Check out Scene Newspaper with Temple Grandin. She speaks plainly, logically and eloquently about autism as a spectrum. Tune into HBO's Temple Grandin starring Claire Danes"" Saturday, February 6th at 8pm. (Photo credit, Rosalie Winard.)
Some salient paragraphs from the scene article:
“...You have to remember autism is a spectrum that goes all the way from very, very, very severe where the person is going to remain non-verbal and handicapped, to people that are brilliant scientists. It’s a huge spectrum,” she said. “I don’t think the increase is the mild end because the Asperger types have always been there. I think some of the real mild autism – some of the Asperger’s – there’s increased diagnosis.
“But in young kids where you have speech delay and autistic-type behavior, that’s not increased diagnosis. Something’s going on. And nobody really knows what. There’s a lot of speculation. I think there has been an increase in some of this very severe, early onset autism, especially this regressive type, where the kid seems to be somewhat normal – verified by looking at birthday party videos in a study by Geraldine Dawson at the University of Washington. The parents are right. There really is a regressive form of autism. If this is something happening at 18 months to 2 years of age – there’s some other insult getting in there acting with susceptible genetics – that needs to be looked at very, very carefully. That’s some of the real severe stuff. That regressive sample needs to be looked at separately.
“We don’t understand the whole increase thing. It’s complicated genetics. But genetics is half the story,” she continued. “One thing that everyone knows is that early intervention helps to improve the prognosis immensely. Other things that help are some of the special diets. Gluten-free, casein-free, cutting out tons of carbs. They don’t cure autism, but they really help some kids. Some of these regressive kids tend to respond to the diets.
“I also think the American diet is bad. I’d say of all of the alternative treatments, diet is the single most important thing for parents to try. The other thing that’s getting really good science now are the Omega 3s. They have tons of good science. Give them Omega 3s.”