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April 2: Autism Awareness Day


Henry

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What a coincidence. I have two autistic students, and today (most of this and next week really) I'm administering the Maryland state standardized test for them.

I have to say that while they certainly can try one's patience, I'm glad to have them as students. :)

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It's great to see this get so much attention. But I'll tell you one thing, the definition of autism is way to broad. Personally, I don't believe every kid diagnosed actually has it, but that doctors label people with it all too often. However, for the families that do suffer with this, it is sad, and I couldn't imagine dealing with that myself.

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It's great to see this get so much attention. But I'll tell you one thing, the definition of autism is way to broad. Personally, I don't believe every kid diagnosed actually has it, but that doctors label people with it all too often. However, for the families that do suffer with this, it is sad, and I couldn't imagine dealing with that myself.

These days it's officially called ASD, for Autism Spectrum Disorder, because the spectrum is, like you say, very very wide. Some kids, like my son, are very high-functioning, and with time and education should be able to become self-sufficient in mainstream society. Others with low function may never speak or be able to feed themselves. There's still SO much we don't know about autism. Which is why it's important continue to raise awareness about the condition.

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My 9-year old son is autistic and standardized tests scare the heck out of me. :)

I was expecting the test to scare the heck out of the twins I teach as well, but they did a pretty good job. The writing section is the hardest part. Allowing frequent breaks and having a room and proctor they're comfortable with helps.

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CNN is making an effort to publicize this. Kudos to them.

They're walking a fine line between publicity and exploitation, IMO.

For instance, "Tonight on Larry King Live - a former Playboy Playmate debates medical professionals about the possible link between autism and vaccines."

Are you kidding me? I'm aware Jenny McCarthy has an autistic child, but since when did she become qualified to debate this topic? Did she suddenly earn a medical degree or conduct years of research while I wasn't looking?

I think CNN, and the media in general, needs to focus more on things like treatment and the impact on families, communities, schools, etc instead of trying to fan the flames of this asinine "debate" about whether vaccines are related to the onset of autism.

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Talk about divine timing...

Why do I say this? Last night was my first night of baseball practice in which I met my players, one of whom is autistic. Having an autistic player on my team I was hoping to find out more about this disorder.

Thanks for sharing this information.

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They're walking a fine line between publicity and exploitation, IMO.

For instance, "Tonight on Larry King Live - a former Playboy Playmate debates medical professionals about the possible link between autism and vaccines."

Are you kidding me? I'm aware Jenny McCarthy has an autistic child, but since when did she become qualified to debate this topic? Did she suddenly earn a medical degree or conduct years of research while I wasn't looking?

I think CNN, and the media in general, needs to focus more on things like treatment and the impact on families, communities, schools, etc instead of trying to fan the flames of this asinine "debate" about whether vaccines are related to the onset of autism.

Trust me. Jenny McCarthy knows as much about autism as anyone. Having dealt with doctors over the past five years I can tell you that it's shocking how few people really know much about the condition. The spectrum is so wide and there is still so much we don't know, that aside from a handful of professionals, parents of these kids are likely to know more than anyone what's going on.

And that debate is not asinine. I didn't see this with my son, but more than a few parents (such as Doug Flutie) have claimed their children were developing normally until they were vaccinated. And I have to admit that when our second son was born, we spread out the vaccines to minimize the effect of the preservative ... just in case. Hell, if you watch the second video I posted, John McCain acknowledges the possibility.

And then there's this.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/03/larry-king-to-1.html

On Thursday March 6, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. at the U. S. Federal Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Jon Poling, M.D., Ph. D. and his wife Terry, an attorney and nurse, will hold a press conference about the government’s recent concession that “vaccines” (not just thimerosal or the MMR shot), “significantly aggravated” their daughter’s underlying mitochondrial disorder and led to her diagnosis of autism and seizures. (The seizure part of the equation was conceded on February 22, 2008.)

I used to think it was all paranoia, but there might be something to it all.

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Henry, I think the most recent major study on ASD diagnoses, which was based on data from about 15 states and released a year ago, put the figures at 1 in 150. In some states such as the one I live in, I believe the rates are estimated to be as high as more than 1 in 100.

I saw that CNN was doing this, and they've had the most coverage of autism that I've come across from the major media outlets in recent months.

Mcmetal, while I agree that there can always be a level of exploitation from media sources covering anything, Jenny McCarthy is qualified to a certain extent to speak on this subject simply due to being a parent heavily involved in her child's treatment. Now, she's no more qualified than thousands of other parents out there, but parental input for a disease like autism absolutely has value. With that being said, I could agree that I would rather have scientists/researchers/doctors debating in a forum with medical professionals as that's more of a level playing field though there are certainly a fair share of parents who have taken it upon themselves to become extremely knowledgable and well-versed in the science behind their childrens' conditions and symptoms.

As for your other point, the debate about vaccine safety in relation to autism as well as other health conditions is far from asinine. Henry alluded to the recent govt concession in the case of the Poling family and you can find more information about it on this post I made a few weeks back: http://www.extremeskins.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241319

I don't want to derail the subject and don't have much time now anyway, but the current recommended vaccine schedule and contents of the vaccines is absolutely something that needs to be thoroughly studied and IMO significantly revised, not simply for risks related to ASD but also for a host of other symptoms and medical conditions, both with short-term and long-term implications.

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They're walking a fine line between publicity and exploitation, IMO.

I understand the concern, but putting medical professionals on screen in prime time to discuss an issue along with concerned parents, beats the hell out of Paris Hilton or other worthless ****, even if they don't give it the full scholarly treatment.

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I retract my use of the word "asinine" as inflammatory.

I do feel very strongly though, that this is a debate without scientific merit. There is not a shred of compelling medical evidence to suggest a causal link between autism and vaccination. There is however, a considerable amount of information available on what would happen if people began abandoning childhood vaccinations out of misplaced fear or hysteria.

This has been studied tirelessly by top professionals in the medical field and they have found absolutely nothing to support a link between autism and vaccines.

There has been no discernible drop in diagnosed cases of autism in the years since Thimerasol was discontinued.

The onset of symptoms is simply coincedental with the time frame that typical childhood vaccines are administered. I'm sure to parents of autistic children the anecdotal evidence seems apparent, but that's a far cry from establishing anything related to vaccination as a verified "trigger" mechanism.

It's not like saying "butter causes autism" where there are no serious consequences for scaring people away from butter. Vaccinations are incredibly important to the health of a young child. My fear is that if this notion gains traction, it could have devastating consequences for a generation of young kids.

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McMetal, I think you are confusing the concerned parents with government conspiracy whackos.

The thought is not that we should do away with vaccines. But just that perhaps it might be a good idea to look at how they are administered with a more critical eye.

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I think the most eye-opening article I've read thus far has been this one about a family who fought to mandate insurance coverage for autism...

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/04/01/autism.insurance/index.html

I knew it was difficult to get an accurate diagnosis & to find comprehensive services, but I didn't realize that most insurance companies view autism treatment as an educational rather than a medical measure & won't cover it.

Considering there are more children diagnosed with autism then pediatric AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined (http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/03/31/autism.main/index.html), I'll be surprised if the insurance companies will be able to continue to not cover treatment. It's a story definitely worth following.

Amy

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i just saw a special on tv the other night about an autistic lady who couldnt speak but they gave her a keyboard and she learned to type.

she finished a 4 year college degree but it also showed where she had her autistic moments and would stare at the sink and play with the water with some spoons she always carried around.

it was odd to hear her words about what it was like being autistic and physically unable to communicate or show emotions

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I retract my use of the word "asinine" as inflammatory.

I do feel very strongly though, that this is a debate without scientific merit. There is not a shred of compelling medical evidence to suggest a causal link between autism and vaccination. There is however, a considerable amount of information available on what would happen if people began abandoning childhood vaccinations out of misplaced fear or hysteria.

This has been studied tirelessly by top professionals in the medical field and they have found absolutely nothing to support a link between autism and vaccines.

There has been no discernible drop in diagnosed cases of autism in the years since Thimerasol was discontinued.

The onset of symptoms is simply coincedental with the time frame that typical childhood vaccines are administered. I'm sure to parents of autistic children the anecdotal evidence seems apparent, but that's a far cry from establishing anything related to vaccination as a verified "trigger" mechanism.

It's not like saying "butter causes autism" where there are no serious consequences for scaring people away from butter. Vaccinations are incredibly important to the health of a young child. My fear is that if this notion gains traction, it could have devastating consequences for a generation of young kids.

it isnt the vaccine itself, its that vaccines contain thimerosol as a preservative. do you know what thimerosol is? mercury.

they used to even put thimerosol in contact lens solutions..... i was always allergic to it and it made my eyes itch fierce.

didnt know what thimerosol was until years later.

just because there is "no scientific proof" doesnt mean that there isnt cause and effect. mercury is bad poison to the body and administered to a devloping brain we dont know for sure what the results are.

i would guess it cant be good.....

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that aside from a handful of professionals, parents of these kids are likely to know more than anyone what's going on.

And that debate is not asinine. I didn't see this with my son, but more than a few parents (such as Doug Flutie) have claimed their children were developing normally until they were vaccinated. And I have to admit that when our second son was born, we spread out the vaccines to minimize the effect of the preservative ... just in case. Hell, if you watch the second video I posted, John McCain acknowledges the possibility.

I used to think it was all paranoia, but there might be something to it all.

Thanks for letting me know that today was Autism Awareness Day...

Coincidentally, today my wife and I brought our 2 month old son in to have his first round of vaccination shots. We had been worried about it for quite some time and have spoken to several Drs. and nurses about our concern. Especially after the recent Atlanta case where the girl had the mitochondrial disease that was exacerbated after the vaccinations she received.

It's amazing how the answers and advice we received covered the whole gamut:

...from a Dr. who when we told him our concerns about Autism and asked his thoughts about a modified vaccination schedule, he scoffed at the idea and proceeded to get on his soapbox and tell us about all of the irresponsible people out there who refused to have their kids vaccinated and left the rest of the population at such extreme risk...he later apologized for getting so worked up and said he had had a long and stressful day...

...to the Dr. who ensured us that the a practice did everything they could to protect and ensure the welfare of its patients. She re-assured us that the girl from Atlanta had already been diagnosed with the mitochondrial disease (from her mother) and that if our boy had other health concerns that would be exacerbated by the vaccines, they would've told us about it.

There were various answers from other nurse practitioners and health professionals that all pretty much said the same thing, only they came in different packages, some more tactful and empathetic than others (all these answers came from the same practice).

My wife and I are first time parents and obviously just want to protect our son and do what's best for him. We aren't healthcare professionals and read as much on the internet as anyone else. We thoroughly agree that vaccinations are a necessity...but can't disregard the rise in autism cases as well as some of the stories that are related.

It's not just a case in black and white...because there is no clear cut answer to anything yet and there is constant research trying to find the answer, the factions aren't limited to "VACCINES" or "NO VACCINES" and people need to have more sensitivity those who question.

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it isnt the vaccine itself, its that vaccines contain thimerosol as a preservative. do you know what thimerosol is? mercury.

they used to even put thimerosol in contact lens solutions..... i was always allergic to it and it made my eyes itch fierce.

didnt know what thimerosol was until years later.

just because there is "no scientific proof" doesnt mean that there isnt cause and effect. mercury is bad poison to the body and administered to a devloping brain we dont know for sure what the results are.

i would guess it cant be good.....

Joe, the vaccines that you and I got when we were younger contained thimerasol but the FDA has actually done a good job in eliminating thimerasol from vaccinations. Since 2001, I believe vaccinations no longer contained thimerasol or mercury...the girl in Atlanta received a vaccination that contained thimerasol...but that still doesn't answer the question as to why the cases haven't exactly diminished since then.

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Joe, the vaccines that you and I got when we were younger contained thimerasol but the FDA has actually done a good job in eliminating thimerasol from vaccinations. Since 2001, I believe vaccinations no longer contained thimerasol or mercury...the girl in Atlanta received a vaccination that contained thimerasol...but that still doesn't answer the question as to why the cases haven't exactly diminished since then.

i didnt know all that but i do know that we put so much crap in our foods, water, air and earth only god knows what could be causing it.....

then again maybe sometimes things just dont go right with the fetus and somethings just dont develop properly...

it happens in plants too only we can measure intelligence of a plant

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