I read this article today in the Wall Street Journal. It describes how the usual pattern for reacting to new ideas is to dismiss them. Earning credibility is hard when systems have invested in maintaining the status quo. The article cites resistance to plate tectonics, new medical ideas, and some other theories later proven to be right, and it also mentions that many new ideas are also wrong.
Sometimes well-meaning people follow a wrong theory for years. It is always interesting when the theory is disproved. All those lives that were negatively affected by the theory are now told, “Oops”.With ulcers my grandfather had part of his stomach surgically removed. Now they know it’s a virus. Oops. Weird theories in child-rearing, and education, and mental health are now disproved and some theories popular now will be disproved in the future, but we can’t know ahead of time which is wacky, which works, and mostly how to stand up to the naysayers.
In the fifties people were sure autism was a sign of emotional neglect on the part of a cold “refrigerator” mother. This idea was miserable for mothers and autistic kids. I suspect that when new theories that viewed autism as a neurological illness came out that many mental health therapists who were making a living on treating autism with emotionally-focused therapy resisted the new ideas because they were invested in their theory.I think it is still the same today with the popular theories and new ways of seeing autism, but I think it is starting to change gradually, and I am so grateful to Soma for being one of the intellectual heretics who is right.