Posts Tagged ‘aspergers’

So … does this rather describe me?

2015-08-30 11:38:55 PST

“The truth is, many people who are on the autism spectrum do not have such easily noticeable symptoms and often go undiagnosed, specifically those who are high functioning. A common misconception is that if a child has autism it will be fairly obvious at a very young age and even more so during daycare or school, in a setting where socialization with peers is expected.”

“The populations that are most often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed are academically gifted children. Those who are gifted can fly under the radar because they may easily learn appropriate behaviors that can mask symptoms of autism. It is also possible that they are simply seen as quirky and unique. People who are highly gifted in art, math, technology, or memorization are usually very focused on their specific skill to the detriment of personal friendships. People see this as a proof of their giftedness and not as a sign of disability. A child who shows passion in academics or a great talent in arts is often praised and rewarded instead of taken for an evaluation.”

“There are many similarities between children who are gifted and those who have Asperger’s”

“Both gifted children and children with Asperger’s may have difficulty creating and maintaining friendships due to a lack of interest in age-typical activities or because they are not attuned to the desires of their peers. In other words, they do not share the interests of peers and will make that obvious in their interactions.”

“Other signs of Asperger’s that might not coincide with those who are academically gifted include” … “difficulty holding a conversation about things other than their interest”

“The trouble with picking out these differences is that a child that has learned that an outward expression of displeasure will be met with consequences may learn early on to internalize it and act in expected ways.”


What Causes Autism?: The Role of Environmental Exposures

2013-12-29 09:45:21 PST

What Causes Autism?: The Role of Environmental Exposures – rather good video, but long – 1:01:10.

Most key bits could probably be covered in under 5 minutes.
What I’d give as key takeaways, and referencing some of the time bits on the video where particularly covered,
and adding some details and my interpretation, and wee bit of my perspective (some of the “summary” bits on the video are (over)simplified relative to the rest of the video’s content):

Nature vs. nurture – genetics vs. environment
research is ongoing, definitely not fully known, but to the extent thus far known and shown from latest research:

some autism numbers: 0:47–3:02

  • sex ratio 4:1 M:F (diagnosed, anyway)
  • 1 in 88 (1 in 58 for males) (again, diagnosed)
  • not “bad parenting” – but historically was attributed to such
  • neurobiologic basis (evidenced in autopsies, electrophysiologic, e.g. MRI & fMRI)
  • genes – heritability estimates: 35% to 60% factor (best current numbers; presumption that remainder is environmental factors, earlier estimates were up to 90% and even 100% genetic) 4:34–5:55

    multi-factorial (genes + genes environment + environmental — sufficient causes model), also varies by individual 5:56–7:05

    timing (of environmental factors) matters 7:06–7:36

    time trends 12:50–16:02

    • 1990–2001 autistic births (autism by 5 years of age) rose by 7-fold!!!??
    • true increase? – of that 600% increase, attributable to:
      • DSM changes: 120%
      • Broadening into milder cases: 56%
      • Trends towards younger age at diagnosis: 24%
      • Older ages of mothers: 4%
      • Those total to account for 204% of 600% increase
    • So, … true increase about 396%? … environmental?

    Most significant known contributing environmental factors, ordered approximately by highest contributing risk first: 51:15–52:47

    • pre-natal vitamin supplements (folic acid, etc.) – start before pregnancy, best if started 3 months before pregnancy
    • pregnancy spacing – best if 36 months or more from birth to next conception
    • Limit exposure to air pollutants from traffic, cigarettes, wood burning stoves, and other sources
    • reduce weight (healthy weight, don’t be obese/overweight), control blood glucose (healthy range), exercise moderately to reduce blood pressure
    • avoid flu / prolonged fever, use anti-fever meds if fever develops
    • limit exposure to (avoid) chemical pesticides, SSRIs as feasible (consult with doctor)