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Autism

Also you can see other web sites:

  1. www.behavior.org/autism

  2. www.aspergers.com

  3. www.asperger.net

  4. www.autisminfo.com

  5. www.autismlessons.org

  6. www.autismspeaks.org

  7. www.autismtoday.com

  8. www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism

  9. www.cureautismnow.org

  10. www.do2learn.com

  11. www.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=reus_autism_service

  12. www.ianproject.org

  13. www.kylestreehouse.org

  14. www.maapservices.org

  15. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm

  16. www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger

  17. http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/index.htm

http://www.firstsigns.org

It is not caused by thymersol nor the MMR.. see: MMR

They suggest a questionnaire if you think your child 18mo to 3 yr old might have it:  M-Chat

Autism is a subset of a group of developmental disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).

PDD is a broad term used to describe a broad spectrum of abnormal behaviors, while the narrower terms like Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett’s Disorder, and Disintegrative Disorder refer to more specific signs and symptoms. The behavioral criteria for each disorder are stipulated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

Autism is frequently diagnosed during the preschool years. The presenting symptoms are frequently noticed by parents or preschool teachers. Between the ages of eighteen and thirty-six months, speech delay, absence of speech or loss of words is usually noted. Parents may also be concerned about a lack of reciprocal and imaginative play. That is: Reciprocal play implies an interchange or relationship between persons while engaged in an activity. Young autistic children may run around during a game of tag, but do not seem to understand the idea that the game involves an interaction between the person who is "it" and the other players. Young children with autism do not generally engage in make-believe or "pretend" games. They may play with the toy kitchen by sorting food rather than pretending to cook or eat the food. If another child is playing too, they will not seek to include that child in their activity.

Occasionally, parents of infants with impaired attachment may seek medical attention. Older children may present to their pediatrician with odd speech or unusual behaviors. These include stereotypic behaviors, preservation, detachment(A child who appears detached may isolate herself. Or a child may be described as "being in his own world.") or echolalia(Repeating what someone has just said. For example, "Jason, you are a big boy!" "Big boy," repeats Jason.). Autism persists into adulthood, but the outcome varies. Some adults continue to have severe speech deficits, while others develop adequate communication skills and appear close to normal. Often these adults are described as eccentric, introverted or compulsive.

Symptoms of Autism.  The main symptoms of autism are:

  1. severe impairments in social skills
  2. deficits in communication
  3. a limited repertoire of interests, activities and play

These symptoms may be manifested as follows:

1. Social Skills

Young children diagnosed with autism are frequently described as being independent. They do not ask for assistance with difficult situations. For example a young child may not point to a desired food or toy, but will cry or try to get the object himself. The child may prefer to play alone rather than interact with others.

Contrary to popular belief, children with autism may display affectionate signs such as hugging or kissing. However, these displays usually lack a reciprocal quality. New places or unfamiliar people may create anxiety in autistic children, resulting in crying, tantrums or aggression. Also, large group activities, like circle time or play groups, may be overwhelming.

Older children with autism may have difficulty making friends, because of a lack of social skills. They may be described as shy or aloof. An autistic child may prefer to spend time alone rather than participate in cooperative games. Sports and other physically demanding activities may be difficult, because motor skills are mildly impaired. This usually manifests itself as clumsiness in a child who later becomes known as the "bench warmer" at school.

2. Communication

Expressive language skills are always impaired in children with autism. Some young children with autism may lack speech altogether, while others may have a large vocabulary but lack the communicative intent of language. These children may speak long sentences but their speech is perseverative, filled with jargon, or characterized by echolalia. The autistic child tends not to use language to communicate socially, but merely to get the things he or she needs. Parents may report that their child’s language milestones were on target for the first twelve to eighteen months, and then the child stopped talking. This history of language regression may also mark the time when parents notice abnormal socialization.

Receptive language skills, or comprehension, are always impaired as well. The deficit varies from mild to severe. A child with a mild receptive impairment may have difficulty understanding open-ended questions or jokes. A child with a severe receptive language impairment may be unable to understand language at all.

Non-verbal communication is also abnormal in children with autism. This includes the use of gestures, body posture, eye gaze, and facial expression. Prosody is usually abnormal in children with autism. The child’s speech may sound flat, high-pitched, or machine-like. The communication skills of an autistic child change over time, due to developmental processes and interventions.

3. Play, Interests and Activities

Young children with autism usually do not engage in imaginative play. They may line up toys without awareness as to what the toys represent. Their play is usually restricted to repetition and perseveration. They may line up their toys for hours, or watch the same video over and over again. Stereotypies like hand flapping may also dominate their play, further restricting their range of activities.

Transitioning between activities is often difficult for children with autism, resulting in tantrums or ritualistic behaviors. It is not uncommon for some autistic children to become obsessed with certain objects, television programs or videos. The child may sing or repeat commercials or songs endlessly. For example, they may insist upon holding a small car everywhere they go. Eating may be affected by a limited list of food preferences. For example, the child may refuse all green foods or want only "fast-food." Decreased need for sleep or other sleep irregularities may be particularly difficult for families.

Comorbid Impairments in People with Autism

Patients with autism may show comorbid impairments affecting their cognition, sensory functioning, or attention/activity level. They may also have symptoms of epileptic syndromes.

1. Cognition

About 75% of persons diagnosed with autism are mentally retarded. The severity of their autistic symptoms is directly correlated to their level of cognitive impairment. For example, the more stereotypies, perseveration, and restriction of activities, the lower the IQ. However, one must be cautious in diagnosing mental retardation in young autistic children, since preschool IQ tests are not always predictive of later outcome. Some children improve significantly after exposure to effective language, educational, and behavioral treatments. A few children with autism may have exceptional artistic, mathematical, or memory skills despite significant deficits in other areas. The term savants has been used to describe people with these gifted abilities.

2. Sensory

Many children with autism are hypersensitive to particular sensory stimuli such as light, sound, touch, and smell. Examples of this include hiding or covering the ears when loud noises like the vacuum cleaner are on. Florescent lighting may cause some children to shield their eyes, while some children are fascinated by sparkling visual displays. Tactile hypersensitivity causes some children to rip the tags off their shirts or refuse to wear certain fabrics. Other children must sniff their food before eating.

3. Attention/Activity Level

Attentional skills may be very variable. An autistic child may be able to sustain long periods of fixed attention when playing alone with toys, ie, spend hours lining up matchbox cars. However the same child may be unable to concentrate when involved in an activity that requires interaction with another person. Some children with autism are very hyperactive, further complicating their ability to focus on certain activities.

4. Epilepsy

Approximately one-third of adults with autism will have had a seizure. A few children are diagnosed with autism following infantile spasms or seizures due to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. However, the risk of seizures increases with age and peaks during adolescence. Children with mental retardation and autism have a higher risk of developing epilepsy.

Treatment of Autism

There is no cure for autism. Treatment should be directed at improving functional language and social skills, while reducing maladaptive behaviors. Pharmacologic interventions may be helpful in reducing targeted symptoms such as hyperactivity.

The standard treatment approach to autism includes a multidisciplinary approach, involving education, speech and language therapy, behavior modification, and sometimes pharmacologic treatment. This approach has been very effective for many children.

There are also many nonstandard treatments that have not been scientifically proven to be effective. One should keep an open mind regarding new treatments and carefully weigh the pros and cons of therapeutic options. Parents are eager to learn more about new treatments, and frequently ask their physician for advice. Many physicians are uncomfortable about discussing alternative approaches. However, physicians must recognize that about 25% of their pediatric patients with chronic diseases are taking nontraditional treatments. The physician can guide the parent without endorsing the treatment in determining whether or not a new treatment is appropriate for their child.

 


Here are research papers proving there is no connection with autism and vaccines or thymersol (mercury).

 http://sdsma.org/pdfs/09%20-%20History%20of%20Autism%20-%20Blake.pdf

http://lifevesselbeverlyhills.com/val/Vaccine%20Autism.pdf

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X12005828

http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Abstract/2010/05000/Lack_of_Association_Between_Measles_Mumps_Rubella.3.aspx

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/4/656.short

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10810731003780714

http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/vaccines/article/12217/News-PolicyHV6-5.pdf?nocache=179268593

http://www.theannals.com/content/45/10/1302.short

 Here are news reports that are interesting:

http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=102691

 http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/measles-outbreak-hits-jewish-neighborhoods-brooklyn-article-1.1346446

 http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1112852881/measles-outbreak-england-call-for-action-concerns-autism-052113/

 http://pediatrics.about.com/b/2013/05/28/measles-is-back-and-so-are-the-consequences.htm

 http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/crackpot-crusaders-putting-our-kids-at-risk/story-fni0cwl5-1226641441502