Things That Dont Cause Autism
Everything from vaccines to vitamins has been blamed for causing autism so what do we believe? Here are four things that do not cause autism.
Everything from vaccines to vitamins has been blamed for causing autism but with all the myths flying around, how do we know what to believe?
Despite the common misconceptions, these four things that current research has shown do not cause autism.
Where Does Autism Come From When It Doesnt Run In The Family
Autism genetics expert Ivan Iossifov breaks down recent research that sheds light on how unaffected parents can pass autism onto their child.
A quick Google search for autism causes is all it takes to learn that scientists believe the disorder has a strong genetic component. So if theres no genetic history in the family, where does a childs autism come from?
A key fact has come to light within the last couple of years: many autism-causing genetic mutations are spontaneous. They occur in the affected child, but in neither parent. Mutations in this category are not directly inherited from the parents, explains Assistant Professor Ivan Iossifov, one of several CSHL scientists who has pioneered the study of the role of spontaneous mutations in autism causation.
A childs genome is a patchwork stitched together from the genetic cloth contained in the mothers egg and fathers sperm. In theory, that means that children are cut from exactly the same cloth as their parents. But in reality, there are virtually always small factory defects in that clothmutations that spontaneously arise during the sperm or eggs creation.
Spontaneous mutations cause as much as half of all autism in situations in which only one child in the family has autism. This and other analysis comes from a study Iossifov published in 2015. He and his team looked at about 2,500 families with a single affected child and investigated the causal link to spontaneous mutations.
Collecting Personal Information And Personal Health Information To Administer The Ontario Autism Program
The ministry respects your privacy and has requested only the personal information that is necessary for it to plan, administer and monitor the Ontario Autism Program. This includes maintaining your childs original registration date and/or position on the Ontario Autism Program waitlist for the needs-based program.
The ministry may also use your and your childs personal information, including their personal health information, for the purposes outlined in section 283 of Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, Chapter 14, Sched. 1 which include:
If you have any questions about the collection of personal information or personal health information, you can contact:
Ministry of Children, Community and Social ServicesPO Box 193
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You Will Complete The Determination Of Needs Process
After you accept your invitation, a care coordinator will guide you through a determination of needs process that includes:
- meeting with your family to identify your child’s goals, strengths and support needs
- allocating funding to purchase core clinical services
- supporting your family with next steps to access the core clinical services of your choice
This process is separate from the clinical assessment that would be completed by a clinician as a first step of treatment planning for core clinical services. You should work directly with your chosen clinician to develop treatment options and a plan for your child.
What to expect
A care coordinator will ask you questions, using a standardized tool, to understand your child’s goals, strengths and support needs across nine domains, including:
In addition to the nine domains, care coordinators consider other factors, such as developmental stages, life stages, and co-existing health and environmental factors.
Your family will complete the process at least once per year
A care coordinator will complete the determination of needs process with your family at least once each year. This will help ensure the funding you receive reflects your childs changing support needs.
Background on the determination of needs process
As recommended by the Autism Advisory Panel, the determination of needs process was developed based on the advice and clinical expertise of the implementation working group as well as current research.
How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated
There is no cure for autism, but treatment can make a big difference. The younger kids are when they start treatment, the better.
Doctors, therapists, and special education teachers can help kids learn to talk, play, and learn. Therapists also help kids learn about making friends, taking turns, and getting along.
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How Can A Diagnosis Help Me
Some autistic people choose to self identify and dont see the need to access an official diagnosis. This is of course valid, and widely accepted within the autistic community . Some other people would like the opportunity to talk it all through with a professional and help get some clarity and understanding around themselves and their life experiences.
Going through the assessment process with the right psychologist can greatly help with this, and can be a therapeutic process. A big benefit to accessing an official diagnosis is it can help provide you hopefully with the right supports and reasonable accommodations either in college, the workplace or in accessing disability benefits. A formal diagnosis is not merely a label. Assessment and diagnosis opens many doors for the following reasons:
Aoife Dooley was diagnosed at the age of 27.
Its like youre constantly looking for an answer you dont know the question toWhen you get a diagnosis as an adult its bizarre because everything and nothing changes at the same time. Youre still you, but now you have the tools to understand who you are and how you work.
Large Head Size Is A Red Flag
Recent findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that the brains of children with autism develop differently from an early age. Researchers discovered that most infants who were later diagnosed with autism had small head circumferences at birth but had heads and brains much larger than normal by 6 to 14 months. “Some of them went all the way up to the 90th percentile in just a few months,” says study coauthor Natacha Akshoomoff, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. Those who ended up with the most severe form of autism were found to have the most dramatic acceleration of brain growth during infancy.
Pediatricians don’t always measure head circumference at well-baby visits, so it’s wise to request it. However, don’t panic if your baby’s head size is above the norm. Some babies just have big heads. “Rapid head growth is not a way to diagnose autism,” Dr. Akshoomoff points out, “but it means that a child should be watched closely to be sure that she meets speech and behavioral milestones.”
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Autisms Genetic Risk Factors
Research tells us that autism tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child . Other times, these genetic changes arise spontaneously in an early embryo or the sperm and/or egg that combine to create the embryo. Again, the majority of these gene changes do not cause autism by themselves. They simply increase risk for the disorder
Who Is This Quiz For
This brief, time-saving test is designed for anyone who thinks they might benefit from an autism screening or evaluation.
The items below will help you determine whether you may need an in-depth evaluation including screening tools, parental or family insight, and clinical observations.
A mental health professional can also help figure out if your symptoms might be a sign of another mental health condition and recommend treatment if needed.
This online screening is not a definitive tool. It will not conclusively guarantee that you have autism.
However, it will measure if you have any autism-related traits, based on your own self-assessment.
Only a trained medical professional, such as a doctor or mental health professional, can help you determine the next best steps for you.
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Age Limit For Autism Development
Older children, teens, and adults do not develop autism. In fact, to qualify for an autism spectrum diagnosis, you must have symptoms that appear during early childhood .
Thus, if you know an adult or older child who has suddenly, out of the blue, developed behavioral or social communication issues, you are not seeing someone who has acquired autism after a period of normal development.
People who appear to suddenly behave in an “autistic” manner may have developed any one of a number of other mental health issues, some of which do most commonly appear in early adulthood.
Autism-like behaviors may result from a wide range of disorders from social phobia to generalized anxiety to obsessive-compulsive disorder. These are serious disorders that have a significant impact on an individuals’ ability to function effectively, make or keep friends, or hold a job, and they should be treated. But they are not autism.
What Causes Autism And Why Are More And More Kids Being Diagnosed With It
Does a friend or family member have a child with autism? Autism rates seem to be skyrocketing. Among children who are 8 years old, autism has nearly doubled from 1 in 150 to 1 in 68 for children born in 2002.
Autism is part of a larger group of related conditions, called autism spectrum disorders , all of which usually involve delayed verbal communication and difficulties in social interactions. Studies suggest that children with autism tend to have other problems with how their brain functions, with as many as 20-30% developing seizures or epilepsy.
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Other Terminology You May Have Heard For Types Of Autism
Terms like mild or high functioning arent official diagnoses. Some people find these terms useful, but many in the autistic community havent found them to be helpful or accurate, largely due to the range of abilities that can be present in an autistic person.
You may also have heard about three levels of autism, with level 1 being the mildest and level 3 the most severe.
Signs And Symptoms Of Autism
There are many signs and symptoms that could indicate a person has autism spectrum disorder. Not all adults or children with autism will have every symptom, and some adults and children without autism may display some of the same behaviors and symptoms.
People with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulties with communication, and connecting emotionally and socially with others. They may also process sensory information, such as sounds and smells, differently from other people. These differences can underlie some of the behavioral signs of autism that people may display.
When looking for early signs of autism spectrum disorder, there are developmental milestones that children are expected to reach by certain ages, such as babbling by four months old and being able to use simple sentences by two years old. If a child reaches these milestones later, or does not develop the skills at all, it may indicate a developmental disorder such as autism spectrum disorder.
Autism can be diagnosed by age two, though symptoms may be apparent much earlier.
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What Are The Types Of Autism Spectrum Disorders
These types were once thought to be separate conditions. Now, they fall under the range of autism spectrum disorders including:
- Asperger’s syndrome. These children don’t have a problem with language in fact, they tend to score in the average or above-average range on intelligence tests. But they have social problems and a narrow scope of interests.
- Autistic disorder. This is what most people think of when they hear the word “autism.” It refers to problems with social interactions, communication, and play in children younger than 3 years.
- Childhood disintegrative disorder. These children have typical development for at least 2 years and then lose some or most of their communication and social skills.
- Pervasive developmental disorder . Your doctor might use this term if your child has some autistic behavior, like delays in social and communications skills, but doesnât fit into another category.
Do I Need An Autism Diagnosis
Some adults may question whether they need a diagnosis later in life. Some people self-identify as autistic without receiving an official diagnosis. Its a personal decision. What can be helpful in receiving the label is access to supports and services that may not be available without a diagnosis, i.e. an income support program that provides additional income if mental health issues prevent being able to work full time. Maybe you need a job coach, a support person to look in on you a couple of times a week, specialized mental health services, or supports in the workplace. A diagnosis can also provide peace of mind and validation that indeed, you do have ASD.
Self-diagnosis in the adult autism community is widely accepted. You can join a support group or get together with other ASD adults without a formal diagnosis. Pursuing a diagnosis can be expensive as most health plans wont cover the cost and it can be difficult to find a professional who is adept at providing an adult diagnosis.
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Creating A Positive Environment
Is There A ‘cure’ For Autism
There is no known ‘cure’ for autism. We also believe that autism does not need a ‘cure’ and should be seen as a difference, not a disadvantage. We also warn people about fake cures and potentially harmful interventions here.
This does not mean that autistic people do not face challenges, but with the right support in place, they are more than capable of living fulfilling and happy lives. Because autism is a ‘spectrum’ condition it affects different people in different ways. It is therefore very difficult to generalise about how an autistic person will develop over time. Each person is different, and an intervention or coping strategy which works well with one person may not be appropriate or effective with another.The characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations. Two people with the same diagnosis can have a very different profile of needs and skills.
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What Are The Signs Of Autism
Symptoms of autism usually appear before a child turns 3. Some people show signs from birth.
- A lack of eye contact
- A narrow range of interests or intense interest in certain topics
- Doing something over and over, like repeating words or phrases, rocking back and forth, or flipping a lever
- High sensitivity to sounds, touches, smells, or sights that seem ordinary to other people
- Not looking at or listening to other people
- Not looking at things when another person points at them
- Not wanting to be held or cuddled
- Problems understanding or using speech, gestures, facial expressions, or tone of voice
- Talking in a sing-song, flat, or robotic voice
- Trouble adapting to changes in routine
Some children with autism may also have seizures. These might not start until adolescence.
After You Complete The Determination Of Needs Process
The intensity of support needs for your child
Based on the results of the determination of needs process, care coordinators will identify if your childs intensity of support needs are:
Receive your yearly funding
The amount of funding that your family can use to purchase OAP core clinical services each year depends on:
- the intensity of your childs needs
- your childs age
If you are eligible to receive less than $25,000 in one year, you will receive your funding in a single payment after you complete the determination of needs process. You will need to submit an expense form and any required documentation to account for your spending.
If you are eligible to receive more than $25,000 in one year, you will receive your funding in installments, up to a maximum of $25,000 per installment. You will receive your first installment after you complete the determination of needs process. You will need to submit an expense form and any required documentation to account for your expenses before you can receive future installments.
The process for making payments in installments may change once the independent intake organization is in place, as it will be responsible for issuing funding to families and reconciling expenses.
Develop treatment options and use funding
After you receive your funding allocation for OAP core clinical services, you will work directly with a clinician of your choice to develop treatment options and plan for your child.
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