Monday with Maureen: 8 Autism Myths

Do you find yourself having to dispel autism myths often? It’s something I run into all the time. Today’s article highlights some of the more common ones.  

Autism Awareness: 8 Myths (And Realities) About The Spectrum Disorder

By Susan Scutti | Medical Daily

Myth #1: Autism is a form of mental illness.

Reality: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are considered a group of developmental and neurological disorders, as brain scans and studies show that people with an ASD have abnormalities in both brain structure and neurotransmitter levels. (more…)

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Monday with Maureen: What is the risk my next child will be autistic too?

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I’m sure you have asked yourself, “if I have a child with autism, what is the risk my next child will too?” Today’s article is a synopsis of a study just published that addresses that very important question.

Environmental factors as important as genes in understanding autism

Environmental factors are more important than previously thought in understanding the causes of autism, and equally as important as genes, according to the largest study to date to look at how autism runs in families.

The study also shows that children with a brother or sister with autism are 10 times more likely to develop autism; 3 times if they have a half-brother or sister; and 2 if they have a cousin with autism, providing much needed information for parents and clinicians for assessing individual risk. (more…)

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Monday with Maureen: New Autism Numbers Released

The CDC releases new numbers for autism–and they are staggering! Today’s article responds to the data.

Autism Groups React to New CDC-Reported Prevalence of 1 in 68 Children

AUTISM POLICY REFORM COALITION URGES GOVERNMENT EXAMINATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES, AND FOCUS ON TREATMENT AND SERVICES

WASHINGTON, DC (March 27, 2014)—Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the newest autism prevalence statistics. For children born in 2002, the prevalence of autism was 1 in 68; 1 in 42 boys. Almost 60,000 US 12 year-olds likely have autism. Thirty years ago, autism affected 1 in 2,500 children; there has been a 37-fold increase.

Katie Weisman of SafeMinds stated, “Broader criteria and awareness cannot account for this magnitude of increase. The federal government continues to spend millions of dollars ineffectively and ‘potentially duplicatively’ according to a recent GAO report. We need to identify environmental triggers for autism, prevent them, and develop effective treatments.” (more…)

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Monday With Maureen: DSM-IV vs. DSM-5

I am re-posting an article that addresses the new DSM-5 criteria. I hope you will find it as helpful as I did.

DSM-5 & Autism: Autism-Speaks Study Clarifies Impact of New Criteria

A new study finds that the estimated prevalence of autism under the new DSM-5 criteria would decrease only to the extent that some children would receive the new diagnosis of social communication disorder (SCD). Funded in part by Autism Speaks, the study appears online in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Overall, the researchers found that 83 percent of children who received a diagnosis of autism under the DSM-IV would still receive the diagnosis under DSM-5. The remaining 14 percent would switch to a diagnosis of SCD. These results help answer questions raised by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published last week. (more…)

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