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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.

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    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.

  11. #11
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    My niece is very book smart, she graduated from high school. The problem is if a smoke alarm goes off...she will continue what she is doing even when the room was filling up with smoke... She is 2-3 yrs old in some areas and a 16 yr old in others.

    She will never be able to live alone, where she is at now at 30 is probably where she will always be.

    Her verbal skills are mostly parroting what others say.

    She could hold down a number of jobs, however because she can not feel any pain until it is excruiating, she has been hurt while working and no one noticed the subtle signs, even though they were educated as what to watch for.

    She has developed a lot of anger issues and has hurt her aunt and put her in the ER several times. They can't seem to figure out what causes them, and due to this she will be going to a group home. It is so sad, because 95% of the time she is so sweet, funny and loving....

  12. #12
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    There are several great websites where you can go to learn more about Autism. One is http://www.autismspeaks.org/index.php

    Here is some general information from the site:

    "Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), Asperger's Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders."

    "Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism. Government statistics suggest the prevalence rate of autism is increasing 10-17 percent annually. There is not established explanation for this increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered. Studies suggest boys are more likely than girls to develop autism and receive the diagnosis three to four times more frequently. Current estimates are that in the United States alone, one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism."

    A great book I have read on the subject is Healing New Childhood Epidemics by Kenneth Bock. (http://www.amazon.com/Healing-New-Ch.../dp/0345494504) For anyone who is affected by Autism or just wants to learn more, I would highly recommend checking this out of the library.

    With Autism, every story is different. A lot of people are able to find some relief with dietary changes, supplements, and more recently glutathione accelerators. There is even some research that chiropractic care has successfully aided in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

    It is quite alarming how quickly Autism is growing, especially among boys. As a society, we really need to take responsibility for our lifestyles and our environment and really find out what is causing this.

    On an aside, another interesting (and somewhat related) story was done by CNN called Toxic America. You can see more of that here: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2010/toxic.america/

    It is absolutely amazing the things we live with simply due to our own ignorance and misplaced trust that our government and big corporations have our best interests at heart.

    A lot of research shows that Autistic kids tend to have bodies that are inundated with toxins. Part of the treatment is finding a way for their bodies to flush out the toxins.

    (Off my soap box. But this is just a fascinating subject to me and I have a child who is not Autistic, but....)

  13. #13
    Power Poster Rhonda'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.
    Doesn't your state have an Ill and Handicapped Waiver? It is through Medicaid. I believe it is a fed gov program. I could be wrong. I should be more informed!! My DH has a Brain Injury waifer and my DGS who has Autism has teh Ill and Handicapped Waiver. It provides for various programs that help with daily needs and other benefits. You might check into it. We went through our Dept of Human Services. Every State has one.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Rhonda'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.
    Doesn't your state have an Ill and Handicapped Waiver? It is through Medicaid. I believe it is a fed gov program. I could be wrong. I should be more informed!! My DH has a Brain Injury waifer and my DGS who has Autism has teh Ill and Handicapped Waiver. It provides for various programs that help with daily needs and other benefits. You might check into it. We went through our Dept of Human Services. Every State has one.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Mellina's Avatar
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    I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for your caring words. We have researched alot of information that we have received other the years. Alot of help is based on the salary of the parents, because my husband and I both work and our son can hold a job, according to the experts, doesn't make a difference that he can go haywire at the drop of a hat and has not kept a job longer than 6 months at a time, we make to much money for assistance. I am a bus driver and my husband is a mechanic. That's the goverment for ya. Thank you again.

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