The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) has described as "unhelpful and likely to cause upset" comments by clinical psychologist Tony Humphreys that inferred parents of children with autism were to blame for their child’s condition.ENOUGH of the guff about what Tony Humphreys intentions were- lots of people do harm unintentionally but they should still be held to account.
Mr Humphreys made the comments in an article published in this newspaper a week ago. They have been criticised both by fellow experts and parents of children who have the condition.
"It is grossly inaccurate and demonstrated a clear ignorance of the most basic understanding of autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD)," said Brigid Sinnott, manager of ABA and Autism Services in St Catherine’s Association.
Dr Humphreys has since said parents were "never to blame" for autism and his intention was simply "to inform and enlighten".
PSI president Michael Drumm said: "Tony Humphreys’ assertions are not supported by the vast body of published research in the field of ASDs and are unhelpful and likely to cause upset."
Here comes the apology bit:
Irish Examiner editor Tim Vaughan, in an editorial earlier this week, apologised for the hurt caused by Dr Humphreys’ comments.This is a classic non-apology. Tim Vaughan is sorry, not for the actions of his paper, but for the reactions we have had to it and I do not need Tim Vaughan to apologise for me.
"His comments have caused enormous upset for many parents and relatives of children with autism and I very much regret and am sorry for this," said Mr Vaughan last night.
I think it is the best we can hope to get from this newspaper. I think they have a very skewed sense of decency and ethics. Tony Humphreys is back writing his pcychobabble column in today's Irish Examiner Feelgood section. And again his topic of choice is "love." I have not had a chance to read it yet but have it good authority that it adheres to the man's usual standards of expression, logic and accuracy.
asthma, IBS, cancer, schizophrenia, tonsillitis. The Irish Examiner have taken his columns on IBS and asthma down from their site. Yet they still employ him to write as an expert in their health supplement. I find this astonishing.
The Irish Examiner have a very skewed sense of journalistic integrity and ethics. However I read that Alan Crosbie, chair of the group which publishes the paper, at a recent conference on media diversity in Dublin, called on the governmant to:
"address the threat to humanity posed by the tsunami of unverifiable data, opinion, libel and vulgar abuse in new media.”Isn't it ironic.