By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Aperture International.
Dec 8, 2015, US News: Ovarian Cyst Condition in Mom May Raise Odds for Autism in Child
Dec 8, 2015, Derry Now (Northern Ireland): Huge increase in number of autism referrals for local children
Dec 8, 2015, ABC7 New York, NY: Government to study how environment affects early childhood diseases such as autism and obesity
By Lauran Neergaard
Dec 8, 2015, Health Aim: S Report: Top 14 Diseases On The Rise
Dec 7, 2015, CentralPA.com: Dangerous seizures in infant
Dec 7, 2015, Digital Journal: Dr. Maureen McMahon Has Been Recognized Among the Top in Her Industry by the Expert Network
Dec 7, 2015, New Haven Register: Yale seeks more objective way to diagnose autism, By Karen Weintraub
Dec 8, 2015, US News
Children of mothers with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may have an increased risk for autism, new research from Sweden suggests.
This study is the first to find such a link, the researchers said. And, they added, the findings support the theory that exposure to sex hormones early in life may play an important role in a child's risk of autism.
Another reason to blame mom for autism.
Derry Now (Northern Ireland)
There has been a significant increase in the numbers of local children being referred to autism assessment over the past seven months, it has emerged.
...However, that figure had rocketed to 203 by October, a jump of 101 in seven months.
Niall Birthistle, a non-executive member of the Trust, asked why there had been such an increase.
Responding, Kieran Downey, Director of Women & Children’s Services and Executive Director of Social Work, said it was down to ‘better awareness, essentially’.
Mr Downey added that GPs and schools were also ‘more acutely aware’ of the condition.
Just like in the U.S., more and more kids around the world have autism, AND IT'S ALL 'BETTER AWARENESS.' How much better can it get for children?
The U.S. National Institutes of Health is launching a new project to help unravel how early-in-life environmental exposures may affect autism, obesity and certain other childhood disorders. It's a second shot at tackling those important questions, after a more ambitious research attempt failed.
The goal is "really to understand that interplay between the environment and genetics and behavior that play out to determine whether a child ends up healthy or not," said Dr. Francis Collins, the NIH's director.
Lofty goals here for NIH. Age of Autism has covered Francis Collins for years. He's the person of choice to look for the environmental cause of autism--he's sure it's not vaccines. Nine years ago Collins told Congress that the increase in autism was real and tied to environmental toxins. (Evidently his message hasn't caught on among health officials because the folks at the CDC still haven't acknowledged that more kids have autism.)
In 2008 I wrote about how reporter Neergaard's balanced coverage was twisted by the NY Times.
A Harvard University study of 2013 has said that Americans have come to live healthier and longer than ever before.
The study found that not only were Americans reporting lesser disease symptom but were also much better with everyday activities like standing and walking. The best part is that the report is not restricted to a certain ethnic group but an overall phenomenon where both men and women showed similar improvement in health quotient.
… In fact, of late, many conditions that were less known earlier have been on a steady rise.
…Autism: A developmental disorder. It has been visible in various forms ranging from repetitive behavior to difficulty in social interaction. As per Healthgrove’s calculations, the condition has grown by 63.3 % in the past five years.
The good news is Americans are living longer and are healthier, except of course for things like autism. It’s grown by over 60 percent in the last five years. (No reason given and none expected, since every increase in the last 15 years has been announced with the caveat that officials aren’t sure if THIS increase really represents more children with autism.) It should be noted that the study findings didn’t say that the 67 percent increase involved CHILDREN. Personally, I don’t know why they even mentioned the autism increase in this study. No one really cares.
Every year about 2500 children are diagnosed with a condition that puts them at a greater risk of developmental problems and autism.
Why does this happen? How is it connected to autism? Are babies with seizure disorder vaccinated on schedule? No explanation given.
Currently, [Dr. Maureen McMahon] is particularly interested in and focused on the impact of early identification and therapies for children with autism. She noted:
"A positive trend in our world is our ability to better identify children who have autism and are in need of early therapies, because I absolutely believe that can meaningfully impact their top outcome and functioning."
This doctor is very proud of all the better diagnosing going on with regard to autism. Doctors only recently figured out that something was wrong with one in every 45 kids. In the thousands of years of human history it wasn’t recognized. Amazing.
Getting an autism diagnosis can take months, even years of doctor visits, and the diagnosis depends largely on watching a child play. As a result, who gets put on the spectrum and who doesn’t can depend on who and where the doctor is.
“Your likelihood of receiving an autism diagnosis, unfortunately, is very much dependent on where you live and which clinic you’re able to get to — if you’re able to get to a clinic at all,” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, an advocacy group that supports autism research.
Wait a minute, didn't the Digital Journal just tell us that doctors were doing a much better job diagnosing autism? So is it the best of times AND the worst of times for kids with autism?
I wrote about reporter Karen Weintraub's coverage of mercury-containing vaccines.
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Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which is on sale now from Skyhorse Publishing.