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Autism One Presents Age of Autism: Year in Review & Debut of an Important New Video

Dachel Media Update: Screenings, Services

Online newsBy Anne Dachel Read

Anne's comments after the jump:

May 13, 2013, Wayne County (NY) Post: Wayne ARC leads the way in autism services

May 13, 2013, Wall Street Journal: Autism Center Is Set to Target Need---A New Mental-Health Campus Is Opening in Westchester Campus

May 13, 2013, Washington Post: Kennedy Krieger offers free screenings to infant siblings of children with autism

May 13, 2013, New York Times: A Trudge to the Roots of Autism

Wayne County (NY) Post

"According to the Center for Disease Control 1 out of 88 children in the United States has autism. In our nearly 50 years of service we have witnessed first- hand the staggering rise in diagnosis and have been inspired to develop programs and therapies to address the behaviors and learning styles of individuals of all ages that fall somewhere on the spectrum. Additional efforts have been focused on training and credentialing our staff so that they are fully prepared to lead these efforts equipped with a contemporary, evidence based foundation of knowledge."
This would be a nice, feel good, we-care-about-autism piece, except for the line, "In our nearly 50 years of service we have witnessed first- hand the staggering rise in diagnosis..."
There's no explanation.  Because more kids have autism, they need more services and people have to be trained and they're doing that---all the while seemingly content to lose a generation of children to autism.  I posted comments.
Wall Street Journal

"Children and adults with autism will begin arriving this month at a new autism center tucked into a 214-acre mental-health campus in Westchester County, which promises to help provide an answer to the piecemeal care currently available to many.

"The center, run by New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the medical schools at Cornell and Columbia universities, attempts to address what experts say is a significant challenge: autism rates are rising around the country but access to treatment lags well behind.

"One in 88 children-the majority of them boys-have been diagnosed with a disorder on the autism spectrum, according to the Center for Disease Control. The cause of the increase remains undetermined. ..."

Catherine Lord is featured here, talking about autism as a psychiatric disorder. This place is described as a "mental-health campus." ...They will treat only a couple of hundred people a year.
This may look like cutting edge care for autism---but it's really insignificant in the face of the horrific numbers. Notice the usual caveats: "Autism rates are rising around the country" and "The cause of the increase remains undetermined."
I can't understand what Dr. Lord is smiling about in the photo.
(The comment section isn't working.)
Washington Post

"Kennedy Krieger Institute is offering free screenings for babies between 5 and 10 months old who have older siblings with an autism spectrum disorder. The screenings can detect some early signs that the child might be at risk of developing autism or other developmental disabilities.

"One out of five children with a sibling who has autism will have autism, according to Rebecca Landa, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger. Another 30 percent will have language or social delays, Landa said."

The Washington Post is really out to convince parents that autism is genetic and that kids are born with it.  I posted comments.
New York Times

"Much of autism's mystery and fascination lies in a paradox: On one hand, autism seems to create a profound disconnect between inner and outer lives; on the other, it generates what the neuroscientist Oliver Sacks calls an essential and "most intricate interaction" between the disorder and one's other traits.
"In the autistic person, it seems, hums a vital and distinctive essence - but one whose nature is obscured by thick layers of behavior and perception. Or, as Temple Grandin puts it, 'two panes of glass.'"
David Dobbs reviewed Temple Grandin's book, The Autistic Brain, here in this piece. The problem is, Temple Grandin isn't typical. She's accomplished. She has a career. She is a noted speaker. I fail to see how her book gives us real insight into the disaster we call the autism epidemic. Grandin sounds like a curiosity, an interesting anomaly. Actually Dobbs lost me after the first six words: "Much of autism's mystery and fascination ..."
Of course, there's no comment section on the article.



Re The Washington Post:

"Landa said this testing, if parents had to pay out of pocket, would normally cost between $750 and $1,000."

Did I miss that it says somewhere that the screening is free? Are they saying those without insurance have to pay that much? WHY DOES IT COST THAT MUCH?

Also, siblings of individuals with Type 1 diabetes have a higher rate of coming down with diabetes, and while there is a genetic component, there has to be an environmental trigger in order for the disease to develop. No trigger, no disease.

Wouldn't it be nice if these doctors thought to give these children with autistic siblings an alternative - later, more spaced out, and much more selective vaccine schedule(give only what is absolutely necessary, leaving out the controversial MMR)? That would make too much sense.

Why don't these people emphasize, while they're at it, that mothers should breastfeed for as long as possible if at all possible, since it is well established that neurodevelopmental problems are significantly more common in formula fed children? I'm not saying that lack of breastfeeding causes autism, but formula feeding has been linked for decades with a higher incidence of learning disabilities, lower IQ, etc. While these experts are recommending toys and books, and charging a fortune for their services, why not recommend the best nutrition?

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