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>An In-Depth Look At Stretching

May 7, 2010

>*having problems with the format and it wouldn’t let me edit the html of the original post, so I’ve saved that to draft and am reposting fresh. My apologies.

“They’re not alarmed about children who were talking and potty trained as two year olds and are now non-verbal and in diapers as teenagers.”

Anne Dachel wrote this earlier today, and it’s part of the quote that I use in my previous post, Warped Reality.

One of the problems with the vaccines-did-this-to-my-kid extremist crowd at AoA is that they have a decided tendency to get the facts wrong repeatedly, to stretch the truth, to exaggerate their stories, to show an amazing inability with math, to go overboard with extreme statements, and to be complete asses while they do it, calling anyone who disagrees with their version of reality pharma shills. They really hate it when the media and health professionals disagree with them.

I’ve decided to hone in on this one sentence and really look at the case that they exaggerate, in part because of a conversation with Kathleen on whether most kids are potty trained at two. I mean, it’s possible that some folks have had tremendously different experiences, but my three were between 4 and 7 before they got the hang of controlling their urination (and my wee one, at nearly 7, is still in a pullup at night). But of course, my children didn’t develop along a normal trajectory, get vaccines and then regress. That must be it.

Does Dachel mean exactly 24 months? Or somewhere in there? Because very few children are potty trained at 24 months, issues or no issues. According to University of Michigan Health System, children aren’t ready for potty training until 24-27 months. Starting before they are physically able to control on demand the external sphincters controlling both urination and defecation will do nothing but frustrate the parents and the child. Asking children to do things that their brains are not wired to do yet is, at best, an unpleasant experience for everyone around. Demanding they conform to impossible standards can rise to cruelty.

According to U of M: “The physical maturity and readiness skills needed for successful toilet learning appear at the same time in girls and boys-between 18 and 30 months of age. The average age for girls to be toilet trained is 29 months, and for boys it’s 31 months. Keep in mind that these are averages. Ninety-eight percent of kids are trained by 36 months of age.”

So does Dachel mean at 24 months or somewhere in between 24 and 36 months? Because it matters, it really does. Just like it matters if Katie Wright inflates membership numbers. Just like it matters when they insist that 10s of 1000s of children have had vaccines and regressed. There’s no good evidence of that. And anecdotal reports are completely inadequate as they are so easily distorted over time.

And does Dachel mean perfect control, no accidents? Because that’s beyond unlikely:

“How long does it usually take for a child to become reliably trained?
An average time frame for success in toilet training is three to six months. It is common, however, for children to continue to wet at night until they are five years old. By six years of age, most children (90%) do stay dry all night. During the toilet training process, many children refuse to train and even regress. This is usually only a temporary setback that is best handled by continuing encouragement and a “keep trying” attitude. If they become very resistant it is a sign to back off for a while (a few weeks to a couple of months), to avoid a power struggle. It is important not to shame your child or make them feel like a failure.”

So, we can see that saying 2 year olds were potty trained and then a vaccine renders them as incontinent into their teenage years is troubling in many ways. Let’s stipulate that she’s right, the kids were actually potty trained with complete control at the age of two. How many autistic teenagers is she alleging were completely on track (and ahead developmentally) who immediately suffered an adverse effect so severe that it renders them incontinent long term in addition to being autistic? It would take substantial damage to the brain in order to do this. What mechanism is she asserting does this? Where are all these diapered nonverbal teenagers who were at the age of two verbal and potty-trained?

Why does this kind of spin and hyperbole even get a pass? How on the face of it is it not seen as absurd?

Of course, if you read enough of these people, you get the realization that autism to them is a fate worse than death. Dachel writes: “I kept waiting for some inkling of horror over what’s happening to hundreds of thousands of our children.”

Okay, I guess if you conceive of autism as being caused by a huge frakking global conspiracy that takes perfect kids (potty trained at 2!) and renders them nonverbal and diapered as teens, I guess you’d have to see it as a “horror.” The problem is, once again, that there’s no evidence that their version of reality exists anywhere but in their own minds.

And if you somehow haven’t managed to figure out that AoA is beyond over the top yet, then all you have to do is go look at Stagliano’s latest: “DNA from Pig Viruses Found in Paul Offit Merck RotaTeq Vaccine”. It’s replete with a picture of a naked baby with pig ears and nose. Nice. Just. Nice. Wow.

  1. May 7, 2010 1:57 am

    >I had to save as a draft the original post, since it messed up and wouldn't let me edit it. Here are the comments left on the original version:Kimberly Hebert has left a new comment on your post "An In-Depth Look At Stretching": I don't know if you've been changing your blog settings today, but this post on the RSS feed through Google reader is impossible to read (pink text on white background). 😦 Just letting you know. Good post, though! KWombles has left a new comment on your post "An In-Depth Look At Stretching": Ah, thanks! I will fix it. David has left a new comment on your post "An In-Depth Look At Stretching": A shameless plug and a tangent, but this made me think of an episode I wrote for a fan fic titled "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". It features a trio of villains whose communication consists almost exclusively of whistles and laughter. I personally found them uniquely unnerving, and less human than many non-human characters I have come up with. I suspect that reactions like Dachel's arise similarly from the alien quality of a possible non-verbal intelligence.

  2. May 7, 2010 1:59 am

    >A friend of mine wanted to share her experience concerning potty training:"My neurotypical daughter made several feints at urinary & fecal toilet training between 24 and 28 months, then "regressed" (ie, lost interest in compliance or the whole idea). That was during the summer, and since we live in California she went commando a lot — I only put her in diapers when she had to be inside or in the car or otherwise in public areas. I suspect there were… well, not-accidents involving both urinating & defecating outside. Suspect, hell — I SAW her squatting more than once. Fine.When my daughter was 32 months old, it became apparent that my father was dying, and both my daughter and I were spending a lot of time with him. I didn't have the brain-space to do toilet training at the same time. Dad died when my daughter was 33 months old. When my daughter was 34 months, one of her idols (a girl of 9 years, who was in our house Monday – Friday, and who had been doing a lot of the diaper changing) told my daughter that it was time to get over the diapers. NO accidents on the 9 yos watch during the day. We used pullups during the night, and by 38 months, even the pull-ups were dispensed with."

  3. May 7, 2010 6:51 am

    >I am always amazed and amused with the "potty training" yard stick to measure disability.I have two boys. If you took every measure available to evaluate them, and mushed them together it would show I have two average boys. But, no, I don't. The older one is quite disabled, and the younger one is quite brilliant and capable. The younger one scored a "5" in AP Calculus BC, which saved me almost a year of math tuition in college. He is getting very good grades in college (which includes taking differential equations as a freshman), and paying for his own living expenses. He is moving into an apartment next month (which he will pay for, and deal with the room mates).He pays for his living expenses from a job he has had since the end of 9th grade, being a lifeguard. He mostly teaches swimming, which includes the special population classes (he has special insight into those kids since he grew up with a disabled sibling).So who do you think was the worse to potty train (I assume you know where this is going)? I was told by my older son's special ed. preschool teacher that he requested not to be sent to school in diapers after about four to six months there (a bit more than 3 1/2 years old). I was doing that as a courtesy to them since he had a few night time accidents, but he initiated the change. So I complied, and all was well.But younger son was horrible to potty train. I actually had to warn his kindergarten teacher that he may have accidents. Since he has a September birthday, he was almost six years old! I tried so many things… but he was a very stubborn boy! I made several calls to the Children's Hospital Resource Line (which told me to make him clean up the mess, which he did, kind of… though not well, sigh). I would make him go without any pants, but the moment I had to diaper him, he would do a poo. AAAGH!Trust me, in fifteen years when he starts having kids that age I hope he goes through the same issues (he is 19 years old now).Just call it Grandma's revenge.

  4. May 7, 2010 7:01 am

    >Rats, the html did not do the emphasis quite enough… Just to remind you all (and why I don't use my last name):My younger very smart normal (including socially) son was almost…SIX … 6 … years old …before he was potty trained.Oh, and his "Terrible Twos" lasted from 18 months until he was seven years old. That child caused me many gray hairs.But he is doing wonderfully as a 19 year old college student. A son that I am very proud of.While his sweet disabled older brother was so compliant, and so so sweet… Has cut himself off from friends who wanted to communicate with him, and was suspended from community college. He is now causing more concern at age 21 than his high spirited brother did at any time in his life. Trust me… my older son is why I grind my teeth at night. Fortunately he is back at he community college and things are going better. But still…Younger son has mentioned more than once that he "no longer has an older brother" and that he will be "looking after him" later. Sigh.

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