To understand the effect of IQ and age on ability in children with autism, psychological data were analyzed for 164 3- to 15-year-olds with autism (IQs 14-143). As age increased, so did IQ, which probably reflects both an actual increase in IQ over time and the likelihood that brighter children are diagnosed later. Early in life, 67 percent had normal motor and delayed speech milestones. Verbal IQ continued to lag behind non-verbal IQ during the preschool years. By school age, the gap between verbal and non-verbal IQs had closed. Visual reasoning exceeded graphomotor scores for all children, and surpassed IQ for most. Graphomotor scores were significantly below IQ for both high-IQ groups. For school-age children with low IQs, math, spelling, and writing scores were consistent with IQ and reading was above IQ. School-age children with high IQs had average reading, math, and spelling scores and a weakness in writing.
Motherhood is a labor of love, but for two Louisiana women it is much more. Shelley Reynolds and Jeana Smith have found themselves in a battle to free their young sons from autism.
Home videos of children's birthday parties have found solid evidence of the existence of early autistic regression from one year to the next, according to development experts here. The results of their study "corroborate parent reports that, early on, some children with autism spectrum disorders use words and gestures and then lose these skills," wrote Emily Werner, Ph.D., and Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., of the Autism Center at the University of Washington. "These results also support research indicating that regression in language is often seen in combination with regression in at least one other area."
Thursday, April 06, 2000 All Things Considered
Just as Dyslexia is perhaps another way of looking at the world, autism may be nothing more than a variation on intelligence, where some people find differential equations easier to comprehend than to participate in small talk.
An article about autism designed for younger readers (8-11).
Chapter from In Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Child Development, Cambridge University Press, 2005
In The Lost Self : Pathologies of the Brain and Identity, T. T. Feinberg and J. P. Keenan, eds.
We can make the world more hospitable for autistic individuals just as we can, say, for the blind. To do so, we need to understand what autism is like, a most challenging task.
Dr. Dan Gottlieb discusses new the treatment of autism with Dr. Stanley Greenspan; the latest research in the autism spectrum with Dr. Susan Levy; and with psychologist Dr. Robert Naseef about how families are affected by autism.
No cure exists, yet treatment -- which may involve specific educational and behavioral interventions, occasionally requiring supplemental pharmacotherapy -- must be individualized for each child.
However autism is really misunderstood. Unfortunately it is too often linked in people's minds with either schizophrenia or attention deficit hyper activity disorder, it is categorically neither. It is not mental illness and it is not a learning disability, although you will come across some people on the autistic spectrum who may also have an independent learning disability. In the same way as people on the autistic spectrum may at some time suffer mental illness, but the autism and mental illness are discreet.
Autism spectrum conditions are neuro-developmental syndromes with strong heritability. Cognitive theories have had some success in explaining why the cluster of features should co-occur. Empathizing deficits have the potential to make sense of one triad of impairments (social difficulties, communication difficulties and imagining others' minds), and may have a brain basis in the amygdala and left medial frontal cortex. A strong systemizing drive may account for a distinct triad of strengths (good attention to detail, deep, narrow interests and islets of ability). The brain basis of systemizing is yet to be understood. Family genetics studies suggest that these same cognitive dimensions (reduced empathizing alongside a strong drive to systemize) may also characterize the 'broader phenotype' among first-degree relatives. Molecular genetic studies are underway and any candidate genes for autism will ultimately need to be tested in relation to the observed differences in the brain, cognition and behaviour. The ethics of genetic screening or gene therapy should be thought about well ahead of these becoming available, since there is by no means any consensus that these would be desirable given the wide range of phenotypic traits, not all of which are disabling. Future research will need to focus on evaluating the extent to which any form of intervention reduces the triad of impairments whilst supporting the triad of strengths.
Those autistic children and adults who have, and continue to give us signposts as to the etiology of their autism, deserve to have their suffering alleviated and their condition fully understood.
The existence of multiple deficits at the cognitive level is a realistic alternative and might help us understand why autism can exist in many different forms ranging from mild to severe.
Itard's detailed records of his work with Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron are generally considered to be the first documented account of an autistic child; although some believe that Peter, the Wild Boy of Hameln deserves that title.
Intervention in early childhood can greatly improve quality of life in adulthood, and is likely to prove far more cost effective than crisis management in later life. A focus on prevention of behavioral complications, and on the development of appropriate skills, will be more productive than searches for a cure.
In many respects, then, this paper has simply endeavored to identify legacies of normalizing certain styles of knowing and to suggest their overt and subtle tendencies to foster a view toward autism that overlooks or tries to "correct" narrow or mechanistic tendencies. This is not to say that most people do not reflect a drive toward central coherence or a theory of mind or that ASD does not present itself in impairments that have devastating effects on individuals and their families and communities. In other words, these reflections are not meant to dismiss the very real challenges of enabling individuals on the spectrum to address perseverative behaviors and sensory processing in ways that release them from destructive fixations. However, I would argue that a conceptual shift is necessary before the special skills and potential contributions of those with autism can be realized.
Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone is a qualitative study in which people classified as autistic are primary, contributing authors. Unlike any prior research, it draws on the perspectives of people who have previously been perceived as both autistic and retarded and is written from a critical disability studies framework. A basic premise of the book is that people classified as autistic, even those who cannot speak, are thinking people with ideas about their lives and their relationship to the world. I call this orientation the presumption of competence. The wisdom of this lens will become clear with the contributed chapters, for each of the authors describes autism as a social construct behind which lie complex and layered relationships between individuals and society.
When you see a parent with a child who's acting volatile or eccentric, don't be too quick to chalk it up to poor parenting. You may be watching someone struggling to make the best of a very difficult situation.
Autism is a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs social, language, and adaptive functioning. Examination of the cognitive origins of the behaviors characteristic of autism has led to a greater understanding of this complex disorder and has resulted in several models of autism. The recognition of deficits in theory of mind in individuals with autism yielded better understanding of the communicative and social impairments. The weak central coherence model offers a cogent explanation for the failure of individuals with autism to see the gestalt or to ascribe meaning to acquired information. The executive dysfunction model, while not explaining the developmental course and not precisely fitting the profile of deficits, has yielded new understanding about the level of impairment beyond a description of positive and negative symptoms. However, none of these models has accounted for the myriad of cognitive and behavioral manifestations of autism.
Developmental Neuropsychology lecture handout on Autism and AS, University of Sussex
Are they aware that the "treatments" most recently prescribed by the National Institute of Health, for autism, are dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening? that behavior modification therapy causes a high rate of PTSD and mental dissociation?
...Being trapped inside ...Mental retardation ...Savant syndrome ...Introversion ...Sensory difficulties ...No hope ...Lack of social interest ...Mental illness ...Programming ability ...Lack of emotions ...Uniformity
Browser willing, you will find colored dots moving about below. These dots show the origin of autism as described in A Topological Theory of Autism.
Hypothesis: People people use Lévy stable statistical distributions to model variation. The autistic spectrum is due to variation in the shape parameter a that particular people use.
Research on the neurobiology of autism is young: at this juncture, myopic investigators are still patting the elephant. Even if they are well designed, narrow studies on a few subjects rushed to publication are intriguing and potentially heuristic but may contribute to the current confusion.
'Diagnoses depend on two observations,' said Dr Angelica Ronald, of the Institute of Psychiatry. 'First, the social component: autistic children do not understand that other people have minds of their own. They are tactless and uncommunicative. Second, there is the non-social aspect. Children are obsessive about objects and pre-occupied with details of places or events.' In the past, psychologists assumed these two sets of symptoms had the same cause. But a major study led by Ronald and Plomin of 4,000 pairs of twins has found this to be incorrect. Autism's two sets of symptoms are actually acquired quite separately.
The study reported here tests a prediction that autism should occur more often in families of individuals whose occupation requires advanced folk physics but with no requirement of good folk psychology. Physics, engineering, and mathematics are paradigm examples of such occupations. Students in Cambridge University, studying one of these 3 subjects, were screened for cases of autism in their families. Relative to a control group of students studying literature, autism occurred significantly more often in families of students in the fields of physics, engineering, and mathematics.
In earlier posts, I mentioned peoples' assumptions which are projected upon us, as aspies. How many times in our lives, have we had professionals, family and friends tell us what we can't do, what we shouldn't even try? We have enough challenges in the world without having to defend what we want to do to others. I think the biggest oversight that loved ones make, is to forget that we can learn, and adapt. It may be harder for us, but not impossible, especially if our loved ones work with us instead of against us. We may not learn the same way, but we do learn . We can learn to adapt.
Autistic adults were about as cooperative as normal adults, and autistic children were similar to normal children. All children were more altruistic than adults.
Responses to Edward Harshman's Autism: A Cognitive or a Behavorial Disorder?
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired reciprocal social interaction, impaired communication, and restricted, repetitive, or stereotyped behaviors. Autism seems to affect more children than was previously believed, although this phenomenon may be due to broadening of the diagnostic criteria and increased awareness of the condition. Recent research has clearly indicated the importance of early identification, since early intensive treatment is associated with better long-term outcome. There are many controversies and competing theories about the etiology and treatment of autism, often leaving families confused about the best course of treatment and intervention. Pediatric primary health care clinicians have an important role in both the early identification and ongoing management of children with autism. It is, therefore, essential that primary care clinicians have up-to-date information about the science of autism.
Over the past decade, autism has emerged as a major public health concern in the United States. Although known for more than fifty years as one of the most severe childhood neuropsychiatric disorders, it was thought to be quite rare. Now, however, it is recognized that autism includes a much broader spectrum of affected individuals, beyond those with classic features. Recently, there has been much speculation that the underlying risk of the condition, in all its forms, may be increasing with time. Undoubtedly, more and more individuals have been seeking educational, medical, and social services to help confront the formidable challenges of autism. All this comes at a time when, despite a decade-long intensive search for autism genes, there is continued bafflement over the condition's etiology. In this article, we review the factors responsible for the emergence of autism as a public health problem and briefly discuss the public health response to date and the prospects for the future.
Autism is a survival or behaviour strategy. The afflicted persons try to find their way in the reality they find themselves thrown into. They try hard to cope in their own way with the social expectations of their environment which they cannot meet.
Autism is a behaviorally defined disorder which occurs within the first three years of life. Autism is a life-long, complex, and severe disorder. Children with autism have many common characteristics. Language delay is one of the most significant and serious characteristics of students with autism. They also often experience abnormal responses to sensations, relate to people and objects in abnormal ways, and have disturbed social skills. The causes of this disorder are still unknown but researchers have made significant progress. Past theories of blaming the parents have been replaced by theories about differences in autistic persons neurological and brain systems. Educating students with autism presents a challenge to special education teachers. Many effective technologies have been developed to ensure that these students can function adequately in society. Overcoming stimulus overselectivity and a lack of motivation are just as important as teaching these students academic skills.
This article will argue that we can discover more about developmental disorders such as autism through demonstrations of task success than through examples of task failure. Even in exploring and explaining what people with autism find hard, such as social interaction, demonstration of competence on contrasting tasks has been crucial to defining the nature of the specific deficit. Current deficit accounts of autism cannot explain, however, the assets seen in this disorder; for
example, savant skills in maths, music, drawing, islets of ability in visuo-spatial tests and rote-memory. An alternative account is
reviewed here that suggests that autism is characterised by a cognitive style biased toward local versus global information
processing; 'weak central coherence'. A tendency for featural processing in autism, often leading to superior performance, has
been demonstrated at several levels. Normal individual differences may span a continuum of cognitive style from weak to strong coherence, with both assets and deficits associated with each extreme.
Social Perception and Attention; Awareness of Mental States in Self and Others, and Verbal Ability; Autism and Language Profiles Family Study of Autism - Parents and Siblings
What is it like to be an autistic individual? Only autistic individuals know for sure. Interviews with autistic people, their essays and books, all suggest that the autistic experience is just as varied as the non-autistic experience. Some people are happy. Some people are not happy. Some people have close friends. Some do not. The similarities imposed by the condition do not impose an emotional tone or even a core personality in the Myers/Briggs sense. Some autistic individuals, for instance, are extroverts; our son is one of them. From my reading, and from correspondence with autistic individuals online, I've come to think that autistic people are much more like the rest of us than previously thought. Their emotional lives are very much like mine: they want to be with people they enjoy being around, people who accept them for who they are, people who understand them, people who like them. They want to eat the food that tastes good to them, wear clothes that are comfortable for them, be in temperatures they find comfortable, do the things they think are fun. They want their concerns to be understood and taken seriously. They like people to get their jokes. They want to be respected.
People with autism present a collective paradox of body and mind. On the one hand so normal, on the other hand so different. On the one hand so impaired, on the other so uniquely gifted. Rigid minds - distractible minds, oblivious minds - precise minds, gentle souls - raging hearts, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - uninterested in the applause that follows.
Except the parents of autistic children; hardly a few are aware of autism in our country. Even the parents are unaware as the onset of autism is within three years of the birth of a child.
Autism is a phenomenological rather than an aetiological diagnosis. It describes a behavioural phenotype that may be arrived at by numerous different aetiological pathways, operating by mechanisms we do not yet understand. It is hardly surprising, given the severity of the condition and our relative lack of understanding of its causes, that any hypothesis that might explain this distressing illness gains such high exposure in the media.
American Journal of Psychiatry. 1956 Feb;112(8):607-12
Assuming that autistic children are not able to realize second order representations and thus, lack a 'theory of mind' supports the theory that autism is a cognitive deficit.
For autistic people, social, emotional and communicative development take place on a more extended time scale than for the neurologically typical. These are inherently challenging areas for which accommodation must be made if we value human diversity and the virtue of compassion.
This diagram is a page from the updated 'First Guide to Asperger Syndrome' by Sue Gething, Head of Southlands School.
These data indicate that the social deficits characteristic of autism spectrum disorders are common. Given the continuous distribution of these traits, it may be arbitrary where cutoffs are made between research designations of being "affected" vs "unaffected" with a pervasive developmental disorder. The genes influencing autistic traits appear to be the same for boys and girls. Lower prevalence (and severity) of autistic traits in girls may be the result of increased sensitivity to early environmental influences that operate to promote social competency.
People with autistic spectrum disorders are not victims of autism, they are victims of society. They do not suffer from their developmental differences, they suffer from prejudice, ignorance, lack of understanding, exploitation, verbal abuse - all this and more from that sector of society which considers itself socially able.
Families with developmentally disabled children are relocating to a region with a growing reputation for cutting-edge research and treatment of mental retardation, autism and other disabilities.
Our preliminary results indicate that by 12 months of age, siblings who are later diagnosed with autism may be distinguished from other siblings and low-risk controls on the basis of: (1) several specific behavioral markers, including atypicalities in eye contact, visual tracking, disengagement of visual attention, orienting to name, imitation, social smiling, reactivity, social interest and affect, and sensory-oriented behaviors; (2) prolonged latency to disengage visual attention; (3) a characteristic pattern of early temperament, with marked passivity and decreased activity level at 6 months, followed by extreme distress reactions, a tendency to fixate on particular objects in the environment, and decreased expression of positive affect by 12 months; and (4) delayed expressive and receptive language. We discuss these findings in the context of various neural networks thought to underlie neurodevelopmental abnormalities in autism, including poor visual orienting.
Be Clear; We Don't Always Understand Social Rules; We Don't Like Crowds!; Don't Be Easily Offended; Sometimes We Just Want to be Alone; You Are Strange To Us!; I Can See and Hear Fine!; Let Us be Autistic!; Help Me When I Ask; Answer Our Questions; Ask Us QuestionsAllow Us Alternative Forms of Communication; Let Us Be Silent; Don't Ignore Us; Our Past; Forgive Us.
It is time to forever refute the notion that autism is caused by psychodynamic conflicts between mother and child. Autism has a biological cause! Parents need reassurance that their parenting in no way contributed to their child's having autism.
This review briefly discusses emerging insight on a number of issues in autism, suggesting how many phenomena are in fact related. It is hoped that this discussion will help create a roadmap for the study of autism.
Autism itself is not the enemy... the barriers to development that are included with autism are the enemy. The retardation that springs from a lack of development is the enemy. The sensory problems that are often themselves the barriers are the enemy.
Autism is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder with a variety of different etiologies, but with a heritability estimate of more than 90%. Although the strong correlation between autism and genetic factors has been long established, the exact genetic background of autism is still unclear. This review refers to all the genetic syndromes that have been described in children with pervasive developmental disorders (tuberous sclerosis, fragile X, Down, neurofibromatosis, Angelman, Prader-Willi, Gilles de la Tourette, Williams, etc.). Issues covered include prevalence and main characteristics of each syndrome, as well as the possible base of its association with autism in terms of contribution to the current knowledge on the etiology and genetic base of pervasive developmental disorders.
I know that deep inside ourselves many others besides myself, including autistic children and street people, feel fundamentally unwelcome on Earth. We are afraid to be who we are. And no wonder.
A sample of 37 children aged 4–7 years who all showed some autistic features was investigated. Children with a primary diagnosis of autism were compared with those diagnosed with a language disorder, on behaviours within four domains; social behaviour, imaginative activities, repetitive behaviour and communication. The aim was to identify potentially differentiating features of the two groups using observational ratings and questionnaire measures provided by parents and teachers. Information on participants' intelligence and language skills was also collected. The children with autism showed greater deficits in joint attention, functional play and pragmatic language, and engaged in more repetitive behaviours, than the language disordered children. However, the groups did not differ significantly on formally assessed language skills. A cluster analysis produced three groups of children varying in level of functioning and parent-rated behaviours. The results are informative for clinicians dealing with the challenge of differential diagnosis.
Include: Monotropism or Being Singly Channelled; Literality; Thinking in Closed Pictures; Non-Social Priorities; Non-Generalised Learning; Issues with Time and Motion; Issues with Predicting Outcomes; Issues with Theory of Mind.
This site was created with the intention of educating and informing readers on ADHD and autistic spectrum conditions, including my own condition, Asperger Syndrome.
A number of universities and colleges run courses which may be of interest to professionals working with children and adults who have autistic spectrum disorders.
Three studies are reported that address the often described impoverished creativity in autism. Using the Torrance Creativity Tests, Experiment 1 found that children with autism and Asperger syndrome (AS) showed impairments. Experiment 2 tested two explanations of these results: the executive dysfunction and the imagination deficit hypotheses. Results supported both hypotheses. Children with autism and AS could generate possible novel changes to an object, though they generated fewer of these relative to controls. Furthermore, these were all reality-based, rather than imaginative. Experiment 3 extended this using a test of imaginative fluency. Children with autism and AS generated fewer suggestions involving attribution of animacy to foam shapes, compared to controls, instead generating reality-based suggestions of what the shapes could be. Although this is evidence of executive dysfunction, it does not directly account for why imaginative creativity is more difficult than reality-based creativity.
It is, therefore, important to teach them that during their day it is OK to expect change. It reflects the reality of our existence.
The aim of this paper is to suggest an alternative conceptual theory of autism and Asperger syndrome that unites the current three models. Thus, the aim is to situate the existing models as special cases of the one being proposed here. This alternative conceptualisation draws heavily on distinctions and ideas present in the philosophy of science, most especially in the area of critical realism. Central to the theory is the idea that the core "problem" in autism and Asperger syndrome concerns ontological depth. More specifically, that people with these conditions find it difficult to cope with phenomena characterised by depth (underlying needs, motives beliefs etc.), open systems (rapidly changing, multiple causes) and high internal relationality (converging or changing roles and demands).
As it turns out, while we frequently have severe problems with non-verbal communication, we can excel -- at least in some ways -- in written communication!
The study examined developmental changes in autistic symptoms retrospectively in a sample of 28 verbal children and adolescents with autism. Individuals with Asperger syndrome, PDD-NOS, and related medical conditions were not included in the study. We compared autistic symptoms present at the retrospective assessment and during the 4- to 5-year age period using the ADI-R. Our findings revealed a significant improvement in the three domains relevant for the diagnosis of autism, independent of age or IQ level. Improvement occurred in more symptoms from the social than the communication domain, and for more symptoms from the latter than the restricted interest and repetitive behavior domains. The finding that improvement was not linked to level of functioning and was found in individuals still positive for a diagnosis of autism suggests that improvement belongs to the 'natural history' of the handicap.
The developmental profile of a child with autism during the first 3 years of life is presented. Clinical material obtained from different sources is discussed: home videos from birth to 3 years, and cognitive and communicative evaluations at 24, 34 and 38 months. The videos show how the child appeared to make progress up to 12 months, but from 12 to 18 months some abilities that had been previously acquired were lost, and a decrease in social interaction, communication and language was observed. From 18 to 38 months communicative and linguistic abilities remained unchanged, but social interactive behaviours continued to decrease. The particular profile identified is discussed as one of the possible pathways through which autism may develop.
Having the disability of autism, however, also means that your body and your brain sometimes work differently from that of other people. As a result, you may do or experience things differently from people who do not have autism.
I think I've always been interested in extreme conditions, which challenge people's resilience and humanity and, in a sense, force them to create a life and an identity upon an unusual basis.
This study investigated imagination via drawing tasks, in 15 children with autism and 15 children with Asperger Syndrome, compared to verbal mental age matched normal children and children with moderate learning difficulty (MLD).
We have to question whether the heightened receptivity to autism is a direct result of misguided knowledge. Is the community actually getting the right information on autism and other developmental and mental disorders?
The biological basis for autism, however, has been elusive - an unfortunate circumstance, because such an understanding could enable researchers to identify the leading risk factors for autism and possibly to design new treatments for the condition.
Little is known about the economic impact of autism. This study estimated the economic consequences of autism in the United Kingdom, based on published evidence and on the reanalysis of data holdings at the Centre for the Economics of Mental Health (CEMH). With an assumed prevalence of 5 per 10,000, the annual societal cost for the UK was estimated to exceed £1 billion. The lifetime cost for a person with autism exceeded £2.4 million. The main costs were for living support and day activities. Family costs account for only 2.3 percent of the total cost, but a lack of relevant information limited our ability to estimate these costs. Minor improvements in life outcome for people with autism could substantially reduce costs over the lifetime.
One of the goals in aiding these children should be in helping them find meaning. In order to do this we must be willing to not look at the child as broken, unable to respond, or even unable to communicate.
This article seeks to examine some of the issues involved in the evaluation of practice by practitioners themselves. Five questions are posed which represent five different kinds of design suitable for the different purposes of evaluation in each case. For each question, an analysis is made of the problem that the question is addressing, an example is given of the design needed to answer that question, and a further analysis is made of the possible outcomes of the evaluation, suggesting how they may be interpreted. Finally, there is a brief discussion of the issues involved in controlled studies, the ethical issues that arise in research and how participants with autism spectrum disorders may themselves by involved in evaluation. The article makes the point that research should not be an activity carried out by others, using natural settings merely as sources of data, but a process that all practitioners are engaged in at some level. In this way, progress can be made in improving services and the quality of life for people with autism spectrum disorders.
The clinical onset of autism appears to be preceded by 2 phases of brain growth abnormality: a reduced head size at birth and a sudden and excessive increase in head size between 1 to 2 months and 6 to 14 months. Abnormally accelerated rate of growth may serve as an early warning signal of risk for autism.
Taking advantage of a new prospective screening instrument for autism in infancy (Baron-Cohen et al., 1996), the present study compared the performance of 20 month old infants with autism and pervasive developmental disorder to that of children with developmental delay without autism on experimental tasks of empathic response, pretend and functional play, joint attention and requesting behaviors, and imitation.
When Gill and Nick Gillard of Bushy Hill Drive, Guildford, discovered that their first child, Rosanna was autistic they were devastated. But Gill was determined to improve her daughter's prospects.
This is her inspiring story.
It is well known that IQ is an important prognostic variable in the outcome of autistic children. There are, however, very few data available on the outcome of nonretarded autistic children as adults. We identified 16 such probands from records and followed them up between 11 and 27 years since discharge from a center specializing in the assessment of autistic children. There were 12 males and 4 females, average age was 26, and mean IQ was 92 (range 68-110). Although the majority were functioning poorly in terms of occupational-social outcome and psychiatric symptoms, a surprising number (4) had a very good outcome and might be considered recovered. The severity of early autistic behavior was a poor predictor of outcome, but neuropsychologic measures of nonverbal problem solving were highly correlated with outcomes. The results of the study indicate that a small percentage of nonretarded autistic children can be expected to recover to a substantial degree.
Binary thinking, perhaps even from a marketing model, is widespread when it comes to interpreting, packaging, and sorting autistics into groups. If you are autistic, you are not normal; if you are normal, you are not autistic. Normal is good; abnormal is bad. Normal is complete; autistic is deficient. Parents with children newly diagnosed with autism are usually sucked into the hype that surrounds autism. Again, the benchmarks of such hype are (1) false dichotomy, (2) discontentment, and (3) loyalty to the author of the hype.
This research may provide the clinical literature with valuable clues to those situations and techniques that can aid and improve the functioning of people with autism at both the cognitive and the behavioural level
Parents of children who have PDD describe the relationships they develop with teachers and therapists as a 'major benefit' of early intervention services,13 and the relationship with their primary health care provider should be no different.
If you really want to help your AIYL (Autistic In Your Life), the best way to do it is to suspend completely any judgments you would make about a normal doing what your AIYL is doing
The diverse approaches we need to go at a disease like autism range from genetics, to a person like Tito who can shed light on it, to a person like his mother who has made major discoveries in how to teach children with autism how to communicate.
Perhaps the real question about autism and diagnosis should not be how many, but rather about how much autism society is willing or able to afford and tolerate.
We see the outline of a natural structure or mechanism in the mind -- namely, we see the existence in the normal mind of a mechanism for mindreading, brought into sharp relief by its absence in degrees in children with autism.
Looks at the impact of autism on society at large, exploring the human and financial consequences of the condition and the benefits that certain interventions can bring to bear.
The findings indicate that although it takes a longer time for children with autism to learn with incidental teaching procedures, once they have acquired an ability, it may be more permanent.
The present study found that, compared with developmentally delayed and normally developing children, 20-month-old children with autism were specifically impaired on some aspects of empathy, joint attention, and imitation. Infants with autism failed to use social gaze in the empathy and joint attention tasks.
The objective of this study was to refine the understanding of cognitive troubles in autism and to clarify the modes of information processing mobilized by the subjects. The results support an executive functioning deficit interpretation and a weak drive for central coherence in autism.
A multinational team is launching a large-scale research project on autism in Koreans. Researchers from the United States, Canada and Korea will perform a two-year study sponsored by the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), an American funding organization established by parents of autistic children. The research is aimed at helping establish government policy and to develop appropriate treatments. There are 7,600 autistic people in Korea, 0.4 percent of the total of disabled people. No research, to date, has been performed on the genetic characteristics of the condition in Koreans.
We found that for most children with autism, unlike other children, tests involving others' attention were more difficult than tests involving others' behavior. However, within the domains of attention and behavior, the typical pattern of sharing, then following, and then directing was evident.
The autistic person is as different from the NT person as a cat is from a dog. While you, as a social being, are able to seamlessly blend into a group, the autistic person has no concept of what it means to be a part of a group. He may not even realize that these other people are other living beings like him. They may appear to be moving pieces of the landscape, no more important or similar to him than a tree or a rock. In time, he will begin to understand, but the social connectedness, the ability to truly feel like a part of it all, will never be there. He may learn to relate to others relatively well, and maybe to be social at times. Even so, he will always be in a group only of one... himself. That is simply the nature of the independent being that he is. There is nothing wrong with being a cat. In a world of dogs, though, it seems abnormal and pathological...
Both fathers and grandfathers of children with autism were found more than twice as often in the field of engineering, compared to fathers and grandfathers of other children.
When he was 5 years old, Joshua Littman was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism. But the condition that has robbed him of many social skills has also played a role in Joshua becoming an honor-roll student at 12... Confronted with the chance to interview his mother at a StoryCorps booth, Joshua eschewed the prepared questions that many participants rely on, and instead created his own. His questions touch on everything from his mother's past to how she really feels about him.
Puppet show package with script and discussion material. Script covers issues such as behavior modification and reinforcement, temper tantrums, behaviors, myths about autism, employment and independent living.
Now imagine if you are to tell that same story I described earlier to another person, but you could not use any words that – if you are talking in English – contain the letter “n.” Or if you were talking in Japanese, imagine not being able to use any words that contain the sound “shi.” That would make it very difficult to talk. You could do it, but you would have to think so hard about talking that you really wouldn't be able to do anything else, and it would be difficult for you to tell the story in an, easy, fluent manner. Talking in this manner is very similar to what it is like for people on the autism spectrum to engage in social interactions and other aspects of their environment.
Compiled of characteristics the members of AS-Support had seen demonstrated by their children or in themselves.
I can only write about my experiences, my thoughts, and my perspective. I can't write about what it feels like to be someone else, not even another autistic. So, please remember that these are my personal experiences, although I've tried to mention traits that other autistics might share with me.
In this paper, we summarize some of our findings from a series of three meta-analyses and discuss their implications for autism research. Suggestions for future research are discussed, highlighting variables such as type of comparison group, matching procedures, chronological and mental ages, gender, and birth order.
Increasing numbers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are diagnosed in the preschool years, and their educational progress must be monitored. Parent questionnaire data can augment psychometric assessments and individual planning at low cost. One hundred and twenty-five parents of UK children who entered dedicated autism primary schools and units in two consecutive calendar years were asked to complete three questionnaires. Fifty-seven parents repeated the questionnaire measures one year later. Encouraging developmental progress was observed on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales–Screener. Symptom severity as measured by the Social Communication Questionnaire did not change over time. The pattern of change scores on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist was mixed, and confounding disadvantages this questionnaire. The study demonstrated that it is possible to collect useful information on the progress of children with ASD using parents as informants. Such data would assist in judging claims regarding developmental progress within particular programmes.
Psychoses are manifested by pathology in all areas of mental function: behavior, cognition, and affect. They are relatively rare but pose significant problems for medical care.
The exotic social experience of people with Autism offers microsociologists an opportunity to test existing theories of human behavior. This is directly relevant to the agenda of microsociology, which is the science of conversational interaction.
Stunning examples of such failures of empathy can be found in scholarship about autism from the early to mid-twentieth century. Although people with autism have been labeled "mindblind," case studies by Melanie Klein and Bruno Bettelheim suggest that, in fact, even eminent scholars may be mindblind in their own ways. Even when hearts appear to be in the right place, researchers from across the disciplines in medicine, education, and the humanities risk infusing our understanding of autism with our own metaphors and framing it with underdetermined theories. This threat of misinterpretation may be especially acute today, when autism's rise and society's growing awareness have given the disorder an increasingly powerful cultural resonance. The challenge, then, to writers, researchers, and scholars in the present, as in the past, is to figure out how to write about and theorize minds that do not possess what seems so fundamental a capacity for the social human, how to theorize minds with which we cannot fully empathize--to which we are, in many ways, blind.
These data provide preliminary validation of a statistical model for clinical outcome of ASD on the basis of 3 parameters: age, degree of atypicality, and level of intelligence. This model, if replicated in a prospective, population-based sample that is controlled for treatment modalities, will enhance our ability to offer a prognosis for the child with ASD and will provide a benchmark against which to judge the putative benefits of various treatments for ASD. Our model may also be useful in etiologic and epidemiologic studies of ASD, because different causes of ASD are likely to follow different developmental trajectories along these 3 parameters.
While the search for genetic and environmental causes is underway, it is obvious that research findings will not translate into practical help for some time. Therefore, it is important to maintain a strong research focus on devising and assessing interventions that promote normal development in children with autism to improve the long-term outcome for children suffering from this devastating disorder.
In the normal range of attentional distribution great variety is to be found both between people and within individuals at different times. People who attract a diagnosis of autism tend to be at the extreme of the human spectrum in which people have few to very few deep and unshakeable interests: they are monotropic. The opposite of monotropic is less deep, but more broadly distributed, more flexible, polytropic, attention patterns. In different situations deeper attention in contrast with more thinly spread attention will function differently. We believe that in various ways the monotropic disposition underlies the involuntary disclosures and social disasters which attract autism spectrum diagnoses.
Children with autism were compared with control groups on their ability to make moral judgements. Participants were presented with pairs of vignettes in which actions were either deliberate or accidental and caused injury to a person or damage to property. Participants were asked to judge which protagonist was the naughtier and to verbally justify this judgement. Results showed that the children with autism were as likely as controls to judge culpability on the basis of motive, and to judge injury to persons as more culpable than damage to property. Children with autism also offered some appropriate verbal justifications for their judgments although most justifications were of poor quality and reiterated the story. Results are discussed in terms of theory of mind and the possible role of deficits in complex reasoning and executive functions.
This activity is intended for psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other clinicians who may be in a position to detect possible indications of autism. The goal of this activity is to improve the early detection of ASD since the best outcomes are associated with starting intensive treatment by 2 to 4 years of age, with the most robust results on the younger side of this age range.
Recently, the category of neurodevelopmental disorders referred to as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has been receiving increased attention from professional and lay audiences. Questions about prevalence, effective interventions, and approaches for screening and diagnosis have been raised concerning these conditions, which are also referred to as pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs). The ASDs include several disorders that share a range of impairments in the areas of communication development, social relationships, and repetitive and restricted behavioral patterns.
This theory aims at giving a credible explanation for why up to 10% in some parts of the world are classified by psychiatry as disordered.
The prenatal and neonatal factors of 225 children diagnosed with Autistic Disorder were compared with those of 1580 typically developing children. Each of the neonatal factors was compared between the Autistic Disorder and control groups, and between males and females. The results showed that males in the 'Autistic Disorder' group had a significantly longer gestational age and a heavier birth weight than the male controls. No significant differences in these factors were observed between females in the two groups. Both male and female children with Autistic Disorder showed a significantly higher incidence of neonatal complications than their respective controls. In the Autistic Disorder group, males had a heavier mean birth weight, and there were more post-term infants among females.
Although some might conceptualize PDD as primarily a disease of childhood, the majority of patients afflicted with a PDD experience significant and incapacitating symptoms throughout their adult lives.
Birger's work would not be out of place in a modern day book of psalms. Birger's writings do indeed appear to be communiqués from a country whose borders have been sealed against all outsiders.
The authors go on to point out that regression in autism is not a new phenomenon. In a review of the literature they demonstrate regression rates of 22% to 50% in studies between 1963 and 1998 (Table 2). The variation between studies is what might be expected by chance given the small numbers of some of the studies, but it is clear that regression occurred in children with autism long before MMR. In this study regression occurred in 18% of autistic children in a pre-MMR sample and in 16% of autistic children in a post-MMR sample.
Now that we are all beginning to understand the impact of pity, and the interpretation of actions, what is the right thing to do? As a parent, what is it I'm asking for? It is enough to point out the erring ways of others, but what about the things that others can do for me, or for other parents with autistic children? Here are some things from my viewpoint, and I think other parents should add to the list so that we make a wish-list for our friends who otherwise don't know how, or feel the need to tippy-toe around the issue of autism.
These results are consistent with the notion that impaired folk psychology and superior folk physics are part of the cognitive phenotype of autism, and suggest that a content-free theory of obsessions, in terms of executive dysfunction, is inadequate.
People with autism however, face a constant and continuous struggle with understanding others and the world organised by these others... Most visibly to non-autistics, people with autism are impaired in the ease of interpersonal goings-on.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the predictive validity of symptom severity, cognitive and language measures taken at ages 2 and 3 years to outcome at age 7 in a sample of children diagnosed with autism at age 2. METHOD: Twenty-six children diagnosed with autism at age 2 were re-assessed at ages 3 and 7 years. At each age symptom severity, cognitive and language assessments were completed. RESULTS: The pattern of autistic symptom severity varied over time by domain. Across time, children moved across diagnostic boundaries both in terms of clinical diagnosis and in terms of instrument diagnosis on the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R). On all measures group variability in scores increased with age. Although non-verbal IQ (NVIQ) for the group as a whole was stable across the 3 assessments, this masked considerable individual instability. Standard assessments at age 2 did not predict outcome at age 7 even within the same domain of functioning. In contrast, standard assessments at age 3 did predict outcome. However, a measure of rate of non-verbal communicative acts taken from an interactive play-based assessment at age 2 was significantly associated with language, communication and social outcomes at age 7. CONCLUSIONS: The trajectory of autism symptoms over time differed in different domains, suggesting that they may be, at least in part, separable. Variability in language, NVIQ and symptom severity increased over time. Caution is required when interpreting the findings from assessments of children with autism at age 2 years. At this age measures of rate of non-verbal communication might be more informative than scores on standard psychometric tests. Predictive validity of assessments at age 3 years was greater.
The findings supported the notion that the nature and prevalence of these deficits depend on age. Consistent with past research, there was a significant interval between parents first noticing abnormalities and the making of a definitive diagnosis. The implications for this delay are discussed.
A semi-structured interview study, investigating the acquisition of everyday object use in children with autism and developmentally matched controls, is presented. Parents were asked to describe how their child currently used various everyday objects during mealtime and washing routines, the process by which this came about, and any problems encountered in attempting to introduce appropriate object use. Following transcription, the interviews were treated using a method combining phenomenological and content analysis. The statements generated were condensed, using progressive categorization, into three tables of summary statements. These represented the different sources of influence on the children's object use and the problems parents experienced in attempting to guide their child's actions. Relative to comparison groups, parents of children with autism reported that they experienced more problems and used more intensive teaching methods, and that their children were less actively involved. The findings are discussed in relation to the influence of other people in shaping object use and implications for intervention programmes.
The prevalence of having friendships, peer relationships, and participating in social and recreational activities were all low and comparable to previous research. Both individual and environmental factors
It is, however, hoped that an explicit discussion of perspectives held by different individuals or groups will help promote a better mutual understanding and better relations between groups that have a history of being uncomfortable with each other
The most notable behavioral problems arise in social interaction and communication. Other problematic conduct includes stereotyped behaviors, interests, or activities. Autistic disorder in its most severe presentation may describe a child aged 3 years who presents with no expressive language, diminished ability to seek comfort from parents, pervasive hand flapping, no eye contact, and battles over toilet training.
Men may be from mars and women, indeed, Venus. But Planet Autism is where you reside now.
This practice parameter reviews the available empirical evidence and gives specific recommendations for the identification of children with autism.
Outline of presentation to Quebec Society for Autism
Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 363-367 (1971)
Adam Feinstein, editor of Looking Up, whose ten-year-old autistic son, Johnny, lost all his speech at around three years of age, now feels that, although he seemed to be developing normally, the language Johnny was employing before he lost it was not normal: it was asocial, used to imitate or to label objects rather than to share attention. Your Editor asked parents of other autistic children around the world for their own views and experiences
Although we do not know the exact prevalence of autism, estimates range from one in 500 to one in 1,000 in the United States. Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that generally lasts throughout a person's life.
It is concluded that, although prevention and early intervention efforts should not exclusively focus on the earliest years of development, such efforts should begin during this period. By directing such efforts toward promoting optimal prenatal and infant–toddler development, the long-term negative consequences of factors that have their greatest influences during early development and which set the stage for future development can be minimized or avoided entirely.
I.Q.may act as a limiting factor for Lower Functioning children but High Functioning children have problems due to specific deficits like language and perceptions. Emphasis should be placed on training of Activities of Daily Living in Low functioning group so as to make them functionally independent. High functioning children show problems in school performance at a higher age because of deficits in their language and perceptual functioning.
While many experts believe the increase is a by-product of a recent broadening of diagnostic criteria, others are convinced that the surge is at least in part real and thereby cause for grave concern.
Our results show that novelty avoidance results in inadequate maps with characteristic deficits such that they lend support to the theory that novelty avoidance may be primary in causing other autistic characteristics. The stimuli of one source will be learned precisely, at the expense of the other. If one source has a reduced set of stimuli it will dominate the resulting map.
A shutdown is a particular sequence of behavior which we observed in a child diagnosed as high-functioning within the autistic spectrum. In academic settings when pressured by an adult to perform tasks that were difficult, she became unresponsive, sleepy, immobile, and limp to the touch for several minutes, and then fell asleep in a chair for as briefly as 10 min. and up to 2 hours. These "shutdown" states were always triggered by social stress of a certain kind and they became more severe and frequent over a period of about a year.
The behavioral and heart rate responses of 22 children with autism and 22 children with other developmental disabilities were compared whilst they were watching videotapes of a baby either playing or crying. The findings suggest that the lack of social attention often demonstrated by children with autism does not stem from increased arousal in social situations.
Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 297-310 (1971)
The neurobehavioral disorders I see clinically in kids, such as autism, attention deficit disorder learning disabilities, and the various results of intrauterine drug exposures, seem to me like exaggerations of the sensory and mental processing issues the rest of us face daily in our overloaded lives. These kids are usually swimming in chaos -- which looks like a mix of disorganized daily routines, hyper-vigilant jumpiness, and genuine problems with processing experience... But to lay the blame for this degeneration of consciousness only on psychological, sensory overstimulation doesn't go far enough in comprehending the amount of injury our bodies and minds sustain from chemical and emotional insult. It's clearly ominous for any individual and for society as a whole to have our brain's capacity to process experience first impaired by toxins and then overwhelmed by sensory and informational input. How, then, can we rely upon our thinking, our feeling, our judgment?
This paper will primarily address the problems inherent in assessment of those children who are severely autistic.
Results suggest that the two PDD subtypes represent similar developmental trajectories, although the Asperger syndrome group maintains its advantage. Educational and clinical implications of the results are discussed.
Autism is a developmental disorder with very early onset and a chronic life course. Longitudinal research is urgently needed. New statistical methodologies are emerging to make such studies more informative and cost effective.
A wide range of abnormalities has been reported in autistic brains, but these abnormalities may be the result of an earlier underlying developmental alteration that may no longer be evident by the time autism is diagnosed. The most consistent biological finding in autistic individuals has been their statistically elevated levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) in blood platelets (platelet hyperserotonemia). The early developmental alteration of the autistic brain and the autistic platelet hyperserotonemia may be caused by the same biological factor expressed in the brain and outside the brain, respectively. Unlike the brain, blood platelets are short-lived and continue to be produced throughout the life span, suggesting that this factor may continue to operate outside the brain years after the brain is formed. The statistical distributions of the platelet 5-HT levels in normal and autistic groups have characteristic features and may contain information about the nature of this yet unidentified factor.... At least some biological factors, the abnormal function of which leads to the development of the autistic brain, may regulate the release of 5-HT from the gut years after birth. If the present model is correct, it will allow future efforts to be focused on a limited number of gene candidates, some of which have not been suspected to be involved in autism (such as the 5-HT4 receptor gene) based on currently available clinical and experimental studies.
This study provides experimental evidence for imaginative impairments in story-telling
in children with autism spectrum conditions. These are discussed in terms of two cognitive theories: executive dysfunction and theory of mind.
We have to begin with the premise that the child has been unable (not simply unwilling) to take part in the natural give-and-take of early social dialogue. We can learn to 'tune in' to his social world, and gradually help him to enter into ours.
Don't take behaviours personally. Whenever possible, communicate on a literal level. Prepare the autistic person well in advance for any changes in their daily routine. Concentrate only on trying to change behaviours which are intolerable - don't worry about the behaviours which are simply odd. Whenever possible, avoid speaking to the autistic person in a loud voice. Don't expect the autistic person to respond to emotional pleas. Try and remain patient when the autistic person throws tantrums. When communicating fo the person, use a combination of visual and verbal cues. Don't assume that they are just ignoring you if they don't respond when you talk to themMaintain a sense of humour!
The pediatrician initially tells parents that autism can be accompanied by significant problems, but treatment is available. “The focus has to be not on the diagnosis, but the specific difficulties the child has,” he said. He said one mainstay of autism spectrum disorder is the need for behavioral intervention. Speech and occupational therapy and help with social skills often are needed. The pediatrician said prescription drugs can help manage symptoms that are interfering with how a child is functioning.
Use only safe behavior; Take complete care of her/his own body; Understand appropriate touching; Respectful use of property; Know two different responses to give when people tell you YES or NO; Know who to ask for help and how and when...
We argue that there will be no single (genetic or cognitive) cause for the diverse symptoms defining autism. We present recent evidence of behavioral fractionation of social impairment, communication difficulties and rigid and repetitive behaviors. Twin data suggest largely nonoverlapping genes acting on each of these traits. At the cognitive level, too, attempts at a single explanation for the symptoms of autism have failed. Implications for research and treatment are discussed.
I have the theory that one of the distinctive features of the human species is that we put information on perspective. All the information we gather is then put on perspective using our own standards and the relationships between them... Unfortunately information without perspective is beyond our understanding. Trying to understand it would be like understanding the Theory of Everything, or simply understanding 'God'.
This article reviews the literature pertaining to the development of children with autism under the age of 3 years. We examine findings on affective development, sensory processing and attention, praxis and imitation, communication, play, and motor features and stereotyped behaviors, and discuss the interrelationships among these different aspects of development.
Psychological Review, Vol. 78, No. 5, pp. 451-456 (1971)
A Quicktime video of Dr. Gernsbacher giving a presentation in a classroom that she had previously given at an autism research conference.
Most professionals and parents of autistics know the basic differences most autistic people experience. However, there are other differences that can become difficulties, especially when others don't recognize that the autistic has these differences. (Discusses assumptions of competence, initiation, self-care, eating and nutrition, health care, and more.)
CONTEXT: To date, there has been no objective validation of the phenomenon of autistic regression early in life. OBJECTIVE: To validate parental report of autistic regression using behavioral data coded from home videotapes of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) vs typical development taken at 12 and 24 months of age. DESIGN: Home videotapes of 56 children's first and second birthday parties were collected from parents of young children with ASD with and without a reported history of regression and typically developing children. Child behaviors were coded by raters blind to child diagnosis and regression history. A parent interview that elicited information about parents' recall of early symptoms from birth was also administered. SETTING: Participants were recruited from a multidisciplinary study of autism conducted at a major university. PARTICIPANTS: Fifteen children with ASD with a history of regression, 21 children with ASD with early-onset autism, and 20 typically developing children and their parents participated. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Observations of children's communicative, social, affective, repetitive behaviors, and toy play coded from videotapes of the toddlers' first and second birthday parties. RESULTS: Analyses revealed that infants with ASD with regression show similar use of joint attention and more frequent use of words and babble compared with typical infants at 12 months of age. In contrast, infants with ASD with early onset of symptoms and no regression displayed fewer joint attention and communicative behaviors at 12 months of age. By 24 months of age, both groups of toddlers with ASD displayed fewer instances of word use, vocalizations, declarative pointing, social gaze, and orienting to name as compared with typically developing 24-month-olds. Parent interview data suggested that some children with regression displayed difficulties in regulatory behavior before the regression occurred. CONCLUSION: This study validates the existence of early autistic regression.
One obvious way to learn why people do things is to ask them. Unfortunately, we have seldom asked people with labels of autism this question.
If people say a child is autistic because the child doesn't 'fit in' with idiotic social norms that get worse every year and becomes withdrawn instead, maybe you should 'fail to comply' as well.
Chad described his feelings like "living in a world of my own." "I knew I was different from everyone else," he reflected. "I'd play a certain song on my CD repeatedly and didn't understand why others found that odd." Certainly a diagnosis can significantly impact what happens to a child. Sometimes it opens doors to services; sometimes it closes doors to relationships.