Each Autistic Child Is
TI=Totally InterestingSM=Sometimes Mysterious
Autistic spectrum disorders refer to a set of disorders characterized by neurodevelopmental anomalies leading to altered social interactions and repetitive behavior. Autism is one such disorder and is the result of several genetic and environmental factors.
The symptoms are often apparent during infancy or before the age of 30 months. These include language delay, less attention to social stimuli, repetitive movements, etc.
Although the precise etiology remains unclear, several factors have been associated with the risk for developing autism. One of the mysteries underlying autism is the strong gender bias and the fact that males are four times more likely to be affected.
There is no clear understanding for such a bias, but it is well implicated that there are surely certain molecular mechanisms or factors that increase the risk for boys and/or protect girls from developing autism. The theories and explanations for the same have been provided below.
Treating These Mental Health Conditions
Professionals may treat the repetitive behaviors in both OCD and ASD similarly. For example, medication and behavioral therapy with a clinical psychologist can be treatment options after an initial diagnosis. As part of a treatment plan, the medicines most often given are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs.
There isnt a cure for either condition, but treatment can get symptoms under control. So the question comes up again, is OCD some form of Autism? Typically OCD is more treatable than autism. Depending on the severity of OCD, you might need long-term or intensive treatment.
For OCD, psychotherapy tends to be very effective. Exposure and response prevention or ERP is a subset of CBT often used for OCD. In ERP, you work with a therapist, and during that time, you are exposed gradually to an object you fear or an obsession. You then learn ways to avoid compulsive rituals in response to that exposure.
You could treat OCD with a plan that includes intensive outpatient and residential treatment, depending on the severity of symptoms or the impairment of functionality.
Aspergers Syndrome/asds And Ocd
Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors are typically associated with Aspergers syndrome and are often a major obstacle to making improvements. Whether or not AS will be folded into a new Autistic Spectrum Disorders category in the upcoming version of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM-5, the importance of early identification and finding effective ways to address OCBs in this population will remain undiminished.
Because they inter-mingle and cross boundary markers with rigidities, perfectionisms, perseverations, stereotyped behaviors, habits, impulsivities, and some kinds of tics, arriving at an exact definition of OCBs can challenge even experts in the field. However, sometimes OCBs are so prevalent, systematized, and time consuming that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is diagnosed as a separate condition co-occurring with AS. Like Aspergers and related ASDs, OCD is often associated with problems in social functioning however, in primary OCD, social deficits tend to be much less severe and pervasive and are not embedded in the context of distinctive autistic spectrum problems like mind-blindness, idiosyncratic mannerisms and communication style, or being extremely literal.
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Why Is Autism Increasing So Much
Youve probably seen the Autism Speaks ads: Every two seconds a child is diagnosed with autism. As I write this today, the CDC has determined that 1 in a 54 people or 2% of males has an autism spectrum disorder !1Ever since Bob Wright, former president of NBC, became the grandfather of a child with autism and created Autism Speaks, awareness of and research on the condition has skyrocketed. Given this prevalence, you probably know someone who has a child with an ASD.
Welcome to my world. I am a developmental and behavioral pediatrician who has specialized, over the last 30 years, in caring for, diagnosing, and helping literally thousands of children and adolescents with ASD.
Over this time, my patients and their families have taught me so much about what it means to both struggle and grow and accept what cant be changed. I have learned to see through the eyes of the differently abled and their families. I have been witness to the miraculous potential within many of these children and adolescents who become fully functional and even indistinguishable from their peers . Recent research has found that the child with autism who receives intensive early intervention can outgrow their diagnosis.2 In my practice, I have many children who, over time, no longer met the official criteria for an autism spectrum disorder.
with lilacs. The last descendant.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry.JAMA Psychiatry.
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
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What Is The Cause Of Dyspraxia
Whilst the exact cause of dyspraxia is unknown, research suggests that it is more than likely a result of a delayed or impaired development of neurones in the brain, rather than brain damage.
Dyspraxia is not hereditary, but members of the same family sometimes display similar dyspraxic symptoms.
Can you have dyslexia and dyspraxia?
Learning difficulties which affect the way information is processed are known as Specific Learning Difficulties and include:
Dyspraxia Attention Deficit Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
It is fairly common for someone with dyspraxia to also have other learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADD . These are known as co-occurring difficulties and symptoms can vary in severity from person to person.
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Why Is Autism So Prevalent Now
One of the things that has proven most shocking about the epidemic of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses in the United States has been the suddenness with which it swept the country. In the span of a single generation, from 1985 to 2015, cases skyrocketed from 1 in every 2500 to 1 in every 65. Just from 1993 to 2003, the numbers jumped by 657 percent, according to the Scientific American.
For families whose lives have been affected by ASD to the medical professionals and applied behavior analysts who treat the condition, the explosion has been shocking, particularly because we still have no real understanding of the cause behind it.
The desperate search for answers has lead people down some strange and occasionally harmful roads. The suggestion from one small and later discredited study in England that MMR vaccinations given in childhood were a possible cause for the skyrocketing numbers was enough to set off the whole anti-vaxxer movement a trend of withholding common vaccinations from children that has contributed to upticks in whooping cough and measles outbreaks in the U.S. and U.K.without any decrease in ASD diagnoses.
So the one question on everyones mind is why does autism a disorder that was first described in the 1940s seem to be so common now?
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Talking About Your Child With Autism
Just a kid.
Say hi. Dont just ignore a child with autism, even if they are nonverbal, or dont reciprocate. It may take many more times before they learn to reciprocate. Using social greetings appropriately and at the right time is a skill set, and it may take them longer to gain those skills. Try not to give up too soon.
Talk to them. It may be more difficult to process information, and short and simple phrasing may be better, but continue to make the effort to talk to a child with autism so that they hear and see language in action.
Talk with your hands. Some children who struggle with verbal communication use formal sign language to bridge the gap while they are learning to talk. But beyond that, and for all individuals with and without autism, visual supports and gestures can be used help to clarify verbal information. We all use our hands to gesture when we give directions or describe something, to support our words, and these additional visual cues can help.
Use correct grammar. A child with autism who struggles with language still benefits from hearing many models of correct grammar and language sequencing. In fact, some may demonstrate relative strengths in imitation of your phrases and sentences, and so it is best if they are simple but intact grammatical utterances.
Findings Highlight The Need For Sex
Boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder , yet a growing body of research shows that the condition is more common in girls than previously thought, strongly suggesting that new methods are required to diagnose the disorder at younger ages.
A new study from Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia examined differences in the way girls and boys on the autism spectrum used certain types of words during storytelling. This study found that autistic girls used significantly more cognitive process words such as think and know than autistic boys, despite comparable autism symptom severity. The results were recently published in the journal Molecular Autism.
The authors suggest that identifying differences like these opens the door to making sure girls with ASD receive the diagnosis and support they need to achieve the best possible quality of life.
A misdiagnosis means many girls do not receive early intervention and that standard interventions may not be appropriate for meeting girls unique needs. Many autistic women are not diagnosed until they are adults and report significant social challenges and a profound sense of being different from their typically developing peers.
This study was supported by the Autism Science Foundation, the Eagles Charitable Trust, the McMorris Family Foundation, the Allerton Foundation, and a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant 5U54HD086984-03.
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The Real Reasons Autism Rates Are Up In The Us
A hard look at whether the rise comes from more awareness, better diagnosisor something else
The prevalence of autism in the United States has risen steadily since researchers first began tracking it in 2000. The rise in the rate has sparked fears of an autism epidemic. But experts say the bulk of the increase stems from a growing awareness of autism and changes to the conditions diagnostic criteria.
Heres how researchers track autisms prevalence and explain its apparent rise.
How do clinicians diagnose autism?There is no blood test, brain scan or any other objective test that can diagnose autismalthough researchers are actively trying to develop such tests. Clinicians rely on observations of a persons behavior to diagnose the condition.
In the U.S., the criteria for diagnosing autism are laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The criteria are problems with social communication and interactions, and restricted interests or repetitive behaviors. Both of these core features must be present in early development.
What is the prevalence of autism in the U.S.?The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68children in the U.S. have autism. The prevalence is 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls. These rates yield a gender ratio of about five boys for every girl.
This article is reproduced with permission from Spectrum. The article was first published on March 2, 2017.
Who Resolution On Autism Spectrum Disorders
In May 2014, the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Comprehensive and coordinated efforts for the management of autism spectrum disorders ,” which was supported by more than 60 countries.
The resolution urges WHO to collaborate with Member States and partner agencies to strengthen national capacities to address ASD and other developmental disabilities.
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What Is The Prevalence Rate Among Military Families
Research conducted by the CDC shows that there are varying prevalence rates of ASD across different geographic locales. The same variability can be observed among military dependents. Currently, there are an estimated 1.2 million children in active duty military families. Based on the 2020 TRICARE report to Congress, there were an estimated 34,361 military autistic children in FY2019, including an estimated 20,735 children of active duty military families.
When one considers that those studied were more often service members in the junior ranks and the youngest parents , the implications for and potential impact on military healthcare are significant.
Autism: A True Increase Or Semantics
The jump in autism cases has spawned not only alarm but also debate about whether the number of children with autism could have increased that much in a relatively brief time.
“There’s a lot of controversy about that,” says Jeff Milunsky, MD, director of clinical genetics and associate director of the Center for Human Genetics at Boston University.
Two researchers who tracked the rate of autism in children born in the same area of England from 1992 to 1995 and then from 1996 to 1998 found that the rates were comparable, and concluded that the incidence of autism was stable. The study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2005.
But, Milunsky says, several studies have documented an increase in the U.S.
In a recent report in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Milunsky and his colleagues point to several studies finding an increase in autism rates. In 2003, for instance, a large study conducted in Atlanta found that one in 166 to one in 250 children had autism, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Another study conducted by the CDC in 14 states found an overall prevalence of one in 152, which Milunsky and others say is the generally accepted figure today.
“A kid labeled autistic today could have been labeled mentally retarded 10 years ago in the same school system,” Shattuck says. It wasn’t until 1992 that schools began to include autism as a special education classification.
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Why Autism Diagnoses Have Soared
The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has risen consistently and dramatically since the 1990s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , as of 2016, approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States was diagnosed with autism. In 2000, the corresponding rate was approximately 1 in 150 children. The rate is notably higher in boys than in girls .
There’s no way to pinpoint an exact reason for this increase, but it’s likely that significant changes in diagnostic criteria and reporting practices, in addition to greater awareness and possibly environmental factors, are responsible.
Here’s a look at some of the main theories about why autism is on the rise.
Why Is Autism So Common
just wondering i dont mean any ill intentions. i have a friend that has autism and idk why but i recently seem to notice that quite a lot of people have it
It’s just as common as it always was, we’re just more able to diagnose it.
Same thing as there were always thousands of stars in the sky, just now we have radio microscopes.
Statistically, about 2% of kids in the US are autistic. So that is 1 in 45 50, which makes it likely most people would know at least a few autistic kids. There’s also more awareness so we may just be noticing for the first time.
2% is 1 in 50
Once something is pointed out to you, you seem to notice it other places more. I never noticed how many people drove the same car as me—until i got a new one. Now i see it everywhere!
Autism is such a widely varied diagnosis. The extremes are so diverse it seems to cover a lot of symptoms that years ago were not classified as autism.
Imho when looking at the main defining “traits” of autism, were all a little autistic.
It’s a spectrum that we are all on, just the average is close to one end
did they not change the definition/diagnosis of it to include much more? almost like a skewed number
Oh I kind of know the answer to this so bear with me.
Autism has always been stigmatized by the general populace, so seeking a diagnosis even in the 90s was extremely rough for some people. Now, it’s easier, but there’s still trouble.
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The Epidemic That Never Was: Autism Has Always Been With Us
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.