Difference between revisions of "Autism"

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(Possible causes of autism: => changing section title to a question)
(Environmental Factors: Writers should distinguish between "signs" - which this article did not identify and "claims", which can at least be linked to the person making the claim)
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=== Environmental Factors ===
 
=== Environmental Factors ===
  
There are signs that environmental toxins increase the risk of autism, just as they increase the risk of cancer.  [[New Jersey]] has the highest rate of cancer in the nation, presumably due to a heavy concentration of environmental toxins, and it also has the highest rate of [[autism]].  Autistic patients are observed to have higher levels of metals and other toxins.   
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There are claims that environmental toxins increase the risk of autism, just as they increase the risk of cancer.  [[New Jersey]] has the highest rate of cancer in the nation, presumably due to a heavy concentration of environmental toxins, and it also has the highest rate of [[autism]].  Autistic patients are observed to have higher levels of metals and other toxins.   
  
 
A toxic [[mercury]] preservative used in [[vaccines]], thimerosal, is a suspected cause of injury in many recipients, including a cause of increase in autism rates.<ref>[http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:952MmAWeCOsJ:www.jpands.org/vol8no1/geier.pdf+jpands&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&client=firefox-a Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines,
 
A toxic [[mercury]] preservative used in [[vaccines]], thimerosal, is a suspected cause of injury in many recipients, including a cause of increase in autism rates.<ref>[http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:952MmAWeCOsJ:www.jpands.org/vol8no1/geier.pdf+jpands&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&client=firefox-a Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines,

Revision as of 08:01, 8 February 2010

This article or section needs to be rewritten, because:
it does not explain what autism is or what "causes" it; rather lurches from chatty provision of slang words (like "stimming") to medical jargon (like "spectrum disorder"); it employs outright speculation, implying that the problem has a neurological or a (physical) environmental cause such as vaccinations or pollution. (Discuss)

Autism is the tendency to be self-absorbed and have difficulty relating to others. It is characterized by inability to interact socially; linguistic disability; intense, narrow interests; and repetitive behaviors. These are called stims or stimming. They include walking on tiptoes, flapping of hands, staring at objects for a prolonged period of time, oral fixation, spinning in circles, and other repetitive activities. Other signs include lack of eye contact, playing alone, lack of words, or in the case of Asperger's syndrome possessing a large vocabulary and intense knowledge of specialized areas but a lack of social skills or inappropriate behavior. It is usually detected by the time a child is four years old but in some cases, autism goes unnoticed into adulthood. There are many intelligent and talented autistic individuals.[1] The term autism was first used in 1912.

Diagnoses of autism has increased from 1:10,000 in 1988 to as high as 1 in 150 people,[2] and it has been rising. Four times as many boys suffer from autism as girls.[3] Among boys, 1 in 94 has the disorder. In New Jersey, which has the highest rate in the nation, 1 in every 60 boys has autism and 1 in every 94 children is affected. There is a seizure disorder in about one-third of those who have autism.[3]

Autism is a spectrum disorder which means there is a range in how it affects different people. There is the fragile x syndrome, Asperger's syndrome, pdd nos, mild autism, moderate autism, severe autism, and some idiot savants. Autistic children will not all act like the character portrayed in the movie Rain Man. Nor are all autistic children uncaring or unable to show emotion, in fact many are very caring.

Autism was first identified clinically in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner. Dr. Hans Asperger also did some research into autism at about the same time and discovered Asperger's syndrome. As early as the 90's many psychotherapies were used to treat it or least hide its symptoms, including Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA therapy).

How does autism develop?

Although no one knows how autism develops, experts have focused on physical causes such as environmental toxins, the vaccine preservative thimerosal, and the diet of both the mother (pre-birth and during breastfeeding) and child. Some experts have speculated about genetic predisposition.

Environmental Factors

There are claims that environmental toxins increase the risk of autism, just as they increase the risk of cancer. New Jersey has the highest rate of cancer in the nation, presumably due to a heavy concentration of environmental toxins, and it also has the highest rate of autism. Autistic patients are observed to have higher levels of metals and other toxins.

A toxic mercury preservative used in vaccines, thimerosal, is a suspected cause of injury in many recipients, including a cause of increase in autism rates.[4] Thimerosal is a inorganic form of mercury that was widely used as a preservative. Only after intense public pressure did the FDA and CDC act, in 1999 and 2000, to reduce thimerosal usage in vaccines. But thimerosal continues to be used far more than realized, as in the annual flu vaccine and stockpiles of vaccines left over from years ago. U.S. rates of autism have increased rather than declined.[5]

The is enormous pressure to deny that vaccinations are causing autism, as such a revelation would result in political, legal, and financial consequences for those who have been supporting increases in vaccination. As researchers denied smoking caused lung cancer for decades, researchers now claim that vaccination is not causing autism.[6][7][8] Many parents who see first-hand the changes in their children immediately shortly after vaccination see a clear cause-and-effect, and some are opting out of vaccination.[9]

Thimerosal is not the only ingredient of vaccines that may be causing the increase in autism. By assaulting the immune system at a very young age, multiple vaccinations may be doing other harm that is not yet fully understood. Autism is a neurological condition, and side effects of vaccination are known to cause other neurological problems.

"Rigorous scientific studies have not identified links between autism and either thimerosal-containing vaccine or the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine" [10]

Genetics

This is much evidence that there is a genetic susceptibility to autism.[Citation Needed] The genetics of this condition are not yet fully understood and could be caused by complex interactions between multiple genes which would account for the "spectrum" like differences in the severity of many cases [11][12]

Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge (U.K.) notes the strong evidence that males and females are hardwired for different behavior, with boys tending to be stronger at mechanics, categorizing and systemizing information, mathematics, etc. and girls stronger at emotionalizing and empathizing. He has proposed that autism is merely an extreme version of the male brain type, in which the (female) urge to empathize is nearly absent and the brain is almost entirely hardwired for the (male) tasks of systemizing.[13]

Leo Kanner in a 1949 paper identified "parental coldness" and a "lack of maternal warmth" in the parents of autistic children, leading to the term refrigerator mother. The theory here is autism is caused by incomplete socialization during early childhood because of emotionally cold parents. The book Toxic Psychiatry by Peter Briggin notes that the frigid mother theory of autism was abandoned in recent years due to pressure groups.[14]

Lenny Schafer, editor of the Schafer Autism Report, rejects outright the current characterization of mild social retardation (such as "Asperger's syndrome") as forms of autism. He notes that autism is a disability, and if a person is not disabled from participation in society by their condition, in such areas as being able to hold a job or communicate, including communication over the Internet, they are not autistic and should not be diagnosed as such. He accordingly rejects that there can be such a thing as autistic self-advocacy, as anyone who is truly autistic would not have that ability.[15]

Wired magazine has referred to autism as a "geek syndrome", or essentially as a form of identity-politics-for-computer-nerds.[16]. Those favoring this interpretation of autism have coined new terminology, including "neurodiversity" for a population with and without autistic individuals , and using the term "neurotypical" for those without autism.

See Also

External Links

  1. http://www.autismspeaks.org/
  2. http://www.autismdigest.com/
  3. http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/
  4. http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer
  5. http://www.autismlink.com/
  6. Opposing Views: Are Autism and Vaccines Linked?
  7. Neurodiversity - An Incredible Resource for Autism Related Information

References

  1. Temple Grandin, "Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism" amazon link http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307275655/ref=wl_it_dp/103-3432247-4184629?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1CWNFSEUCIXQL&colid=49VN3HJC5OQK
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/faq_prevalence.htm
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.iupui.edu/~psycdept/autism/autism.htm
  4. [http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:952MmAWeCOsJ:www.jpands.org/vol8no1/geier.pdf+jpands&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&client=firefox-a Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines, Neurodevelopment Disorders, and Heart Disease in the United States]
  5. http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/autismincreases.php
  6. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/13703.html,
  7. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B75KN-4DJ97VJ-8&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=c555dd340aa6cb7c3a18806ba0fd162a
  8. http://www.iom.edu/?id=27771
  9. http://www.acsh.org/publications/pubID.425/pub_detail.asp
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19614825?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_SingleItemSupl.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed
  11. http://66.102.1.104/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=cache:7kMNqvTgRtoJ:www.ikhebeenvraag.be/mediastorage/FSDocument/52/Freitag-2.pdf+
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17764594
  13. Baron-Cohen, Simon. The Essential Difference, Basic Books 2003.
  14. Briggin, Peter R. Toxic Psychiatry, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991.
  15. http://www.sarnet.org/
  16. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html