Earlier Autism Identification

This is incouraging news for the Autism community. Even though I do not like labels, I do encourage early detection and awareness.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers released today in the journal Autism the results of a three-year study that evaluated the effectiveness of a training program designed to enhance autism spectrum disorder (ASD) identification and assessment within community pediatric settings across Tennessee.

After participating in training to learn strategies for conducting rapid diagnostic assessments following positive ASD screenings, pediatricians reported significant changes in their screening and consultation practices, with 85 percent reporting an increase in numbers of children with autism evaluated within their practice. The study also found that pediatric providers were nearly as accurate as specialists in their diagnoses, with agreement seen in more than 90 percent of all cases.

Sarah was diagnosed when she was 2yrs old. I believe that had she had an earlier diagnosis it would have been much better on all of us.

Key findings:

  • Community pediatric providers were more likely to conduct independent autism assessments within their practice, rather than referring the child for outside evaluation.
  • Community pediatric providers showed high agreement in ASD classification with expert clinicians.
  • A dramatic shift was seen in pediatric providers’ sense of the appropriateness for a child to receive a diagnosis from his or her primary care provider, without or before a comprehensive evaluation.
  • A dramatic shift in the comfort level of discussing ASD diagnoses with caregivers was seen.
  • There was a significant increase in the number of diagnoses made within respective provider practices.

This study builds on pilot findings from 2009 by presenting a more comprehensive evaluation of the training model and utilizing a broader sample of pediatric providers.

Progress, Research, GMO’s and Autism

Sarah was diagnosed with Autism at the tender age of two years old in 1991. We had very little knowledge of what Autism was at the time.

The movie Rain man put Autism on the map, so to speak. The word Autism was primarily a blanket diagnosis. We had know idea what an Autism Spectrum was at the time. We eventually found out that their were Higher and Lower functions of Autism and that was it.

Today I set out to find out what progresses have been made in the last one or two decades. I am pleased to note that their have been many progresses for children with Autism. I do have to wonder though, with all the progress, why are so many children being diagnosed? Is it because the spectrum has gotten longer? Or maybe many children in the past were misdiagnosed?

Autism Speaks-funded South Korean study, which used a more rigorous methodology, found a prevalence of 1 in 38 students. The United States has 1 in 54 boys being diagnosed with Autism. CDC says 1 in 88 are being diagnosed with Autism. When Sarah was born it was 1 in 10,000 being diagnosed with Autism.

At any rate, lets look at the progress that has been made shall we?

1. High-quality early intervention for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can do more than improve behaviors, it can improve brain function. Read more.

2. Being nonverbal at age 4 does NOT mean children with autism will never speak. Research shows that most will, in fact, learn to use words, and nearly half will learn to speak fluently. Read more.

3. Though autism tends to be life long, some children with ASD make so much progress that they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for autism. High quality early-intervention may be key. Read more.

4. Many younger siblings of children with ASD have developmental delays and symptoms that fall short of an autism diagnosis, but still warrant early intervention. Read more.

5. Research confirms what parents have been saying about wandering and bolting by children with autism: It’s common, it’s scary, and it doesn’t result from careless parenting.Read more.

6. Prenatal folic acid, taken in the weeks before and after a woman becomes pregnant, may reduce the risk of autism. Here’s the story.

7. One of the best ways to promote social skills in grade-schoolers with autism is to teach their classmates how to befriend a person with developmental disabilities. Read more.

8. Researchers can detect presymptom markers of autism as early as 6 months — a discovery that may lead to earlier intervention to improve outcomes. Read more.

9. The first medicines for treating autism’s core symptoms are showing promise in early clinical trials. Read more.

10. Investors and product developers respond to a call to develop products and services to address the unmet needs of the autism community. Read more.

I got the above information from the Huff Post Healthy Living by

Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks

 It is a good article for what has progressed over the last 12 months concerning Autism.
There is research progress that has been made such as
Field Trials Suggest New Criteria for Diagnosing Autism ‘Reliable’
Deeper Understanding of Link between Chemical Pollutants and Autism
Hundreds of Tiny Mutations Linked to Autism
Insights into Immune Changes & Autism
Discovery of Pre-symptom Marker of Autism
The list goes on and on. While I am very happy about this progress, the progress has only happened in the last 12 months. Also, these very well-informed articles never mention the possibility of food contamination. Yes, I am referring to GMOs that have been put in our food for decades.
I am not down playing any results and research that has been done. Like I said before I am happy that they have found this much. Why not broaden the “spectrum” and take a good look at GMOs? It’s just a thought.