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Quick link to the information of your choice on AUTISM:
Autism Spectrum Disorders as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are a group of developmental disorders that are defined by significant impairments in social interaction, communication and the presence of behaviors and interests. Ways of learning, paying attention or reacting to different sensations are classified as unusual. This developmental disability can vary however in learning ability, from gifted to severely challenged.
What are the causes of Autism?
There is no known cause, desbite much research in recent years, however, there are some widely known possible causes:
Childhood vaccinations - the preservative, thimerosal which is no longer used in childhood vaccines or the practice of giving infants multiple immunizations at a single visit. Recent research has ruled out both of these as a cause.
Problems in pregnancy ( Yale School of Medicine researchers discovered that flawed cells in the placenta might be the earliest marker for autism. June 26, 2006, Biological Psychiatry)
Disordered process of brain development before birth.
Repeated use of antibiotics in the first year of life.
Exposure to mercury or other toxic chemicals.
Late age parenthood.
Genetic predisposition - although the recent rise of prevalence of this condition in this decade would suggest that this could not be a cause.
What are the characteristics of Autism?
Begins before the age of three, usually between the ages of 18 and 36 months and lasts a person's life.
There are three distinct characteristics:
Difficulty with social interaction.- socially withdrawn, speak little, dislike affection and eye contact.
Problems with verbal and nonverbal communication.
Repetitive behaviors or obsessive interests.
What are the statistics concerning Autism?
From the Autism Society of America:
Occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Five more times more likely to occur in boys than in girls.
"One in every 150 children born in the U.S. has autism."
Recent surveys from the CDC are reporting that 1 in every 88 children in the U.S. has autism.
"Based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and other governmental agencies, autism is growing at a startling rate of 10-17 percent per year. At this rate, the ASA estimates that the prevalence of autism could reach 4 million Americans in the next decade."
"Autism is now officially becoming an epidemic in the United States. We are dealing with a national emergency that needs a national plan," Mark Roithmayr, from Autism Speaks. (Brown, 2012)
The rate in Hispainc children is two-thirds that of white children but is rising faster in them and in African-American children. Utah's children rate is four times that of Alabama"s although this is unexplained.
From the University of Virginia, Health System:
There does not appear to be any known prevention for the occurrence or severity of autism. However, the CDC has identified several risk factors.
Children should be identified early by parents, teachers and doctors when treatment is most effective.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Parents and doctors must remain diligent during the birth process.
Avoid difficult or premature delivery of newborns.
Healthy pregnancy, healthy baby programs help avoid difficult or premature delivery and low birth weight, both risk factors for developmental disabilities.
"America's health care system is in crisis precisely because we systematically neglect wellness and prevention." - U.S. Senator, Retired, Tom Harkin
Read our NHU Report on the Prevention of Disabilities - Spring 2015
Read about the rising prevalence of developmental disabilities, the impact of developmental disabilities and the need for data for research. ----We all know to move forward on any problem facing mankind requires research. We are stating, in order to protect children of the future, newborns, their parents and society from disabilities, we should broaden the scope of data collected through the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth. This update to our existing data system would be more easily adopted and is necessary to more effectively meet current research needs for the purpose of preventing disabilities. Existing data collected is vague and not in sync with the rapid advances in medicine for today.
People are more alike than they are different.
Identify and develop an appreciation for each person's strengths and accomplishments.
Become aware of the affect on daily activities.
A Guide to Autism Awareness Through Wristbands
Wristband Express is a company that sells wristbands, however they offer a nice guide about Autism including links to many current Autism resources. They explain the puzzle logo for Autism awareness that was first designed by the Autism Society. They hope that with increased awareness of autism, comes access to appropriate support and services, allowing those with autism to lead full lives.
People First Language from disabilityisnatural.com by Kathie Snow offers insight into society's use of language when using the term disability. The term disability is a societal construct to identify characteristics related to a medical condition that may entitle an individual for services or legal protections. The use of this language encourages freedom, respect and inclusion for all, and recognizes forms of language that can isolate, create negative stereotypes and place attitudinal barriers for individuals. "Using People First Language, putting the person before the disability—and eliminating old, prejudicial, and hurtful descriptors, can move us in a new direction. People First Language is not political correctness; instead, it demonstrates good manners, respect, the Golden Rule, and more—it can change the way we see a person, and it can change the way a person sees themself!" For more articles by Kathie Snow to "help us begin to use more respectful and accurate language and create positive change," visit People First Language and More
Autistic Culture from Wikipedia defines and explores the Autistic viewpoint from beliefs and interests to Autistic Pride Day, a day to celebrate Autism.
"Autistic culture holds a concept that autism, as a valid and unique way of being, should be embraced and appreciated, not shunned or cured. This is sometimes called neurodiversity or the anti-cure perspective."
Visit our NHU Community Forum on Autism for more insights, awareness, viewpoints, experiences, needs and solutions.
Needs and Solutions
There is no known cure.
Not every therapy helps every child or adult.
Treatment and Rehabilitation
There is no known cure, education and treatment approaches help to lessen some of the demonstrated behaviors. Choosing a treatment is very hard for the parent or caregiver. There are many possibilities and there are many factors that do not make choosing a treatment easy.
"A search for appropriate treatment must be paired with the knowledge that all treatment approaches are not equal, what works for one will not work for all, and other options do not have to be excluded. The basis for choosing any treatment plan should come from a thorough evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses observed in the child." from the Autism Society of America.
The success of rehabilitation depends on many variables, including the following:
adapting the home environment for ease of function, safety, accessibility, and mobility
Communicating with an Autistic Child: A Parent's Guide
is an article on-line at Wise Old Sayings.com
The article is a list of resources on the following topics: General Resources on Autism, Parenting a Child with Autism and Communicating with a Child with Autism. The resource list is very comprehensive and each resource has a description.
The Guide to Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism offers background information on the health implications presented by ASD and physical limitations resulting from the symptoms experienced by children with ASD, along with resources and tips on the general benefits of physical activity, the benefits of swimming for children with ASD, resources for locating and accessing swimming lessons for your child with ASD, and other helpful resources to help your child experience the benefits of increased physical activity. This is a very comprehensive guide with many resources.
Autism and Swimming: Children with Autism Can Benefit From Physical Activity Children with autism experience a great deal of benefit from physical activity, which can include:
Ease repetitive behaviors,
Act as a positive social outlet,
Increase attention span, and
Reduce risk of later adult health conditions of obesity and heart disease.
This article explains how exercise helps and the challenges of Autism and Sports.
Nutrition and Diet
Some nutritionists have found similarities with autistic children.
Many have yeast overgrowth.
Leaky gut syndrome.
"Sensitivities to the proteins found in wheat(gluten) and dairy(casein). Persons with autism may show that they cannot completely break down these proteins and fragments of them get into the blood stream and central nervous system before being eliminated in the urine. These peptides (broken down products of proteins) are similar to opiates, such as morphine, and may be responsible for autistic behavior. This is a theory that this metabolic defect leads to the incomplete breakdown of gluten and casein proteins. If a gluten/casein free diet is suggested as a primary treatment for the symptoms of autism, it should be carefully monitored to ensure proper nutrition. This seems to be one of the safest and least invasive interventions available. Parents or adults should seek help and advice from dietitians with knowledge of this special diet, other parents, pediatricians and appropriate web sites to be sure that the child or adult will get proper amounts of calcium, Vitamin D and other vitamins, minerals and amino acids. People with autism have a difficult time giving up these foods, that may be limited and favored. Advocates of this diet recommend at least three months to see results." Reference: The many faces of autism: Can diet be a missing piece? by Judy Mayer-Kieckhefer, Outpost Exchange, August 28, 2006.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke publishes an Autism Fact Sheet which offers resources and comprehensive definition on what is autism, common signs of autism, how autism is diagnosed, causes of autism, heredity, treatments as well many other clinical researched resources.
Autism Resources Links is a large classified index of links to autism-related web sites. Included are web resources of all kinds including sites with information about various treatment options, sites dedicated to Aspergers, sites with accounts of the experiences of autistic people and their parents, autism organizations, and more. Frequently Asked Questions Memo (FAQ) includes a wealth of information and background material regarding autism contributed by people online. Includes definitions and descriptions of autism and Asperger's, a glossary of terms and acronyms, lists of related disorders, treatments, books, movies, history, organizations, initiatives, etc. Aimed at people who discover they need to know about autism, but valuable to all.
Advice to parents who discover their child is autistic. A collection of messages from several parents on the AUTISM mailing list offering what they would have liked to have known when they found out their child was autistic.
Includes recommendations of parents and other readers, books for children, for parents, for teachers, for professionals, accounts of autistic people, fiction including autistic people, and non-specifically-autism-related books that parents of autistic people have suggested as being helpful.
Disabilities: Guide to Autism is offered by the series, Know-the-ADA, from the Arizona Office for Americans with Disabilities. This guide offers a comprehensive article on Autism including definition, characteristics, discussion of possible causes, therapies and treatments, suggestions for parents, and misconceptions
of Autism. The article includes a great list of resources to learn more about the Autism Spectrum and how you can seek treatment for a child with Autism.
Does Your Child Have Social Communication Disorder?
Your Child's Symptoms May Be Too Mild for Autism By Lisa Jo Rudy | Reviewed by Joel Forman, MD
Updated May 18, 2018. This article at Very Well Health explains how Social Communication Disorder, a mild form of Autism, replaces the diagnoses of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). The 2013 Diagnostic Manual redefined Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers and PDD-NOS. Social Communication Disorder is not included with Autism Spectrom Disorders. If a child has grown out of Autism behaviors, parents may like this diagnoses instead. There is a downfall to no ASD diagnoses. "A person who has "only" Social Communication Disorder may not receive the same level of services as a person with the same symptoms and an Autism Spectrum diagnosis. So even if your child has outgrown or learned to manage autistic symptoms, it may be worth your while to describe past symptoms in order to help your child qualify for a diagnosis that offers more and better services and support."
Reverse Autism Now is a website that was developed for Parents of autistic children from Parents with an Autistic child. The parent who developed the site are interested in assisting their child with Autism to get better. They recognize that not all Autism syndromes are alike but are interested in doing all they can to find out. The website is comprehensive in covering the topic of Autism with Resources, Information on Symptoms, Types, Causes, Testing, Treatments, Prevention, News and Research along with Autism Blogs.
If you have questions or ideas, information and solutions that you would like to share
with us, contact us by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or to use our NHU Contact Form or NHU Community Forum,
click the links below.