The study, lead by Dr.
- Tips for explaining autism to family and close friends, to help them become effective allies;
- Tender Moments, A Short Story.
- 1. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking.
Andrew Wakefield, only studied a small sample of 12 kids, eight of whom were diagnosed with autism. By early , the same British journal, The Lancet , that published his findings retracted his study and in January , the British Medical Journal publicly denounced Dr. Wakefield's research as "fraudulent. Wakefield had "falsified data" and tampered with his research results to give the MMR vaccine bad publicity. At the time of his study, Dr.
Having a child with autism: 21 things I wish I'd known
Wakefield had been involved in a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine and would have gained money if he'd won, making his research an obvious conflict of interest. Up to 40 percent of children with autism typically experience regression at 12 to 18 months; they start developing normally but then suddenly lose communication and social skills.
The possibility that mercury poisoning might cause autism is also a concern. Since the s, a preservative called thimerosal, which contains small amounts of mercury, had been used in some childhood vaccines not MMR. Although mercury is known to be harmful to the brains of infants and young children, most vaccine experts say the amounts used in the preservative were too tiny to cause neurological damage. Nevertheless, manufacturers voluntarily began removing thimerosal in , and by the end of , none of the routine vaccines given in early childhood contained the preservative.
The preservative is now used only in flu shots and some vaccines given to adults and adolescents. But although vaccines haven't been linked to autism, exposure to infection in the womb seems to increase the risk.
What Causes Autism?
Kristina Adams Waldorf, co-author of the study, said the results should encourage pregnant woman to get the flu shot , which is safe for pregnancy and can prevent serious complications. Recent findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that the brains of children with autism develop differently from an early age. Those who ended up with the most severe form of autism were found to have the most dramatic acceleration of brain growth during infancy.
Pediatricians don't always measure head circumference at well-baby visits, so it's wise to request it. However, don't panic if your baby's head size is above the norm. Some babies just have big heads. Akshoomoff points out, "but it means that a child should be watched closely to be sure that she meets speech and behavioral milestones. And the sooner a child begins, the better. A panel of experts convened by the National Academy of Sciences in recommended that children should have 25 hours of therapy per week as soon as autism is suspected.
Because children with autism have very different behaviors and abilities, the most effective approach takes into account a child's unique challenges and encourages healthy development through play, rather than just trying to change specific symptoms. Does your child speak very little and give unrelated answers to questions?
Does my child have autism or is this 'normal' behaviour?
Very Often. Does your child not respond to their name or avoid eye contact?
Does your child not engage in games of pretend with other children? Is your child easily upset by small changes? Does your child have obsessive interests? Is your child over or under-sensitive to smells, tastes, or touch? But you need the people you are close to as allies in helping your child.
So getting them on your team is worth the effort. Using behaviors they might have noticed is one way to start explaining what autism is, and why your child was diagnosed. Likewise, if he melts down when visiting family, it might be because he has a very hard time handling changes in routine —another thing common for autistic kids. Explain that autism is a spectrum of behaviors, and every autistic person is different in terms of onset, severity, and types of symptoms.
Just because one child with autism looks and sounds one way does not mean that another child will.
In fact the opposite is often true. Having a diagnosis also means that your family is eligible for therapies and services, which can be transformative. Relatives might also feel sad or overwhelmed.
Focus on behaviors
They might also reject the diagnosis, which can leave you feeling very hurt and isolated. This is also true for grandparents.
Frustration or confusion or anger—they are not uncommon. You can also say that they are important to you and your child, so you hope they will be supportive.
Rosenthal recommends thinking about why they might be resistant. He says three common reasons are:. Rosenthal also notes that if you are currently going through the evaluation process, it can be a good idea to have your relatives come in for the feedback.
Related My Child Is Autistic
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved