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How Long Has Autism Been Around

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The Measles Mumps And Rubella Vaccine Controversy

Antivaxxers Have Been Around As Long As Vaccines

Nearly 25 years after the DTP controversy, England was again the site of anti-vaccination activity, this time regarding the MMR vaccine.

In 1998, British doctor Andrew Wakefield recommended further investigation of a possible relationship between bowel disease, autism, and the MMR vaccine. A few years later, Wakefield alleged the vaccine was not properly tested before being put into use. The media seized these stories, igniting public fear and confusion over the safety of the vaccine. The Lancet, the journal that originally published Wakefields work, stated in 2004 that it should not have published the paper. The General Medical Council, an independent regulator for doctors in the UK, found that Wakefield had a fatal conflict of interest. He had been paid by a law board to find out if there was evidence to support a litigation case by parents who believed that the vaccine had harmed their children. In 2010, the Lancet formally retracted the paper after the British General Medical Council ruled against Wakefield in several areas. Wakefield was struck from the medical register in Great Britain and may no longer practice medicine there. In January 2011, the BMJ published a series of reports by journalist Brian Deer outlining evidence that Wakefield had committed scientific fraud by falsifying data and also that Wakefield hoped to financially profit from his investigations in several ways.

History Of Autism Science

Autism Spectrum Disorder might seem to be a fairly new condition, yet written evidences of its existence can be found as far back as the 1700s. The word Autism was coined after the Latin word Autismus in 1910 by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler however he applied the word to describing schizophrenia. The Latin word was in turn was derived from a Greek word, autos, meaning self. Once the condition we now know as autism was discovered in 1938, it was labeled with Bleulers word because people who are autistic have been observed to be morbidly self-absorbed to the exclusion of everyone else around them.

In 1938, a psychiatrist from Vienna University Hospital, Hans Asperger, adopted the term autistic psychopaths to what he was researching then, which is now known as Asperger Syndrome. It was not until 1981 that Asperger Syndrome became a specific classification within the autism spectrum.

In 1943, a psychiatrist from John Hopkins University, Leo Kanner, used the term autism in the modern sense. He then made a new classification which he called the Early Infantile Syndrome or Kanner Syndrome. It came about during his observation of 11 children who displayed similar symptoms. He described them as acting with autistic sameness and insistence on sameness.

Up to this day, there is still no scientifically proven single cause of autism.

Why Is Autism Increasing Dramatically

Let us start by reiterating some facts about autism.

  • Multiple large-scale studies have established, with adequate proof, that vaccines do not cause autism.
  • Autism does not develop due to bad parenting choices.
  • Autistic spectrum disorders are not contagious.

Although the number of children diagnosed with autism has steadily increased over the last few years, this is not because more children develop autism now than before.

Experts cite the following reasons to explain the rise in autism cases in recent years.

ASD includes a broad spectrum of disorders with following symptoms, thus accommodating more kids under the title of autism.

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Breaking Through The Barriers Of Asd

ASD has no cure. But there is hope through treatment. Many children can learn to communicate and interact. Healthcare providers and mental health experts have learned a lot about how to break through to these children.

Here are some things we know about children with an ASD:

  • They may not be able to understand your nonverbal communications. They may not react to your smile or frown.

  • They take things literally. You need to be careful to say exactly what you mean. If you hurry the child by saying “Step on it,” don’t be surprised if he or she asks what to step on.

  • They may only be able to handle one thought or idea at a time. Keep conversations focused and simple.

  • They may want to only talk about the one thing they are really interested in at a given time.

  • They may see things differently than you do. You may not even notice ordinary sounds, tastes, touches, smells, and sights. But these may be physically painful to the child.

How Long Has Autism Been Around

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Lancet Study Links Vaccines To Autism

In 1998, British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield published a report liking the combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccineroutine since the early 1970sto autism and bowel disease in infants. But subsequent researchers were unable to reproduce Wakefield’s results and, in 2004, and investigation by the Sunday Times revealed he had fabricated his research.

The Lancet withdrew his report and Wakefield was barred from practicing medicine in the U.K., but he moved to America and doubled down on his anti-vax claims: He directed the anti-vaxxer propaganda film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe in 2016, the same year he attended Donald Trump’s inauguration ball.

As recently as March 2019, a study of 600,000 Danish children determined there was no connection between the MMR jab and autism. But Wakefield’s research continues to fuel skepticism: A 2018 survey by Zogby Analytics revealed that nearly 20 percent of Americans believe vaccines are unsafe.

False Claims About Autism

In 1998 Andrew Wakefieldet al. about twelve children, reportedly with bowel symptoms and autism or other disorders acquired soon after administration of MMR vaccine, while supporting a competing vaccine. In 2010, Wakefield’s research was found by the General Medical Council to have been “dishonest”, and The Lancet fully retracted the paper. Three months following The Lancet’s retraction, Wakefield was struck off the UK medical register, with a statement identifying deliberate falsification in the research published in The Lancet, and was barred from practising medicine in the UK. The research was declared fraudulent in 2011 by the British Medical Journal.

Since Wakefield’s publication, multiple peer-reviewed studies have failed to show any association between the vaccine and autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service and the Cochrane Library review have all concluded that there is no evidence of a link.

In Japan, the MMR triplet is not used. Immunity is achieved by a combination vaccine for measles and rubella, followed up later with a mumps only vaccine. This has had no effect on autism rates in the country, further disproving the MMR autism hypothesis.

The component viral strains of MMR vaccine were developed by propagation in animal and human cells as all viruses require a living host cell to replicate.

Disease immunized

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Who Was The First Person To Be Diagnosed With Autism

Note: This article is part of a series on thehistory of autism treatment.

Origin of the term Autism

The first use of the word autistic was in the early 20th century, as a descriptor of symptoms. In 1912, Eugen Blueler used the term to define symptoms associated with schizophrenia. It wasnt until 1943 that autism was used as a diagnostic term. In the first case of autism, Dr. Leo Kanner used the term to diagnose a social and emotional disorder. Previous observations of patients with symptoms of autism had led psychiatrists to a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The diagnosis of autism was used with eleven patients that Dr. Kanner was studying at the time, but the story began with one patient, Donald Triplett.

Donald Triplett, First Case of Autism

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Dr. Kanners Observations

A Better Understanding of Autism

In the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association , autism is included in a wide category of pervasive developmental disorders. Autism continues to be an area of ongoing research, discussion, and debate.

The Epidemic That Never Was: Autism Has Always Been With Us

Recovered from Autism – A Young Man’s Story

But the truth may be both stranger and more prosaic: there may be no epidemic at all.

To understand why, you have to plumb some of the hard questions about what autism actually is, and how we have come to view the disorder since it was first defined in the 1940s.

A psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins named Leo Kanner was the first doctor to describe the condition as a distinct disorder in 1943. But Kanner didnt coin the term similar symptoms had been described as autistic as early as 1910, and accounts from as far back as the 18th century describe patients who, in all likelihood, would have fit modern standards for an ASD diagnosis.

So autism has always been with us and in proportions that have not always been clear. Inventing a diagnosis did not invent the disorder. And it turns out to be very likely that changing the diagnostic routines has not actually changed the number of people afflicted, but only our ability to accurately count them.

That change happened in 1994. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, the standard classification system used by psychiatrists, had provided a diagnosis for autism since 1980. That diagnosis required that candidates match six of six possible criteriaa high standard. But the new version of the DSM released in 1994 required that only eight of sixteen criteria be meta lower bar.

In fact, a 2015 study in Denmark attributed about 60 percent of the increase in autism diagnosis to DSM changes alone.

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The Claim: Autism Has Increased By 30000% In 50 Years Is Linked To Vaccines

As states advance in their distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Americans have continued to discuss what risks could be associated with gaining protection against the virus. One common belief espoused by parents and public figures who are against vaccination is that vaccines cause autism spectrum disorder, despite several studies showing no correlation between childhood vaccination and autism diagnoses.

A may represent a similar view. The post claims that autism “increased 30,000% in 50 years” and suggests there is a link between injections and this statistic. Originally posted on April 3, 2020, the post has accrued roughly 1,500 shares.

In a on the post, the author linked vaccines to the “injections” he mentions, suggesting he made the post, “Because they are trying to make us all take a shot of their NEW ‘Vaccine’!” The post’s comment functionality has since been turned off.

USA TODAY reached out to the poster for comment.

History Of Autism: When Was Autism First Diagnosed

For many conditions and disorders, it is easy to find the first point where they were initially described to this day. Their diagnostics criteria are clear. However, this has not been the case for autism. There have been several diagnoses in the past five decades, and they were less direct with several branching out.

In this article, we will talk about how autism diagnosis came to be, who contributed to what, and where we are today.

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Autism Screening And Diagnosis

It can be hard to get a definite diagnosis of autism. Your doctor will focus on behavior and development.

For children, diagnosis usually takes two steps.

  • A developmental screening will tell your doctor whether your child is on track with basic skills like learning, speaking, behavior, and moving. Experts suggest that children be screened for these developmental delays during their regular checkups at 9 months, 18 months, and 24 or 30 months of age. Children are routinely checked specifically for autism at their 18-month and 24-month checkups.
  • If your child shows signs of a problem on these screenings, theyâll need a more complete evaluation. This might include hearing and vision tests or genetic tests. Your doctor might want to bring in someone who specializes in autism disorders, like a developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist. Some psychologists can also give a test called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule .

If you werenât diagnosed with autism as a child but notice yourself showing signs or symptoms, talk to your doctor.

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  • In 1979 Lorna Wing and Judith Gould examined the prevalence of autism, as defined by Leo Kanner, among children known to have special needs in the former London Borough of Camberwell.
  • They found a prevalence in those with IQ under 70 of nearly 5 per 10,000 for this syndrome, closely similar to the rate found by Lotter. As well as children with Kanner autism, Wing and Gould also found a larger group of children who had difficulties with social interaction, communication and imagination , as well as a repetitive stereotyped pattern of activities.
  • Although these children did not fit into the full picture of early childhood autism as described by Kanner, they were described as being on the broader ‘autism spectrum’. The total prevalence rate for all autistic children with special needs in the Camberwell study was approximately 20 in every 10,000 children . Gillberg et al in Gothenburg, Sweden, found very similar rates in children with learning disabilities.
  • Other studies in different countries have also looked into autism and numbers of autistic children . These results range from 3.3 to 60.0 per 10,000. This could be due to differences in definitions or case-finding methods .

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The History Of Autism

It has been more than 50 years since Leo Kanner first described his classic autistic syndrome. Since then, the results of research and clinical work have helped us learn more about autism. More and more people are being diagnosed as autistic, although we still have a long way to go in creating a world that works for autistic people.

Read our charity’s timeline below to explore the history of autism, meet some of our ‘autism pioneers’ and find out more about the incredible work they’ve done.

A New Therapy For Children Who May Have Autism Risks Carrying A Hidden Cost

Support that boosts toddlers social development can lead to them missing out on a diagnosis that secures ongoing help

  • James Cusack is chief executive of Autistica, a British autism research charity

Being autistic, for me and the 700,000 other autistic people in the UK, often means spending a lot of time inhabiting a world that doesnt work well for you. This is why its vital that the needs and preferences of autistic people are better understood. A trial of a therapy whose findings were published this week attempts to address this issue by trying to ensure the needs of toddlers who may be autistic are recognised.

On one hand, the results are exciting, but they are also complex. Complexity is always hard to communicate. The international research study, led by Prof Andrew Whitehouse at the University of Western Australia in Perth, is technically well designed. It partly replicates a previous trial, and has promising results. Of its two main findings, one is exciting for child development. The second is thornier in how it relates to autism diagnoses.

The therapy used in the trial was an adapted version of one used among children who are not autistic. It focuses on working with parents to understand how a child prefers to play, and supports them to adapt their own behaviour to match their toddlers natural way of interacting. Play is one of the fundamental building blocks of how children begin to learn how to interact with people and the world around them.

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False Dichotomy Between Categorical And Dimensional Approaches

Many argue that categorical and dimensional approaches are fluid, such that dimensions can become categories by defining thresholds, and categories can become dimensions by combining constructs to allow for common core features with accompanying variation, as is seen in the transition from DSM-IV to DSM-5 . In the end, it may be helpful to conceptualize ASD as a single diagnostic condition consisting of various categories of symptoms that can be evaluated in terms of dimensional severity , where we choose to emphasize the dimensionality for some purposes and the category for others .

Fig. 1

Subdimensions Within Core Asd Symptoms

Fast Facts About Autism (World Autism Awareness Day)

As diagnostic criteria for ASD have expanded to account for the heterogeneity in the quantity and quality of core and related symptoms , researchers have attempted to identify subdimensions within the core symptom domains of socialcommunication and RRBs to improve phenotyping. Using items from the ADOS-2, Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised , and SRS-2, Zheng et al. established a four substantive-factor model within the socialcommunication domain that may capture the individual variability in symptoms. The first factor, basic social communication skills, included items measuring nonverbal communication, joint attention, emotional expression, and emotion recognition. Support for the basic social communication skills subdimension also comes from Bishop et al. , who identified this factor when comparing children with ASD to children with diagnoses other than ASD. The second factor from the Zheng et al. four-factor model was interaction quality, which was comprised of items related to the quality of conversations, initiations, and responses. The third factor, peer interaction and modification of behavior, included items measuring the quality of peer interactions and the extent to which individuals modify behaviors to interact appropriately with peers. The final factor, social initiation and affiliation, consisted of items about play, affiliation, and initiation of social interaction with peers .

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