Wednesday, October 1, 2008


All information taken from other sites are cited as "taken from here." None of this information should be used as a means of diagnosing Autism on the Autism spectrum. Please consult the proper medical providers to make this determination. This information is solely for the purpose of information and research.

There are different types of autism, and they are grouped together under the term Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD. This term describes a number of developmental disabilities, all of which can be traced to a problem within the brain. The types of autism include: Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Asperger Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) and Rett Syndrome.

Each ASD has specific symptoms that make diagnosis possible. Autistic disorder, most commonly referred to as autism, is the form of ASD that is seen most frequently in America today. Following is a list of the types of autism and their basic characteristics:

Types of Autism: Autistic Disorder
Autistic disorder is the most prevalent form of ASD and is what most people associate with the term autism. This disorder varies widely in severity from very mild to extremely disabling, sometimes requiring institutionalization. Autistic disorder affects behavior, communication, social interaction and learning abilities.

Types of Autism: Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified
PDD-NOS is a milder form of autism and serves as a catch-all group for developmental disorders that don't exactly fit within any other category. Symptoms of PDD-NOS are the same as for autistic disorder, but they are milder. An individual with PDD-NOS is able to communicate more effectively, has fewer problems learning and is more successful with social interaction.

Types of Autism: Asperger Syndrome
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome are mildly affected by the usual autistic symptoms, and oftentimes they appear perfectly ordinary. The biggest difference between Asperger Syndrome and Autistic Disorder is in language development. People with Asperger Syndrome exhibit no delay in learning to speak. In fact, they generally have good to excellent language skills, although they may use language in a unique way or have an interesting way of speaking.

Asperger Syndrome does not have the same level of cognitive disability found in Autistic Disorder. In fact, as part of its medical definition, those with Asperger syndrome must be of average to above-average intelligence and suffer from no "clinically significant" delay in cognitive development.

Types of Autism: Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)
The diagnosis of CDD is given to a child who reaches their developmental milestones and appears normal for several years, but then loses the skills they have learned and begins to exhibit typical autistic behavior. The skill loss exhibited with CDD can range from complete loss of abilities to just a partial loss of certain skills.

Types of Autism: Rett Syndrome
Rett Syndrome occurs only in girls and is thought to be genetically based. A child with Rett syndrome begins development on a normal schedule but starts to decline in social skills and communicative abilities between one and four years old. At this point, autistic symptoms including repetitive hand movements begin to appear and overtake the child's previous behaviors.

Taken from here

Autism statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that cases of autism spectrum disorder have risen over the past several years. Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is the term used to describe a number of developmental disabilities that stem from a problem within the brain.

Autism is the most common form of ASD, and it is now prevalent in 1 out of 150 children in America, according to the CDC's 2007 autism statistics. This number is even higher for boys, where nearly 1 out of 94 have autistic disorder. And those numbers are rising, as is evidenced by autism statistics provided by the CDC and other organizations. Here are the facts and figures that have been discovered over the past several years:

• Autism is usually diagnosed before a child turns three years old, but symptoms have been noted as early as four months.

• Autism is a lifelong disability and life expectancy of autistic individuals is normal.

• Anywhere from 10-20 out of every 10,000 people are affected by autism.

• Estimates show that 1-1.5 million Americans have some form of ASD.

• Autism is currently the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, with an annual growth rate of 10-17 percent.

• In the United States, a new case of autism is identified almost every 20 minutes.

• In the past 10-15 years, cases of autism have risen 172 percent. In this same amount of time, the U.S. population grew 13 percent, and cases of disabilities rose 16 percent.

• Care of autistic individuals costs approximately $90 billion per year. This dollar amount is expected to more than double, or even quadruple, over the next five years.

• Early diagnosis of autism can cut down on costs for lifelong care by about two-thirds.

• About half of autistic people score less than 50 on IQ tests; 20 percent score between 50 and 70, and 30 percent get a score over 70. Only a very small percentage of people with autism are savants, showing genius-level abilities in a particular area.

• About 17 percent of all children have some type of developmental disability.

• Autism became a special education exceptionality in 1991, and it is the sixth most commonly found disability acknowledged in public schools today.

• Autism is diagnosed more frequently than Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and all forms of childhood cancer combined.

Autism statistics are always changing as research and observation is completed and shared. The growing numbers have led to some societal concern, and hopefully this will lead to new treatments and eventually a cure.

Taken from here

What causes Autism is something every doctor hears when they tell a parent their child is Autistic. There is not one definite answer to this question. There are several thoughts on what causes Autism. Some of the causes of Autism are thought to be genetic. Doctors think there are several genes that cause Autism, but have yet to locate them. They now feel that some people are born with the predisposition to be Autistic. Then they have some type of environmental trigger and they become Autistic.

We have omitted irrelevant information from this composition on Autism as we though that unnecessary information may make the reader bored of reading the composition.

Just as a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, we wish you read this entire article on Autism before actually making a judgement about Autism.

Autism is more common in boys that girls. Some studies show a connection to environmental factors and Autism. They think that the pollution and toxins in the air can contribute to a child having Autism. Studies have shown small towns with high cases of Autism. The towns had one thing in common, a high pollution source. Usually the source is a factory of some sort that release a lot of toxins, and chemicals into the air.

Make the best use of life by learning and reading as much as possible. read about things unknown, and more about things known, like about Autism.

A majority of people believe Autism was caused by the Mercury, or Thimersal in vaccinations. This was due to the fact that Autism was first diagnosed about the same time as vaccinations were given.
There has been a lot of studies an research about vaccines causing a child to become Autistic. So far there has been no evidence to suggest the connection between vaccinating your child and Autism. There could be more risks from not having the vaccinations.

The facts on Autism mentioned here have a consequential impact on your understanding on Autism. This is because these facts are the basic and important points about Autism.

Some studies have shown children being exposed to high levels of Mercury were more likely to have Autism. This was a fear with the vaccinations, but the majority of shots these days do not contain any mercury or Thimersal. If they do contain Thimersal it is in very trace amounts. High levels of Mercury can be contributed to eating a lot of fish, and industrial emissions. Researchers think there could be a connection to pregnant women being exposed to Mercury and their children having Autism. There are new studies testing pregnant women to see how much Mercury is in their systems and testing the babies at birth. They can then monitor the babies with high Mercury levels and see if they have any problems later on.

You will learn the gravity of Autism once you are through reading this matter. Autism are very important, so learn its importance.

There are theories that Autism is caused from an underlying health issue. Certain diseases make a child more likely to develop Autism. Some of these diseases include Fragile X syndrome, and congenital Rubella. Others believe Autism is caused by a metabolic imbalance.

Perfection has been achieved in this article on Autism. There is hardly any matter left from this article that is worth mentioning.Perfection has been achieved in this article on Autism. There is hardly any matter left from this article that is worth mentioning.

It used to be thought that Autism was caused from an early emotional trauma. They also thought bad parenting was to blame. Doctors tried to blame mothers for not giving their children enough attention and love. These theories have been found untrue. Much more research is needed to identify the true cause or causes of Autism. Until a definite answer is found no one will know what cause a child to be Autistic. These theories are all just that, theories. Someday hopefully doctors will understand what causes a child to be Autistic, and they can work on a way to prevent, or cure it.

We had thought that producing some matter on Autism would be an impossibility. However, once we started, there was no turning back.

by Jerry Durham

Myths and Facts about Autism

"If you've heard the stories about autism..."

Myth: "Autism or ASD is the result of bad parenting."

Fact: Although autism is a recognized mental disorder it is still badly understood by the majority of people. Despite the fact that the causes of autism aren't fully understood, it is clear that a strong genetic basis may be involved. The condition on the increase and occurs all over the world. Autism occurs in one in 250 babies and four out of five children with autism or ASD are boys. Autistic spectrum disorder affects more children than cancer, cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis combined.

Myth: "All children with autism have learning problems"

Fact: Autism manifests in different ways in different people. The disorder's symptoms can vary significantly and although some children have severe learning problems, others are very intelligent and can cope extremely well with difficult learning materials and often do well in subjects such as maths. Children with Asperger's syndrome for instance, often do well at school and develop into independent adults.

Myth: "Autism is the result of childhood vaccination."

Fact: Between 2000 and 2001, three expert reviews unanimously concluded that the data that were available at the time of these claims did not support this association. A large-scale study in 2002 also reported no association. Expert review panels also reached similar conclusions with regard to thimerosal exposure or the mercury-containing preservative used in childhood vaccines, although fewer data are available.

Myth:"Children with autism need special foods."

Fact: It is true that many children with autism suffer from intolerance to certain foods such as dairy products or foods containing gluten. Other foods, such as sweets or foods containing lots of sugar or acids, may affect the child's behaviour. It is important to discuss nutrition with healthcare professionals, as altering your child's diet may improve your child's wellbeing and behaviour.

Myth: "Children with autism can't go to school as they behave badly."

Fact: Provided suitable programmes are developed for a child with autism, it is often possible for a child with autism to function in a classroom as their behaviour can be improved. In some cases children can even cope in conventional schools. On the whole children with autism will benefit tremendously from being integrated in classroom life. Only the severest cases won't be able to cope in a classroom setting or their behaviour may be harmful to other children.

Myth: "It's simple; once a child with autism is prescribed medication, it will be cured."

Fact: To date there is no treatment that cures autism and medication is only prescribed to treat a number of the associated symptoms of autism. Medication will also be prescribed if the child suffers from other mental disorders. However, the best outcome will be achieved when a developmental programme is developed that focuses on the child's strengths and weaknesses and that is complemented by medication where symptoms can't be treated with psychotherapy and developmental programmes alone. To date not much scientific research is available to demonstrate the benefits of medication in children with autism. Parents and caregivers should be closely involved in the decision to use medication.

Myth: "It's just a phase, he'll grow out of it."

Fact: Children with autism will never be cured. However, many children with milder forms of autism such as Asperger syndrome will be able to end up living independent lives provided they have been given appropriate support and education. Other children with more severe forms of autism will always require help and support and won't be able to live fully independent lives. This causes considerable worry to parents, especially when they realize that they might not be around to support their child throughout adult life. It is important that you discuss this with your local support teams as an appropriate solution will need to be found for your child if s/he won't be able to live an independent life in adulthood."

Myth: "Autism never occurs more than once in a family."

Fact: Although no exact cause is known for autism, there are clear indicators that genetic factors play a role. Studies have revealed that autism is likely to affect both identical twins or that siblings of a child with autism are at an increased risk of having autism.

Myth: "My child has autism. I can cope by myself and don't need any help."

Fact: Dealing with an autistic child poses a very heavy burden on parents and the rest of the family. Left untreated, your child's condition is likely to worsen and it is important to seek a diagnosis as early as possible. This will improve your child's outcome as the right programme can be developed for your child. Your child's wellbeing will improve and you will get the support you need to deal with your child at home as well as get quality time with the rest of the family and the other children. Trying to deal with your child on your own will not only deteriorate your child's wellbeing, but your life and that of the rest of the family will become increasingly stressful and get out of control. Seeking help and having your child diagnosed will improve the wellbeing of the whole family and ensure that the necessary support is available when required.

Taken from here.

MYTH: “Children with autistic spectrum disorders can not form loving relationships, or can not love with the same degree of warmth and intimacy as others.”

FACT:With a comprehensive, affect, relationship-based approach to intervention, children can learn to enjoy closeness, warmth and intimacy, and can love others very deeply. When autism was first identified as a disorder in the 1940’s, it was thought that the fundamental problem in autism was an inability to form intimate, warm relationships. This concept has persisted in all the subsequent definitions of autism. But clinical work with children diagnosed with ASD has shown that when we apply the DIR/Floortime approach, following the child’s lead to focus on the child’s natural pleasures and build interactions off the child’s pleasures, we see that the first element that responds is the sense of relatedness. This sense of relatedness, in the shared smiles, shared joy, shared pleasure and the deep sense of mutual belonging to one another, comes in relatively quickly with appropriate treatment.

Children with ASD can love as deeply as any other child, and many can love even more deeply than most because if they are in a proper program, we’re providing them a lot of warmth and love and a lot of interactive opportunities, even more than the average child gets. We believe that the primary challenge for children diagnosed with ASD is in the communication of their emotions, not in the experience or feeling of warmth and intimacy.

MYTH: “Children with autistic spectrum disorders can’t learn the fundamentals of relating, communicating and thinking, so the best you can do is try to teach them to change their behaviors.”

FACT: Many children with autistic spectrum disorders can learn the fundamentals of relating, communicating and thinking. This requires hard work with a comprehensive treatment approach that focuses on each child’s individual processing differences and on helping the child master the basic building blocks of relating, communicating and thinking. Helping children master these foundations is more effective at helping them move beyond symptoms or behaviors than focusing on symptoms alone. Our study of 200 children diagnosed with ASD and treated intensively with an approach that worked with their individual processing differences and focused on the fundamentals of relating, communicating and thinking (the DIR/Floortime approach) showed that a high percentage could master these foundations for healthy emotional and intellectual growth. (See Research on the DIR®/Floortime Approach)

Autistic spectrum disorders should be viewed as a dynamic, not a static, process. When we think of a static process, we think of something that is fixed, no matter what the environment, the context, or the circumstances. A child who has blue eyes is unlikely to change his blue eyes from one circumstance to another, between today and six months from now. We may perceive his blue eyes differently, depending on the lighting, but his blue eyes are likely to remain relatively stable. On the other hand, dynamic traits have to do with many of our feelings or emotions. They are changeable from one day to another and certainly changeable over months or years of time. The processes at the core of autistic spectrum disorders - the ability to relate with intimacy, the ability to exchange emotional gestures and signals, and the ability to use ideas meaningfully and with emotion - these are dynamic, not fixed, processes. These can and do change, more for some children than others, and more with treatment programs that are individualized to meet the child’s needs and focus on developing the core capacities of relating, communicating and thinking. In our systematic observations of 200 children having access to such an approach, almost all the children showed significant gains in their ability to relate with warmth and intimacy. A subgroup of children not only became warm and intimate, but also very verbal, empathetic and reflective.

MYTH: “Children who exhibit certain autistic-type behaviors, such as perseverating (e.g., lining up cars over and over again), self-stimulating (e.g., staring at a fan or spinning), or repeating words in a scripted way (e.g., echoing what someone else says) necessarily have an autistic spectrum disorder.”

FACT: These symptoms are secondary symptoms in autism and should not be used as the primary criteria for making a diagnosis. These symptoms are seen in a number of other kinds of developmental challenges, not simply autistic spectrum disorders. They are not specific to autism, and therefore do not characterize the disorder. A child who has difficulties with sensory processing, such as under-reactivity and over-reactivity to sensation, or with motor planning can become perseverative or self-stimulatory when overwhelmed or stressed.

The core, or primary components of autism involve difficulties in the areas of relating, communicating, and thinking. Parents and professionals should consider the following:

Is the child having trouble establishing true intimacy and warmth; seeking out those adults they are really comfortable with like the mother, father, or key caregiver? Can he show some warmth in that relationship?
Can the child communicate with gestures, with emotional expressions? Can she get into a continuous flow of back-and-forth emotional signaling with smiles, frowns, head nods and other interactive gestures?
When the child uses words, can he use them meaningfully in emotionally relevant ways? In other words, are the words invested with emotion or affect so it’s “Mommy, I love you” or “I want that juice please” rather than “This is a table”.
If these three components are not present – the capacity for intimacy, the capacity for exchanging and reciprocating different types of emotional gestures in a continuous way, and the capacity for using emerging words or symbols meaningfully with good emotional intent, then we should consider that the child may be showing a form of an autistic spectrum disorder.

MYTH: “Children with autistic spectrum disorders cannot empathize with others; they do not have “theory of mind” capacities.”

FACT: When working with a relationship-based affect approach tailored to the child’s individual differences, as a child’s language and cognitive abilities improve, so do his theory of mind and his ability to empathize. The children who have done very well following a DIR/Floortime treatment program are very capable of high levels of theory of mind (the ability to understand that other people have independent minds of their own, which allows a child to think about other people’s perspectives, as well as his own),and high levels of empathy. In fact, we have a subgroup of children originally diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders, many of whom are described by parents and teachers as having probably a little better empathy than their age peers who never had developmental challenges in the first place. They are highly warm, empathetic, caring individuals with friends and they are also doing well academically. This is only for a subgroup, but it is a significant subgroup. It shows what is possible with the proper program.

MYTH: “Autism is a fixed biological disorder based on a single genetic pattern.”

FACT: Current research suggests that there is no single cause of autism, but rather multiple causes working together in a cumulative way, and multiple paths leading to the disorder.

There are clearly genetic components and genetic susceptibility, but this genetic susceptibility may also make certain children more vulnerable to other risk factors. These risk factors may be cumulative, so that the presence of one may make a child more vulnerable to the effects of others later. Depending on the child’s particular susceptibility, these risk factors may be more or less destabilizing and lead to developmental problems.

The other piece of the model has to do with multiple paths. For example, some children are sensory over-reactive; some are sensory under-reactive; and others have severe motor planning problems. And some children have combinations of these challenges. These are all very different biological pathways that may result in difficulties of relating and communicating.

In summary, current research suggests a complex model for understanding the causes of autism. It is likely that there are a number of different paths, each with different cumulative risk factors associated with them, that lead to autism.

MYTH: “Children with autistic spectrum disorders can’t read the emotions of others.”

FACT: The research that has supported this assertion is open to major questions by more recent research. A recent study suggested that children with ASD process facial expressions in a different part of the brain than those without the disorder. But Professor Morton Gernsbacher and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin found that in the original study, the children may not have been looking at the face, so that the reason they appeared to not be processing the emotions of the face in the areas of the brain that normally process emotion was because they weren’t actually looking at the face. So in a replication of the original study, Gernsbacher et al encouraged the individuals to actually look at the face, and their finding was that then the individuals with autistic spectrum disorders processed the emotions in the exact same areas of the brain that those without ASD did.

The human face provides an enormous amount of information and can be overloading, especially for someone with sensory processing difficulties. Just like a shy person at a cocktail party may look down at your ankles or look away until they warm up, similarly children, or adults, who are sensory over-reactive may need a little warm-up period before they can look at your face. This doesn’t mean they can’t look at the face or that they process emotions from the face differently; it just means that they find it stressful to look at the face too quickly. When Gernsbacher and colleagues measured the emotional reactivity of these individuals, they found that when they did encourage them to look at the face, the physiological measurements suggested some degree of stress response. In conclusion, they found that the individuals were processing emotion in the same way as everyone else, but that they had a preference for not looking at the face because it was overloading and somewhat stressful.

Taken from here

At Autism Speaks you can find a wealth of information, or at Autism Society of America.

I will post more information at this blog post as I research more.

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