SHEDDING LIGHT ON AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH

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Acceptance of (ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder has become more commonplace but there is still a large gap in understanding potential factors for developing autism, possible genetic links and whether or not vaccinations can cause or contribute to developing autism.  The complexities of autism and varying symptoms and responses exhibited has resulted in societal confusion, misunderstanding and children delayed in receiving an early diagnosis.

Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder 

  1. The only test available to diagnose Autism is a child’s behavioral and developmental evaluations; there aren’t any medical test or blood test to confirm an diagnosis of Autism.
  2. Children are typically exhibit symptoms between 18 months and 2 years.
  3. A diagnosis is most commonly given around the age of 4 years.
  4. Delayed developmental milestones within normal range may or may not indicate autism and further evaluations may be needed to conclusively diagnosis or delayed development treatment may bet started.
  5. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/screening.html.

If a developmental evaluation presents significant autism indicators the child will be given a Comprehensive Developmental Autism Screening to evaluate behaviors and developmental milestones in relation to differing autism spectrums. The comprehensive screening is the primary diagnostic evaluation tool available in diagnosing autism early.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Behaviors

  1. Children and adults with ASD may be unable to point or look directly at objects.
  2. Autistic people may be unable to show interest in or relate to others.
  3. A certain percentage will show extreme interest in people but will be unable to relate.
  4. They may avoid eye contact especially if uncomfortable.
  5. Alone time is needed by some because the can become easily overly stimulated.
  6. It’s common to be unable to express their feeling or understand others feelings.
  7. Some will enjoy and want to be cuddled while others prefer not to be held or cuddled.
  8. Depending on the spectrum of Autism some may repeat phrases or words over and over as well as repeat actions.
  9. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html

Individuals with autism often have social, emotional, communication delays or problems as well as different ways of learning, focusing and comprehending.

POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES OF PEOPLE WITH AUTISM

Society as a whole primarily misunderstands autism which has resulted in a negative viewpoint of the disorder instead of recognizing the positive attributes of the disorder.   Contrary to popular belief individuals with autism often reflect several positive personality traits including the following:

  • They will rarely tell a lie, very honest individuals.
  • They can live in the moment without getting distracted because their sensory input allows them to achieve the concept of mindfulness better than those without Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • They are nonjudgemental of people, passionate in their interests, social expectations are irrelevant to people with autism and competing with others holds little importance.
  • They are gifted, talented, creative, imaginative, unique and interesting.
  • They can change viewpoints of those close to them by the positive impact of perception on beliefs and and expectations by providing an outlet to live for now, this moment and setting less expectations while enjoy what “is” instead of what “isn’t”.
  • Learn more about positive attributes and behaviors of Autism Spectrum Disorder here: http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/top-10-terrific-traits-autistic-people-92003432http://www.lovethatmax.com/2012/08/best-things-about-autism.html

Kerry Magro, diagnosed with a spectrum of autism at the age of four, now 24 years of age, shares his story “16 Positives Of Having Autism (From Someone Who Knows)” at Love That Max Blog www.lovethatmax.com.  He is quoted from the article to state the following regarding people with Autism:

“Autistic people, no matter where they are on the spectrum and regardless of how many traits listed above they may or may not have, are just “people.” People with weaknesses but also strengths, destined for their own greatness in the way they see fit. I hope we can all cherish these facts because if we can, our autism community would be even more phenomenal than it already is.” –Kerry Magro.  

Magro is an award-winning autism advocate, co-host of Autism Radio: Hope Saves The Day, a columnist for Autism After 16, a life coach, a motivational speaker, a youth delegate for The United Nations and the writer behind the blog My Autism My Voice.  

Read “16 Positives of Autism” here http://www.lovethatmax.com/2012/08/best-things-about-autism.html.

Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

  1. Scientific studies have confirmed there are genetic risk factors as well as genetic and chromosomal deficiencies connected to a higher risk for Autism. 
  2. According to the CDC prescription drugs Valproic Acid and Thalidomide are linked with a higher risk of ASD.
  3. Children born to older mothers pose a higher risk for Austim. 
  4. There’s evidence speculating Autism is developed during the period before, during and immediately upon given birth.  
  5. Vaccines have also been speculated to be linked to Autism.  
  6. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

How Many Are Diagnosed With Autism In The United States? 

According to a 2012 CDC Report, CDC Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, approximately 1 in 68 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

ASD is more common amongst boys (1 in 42) than amongst girls (1 in 189) according to the same CDC ADDM Network analysis.

According to Autism Speaks, http://www.autismspeaks.org, article “New Government Survey Pegs Autism Prevalence at 1 in 45” published November 2015, 1 in 45 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In 2014 a parent survey was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and results were released by the National Health Interview Survey in November 2015. According to Autism Speaks the CDC didn’t recognize the parental survey in their statistical collective data.  The CDC official statistical data from 2012, 1 in 68 children are identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder, remains the most prevalent referenced data recognized. According to the same article the CDC did admit their 2012 statistical data had limitations. It did not take into account children who may not be receiving medical care or registered into special education classes.

If the most recent parent survey conducted by National Center for Health Statistics is correct then 2% of United States Children are living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This is an example of societal confusion from statistical data and division between the societal, government and medical communities.

Scientific Autism Spectrum Disorder Studies

Currently the CDC is conducting one of the largest U.S. studies, SEED, Study to Explore Early Development by evaluating potential risks including pregnancy, genetics, environmental, developmental and behavioral factors. Learn more about SEED at the following links:

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Cheatham News (c) 2017


* CHEATHAM NEWS WILL POST AN ARTICLE TITLED “Autism and Vaccines – Is There a Connection?” AS PART OF BRING AWARENESS TO AUTISM IN APRIL FOR AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH

The number of vaccinations and autism diagnosis continues to increase the debate on the risk versus benefit of vaccines and the complexities of Autism Spectrum Disorder, including diagnostic evaluations of children, studies on vaccine autism connections and federal vaccine recommendations and laws protecting pharmaceutical companies continue to lesson the trust between government, medical and family entities…

 

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