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The Search for 1 in 100 Elderly with Autism

Elderly-womans-hands-cane-close-hands-canes By Anne Dachel

It seems that finding autistic adults is as hard as tracking down the elusive gene/genes that cause autism.  The latest attempt is a new study out of the Netherlands. 

Called Diagnosing autism spectrum disorders in elderly people, (HERE) it tells  about the difficulties involved in recognizing ASD in older people.  In it we learn about three elderly men who received an autism diagnosis later in life. 

The paper concludes that “the three case studies show that in clinical practice ASD can easily be missed in elderly individuals presenting with comorbid psychiatric disorders, potentially causing iatrogenic damage. Although further research on phenotyping and diagnosing ASD in older people is warranted, the most important step at this point is to create a greater awareness of the possibility of ASD in old age among health-care professionals working with people in this age group.”

In the 11 page report, we’re told that older people were never diagnosed correctly because it’s only been in the last thirty years that we’ve been fully aware of what autism is.  (And remember that Asperger’s Syndrome was only added in 1994.)

The paper describes the diagnostic tools, the questionnaire and observation methods used, and we’re presented with three cases of individuals now found to have autism:
Mr H, age 72, Mr. B. age 78, and Mr. W. age 83.  All three were married and had children.  All had identifiable idiosyncrasies and mental problems like depression, OCD, and rigid behaviors.  The possibility of an Asperger’s diagnosis was presented in all three cases.

It won’t work

Studies like this prove nothing.  Making claims of high functioning or Asperger’s in elderly people does not demonstrate that autism has always been around.  These men are so old that there are no reliable witnesses to tell us what their childhoods were like.  Why couldn’t researchers find people in their 30s, 40s, or 50s whose parents are still alive and can provide the background on their early development?  Why couldn’t they find adults with classic autism, people whose symptoms are so easily recognized that the diagnosis would obvious to all? 

I can drive to the local middle school and high school in my small town and show you hand flapping, nonverbal, rocking kids in special education classes who are diagnosed with autism.  I work with these kids.  Why can’t I go to a nearby nursing home and observe elderly residents doing the same thing?  I work with older teenagers who will never marry and whose symptoms show no signs of disappearing. 
 
This is a lot like the news from Britain last year about the questionnaire done in 2007 (HERE) in which researchers claimed that they identified 19 undiagnosed adults with autism.  These findings were used to support the claim that the MMR vaccine isn't linked to autism since these adults wouldn't have received the vaccine which was introduced in 1990 in Britain. 

Here’s how one critical report described the survey: “Survey Authors Couldn't Find Enough Adult Autistics.”  (HERE) “There were early rumours in 2008 the authors could not find numbers of adult ASC cases matching numbers in children.

"The survey failed to find a single case of an adult with ‘typical’ or ‘classic’ autism, found in approximately 30%  of  ASC children. 'Typical' or 'classic' autism is a type of ASC controversially claimed in 1998 might be associated with the MMR vaccine.

"The authors also failed to find sufficient adult ASC cases overall - just 19 in 7,451 adults, being ‘higher functioning’ ASCs - mainly Asperger's Syndrome. This represents an overall rate of just under 1 in 300 potential adult cases and not the officially claimed 1 in 100 for children”.

John Stone wrote about it for Age of Autism (HERE) and his opinion still holds true today.

I posted this comment on John’s story:

The BBC reported on the adult autism study and described autism like this:
“People with autism spectrum disorder may suffer a range of problems, including difficulty interacting with other people and communicating their feelings."   The survey reported, "ASD is known to be strongly associated with the presence of learning disabilities and it has been estimated that 7.5%of adults with a learning disability may also have ASD."
What's implied here of course is that adults who have been labeled LD, may actually be autistic. If we just identify them, we'd find the same rate that we see in children everywhere.

Anyone really thinking about this has got to see the flaws in this proposal.  I have yet to see experts like Baron-Cohen and Brugha actually show us the autistic adults displaying the same characteristics of classic autism we see in our children.  Where are the adults whose autism symptoms are undeniable?  Where are the adults in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who don't talk, are in diapers, bang holes in walls, and stim and scream for hours on end? 
I know lots of severely autistic kids just around here who would never be able to respond to either set of survey questions:

I would rather go to a library than a party --or-- I would rather go to a party than a library

I don't particularly enjoy reading fiction --or-- I particularly enjoy reading fiction


I find it hard to make new friends --or-- I find it easy to make new friends


Their autism would require constant care and supervision.  These autistic people would be institutions somewhere as 40, 50, and 60 year olds because their parents are no longer able to care for them. 


These are the people I'm waiting to see.  These are the people no one ever shows us.

Anne Dachel, Media Editor.
 

 

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Geraldine,
It isn't hard to find the severely affected children though. You couldn't miss them if you tried.

Many elder autistics will not be found because people in institutions have a much shorter than average life span. A few years ago in Australia, the lifespan of institutionalised autistics was found to be 47. More die young because it is known that suicide rates amongst young males are high. Who knows what they are for young women who were not diagnosed because autism in women is poorly recognized, even now. Illness in elderly people e.g. Alzheimers, would make it hard to recognize some. Others of us sort of get along one way or another but most are undiagnosed. Just because we are hard to find, does not mean that we are not there.

Hi
My recently deceased uncle was diagnosed late in life . My grandson was diagnosed at two! I was diagnosed as a direct result of my grandson as was my uncle. We were both described as eccentric weird obsessive compulsive . My uncle was hidden by his mother because she feared he be incarcerated . He didn't talk till 5 , he walked at 3. His. His childhood was filled with unexplained incidents. As was mine. The diagnosis for him and me now makes sense of our behaviour. My anxiety is less as a result and my life is also easier because I consider my Aspergers when I'm making plans or changes to my life ! I am very high functioning complete with a teaching degree . Mu uncle was low functioning with a global delay but very athletic . As a result of early and continuing intervention my grandson s initial diagnosis is improved . . I wish I had found your page before my uncle died . He actually died from dementia . He was very loved by all who met him. Because of his autism he never married or had children. I am his eldest niece and I was very close to him and we weren't often mistaken for father and daughter . He only passed over two weeks ago so this is very carthatic to write about him . Thanks for the opportunity .

My brother is 67, has been in care since age 7, is non verbal and self-abusive. No one has been looking for him until recently. Now his new diagnosis is profound challenge & ASD. People are definitely out there. Look harder

@ Anne Dachel -

"It's incredible that they need to go to Australia and look among remote indigenous people to make the claim that there are autistic adults."

This sure does look like another case-control study for which any conclusions are very suspect. I'd be very interested in knowing when schizophrenia and ASD arrived in the Aboriginal population of Western Australia. It would be interesting to contrast the incidence of these diseases before and after the arrival of pharma and orthodox medicine to this population. What effect did pharma's chemical and biological intoxicants have on the incidence of these diseases?

Have you read The Shaman's Apprentice by Lynne Cherry and Mark J. Plotkin? I wonder what the incidence of these diseases were in the peoples of the Amazonian rain forest before and after the arrival and corruption by orthodox medicine's much-beloved xenobiotic dealers?

I think we take each other too serious and I am sorry for us all; for you Nancy and your mountain of problems.

Also to you Lorene, Theodora, and all of us that have experienced this disease.

I suppose if you have to live with full blown autism - everything else but death looks like a picnic.

CC too funny! Untill I think back and remember my beautician telling me that I need to spank my son to get him potty trained. -- well even thinking about it I kind of wish I had your sense of humor and replied to her as you did.

Nancy

You said " There is too much emphasis put upon children today to be "well rounded" and popular. Potty training must be achieved by 24 months and if you don't throw the ball back during play dates or throw a tantrum after watching mom try on her second set of new outfits at Nordstrom you somehow are needing to be evaluated for X,Y,Z"

Do you seriously think these are the criteria used to establish a diagnosis of autism? Do you really think diagnosing someone with autism is not undertaken with in the most rigorous manners? None of the factors you have listed are taken into account. I suggest that you get a little more informed before making such comment.

Second, a diagnosis of autism does not lead to a pharmacological treatment, are you not aware that there are none available for this condition?

And thirdly, if you think a minute that parents concerned about their child's development, simply cannot accept being different, think again. Parents are the most supportive (in the most part), and the often the best advocates for their child's disability. Being neuro-typical is not what we are aiming for, it's being able to function and being healthy we are concerned about. Common sense, as you too have I am certain, so try to see things more objectively and fairly if possible.

All I am saying is that quirks are quirks and sensitivities like not enjoying loud noises or mushy food are not disabling traits. An independent and fulfilling life can be attained without being a social butterfly. There is too much emphasis put upon children today to be "well rounded" and popular. Potty training must be achieved by 24 months and if you don't throw the ball back during play dates or throw a tantrum after watching mom try on her second set of new outfits at Nordstrom you somehow are needing to be evaluated for X,Y,Z.

Fine, if you all want to keep making the pharmaceutical industry even more prosperous, then by all means run, run fast to your nearest psychiatrists office for a full evaluation. I am 100% sure you will not leave empty handed. Good Luck to Your Children with their RX for failure and lifelong drug dependency.

@Theodora Trudorn If you truly have struggled and are still to this day struggling with a disability than I was not addressing you and you should not have taken it personally.

Sorry, but of course there is autism in "old" people. It just goes by another name Alzheimer's. It occurs when the environmental trigger gets to one in old age instead of as a baby.

Nancy

I understand now what you are talking about. Fakers such as Donna Williams have done nothing for autism, they are liars and I dislike this, yes.

Supplements... actually do help quite a few people with autism- in our evaluation of 100 families (not hand picked), 40% report very good outcome to an intervention and 35% moderate outcome. Not one family reported side effect, but the rest reported either as mixed/unsure or no effect. http://www.autismtrust.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=142&Itemid=85. It is not a rigorous evaluation by any means, it is a start and it needs lot more, which would require funding. But it reefers to what parents have said and this is important. If we manage to assist over 50% of the families one way or another, with biomedical + education, it's not that bad and it is better than nothing.

I am sorry not every child has being helped, it's only with better research this can happen, not be destroying the currently available support. What needs strengthening should be strengthened, not destroyed, what does not help, should be ignored.

Nancy

I am really sorry but I don't understand what you are saying,

"So you are the expert then and get to hand pick who the fakers are without acknowledging that there is a lot of it going on and not only with those who are selling supplements or promoting a book."

There is NO autism expert in this world.

@Lorene Amet Sorry for addressing you incorrectly.

So you are the expert then and get to hand pick who the fakers are without acknowledging that there is a lot of it going on and not only with those who are selling supplements or promoting a book.

Maybe everyone should leave their homes and actually do something that makes a difference... Sitting behind a computer and bitching to and about eachothers opinions is solving nothing... meanwhile, more children are being diagnosed as we type...

Nancy, you are extremely insulting and I don't appreciate it. It is people like you who make those with AS invisable to the world. And we do have REAL problems that should be taken seriously! If the John Odgren tells us anything, it's that!!

We do not get screened because we think it is cute or the in thing to do. I spent my entire life listening to my mom tell me to never, EVER using my disability (thought to be ADD at the time) as a cructch or an excuse for a reason not to do something.

I am pretty damn sucessful, but it took alot of work, alot of help, and it was a GROUP effort to get me there. I appear as though there is nothing wrong at first glance because of all that hard work.

Yet I still have severe sensory issues, PTSD flashbacks (which can go into meltdown, and mine are always extrememly violent), and have to deal with the over whelming pressure to not only to play normal, but to get it right every time!!

I spend my life trying to make those like me visable. There are those by the thousands that because of people like you, won't even seek out the help they so desperately need. They sit behind closed doors in little rooms with a computer maybe being thier only link to the outside world while thier parents worry in the living room waht is going to happen to thier child when they die!!

Yes there are those who wish to diganose this for any little quirk. But that is not so for the mast majority of us who are diagnosed with AS. Nor are we even the majority of those on the Spectrum!! Please do not insult me, or my fellows again!!!

We fight like hell every single moment of everyday to be a part of society and be acceptable to said society. We don't need you telling us that there is nothing wrong. HOW DARE YOU!!!!

John,

After the numerous beatings, were you able to speak? Because I'm happy to go kick my son's ass right now if you can offer evidence that this treatment works.

I've tried a 100 different supplements, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, speech therapy, ABA, we even had him on nicotine patches for a brief period of time.

Here I am, giving myself a V-8 slap in the head thinking "All this time, all he needed was a good old-fashioned ass-whoopin."

How about poop smearing? Was that cured with a closed fist, or just an occasional back-hand followed by a loud "stop it"?

Will I have to study martial arts in order to increase his cognitive ability?

If I spank him before dinner, will he eat his broccoli?

Do tell.

B;

So, the good doctor says it is going to be more complicated than one straight forward virus. They have found more that may be involved??? Geeeeeee now I am thinking maybe it us our immune systems that just cannot handle viruses, but give myself a few more minutes and I will start thinking again it is the XMRV and it variations.

I just read yesterday that some researcher in Europe is claiming the XMRV virus was just a contamination of previous lab experiments, and is not the problem at all.

I would perhaps say - oh well - except I think the Whittmore Instutue has not come all this way, worked all this hard, caught the interest of the NIH because of a cross contamination in their labs.

You don`t see older Auties/Aspies hand flapping or stimming because it was beaten,shouted and ridic uled out of them when they were younger-by peers and techers/parents.I am Aspie and am 45 and despite the urge to stim I cannot-my wife does not tolerate it.Yes I am married-an increasing number of Aspies have met partners and got married through the internet.

This is from the blog of a doctor who has CFS, and who is XMRV positive.

"Arrogance and disbelief of the patients allowed this to happen. Where have all the epidemiologists been? While the health of the species was irreparably damaged forever, everybody went on a coffee break. CFS is little. Here is what the CDC will admit to with respect to the increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorder: CDC autism prevalence report and Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders --- Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006. These numbers represent children with a lifetime of disability. GWS. MS. All kinds of cancers. Rare cancers now not so rare. Glioblasroma. Who ever heard of Mantle Cell Lymphoma? You will be hearing of it more."

It's the sixth paragraph here http://treatingxmrv.blogspot.com/2010/12/returning-to-function.html

Nancy


I have not addressed any of my posts to you or to what you have said. Please read again. I posted AFTER Ann, who is the person who responded to you, the name above her response (my name) is attached to the post ABOVE. Please take greater care in the future before aggressing unnecessarily people. But since you have drawn me into your argument, perhaps you could appreciate that Autism is a big spectrum, and whilst you might experience the very severe end, there are children who present, on surface, with comparatively milder traits, yet their disability is real, the diagnosis is rarely use as an excuse. However, I have seen some self-diagnosed adults that go around becoming famous with a pretend diagnosis (Donna Williams, Amanda Baggs and others). This is not what is happening for the children; I still come across some milder who actually opt out of having the diagnosis even though they actually present with the triad of impairment.

What Nancy - what???
I am not sure what your first comment meant.
It sounded like that you think there has always been autism in the numbers we have today. It sounded like you think when anyone has a problem the say it is autism and thus every one thinks there is just more of it because it is in vogue???

You meant I think that we never saw much autism in the 70's because severe autism kids were not allowed to go to public schools back then.

I just wanted to tell you that I have taught in the school system and they "NOW" separate these kids with learning disabilities into severe and then the regular special ed kids, that can be taught.

I was a friend to the lady who was the head of special ed at the board of education for our county. SOOOO, I was well aware of the increase of special ed both severe and regular starting in the 90's up untill 2000 (I moved away). Every year the percentage went up - some times as high as 6 - to - 10 percent, but never down!!!!

Concerned Mom,

I see reading comprehension is not one of your strong points. Read the post again.

As far as wishing autism on someone elses family, I think you ripped that one so far out of context we may never get it back without a team of highly paid professionals. Read the whole thing, and think about it. Why would I wish that on someone else, "if only for a few seconds" as I put it? Because they have no empathy. What's the best way to empathize with someone else? Put yourself in their shoes. It's to say that if these people went through what we have, their priorities might be a little different. Nobody truly wishes autism on anyone. I thought that was obvious by my "lose a limb" comment in the same paragraph.

If the fact that I don't use softy language and maintain an apologist tone for the rest of the world's apathy, bothers you, well that's too bad.

...and if you're NOT angry, then you haven't been paying much attention to what's going on around you. I offend you with my words? Good. Although I'm still not sure which ones you decided to read, and which ones you skipped.

...and don't talk to me about "people who serve", because I did. Did you? READ that paragraph again. Focus on the word "necessarily". Clothes don't make you a hero, and neither does association.

Class dismissed.

....and the alias "Concerned Mom" is not nearly enough of a disguise. Really.

@Lorene I'm going on 15 years of intense education into the world of autism. My teacher's name is Daniel and he has Classic Kanner's Autism and he is my son.

Now who are you calling ignorant?


From the Social Security Administration:

SSI RECIPIENTS
COUNTS FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN
RECEIVING BENEFITS
FOR AUTISTIC & OTHER PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENT DISORDERS
AS OF DECEMBER IN 2002 - 2008


Year All Recipients

2002 45,684
2003 53,358
2004 63,031
2005 73,126
2006 84,240
2007 95,587
2008 111,727

John you said" I have yet to see experts like Baron-Cohen and Brugha actually show us the autistic adults displaying the same characteristics of classic autism we see in our children"


Did you realize that this adult survey was partly conducted by ARC- who's director is Simon Baron Cohen... now, it's pretty uncommon for him to omit including his name on a paper he has influenced. One would wonder why? Any possibility that he does not agree with the conclusions reached that ASD is seen in 1% of the adult population, because the data actually do show this.

Good to flag that the the AQ survey used will only pick up the very high functioning borderline cases, let's also flag that the study conducted on 13,171 homes actually searched for more severe cases... here is the section of the paper, buried right at the end that relates to this:


"If the selected respondent was not capable of undertaking the interview alone, for reasons of mental or physical incapacity, the option was available for a ‘proxy’ interview conducted
with another member of the family, a carer or another person who knew the selected respondent well. The 58 proxy interviews conducted were short (mostly less than half an hour), and only included questions that were current and factual rather than subjective.

The information collected was not sufficient for selection probabilities to be calculated, and therefore selected respondents interviewed via a proxy respondent were not eligible for a phase two interview"

58 in 13,171. ... WAS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR SELECTION PROBABILITIES TO BE CALCULATED.

Excellent post. I thought it would be relevant to add the following information from longitudinal follow up of ASD children presenting with an IQ below 70.

Whilst testing IQ in ASD is not very reliable, given that attending to a task and motivation within testing setting will affect performance, studies suggested that there is between 30-70% of ASD people who have an IQ of 70 or below. You can see from the study below (Howlin, Ruter 2004), that the prognosis is relatively poor. Therefore, we are unlikely to have these individuals developing into adults who will marry etc and if we had as many as 1:100 (or more actual 1:66) on the spectrum, it should be easy to identify these people from the presentation given by in this study below:

Adult outcome for children with autism
Patricia Howlin1, Susan Goode2, Jane Hutton3, Michael Rutter4

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 45, Issue 2, pages 212–229, February 2004


Keywords:
Autistic disorder;prognosis;adulthood;follow-up studies.
Background:  Information on long-term prognosis in autism is limited. Outcome is known to be poor for those with an IQ below 50, but there have been few systematic studies of individuals with an IQ above this.

Method:  Sixty-eight individuals meeting criteria for autism and with a performance IQ of 50 or above in childhood were followed up as adults. Their mean age when first seen was 7 years (range 3–15 years); at follow-up the average age was 29 years (range 21–48 years). Outcome measures included standardised cognitive, language and attainment tests. Information on social, communication and behavioural problems was obtained from the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI).

Results:  Although a minority of adults had achieved relatively high levels of independence, most remained very dependent on their families or other support services. Few lived alone, had close friends, or permanent employment. Communication generally was impaired, and reading and spelling abilities were poor. Stereotyped behaviours or interests frequently persisted into adulthood. Ten individuals had developed epilepsy. Overall, only 12% were rated as having a ‘Very Good’ outcome; 10% were rated as ‘Good’ and 19% as ‘Fair’. The majority was rated as having a ‘Poor’ (46%) or ‘Very Poor’ (12%) outcome. Individuals with a childhood performance IQ of at least 70 had a significantly better outcome than those with an IQ below this. However, within the normal IQ range outcome was very variable and, on an individual level, neither verbal nor performance IQ proved to be consistent prognostic indicators.

Conclusions:  Although outcome for adults with autism has improved over recent years, many remain highly dependent on others for support. This study provides some information on prognostic indicators, but more fine-grained research is needed into the childhood variables that are associated with good or poor outcome.

@Nancy:
Your post is by far the most ignorant and offensive thing I have ever read. Seriously, you could use a little less Denis Leary and a little more compassion. Nobody wants their child to have autism.

CC,
Your post is pretty offensive and lends much credence to the accusations of the 'vaccines don't cause autism' crowd that our community wishes autism on the children of pro-vaxxers. I get that you're angry. Hell, I'm angry, too. I'd even venture to say that the majority of parents of affected children are angry. But I'll tell you one thing, I wouldn't for one second wish this untenable, intolerable condition on my worst enemy's child. To wish such an awful illness on an innocent child, even for a fleeting moment, simply because we don't like or agree with their parent makes a person wonder who the delusional one really is.

And as for this:
"All the flag waving, military pride, cute poems or patriotic songs will never disguise the fact that at least the United States is a nation of cowards. Donning a uniform with thousands of others and fighting a war doesn't necessarily make you a hero. Standing up for injustice all by yourself, when no one else will, that is what makes you a hero."

There are many kinds of heroes who fight for many different causes and that includes the men and women who fight for and defend our freedom. These are people who are willing to die so that you can have the freedom to say that the men and women who serve aren't necessarily heroes. And it makes no sense that just because the scientific commumity isn't solving the autism epidemic in either the way or at the rate we would like, you feel it's right to throw this very brave group of people, indeed the entire United States, under the bus.

Instead of wishing illness on other peoples' children and maligning soldiers who sit at a post so we can sleep safely at night, it would make more sense for us as parents to just stay the course, keep insisting on better studies until the truth is revealed, and take care of our children.

New book on Asperger's Syndrome adults may interest you.
Catch giimpses at www.aspergerstellandshow.com, www.Xlibris.com, www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com

"Wait, What Do You Mean?" Asperger's Tell and Show by Martha Schmidtmann Dunne and Aspie (adult) Speakers.

The difference is we call everything autism today.

I don't have friends: Autistic
I am a sore loser: Autistic
I gag on cooked spinach: Autistic

SO SICK OF THIS!!!

As for seeing rockers and flappers on the local school campus it is because of ADA. It was unheard of to see any autistic, mentally retarded, or kids with cerebral palsy, etc. at public schools until the 70's. Prior to that all disabled children in our area were sent to county facilities.

Most of the studies that Pharma and the CDC wants to do are designed to "prove exactly nothing."

The main purpose of their work is to keep the water muddy for as long as they possibly can.

I also found a study from Australia

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21117839 Missed diagnosis of autism in an Australian Indigenous psychiatric population.

NIH has this study online. It's incredible that they need to go to Australia and look among remote indigenous people to make the claim that there are autistic adults.

Anne Dachel
Media

When my son was diagnosed 8 years ago, I asked my mother if she ever met anyone with autism. She said one of my sisters kindergarden friends had a brother with autism (he would be 45 now.) In her 65 years of life , she met one person with autism besides my son. He squaked like a bird and didn't talk at all. Yeah, they were around at a rate of 1 in 10,000. Autism cannot hide and was always diagnosed. God, how I would love it if my son could just slip by. Sadly, autism is obvious within 10 seconds. Not sure who they are trying to kid.

@ Eileen Nicole Simon - Bravo! Fantastic proposal! Let me know if you need help or even a co-investigator or even just to brainstorm. My email: [email protected] IMO, your work tends to validate Andrew Moulden's. If his theories can be validated, once accepted, they will literally lead orthodox medicine out of the darkness.

Samuel Johnson had Tourette's, tics, strange hand movements, OCD, asthma and vision problems. He also worked with mercury, tanning hides as a young man, and maniacally dosed himself with mercury-containing medicines in adulthood.

Maybe he'd be diagnosed with ASD today.

Eileen - we're interested!! And I met a 32 year old with full autism last week. Very affected, but able to communicate with facilitation. Please post more for us? Or contact me about writing a post for AofA.

Kim, Managing Editor
[email protected]

I have a 48-year-old son with autism. If anyone were interested I could tell you plenty. I have tried to engage in dialog with the IACC, but my comments have all been pointedly ignored. My son suffered a traumatic birth. His development was delayed, and at 21 months of age we were told he had a "mild" form of cerebral palsy. His early speech was dysarthric, but I read to him a lot, and he learned to read before he could speak. He outgrew his motor handicaps and slurred speech. Then his speech was echolalic; he spoke in phrase fragments. Just before his sixth birthday he began to speak normally.

He continued to develop well until his teen years, but then started a downward spiral. He still loves to read, and he writes well. We are writing a memoir together, and I hope to get it online soon.

Autism will only be fully understood when the brain impairment underlying the social and language disorder is found. I believe this is in the midbrain auditory pathway, where blood-flow is higher than in any other area of the brain, and this area (the inferior colliculus) is vulnerable to asphyxia at birth plus any abnormal substance in the circulation. See my proposal for vaccine research at
http://www.conradsimon.org/files/IACC4feb2009strategy.pdf

I have spent most of my sad life trying to understand autism, and I believe I have a few insights if anyone were interested.

I've met one, ONE woman who has classic autism. She's 61 and her family immediately told me she regressed after the DTP before they even knew my son's story of vaccine-injury. In today's world, every week I meet random people with kids with issues. And at the ped's office where I work, we have met at least 300. Our local school system has about 300 with an official diagnosis of autism. This county has a population of 232,000.

Another study which is so tenuous it just proves the opposite point. When we had a 100 ASD children in our local primary schools in 1999 and 8 at secondary level there was no substitution of diagnosis in the older group. ASD children becoming adolescents would only be in ever great difficulty but they weren't identified by the very same school and paediatric services because patently they weren't there.

The fact that so much as a dollar and ten seconds of time were wasted on this white elephant hunt just infuriates me.

We have kids regressing after vaccines EVERY DAY. Parents scream about it, every minute of every day, but nobody in power wants to study vaccinated vs. unvaccinated kids.

I find myself in a quandary. Part of me WISHES these bastards vaccinate their children and watch them regress into the abyss before their eyes. The other part of me would rather cut off one of my limbs than watch another child join mine. In the end the latter wins the day, but after reading things like this I can't help but think the former, if only for a few seconds.

If these evil bastards spent a tenth of the time trying to figure out why vaccines are harmful as they do with their half-baked attempts at defending them, regressive autism would be a footnote in the history books. Maybe if vaccines produced the same effects at thalidomide, and our kids had missing limbs or other deformities, THEN something would be done.

So many people tell me how cute/handsome my son is. I can't help but think "Yeah, that's why they'll be ten more like him on this planet before the next hour passes."

Theories vary, but call it what you will. Vaccines cause, contribute to, or enable autism in a small percentage of children. This is the price our children pay, and we pay as parents because the majority of the United States and the world is populated by cowards who are so afraid of disease that they're willing to destroy a few hundred thousand lives to protect themselves from it.

All the flag waving, military pride, cute poems or patriotic songs will never disguise the fact that at least the United States is a nation of cowards. Donning a uniform with thousands of others and fighting a war doesn't necessarily make you a hero. Standing up for injustice all by yourself, when no one else will, that is what makes you a hero.

What is happening to our children is an injustice. Studies like this only serve to further mask that injustice. Since the majority of the world is made up of two kinds of people, those that are too afraid not to vaccinate, and those who are too afraid to get them but hope everyone else does so they're "safe", we're pretty much screwed. It will be a long time before we see meaningful change in public health policy. Especially when those in charge have a financial interest in maintaining the status quo.

...on with the hunt for the great white spectrum grandpa. (elephant)

Right....

1 in 100 elderly ha ve autism.....

And the CDC has made "tremendous progress" (their words) in the past ten yrs of autism research

They married and had children?????
Hummmp!
There is autism in elderly people,that is for sure, it is called aleizheimers!. They develop it later in life after some kind of environmental event happens to them - sort of like what happens to some babies at the dawn of life.

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