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#1 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you think causes autism? Where do you wish they would do more research? What does your research, plus your gut instinct, tell you?

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#2 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I personally believe there are probably as many causes of autism as kids who have it.

For us my gut definitely says genetics (my brother has aspergers, my dh is probably somewhere on the high functioning end of the spectrum himself, my dh has 2 first cousins who are autistic) most likely triggered by terbutaline during pregnancy...my dd is definitely not normal, I wouldn't be surprised if she some days ends up with a spectrum diagnosis as well, but whatever is going on does not negatively impact her life at all, so we just go with it, my ds however is a different story...He was diagnosed with ASD at 2 1/2, but it has been thrown around since he was 15 months old, the only real difference I can see is the terbutaline which I took from 19 weeks till 34 weeks pregnant and really wish I wouldn't of...I'm on bedrest now for pre-term labour again and am refusing it for this pregnancy.

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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#3 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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I think autism is a natural genetic variation. Not what you wanted to hear, I'm sure!

I think research dollars should go towards helping autistic adults with life tasks they might find difficult, helping parents with the particular stresses of parenting an autistic child, and towards increased accessability for autistics in schools, the workplace, and other aspects of life.
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#4 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 04:55 PM
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Eh, I think it is a combination of things. I think some people would be autistic without any environmental triggers. I think some people would not be autistic even with every possible environmental trigger. And I think some people are in the middle. I think DS is in the middle and living in an orphanage for the first year of his life was an environmental trigger for him.

But what do I know?

I don't know where I'd put research money. I mostly think more money for services would be good. I think we've been really luck to receive decent services through the public schools. (I also think DS is very high functioning (whatever that means) or mildly affected or maybe not even really on the spectrum (the docs disagree) so our need for services is not so great.)
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#5 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 05:15 PM
 
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I personally believe there are probably as many causes of autism as kids who have it.
ITA. I don't think there's any one thing that does or doesn't cause autism, as I also don't believe that everything that is currently being called "autism" is the same thing.

In our case with DD (age 4), I have no idea the cause. Her symptoms and medical factors are quite atypical. She doesn't really have repetitive behaviors or rigidity or limited interests. Most of the time she just has subtle motor issues and a language/communication processing disorder (which is enough to severely impair social interaction with peers and makes her qualify as PDD-NOS), but that fluctuates also. Honestly I think she has been misdiagnosed and actually has some sort of metabolic or atypical seizure disorder, and I think this might be fairly common among cases of so-called atypical autism with medical factors like gut problems.

I don't think her case is related to vaccines, because all of her symptoms around the time of a regression many months after we had stopped vaccinating, but I wouldn't rule out some type of immune system derangement as autoimmune disorders run strongly in the family.

I would definitely put more research money into making more therapy available, but I'd also want to study the subtypes so that therapy could be targeted better to the individual and that medical therapies could be made available to those that need them. I am so frustrated with the current state of understanding of language disorders, for example, and the frequent attempt of using boilerplate speech therapy techniques for all individuals in a way that doesn't necessarily target the problem.
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#6 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 05:30 PM
 
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I believed those with autism are genetically predisposed to it and it can be triggered by a lot of different factors; Environment, allergies, vaccines, diet, etc.

Nicole, mom of 3. Mitochondrial Disease.: Epilepsy
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#7 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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I believed those with autism are genetically predisposed to it and it can be triggered by a lot of different factors; Environment, allergies, vaccines, diet, etc.
: Pretty much that. Genetic predisposition triggered by an inflammatory state in the body caused by any number of things...illness, vaccines, allergies, autoimmune disorders, etc..

I think they need to hammer at the genetic portion and pin down the gene or set of genes before they do anything else.
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#8 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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I think it's genetic and some environmental things make it more pronounced.
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#9 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, all! Would love to hear more opinions....

Krissi, your DD sounds like my nephew. He devoloped ASD late (no signs til almost 3)...at which point he had a total regression of language, but few other pronounced symptoms. His ASD began after a prolonged flu-like illness.

Individuation, Do you think all those on the Spectrum have a natural genetic variation? Also, if genetics is the factor, why are the numbers increasing? (This is debateable, some say it is just diagnosed more, but I don't agree....). If it were straight genetics wouldn't the numbers stay constant?


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#10 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 09:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Individuation, Do you think all those on the Spectrum have a natural genetic variation? Also, if genetics is the factor, why are the numbers increasing? (This is debateable, some say it is just diagnosed more, but I don't agree....). If it were straight genetics wouldn't the numbers stay constant?
Not all but most, and I think there can be aggravating factors in making the condition more/less difficult (diet, other medical issues, etc.) I also think there's a strong autoimmune factor. I think there are a lot of reasons the numbers are going up, and yes, more common diagnosis is one of them. Altair had an interesting theory about birth trauma/compromised oxygen delivery that seemed to make a lot of anecdotal sense in the context of my family, so I think there's a lot we don't know as of yet.

I also think the genetic factor is coming into play--I think more people on the spectrum are having children. We're less likely to have been called "retarded" and thus sterilized, or to have spent our lives in institutions, so yes, we marry and have more spectrum kids.
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#11 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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I think more people on the spectrum are having children. We're less likely to have been called "retarded" and thus sterilized, or to have spent our lives in institutions, so yes, we marry and have more spectrum kids.
I DEFINITELY think this is true. Absolutely.
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#12 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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i read something about rhogham shots having a lot to do with the increase. apparently, nature had her way, before rhogham of stopping people from having babies with the blooy type issues. rhogham messed with that.

and also the mercury in rhogaham being injected into pregnant women, the mercury in flu shots being given (the fda says dont eat too much tuna due to mercury, but go ahead and inject yourself with flu vax's : )
amalgram fillings leaking mercury into the pregnant womens body....

i believe all of these things are creating more autistic kids. i also think vaccines are aggrivating certain childrens systems.

i dont buy the "its more diagnosed thing nowadays" . i just went to a vaccine seminar by Dr eisenstien and he agreed that that was the most ridiculous thing....he was like you dont miss an autisitic kid....its pretty OBVIOUS when one has autism/or is on the spectrum (by the medical professionals anyway). he also showed us a research study that showed NO autism in the amish community. this reporter went there to dispprove a link between vaccines and autism. he figured he would find just as much austim there as there is amongst us. out of thousands of amish, he found 4 or 5 cases. and all of those cases were kids who were adopted and previously vaxed. interesting...here is the article on that:
http://www.homefirst.com/autism_dan_olmstead.html

DS 5-11-06
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#13 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 10:15 PM
 
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Altair had an interesting theory about birth trauma/compromised oxygen delivery that seemed to make a lot of anecdotal sense in the context of my family, so I think there's a lot we don't know as of yet.
That does sound pretty interesting. I've long had a theory about premature/NICU babies and sensory issues, I wonder how the 2 would fit together?

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I also think the genetic factor is coming into play--I think more people on the spectrum are having children. We're less likely to have been called "retarded" and thus sterilized, or to have spent our lives in institutions, so yes, we marry and have more spectrum kids.
That wouldn't surprise me one bit. In addition, I wonder how much the internet helps the "higher functioning" (I cannot come up with a better term, someone help???) folks who may have been too quirky or shy or whatever to find a mate in their own RL social circles? With the internet, you can reach so many more people and are more likely to find someone you click with, in addition to the fact that some of us prefer the written word for communication. Thus, you're/we're more likely to find someone compatible to marry and have children with!

Anyway, I agree, it's primarily genetic. Environmental stuff can change the presentation and make things easier or more difficult for a lot of folks, but I think there's got to be some underlying factor. Every kid who's vaccinated doesn't end up on the spectrum...so what's the difference? Why do some react badly and some not at all?

My thoughts on research are a bit muddled at the moment, I'll come back to that later!
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#14 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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i dont buy the "its more diagnosed thing nowadays" . i just went to a vaccine seminar by Dr eisenstien and he agreed that that was the most ridiculous thing....he was like you dont miss an autisitic kid....its pretty OBVIOUS when one has autism/or is on the spectrum (by the medical professionals anyway).
I'm sorry, but if you came from a family with multi-generational autistic issues, you would realize that the diagnostic criteria have in fact changed. The solid, medical, diagnostic criteria. I'm not saying that to be rude, and I'm not making a statement here one way or another about vaccines. However, in the 1970s the diagnostic criteria for autism were significantly stricter (a child who made ANY eye contact was officially NOT autistic) and things were considered "psychological" which are now considered "developmental."

I understand where your doctor is coming from, but I think the misunderstanding here is a doctor of 1975 would send an autistic child of today home with no diagnosis. They certainly would have a diagnosis, but it likely would not have been autism. Remember, children diagnosed as having "autistic behaviors" were NOT included in the official count, because even though they probably fit the criteria your doctor was describing above ("you know it when you see it") they could not be called autistic for other reasons---maybe they talked, or had made a friend.

A good resource for a lot of this is to read some of the work done in the 70s and 80s by speciad-ed pioneers like Torey Hayden. Throughout her books she described working with children who are not called "autistic" but obviously are by today's criteria.

ETA: When I gave my official childhood diagnosis to a neuro-psych, her response was "Oh, they don't have that anymore... it comes under the 'autism' umbrella now." I think that's a pretty strong sign they've loosened the diagnostic criteria.
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#15 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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[QUOTE=myjulybabes;8063675] Every kid who's vaccinated doesn't end up on the spectrum...so what's the difference? Why do some react badly and some not at all?

QUOTE]

1 in 150 children in the usa is enough though, isnt it? and that is only going to increase.

DS 5-11-06
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#16 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 10:23 PM
 
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1 in 150 children in the usa is enough though, isnt it? and that is only going to increase.
*deleted, because I don't think this forum is the place for this discussion*
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#17 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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In a sense, the Amish theory that there are no autistic Amish kids does lend itself to the theory that it's genetic. One could argue that the families that make up Amish communities never had the autism gene.
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#18 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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Why would it increase in light of the removal of thimerosol from vaccines? SHouldn't it in fact decrease in order to prove that theory?
nope. first of all, thimerosol is still in vaccines. perhaps you can go to the vaccinations forum and read up on it. thimerosol is used to prevent bacterial growth, and they suck it out at the end of the process. the problem is, thimerosol binds to everything, so it is STILL in the vaccines.

secondly, thimerosol isnt the only thing in vaccines that is linked to autism. all of the ingredients and metals in there are an assualt on the immune system.

"Vaccine dangers are not just about Thimerosal" you can listen to this radio program from autism one that breaks it down for you.
http://autismone.org/radio/?archive=740 click the play button once on the page.
if that link doesnt work, type in autism one in google, and go to autism one radio. once in the site type in "vaccine" in the search bar. it will give you results and look for the one that is titled what i underlined.

and an article:
Article: Measles Vaccine Undeniably Linked to Autism

DS 5-11-06
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#19 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:04 PM
 
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I think it's a little bit of everything. My ds1 had feeding issues early on. Poor latch caused severe jaundice, requiring hospitalization at 10 days old. Did the sensory issues of early autism cause the poor latch (he still has oral defensive issues), causing the jaundice or did the jaundice cause the neurological damage that turned into autism? Chicken and egg for me. Did vax's aggrevate the dx? No idea- I selectively vax- none of the 'new' vax's.

It's just something I don't think we'll ever get to know for sure, at least not in my lifetime.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#20 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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I personally don't think any one thing causes it. I think it's just a variant of our human species development. This is entirely my own opinion and I could certainly be wrong.

I think it's just a regular variant of the human condition and I think that environmental factors can make it worse. My DH and I have no other ASD in our family. My DS has no DX but IMO he's somewhere on the spectrum. I think that with our advanced knowledge doctors are recognizing it more but honestly I think it was always there. I think that before we just thought people were eccentric or 'retarded'.

I was worried about the MMR so I divided it up since my DS was 'unusual' which just means not like my DD. It really didn't make any difference...but hopefully it didn't make it worse than it could be. I don't know...these are just my ramblings.
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#21 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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A friend of mine was absolutely convinced 10 or 11 years ago that vaccination was the ONLY cause of autisim and was what caused her son's autisim. She firmly believed that there was no way he would have been autistic without the vaccines, as he had regressed just after his MMR.

Then she had another child who she of course did not vaccinate and, sadly, that child was diagnosed with autism also. Stikingly her second son "regressed" right around the time he would have had an MMR vaccine, just like her first.

I think she spent a year or two just really thrown by, not just the second diagnosis, but trying to let go of something she had believed in so strongly for three years. It was really hard on her.

Now she is a believer in the "genes" plus environmental trigger theory, though she is open to the idea that for some people there is no real trigger, its just the genes.
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#22 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:33 PM
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"But the exponential rate increases have led more and more scientists to suspect that autism might result from an interplay between genetic vulnerability and nongenetic causes, says Harvard pediatric neuroscientist Dr. Martha Herbert. "This new line of investigation calls for a knowledge of toxicology, genetic individuality, and biochemistry much more detailed than most current autism researchers possess."


http://www.motherjones.com/news/feat...03/02_354.html


and..... (from same link)

"Richard Deth, a Northeastern University pharmacologist, has found that even low levels of thimerosal affect a critical neural pathway regulating brain-cell growth. When Deth submitted his study to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he said he was rejected on the grounds that it hadn't met standards for "exceptional importance and novelty." Deth was dumbfounded: "I keep hearing from public-health officials that there is no scientific basis to support a connection between thimerosal exposure and autism. Yet here I am bringing it to you and it's not considered important?"

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#23 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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1 in 150 children in the usa is enough though, isnt it? and that is only going to increase.
Sure, it's a lot. But how many out of every 150 are vaccinated? 100? 125? Maybe more? Why don't the rest of them have the same issues? I'm not saying there's NO relation to vax. I'm saying there's something additional that makes certain people suseptible (sp?) to the ingredients in vaxxes.
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#24 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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It really didn't make any difference
splitting up the MMR can make a huge difference for many children. after MMR injections, many children suddenly stop communicating and behave totally different. now i am avoiding these vaxs all together, but i would not say that splitting up the MMR makes no difference. what also makes a difference is when you get them. the immune system of a 2 or 3 year old is a lot stronger than one of a 15 month old for example.

DS 5-11-06
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#25 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:37 PM
 
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A friend of mine was absolutely convinced 10 or 11 years ago that vaccination was the ONLY cause of autisim and was what caused her son's autisim. She firmly believed that there was no way he would have been autistic without the vaccines, as he had regressed just after his MMR.

Then she had another child who she of course did not vaccinate and, sadly, that child was diagnosed with autism also. Stikingly her second son "regressed" right around the time he would have had an MMR vaccine, just like her first.

I think she spent a year or two just really thrown by, not just the second diagnosis, but trying to let go of something she had believed in so strongly for three years. It was really hard on her.

Now she is a believer in the "genes" plus environmental trigger theory, though she is open to the idea that for some people there is no real trigger, its just the genes.
there really are a ton of cases where children were developing normally until the MMR. what happens is the measles virus actually attacks their system.
here is an article:
Measles Vaccine Undeniably Linked to Autism

DS 5-11-06
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#26 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:43 PM
 
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Sure, it's a lot. But how many out of every 150 are vaccinated? 100? 125? Maybe more? Why don't the rest of them have the same issues? I'm not saying there's NO relation to vax. I'm saying there's something additional that makes certain people suseptible (sp?) to the ingredients in vaxxes.
i agree, there are often times other things that occur, genetics, baby being exposed to mercury in utero (flu vax, rhogaham, amalgram fillings) and other things im sure.

but what i am learning at the moment with all my research is that there are so many kids who were developing normally and then after receiving say the MMR, suddenly start seizuring and acting strange, stop speaking, etc. and soon after are diagnosed autistic. if youve read stephanie caves book -what your doctor may not tell you about childrens vaccinations, she says almost all of her autistic kids blood tests come back with extremely high metal levels. if you catch this early enough, before the mercury and other metals destroy the brain, you can actually detoxify the body of metals, and many of her autistic children have recovered. they are no longer autistic. its really interesting.

DS 5-11-06
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#27 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:55 PM
 
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there really are a ton of cases where children were developing normally until the MMR. what happens is the measles virus actually attacks their system.
here is an article:
Measles Vaccine Undeniably Linked to Autism

Are you suggesting then, then the second unvaccinated Child caught the measles naturally, and it then attacked his system?
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#28 of 86 Old 05-07-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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I just wanted to throw in a couple of ideas from my ds. For him it could be a number of things. I took bp meds during my whole pregnancy with him. I believe it was a class c drug. I was given pitocin to induce(no need to insult me, I have past abuse issues and have trouble dialating without drugs). He was posterior and came out that way. It was a very traumatic birth and he was born blue although he pinked right up. He has serious allergy issues and did regress a bit after adding gluten to his diet. I'm almost sure that his uncle on dh's side is on the spectrum. I'm also pretty sure i'm on the spectrum. In the very least I had trouble with crowds and sensory issues. He had his 2 month vax's and no more. The only differences between him and his brother are his brother in completly unvaxed and had a quicker birth.

He's also had feeding issues and has been different since birth. He never liked to be cuddled(he liked to be held though). He never gave eye contact or would look at my while nursing. He started lining things up and categorizing things before a year old. I never felt bonded to him. The lactation consultant even commented on how attached we were but I didn't feel it with him. He's always felt distant to me.

My ds is considered high functioning. I think he would not be as high functioning if I let his body take the assault from his allergies longer than I did. He did do much better after I removed gluten from his diet.

So what am I trying to get at? I don't know. I do think that most asd people have a genetic predisposition to it. I also think that some people need a immune trigger to develop it. I also think that some people can have it due to neurological impairment. I don't think I will ever know why my ds is on the spectrum nor do I care. My goal in life is to help him live his as easily as possible. That would still be my goal if he wasn't on the spectrum.


Misty

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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#29 of 86 Old 05-08-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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there really are a ton of cases where children were developing normally until the MMR. what happens is the measles virus actually attacks their system.
Her 2nd child was not vaccinated.
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#30 of 86 Old 05-08-2007, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by nataliachick7 View Post
i dont buy the "its more diagnosed thing nowadays" . i just went to a vaccine seminar by Dr eisenstien and he agreed that that was the most ridiculous thing....he was like you dont miss an autisitic kid....its pretty OBVIOUS when one has autism/or is on the spectrum (by the medical professionals anyway).
Well, I can say that the medical professionals disagree as to whether my kiddo is autistic. Two evaluations, within two months of each other. One concluded mild to moderate autism. The other concluded absolutely not autistic, not even on the spectrum. Both reasonably well-known in the area and recommended by other professionals. Most of the therapists, school evaluators, etc who have worked with DS have seemed surprised to hear that DS has an autism diagnosis. Yet when I take various screening tools, he usually scores as at least a possibility of autism.

I honestly cannot believe that DS would have been labeled autistic twenty years ago. (The kid talks in complete sentences that are completely in context, never rocks, no longer bangs his head, engages in imaginative play, plays with his peers and makes eye contact--and he's not even four yet.)

So, I do think that people are diagnosed now who would not have been in the past. I am not sure if I think that is a good thing.
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