Dec 2, 2013, PBS: New research links autism and air pollution
Dec 1, 2013, Johns Hopkins Gazette: Autism experts join forces in new center at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Nov 30, 2013, Wausau (WI) Daily Herald: Some schools leave out details in reports on seclusion, restraint of students
Nov 29, 2013, The Guardian: My autistic child receives great social services. Adulthood is another story
New research from the University of Southern California shows air pollution increases the risk for autism among those who carry a genetic disposition for the disorder.
Heather E. Volk, a scientist at USC's Keck School of Medicine, said the research showed children with a risk genotype and high air pollution exposure were at an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder.
The study's senior author, Daniel Campbell, an assistant professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the school, called the research "the first demonstration of a specific interaction between a well-established genetic risk factor and an environmental factor that independently contribute to autism risk."
Campbell and Volk's team studied 408 children between ages 2 and 5. Of those, 252 met the criteria for autism or autism spectrum disorder. The researchers determined air pollution exposure by examining past residences of the children and their mothers, local traffic-related sources, and regional air quality measures.
The scientists will next study the link between the gene and air pollution in mothers during pregnancy.
This will, I’m sure, get a flurry of coverage. It’s bound to. It cites an environmental factor we all know is bad for us and it lets vaccines off the hook. BUT the only way it makes any sense is if there’s a significant difference in the autism rates in places like downtown L.A. and rural and small town areas, far from major roads. I’m sure this will be short-lived.
I posted two comments.
We do know this: Very little about autism is straightforward.
The numbers of those touched by the developmental disorder seem to be snowballing, but how much can be attributed to the fact that we're looking harder, or is there truly an epidemic at hand?
According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children in 2008 was identified as being on the autism spectrum. That's up from one in 110 just two years earlier and one in 150 in 2002.
Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls, yet why that is remains the million-dollar question. Some with autism do not speak, but the disorder varies greatly from person to person, with no two cases quite alike. Perhaps most importantly, we don't know how or when autism manifests, though it appears to develop earlier than previously thought and generally emerges before the age of 3.
Even testing remains largely subjective and cumbersome, requiring multiple trained people and examinations-the questioning of parents and direct observations of the suspected individual-to draw a diagnosis. You can't scan for autism, biopsy it, or have it show up in a blood test or genetic screening-yet. But we know autism is there, a disorder typically characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication, and by repetitive behaviors.
Through the pioneering work of scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a handful of others scattered throughout the university, and colleagues at the nearby Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins has a leg up in solving autism's many riddles, and health and societal consequences. Now the university has a single place to unite that expertise: the newly created Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. . . .
Seriously, experts at Johns Hopkins ARE STILL ASKING IF THERE ARE ENVIRONMENTAL TRIGGERS. 'We're not sure.'
"Autism experts join forces" . . . to do nothing but pretend to look into autism.
Where's the alarm over autism? Where's the demand for answers?
Johns Hopkins, like everywhere else, is a place that's willing to watch more and more kids march off a cliff into a bottomless pit.
I posted several comments, including this one:
There was no mention of the Johns Hopkins study published in 2008. It was called Developmental Regression and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in a Child With Autism.
The subject was Hannah Poling and her father, Dr. Jon Poling, was one of the researchers. Hannah gained national attention back in 2008 when it was announced that the federal government had conceded her vaccine injury case that resulted in her having autism.
All but one comment have been removed.
Some schools leave out details in reports on seclusion, restraint of students
A sample of a dozen school districts from central through eastern Wisconsin showed half didn't meet a Department of Public Instruction recommendation for reporting detailed information about the number of students who are being secluded or restrained in school. . . .
Appleton reported that students with disabilities accounted 85 percent of total incidents. There were 637 incidents district-wide, but the district did not provide numbers for individual school buildings. .
It has been about 20 years since Jim Schingen's son, Justin, came home from school with a broken elbow. Justin, who has autism, was put in a physical hold by a teacher trying to prevent him from banging on the roof of a van during a class field trip, recalled Jim Schingen, of Fond du Lac..
Becky Kostopolus, whose 15-year-old son has autism, said he was both secluded and physically restrained while attending schools in Appleton. Her son changed classrooms and education levels in the district numerous times, and eventually the family negotiated to have therapists who don't use either method attend school with her son. . . .
I remember the education courses I took way back in college...no one ever talked about dealing with out-of-control students. No one.
When I started teaching, I never saw kids like we have today. How come no one seems to notice? Why doesn't anyone demand to know what's happening to our children?
The two students talked about here both have autism. New disorder.new behavior.What's wrong here?
With Charlie getting older (and Jim and I too), a gnawing anxiety has taken root in us. In the US, children with disabilities are "entitled" to receive services until they are 21 years old under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It's a different story for adults. With this in mind, we are taking him out of the school he loves in December and moving him 3,000 miles away to California.
So why isn't there a future for these children? Why will there be waiting lists? Why is there this huge dearth of services and housing?
Why can't young autistic adults go where autistic adults have always gone? (Where is that, by the way?)
Why do parents have to come up with their own resources?
Do parents of children who have other disabilities like Down Syndrome also struggle like this? Are their children also on endless waiting lists as adults?
Is the United States guilty of decades of neglect of a disabled population in their midst with a disorder currently affecting one in 50 children, one in 31 among boys alone?
Someone needs to explain this to me. If autism has always been around, labeled as something else, we would still, as a compassionate and resourceful society, have had to provide for them. So where are all the forty, fifty, and sixty year olds with autism? Why is the rate ALWAYS based on studies of CHILDREN?
This growing crisis of a lack of adult services is absolute proof that autism is a new and manmade epidemic that officials and medical experts have spent the last twenty years denying.
Chew plans to move to California with her son. Things are not looking very good there.
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."
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.