Tag Archives: aspergers

Leaning into my Hypocrisy

Being an autistic, especially an Aspie, can be very frustrating to that person and to all around who are experiencing frustration also. This post gives a little perspective.

Thirty Days of Autism

Leaninginwatermarked.jpgSometimes the things I know to be right and true, the things I aspire to, do not come easily to me in the tired-out end-of-the-day moments.

Those are the times when I may not be at my best: my patience may be worn thin, and I may feel the tempting lure of what seems like a shortcut… one that ends up just making things more complex and unruly.

Tonight was one of those nights.

I was rushing H to get to bed – and he was yelling at me for rushing him. It did not go particularly well…

But H called me on it:

I am trying to advocate for myself here. I need you to listen to me.

I am having a hard time listening because you are yelling at me and I don’t like to be yelled at.

Well, I feel I have to yell because you are…

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Does Autism Begin Before Birth?

Autism is a growing problem among toddlers, children, teenagers, young adults and older adults.  It can be during any of these life stages that symptoms are recognized for the first time.  Many times, symptoms are apparent, but if the people close to the autistic individual are not familiar with symptoms, and the professionals who are treating that person for things other than Autism, due to ignorance, the individual will not get the treatment necessary.  By “treatment necessary,” I mean the professional testing for diagnosis, and psychological assistance needed to help the autistic person cope with his/her surroundings, heightened sensitivities, and people and environment in general.

I refer to Autistic people as “Autistic people.”  They are not people “with Autism,” as you would refer to a person who has MS or AIDS or ME, as “with MS” or “with AIDS” or “with ME.”  Generally speaking, Autistic people do not have a medical or physically-disabling disease.  There are exceptions when the symptoms are severe; however, it all starts in the brain.

There is reason for me to believe that there might be some genetic influence in the development of Autism.  C’s onset is not the only one in my family on my daughter’s father’s side.

This subject is personal.  My granddaughter is an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is included in the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) list.  It used to be, until recently, recognized as a distinct and separate part of Autism, but has now been brought into the ASD fold.

It is not easy for me to be in my granddaughter’s company.  I will refer to her as “C.”  It is stressful for her and for me.  I don’t see her often.  My daughter is the only person in whose company C feels comfortable.  She was diagnosed at the age of 21.  She was not initially diagnosed by a professional.  She was diagnosed by my daughter, C’s mom!!  A few years ago, an article in the Reader’s Digest on Asperger’s listed the symptoms, and every one of the symptoms pointed to my granddaughter.  Up until then, she was “in the care of professionals” who thought she had emotional problems, and she was thus treated.

Treatment for autism needs to be very intensive, and so, early diagnosis and treatment are vitally important.  Given how complex the brain is, it can be very difficult to correct differences in brain development and function that start so early in life, especially when symptoms are not recognized and treated early enough to make an important difference in the individual’s, or C’s, life.

Autism Awareness Ribbon

Autism Awareness Ribbon

“We hear so much about autism risk factors during pregnancy and delivery.  But our kids aren’t born with autism, they develop it later, [don’t they?]  I don’t get it.”

Developmental-behavioral pediatrician Paul Wang, Autism Speaks senior vice president for medical research, gives his take on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), while attempting to correct misconceptions, including the statement above.

Dr. Paul Wang

‘ Dr. Paul Wang

“ ‘When does autism start?’ is one of the most profound questions we face in our field.  At present, autism can’t be reliably diagnosed until around 2 years of age. However, parents often notice symptoms before then. In fact, analysis of videotapes from children’s first-birthday parties shows that signs of autism are already present for many children at that age, even when parents don’t become concerned until months or years later.

‘Is it possible that autism starts even earlier?’ Research tells us ‘yes’.

In most medical conditions, the underlying processes are triggered before their signs and symptoms become obvious. Consider arthritis. The joints are breaking down and inflammation is setting in years before the aches and pains appear.  In dyslexia (reading disability), the symptoms aren’t obvious until a child starts learning how to read. But the symptoms are rooted in brain differences that are present much earlier in development.

A similar chain of events occurs in autism.  We know that toxic exposures during pregnancy and complications associated with delivery can disrupt brain processes before birth and shortly afterwards. Mutations in the genes associated with autism can affect how the brain develops and functions, starting well before birth.

Even though the outward symptoms of autism may not be apparent immediately after birth, the underlying brain differences are accumulating.  Sometimes the brain can compensate to make up for the disrupted processes.  Eventually though, if the disruption was sufficiently severe, the compensatory processes are no longer enough, and symptoms emerge.

This may likewise explain many cases of autistic regression, in which a young child seems to be developing normally, only to lose abilities, or regress, into autism. Perhaps the initial disruption in brain development continued worsening. Or perhaps the compensatory processes couldn’t keep up.”

 

Rare Footage of FDR at NIH

Thank you to Circulating Now for the following reblog with my comment:

President Roosevelt, in dedicating the new National Institute(s) Of Health Building, declared, “for research into deadly diseases, recent improvements in public health and health care, and hope that the research conducted at NIH would lead to new cures for and even the prevention of disease.” This declaration is still relevant today. Since I am an advocate for M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and Asperger’s (ASD-Autistic Spectrum Disorder), I am directing this reblog to Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health @NIHDirector.

Circulating Now from NLM

By Rebecca C. Warlow

On October 31, 1940, just days before President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would be elected to an unprecedented third term as President of the United States, he traveled to Bethesda to dedicate the National Cancer Institute and the new campus of what was then the National Institute of Health (NIH), before it would eventually become known in plural form—National Institutes of Health—as multiple units were established over subsequent years.

President Roosevelt stands at a podium surrounded by american flags at the top of the steps of a colonial brick building. President Roosevelt at NIH
National Library of Medicine #A030309

That late October afternoon, Roosevelt stood on the steps of the new main NIH building, ready to address a crowd of 3,000 people. Still relevant today, in a variety of contexts, are the subjects he discussed: the need for preparedness in light of war and for research into deadly diseases, recent improvements in public health and health care, and hope that the research conducted at NIH would lead to…

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World Autisim Day April 2nd

Dark blue clothing and/or a dark blue ribbon is the recognizable wardrobe to signify your support for autism.
Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person’s lifetime.  People with ASD have problems with social and communication skills.  Many people with ASD also have unusual ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to sensations.  It is part of a group of disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  In most cases its causes are unknown.  Today, 1 in 110 individuals is diagnosed with autism.  Autism usually manifests in the first year of life; its onset is not later than 3 years.

 

Click here to watch a video to get a realistic view of how children suffering with autism behave, and the options available to try to help them.

There are different forms of autism.  Asperger’s Syndrome is one other form.  Children and young adults (Aspies) suffering this form, are usually extremely intelligent, so it is more difficult to diagnose.  They can learn ways to deal with social situations, but cannot communicate “normally” with people.  They usually do not start a conversation, but will answer questions put to them.  That is usually the end of the conversation.  Their social interaction is short-lived; although, these patients can focus on what does interest them.  Interests can range from animals to computer use.  It is these interests that can occupy them in an obsessive way.  Other obsessions may be present; for instance, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is very common.  Jack Nicholson, in the movie, “As Good As It Gets,” played a character who had OCD.

ASPERGERSPICS

The children with more common forms, along with Asperger’s, are extremely sensitive to visual and audiological stimulation.  Their hearing can be super-sensitive and loud noises can cause extreme disturbance.

Here is a video of a young girl, Carly, who has uncontrollable body movements, but as she grows older, she has found a way to communicate through the keyboard.  It was found she is highly intelligent; whereby, before, she was thought to be retarded.

Autism, in its many forms, is striking higher percentages of children as each year goes by.  It is imperative that a cause be found.  There are many unproven theories as to what is the cause.  Could it be environment, or food, or genetic abnormalities?  Does it occur at fertilization, or in the uterus?  Without further research, no answer will be found.  This is another disease that needs the support of the good people of the world.