Tag Archives: Definition Of Autism

Question?: Autistic Definition

Lizzie asks…

Why are there so many autistic kids nowadays?

I know a mother who has 2 autistic children, boy and girl. There’s also a lot of autistic kids in my little sister’s school. Is there a reason why? I know the definition of autism is more open now but I don’t think that’s the reason. Why would someone have 2 different children and both have autism?

admin answers:

As far as I’m aware, nobody really knows. If I had to guess I would put my money on a combination of these factors:

– More kids get diagnosed as the definition of autism changes to include a wider group of people who would previously not have been diagnosed
– More kids get diagnosed as we become better at identifying signs of autism
– Environmental factors like pollution or chemicals in our food
– IVF, which allows people who otherwise wouldn’t have had biological children to have them (sorry to say folks but if you can’t get pregnant naturally, maybe that’s a sign that you shouldn’t either)
– More people have kids later in life (folks, eggs and sperm don’t stay perfect as you age)
– More people self-diagnosing their kids through the internet. In such cases, the kids may or may not ACTUALLY have autism, but they are presented to others as having it.

The previous “research” indicating that vaccines cause autism has been debunked and the doctor who conducted the “research” has been outed as a fraud. In addition, research in places like Japan has shown that even changing the ingredients in vaccines doesn’t seem to have an impact on the number of autism cases.

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Question?: Autism Symptoms In 7 Year Old

Linda asks…

my girlfriends daughter was diagnosed with autism?

what does it mean is it a serious condition? what are the consequences? her daughter is 7 years old

admin answers:

The autism-spectrum disorders encompass a wide range of symptoms, from social awkwardness to a complete inability to interact and communicate. The definition of Autism is a severe disorder of brain function marked by problems with social contact, intelligence and language, together with ritualistic or compulsive behavior and bizarre responses to the environment.

Autism is a lifelong disorder that interferes with the ability to understand what is seen, heard, and touched. This can cause profound problems in personal behavior and in the ability to relate to others. A person with autism must learn how to communicate normally and how to relate to people, objects and events. However, not all patients suffer the same degree of impairment. There is a full spectrum of symptoms, which can range from mild to severe.

Autism occurs in as many as one or two per 1,000 children. It is found four times more often in boys (usually the first-born) and occurs around the world in all races and social backgrounds. Autism usually is evident in the first three years of life, although in some children it’s hard to tell when the problem develops. Sometimes the condition isn’t diagnosed until the child enters school.

While a person with autism can have symptoms ranging from mild to severe, about 10% have an extraordinary ability in one area, such as in mathematics, memory, music, or art. Such children are known as “autistic savants” (formerly known as “idiot savants.”).

The very fact that your girlfriend’s daughter wasn’t diagnosed until the age of 7, makes me think that she has a very mild form of this syndrome. Great strides have been made in the treatment of Autism. Be as supportive as you can to your girlfriend and her daughter. The best to you all.

P.S. I would also seek a second opinion.

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Question?: Autistic Definition

Robert asks…

When was the definition of autism broadened?

I see people on here asking if they are autistic. According to the old definition of autism, that would be impossible because an autistic person could not talk or write. I have an autistic brother and he cannot understand a simple sentence like, “Open the door.” He only understands approx. 20 words and says fewer words than that.
When was the definition of autism changed?

admin answers:

The biggest changes were in 1994, when the DSM-IV came out. The Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis was added, and the criteria for autistic disorder were also broadened. Here’s how the diagnostic criteria have changed over the years: http://unstrange.com/dsm1.html

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Preparing schools for the “new” definition of autism

You have heard the news, and if you are a parent of a child with high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, you are worried!

By May 2013, an autism diagnosis will likely be much harder to obtain than in the past.  The American Psychiatric Association is making final revisions to its Diagnostic and Statistical  Manual of Mental Disorders, including drastic changes to the criteria by which individuals are diagnosed with autism.

While these changes will have less impact on those diagnosed with “classic autism,” people who are currently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, likely won’t  be diagnosed under the new, stricter guidelines.  In fact, the proposed new guidelines would eliminate the Asperger’s classification completely.

What does this mean for those currently diagnosed with Asperger’s?

According to a recent study by Yale University, less than half of patients currently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome will receive an autism diagnosis under the proposed new guidelines.  Without that diagnosis, they will no longer have access to the therapies or educational resources neccesary to help them learn to interact and grow into socially adjusted adults.

I asked Mark Claypool,  a fellow optimist who I turned to for reassurance, to talk about these changes might affect our kids. Mark president and CEO of Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, an organization that provides academic programs, life skills training, vocational and transition services, support services and collaborative classrooms to students with autism, emotional disturbance, physical challenges and developmental delays:

Laura: My son has autism, but has never been considered “high-functioning”. Friends with children with Asperger’s Syndrome and HFA tell me how lucky I am–that it is easier fro me to get services for my son.What is your take on this issue?

Mark Claypool: It’s a frustrating problem for parents. Kids are getting caught in-between and every day that goes by for a child not getting the services that they need is a lost day.

Laura: I know parents of children with unspecified learning differences and behavior problems that have pushed for a diagnosis of autism just to get services. What has been your experience?

Mark Claypool: No parent wants their child to be misdiagnosed with a disability, no matter how badly they want the services. Perhaps the revised Diagnostic and Statistical  Manual of Mental Disorders will help us refocus on the needs of a child as an individual and not a label.

Laura: California and many other states now mandate insurance coverage for children on the autism spectrum for ABA. Doesn’t that lighten the load and responsibility of school districts?

Mark Claypool: Ideally, but right now, the schools are pointing at the insurance companies and the insurance companies are pointing at the schools, saying, “Aren’t you going to do that?”

Laura: The most rewarding aspect of your job?

Mark Claypool:

Helping make public education a positive experience for students and their parents who have these issuesWorking with school districts to help them design services for children that need themIncluding  children with disabilities and keeping them at their home schools, rather than sending them all to substantially separate schools.


Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, is an organization that provides academic programs, life skills training, vocational and transition services, support services and collaborative classrooms to students with autism, emotional disturbance, physical challenges and developmental delays. Spectrum Center partners with nearly 100 public school districts to help them educate students who have autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and other conditions.


Got  questions? Need resources? Email me here citybights@sfgate.com and I will do my very best to help.



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Autism Has Been Cured

Or so the American Psychiatric Association says. The APA has a new diagnostic definition of Autism which will make the one in 110 epidemic go away. What will really happen is that the children with a higher functioning autism spectrum disorder will cease to get the help they need.

Statistics prove that early diagnosis and early intervention is key. Without the diagnosis of PDD-NOS, PDD, Aspergers, and High Functioning Autism, that help will be nonexistent for a lot of families already struggling to make ends meet. Very few insurances pay for the therapies these kids need in order to be functioning adults in society. The estimated costs for some of these therapies can be from $39,000 to $130,000. In Pennsylvania, some programs can be paid by the state with medical assistance. But, to qualify for the medical assistance, the child needs to be declared as disabled. This new definition will have these kids falling through the cracks.

Regardless of a diagnosis, children with autism-like symptoms need professional help. Teachers don’t know how to get through to some of these kids to give them the help they need. Unless they are learning support teachers, they just are not taught how to deal with the behavior problems the students with autism spectrum disorders are plagued with, some times due to the stress of school.

On the other side of this debate, the new definition will weed out the children with autism-like behaviors brought on by abuse, neglect, and attention. Schools will not be allowed to make on the run diagnosis in hopes of more funding. There will be a stricter criteria that must be met for a true diagnosis.

Personally, as a mom with a teenager that has a diagnosis of PDD-NOS, this new criteria scares me. My son has a lot of behaviors that he has outgrown, but a lot that he still struggles with on a day to day basis. Without the special programs in the area, he wouldn’t be doing as well as he is. But, the new diagnostic definition is a needed change because I, as a parent with a special needs child, see teachers and other adults that are not qualified to do so, make unprofessional opinions on children based solely on the child’s behavior. Which is unfair to that child who has now been labeled by someone who is supposed to be advocating for all children. And that child will now be treated differently by the adults around him all because of one biased opinion based solely on behavior.

My hopes for this new development is that there will now be more money spent on therapies for the children and adults that truly need it.

Sherry Vulgamott has been married to her high school sweetheart for 24 years and together they have 3 great kids. In her spare time, Sherry enjoys being with her family and friends, reading, writing, camping, and taking care of her parrots. Sherry invites you to her blog: http://sherryvulgamott.wordpress.com/ and asks that you comment on her posts with any questions or statements you have.

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Autism in the News – 02.24.12

Change in definition of ‘autism’ has parents worried they’ll lose critical services (Hartford, Conn.)
When Caleb Geary was diagnosed with autism at age 3, he had never spoken or eaten solid food. Read more.

Autism Is Jim Calhoun’s Biggest Opponent (Hartford Courant)
Jim Calhoun, like many coaches, is superstitious. He might have a lucky tie or piece of jewelry he must wear to end a losing streak, or keep a winning streak going. Read more.

Boy’s art graces book on autism (Indy Star)
Noblesville Griffin Nickels, 15, is a freshman at Noblesville High School. He is autistic. He is also artistic. Read more. 

Autism Clean-Up Bill Passes House of Delegates (The State Journal)
Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can breathe a little easier now that the West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill regarding insurance coverage for those children. Read more. 

Basic police work ignored in autistic patient’s suspicious death (News10)
Six days before he died, Van Ingraham was found on the floor of his room. His neck was broken and his spinal cord was crushed and disfigured. The injury was so severe, medical experts said it looked like he’d been put in a headlock or hanged. Read more. 

Autism Speaks’ daily blog “Autism in the News” is a mix of top news stories of the day. Autism Speaks does not vet the stories and the views contained therein do not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks beliefs or point of view.


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Autistic Tests – Checklist of Symptoms You Can Use to Test Your Child For Autistic Disorder

Autistic Tests

The signs of autism can be dubbed as various the beginning of stages of development. The definition of autism is as a neurodevelopmental disorder with three very insured symptom classes. For a inhabitant to be diagnosed with dealing with the signs of autism they have got to have a certain total amount of such symptoms. They are broken minimal to three groups. Autistic Tests

Signs have to be seen, before the child reaches 3 years old, of multiple behaviors in social situations, language delays or oddities and an inability in normal imaginative play situations. If you are wondering if your child could be autistic review the checklist below, properties must own at least six of the below signs, a the very least of two from the primarily group and one each from the second and third groups.

1.Lack of normal social interaction;

• Inability to use non-verbal social interaction; inability to make eye contact, odd body poses, lack of facial expressions, confusion with gestures.

• Inability to make friends with peers

• Inability to share moments of pleasure. Child does not point to things they like or bring a toy over to share.

• Inability to emotionally give or take

2. Impairments in communication;

• Delayed language, or an inability to speak that does not substitute gestures for language.

• For those who do talk there is still clumsiness in language, an inability to start a conversation or continue one.

• Repetition of a phrase over and over again. This is known as echolalia.

• A lack of imaginative play appropriate for their age. Autistic Tests

3. Repetitive behaviors, patterns and routines.

• An intense or repetitive focus on something that is out of proportion to normal interest.

• Need for routines or rituals. A need for structure beyond the normal. Changes being overreacted to.

• Repetitive behaviors like rocking, hand movements, or anything else that are repeated non-stop over a period of time.

• An unusual focus on a part of something. For example the wheels of a toy car or the eyes of a stuffed animal. If your child has six or more of the above signs of autism then its time to take them to your health care provider. They will do a number of diagnostic tests to determine if your child is autistic. Autistic Tests

Although a diagnosis of autism can be a shocking outcome to parents, especially as there is no cure, early intervention can go a long way to allowing your child to grow up taking part in the mainstream world of school and life. Don’t let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Autistic Tests program now!

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Autism Research Paper – Celiac Disease, Autism & Developmental Disorders

Autism Research Paper

It appears that the basis of this story traces back to a 1998 medical paper that suggested that autistic children often suffered from a problem called “leaky gut” / “autistic entercolitis”.

The idea was that opiates found in gluten and casein (dairy) were released when gluten food was improperly digested. This happened when the GI tract was damaged by such things as celiac disease. The opiates then supposedly were released into the bloodstream causing or increasing obvious autistic like symptoms. This paper is now widely discredited and retracted. Autism Research Paper

The current concern is that the ‘bounce back effect’ from such a retraction is the discrediting of celiac disease in healthy and autistic children. For those unaware of ‘Developmental disorders’ in children they cover five main categories. These are:


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit disorder (ADD)

Non-verbal learning disorder (NLD)

Pervasive development disorder (PDD)


Some of the symptoms of celiac disease and/ or milk intolerance on the Gastro Intestinal (GI) tract in children are:

– Bloating/swollen tummy

– Breaking wind frequently

– Constipation

– Craving/ dislike for certain foods

– Dark shadows under the eyes

– Diarrhea

– Eating non-food items e.g. earth, paper, sand, soap

– Excessive sweating, especially at night

– Giggling/ screaming for no apparent reason

– Gut disorders in the family

– Inability to control body temperature

– Pale skin/pasty face

It appears that the most rigorous research into the possible links between celiac disease (or other GI disorders) and autism (or other related Developmental disorders) are coming from American PEDIATRICS department studies. Autism Research Paper

One definition of Autism is that that it is that it is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) that is generally manifested in the first 3 years of life and characterized by dysfunction in social interaction and communication AND although not included in the diagnostic criteria, there have been many reports describing gastrointestinal symptoms in 9% to 84% of children with autism. Autism Research Paper

However the very latest papers released in January 2010 suggest that “care providers should be aware that problem behavior in patients with ASD’s may be the primary or sole symptom of the underlying medical condition, including some gastrointestinal disorders. Don’t let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Autism Research Paper program now!

Feeling lost without solutions? Autism Research Paper is a proven Autism Solution for your Child. Try The Program and change child’s life forever!
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