Autism at 1 in 40 now? No, I don't think so.

Posted by Abaco 1 week, 5 days ago to Science
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You might have seen the latest headlines on this issue they have been trying to soft-sell via the news media for years. Back when they were reporting it was 1 in 80 I took two random samples, this was a decade ago, and came up with the same ratio both times: 1 in 19 had autism. I haven't bothered to look since. Don't need to. If I go down with my kids to the neighborhood park and there are five or more kids at the playground, one will have classic, obvious autism. Don't need to look for it very hard anymore. Per my math and the math of a mathematician at MIT half the kids born in 14 years will come down with it- 85% of the boys. How do you think society will handle that? There's a hint on that, too, in the news today. Basic math: 2 kids/family = every family, in effect, will be directly affected. Let me tell you...this destroys families.


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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 1 week, 4 days ago
    It used to be that children were determined to be "disruptive" or "misbehaving." Next came the medical community, labeling non-passive behaviors as ADHD, ADD and the like. Finally, there was a flock of various "syndromes" like Asberger's.

    We began to gain a better understanding of why such irregular behaviors were connected to common neurological dysfunction, the worst of which is autism. The medical community again stepped into the "name game," and decided that the relativity of the neurological irregularities deserved to be placed on common ground, now referred to as the "Autism Spectrum."

    The problem with such broad descriptions is that almost everyone with an uncommon twitch (I tap my head when I'm pondering) is declared to be on the Autism Spectrum. While this raises the alarm sought by a medical community eager for more bucks, it muddies the water for people trying to get aid for the truly autistic, who are cut off from the world by damaged sensor processing.

    My grandson is both severely autistic and ataxic (he doesn't process language well, and is mostly non-verbal). While he found some aid when very young, once past puberty there is no effective positive care until he reaches adulthood, when there are group homes that can provide aid in most cases.

    The flaw in research on autism is that it is almost entirely focused on gaining more detail on the neurological irregularities related to the disorder. Studies on possible causes or how to create an environment for positive interaction with autistics are given the short end of the stick.

    Genetic trails should be established, to either identify a possible genetic source, or eliminate it from the discussion. Communication studies that identify a means of translating the surroundings to a form understandable by autistics should be pursued. We need to tie the neurological damage to possible environmental causes. Sadly, it seems the anti-vaccination folk are the only ones concerned with a cause and effect relationship to the disorder. If we don't realize this is a pending disaster, it will consume us as a society.
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    • Posted by  $  exceller 1 week, 2 days ago
      What is puzzling that if genetics are involved, it is not going back more than a couple of decades so there has to be other reasons at work.

      We did not have so many dysfunctional youngsters in the past.
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  • Posted by CTYankee 1 week, 5 days ago
    Define 'Autism'? Caution: When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Just because you recognize things which the 'medical-industrial-complex' defines as being 'on the spectrum' doesn't mean that 1:19 nationwide is autistic!
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    • Posted by 1 week, 5 days ago
      The 1:19 had received official diagnosis. Diagnosis a decade ago is not what it is today, for some reason.
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      • Posted by 1 week, 5 days ago
        Oh, and I must add that my samples were not nationwide. Thanks for mentioning that. They were in our local region. At least...the first thought I had, and still may be the case, is that we are dealing with a hot spot. But, I have never heard that proposed by others. So, who knows?
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  • Posted by drjmetz 1 week, 4 days ago
    It seems to me that "Autism" is the new "ADD" or "ADHD." We have reached a "diagnosis crisis" more than any actual number of severe cases - at least that's what it seems. Just like every young boy suddenly and catastrophically needed Ritalin (or some such) because of "diagnosed ADD behavior," I've seen all kinds of people being diagnosed as being "on the spectrum" when in reality they were just looking for a medical confirmation of being poorly parented (or just assholes).

    You cast that net wide enough and you'll easily get to 1 in 4, or even 1 in 1. Hell, just to make sure we're all "included," let's just start there. Don't want to leave anyone out and make them feel bad!
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    • Posted by 1 week, 4 days ago
      I don't disagree with your point at all. There is a lot of confusion on this stuff out there because, in order to properly evaluate it you need to be well-founded in science. People aren't. People are quick to label and medicate. Raising kids is really tough a lot of the time. People are confused...in general.
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      • Posted by drjmetz 1 week, 4 days ago
        We have certainly reached a point where the general public cannot possibly understand some of the nuances of science - the anti-vax hysteria is a really good example, as you noted above.

        To me, though, there is an even more insidious trend - the desire to elevate a child's status to the point of immunity from bad behavior. We see this every day with story after story about college campuses, where people claim with straight faces that they can't be accused of racism, sexism, x-ism, because they are immune from such criticism based upon their identity.

        We've long taught our children in schools that there IS such a thing as perfection, and that they can achieve perfection by a simple equation: Actual Work + Good Enough Excuse = Perfection.

        Now, instead of doing actual work, we see both parents and children striving to find the "perfect excuse," and with trends like this Autism "spectrum" we've given it to them on a silver platter.
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      • Posted by  $  Solver 1 week, 4 days ago
        Like life, science evolves as we learn more, or devolves as we deny what we have learned and follow some settled narrative.
        Fun fact: That scientific conclusions are never perfect is why postmodernism got started.
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        • Posted by  $  Maritimus 1 week, 3 days ago
          Hey, Solver,
          You lit up my curiosity. Where can you send me to find more on how postmodernism started and what postmodernism is. I finished high school in 1953 and got some college and graduate education and never ever heard of postmodernism. Now, at 83, I have all the time I wish to learn what I missed. Can you help me please?
          Your grateful Maritimus
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  • Posted by Turfprint 1 week, 4 days ago
    At 61 ended up teaching at a middle school and with a 4 year old daughter to raise. After 18 years of teaching I have seen a lot of children with many degrees of behavioral issues. They range from too well behaved, (believe it or not,) to full blown autism. With a clinical autism case (observable and diagnosable symptoms) people are covertly looking for 666 or some other demonic mark hidden on the child. Sometimes the autistic child can be brutally honest, as when they calmly inform another child, "If I knew I wouldn’t get caught, I would kill you." And they truly mean it. ...Advice here: ... keep your children far away from them. But as I mentioned, there seem to be degrees of infliction and other behavior issues make the waters cloudy. After closely interacting with thousands of children on a broad spectrum of age and diverse socioeconomic status, I believe 1 in 19 to be high side of possible but not in severity. The most severe cases would be more like 1 in 500, digressing very slowly to that 1:19 ratio. Overall, my experience leaves me to believe that "quality time" is a convenient rationalization for modern parenting times, with overworked people trying to survive, let alone prosper. It's a tricky catch-all because hopefully all time with children is quality, and actually is. But it's quantity time that counts more. If you are spending enough time with your children you know if they did their homework, like their English teacher, need shoelaces, or are taking drugs and making bombs in the basement. There is a closeness that comes with spending lots of time with your children that is an intuition or sixth sense to keep you in front of problems. This is bitter medicine for people who get home from work and want to drop from exhaustion and zone out on Jeopardy or some other escape. Raising children is a lot of work, and ‘not’ in the way Hillary meant it, “it truly takes a village.”…and many hats including the most important, a chauffeur’s hat.
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  • Posted by  $  Solver 1 week, 5 days ago
    How historically has autism been determined? If the method of measurement and calculation kept changing, it can be very difficult to make objective conclusions regarding changes.
    Take the thing we call inflation. It would be much much higher if we had kept the methods of measurement and calculation constant, instead of changing the rules based on politics.
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  • Posted by 1 week, 4 days ago
    I am glad this thread hasn't devolved into the typical debate (what a waste of time that is).

    I want to share something I've shared here before. When I was well into my discovery on this topic I happened to also be well into reading Atlas Shrugged. I, in the medical/government complex around us, was seeing glaring contradictions. I was seeing very bad behavior by people one would normally trust with our medical safety. I saw studies corrupted. This confused me. Then, one night while laying by my fireplace after everybody else had gone to bed I read the following quote. (going off memory here) "When their little comforts are threatened you can be sure that science is the first thing men will sacrifice." You need to read that scene in the book again. That was when I realized how dead on Ayn Rand was about a lot. Should we be cautious about government, yet trust it with select things like the safety of our children? No. That's a contradiction. When you see contradictions - check your premises. That is what is needed here. When I saw what I've seen I realized that when our society finally checks its premises on this the damage will be so great that it will be very painfully cathartic. That, I guess, is the point of my thread. Be cautious. Check your premises. If you're here at the Gulch you're not a dummy. May your kids and their kids be fine...
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    • Posted by  $  Solver 1 week, 2 days ago
      A quote,
      Dr Stadler:
      “But you've made them think it's science. Science! You've taken the achievements of the mind to destroy the mind.”
      - Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand

      And of course,
      “Science was born as a result and consequence of philosophy; it cannot survive without a philosophical base. If philosophy perishes, science will be next to go.”
      - Ayn Rand
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  • Posted by Kittyhawk 1 week, 4 days ago
    I strongly encourage everyone to read this article, which includes the recent deposition testimony of two highly respected authorities on autism. Their opinion is that vaccines (among other triggers) can and do cause autism. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/clea...
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    • Posted by lrshultis 7 hours, 33 minutes ago
      If I recall right, there is a statement that mitochondria are produced by the DNA of the nuclei from the sperm and the ovum during fertilization. It is not. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited in the mitochondria within the ovum which has been passed down through the females. There is no evidence that vaccines promote autism. It might be good to spread out the many shots given at vary young age where the immune system might be overwhelmed. Much immunity is inherited from the mother, especially what bacterial growths are transmitted to the mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
      I was born in 1940 when there were not shots given until school age at five years old. All I got were for diphtheria and smallpox vaccines. Measles, scarlet fever, pneumonia, mumps, chickenpox, and other diseases disabled or killed many as they do today in undeveloped countries. There were quarantines for many homes. Even in the late forties there were no vaccines but quarantines. My house was quarantined due to two of my six sibling getting scarlet fever, so my father was not allowed to enter the house and would leave groceries on the porch. I did not like the large sulfa tablets. I spent the quarantine period assembling model airplane kits that I won on the "Uncle Ned's Squadron" radio program from WGN out of Chicago. All I got was two weeks out of school. Sick times were not very pleasant in those days.
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  • Posted by term2 1 week, 4 days ago
    After watching the good doctor, I might have had, or even have now autism. Who knows. And who cares really. I have managed to do OK despite it I suppose.
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  • Posted by  $  Stormi 1 week, 4 days ago
    It should be noted that when schools receive extra money when a child has any such diagnosis, the incidence seem to go up. Also, the psychological society definitions of Autism, ADHD and such seem to expand with time, taking in more children. Does it make it so, not completely. ADHD was once listed as 2% of population. However, our local school system had 33% on Ritalin in one grade school. Were they all correctly diagnosed, not likely, and definitely not according to one local pediatrician. One thing that is grossly overlooked, is how allergies, esp. food allergies, can cause children to exhibit the same symptoms. They tried pushing our daughter toward an ADHD or Asperger Syn diagnosis., but her allergist said no! With proper allergy treatment in grade school, she was able to sit and read 90 pages at a time easily. She finished two Masters Degrees, also easily. Parents have to realized they really know their kids best, and know when a condition is as diagnosed, and when it is not.
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  • Posted by evlwhtguy 1 week, 4 days ago
    I am afraid that these days young people are made special and rewarded for having some obvious disability. In the past we encouraged people to meld in to the greater society and strive to be what society would deem normal. As a result we used to give kids who seemed to be having problems a talking to or a swift kick in the ass when they didn't behave of when they acted out. Now we crumble at the sight of any child in "distress" or that cant seem to control themselves. Followed by medication. There are clearly people with legitimate mental problems, autism being one, my neighbor has a CP adult child....but I fear that while we were unenlightened and harsh to these legitimate cases in the past.....we have a hell of a lot more of this to deal with these days because to a certain degree....we are manufacturing the "lame and crippled." Which is better..,.....mis or mal-treatment of a few legitimate cases.....or encouraging young people to evidence signs of these types of behavioral disability.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 1 week, 4 days ago
    Aback. Your knowledge and expertise have prevented me from making a glib statement as my first response. My childhood was full of children (mostly boys) who would certainly be diagnosed as somewhere on the autism scale; probably including myself. With a few exceptions, we all grew up to be fairly productive humans. My glib conjecture is that many parents just don’t want to put in the effort to tame and train the male human child. The status quo seems to want boys to act like girls....
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    • Posted by 1 week, 4 days ago
      I totally get that. Glib can be good too! I'm a pretty technical guy...when I speak publicly I tell them I'm the Cliff Clavin of med tech and everybody laughs. I'm a complete geek on some things. Certainly somewhat near the spectrum.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 week, 4 days ago
    Autism may not be 1 in 40 or even 1 in 100, but what you are looking at are the long term physiological effects of seeing so much information so quickly that the human brain is having a hard time keeping up.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 1 week, 4 days ago
    ...and it will destroy society and civilization...
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    • Posted by 1 week, 4 days ago
      I do believe this is true. By the time people are receptive to the concept that mistakes have been made it will be too late. It will probably be in about 20 years. That's my guess. The average person gets their science from the local news talking heads. Add to this that people are almost never willing to say, "I was wrong. I have learned something from it." We are in serious trouble. This is the point of my post...

      I'll state it here. I was wrong. I have learned a great deal from it...
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  • Posted by 1 week, 5 days ago
    To clarify - here's what's troubling me. When I say I go to the playground and often see 1:5 or 2:5 affected. What I mean is that these kids are flapping their hands, obsessed with a certain object to the point of being out of control, barely verbal, toe-walking, and unable to maintain eye contact (let alone a conversation). And, it's not unusual to see a 13 year old like this. This is very troubling. I'm not talking about the kid who seems a little withdrawn with aspy. I'm talking, severely damaged - the kids that jump right out upon observation. I'll never forget the day I was meeting with a bio specialist who treated kids with autism. I met a 12-year old there who, for all intents and purposes, was just like a zombie from the walking dead - self-inflicted bite marks, blank stare, unable to communicate at all. I'll never forget that kid...
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    • Posted by term2 1 week, 4 days ago
      Sounds like you could be describing liberals, especially the zombie description. Maybe thats why there is such interest in the walking dead TV series.
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    • Posted by CTYankee 1 week, 4 days ago
      So it's possible that your sample is 'tainted'? Are you making the playground observation at a time when all the normal kids are in school, at camp, obsessed with their tablets? It's possible that only the severely autistic kids 'appear' in your sample, because the normals self exclude from the sample population.
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      • Posted by 1 week, 4 days ago
        My playground observation isn't my sample for anything really. Even if it were tainted...to see something like 10 to 20% of kids at our local playground clearly disabled in this way is impactful. It is an observation. But, I'm several years past formulating any hypothesis. I've exercised the scientific method to a conclusion. I'm out of that game now.

        Get ready for the wave.
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 1 week, 1 day ago
    Autism is very difficult to diagnose. When my oldest son was eight years old his teacher suggested he should take "attention getting drugs", I suggested she take a Valium and quit trying to practice medicine without a license. When he graduated from college 'Summa cum laude' guess who was right?
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 1 week, 3 days ago
    I could get in trouble with this issue. In my clinic, over a 20 year period, I saw an average of 8,000 patients a year for over 12,000 visits. I recall one autistic child and actually, he may have had a fear of strangers and might not have actually been autistic. But his father was an idiot!
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 week, 4 days ago
    I was a hyperactive kid, most curious, energetic boys are to some degree but as it turns out, I had Graves disease and could of easily moderated that with diet...and I found out too late; After they nuked my thyroid...and guess what!...I am still hyperactive but no longer ruled by Adrenalin.
    I can only imagine what they would have diagnosed me with these days.
    I was born with a propensity for this disease, I didn't have to manifest it but something, food, environment, allopathic medicine, fluoride treatments, (teeth), vaccines or even mercury in the fillings of my teeth could of been the trigger...no one has been able to pin it down.

    PS...O and A type blood people are prone to hyperactivity by mere consequence of their blood type...add in DNA heritage and bingo, you got it.

    Would have been nice to be armed with that info before hand.
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    • Posted by  $  25n56il4 1 week, 3 days ago
      Dear Carl: Graves Disease isn't a disease of the thyroid. Graves Disease is a symptom of an Autoimmune Disease. Your thyroid was okay. That ugly Autoimmune Disease was the culprit. Been there. Done that.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 week, 3 days ago
        I get that now...wasn't aware back then but don't trust anything they say these days.

        They did explain that my body was attacking my thyroid...I went into thyroid storm at age 38. Believe it or not, a Chiropractor was the one that caught it.
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        • Posted by  $  25n56il4 1 week, 1 day ago
          Yeah well, I lost 40 pounds and kept blaming it on everything until my thyroid jumped out looking like a butterfly! Spent six days in the hospital. Took the I-131 and went home. I was 36 and my friendly doctor said, 'This problem was originally diagnosed in England in young women in their 30's and they were confined in an asylum until they died! Really????Made me feel really good!
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  • Posted by  $  exceller 1 week, 5 days ago
    It is simply very difficult to accept these numbers.

    If it were true, what triggers it? Autism has not been around at the current levels in the past.

    I read that injecting babies with large doses of vaccines may be one of the culprits which was denied by some medical professionals.

    I still find it hard to believe.
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    • Posted by 1 week, 5 days ago
      It was almost non-existent as recent as 1994. A few things have changed since then... Through that time I only saw one child with autism. I've since seen hundreds - through my professional and personal associations. It's a massive epidemic. It's an exponential function, so hold on to your hats.
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      • Posted by  $  exceller 1 week, 5 days ago
        Do you have insight of what is causing it?

        You certainly must have information through your professional associations.
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        • Posted by 1 week, 4 days ago
          Yeah, I do. I don't share it publicly anymore.
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          • Posted by straightlinelogic 1 week, 4 days ago
            I won't go into the weeds of autism diagnosis. My son is autistic and I've met hundreds of autistic children. You know them when you see and talk with them, and no, it's not just a random eccentricity or quirk or two, it's an entire personality pattern. I grew up in Los Alamos and graduated high school in 1976. With one of the highest concentrations of PhDs in the world, Los Alamos should have been a hot bed of autism (there seems to be some correlation between autism and the intelligence of the parents). I did not meet one person in Los Alamos I would label autistic (quirky and eccentric, yes, autistic, no). Nobody had the personality pattern that I would identify as what I now know to be autism.

            As for causation, many of the austistic children I've known had a dramatic and negative change in personality after vaccinations, including my son. These changes are what lead to the autism diagnosis. The number of required infant and childhood vaccinations has increased exponentially in the past few decades. I do not believe it is the vaccines' active ingredient that causes the autism. Rather, it is what they put with the active ingredient: mercury (thimerosal as a preservative) and aluminum adjuvants, which lodge in the brain. The symptoms of so-called autism exactly mimic those of heavy metal poisoning. There seems to be a great deal of variability among infants and children as to their susceptibility to this poisoning, and males as a group appear to be more susceptible than females. That is the genetic component of autism--susceptibility to heavy metal poisoning. Government and industry ascribe autism itself to genetics, as if the human genome somehow changed within a few decades so that autism rates skyrocketed as they have. It would be laughable were it not so tragic.

            Correlation is not causation, but there is almost a perfect correlation betwen the number of required vaccines and autism diagnoses. Please do not tell me about all the government and industry-funded studies that purport to show no connection. Many of those studies use vaccines with no thimerosal or aluminum adjuvants, which should tell you something right there. If it was conclusively established that vaccines caused autism, which properly labeled would then be heavy metal poisoning, it would bankrupt the manufacturers of those vaccines. Except that vaccine makers have a special exemption from such liability under a law passed in 1986, which should also tell you something.

            For anyone interested in moving past the propaganda, here are two fairly recent links that will get you going:

            https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/11/n...

            https://healingoracle.ch/2018/08/10/m...

            If you know anyone who is expecting or recently had a baby, I have several strong recommendations. Ask for vaccines without thimerosal and aluminum adjuvants. They are more expensive, but they are available in most areas. If your health provider doesn't know if their vaccines have those ingredients, assume they do and go elsewhere. Also, space out the vaccines and do not get multiple vaccines at the same time. If possible, decline vaccines for as long as possible after the baby is born. The entire vaccination schedule is set up for hospital convenience and drug industry profits, not your children's or grandchildren's health. If I stop one kid and his family from going through what my family went through, this post will be well worth it.

            To end on a hopeful note. My son, diagnosed with autism at the age of three, has benefitted from numerous therapies that my wife and I discovered in the Southern California area. This year he will graduate from the University of New Mexico. He is a member of a fraternity, has his own apartment, has worked on two political campaigns, and has a job helping senior citizens learn how to use their smart phones and computers. If you met him you might detect something was a little off, especially if you have experience with autistics, but his improvement has been remarkable. Next year my son will find a job, and we are quite confident he will rise to that challenge as he has risen to every other challenge. Autism, or more correctly heavy-metal poisoning, does not have to be a life sentence.
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            • Posted by term2 1 week, 4 days ago
              You seem confident that you can tell if a person is autistic. Can you point me in the direction of how to tell. The only exposure I have had is watching "the good doctor" on TV
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              • Posted by straightlinelogic 1 week, 4 days ago
                A few would be: general obliviousness, if they speak it's in a monotone, not responding to what other people say or responding with non sequiturs, an inability to understand cues and facial expressions from other people, physical manifestations like walking on their toes and flapping their arms, severe food allergies, prefers isolation, uncoordinated, inability to make eye contact. These were some of my son's symptoms, and many other autistic children I've met had some or all of them. Any competent professional can render a diagnosis. Like I said, when you've been around autistic children, you learn to recognize them.

                I forgot in my above post to include the book my wife wrote about our experience: Rescued: a story of hope & help for parents of children with autism. The Amazon link:

                https://www.amazon.com/Rescued-story-...
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                • Posted by term2 4 days, 13 hours ago
                  I have thought for awhile that there are genetic factors that influence the relative strength of thinking vs feeling in people. If the feeling level is turned up high, they are more likely to be emotionally driven and leftists. If the feeling level is not so high, they are more likely to be able to think clearly and more rationally.

                  I have also wondered if a similar genetic difference can account for autism. In this case, the sensory input levels might be elevated to the point it overloads the brain and the person becomes confused by and rebels from sensory inputs. Just something that occurred to me while watching Good Doctor on TV
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    • Posted by  $  kddr22 1 week, 5 days ago
      the real answer is somewhat coming.l The initial genetic screen testing is on its way for use in general practice but in my opinion it is a ways off to be specific enough to be useful yet. It gets difficult when the dx is "subjective" as some things can mimic. I take care of abused children who now have autistic like behaviors but what they really have is PTSD. There is much crossover between developmental disorders. The danger is if a dx is too diluted it takes away the resources to treat it
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      • Posted by  $  exceller 1 week, 5 days ago
        I think your answer is getting closer to the truth.

        IMO most of the blame lies in the environment these kids grow up, a kind of disconnect between parents and children that the youngsters are not prepared to handle. This of course leads to society and its "trends" to be implemented in the home.

        Just a far fetched example: the current obsession with "gender" and other identities is hard enough for an adult to deal with, let alone for a child who is trying to find his/her way in life.

        It will probably be too late by the time the "causes" are identified and those in the front line of precipitating it will never be held responsible.
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      • Posted by 1 week, 5 days ago
        Yeah, that's interesting. Autism is certainly not PTSD. Your point about dilution of diagnosis is pertinent.

        Good for you taking care of abused kids. That's tough work, I'm sure.
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