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Autism

Discussion in 'Health & Healing' started by sparc872, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. sparc872

    sparc872 Active Member

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    Does anyone here know somebody with autism? My girlfriend is working with two autistic twins for the summer and it has really caught my attention. According to one website I found, 1 in 500 children now have autism and the number of children affected increased 600% in Florida over ten years.

    What is causing autism? Is it the environment that kids are being brought into? What are the autism rates outside of the US or industrialized nations? Any answers would be helpful. I am really curious about what it is that causes autism.
     
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  2. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    What causes it? IMO, it's genetics, but I could be wrong.

    My brother and sister techinically have autisum, or a type. It's called aspergers. It's on the spectrum of autism, but they are a bit more high-functioning then regular aspergers children.

    I wish I knew what would cause that, in my family--the children at least

    Me (Becky) - Bipolar II, ADD, OCD, a bit of Anxiety also
    Dayson (brother)- ADD
    Aimee (sister) -Aspergers, ADD and ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, PDD, ODD
    Ryan (brother) - Aspergers, ADD

    What caused this to happen? Not a clue in the world.
     
  3. sparc872

    sparc872 Active Member

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    Hey Becky, I just found a site on today on autism. I thought it was pretty interesting and it might be something yoy want to look into.

    Food and Autism
     
  4. evearael

    evearael Well-Known Member

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    I used to tutor a boy with autism. He was such a sweetheart! An absolutely brilliant child. Anyway, I know the causes of autism are hotly debated. Wiki has got a pretty good overview here.
     
  5. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    My boss's daughter is autistic and bipolor, plus she has a myriad of other physical challenges. She is 14 years old now and the most difficult child you can even conceive of trying to raise. I don't personally believe environment is a factor, but I am not the slightest bit more informed on the subject than the average person.

    I did read a positively fascinating book just a couple of weeks ago (it's short and can easily be read in two or three days at the most). I loaned it to a friend, and can't remember the author's name, but the author has worked extensively with autistic children. The book is called "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime." It's a novel written in first person from the perspective of a 15-year old autistic boy living in England with his father. I think I learned more about the way an autistic person thinks by reading that book than I possibly could have done by reading a stack of scientific articles. It was supurb. I highly recommend it.
     
  6. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    My mother and I have both seen that. We've tried that with my little sister, she is a VERY picky eater though, so my mum's pretty much given up on that, and my brother, he's skinny as a rail, so we need to pump him full of food. :)

    Although, I might try it to help with my BP a bit, I've heard a good diet can do me good.
     
  7. sparc872

    sparc872 Active Member

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    Ya, the kids that my girlfriend works with eat only a couple different things, none of which are very healthy for them. I asked her if they eat a lot of bread, and she said one of the kids ate an entire bag of cracked wheat buns today so I am curious if their parents have heard of this.
     
  8. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Oh my yes.


    Haha, I love bread, as do all my other siblings. We could live off bread, literally. I can eat 5-10 piece of plain bread at a time. Rather odd now that you mention it.
     
  9. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    Hi, sparc.



    I'm so glad you brought this up. Why? Because I know someone very near and dear to me who has autism:


    His name is Tyler.
    He's 9 years old.
    He's my son. :)



    I'd started a thread a little while ago that you can check out since it has more info on it that attempts to dispel any myths and misconceptions about the condition:



    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32124&highlight=mysteries+autism




    Peace,
    Mystic
     
  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Have you read the book I mentioned, Mystic? It was my friend whose daughter is autistic who recommended it to me.
     
  11. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    I sure did, katz. I loved that book! :)



    Peace,
    Mystic
     
  12. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I know that your son is a lot younger than the boy in the book, at that people with autism are not all clones of one another, but did you feel that the book fairly accurately depicted the way an autistic person sees the world? My friend saw a lot of her daughter in it, especially in terms of how literally she takes everything. In telling her daughter what she may and may not do, she can't leave out a single detail or her daughter will apply her own interpretation to the instructions and end up in all kinds of trouble. Oddly, though, her daughter does not have an aversion to being touched, but she is very, very bothered by certain textures. Shampooing her hair is a major nightmare, and she once (I think she was about 11 or 12 at the time) ate an entire necklace made of wooden beads because they looked like candy -- even though she admitted that they didn't taste like candy and weren't good tasting at all.
     
  13. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    I saw a lot of my son in the main character of the book. In the book, the teenaged boy felt safe when his mum or dad put their palm up so he could touch their palm with his own (that was like a hug for him). My son doesn't have that severe an aversion, either, but he has his own kind of hug to make him feel safe.............he touches stomachs with me or his dad. It gets looks if we do it in public because of it's oddity, but it makes Tyler feel loved and cared for. He'll hug normally, but he doesn't get the same thing out of it. He hugs robotically.




    Tyler also takes things literally, so feelings, ideas, theories, and any other stuff that belongs in the abstract kind of goes out the window. He also has a difficult time calming himself down once truly upset. He has a tendency to throw himself on the ground and hit his head until someone physically holds him to get him to stop (he'll also scratch his face until he bleeds until someone physically stops him).




    But just like the boy in the story, Tyler responds to many visual cues. This can be used to everyone's advantage, too: we learned how to keep him focused on tasks and social behavior by having "stories" presented to him in a cartoon/visual format that directs him what to do. He'll carry it with him if we are going to the store together, and if he starts getting sidetracked with all the visual stimuli around him, I'll have him go back to his "storyboard" to remind him of where we are in our errand.




    We use these storyboards to keep him focused on getting ready for school, for sitting down at the dinner table, for running errands, and for getting ready for bed at night. We also have a "safe" story for his temper tantrums that help him focus on keeping his body safe from himself.




    Since he loves the feeling of security when focusing on one thing at a time, he loves job lists. This is where he excels since he doesn't have the nerve to protest like the other kids when he sees a "to-do" list in front of him. :D




    Peace,
    Mystic
     
  14. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    There seems to be a lot of indication on the Web blaming mercury in vaccines for Autism. Do you think there is any truth in that ?

    The only time I have come in contact with Autistic Children was when we went to see a work friend of my wife's at her home, and she had an autistic girl.

    She seemed extremely loving, but I understand Autistic Children can be very tiring.
     
  15. Lintu

    Lintu Active Member

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    I spent a lot of time working with autistic kids, mostly due to a volunteer experience in high school. One summer in college I worked as an assistant teacher in a literacy program for special needs kids. My group included two children with autism: one who spoke but had other behavioral problems, and one who did not speak but was very bright and could type up a storm. I also read the book you guys have mentioned, and I thought it sounded so appropriate relative to these kiddos.

    My husband also worked with an autistic kid as a caregiver over a summer, and he had a heck of a time with it because the child also had severe mental retardation (about 50% of kids with autism also have some level of mental retardation, although others may have much higher than average intelligence). Everyday care for a kid with autism seems extremely difficult and frustrating with fewer of the things that parents say make the bad times worth it. I have deep respect for these parents because of this.

    I believe the links with mercury have been disproven, particularly because autism rates are still rising despite not using mercury in vaccines for years now in the United States. The food link seems really interesting, but I would wonder why so many people are suddenly so resistant to dairy or wheat. I can accept that perhaps people weren't diagnosed in the past with dairy/wheat allergies, but it seems like these issues have become more prevalent. (This coming from someone who lived on milk and wheat as a kid).
     
  16. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    There is speculation, but it has largely come to that, Michel............speculation. There are also theories pointing toward food allergies, but to be honest, the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) research commmunity doesn't know for sure what causes autism. The one theory that has received the most support from peer review has been a genetic link, which makes some kids more predisposed to having an ASD than others.



    Lintu, thanks so much for putting your valuable time in to help kids with autism and to shedding more light on the experience. :flower:



    As far as being a parent of an autistic child.............and that it seems somehow that I should be respected more because of it............I guess some of you aren't aware of how much I feel rewarded as a parent BECAUSE of Tyler's condition (and not in spite of it). He doesn't beg for tons of Christmas gifts: every year I ask him what he'd like, and he usually asks for one thing like a toy train or a single set of Lego blocks. If he gets a card in the mail from a relative for his birthday or for Christmas, he doesn't cheer when he sees cash stuffed in as a gift - he pays attention to the card itself. And, if I ever forget a line to a movie, I can always ask him and he remembers every single line even after watching it once. ;)



    But seriously, Tyler loves the most simplest pleasures in life. The way he responds to a passing train, a dog sitting, or a pitcher walking off of the mound on TV............he laughs and smiles with such glee...........we may not normally find such joy in such mundane things, but he does, and he reminds me that joy and celebration can and should be found in such mundane things, indeed!




    Thank you for all of your support, but I can assure all of you, I feel so very grateful that Tyler has come into my life as my child.



    Peace,
    Mystic
     
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  17. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Heather,

    That sounds a lot like my siblings (your son, I mean).
     
  18. Lintu

    Lintu Active Member

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    That's really great. I've met so many parents who didn't take it that way at all. It splits up so many families and causes a lot of problems for many people. I'm glad that it has worked out so well for your family :)
     
  19. sparc872

    sparc872 Active Member

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    I believe the wheat/milk allergies thing has to do also with the vaccines given to the children. I remember reading somewhere about it that the vaccine can cause damage to the lower intestine, causing the proteins from milk and wheat to be absorbed in unusual ways, resulting in chemical problems within the brain.

    There is more about it here.
     
  20. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Thank you so much for sharing that, Mystic. It sounds like you are very much in tune with Tyler's needs. My hat is off to you -- seriously. Tyler is lucky to have you as a mom.
     
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