Are Sonograms Behind Autism?
#11
(05-21-2014, 09:50 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: There has to be SOME reason for the rise in autism. If it's not vaccines and not sonograms, then what? I have to admit to having been scared about the autism possibility when my daughter was pregnant. My grandson is 16 months old and so far, so good. But every time he gets a shot, I hold my breath. I haven't researched all that, and there's so much conflicting information out there, I wouldn't know where to begin. But I do have a streak of "paranoia" about that -- and now, the overuse of sonograms. I can't take strong stands on any of this either way because I simply don't know. But it's in the back of my mind and it scares me.   

I understand that fear well. Abby, our child on the spectrum, is our first-born, so there was a lot of apprehension with the subsequent littles. I even convinced the doctor to do an EEG on our second-born as an infant just to make sure her brainwaves didn't have the tell-tale distortion (technical term: hypsarrhythmia) that is the hallmark of Abby's type of epilepsy. I also avoided vaccinations for years and years with our littles because Abby has had at least 2 documented adverse reactions to vaccines. I only just recently got the first round of MMR for our littles - at ages 5.5 years and 3 years of age (instead of the norm of 12 months here). I cried and cried and cried when the nurse gave them their needles (we're in the midst of an outbreak here), she cried too because I've known her since Abby was a baby and first diagnosed and she knew how much I struggled with this decision.

But for causes, and even the effects of Autism, they are complex. It's not a brain disorder per se as much as a whole-body disorder. Here's what we know about my daughter, for example:

- no structural brain abnormalities, although there's irregular electrical activity in her left temporal lobe that affects language and social skills

- no know birth trauma, normal term pregnancy

- no history of autism, epilepsy or other brain disorders in 1st and 2nd degree relatives

- no identifiable metabolic disorders that would contribute to her abnormal neurobiology

- abnormally metabolizes certain medications, although his is probably inherited from me & my dad. This is a problem when they change the brand of generic anti-seizure medication as she absorbs each one differently. Has precarious liver function, but that's possibly due to being on such harsh medications for so many years due to the epilepsy.

- has a wide variety of food allergies and sensitivities. She does not tolerate casein (the dairy protein), gluten or non-fermented soy. She's allergic to tree nuts, sweet potatoes, a number of beans/legumes and some chemicals such as sulphites. Her reactions vary from getting a rash (tree nuts) to an inability to concentrate and sit still (dairy) or inability to sleep (gluten). Note that it's been discovered that some foods, especially dairy and gluten, act as pseudo-opiates in many spectrum kids' brains, making them essential behave as if they are were taking opiate drugs.

- frequent bouts of abnormal bowel function

- inability to purge certain metals and chemicals from her body. When we've done testing she is found to have abnormally high levels of uranium and antimony in her blood stream. She is likely getting it from the waters supply here as our water source comes from a river that flows from areas that mine those minerals.


I could go on and on.

My personal feelings from experience:

-> there is a strong genetic component. I realize now that my husband has certain "personality quirks" that run in his family that have been identified as a "pre-autism" i.e. it's very common to see those quirks in parents of kids on the spectrum. There is some in myself too. We were told by genetics we had a 1 in 10 chance of having another child like Abby.

-> vaccination has undoubtably played a role in her condition, for reasons not well understood. While I don't believe all vaccination causes autism, and not all autism is caused by vaccination, there does appear to be a subset of children who are affected.

-> the chemical soup we now live in plays a role. I was in the process of a long weaning from anti-depressant medication during my first trimester with her, and there's been some speculation that there may be a role in SSRI exposure during the 1st trimester and autism. There are known adverse effects from SSRIs in the 3rd trimester.

-> our diets aggravate genetic predispositions for these types of behaviours. See GFCF diets, Fiengold diet, GAPS diet, and others that have all been used to manage these conditions. Supplementation of critical minerals, vitamins and compounds are also an essential part of biomedical management of autism (see DAN! protocols).

-> exposure to things like ultrasounds, florescent lighting, "dirty electricity", and the pervasiveness of things like wifi I think can contribute in small amounts to certain segments of the population, although they are probably relatively safe for most.

The trick in the future, I think, will be indentifying which people are vunerable.
Reply
#12
(05-21-2014, 10:57 AM)Fontevrault Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 09:50 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: There has to be SOME reason for the rise in autism. If it's not vaccines and not sonograms, then what? I have to admit to having been scared about the autism possibility when my daughter was pregnant. My grandson is 16 months old and so far, so good. But every time he gets a shot, I hold my breath. I haven't researched all that, and there's so much conflicting information out there, I wouldn't know where to begin. But I do have a streak of "paranoia" about that -- and now, the overuse of sonograms. I can't take strong stands on any of this either way because I simply don't know. But it's in the back of my mind and it scares me.
   

Scary as it sounds, there are ways to help a child with autism and, in many cases, they can go on to have relatively normal lives.  It takes hard work but parenting is all about hard work.  Best course of action: prayer.  I'm honestly not concerned about autism.  There are worse things out there.

Well said. There are ways to help these kids, from diet and environment, to special education including things like ABA programming and Playtime therapy, and just generally being a strong parent and advocating for your child. We have many of the same expectations for our primarily non-verbal daughter with autism that we have for our other children - good, kind and loving behaviour, helping with chores, listening and following instructions, good hygiene, etc.

Yes, the way we have to instruct her/parent her is a bit different - for example, she needs much more explict instruction and training. My five-year-old understands "put away your laundry" and does it, but Abby needs more steps - takes this pile of shirts, go to your room and find your dresser, open your shirt drawer, put the clothes in, close the drawer. She needs hand-over-hand intervention to remember how much pressure is appropriate when petting the dog. She needs to be reminded of the steps for using the toilet, and has cue cards in the bathroom to help her with that.
Reply
#13
(05-21-2014, 12:16 PM)PrairieMom Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 09:50 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: There has to be SOME reason for the rise in autism. If it's not vaccines and not sonograms, then what? I have to admit to having been scared about the autism possibility when my daughter was pregnant. My grandson is 16 months old and so far, so good. But every time he gets a shot, I hold my breath. I haven't researched all that, and there's so much conflicting information out there, I wouldn't know where to begin. But I do have a streak of "paranoia" about that -- and now, the overuse of sonograms. I can't take strong stands on any of this either way because I simply don't know. But it's in the back of my mind and it scares me.   

I understand that fear well. Abby, our child on the spectrum, is our first-born, so there was a lot of apprehension with the subsequent littles. I even convinced the doctor to do an EEG on our second-born as an infant just to make sure her brainwaves didn't have the tell-tale distortion (technical term: hypsarrhythmia) that is the hallmark of Abby's type of epilepsy. I also avoided vaccinations for years and years with our littles because Abby has had at least 2 documented adverse reactions to vaccines. I only just recently got the first round of MMR for our littles - at ages 5.5 years and 3 years of age (instead of the norm of 12 months here). I cried and cried and cried when the nurse gave them their needles (we're in the midst of an outbreak here), she cried too because I've known her since Abby was a baby and first diagnosed and she knew how much I struggled with this decision.

But for causes, and even the effects of Autism, they are complex. It's not a brain disorder per se as much as a whole-body disorder. Here's what we know about my daughter, for example:

- no structural brain abnormalities, although there's irregular electrical activity in her left temporal lobe that affects language and social skills

- no know birth trauma, normal term pregnancy

- no history of autism, epilepsy or other brain disorders in 1st and 2nd degree relatives

- no identifiable metabolic disorders that would contribute to her abnormal neurobiology

- abnormally metabolizes certain medications, although his is probably inherited from me & my dad. This is a problem when they change the brand of generic anti-seizure medication as she absorbs each one differently. Has precarious liver function, but that's possibly due to being on such harsh medications for so many years due to the epilepsy.

- has a wide variety of food allergies and sensitivities. She does not tolerate casein (the dairy protein), gluten or non-fermented soy. She's allergic to tree nuts, sweet potatoes, a number of beans/legumes and some chemicals such as sulphites. Her reactions vary from getting a rash (tree nuts) to an inability to concentrate and sit still (dairy) or inability to sleep (gluten). Note that it's been discovered that some foods, especially dairy and gluten, act as pseudo-opiates in many spectrum kids' brains, making them essential behave as if they are were taking opiate drugs.

- frequent bouts of abnormal bowel function

- inability to purge certain metals and chemicals from her body. When we've done testing she is found to have abnormally high levels of uranium and antimony in her blood stream. She is likely getting it from the waters supply here as our water source comes from a river that flows from areas that mine those minerals.

have you looked into mitochondrial disorders? a lot of them are linked with seizures & processing food / medications differently.
Reply
#14
(05-21-2014, 12:29 PM)PrairieMom Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 10:57 AM)Fontevrault Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 09:50 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: There has to be SOME reason for the rise in autism. If it's not vaccines and not sonograms, then what? I have to admit to having been scared about the autism possibility when my daughter was pregnant. My grandson is 16 months old and so far, so good. But every time he gets a shot, I hold my breath. I haven't researched all that, and there's so much conflicting information out there, I wouldn't know where to begin. But I do have a streak of "paranoia" about that -- and now, the overuse of sonograms. I can't take strong stands on any of this either way because I simply don't know. But it's in the back of my mind and it scares me.
   

Scary as it sounds, there are ways to help a child with autism and, in many cases, they can go on to have relatively normal lives.  It takes hard work but parenting is all about hard work.  Best course of action: prayer.  I'm honestly not concerned about autism.  There are worse things out there.

Well said. There are ways to help these kids, from diet and environment, to special education including things like ABA programming and Playtime therapy, and just generally being a strong parent and advocating for your child. We have many of the same expectations for our primarily non-verbal daughter with autism that we have for our other children - good, kind and loving behaviour, helping with chores, listening and following instructions, good hygiene, etc.

Yes, the way we have to instruct her/parent her is a bit different - for example, she needs much more explict instruction and training. My five-year-old understands "put away your laundry" and does it, but Abby needs more steps - takes this pile of shirts, go to your room and find your dresser, open your shirt drawer, put the clothes in, close the drawer. She needs hand-over-hand intervention to remember how much pressure is appropriate when petting the dog. She needs to be reminded of the steps for using the toilet, and has cue cards in the bathroom to help her with that.

Hugs to a wonderful Mom!!!  Those are all great ways to help her!  I used to recommend many of the same things to parents of my kiddos. 
Reply
#15
(05-21-2014, 02:38 PM)Chestertonian Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 12:16 PM)PrairieMom Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 09:50 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: There has to be SOME reason for the rise in autism. If it's not vaccines and not sonograms, then what? I have to admit to having been scared about the autism possibility when my daughter was pregnant. My grandson is 16 months old and so far, so good. But every time he gets a shot, I hold my breath. I haven't researched all that, and there's so much conflicting information out there, I wouldn't know where to begin. But I do have a streak of "paranoia" about that -- and now, the overuse of sonograms. I can't take strong stands on any of this either way because I simply don't know. But it's in the back of my mind and it scares me.   

I understand that fear well. Abby, our child on the spectrum, is our first-born, so there was a lot of apprehension with the subsequent littles. I even convinced the doctor to do an EEG on our second-born as an infant just to make sure her brainwaves didn't have the tell-tale distortion (technical term: hypsarrhythmia) that is the hallmark of Abby's type of epilepsy. I also avoided vaccinations for years and years with our littles because Abby has had at least 2 documented adverse reactions to vaccines. I only just recently got the first round of MMR for our littles - at ages 5.5 years and 3 years of age (instead of the norm of 12 months here). I cried and cried and cried when the nurse gave them their needles (we're in the midst of an outbreak here), she cried too because I've known her since Abby was a baby and first diagnosed and she knew how much I struggled with this decision.

But for causes, and even the effects of Autism, they are complex. It's not a brain disorder per se as much as a whole-body disorder. Here's what we know about my daughter, for example:

- no structural brain abnormalities, although there's irregular electrical activity in her left temporal lobe that affects language and social skills

- no know birth trauma, normal term pregnancy

- no history of autism, epilepsy or other brain disorders in 1st and 2nd degree relatives

- no identifiable metabolic disorders that would contribute to her abnormal neurobiology

- abnormally metabolizes certain medications, although his is probably inherited from me & my dad. This is a problem when they change the brand of generic anti-seizure medication as she absorbs each one differently. Has precarious liver function, but that's possibly due to being on such harsh medications for so many years due to the epilepsy.

- has a wide variety of food allergies and sensitivities. She does not tolerate casein (the dairy protein), gluten or non-fermented soy. She's allergic to tree nuts, sweet potatoes, a number of beans/legumes and some chemicals such as sulphites. Her reactions vary from getting a rash (tree nuts) to an inability to concentrate and sit still (dairy) or inability to sleep (gluten). Note that it's been discovered that some foods, especially dairy and gluten, act as pseudo-opiates in many spectrum kids' brains, making them essential behave as if they are were taking opiate drugs.

- frequent bouts of abnormal bowel function

- inability to purge certain metals and chemicals from her body. When we've done testing she is found to have abnormally high levels of uranium and antimony in her blood stream. She is likely getting it from the waters supply here as our water source comes from a river that flows from areas that mine those minerals.

have you looked into mitochondrial disorders? a lot of them are linked with seizures & processing food / medications differently.

Yep. Her blood and tissue samples have been all over the continent at different labs for testing. Everything comes back absolutely normal. We worked with a geneticist and metabolics for over 2 years testing for absolutely everything they could think of.

Every MRI is normal. Spinal fluids have always been normal.

Every blood test except medication levels and occasionally her ALTs are normal.

Even now, unless she's actively having a seizure, her EGG is normal. Her background "static" is normal, unlike when she was a baby.

Even to look at her, many people don't initially realize she has significant cognitive disabilities. She doesn't manifest many of the stereotypical behaviours, but has severe impairment in several key areas.

She's quite the mystery to the local medical community.
Reply
#16
(05-21-2014, 02:41 PM)Fontevrault Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 12:29 PM)PrairieMom Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 10:57 AM)Fontevrault Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 09:50 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: There has to be SOME reason for the rise in autism. If it's not vaccines and not sonograms, then what? I have to admit to having been scared about the autism possibility when my daughter was pregnant. My grandson is 16 months old and so far, so good. But every time he gets a shot, I hold my breath. I haven't researched all that, and there's so much conflicting information out there, I wouldn't know where to begin. But I do have a streak of "paranoia" about that -- and now, the overuse of sonograms. I can't take strong stands on any of this either way because I simply don't know. But it's in the back of my mind and it scares me.
   

Scary as it sounds, there are ways to help a child with autism and, in many cases, they can go on to have relatively normal lives.  It takes hard work but parenting is all about hard work.  Best course of action: prayer.  I'm honestly not concerned about autism.  There are worse things out there.

Well said. There are ways to help these kids, from diet and environment, to special education including things like ABA programming and Playtime therapy, and just generally being a strong parent and advocating for your child. We have many of the same expectations for our primarily non-verbal daughter with autism that we have for our other children - good, kind and loving behaviour, helping with chores, listening and following instructions, good hygiene, etc.

Yes, the way we have to instruct her/parent her is a bit different - for example, she needs much more explict instruction and training. My five-year-old understands "put away your laundry" and does it, but Abby needs more steps - takes this pile of shirts, go to your room and find your dresser, open your shirt drawer, put the clothes in, close the drawer. She needs hand-over-hand intervention to remember how much pressure is appropriate when petting the dog. She needs to be reminded of the steps for using the toilet, and has cue cards in the bathroom to help her with that.

Hugs to a wonderful Mom!!!  Those are all great ways to help her!  I used to recommend many of the same things to parents of my kiddos. 

*smiles* thanks

But seriously, I wonder about a lot of kids on the spectrum. The diet thing for example. Abby is in a special-ed class ("LifeSkills") with other high-need kids, such as ASD, FASD, etc. She takes the bus now, but I used to drive her to school everyday, and we would put her lunch on a special tray to get warmed up at lunchtime for her. You should see what some of those other kids eat! Their lunch might a package of those cheap ramen noodles, or maybe 2 pizza pops or a can of Spagetti-O's. Yuck!

I know food security and affordability is an issue for many people, but talking to the teacher these kids won't eat anything else! We also made a big deal about giving our daughter a good, balanced diet of whole foods. Textural issues can be a problem, but darn it, we spent 3 years to get her to eat broccoli (now, broccoli is one of her favorites!).

Her favorite lunch: Sunday night leftovers... roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, honey carrots with dill, peas or broccoli and mashed TURNIP! LOL

It's also critical she gets enough exercise. We ride bikes, walk/hike, go to the park, play with the dog, swim, etc. Her behaviour is SOOOOO much improved when she's been active, especially if we give her heavy work (she used to LOVE delivering newspapers with us, she got to push/pull the very heavy cart full of papers, and loves pushing the shopping cart at the store). I wonder if a lot of these "problem kids" in the school system these days would be helped by just good old-fashioned exercise.
Reply
#17
PrairieMom,

Diet and exercise is where I start when I speak with parents about their children.  Often, a little tweak makes a huge difference. 

I'm not surprised about the heavy exercise being helpful - especially given your daughter's sensory integration issues.  I actually used to use cross-lateral movement in class when my students were squirrely to help them settle down.  I could often get a lot more work out of them that way.  It helped the whole class and not just the ones with challenges.
Reply
#18
(05-21-2014, 04:43 PM)Fontevrault Wrote: PrairieMom,

Diet and exercise is where I start when I speak with parents about their children.  Often, a little tweak makes a huge difference. 

I'm not surprised about the heavy exercise being helpful - especially given your daughter's sensory integration issues.  I actually used to use cross-lateral movement in class when my students were squirrely to help them settle down.  I could often get a lot more work out of them that way.  It helped the whole class and not just the ones with challenges.

Yes. Heavy work, deep pressure (hence why swimming is such a big deal for her) and brushing seems to be what she needs. Have you tried any brushing protocols with your students? We find it helps immensely. I get her to sit on a ball at home too, it helps her calm down and focus.
Reply
#19
(05-21-2014, 10:52 AM)Fontevrault Wrote: The Asperger's kids I've seen are intelligent and desperately need structure to function.  What I was saying is that in a young kid, the outbursts of frustration and rigidity look a lot like a socially regressed spoiled child does. 

I can imagine that, yes...  I haven't dealt with young kids with Asperger's, only older ones (pre-teen and teen).

Quote: Consider:  kid does want to go back to his home room after math class, climbs under a desk and screams that he will not come out and wants to stay.  He can do multistep math problems in his head but won't  write things down and can't explain how he knows the answer.  He's not transitioning from one environment to another well, he is volatile - if predictably so, and it takes 20 minutes to convince him to return to his other teacher.  Combine that with a tough time communicating, especially in writing, and difficulty relating to other students.  What do you have going on in a fairly structured classroom?

Is it a kid with Asperger's or is it a kid reacting poorly because of home life? 

Oh, I TOTALLY agree with you that some of the psych labels that get put on kids are absolutely due to bad parenting, some sort of "pathology" or "bad thing" going on in the family, etc. I have no doubts about that whatsoever. I think the sheer number of kids that get slapped with such labels is pretty good evidence of that in itself!

Quote: I've had both with exactly the same issues.  This story is actually one of two very similar students who I taught about 3 years apart from each other.  Two boys, both good kids, both smart and capable, both needed the exact same type of explicit help to learn to deal with what was going on around them.  I've spent equal amounts of time with both boys talking them down and helping them find coping mechanisms that they could initiate on their own.  I have had to discuss personal space and body language with both to help them learn to read people and also learn about how they are communicating with others. One had parents going through a nasty divorce and a mom who walked out on him; the other had documented Asperger's. 

Why do I say this?  When a child is being diagnosed, they send out behavior inventories to parents, teachers, and other care givers.  It's a list of behaviors and their frequencies.  That and consultation with parents is how a doctor makes the diagnosis with kids.  The spike in diagnoses could be because more parents are aware of autism and how it can manifest and are looking for a way to help their children.  But it could also be that social norms discourage strong parenting and encourage leaving children with so-called experts.  If a parent doesn't parent, then the child will show issues that a teacher would consider indicative of a diagnosable difficulty.  Could sonograms be a contributing factor?  Sure, so could diet and a number of other things.  Causation is hard to prove. 

The Dx method you described above is part of the problem. The kid I referred to earlier went through a long series of tests and one-on-one sessions with a real mental health professional before he was diagnosed, but in public schools, it could be the word of some untrained teacher, fed up with dealing with the effects of fatherless homes, who tells a social worker "this kid has problems," the social worker hands a family doctor a file which the doctor spends a good 4 minutes looking over, and the label gets stuck on the kid and that's it. It's a TRAVESTY.

What you said about social norms discouraging strong parenting is also TOTALLY dead-on. And it really ticks me off to hear the child-haters going on about unruly children, how they'll never have kids because of "how kids are" -- and, at the same time, diss a parent who might spank a kid as a last resort. This study, which I have on the website, says it ALL in this regard:  http://www.fisheaters.com/spanking.html

Anyway, what occurs to me after thinking about this thread is that first of all, we'd have to come up with a way of weeding out the bogus "public school-style diagnoses" from the ones like I described above, and THEN continue on with research as to why the rates are rising -- IF in fact they are, as determined by what follows that "first of all." Until then, there really isn't a good way to actually know if autism rates are actually rising -- or if teachers are just less patient than they used to be, or schools are just wanting more money or excuses for kids who don't test well, or if parents, deprived of various tools because of social shaming, are blaming kids' brains instead of the way they're being raised.
Reply
#20

Prairie Mom Wrote:Her favorite lunch: Sunday night leftovers... roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, honey carrots with dill, peas or broccoli and mashed TURNIP! LOL

Roast chicken??? Carrots??? PEAS? What kind of HORRIBLE MOTHER ARE YOU? Don't you know your kid needs Ritz crackers, too?!

Seriously, check this out, from www.weightymatters.ca:

From Weighty Matters Wrote:Apparently if a child's lunch is deemed "unbalanced", where "balance" refers to ensuring that a lunch conforms to the proportions of food groups as laid out by Canada's awful Food Guide, then that child's lunch is "supplemented", and their parent is fined.

Blog reader Kristen Bartkiw received just such a fine.

[html] She sent her children to daycare with with lunches containing leftover homemade roast beef and potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk.[/html]


She did not send along any "grains".

As a consequence the school provided her children with, I kid you not, supplemental Ritz Crackers, and her with a $10 fine.

As Kristen writes, had she sent along lunches consisting of, "microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box" those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers.

The note she got from school:

[Image: badlunch.jpg]



Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)