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Dachel Media Review: CA Policy, Kennedy

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's comments and view the links after the jump.

Nov 18, 2013, Innovation, Policy Outlook for Autism

Nov 18, 2013, U.S. News Bedroom TV, Video Games Linked to Less Sleep in Boys With Autism

Nov 16, 2013, Sydney Morning Sun: Kennedy family tree scarred by tragedy, scandal

"A Senate select committee last week held a hearing in Santa Ana to examine a successful public-private autism research and treatment partnership in Orange County, and to see what legislation might be needed for autism care in the next year.

"Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders and chaired the Santa Ana hearing.

"'We truly have an epidemic on our hands,' Correa said.

"One part of the solution is the autism work that's been done within the public Children and Families Commission of Orange County and the private not-for-profit Thompson Center for Autism, Correa said. . . .

"The public effort to form the commission and the resources added by the private, not-for-profit Thompson Center have helped many autistic children in Orange County, Clayman said. He hopes the model can be duplicated elsewhere.

"'It is our fervent hope that, in the years to come, people will look back upon this day and see, not a report on autism's status quo, but rather a moment in time when a small group of determined individuals ignited an endeavor to end autism with an idea that then grew and brought forth a realization that today is but a dream for so many families,' Clayman said.

"When Correa asked Clayman how best to support that model legislatively, Clayman proposed a slightly different idea:

"'I would envision something in Southern California similar to the MIND Institute that you have in Northern California,' he said. The MIND Institute -- for Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders -- is a research facility based at UC-Davis."

In 2009, President pro Tem of the California State Senate Darrell Steinberg announced the establishment of the Senate Select Committee on Autism (ASD). Steinberg said that their intention is to make autism a "public health priority."

Rick Rollens of the MIND INSTITUTE spoke:

"Autism is epidemic in this state as it is throughout the country."

"Autism population is skewed dramatically toward young children."

"Eight-four percent of the autism population is under the age of 21."

"More six and seven year olds in the system than all the adults with autism combined."

We were given the mindboggling numbers: There were "14,000 students with autism a decade ago" in California, and "46,000 students today, and growing."

That was four years ago. Here's what they're talking about today. They're no closer to having any answers, but they still are calling autism "an epidemic." There is talk about creating another facility similar to the MIND Institute in Southern California as if it would really provide answers about autism. (That would also have to mean that the MIND Institute at UC Davis was actually doing something about autism.)

There is no real purpose here outside of calling for getting ABA coverage for children.

Ralph Clayman, dean of the UC-Irvine School of Medicine, talked about "an endeavor to end autism." He needs to realize that this kind of goal is totally unacceptable to the people who see autism as just another part of the human condition.
U.S. News

Exposure to television and video games could play a role in the sleep problems of children with autism, new research suggests.

"Boys with the neurodevelopmental disorder who have TVs and game consoles in their bedrooms get less sleep than other boys with equal screen access, the study authors found.

"'If parents of children with autism are noticing that their child struggles with sleep, they might consider monitoring -- and perhaps limiting -- pre-bedtime exposure' to video games and TV, said study lead author Christopher Engelhardt, a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Columbia, Mo.
"It's not clear if the boys in the study get too little sleep, or if they're watching TV and playing video games because they have trouble sleeping. And the findings, reported online Nov. 18 in the journal Pediatrics, don't provide insight into whether the positive aspects of TV watching and video game playing might offset any effect on sleep."

I posted this comment:

So are we to believe that limiting TV and video game time will help sleep disorders in autistic children?  Actually, this is nothing new. Five years ago WebMD talked about the link between sleep problems in autistic children and "stimulating activities."

"Shut down television, video games, and other stimulating activities at least an hour before bedtime."

It is amazing that researchers continue to rehash old findings that in reality do nothing to address what autism is doing to our children. We have an epidemic number of sick and disabled children suffering from autism---the disorder that officially has no known cause or cure. When are we going to have real answers?
Sydney Morning Sun

"To this day the Kennedy family tree remains marked by tragedy and scandal.

"After JFK and his brother RFK were assassinated, Jackie Kennedy nourished the Camelot myth, dolling out access to sympathetic reporters. But there was little she could do to stem the flow of ugly stories. . . ."

And amid the listing of the Kennedys who were involved in numerous scandals was this:

"Robert F. Kennedy Jr, nephew of the slain president and an environmental lawyer and radio talk show host, provoked anger when he argued that a vaccine preservative called Thimerosal causes autism in children."
What puts this in a league with charges of rape, suicide, love affairs, and Chappaquiddick? Why does calling attention to the dangers of mercury use in vaccines fall under "tragedy, scandal"?


Jeannette Bishop

Interesting study to consider in regards to sleep disturbance:

"The dental assistants reported significant higher occurrence of neurological symptoms; psychosomatic symptoms, problems with memory, concentration, fatigue and sleep disturbance, but not for mood..."

I don't know that computer use doesn't adversely affect sleep as well, but I'm often on the computer at night more because it's something quiet I can do while I'm not sleeping anyway.
My daughter has hardly ever used electronics, until lately with her mp3 player sometimes, and she has always also had trouble getting to sleep quickly and often trouble staying asleep for a sufficient length of time.

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