Psychologist Humphreys shocked by reaction to autism comments

Psychologist Dr Tony Humphreys has said he was shocked by the response to his controversial comments on autism made in an article published in the Irish Examiner last week.

Speaking on The Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, Dr Humphreys told presenter Claire Byrne that his intention had been “to bring good news” to people.

The February 3 article by Dr Humphreys, in which he challenged the categorisation of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a genetic or neurobiological disorder, has prompted criticism online and in the media from the parents of autistic children and from professionals working in the sector.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the article was published, Dr Humphreys today said that his comments had been misinterpreted, and he reiterated his stance that “family and community narratives” need to be examined closely when seeking to understand ASD.

He said he had been shocked, overwhelmed and saddened by the critical reaction to the piece, and that he never intended to blame parents or cause them any hurt.

Dr Humphreys said he believed parents never intentionally caused any harm to their children.

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