Tag Archives: Genetic Predisposition

Question?: Autistic Disorder

David asks…

Autism reported to get worse with a patient?

I have been talking to care staff that work with an autistic man, who is siad to be getting worse autistically.

The mans mother claims that in the past, he was able to ride a bike, go out for walks, run, play and so on when he was a child.

However, his mother claims that it is because he is on medication today and that this is why his behaviour has got worse with time.
She would like him to come off medication.

His dose of medication has been reduced, but not much of a behaviour difference has been observed by the staff.

As I understand it, AS and Autistic disorder remains unchanged in its magniture through out life. But there are variables that can make its effects more or less noticable, such as adolescence and becoming an adult.

In many cases, as such people grow to become adults, I hear reports of a decline in such behaviour.

Can this condition become more or less severe in terms of brain structural damage?
If so, why?

admin answers:

Autism is not caused as a result of brain damage. Scientists are still trying to make a determination of cause, but they think it is probably a genetic predisposition triggered by environmental factors. There are degrees of severity. Many people on the autism spectrum are not mentally retarded. However deficits in communication and social skills make it seem as if they are developmentally challenged.

In my career as a special education teacher, I have observed that puberty DOES present behavior challenges to people on the autism spectrum. But then again, been around any typical kids going through puberty lately? *grin* Puberty can adversely effect the best of us. The issue is just compounded when the person has severe expressive and receptive communication problems.

Some questions you may want to ask are:
Does this person have preferred activities (puzzles, movies, lining up books, etc.)? If so, are these activities built into his daily schedule? Does he have a visual schedule over which he has some control (during a free time activity period, can he choose from 2 or 3 different things)? During his day, does he participate in meaningful age appropriate activities (helping pick up trays, sweeping the floor, straightening books or magazines, etc.)? A visual prompt system may be necessary for his participation in meaningful activities, such as a sequence of pictures showing scattered magazines, then hands picking up those magazines, then a neat stack of magazines.

Basically, any person, no matter their disability level, needs to have scheduled periods of useful activities interspersed with fun activities throughout their day. The challenge is two-fold: finding something useful they can do successfully, and discovering what it is that they consider ‘fun’.

Thanks for being concerned and willing to help a fellow human being. Good luck and best wishes!

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Question?: Adhd Symptoms

Sharon asks…

Is it possible to develop adhd at 14?

Last year i researched adhd symptoms and what causes it and i thought i had it. A few people said i probably have it because i had all of the symptoms for an inattentive type. I have an appointment tommorow for adhd and i was just wondering if its even possible to develop it at an age that isnt so young. Most kids develop it at 4-6 around there and i know for sure i wasn’t like this under grade 6!

admin answers:

You are generally born with it, or noticed it later on. It is characterized by a lack of impulse-control. It might be caused by your early diet, or some genetic predisposition. The thalamus functions differently in those with ADHD or ADD. There are different types of ADD.

1. Slob-like behavior. (messy room etc)
2. Poor grades in school despite being bright.
3. Poor math skills despite being bright.
4. Poor reasoning, presence of mind.
5. Constant daydreaming, fantasizing.
6. Profound procrastination.
7. Anger/Depression
8. Highly creative person.
9. Poor upkeep (laundry, cleaning, dishes)
10. Start talking before others finish speaking.
11. Never finish anything.
12. Begin many projects which are never finished.
13. Easily distracted.
14. Constant shaking of leg, or other nervous behavior.
15. Behavioral outbursts, or resentment of authority.
16. Marijuana use.
17. Find reading books unpleasant or difficult to adhere to.
18. Sensory-seeking behaviors.

These constitute a classic ADD person. Completely and utterly unable to remain focused on action for their own benefit. It is because they are ‘blind’ in a sense. The link between thought and action is broken. They cannot make thoughts translate to actions. Whereas, normal people think “I should do the laundry” and then they do it. An ADD person will think “I should do the laundry”, but it will seem impossible to them. They will not be able to apply logic to the situation, such as “If I do my laundry I will have clean clothes.”

Because of this, their intelligence remains hidden away, submerged beneath a subterfuge of abstractions and anxiety. It is a very sad affair. Many of these individuals might have been outstanding contributors to society.

Certain drugs provide this logic, and make the missing connection. Amphetamines are very effective, although they can turn some people into wretches. They also cause prescribing doctors and psychiatrists to become extraordinarily paranoid and stupid, looking for signs and symptoms of adverse effects of the drug when there are none at all.

An ADD person will often seek out marijuana because it provides about a 15 minute window of ‘clarity’ where you can ‘see’. However, marijuana eventually rewires the motivational center of the brain and makes ADD worse. Not to mention, anxiety, paranoia and depression.

So, yes it is very possible to have ADD at your age, but you should be sure that this is the case. It can always be improved by exercise, but not everyone’s personality is suited for a ‘fit & active’ lifestyle (web programmer etc.).

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