Is this a bunch of hooey?

Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Is this a bunch of hooey?
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 8:51pm
I have read this and that regarding autism, but never the following. I saw a link to Reuters from msn for a story that claims some S.Koreans are having their tongues trimmed to learn to speak English better. So I read the story and quote:

Dr. Shin Min-sup, a professor at Seoul National University who specializes in issues of adolescent psychiatry, is worried about the trend for surgery and also for pushing young children too hard to learn languages.

“There’s the potential for life-damaging after-effects,” Shin said. “Learning a foreign language too early, in some cases, may not only cause a speech impediment but, in the worst case, make an child autistic.”

Can you really MAKE someone autistic? I never heard of this. I know (as Candes recently pointed out) you can't believe everything you read...but have you ever heard of making someone autistic or learning a foreign language too soon being able to do that? I have a niece who is half Mexican and learning two languages at home and she looks alright to me.

The whole story is at

Thanks for not laughing at me for wondering about this. haha.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 9:19pm
It's hooey. (IMHO)

But don't many autistic children have a short frenulum? I think this guy is somewhat confused.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 9:31pm
Do you think he is referring to Childhood Disintegrative Disorder? Did I spell that right? Still, I say it is hooey.


Avatar for suitemadameblue
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 11:56pm
Personally, I feel that this just goes to show that even professors and doctors who seem to be very wise can at times be just as ignorant as your plain old ordinary man on the street. All those letters after a person's name doesn't always mean all it's cracked up to just means, unfortunately, that more people are willing to believe what they say.

Pretty sad, huh?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 10-19-2003 - 4:36pm

I am going with a whole bunch of hooey! First, I have often heard that being bilingal and children learning 2 language may actually be good for the brain.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Sun, 10-19-2003 - 11:25pm

Okay, my turn to be devil's advocate.

Have you ever wondered why AS is called "Ooops, wrong planet syndrome" or "The Man In The Moon Syndrome" ? It's b/c you often get the feeling that the Aspies are from another planet and don't know all the local customs. I'm not a big T.V. watcher and I usually hate sitcoms, but I love Third Rock From the Sun. It just reminds too much of my own family. LOL

Well, yes, studies have shown that learing a second language early can be good for the brain it has also very strongly suggested that if done wrong it can cause problems. Not neurological problems mind you, social ones. I think what the Prof in the article was trying to say was that these social problems can have an autistic like effect, which is true. But he wasn't very well explained in his short quote, nor was he quoted as saying it correctly. Which leads me to believe he has some manner of personal thing going on with the issue.

Anyway, the problems arise when a small child is caught between two cultures that do not closely co-exist, or one culture is being taught by someone who doesn't really know anything about it.

Avatar for candksmom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 2:33pm
I've been thinking of jumping on to this thread, too. When my dd was undergoing dx, my S. Korean SIL said to be very, very careful that they didn't mistake those cultural norms for autistic-like behavior, so we went over this very carefully with the dr. But the way my dd avoids eye contact is totally different. She doesn't look down, in a respectful way, she looks all over the place, twists her body around, wiggles, and fidgets. My younger dd makes eye contact that is expected in US, as do I. My MIL generally avoids eye contact, but it different from dd. Both of my children were born in the US. However, I often think that dd's behavior is one end of "normal," and wonder if she would fit in better in dh's home culture.
Avatar for cl_ntajd
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 2:52pm