Tag Archives | Autism

New Theory May Explain the Symptoms of Autism

By hepingting via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

By hepingting via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

via Psyblog:

People with autism often display a complex and confusing range of symptoms, including hypersensitivity to sound, problems interacting with others and repetitive behaviours.

Scientist have long wondered what all these — and other, seemingly unrelated symptoms — have in common.

Now MIT researchers are testing a brand new theory: that autistic children have difficulties predicting what is going to happen next, and it’s this problem that is at the root of autism (Sinha et al., 2014).

Without the ability to predict simple events, to an autistic child, life seems to happen randomly and almost magically, with no rhyme or reason.

Professor Pawan Sinha, the lead author of the new paper, explains:

“If we were unable to habituate to stimuli, then the world would become overwhelming very quickly.

It’s like you can’t escape this cacophony that’s falling on your ears or that you’re observing.”

From this point of view, the repetitive behaviours, the preference for highly structured and predictable environments may be coping strategies.

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Beautiful Paintings from a 5-Year-Old Autistic Girl

Iris Grace, an autistic 5-year-old, paints beautiful abstracts.

via irisgracepainting.com:

Paintings by Iris Grace, a 5 year old with an extraordinary talent to express herself through painting. She is Autistic and is only just starting to talk but is able to paint in a style far beyond her years. We wanted to share her art to raise awareness of her condition and inspire other families in similar situations to ours. Autism is currently affecting around 100,000 children in the UK and these numbers are rising. In the summer of 2013 Iris’s story was published Globally in 207 different countries and over 1.4 million people visited her site with now over 40 thousand following her adventures on Facebook. She has sold paintings to private art collectors here in the UK and all over the world, in Europe, America, South America and Asia.

To purchase Iris’ paintings or to look at more of her work, go here.… Read the rest

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Thoughts From a Conservative Mom Who Buys Weed For Her 12-year-old Son

Brett Levin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Brett Levin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

GB from xoJane via AlterNet:

To say I’m your standard Conservative Suburban Mom is probably an understatement.

I’ve voted with the GOP hardline in the last three elections (which is probably enough to get me burned at the stake with most of you reading this.) I wear sweater sets with pearls. We go to church every Sunday.

And I score drugs for my 12-year-old son.

Why yes, that is my SUV (with the “Romney 2012” bumper sticker) outside Milo’s cheesy college apartment, picking up this month’s supply. I always guiltily hit up 2 different ATMs to get the money, not wanting the nice girl at my bank branch to wonder why I’m always getting cash. I dose my son with a nice home-baked chocolate chunk cookie. (Important: keep those cookies in a separate jar.)

As a baby, my Matthew developed in a perfectly normal fashion.

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Mulling the Link Between MMR and Autism

This post originally appeared on HoneyColony.

If you’ve vaccinated your child with MMR (an immunization vaccine used against measles, mumps, and rubella), you might not like the latest whistleblower revelations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the very agency whose primary job is to keep Americans safe from health threats. According to the whistleblower, CDC has been manipulating and suppressing scientific data that links MMR and autism.

Today, one in 68 kids develops autism, a 30 percent increase from two years ago. In 2010, the figure was one in 150. The historical rate is four out of a thousand. Some studies propose that the increase in autism cases is due to new diagnostic methods and a wider interpretation of autism itself, but that may not appease all parents.

More than 5,500 cases alleging a causal relationship between vaccinations like MMR and autism have been filed under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the U.S.… Read the rest

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Whistleblower: CDC Knew in 2003 of Higher Autism Rate in African-American Boys Receiving MMR Shot

via Focus Autism:

WATCHUNG, NJ–(Marketwired – August 18, 2014) – A top research scientist working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) played a key role in helping Dr. Brian Hooker of the Focus Autism Foundation uncover data manipulation by the CDC that obscured a higher incidence of autism in African-American boys. The whistleblower came to the attention of Hooker, a PhD in biochemical engineering, after he had made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for original data on theDeStefano et al MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism study.

Dr. Hooker’s study, published August 8 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Translational Neurodegeneration, shows that African-American boys receiving their first MMR vaccine before 36 months of age are 3.4 times more likely to develop autism vs. after 36 months.

According to Dr. Hooker, the CDC whistleblower informant — who wishes to remain anonymous — guided him to evidence that a statistically significant relationship between the age the MMR vaccine was first given and autism incidence in African-American boys was hidden by CDC researchers.

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Out with ‘Atypical’ Elitism, In with Neurobehavioral Equality

Nick Meador shares on Reality Sandwich:

In spring of 2012 I wrote a mission statement for a new project to be called Funding My Existence (FME), which would combine awareness and activism for both the “Creative Class” and “atypical” personality (or “neuro-atypical”) types. The Facebook page contains a nice nutshell description: “Funding My Existence is an online community intended to help people ‘make a living’ if they’re willing to share the fruits of a creative life. We hope this will help bridge our entire civilization into the future we’ve always envisioned.”

Despite a lot of enthusiasm expressed online, it didn’t develop into an operational website. What went wrong? Or what’s holding it back? I think exploring these questions will offer lessons for those of us wanting to build or contribute to innovative social movements.

First of all, I think that this idea was actually at least three separate ideas mashed into one, making it difficult to communicate exactly what I was imagining.

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Are We Misdiagnosing Smart But Introverted Kids as Autistic?

blog-pompeiiSalon reports that autism diagnoses are up 78 percent in the last 10 years, but that may be because we’re pathologizing quirky but otherwise healthy behavior, like that of William:

Via Salon

By age three, William began developing a passionate interest in a range of adult-like topics. After being read a book on Pompeii, he talked endlessly for months afterwards about what he had learned. He pressured Jacqueline to check books out of the library on Pompeii in order to satisfy his need for more detailed knowledge on what Roman life was like before Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the ancient city in ashes. He strove to know more about aqueducts and amphitheaters. He insisted that Jacqueline design a toga for him, which she did. He strutted around the living room not just pretending to be, but believing that he was, a citizen of the Roman Empire, circa AD 79.

Steve, the lovable host of the children’s TV program “Blue’s Clues,” became an idol for William.

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Jenny McCarthy to Join ‘The View’

Picture: Gamerscoreblog (CC)

Picture: Gamerscoreblog (CC)

Indigo Mom” and anti-vaccination warrior Jenny McCarthy will be joining the intellectual vacuum known as “The View”. I’m going to pop some popcorn and wait for the sound of a million public health workers’ heads exploding.

Via New York Times:

Jenny McCarthy, who will become a co-host of “The View” in September, in an earlier appearance on the show.

The show’s creator, Barbara Walters, announced on the air Monday morning that Ms. McCarthy would become the next co-host on the program.

Her selection had been widely expected; she has been a frequent guest host on the program and her name was at the top of the list for prospective permanent hosts.

Keep reading.

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