Tag Archives: Disease Control And Prevention

CDC Data and Statistics that you may not know.

Hi, We have a new volunteer. Our first. Elizabeth Campion,  from the Shelby Township library here in Michigan. She is an expert at mining data, She did this as a sample of her work. Even I had not heard all these facts. I thank her for this work.

 

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION                                             DATA AND STATISTICS

 

AUTISM

About one in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.

ASD’s are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

ASD’s are almost five times more common among boys (1 in54) than among girls (1 in 252).

Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with an ASD with an average prevalence of about 1%.  A recent study in South Korea reported a prevalence of 2.6%.

About one in 6 children in the U.S. had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.

 

RISK FACTORS AND CHARACTERISTICS

Studies have shown that among identical twins, if one child has an ASD, then the other will be affected about 36-95% of the time.  In non-identical twins, if one child has an ASD, then the other is affected about 0-31% of the time.

Parents who have a child with an ASD have a 2-18% chance of having a second child who is also affected.

ASDs tend to occur more often in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions.  About 10% of children with autism are also identified as having Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, tubers sclerosis, and other genetic and chromosomal disorders.

The majority (62%) of children the ADDM Network identified as having ASDs did not have intellectual disability.

Children born to older parents are at a higher risk for ASDs.

A small percentage of children who are born prematurely or with low birth weight are at greater risk for having ASDs.

ASD commonly co-occurs with other developmental, psychiatric, neurologic, chromosomal and genetic diagnoses.  The co-occurrence of one or more non-ASD developmental diagnoses is 83%.  The co-occurrence of one or more psychiatric diagnoses is 10%.

Research has shown that a diagnosis of autism at age 2 can be reliable, valid and stable.

More children are being diagnosed at earlier ages – a growing number (18%) of them by age 3.  Still, most children are not diagnosed until after they reach age 4.  Diagnosis is a bit earlier for children with autistic disorder (4years) than for children with the more broadly-defined autism spectrum diagnoses (4 years, 5 months) and diagnosis is much later for children with Asperger Disorder (6 years, 3 months).

Studies have shown that parents of children with ASDs notice a developmental problem before their child’s first birthday.  Concerns about vision and hearing were more often reported in the first year, and differences in social, communication, and fine motor skills were evident from 6 months of age.

 

ECONOMIC COSTS

Individuals with an ASD had average medical expenditures that exceeded those without an ASD by $4,110-$6,200 per year.  On average, medical expenditures for individuals with an ASD were 4.1 – 6.2 times greater than for those without an ASD.  Differences in median expenditures ranged from $2,240 to $3,360 per year, with median expenditures 8.4 – 9.5 times greater.

In 2005, the average annual medical costs for Medicaid-enrolled children with an ASD were $10,709 per child, which was about six times higher than costs for children without an ASD ($1,812).

In addition to medical costs, intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASDs cost $40,000 to $60,000 per child per year.

Question?: Autism Symptoms In Infants

Donald asks…

How can my sister stop getting scared over a flu shot?

Well, My sister gets all tense and she almost starts to cry whenever she gets a shot, We try to calm her but it makes her More tense. Shes getting a flu shot in 3 weeks and im afaird she’ll freak again…Help?
Yeah, I’ve told my parents that flu shots can cause alot of bad reactions, and what do they say, “Yeah right” and they say “It’s for our own good” I mean…0.0

admin answers:

Your sister has good reason to be affraid of the flu shot. You, her, or anyone else should NOT get that junk put into your body and violate the sanctity of your blood.

It is more common to have bad reactions than not to have a reaction.

Another influenza season is beginning, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will strongly urge Americans to get a flu shot. In fact, the CDC mounts a well-orchestrated campaign each season to generate interest and demand for flu shots. But a recent study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu appeared to have no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons.

At first glance, the data did suggest that children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years derived some protection from vaccination in these years. But after adjusting for potentially relevant variables, the researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting” examined.
Additionally, a Group Health study found that flu shots do not protect elderly people against developing pneumonia — the primary cause of death resulting as a complication of the flu. Others have questioned whether there is any mortality benefit with influenza vaccination. Vaccination coverage among the elderly increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now, but there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia.
There is some evidence that flu shots cause Alzheimer’s disease, most likely as a result of combining mercury with aluminum and formaldehyde. Mercury in vaccines has also been implicated as a cause of autism.

Three other serious adverse reactions to the flu vaccine are joint inflammation and arthritis, anaphylactic shock (and other life-threatening allergic reactions), and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic autoimmune disease. One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease.

There are three major reasons why this government push to vaccinate 84 percent of the U.S. Population with a yearly flu vaccine is so incomprehensible:

1. The majority of flu shots contain 25 micrograms of mercury; an amount considered unsafe for anyone weighing less than 550 pounds! And which groups are most sensitive to the neurological damage that has been associated with mercury? Infants, children, and the elderly.

2. No studies have conclusively proven that flu shots prevent flu-related deaths among the elderly, yet this is one of the key groups to which they’re pushed.

3. If you get a flu shot, you can still get the flu (or flu-like symptoms). This is because it only protects against certain strains, and it’s anyone’s guess which flu viruses will be in your area. So why would you take a flu shot – EVERY YEAR — that has NEVER been proven to be effective, that can give you the very illness you’re trying to prevent, and has potential long-term side effects that are far worse than the flu itself?

The powers that be have done an excellent job of instilling fear into the population so they believe that they must get a shot to stay healthy, but the simple reality is it’s doing you more harm than good. And, even if the flu vaccine could effectively prevent the flu, there have been several examples in past years where government health officials have chosen the incorrect influenza strains for that year’s vaccine. In 2004, the National Vaccine Information Center described how CDC officials told everyone to line up for a flu shot that didn’t even contain the influenza strain causing most of the flu that year. Two-Thirds of This Year’s Flu Vaccines Contain a Full-Dose of Mercury According to Dr. Donald Miller, MD, two-thirds of this year’s flu vaccines contain 25 micrograms of thimerosal. Thimerosal is 49 percent mercury by weight. Each dose of these flu vaccines contains more than 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for mercury.

In addition to mercury, flu vaccines also contain other toxic or hazardous ingredients like:

• Formaldehyde — a known cancer-causing agent
• Aluminum — a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease
• Triton X-100 — a detergent
• Phenol (carbolic acid)
• Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
• Various antibiotics: neomycin, streptomycin, gentamicin – which can cause allergic reactions in some people

Know that there’s plenty of scientific evidence available to back up the recommendation to avoid flu vaccines – if nothing else, then for the simple reason that they don’t work, and don’t offer any real benefit to offset their inherent health risks. For example:

• A brand new study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. The researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting” examined.
• A study published in the Lancet just two months ago found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. This supports a study done five years ago, published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
• Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine last month also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.
• Last year, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the Lancet Infectious Diseases: “We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.”
• A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.

I focus on improving my immune system through good nutrition and NEVER, EVER get a flu shot under any circumstances and have NOT had a cold, the flu, or allergies in the last 5 years now.

Good luck to you

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Interrelated Health Issues Experienced By Children With Autism: Anxiety, GI Problems, Sensory Over-Responsivity

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Anxiety / Stress;  GastroIntestinal / Gastroenterology;  Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Article Date: 21 Sep 2012 – 1:00 PDT Current ratings for:
Interrelated Health Issues Experienced By Children With Autism: Anxiety, GI Problems, Sensory Over-Responsivity
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One in 88 children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study by a University of Missouri researcher found that many children with ASD also experience anxiety, chronic gastrointestinal (GI) problems and atypical sensory responses, which are heightened reactions to light, sound or particular textures. These problems appear to be highly related and can have significant effects on children’s daily lives, including their functioning at home and in school.

Micah Mazurek, an assistant professor of health psychology and a clinical child psychologist, found in her study of 2,973 children and adolescents with ASD that nearly one-fourth also had chronic GI problems, such as constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or nausea. The results also showed that children with chronic GI problems were more likely to experience anxiety and sensory problems.

“These problems can have a very real impact on daily life. Children with anxiety may be distressed or reluctant to engage in new activities, and those with sensory problems may have trouble paying attention or participating in over-stimulating enviornments,” Mazurek said. “These children may also suffer uncomfortable GI problems that they may not be able to communicate about to adults.”

Clinicians should be aware that anxiety, GI problems and sensory sensitivity often co-occur in individuals with ASD. Effectively managing these concurrent issues may improve children’s quality of life and their responses to treatment, Mazurek said.

“Parents need to be aware that these problems may underlie some of their children’s difficulties, so if they notice any symptoms, they should talk to their doctors or therapists about treatment options,” Mazurek said. “Practitioners who work with children with ASD need to be mindful that there is a pretty high rate of these problems, so if children are treated for one issue, it may helpful to screen for these additional symptoms.”

This is the first study to examine the relationships among anxiety, GI problems and sensory over-responsivity in a large, nationally representative sample of children and adolescents with ASD. Participants in the study were enrolled in the Autism Treatment Network, a network of 17 autism centers throughout North America that are focused on best practices for medical treatment of children with ASD.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. The study, “Anxiety, Sensory Over-Responsivity, and Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” was published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. Mazurek is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Psychology in the MU School of Health Professions and a clinical child psychologist at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Mazurek’s coauthors from the School of Health Professions include Stephen Kanne, executive director of the Thompson Center and the William and Nancy Thompson Endowed Chair in Child Health in the Department of Health Psychology; and Lee Ann Lowery, director of the MU Pediatric Occupational Therapy Clinic in the Thompson Center and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Several experts external to MU also contributed to the study.
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Can Videogaming Benefit Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: IT / Internet / E-mail
Article Date: 08 Sep 2012 – 0:00 PDT Current ratings for:
Can Videogaming Benefit Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorder?
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 88 children in the U.S. has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a broad group of neurodevelopmental disorders. Children and adolescents with ASD are typically fascinated by screen-based technology such as videogames and these can be used for educational and treatment purposes as described in an insightful Roundtable Discussion published in Games for Health Journal: Research Development, and Clinical Applications, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.. The article is available free on the Games for Health Journal website.

Individuals with ASD have difficulty with communication and social interaction, but they often have particularly good visual perceptual skills and respond well to visual stimuli. Videogames offer opportunities for successful learning, motivation to improve skills such as planning, organization, and self-monitoring, and reinforcement of desired behaviors without the need for direct human-to-human interaction.

Autism is a growing area of interest for the gamification community, and Games for Health Journal continues to explore various aspects of how videogame technology can be beneficial in treating this complex spectrum of disorders. In a previous issue of the Journal, the article “Comparing Energy Expenditure in Adolescents with and without Autism while Playing Nintendo® Wii™ Games” described how gaming might help individuals with ASD increase their daily physical activity to prevent obesity.

“Children and young adults with ASD have unique opportunities to capitalize on their interest and aptitude in videogames as a resource to develop desired social behaviors and life skills and to increase their physical activity,” says Games for Health Journal Editor-in-Chief Bill Ferguson, PhD, who moderated the Roundtable.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
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‘Can Videogaming Benefit Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorder?’

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Early Pregnancy Folic Acid Supplements Reduce Autism Risk In Newborns

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Academic Journal
Main Category: Pregnancy / Obstetrics
Also Included In: Autism;  Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Article Date: 18 Jun 2012 – 9:00 PDT Current ratings for:
‘Early Pregnancy Folic Acid Supplements Reduce Autism Risk In Newborns’
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1 in 88 children born today will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, researchers have found that women can reduce the risk of having a child with the neurodevelopmental disorder if they consume the recommended daily doses of folic acid (600 micrograms, or 0.6milligrams), the synthetic form of folate or vitamin B-9, during the first month of pregnancy.

Autism is characterized by communication deficits, impairments in social interaction, intellectual disability, and repetitive behaviors.

The study, conducted by researchers at UC Davis MIND institute and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adds to the researchers’ earlier work, which found women were less likely to have a child with autism if they consumed prenatal vitamins around the time of conception.

In this study, the team set out to determine if the protective effect in those supplements was folic acid. According to the findings, women who are trying to conceive a child or those who have already conceived should consider taking folic acid supplements.

The researchers discovered that women were less likely to have a child with autism if they consumed the recommended amount of folic acid during the first month of pregnancy, specifically, when the mother and/or her child had a specific genetic variant (MTHFR 677 C>T). This variant is associated with less efficient folate metabolism.

Lead study author Rebecca J. Schmidt, assistant professor of public health sciences in the UC Davis School of Medicine and a research with the UC Davis MIND institute, explained:

“This research is congruent with the findings of earlier studies that suggest that improved neurodevelopmental outcomes are associated with folic acid intake in early pregnancy. It further supports recommendations that women with any chance of becoming pregnant should consider consuming folic acid at levels of 600 micrograms or greater per day.”

Irva Hertz-Picciotto, chief of the division of environmental and occupational health in the Department of Public Health Sciences and MIND Institute researcher said:

“What’s reassuring here is knowing that, by taking specific action in terms of their intake of folic acid from food or supplements, women can reduce the risk of autism spectrum disorder in their future children.”

According to the researchers, folic acid helps protect against problems with embryonic brain development by facilitating DNA methylation reactions that can change the way the genetic code is read. They state that adequate intake of methyl donors, such as folic acid, could be especially important during the time a women conceives.

The team examined data on 835 Northern California women who had children aged 2 to 5 years old with autism, developmental delay or typical development. All the mothers took part in the Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) study between 2003 and 2009.

The investigators evaluated the average amount of folic acid each woman consumed daily and the frequency of consumption. They gathered information from study participants 3 months before they became pregnant, and then again when they were pregnant.

They found that mothers of children with autism reported less folic acid intake during their first month of pregnancy than mothers of typically developing children, who reported more likely to meet intake recommendations.

Furthermore, study participants were less likely to have a child with autism if the amount of folic acid they consumed increased. During the three months before pregnancy, mothers of children with developmental delay tended to have lower estimated folic acid intake.

GrainProducts
In many countries today, including the USA, several grain products are fortified with folic acid

According to the researchers, at least 69% of mothers of typically developing children met the recommended daily guidelines for folic acid, with an average of 779 micrograms per day. 54% of mothers of children with autism met the daily guidelines, with an average of 655+ micrograms per day.

Earlier studies have shown that consuming supplemental folic acid before and during early pregnancy can prevent up to 70% of neural tube defects, or improper formation of the embryonic brain and spinal cord, as well as securing improvements in other social, attention and behavioral outcomes in the developing child.. These effects were stronger when the mother and/or child carried the MTHFR 677 C>T gene variant.

Written by Grace Rattue
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Visit our pregnancy / obstetrics section for the latest news on this subject. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

UC Davis Health System

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posted by Harold, Ph.D. on 19 Jun 2012 at 3:18 pm

I was surprised that Folic acid from foods or supplements were considered equal. Since 1982 it has been known that supplement sources were needed and this resulted in the FDA’s recommendation for supplementation of Folic Acid in 1991.

Cherry picking nutrients for study will always be interesting but the more successful approach would be to study those individuals comparing the composition of the diet to what is known to be required for a nutritionally adequate diet. The greatest risk for developing autism is a diet that lacks adequate nutrients for proper brain development and in those with autism, this includes up to fifty or sixty different nutrients that are low or absent in the diet. The most critical of these includes cholesterol, choline, many of the fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

History has shown that the non-communicable diseases result from diets that fail to meet the needs for proper development. Since nutrition is not considered a medical problem, a non-medical solution, nutrition is more likely to rid this world of autism.

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‘Early Pregnancy Folic Acid Supplements Reduce Autism Risk In Newborns’

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Potential Link Between Autism And Smoking During Pregnancy

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Pregnancy / Obstetrics;  Smoking / Quit Smoking
Article Date: 30 Apr 2012 – 1:00 PDT

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Women who smoke in pregnancy may be more likely to have a child with high-functioning autism, such as Asperger’s Disorder, according to preliminary findings from a study by researchers involved in the U.S. autism surveillance program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It has long been known that autism is an umbrella term for a wide range of disorders that impair social and communication skills,” says Amy Kalkbrenner, assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, lead author of the study. “What we are seeing is that some disorders on the autism spectrum, more than others, may be influenced by a factor such as whether a mother smokes during pregnancy.”

The study was published in an advance online release by the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Smoking during pregnancy is still common in the U.S. despite its known harmful impacts on babies. Kalkbrenner found that 13 percent of mothers whose children were included in the study had smoked during pregnancy.

Kalkbrenner and colleagues’ population-based study compared smoking data from birth certificates of thousands of children from 11 states to a database of children diagnosed with autism maintained by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDMN). Of the 633,989 children, born in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998, 3,315 were identified as having an autism spectrum disorder at age 8.

“The study doesn’t say for certain that smoking is a risk factor for autism,” Kalkbrenner says. “But it does say that if there is an association, it’s between smoking and certain types of autism,” implicating the disorders on the autism spectrum that are less severe and allow children to function at a higher level. That connection, she adds, needs further study.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and several studies of possible links between environmental factors and autism are being published by Environmental Health Perspectives at the same time as Kalkbrenner’s study. “The CDC recently released data indicating that 1 in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, making such environmental studies even more timely,” says Kalkbrenner.

Because autism involves a broad spectrum of conditions and the interplay of genetics and environment is so complex, no one study can explain all the causes of autism, she adds. “The goal of this work is to help provide a piece of the puzzle. And in this we were successful.”

Other research articles published in Environmental Health Perspectives show that polychlorinated biphenyls disrupt early brain development by interfering with the signals that promote normal neuron branching. A review article suggests research directions for exploring a potential link between pesticides and autism. An editorial calls for increased discovery research to identify possible environmental causes of autism in America’s children.

“PCB 95 Promotes Dendritic Growth via Ryanodine Receptor-Dependent Mechanisms”

“PCB 95 Modulates Calcium-Dependent Signaling Pathway Responsible for Activity-Dependent Dendritic Growth”

“Tipping the Balance of Autism Risk: Potential Mechanisms Linking Pesticides and Autism”

“A Research Strategy to Discover the Environmental Causes of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. For a pdf of the study, go to: http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104556.
In addition to lead author Kalkbrenner, co-authors include: Joe Braun, Harvard School of Public Health; Maureen Durkin, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health; Matthew Maenner, Waisman Center at UW-Madison; Christopher Cunniff, University of Arizona College of Medicine; Li-Ching Lee, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Sydney Pettygrove, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona; Joyce Nicholas, Medical University of South Carolina; and Julie Daniels, UNC Gillings School of Public Health.
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

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University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. “Potential Link Between Autism And Smoking During Pregnancy.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 30 Apr. 2012. Web.
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‘Potential Link Between Autism And Smoking During Pregnancy’

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The Many Signs of Autism

If you are the parent of a newborn or young child and are worried about them being autistic, you will be interested in knowing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded that as many as one child in every 100 may be suffering with Autism. It is recommended that you begin observing your child as early as possible. Research has proven that the earlier a child is professionally diagnosed with the disorder, the easier it will be to treat the disorder and have the prognosis for a good outcome.

So what are the signs of Autism that you should be looking for? According to the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), the following are the warning signs of the disorder that you should be looking for in order to determine the possibility of your child being affected:

– They are not babbling, making meaningful gestures, or pointing by the time they are a year old
– They do not interact joyfully with others or smile
– They do not respond to their name when called
– They do not seem to know or understand how to play with their toys
– They exhibit poor eye contact
– They get attached to one specific object or toy
– They haven’t combined two words by the time they are 2 years old
– They haven’t spoken one word by the time they have reached 16 months of age
– They line up objects or their toys
– They lose acquired language or social skills
– They oftentimes appear to be hearing impaired or ignoring you

Granted, there could be a number of other explanations besides Autism for any of the above behaviors. For instance, the fact that a child spends time lining up objects or toys or shows a significant attachment to a particular object or toy is not a definitive sign of the disorder being present. Conversely, a child with excellent language skills could still be diagnosed with Autism. In fact, it is known that children have extraordinary language and reading skills despite the fact that they have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Currently, there are other possible indicators of the disorder which is typically diagnosed by a process of interviewing the parents about the child and observing the child at the same time. However, a number of researchers have found several correlations between Autism and certain physical issues. In some instances, signs of Autism could be apparent could be present at birth.

The most important thing to remember is that observation of one’s child is critical. If you are suspicious of your child being affected with the disorder and you are seeing what you feel are signs of Autism, consult your child’s pediatrician or family physician immediately. Remember that the best course of action is to have the child diagnosed as early in life as possible. The sooner the child is diagnosed, the sooner they can start treatment and possibly witness a better outcome.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

View the original article here

Autism Healthcare

The United States has a fragmented healthcare system made of many private health care facilities that are largely owned by the private sector. Primary care doctors are usually the first point of entry when there are any health concerns before referrals to any other appropriate health establishment if necessary. There are thousands of insurance companies that cover private health insurance and up until fairly recently it has been very hard to get health insurance to cover autism because it is risky and treatment is very expensive. This has recently changed due to new legislation but availability can depend on whether a particular State has enacted autism insurance legislation or coverage for government funded health programs such as Medicaid.

The causes of autism are not readily known or available. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that autism and related disorders are more common than previously thought. There is an increase in those being diagnosed and 3-4 times as many boys than girls are affected. On average one in 110 children born in the U.S. have autism. One in 70 boys and one in 315 girls are affected. It is thought by professionals that the increase is due to a wider definition of the spectrum.

It is essential to get an expert diagnosis in order to access the different services and treatments that may be available as it is beneficial to begin an early intervention program. An evaluation and assessment of the child may be done by a multidisciplinary team of professionals. Doctors who specializes in autism will observe the child, ask parents questions about the child’s development and behavior and do a variety of tests such as intelligence tests to evaluate the child’s strengths and weaknesses.

The following are some examples of the types of people and places listed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of whom to go to that will make a referral to, or provide diagnostic and treatment services (NIMH):

Family doctors
Mental health specialists such as psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors
Community mental health centers
Health maintenance organizations
Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatients clinics
State hospital outpatient clinics
Local medical and/or psychiatric societies

Once diagnosed, the quest to find affordable health insurance coverage to cover autism can begin. Around half of states currently have enacted autism insurance legislation which makes healthcare insurance coverage for more available, though it can be expensive. Recent laws have increased coverage for government funded health programs such as Medicaid for those on low incomes and disability is covered if it comes within the disability guidelines, so more families now qualify for assistance.

There are all kinds of treatments and interventions available and a treatment plan can be devised and tailored towards the individual child. Different teams of specialists can evaluate such things as speech, communication and motor skills. The main ways of treating the child can be through:

Behaviour Therapies and other types of therapies

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can be used to shape and modify behavior. Occupational Therapy is available to work on fine and gross motor skills, for example, and there are other therapies such as Speech Therapy.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for school age children

Parents are encouraged to be involved with teachers in setting targets or goals to be reached within the particular school year and describes any special support required in meeting them.

Medication

Currently, there are no medications available to treat autism, but there are supplements that can treat and manage some of the symptoms. Ritalin, for example, can be used to treat impulsivity and overactivity and there are other drugs that can be used to treat behaviors such as aggressive behaviors or repetitive behaviors.

Though healthcare is fragmented in the United States, there is a wide range of therapies and interventions available for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Accessing these can depend on the child having an expert diagnosis on autism and on what health insurance coverage the child has.

References:

CDC. Cdc.gov: How Many Children Have Autism? Retrieved 29 March, 2011, from
cdc.gov/ncbddd/features/counting-autism.html

NIMH. Nimh,nih.gov: How To Find Help
nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/getting-help-locate-services/index.shtml

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1 In 88 Children May Have A Form Of Autism

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Autism
Article Date: 30 Mar 2012 – 0:00 PDT

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Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental disabilities that include difficulties in social interaction and communication as well as restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped behavior patterns. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has released information this week, estimating that as many as 1 in 88 children, or more than 1%, may have some kind of ASD.

Researchers took 2008 data from some 14 different communities, finding that ASD was five times more common in boys at 1 in 54. Girls had lower numbers at 4 per 1000, or 1 in 252, as did children in Alabama coming in at 1 in 210. Utah had the highest figures at one in 47, and there were also alarming increases in black and Hispanic communities.

The CDC established an autism research and monitoring program in 2000, to collect data on the issue, which has been a hot button topic of late due to controversy surrounding alleged side effects from vaccines and thimerosal, a mercury based preservative used in vaccines. The CDC report entitled : Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008, gives autism estimates from 14 areas around the US. It was published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said :

“This information paints a picture of the magnitude of the condition across our country and helps us understand how communities identify children with autism … That is why HHS and our entire administration has been working hard to improve the lives of people living with autism spectrum disorders and their families by improving research, support, and services.”

While CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. weighed in on the matter stating that :

“One thing the data tells us with certainty – there are many children and families who need help … We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children.”

The Obama administration has committed to making efforts to address the needs of children and parents of children with ASDs. Their focus includes the work of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IACC’s charge is to facilitate ASD research, screening, intervention, and education. As part of this effort, the National Institutes of Health has invested in research to identify possible risk factors and effective therapies for people with ASDs.

The CDC results show a shocking 11.3 per 1,000 eight-year-old children have been identified as having an ASD. The last information was released in 2009, and the new figures give a nearly 25% increase prevalence, and while a part may well be down to more accurate diagnosis and a great awareness of ASD, the deeper aspects of the issue are still not fully understood.

In addition, the research shows more children are being diagnosed by age 3, an increase from 12 percent for children born in 1994 to 18 percent for children born in 2000. As Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., M.S.Hyg., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities says :

“To understand more, we need to keep accelerating our research into risk factors and causes of autism spectrum disorders… Unfortunately, 40 percent of the children in this study aren’t getting a diagnosis until after age 4. We are working hard to change that.”

The CDC report concludes by stating that ASDs are of serious public concern and the increase in prevalence only makes investigating the issue more important. They also give advice to parents worried about ASD, or the development of their child to: Talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns.
Call your local early intervention program or school system for an assessment.
Remember you do not need a diagnosis to access services for your child.A website is also provided for those seeking more information on the matter

http://www.cdc.gov/autism

Written by Rupert Shepherd
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

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posted by Kelly on 29 Mar 2012 at 8:47 pm

If one in 88 children was in different stages of vision loss starting at age two, I know there would be more people assisting these individuals and families. Autism is a real disorder, it comes in many shapes and sizes, but it impacts millions of people and their families in ways no one can imagine unless you are living it.
I am sure that people will say this is due to misdiagnosis, or inflated stats, I am guessing these are the same people who have no contact with people on the spectrum. I have two girls with ASD and it is a reality. I don’t know what will happen day to day, year to year, and certainly when they are adults. I hope this is a call to action for people to educate, support, and accept people with autism. More needs to be done.

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posted by Paula Taylor on 31 Mar 2012 at 9:38 am

need help finding proper school for my daughter entering 5th grade she has been DX with high functioning aspergers. and is not doing well in public school system we live in benton county ar

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posted by Johannes on 6 Apr 2012 at 9:52 am

I was told in the 1970ies that many parents sought the diagnosis of mental retardation because the Kennedy administration was spending money on MR treatment and research. I worked at Bellevue Hospital in NYC with kids with autism. When I visited a ward for people with mental retardation I found many of them had similar behaviors as the kids with autism. Until the late 80ies I saw many students that I taught had autism who were diagnosed with MR. Quite quickly it began yo change. The current diagnosis is much more expansive than Kanner’s original description. Some parents actively seek the diagnosis because there is money attached to it. I know of one boy who was seen by several neurologists and was not diagnosed as having autism. He was finally diagnosed by a psychologist as having autism. The treatment he is getting ignores many other aspects of his behavior.
I now see kids with the diagnosis of autism who in my opinion are misdiagnosed.

One final point, money should not be attached to a diagnosis but to the severity of he condition, unfortunately that can be manipulated too.

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Launching ‘Move the Needle’ – A conference to advance early detection and intervention

Posted by Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson, Ph.D.

I want to share with you the excitement I felt at this week’s strategic planning meeting for our new Move the Needle Initiative. Autism Speaks brought together experts in the field of early detection and intervention for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with representatives of federal agencies such as the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to create a national plan for lowering the age of diagnosis for ASD and improve access to high-quality early intervention services for all children with autism.

While researchers have made great progress in developing screening and diagnostic tools, the average age of diagnosis remains stubbornly close to 5 years, even higher among some ethnic minorities. Even after their children are diagnosed, many families lack access to the best early intervention therapies.

Our meeting was a great opportunity for exchanging ideas between disciplines. We heard from family members, pediatricians, policy makers, clinicians and researchers who are evaluating the best ways to put effective strategies and tools into pediatrician offices and the broader community. Representatives from all part of Autism Speaks attended to help us identify ways to harness our powers together to “Move the Needle.”

Experts from outside of autism, including one from the field of breast cancer, shared their knowledge of effective ways to improve early detection and access to services. On the first day of the meeting, we heard about the latest findings on screening, diagnosis, early interventions, access to services in underserved communities and innovative technologies that have the potential to improve access among underserved children and their families.

On day two, we split into working groups to develop solutions to the barriers that have interfered with the delivery of earlier diagnosis and treatment in our communities. This included taking the first steps toward creating a new agenda for collaboration between public and private organizations. We brainstormed ideas on how this could be done as soon as possible by building on the tremendous progress of recent years.

Though I have only begun to pull together our thoughts and ideas, I want to share a few important issues that floated to the top of the conversation:

Family empowerment was a common theme. Studies clearly show that greater engagement and empowerment on the part of families decreases parental stress and increases satisfaction with services. Likewise, we know that children who have the best outcomes tend to be those whose parents are actively engaged in treatment. We discussed several strategies to  empower families.We explored a concept we call task shifting, to help address service shortages in many communities. We recognize that, through training, we can tap professionals such as nurses, “birth-to-three” service providers and community volunteers to provide services such as screening and family follow up. This approach can provide families with more professionally delivered services than, say, the typical pediatrician can offer.We agreed that we must harness the potential of technology. Smart phones, iPads and video conferencing are all ready to be developed as tools for improving access to services – especially important for underserved populations such as children in rural areas.Recognizing that pediatricians play a central role in autism screening, we discussed many ideas for enhancing pediatrician awareness and skills, including their ability to connect families with the services they need.  

These are just a few ideas that came out of this inspiring meeting. It provided a great start to realizing our long-term vision of creating a national agenda through private-public partnerships that focus our investments in research and services in ways that will lower the age of diagnosis and improve access to quality early interventions for all children.

Your feedback means the world to us. Please leave a comment and send us an email to ScienceChat@autismspeaks.org.

Ragga

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