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Thread: Autism

  1. #1
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    What is the broad definition of "autism"?

    Is it more common now that it was 50-60 years ago? or is it just being recognized/diagnosed more/better?

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I just heard on the news today, that they think they have finally linked it to a specific gene...
    I would be interested to know if it has always been in the genes, or if something has happened to alter the genes over the course of time...

    When my niece was diagnosed in 1990, she had to be taken to a major medical center for a proper diagnosis... We were told that it was a fairly common occurrence. Back then and before, it seemed to be "lumped in" without several other forms of mental retardation. Many doctors didn't know exactly what to look for, nor did the specialists who worked daily with handicapped children in the medical field or the school systems.
    The school district in 1990 was also at a loss as to how to set up a proper learning environment for her.

    10 years later, she could get more of the proper help/care much closer to home... Now most of her specialist know of the condition or at least enough to make informed decisions for her various medical/mental issues/treatments.

    So I guess I would have to say it has been around for a long time, it just didn't have it's own specific title.

    We also believe her blood uncle has it to a lessor degree, he however refuses to go in for a diagnosis. He is 52 yrs old.

    I think another problem is that there can be other mental/medical problems that also help cloud making a proper diagnosis. Some also have schizophrenia or other mental conditions, as well seizures and other disorders.

    There is not just one test to determine if a person has autism, it is a series of test and observations.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Scientific American has an article about autism every once in awhile.

    I know that now it is considered a "spectrum disorder", meaning that it encompasses a wide range of severity. Current thinking is that there are multiple complex causes including both genetic and environmental factors. Some cases seem to involve digestive anomalies.

    There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the increase in cases is not due only to better recognition, which raises the question of what environmental factors may be changing.

    Sorry I'm not able to answer your questions. I just find this topic interesting every time it comes up.

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    Junior Member Mellina's Avatar
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    Well, my son was diagnosed with autism in 1975. It was brand new. He wasn't retarded but he wasn't normal either. So this was what the Doctors diagnosed him with. He is now 37 and holding somewhat of a job. No SSI either when he was younger. All expenses came out of our pocket. Now I see all types of challenged children getting help. Now he falls through the cracks. If we die he will be homeless.

  5. #5
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    I believe they are recognizing it more because they are learning more about and new to treating it. Mellina so sorry to here about your boy. It is true in 1975 they didn't know or do much about it. I hope you find someone to put in your will to take care of him. God Bless you and your family. My thoughts and prayer are with you all.

  6. #6
    Pam
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellina
    Well, my son was diagnosed with autism in 1975. It was brand new. He wasn't retarded but he wasn't normal either. So this was what the Doctors diagnosed him with. He is now 37 and holding somewhat of a job. No SSI either when he was younger. All expenses came out of our pocket. Now I see all types of challenged children getting help. Now he falls through the cracks. If we die he will be homeless.
    I know this is absolutely none of my business, but could you try again to get him on SSI? A sad fact is that when you die, not if, he will be on his own. I have a cousin who is now 72 years old has severe mental retardation and was diagnosed with polio on his second birthday. His only living parent is my great aunt, now 96 years old. Securing this for his future could be the most important gift you could ever give him.

    Added on edit: I hope I do not offend, but this is so very scary to me. Thankfully these are not issues that I have to deal with in my daily life. I guess it is because my cousin is always in the back of my mind and the center of my heart.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam
    Quote Originally Posted by Mellina
    Well, my son was diagnosed with autism in 1975. It was brand new. He wasn't retarded but he wasn't normal either. So this was what the Doctors diagnosed him with. He is now 37 and holding somewhat of a job. No SSI either when he was younger. All expenses came out of our pocket. Now I see all types of challenged children getting help. Now he falls through the cracks. If we die he will be homeless.
    I know this is absolutely none of my business, but could you try again to get him on SSI? A sad fact is that when you die, not if, he will be on his own. I have a cousin who is now 72 years old has severe mental retardation and was diagnosed with polio on his second birthday. His only living parent is my great aunt, now 96 years old. Securing this for his future could be the most important gift you could ever give him.

    Added on edit: I hope I do not offend, but this is so very scary to me. Thankfully these are not issues that I have to deal with in my daily life. I guess it is because my cousin is always in the back of my mind and the center of my heart.
    Looks to me like you are sharing information out of caring concern.

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    I have had several students who have been identified as being on the autism spectrum. No two have had the same needs. One other teacher on my team has a grandson who is autistic. Her family has had great success with restricting his diet. No refined sugars, gluten-free, etc. It does seem like we are seeing more and more autistic children these days. I believe it is just because we are doing a better job of identifying it. In my kdg class of 17 students this past school year, 2 were autistic and I had another child (very high functioning) whose parents are looking into this diagnosis, as well. It is a medical diagnosis, not one made by the school psychometrist.

  9. #9
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellina
    Well, my son was diagnosed with autism in 1975. It was brand new. He wasn't retarded but he wasn't normal either. So this was what the Doctors diagnosed him with. He is now 37 and holding somewhat of a job. No SSI either when he was younger. All expenses came out of our pocket. Now I see all types of challenged children getting help. Now he falls through the cracks. If we die he will be homeless.
    My college roommate was doing autism study/research in 1959. Knowledge about autism has come a long way since then, and it still has a long way to go. Ironically, both she and I have autistic grandchildren.

    I have 2 autistic grandsons, and our lawyer has done quite a bit of research on our CT laws re setting up care for a severely autistic person WITHOUT negatively affecting potential state care. We also have to be aware of the laws in the state where my grandsons live. One of my grandsons will probably need lifelong care. The other will probably graduate from college. That's why autism is called a 'spectrum.' Our most likely scenario is to set things up with a Trust so the college grad will be able to help care for his brother.

    Melina, please check with Virginia's State Social Services to see if there is something you can set up ahead of time to provide for your son. I know you can do it in some states, but you have to be very careful about the way you do it.

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellina
    Well, my son was diagnosed with autism in 1975. It was brand new. He wasn't retarded but he wasn't normal either. So this was what the Doctors diagnosed him with. He is now 37 and holding somewhat of a job. No SSI either when he was younger. All expenses came out of our pocket. Now I see all types of challenged children getting help. Now he falls through the cracks. If we die he will be homeless.
    My heart is crying out for you and your son. Mine is mentally handicapped and there is no way he can be on his own. He forgets to eat and to take care of himself. He can't handle money. He is my forever child. (He loves to sew with me and that is wonderful) He is lucky to have two sisters. One gets me when I get old and the oldest will take care of him. I wish you had the same for your son.

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