield’s expertise, we’re hoping to create a series of new vaccines that both prevent disease and speed along the development of autism in American students.”
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