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Re: Autism

Posted By L.M.M.D. HFHS on July 03, 1998 at 00:22:47:

In Reply to: Autism posted by Sheila B. on May 28, 1998 at 17:38:45:

I have a son with HF Autism and I have heard that it can be caused
from a numerouse amount of things, including immunizations.
His EEG also showed that he has slowing in the background
waves and this was described to me as permanent damage being caused
by the brain lacking oxygen at some time, before or after birth. I have
been doing alot of research on bio feedback on High functioning individuals
and it has been showing remarkable results, could this be something
I should  consider exploring and if so, how do I find someone in my
area that does this? Can Autism be helped???
Dear Sheila B.;
Thank you for your question
Autism is an impairment in social communication , interaction and poor imaginative skills . Many autistic children have difficulties in speech and verbal as well as non-verbal communication .typical for an autistic child is varying degrees of social withdrawal ( difficulty making friends )
Many may require a consistent , predictable environment . They have a marked need for sameness , get pre-occupied with certain activities and be quite temperamental.
The cause has yet to be identified . I agree with you that literature is quite generous with possibilities . The end result is we still dont know , some believe its a derangement in different brain transmitters , but cannot identify the reason for these derangements , others tend to believe its a structural abnormality , and again , no definite abnormality has been identified .
Certainly , its nothing you could have done or changed that would have prevented it.
There  tends to be some genetic implication , and I assume that the same medical team that diagnosed your sons HF autism have ran through various tests . If not , the one that maybe valuable is looking for fragile-X syndrome , a syndrome that may run in families and if present will require a genetic counseling session .( if you have any questions regarding Autism as a genetic disease you may contact genetics in Henry Ford Hospital , Michigan 313-876-3116).
Now treatment . many families concerned and involved with autistic children try different medications and get different results . Bottom line is , there is no medication that can treat Autism .
But there are medications that can help with specific symptoms , here are some examples :
stimulants for attention deficit -hyperactivity
Anxiolytics for anxiety
Mood stabilizers for aggressiveness
Opioid antagonists for self-injury
Serotonin inhibitors for obsessions , rigidity , aggressiveness , depression
Anti-seizure medications for seizures
( please consult a neurologist or a pediatric psychiatrist regarding these medications )
I have read about the megavitamin doses but understand that they are experimental with no conclusive results and are not recommended for the management of Autism. ( always consider the risks of high doses of any medication including vitamins ).
The most important intervention in Autism is early , intensive , one on one education that addresses the behavioral and communication problems . A highly structured environment with intensive individual instruction and a high teacher -to-student ratio . You may need specific instructions from your doctor regarding how to manage with temper tantrums , destructive behavior , if present , and some useful techniques to keep your son organized and occupied .
Have you looked up any support groups for Parents with Autistic children on-line ? They maybe resourceful . Outcome in regards to higher functioning autistic children is better in the sense that they tend to be more functional as adults
you have a lot ahead of you . talk to his doctor or a pediatric neurologist about special schools in your area , community based support groups for Autistic children , you learn a lot more when you meet parents who are having similar concerns . I wish you have success in achieving your goal for a better future for your son .
Thank You again
keywords : Autism* , Fragile X-syndrome* , Pervasive developmental disorder*
Disclaimer : this information is for educational purposes only .

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