By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.
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Mar 10, 2014, Sioux Falls, SD Argus Leader: South Dakota panel OKs study of autism's effect on children
Mar 10, 2014, Nashua (NH) Telegraph: Anti-vaccine belief is sometimes made worse (yes, worse) by pro-vaccine information
Mar 9, 2014, Guardianlv.com: Disney, Treatment for Children With Autism
Mar 9, 2014, Rockford (IL) Register Star: Caregiving in America: Heading toward a crisis
Mar 8, 2014, Pittsburgh TribLIVE: Experts: Anti-vaccine view a peril
Mar 8, 2014, Detroit HomeTownLife.com: 'Light it Up Blue:' Wood Creek Elementary takes the lead in drawing attention to autism
Mar 8, 2014, Philly.com: Missing autistic woman found dead in West Phila
Mar 8, 2014, Autism Daily Newscast: Vaccination poll a draw with Autism Daily Newscast readers
Mar 8, 2014, Buffalo (NY) News: A window of opportunity to halt autism?
Mar 7, 2014, Fox 13, Salt Lake City: Utah Autism Coalition official discusses proposed legislation
Mar 7, 2014, Philly.com: Younger Siblings of Kids With Autism May Show Early Signs of Problems
Sioux Falls, SD Argus Leader
A South Dakota legislative panel has passed a bill to study the effect of Autism Spectrum Disorder on children in the state.
The House State Affairs Committee voted 12-1 to support the measure. It goes next to the House floor.
They should look into this. look. Maybe if they find out autism is a real live disability that seriously affects children they'll make insurance companies pay for therapy in South Dakota.
Nashua (NH) Telegraph
by David Brooks
It is my firm belief that a free press is good for society, but if you show me sold data indicating otherwise I will re-examine this belief.
I might resist your data - after all, I am human - but I wouldn't accept it as being true and yet cling even more fiercely to an opposing belief. That would be crazy, right?
Yet that's exactly what happened with some parents in a research project designed to test reactions to messages to increase vaccination rates.
Here's how it is put by in the research paper describing the work, published in the March 3 edition of the journal Pediatrics: "Corrective information reduced misperceptions ... but nonetheless decreased intent to vaccinate among parents who had the least favorable attitudes toward vaccines."
Let me rephrase that mind-boggling sentence: Some parents who had avoided the common MMR vaccine for their children out of fear the shots might cause autism learned that the fear is groundless, but then became more (yes, more!) determined to avoid vaccination.
This writer is really angry that parents just don't get it. I posted comments----which he calls "Internet babble."
Disney has become a treatment for children with autism, as Ron Suskind, journalist for The New York Times and Animated Language Learning an Irish company show. One of Suskind's children, Owen, started showing signs of this disease when he was three years old and could only communicate by means of Disney movies, which he watched repeatedly even after he grew up. At the same time, Enda Dodd, the founder of Animated Language Learning developed a technology that educates children with autism with the help of Disney and Pixar movies.
Ron Suskind learned that one of his sons, Owen was diagnosed with a regressive form of the disease which affects the brain's development and, since then on, the child's only contact with the outer world was made through the means of his favorite Disney characters. However, Suskind is not the only one to believe that Disney is a treatment for children with autism; Dodd's two sons are both autistic, . . .
Neither Suskind, not Dodd know why children with autism react to Disney movies, but this unconventional treatment works not only when parents wish to communicate with their children, but also when learning how to label emotions.
I hope Disney movies help kids with autism. I guess it's just more of the mystery surrounding this curious condition.
Rockford (IL) Register Star
For parents of the growing number of children with autism, "overwhelming" is the most common word used to describe caregiving. But that's about all that is common across the autism spectrum. Jennifer Berzok, of Bethesda, Md., whose 9-year-old son, Ben, received an autism diagnosis at age 2 1/2, was told by a doctor, "When you meet one kid with autism, you meet one kid with autism." Unlike cancer or other diseases that have a prescribed treatment backed by science, caregivers for kids with autism face a bewildering menu of expensive therapies that may or may not be effective for their child's issues. Autism spectrum disorder may have some common behaviors - difficulty with social interactions and language deficits - but there's no one-size-fits-all standard of care.
"Given that autistic children often have sleep disorders, parents are exhausted," said Julie Fisher, executive director of the New York Center for Autism Charter School (NYCA) in East Harlem. But, she said, the "culture of the 'super parent' makes it hard for them to ask for help."
Shaniqua Gregg said she feels lucky to have "won the lottery" that allows her son Joshua, 14, to attend NYCA. But it's still difficult at home. "Each year becomes harder because his hormones are raging, he's unable to express himself and he's 5-8 and more aggressive," she says. "We don't have a lot of down time or a moment to regroup or get away from it."
Gregg works in the admissions office of a skilled-nursing facility near her home. When she interviewed for the job, she explained that she and her husband were raising a teenager with autism and a toddler. "At first, my boss seemed to have compassion, but she says when she needs to adjust her schedule slightly to meet her son's needs, "they make me feel as though I have to choose between caring for my child and taking care of my job."
Notice that in a story about caring for the disabled, autism is big part of the focus. That chilling phrase, "for parents of the growing number of children with autism," is further conditioning that more kids have autism--that's just the way it is. The writer doesn't bother to explain it. We're not reassured that it's merely due to greater recognition. No one wonders why there isn't a growing number adults with an autism diagnosis. (Better diagnosing isn't something doctors who treat adults are doing, evidently.) And there's no mention of the rate. "Heading toward a crisis." Maybe when autistic young adults descend on social services big time in this country, AUTISM WILL FINALLY BE RECOGNIZED AS AN OFFICIAL CRISIS. We'll see.
Health experts say there is no proof of a connection between vaccines and autism.
There is proof, however, that vaccines prevent death, said Dr. Willem van Panhuis, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
In the past 50 years, vaccinations have prevented an estimated 35 million cases of measles, he said.
"Despite massive improvements in fighting infectious diseases, we see people who are reluctant to continue with vaccinations," van Panhuis said. "Health agencies do everything they can to inform and promote the usefulness of vaccinations, (but) the reluctance is amplified, especially through the Internet, by mobilized resistance."
I'm tired of infectious disease specialists saying that vaccines save lives as they shut their eyes to all the damage everywhere.
"Dr. Willem van Panhuis, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health."
I posted 8 comments.
If you want to support and shine a light on autism awareness, blue is the color you should embrace in April - Autism Awareness Month.
"I will have blue light bulbs in every classroom," said Jessica Wood, a special education teacher of autistic students at Wood Creek Elementary in Farmington Hills.
On April 2, the whole world will take on a blue hue for Light it Up Blue, a movement started by Autism Speaks, an organization that promotes autism awareness around the world. On that day, even the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building will be brightened with blue lights.
They're starting early with the message that autism is acceptable and all we need is more AWARENESS. How could autism be a bad thing when they're lighting up the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building in blue? Isn't this what we do to celebrate something?
Same as every April: Support autism, it's here to stay.
A 29-year-old woman with autism who disappeared Thursday during a visit to the Macy's store in Center City was found dead Friday morning between two parked cars in West Philadelphia, police said.
The cause of Christina Sankey's death is under investigation
This is so heartbreaking. My big fear is that we'll get so used to stories about autistic individuals wandering away and ending up dead that we'll won't even notice..."Oh, that happens with autism."
Autism Daily Newscast
Most recently we reported on the CDC's disclosure that Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative has been used in the Mumps measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
It should be pointed out the MMR vaccine is a live virus vaccine and has never contained something as deadly as the mercury-based vaccine preservative, thimerosal.
Buffalo (NY) News
Every time I write about autism and its causes, I get a bunch of emails. Some are from the "anti-vaccination" lobby, still touting the scientifically disproved idea that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) or pertussis vaccines cause autism. It does not - despite the intimidating interest groups and websites dedicated to this quackery.
But a fascinating study in the journal Nature offers some insight as to when autism might start, and with that perhaps what we can do to take action to prevent it.
A window of opportunity to halt autism? Paster has been in the news in the past, slamming parents and pretending autism is just a curiosity. I posted comments.
Fox 13, Salt Lake City
Video: Christine Passey, Utah Autism Coalition: "Families across Utah have gone into bankruptcy, they've mortgaged their homes, and many have gone without therapy. It's a really hopeless feeling as a parent, to know there is a therapy out there for your child but you cannot provide it . . . The cost of the therapy is $40,000 to $50,000 a year, if you're providing it yourself. You can imagine that most families just can't pull that money together out of pocket."
It's incredible that a disorder that affects one in every 47 children in Utah has gotten so little attention from lawmakers. Do insurance companies refuse to provide care for children who are blind and deaf in Utah? Why is there such discrimination if the unfortunate child has a diagnosis of autism?
We're talking about children who often can't speak and who require constant care. Many have concomitant health problems like seizures and bowel disease.
In the face of this, parents are left on their own to deal with an often devastating condition.
Lawmakers in Utah need to realize that when we talk about autism, we're talking about CHILDREN with autism. No one has ever found a comparable rate among adults--especially adults with severe autism whose symptoms are easily recognized. If money isn't spent on these disabled children NOW, the taxpayers of Utah will be paying for lifetime care cost when they're adults.
Younger siblings of children with autism may show signs of abnormal development or behavior as early as 1 year of age, according to a new study.
The findings suggest that parents and doctors should keep close watch for such symptoms at an early age among younger siblings of children with autism so problems can be addressed sooner, the researchers said.
It seems the only thing autism research can do look for affected children and diagnose it early. A once rare disorder is now so common that it affects one in every 88 children or one in every 50 children, depending on which official statistic you care to believe and still---IT REMAINS A COMPLETE MYSTERY TO EXPERTS. U.S. health officials have barely noticed autism and it's never even been called a crisis by anyone at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The disorder that officially has no known cause or cure continues to strike children for no apparent reason. There's nothing a mainstream doctor can tell a new mother so that her child that was born healthy and is developing normally won't also suddenly lose learned skills and regress
into autism by age two. Parents are tired of hearing about new ways of diagnosing a disorder no one is able to prevent.
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