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Is "Autism" an epidemic???

(62 Posts)
mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:00:01

Having a recent diagnosis of my son with ASD, i started counting all the parents i know with kids who have the same diagnosis. I dont know that many people and I counted 7 including my own son.

I know about 150 people, so 7 out of that number is LOTS!!

Having skimmed over autistic research and books/material over the past year, I have definitely come to the conclusion that autism is an umbrella term for something the medical profession simply cant define in exact terms. More to the point, there are links to what causes it but we have not progressed in research enough to find these links. I am convinced of this.

I did everything humanly possible to conceive and carry a healthy baby. After he was born, the same, no immunisations, breast fed, then organic only food, no toxins.

What is causing it to rise? I am convinced its our environment. I of course dont have any proof of this yet, but I am searching.

spidermama Sun 10-Jul-05 14:09:35

I think there are many grown ups today who'd be classed as being 'on the spectrum' if they were kids today. I think we're quicker to label and generally more worried or perhaps knowlegable about the condition.

I also believe environmental factos must be playing a part in so many modern health issues.
I think it's a very interesting point mamadada.

IMO the medical establishment needs to examine and research root causes rather than spend all it's energy looking at ways to treat symptoms.

I recently cured my life-long asthma by accident. I eliminated wheat and dairy from my diet in sympathy with my son's intolerance, and it went. Doctors have given me steroids and brochiodilators since I was 14. It didn't occur to them to look for food intolerance.

hercules Sun 10-Jul-05 14:11:11

we're pretty sure my db who is nealy 40 has aspergers.

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:17:54

Hi Spider. yes, well the reason I bring this up is because I know of someone in Canada who cured his M.S. He was in a wheelchair and just started researching. After two years he came up witha formula which worked for him. Today he has his own "clinic" and treats 2000 people.

I absolutely refuse to treat doctors as Gods or act child like in their presence. They just dont know half or even a quarter of what makes us tick. And even if they did, they couldnt cure everything with alopathic medicine.

I truly believe (and i am not just being overly optimistic) that my sons dx is just that a dx. What he actually achieves and what he actually overcomes will be solely down to the treatment he gets based on the kind of person he is and what his needs are.

Trouble is, doctors etc, dont have the time to personally come to my home and sit with him for hours on end watching him the way I do. They dont have the time to personally tailor a program of therapy for him and him alone. So... they all get lumped together as ASD kids.

My son is not just a compilation of parts he is going to be a reflection of his environment. If he cant identify with that environment, then doors may remain shut. The key I am sure, is to open the personal doors of our kids and let them walk through. Not without much much effort on our part, not just doctors.

happymerryberries Sun 10-Jul-05 14:18:12

I have a good friend (od 40 odd) who would undoubtably be on the spectrum today. His mother took him to the doctor as his behaviour was typically auti and was told, 'go away and try harder with him '

He now has 3 sons on the spectrum and his mother commnts that their behaviour is just like his 40 odd years ago.

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:25:04

Thats encouraging happy. We all knew kids or worked with people who were a bit "odd or nerdy" or who plainly didnt "get the point" sometimes.

I truly believe that for many kids diagnosed with ASD its like a self fulfilling prophesy, i.e. they have it, they are stuck with it and that attitude reflects pessimism. Moreso that attitude turns into a particular kind of action. For example if your child dosent respond to you, you may very well give even less response because s/he is "autistic" or whatever. If you knew that your child could beat this condition, you might react differently to a glazed look or lack of reaction. You might persist more because you know it would pay off.

I am sure its as much about attitude and knowledge and lack of fear as it is about labels.

happymerryberries Sun 10-Jul-05 14:30:46

and just for your interest he is highly sucessful, happily married, lives in the carribeen and has a boat, a house and a flash car!

He was a real 'nerd' and is now a very high powered buisness man.

I know this isn't true of all asd children, but it is true for some.

I teach a boy with ASD and so far he has scoered al A*s in his GCSE science. Two years ago he could only cope with 1 to 1 assistance, now he is integrated and is even beginning to make froends with his peers. He is totaly outstanding in class and is also begining to understand socail 'norms' that are helping him to integrate.

He will never be NT, but he may well go out and change the world. He has had a huge amount of support form his family and the SEN department, but this is one case where the diagnosis unlocked the funds that have helped this outsyanng you man to cope with the fact that his mind is 'different' to his peers.

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:32:51

Happy, you are a teacher? Can you tell me what I should do in terms of a 2.5 year old and social integration. Should he be in nt mother toddler groups or should he go to special need groups to be "studied" so that I can learn about him. I am caught between this. He is yet too young for playschool and dosent have a lot of friends but integration is soo soo important.

any ideas? thank u

swiperfox Sun 10-Jul-05 14:33:38

mdww does the Cadian guy who 'cured' his MS have a website?

happymerryberries Sun 10-Jul-05 14:34:09

Secondary I'm afraid, so I'm not your girl on this one. Have you looked into portage?

hercules Sun 10-Jul-05 14:34:31

have you looked at the autism website?

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:34:59

swiper, been trying to find that out. My friend in Canada attends him for another medical condition. I will get his name and post it on MN. He is really something else. Also, the medical community is trying to have him shut down cause he is taking away their business!!!

swiperfox Sun 10-Jul-05 14:37:46

I bet! My uncle's fiancee has MS and i would love to pass it on to her.

I can certainly understand you thinking that autism may be becoming an 'epidemic' - for the last 5 years I have had exactly the same thoughts about ADHD. Seems to me that recently docs are a ltttle too quick to 'label'

misdee Sun 10-Jul-05 14:41:29

i'm gonna say somehting i have never said before. i feel like i dont belong. i find it hard to read social situations, struggle to make eye contact, as feel peoples eye 'burn' me if tha makes sense. i was label as shy as a child. i very often put my foot in it, and dont get some jokes. my dd2 has similar probs. epidemic or something inherited?

mieow will vouch for my 'awkwardness'.

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:42:32

swiper, i have just emailed my friend. Will pass on the name asap or cat you when i get it. Come back to me if i forget. My heads up my hole these days.

But in saying that if he exists, i am sure there are others!! We really have to start taking our health into our own hands.

I know someone who died of MS at 37, a very dear friend. She relied purely on the doctors and wouldnt go near any self help ideas. I even tried to get her to take bee sting venom, cause apparently that helps.

I should add VERY IMPORTANT, that MS is not a "disease" in itself. Your uncles fiance probably knows this. Again, MS is an umbrella term for a lot things, not just the muscle lining. I only just found this out and found it to be fascinating. It also affects people in varying degrees and in very different ways.

Just like asd is a spectrum of conditions, i.e. its like the colour spectrum where green goes into purple, etc, MS is very elusive to pin down as to what it is.

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:42:51

Even more elusive to try and find out what causes it!!

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:45:01

Misdee, here too. Mind you I overcame it and am now on the opposite end of the "spectrum". I think with age, i just dont give a shit what anyone thinks of me anymore.

But yes when i was little i would ask my sister to "go and make friends with the kids across the street, cause i just didnt know how".

swiperfox Sun 10-Jul-05 14:47:36

thanks very much mdww. I'm very much along your lines of thinking in that you have to help yourself as well. From that point of view I can definately say that I have stopped myself being sucked into severe depression.

How do you feel about your son's diagnosis?

spidermama Sun 10-Jul-05 14:49:43

I agree with every word you post mamadada and find your opinions eloquently expressed and deeply insightful. I think your son is a lucky boy and has a great mum on his side.

Incidentally my BIL (40) would undoubtedly have been diagnosed on the spectrum, probably AS, as he himself admits. I'm certainly the better for knowing him as he has educated me in many areas I'd otherwise have had no access to.

It's an old cliche but it really does 'take all sorts'.

swiperfox Sun 10-Jul-05 14:51:19

Misdee I had the same problem. To this day I am still incredibly incomfortable in social situations and cannot speak/make eye contact with new people. When I was about 23 I made myself get a job in a bar so that I had no choice but to be dealing with social situations all the time and it really started to work. However, dp was the landlord, we got together, lost the pub now i'm at home all day and have somewhat reverted to the 'shy' me.
That said, I refuse to let the same thing happen to dd or ds so if we are out at the shops etc I always make a point of having conversations in shops etc and getting her involved so that she is used to being around other people

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:52:23

Swiper have you got an hour?

As his mother, I knew something was wrong for some time due to lack of play and communication etc. However, I know he is really bright and so very interactive with people he knows. It dosent take him long to get to know people either so he makes friends pretty easily.

Theres a lot i dont know but what i do know is that he is going to beat this. There just isnt any other alternative. If I have to set a bonfire under peoples butts he is going to get whatever he needs to exceed and be a far more intelligent and socially interactive person than his mom! (which sometimes would appear quite easy)

mamadadawahwah Sun 10-Jul-05 14:53:42

Spider, you got that right. If the whole world was like me, it would implode!

hercules Sun 10-Jul-05 14:53:49

Is autism beatable?

swiperfox Sun 10-Jul-05 14:54:43

Good on you. I would be exactly the same and i'm sure you will succeed in bringing him out the other side. He's a lucky boy to have you as his Mum!!

swiperfox Sun 10-Jul-05 14:55:44

don't know if bringing him out the other side is the right phrase but hopefully you know what i mean!

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