Autism is one of the developmental disorders described as a brain based disorder in the presentation by Dr. Aditi Shankardass in which she makes the observation that if developmental disorders are brain disorders shouldn't we look at the brain in order to properly understand, diagnose and treat them?
"Despite the fact that each and every one of these disorders originates in the brain most of these disorders are diagnosed solely on the basis of observable behavior but diagnosing a brain disorder without actually looking at the brain is analogous to treating a patient with a heart problem based on their physical symptoms without even doing an EEG or a chest X-ray to look at the heart. It seems so intuitively to diagnose and treat a brain disorder accurately it would be necessary to look at the brain directly. Looking at behaviour alone can miss a vital piece of the puzzle and provide an incomplete or even a misleading picture of the child’s problems."
In addition to the EEG based program described by Dr. Shankardass the recent Stanford/Packard MRI based study indicates that it may be possible to provide topographical imaging of brains that can distinguish between the brains of persons with autistic disorder and those who are not autistic. The study authors also indicate that more severe autism brain differences are related to more severe autism.
If autism is a brain disorder, surely we need to look at the brain?