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Controversial autism article should be retracted - PSI

The head of the professional body for psychology said that the Examiner article by Tony Humphreys was “unhelpful and likely to cause upset”.

The Irish Examiner
The Irish Examiner
Image: Photocall Ireland

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY of Ireland has criticised clinical psychologist Tony Humphreys over a controversial article on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The article by Humphreys in the Irish Examiner last Friday was “not supported by the vast body of research” said Dr Michael Drumm, the head of the PSI.

Dr Drumm said that the asserts made in the article were “unhelpful and likely to cause upset” and that the article should be retracted. Humphreys is not a member of the PSI.

The article had been heavily criticised by Irish Autism Action, parents of children with autism and neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen, among others.

In the piece, Humphreys suggested that there was a link between autism and  parents not expressing love and affection to their children.  The Irish Examiner has since removed the article from its website.

The PSI said this afternoon that it does not support the assertions made by Tony Humphreys.

“Tony Humphreys’ assertions made in the article are not supported by the vast body of published research in the field of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and are unhelpful and likely to cause upset,” said Dr Michael Drumm, president of the PSI.  ”It is hoped that the article would be retracted”.

The Psychological Society of Ireland is the professional body for psychology in this country.

Autism  Spectrum Disorder affects one in every 100 children.

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