Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Autism Diagnosis Age

Posted Feb 01 2012 12:00am

Big head By Anne Dachel

The latest discovery about autism is being covered everywhere in the news.  New research from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has found signs of brain development problems in babies as young as six months using MRI scans. Lead researcher Jason Wolff feels this is very significant because he believes 'there is a potential to intervene, to disrupt autism before it becomes entrenched.'  He described it as 'a whole brain phenomenon.' 

Of course this is only an early study and more needs to be done.  Naturally it doesn't tell us what causes the brains of autistic children to be different and we're cautioned that no one saying that doctors can diagnosis autism in a six month old. 

As far as the cause of autism is concerned, Wolff said it's due to 'a complex interaction between genes and a child's experiences with the world.'   It sounds like 'a child's experiences with the world' could be just about anything and Wolff didn't elaborate.

Reading the coverage this study is getting makes autism sound more like a curiosity than a devastating disorder plaguing a generation of children and one that mainstream medicine can't explain.  You'd never know that this once-rare disorder now strikes one percent of children and almost two percent of boys alone.  There's no sense of urgency in any of the stories on MRI's and autism. 

Sometimes it seems that no one is really interested in finding out anything significant about autism.  Experts are only obligated to come up with some new findings every few months to make it look like someone somewhere is doing something.  That's what's happening with this latest research.   If scientists can find evidence of autism in babies at six months, it would be proof that the parents who claim that their child suddenly regressed into autism following their 18 or 24 month vaccinations are wrong.  It was all just a big coincidence.  The signs of autism were really there much earlier.

Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer at Autism Speaks, was  in USA Today trying to capitalize on the findings. 

She'd like to look for the signs of autism in babies in the womb.  Dawson wonders "if brain scans will spot differences in autistic brains even earlier than 6 months, and if the differences could even begin in the womb."

CBS NEWS published the piece,  Study: Brain scans detect early signs of autism .  This story began by telling us, "No one is exactly sure what causes autism."  That settled, we hear, "There's also hope that with a better understanding of what causes autism, there may eventually be a more effective treatment or even prevention." 

If you listen to video, CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jonathan LaPook is heard saying, "I've spoken to a lot of parents of kids who have autism and they are up against it, emotionally, financially.  There's often a sense of guilt.  Was it something I did after the child was born?  This study shows that changes start so early, they may have a sense of relief. "  

In the coverage from MSNBC , Geraldine Dawson was cited saying, "The goal is to be able to reduce the symptoms or even possibly prevent the syndrome from developing." 

ABC News quoted Dr. Nancy Minshew at the University of Pittsburgh who said, 'This adds to the evidence that autism develops on its own, so to speak, and not because parents did something or did not do something to cause autism.'

Notice the not-too-subtle references to parents feeling like they had done something to cause their child to be autistic.  The message is, as Minshew said, 'autism develops on its own.'  I guess we're to believe that autism happens, it's just the way it is.  LaPook, Dawson, and Minshew's claims about signs being present in infants are intended to let vaccines off the hook. 

But are they really? 

Jason Wolff  attributed autism to genes and 'a child's experiences with the world,'  I'd like to point out to him that a big part of that experience includes an arsenal of vaccinations, starting at birth. 

 (And even earlier if a pregnant woman receives the flu vaccine, recommended at any stage of pregnancy.  The majority of the flu vaccine available come with a huge level of mercury, a known neurotoxin.  This mercury easily passes the placental barrier.)

None of the doctors cited in these stories is worried about the effects of the toxic chemicals regularly found in vaccines. No one seems to care that there isn't a single study on the cumulative effects of the ever-expanding vaccination schedule.  Nor are they concerned that every study disproving a link between vaccines and autism is tied to the vaccine industry. 

This new study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association.  The APA has been in the news a lot lately after it came out that they want’ to redefine autism and leave a large percentage of ASD kids suddenly without a diagnosis.  The same organization that gave us “better diagnosing” is now telling us it was really over-diagnosing and misdiagnosing.  When it comes to autism, the APA is never sure about anything.

This study is just one more news flash, soon to be forgotten.  It really tells us nothing about autism.  It doesn't help a single affected child.  We told its practical use is years down the road.  The only benefit seems to be that experts can try to use it to take attention away from the hottest controversy in medicine.  That's only going to work when and if they can actually give us some answers about the mystery of autism.  It's amazing that no one is embarrassed that after two decades of soaring autism rates, all they can tell us is that ‘autism develops on its own, so to speak.’

 Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.  You can subscribe to her newsfeed at


Posted by Age of Autism at February 21, 2012 at 5:45 AM in Anne Dachel , Science Permalink

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches