The Truths about Autism

Depending on who you talk to the causes of Autism raises lots and lots of questions.  Many specialists are finding a correlation between vaccinations and autism. Some specialists say it is genetics.  But it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism versus neuro-typical children.

In many families, there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities supporting a genetic basis to the disorder.  They are also showing children with autism, have a higher level of mercury in their system, which shows, heavy metals may change the structure of the brain..  Autism tends to occur among individuals who have certain medical conditions, including FragileX syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, congenital rubella syndrome, and untreated phenylketonuria(PKU).

Some harmful substances ingested during pregnancy also have been associated with an increased risk of autism. Studies have shown mothers who are given the flu vaccine have a higher rate of their child having autism.

Here are some symptoms listed of characteristic behavior of infants with autism:
*does not  babble or coo by 12 months
*does not gesture(point, wave, grasp)by 12 months
*does not say single words by 16 months
*does not say 2-word phrases by 24 months
*has any loss of any language or social skill at any age.

Having any of these does not mean your child has autism.  But because the characteristics of the disorder vary so much, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by your pediatrician, and they will advise you on what to do next.

It is important to distinguish autism from other conditions, since and accurate diagnosis and early identification can provide the basis for building an appropriate and effective educational and treatment program. A brief observation is a single setting cannot present a true picture of an individual’s abilities and behaviors. Parental(and caregiver) and/or teachers’ input and developmental history are important components of making an accurate diagnosis.

A medical diagnosis is made by a physician based on an assessment of symptoms, and diagnostic test. A medical diagnosis of autism is most frequently made by a physician. If you have any questions regarding your child, call with Dr. McFarland, and get the ball rolling. 970-256-7454

Facts and Statistics
*1% of the population of children in the U.S ages *3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder
*Prevalence is estimated at 1 in 110 births
*1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder
*Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.
*10-17% annual growth
*$60 billion annual cost
*60% of costs are in adult services
*Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention
*In 10 years, the annual cost will be $200-$400 billion.
*1% of the adult population of the United Kingdom have an autism spectrum disorder.

Call Dr. McFarland with any questions. 970-256-7454

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