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Dachel Media Review: Boys V. Girls, Old Dads, Diagnosis Drop

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

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

Feb 27, 2014, USA Today: Researchers look at boy-girl differences in autism

Feb 26, 2014, Austin (TX) Statesman: Student with autism charged with assaulting Pflugerville schools administrator

Feb 26, 2014, TIME: More Bad News for Older Dads: Higher Risk of Kids With Mental Illness

Feb 26, 2014, Huffington: The Real 'Autism Epidemic'

Feb 26, 2014, Dallas Morning News: Older dads more likely to have kids with bipolar disorder, autism, ADD, study finds

Feb 26, 2014, Fox News: New autism guidelines may reduce diagnoses by nearly one-third

USA Today:

It has long been clear that autism strikes boys more often than girls. But when girls do get the condition, they tend to be at the severely affected end of the spectrum.

Now, a group of geneticists thinks they've figured out why.

Boys, it seems, can develop autism from a relatively small genetic hit, according to a study published today in the American Journal of Human Genetics. It takes more of a genetic wallop, though, to cause autism in girls - so when they do get it, they're worse off.

The same explanation holds true, researchers think, for the gender imbalance in ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), intellectual disabilities and schizophrenia.

Comment:

This is another attempt to pretend that bad genes cause autism. Notice this study was "quite large and well done," yet it doesn't tell us anything we haven't heard for years.

We were not told that Irva Hertz-Picciotto has spent years researching the environmental triggers for autism.

"A globally renowned scientist, Hertz-Picciotto has published over 200 papers identifying environmental exposures-metals, pesticides, air pollutants, and endocrine disruptors-and their effect on pregnancy, the newborn, and child development."

Genes alone couldn't possibly explain the stunning increase in autism.

We were not even told what the autism rate is in this article. Autism now affects one in every 50 children or one in every 88 children in the U.S. (depending on which study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention you care to believe). That rate is always based on studies of CHILDREN. No one has ever found a comparable rate among adults--especially adults with severe autism whose symptoms are easily recognized. Maybe when this generation of disabled children reaches adulthood and is dependent on the welfare system for its support and care, we'll finally honestly and thoroughly look at what's making our children sick.

Austin (TX) Statesman

A 17-year-old Pflugerville High student who has autism was arrested Monday after the school’s assistant principal said he bit her on the hand.

Assistant Principal Ameka Hunt told police that Frank Lafayette Philley bit her twice, drawing blood, during an altercation at the school, an arrest affidavit said.

Philley’s lawyer said pressing charges might be an attempt to have Philley removed from the district.

“I feel maybe since he is autistic that maybe school staff are growing tired with having to deal with him, and they are trying to make his life and his family’s life uncomfortable for him so he will be out of their hands,” Philley’s attorney Patricio Garza said.

Did this kind of thing happen a lot before all the better diagnosing?

TIME

For so long, mothers - particularly older moms - bore the brunt of responsibility for genetic disorders in their children. And for good reason. Eggs are stockpiled from birth, not made anew with each monthly reproductive cycle, so eggs stored for decades until childbearing can develop genetic mutations. The older the mother, the greater the chance of abnormalities that can contribute to conditions such as Down syndrome, especially after age 35. Fathers, on the other hand, constantly make sperm, so their reproductive contribution was supposed to be fresher and free of accumulated DNA damage.

Comment:

CORRECTION: Autism is not a "mental illness." It is a neuro-developmental disorder.

CORRECTION: Autism is not a solely genetic disorder. The exponential increase in a once rare condition must be linked to an environmental trigger.

Actually, the theory of older dads and autism has been around for a few years now. It's just one of the claims linking autism to bad parental choices. Usually it's the mother who's held responsible for the development of autism in a child. Studies link autism to old moms, fat moms, drinking moms, smoking moms, moms who have babies too close together, and moms who live too close to freeways.

The truth is, none of this could possibly explain the worldwide phenomenon of neurologically disabled children. A once rare disorder is now so common that everyone knows someone with an affected child and mainstream medicine has wasted 20 years guessing why.

Huffington

We hear so much about autism these days. In fact, hardly a day goes by without some reference to autism in the media, be it a newspaper or magazine article, a television feature, or a radio news story. The focus tends to be on the growing number of very young children -- 2, 3, and 4-year-olds -- being diagnosed on the autism spectrum with greater regularity. Much attention is also given over to research, causes, and cures, though, to date, no definitive explanation for the surge has been put forth. As such, we often bandy about the term "epidemic" to describe what's been transpiring with such alarming frequency that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now suggests one in every 88 children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. That term, epidemic, evokes thoughts of a plague or a scourge, which autism most certainly is not. But should the word epidemic be applied to autism, the truth is, it has nothing to do with those very young and newly-diagnosed toddlers. It has everything to do with autism's forgotten people.

Comment:

The truth is when we talk about autism we end up talking about children with autism. The rate is always based on studies of children. No one has ever found a comparable rate of adults with the disorder--especially adults with severe autism whose symptoms are obvious to everyone.

Where are the non-verbal, head-banging thirty, fifty and seventy year olds with autism?

Where are all the autistic adults with the concomitant health issues that plague our children, namely bowel disease, seizures and sleep disorders?

Where are all the middle aged and elderly people whose medical history includes normal development until age two when they suddenly and inexplicably lost learned skills and regressed into autism?

Unless and until someone can find these people, there is no evidence that autism affects Americans equally across the population. And that simple fact should be scaring us all.

Dallas Morning News 

Older fathers may face higher risks than previously thought for having children with psychiatric problems, including bipolar disorder, autism and attention deficits, according to the largest study to examine the potential links.

American and Swedish researchers examined data on more than 2.6 million Swedes born from 1973 to 2001. Men who fathered kids after age 24 faced increasing odds for having children with psychiatric problems or academic difficulties, with the greatest risks seen at age 45 and older.

Comment:

Actually, the theory of older dads and autism has been around for a few years now. It's just one claim linking autism to bad parental choices. Usually it's the mother who's held responsible for the development of autism in a child. Studies link autism to old moms, fat moms, drinking moms, smoking moms, moms who have babies too close together, and moms who live too close to freeways.

The truth is, none of this could possibly explain that worldwide phenomenon of neurologically disabled children. A once rare disorder is now so common that everyone knows someone with an affected child and mainstream medicine has wasted 20 years guessing why.

Fox News

New guidelines for defining autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may reduce the number of people being diagnosed with the condition by nearly one-third.

According to a new study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, researchers from Columbia University have concluded that the updated guidelines, released by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 2013, may result in thousands of children with developmental delays no longer qualifying for the social and medical services they need.

Comment:

It's amazing that autism, the disorder with no known cause or cure, continues to be surrounded by confusion.  For years the soaring increases in the rate were explained away as "better diagnosing' and a broader definition of genetic condition that has always been around.  Now it seems that it wasn't "better diagnosing," but instead it's been over-diagnosing. 

The one undeniable fact about autism is that it's a disorder that affects CHILDREN.  The rate of one in 88 is based on studies of eight year olds, not eighty year olds.  No one has ever been able to show us a comparable among adults, especially adults with severe autism, whose symptoms are easily recognized.  Officials may change the definition of autism, but they can't make these children go away.  In the coming years this generation of developmentally disabled Americans will be aging out of school and as adults they'll have to be supported by the taxpayers.  Maybe when autism threatens to bankrupt this country, we'll finally address it as the health care emergency it clearly is.


Comments

Martha Moyer

Adults with autism are out there but it is just that no one wants to talk about it. Many are still hidden in institutions or with parents. Those like my 40 year old son with multiple disabilities and an explosive component are there but rarely seen. Some go bonkers and are killed in institutions.

In school, the younger ones are seen and known about today.

Bob Moffitt

USA Today:

"It has long been clear that autism strikes boys more often than girls. But when girls do get the condition, they tend to be at the severely affected end of the spectrum"

I would strongly suggest that everyone puzzled by the disparity between autism in males as opposed to females .. view recent "60 Minutes" report .. "Sex matters: Drug
can affect sexes differently"

http://www.cbsncom/news/sex-matters-drugs-can-affect-sexes-differently/

Larry Cahill, a neuroscientist at the University of California Irvine, used to share his field’s assumption that males and females outside the reproductive system were fundamentally the same. But he’s changed his outlook 180 degrees.

Twenty years ago, if someone said “women’s health,” it usually meant what they call “bikini medicine” -- breast and ovarian cancer, pregnancy, menstrual cycles. But for parts of the body men and women share -- hearts, kidneys, the brain -- most of the studies were done predominantly on men.

"If you're clumping men and women together in your study and there truly is a sex difference, you're not just harming the women; you're harming the men."

It is well worth viewing entire 20 minute segment .. as it contains stunning evidential revelation the hormonal biological differences between the genders has been vastly ignored .. and .. certainly raises questions regarding the wisdom of disregarding the gender of a child being administered a "one size fits all vaccine" as is common today.

Benedetta

Shep Smith says that this does not happen in a vaccum that there is a big hole in the story and when they can tell it they will????

Very much a mystery this one is -- mitochondrial disorder of course always gets my attention.

Benedetta

http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/shepard-smith/index.html

Girl with Mitochondrial disease - Boston Children Hospital says there is no such thing as a mitochondrial disease - that it is a mental illness. --- and took her away from her parents - accused parents of child abuse - and threatened foster care.

Strange.

Shep Smith says its -- Strange????

Roger Kulp

See this blog post on the author of the Huffington Post piece.As with many who push neurodivrsity on parents of ofd children with sever intellectual disability,Stillman diagnosed himself with Asperger's at age 27.

http://autismgadfly.blogspot.com/2008/08/autism-prevalence-1-in-10-children.html

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