Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hold The Phone: More Interesting Remarks From Yet Another Autism Foundation Head In Turkey

While trying to find the contact information for Fehmi Kaya, who claimed atheism is a form of autism, I just ran into more exciting insight into the state of autism understanding in Turkey.

Autistic children not atheists, go directly to heaven: Foundation head

I'm really not sure what the headline has to do with the contents of the article which seems a bit muddled.
All children with Down syndrome will directly go to heaven according to Islam, the director of an autism foundation said April 24 ...
This is coming from the head of the Anatolia Autism Foundation, Burhan Özfatura. I don't know what that has to do with autism. It looks like either he or the reporter is confounding autism with down syndrome - two completely different things. This doesn't bode well.

Özfatura also says this:
“Someone with very basic religious knowledge knows that there is a concept called ‘pubescent intelligence.’ In other words, the condition that the mind reaches a determined level is sought. All these children will directly go to heaven, according to the Islamic faith,” the head of the Anatolia Autism Foundation, Burhan Özfatura, said during a partnership protocol between the association and Aegean University in İzmir. 
Uhm, what does this have to do with autism or science in general? This seems like an exercise in religion to me. Are there any scientists working on the whole autism thing in Turkey? Could I possibly get any more depressed about this?
Özfatura, a former politician who served twice as mayor of İzmir, said Kaya’s remarks could not be taken seriously. “We don’t want to popularize [Kaya] more than that. If they take the most basic manual of Islamic faith and read it, they will see that it in detail,” he said.  
Yeah, that Kaya guy is such a quack with all his outlandish theories about autism that do not conform with even the most basic manual of Islamic faith. What a pseudoscientist. Unbelievable. But Özfatura doesn't appear to have any real credentials for his job either. He appears to be a politician.

What scientific basis does this have at all? If this is what the experts on autism are talking about in Turkey than I'll stay here in Canada to have my son helped, thank you very much.

And what does any of this have to do with atheists? Perhaps autistic children actually have down syndrome and so they go to heaven while atheists do not? I'm so confused.

But maybe I've got all this wrong? If anyone knows how, please enlighten me.

Editor's Note: It just occurred to me that 'Down Syndrome' could be a mistranslation from the original Turkish. If anyone can help me out with this it would be fantastic.

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