FAQ About Autism and Autistic Persons
Here is a list of the most FAQ (frequently asked questions) with answers in respect to Autism Spectrum Disorders and Autistic children and or persons.
What is Autism or ASD?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is developmental delay of a part of the brain which deals with communication and social interaction skills. It affects individuals in many different ways and thus is referred to as a Spectrum Disorder. Autistic children appear to be disconnected, paying little or no attention to others around them and providing their own stimuli such as obsessive and repetitive behaviours, self rocking, spinning objects etc. Click on the link for more information on What is Autism
What Causes Autism?
That is still the subject of much debate, the exact cause or causes at this stage are unknown but what is known is that Autism affects a staggering 1 in 110 children have Autism. There appears to be 2 types of onset refereed to as early onset and late onset. Early onset is where the child develops symptoms of Autism from birth or by their first Birthday. Late onset or regressive Autism is when the symptoms of Autism are noticed usually by the age of 2 to 3 after the child seems to develop normally then regresses. The late onset cases seem to develop symptoms after their MMR vaccines which are usually administered at that age. There is no proof that the vaccines cause Autism however if the child has the child is genetically susceptible the vaccine may be a trigger as the immune system struggles to cope with the three viruses at once. This is just a theory and has not been proven but there seems to be strong evidence this may be the case. Click on the link for more information on What Causes Autism
Can Autism Be Cured?
Autism is said to be a condition which can not be cured however there are many reported cases of children / person recovering from the classic symptoms of Autism. Recovery can mean different things for different people, however my definition of recovery from Autism would be if a person who has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder can be independent and function in our society as we know it. Click on the link to find out more about Recovery from Autism
How Can Autism Be Treated?
There are many, many types of treatments claimed to work for Autistic persons. The most recognised and trusted are by Diet and Early intervention followed by intensive one on one learning. Each child / person is different as to how they react to these treatments, certainly diet and bio-medical treatments are very popular and certainly appear to have some very good results, as does the early intervention and intensive learning. A mixture of both tailored to your child is by far the most effective, but one must not forget the one most important factor for recovery from any affliction – Pure unconditional love and happy fun environment! Below is a list for more information on some of the more recognised treatments for Autism.
- ABA, what is it and how does it work?
- Discrete Trial Teaching Intervention for ABA
- Bio-Medical treatments – DMG and Autism
- Music and Sound Therapy as a Treatment for Autism
- Recovery from Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Scotson Technique Can Help Children With Autism
- Alternative Biomedical Treatments for Autism: How Good Is the Evidence?
What is Bio-Medical Treatment?
Bio-Medical treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders is the use of supplements, vitamins natural elements and diet to attempt to recover the body physically from the probable afflictions which may have caused the Autism Spectrum Disorder. And to peak the body, mind and immune system so as to overcome the damage which may have been caused by the “out of balance” system. Diet is without doubt a very important factor in how our bodies perform on a physical level, this includes the immune system. It seems that most children with Autism have digestive problems and this leads to the body not having the ability to rid itself of toxins which build up and may cause problems such as Autism. Gluten (found in wheat products) and Casein (found in dairy products) intolerance is a common problem among children with Autism. Removing these from the diet seems to have a very positive affect on some – not all – children affected by Autism. Also other dietry supplements such as DMG, Vitamin B, Colloidal Minerals, Fish Oil, DMSA, are used to help the body remove toxins such as heavy metals and to provide ballance on a physical level. One has to be weary as there seems to be a massive industry growing from convincing us that we need thse supplements and vitamins in order to be healthy, however there is much debate as to whether there is any truth in this hype and that a healthy sensible balanced diet along with a happy balanced mind and lifestyle is all we need to be perfectly well – the human body is an amazingly tolerent physical structure which is completely at the mercy of the mind and spirit! Below are some links for more information on Bio-Medical Treatments for Autism:
What is ABA and DTT?
ABA is an acronym for Applied Behaviour Analysis and DTT is an acronym for Discrete Trial Training. Both are teaching / learning methods developed specifically for teaching persons within the Autism Spectrum Disorder but can also be used for any individual with a learning difficulty or developmental delay. Dr M Lovaas has contributed greatly to the development of these methods and has written a book titled ‘Teaching Individuals With Developmental Delays’, which is like the bible of ABA and DTT. DTT and ABA are an intervention style of teaching and learning where positive incentives and rewards are used to teach the individual many skills and behaviours which are usualy picked up by a child naturally by proxy. Below are two links which provide much more in depth information on ABA and DTT.
What is Chelation?
Chelation is a method of removing heavy metals / toxins from the blood stream and cells by use of Chelating agents such as DMSA. Chelating agents have bonding properties that cling to heavy metals in the blood stream and cells and flushes them out through the digestive system. Chelation therapy is a controversial treatment which has had cases of doing more damage than harm in the treatment of Autism. Chelation was introduced to medicine during World War 1 as a treatment for poison gas. Today Chelation therapy is used as a treatment for acute mercury, iron (including in cases of thalassemia), arsenic, lead, uranium, plutonium and other forms of toxic metal poisoning. The chelating agent may be administered intravenously, intramuscularly, or orally, depending on the agent and the type of poisoning. Chelation is used in the treament of Autism Spectrum Disorders as it has been found that many children with Autism have a high level of Mercury in their system. Some even argue that the symptoms of Autism are very similar to Mercury poisoning, this also brings into the argument that many vaccines use Mercury as a preservative.
How Does a Gluten and Casein Free Diet Help Autism?
GFCF – Gluten Free Casseine Free Diet. There are theories that Gluten (wheat, barley, rye products) and Casein (dairy products) can affect the digestive system and hence the immune system for persons who are intolerant to these food groups. Celiac disease is a known disease which is due to a complete intolerance to Gluten. This affects persons in a number of different ways including inability to concentrate, lethargy, and even bloatedness and cramps. Casein is a protein found in milk and dairy products. The GFCF diet was introduced as a treatment for Autism when it was found that there was alow incidence of schizophrenia in certain South Pacific Island societies was a result of a diet low in wheat and milk-based foods. It was proposed that a genetic defect wherein individuals are incapable of completely metabolising gluten and casein could be a possible etiology for schizophrenia. The researchers – Dohan, Reichelt and others at the time hypothesised that elevated peptide levels from this incomplete metabolism could be responsible for schizophrenic behaviours. It was found that long term exposure to these opiate peptides may have effects on brain maturation and contribute to social awkwardness and isolation. On this basis, it was proposed that a gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet for sufferers of autism to minimise the build-up of opiate peptides. There is no solid evidence that a GFCF diet has any real effect for the treatment of Autism and research has been conducted which concludes this. For more information on this subject here: Alternative Biomedical Treatments for Autism: How Good Is the Evidence?
What is The Difference Between Autism And Aspergers?
Autism and Aspergers fall under the Autism Spectrum of Disorders. A person diagnosed with Aspergers is usualy at the high functioning end of the spectrum. Most individuals with Aspergers syndrome have an exceptionally high IQ’s but are prone to “social awkwardness” and “isolation”.
How Can You Toilet Train an Autistic Child?
The 10 million dollar question! There are many techniques and it realy is a matter of finding what works best for your child and yourself. We found that by making up a social story where Isy could see herself as a caricature going through the motions was a huge help. The fact that she could see herself and hear my voice telling the story and making the sound effects, was a contributor in her liking the “Toilet Training Program”. She would play it on the computer and keep playing it. This along with some laborious timing and being very vigilant eventually worked. Here is a link to more info on the Toilet Training Program.
Well we certainly hope this has answered a lot of questions for you, if there is any comments or anything you would like to add or ask please leave a comment below and we will answer very promptly.
© 2011, EJ Banon. All rights reserved.