Jun 18 2015
The NY Post recently published an article The miracle that cured my son’s autism was in our kitchen. It is a horrible piece of science journalism published in the “Living” section of the paper by a writer, Mackenzie Dawson, who writes about reality TV and how to organize your closet when she is not mangling science. The piece stumbles from trope to trope as it follows a tired formula.
First open up with a heart-warming anecdote of a child “cured” by a plucky parent who would just not give up. Let a bunch of cranks explain how it all works, and sneak in one paragraph of token skepticism that you then immediately contradict. Then finish off with flourish of how amazing your star anecdote is doing. Dawson gives us an added bonus, a cherry-picked study to create the illusion she did some actual journalism.
The story is an old one – dietary restrictions to treat autism. Dawson writes:
“I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God. What are we going to do?’ ” Levin recalls. “Everyone knew autism was a lifelong disorder and couldn’t be cured.”
Except that in Ben’s case, it could be. And it was.