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  1. #1 Autism Overdiagnosed? Possibly, Because Many Children Seem To "Outgrow" It 
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Article Date: 23 Jan 2012 - 11:00 PST



    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) come with several neurodevelopmental signs and symptoms which overlap other conditions - it is possible that some early ASD diagnoses are wrong, especially among children who no longer meet the criteria for ASD as they get older, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health wrote in the journal Pediatrics. The authors add that it is not easy for doctors to diagnose between several possibilities early in life.

    Andrew W. Zimmerman, MD. and team set out to determine what the relationship might be between co-occurring conditions and changes in ASD diagnoses. They gathered information from the National Survey of Children's Health 2007, and found that those who still had a diagnosis of ASD tended to have either severe or moderate learning disability or developmental delays, compared to those whose initial ASD diagnosis was changed when they got older. The authors were comparing children who had had a diagnosis of ASD at age 3 to 5 years with the same children when they were older who still had an ASD diagnosis, and those who did not.

    Those aged 6-11 years with a current ASD diagnosis - these patients were more likely at an earlier age to have had a speech difficulty, or/and severe or moderate anxiety, compared to their counterparts whose diagnoses subsequently changed.

    Those aged 12-17 years with a current ASD diagnosis - these patients were found to be more likely to have severe or moderate speech problems or (mild) epilepsy (seizures) compared to those who no longer have an ASD diagnosis.

    Hearing problems - those with past hearing problems are more likely to still have an ASD diagnosis later on, compared to those who did not have hearing problems, the authors added.

    Multiple co-occurring conditions - those with multiple co-occurring conditions when they were small are more likely today to still have an ASD diagnosis, compared to the other children. Multiple in this text means at least two.

    In an Abstract in the same journal, the authors concluded:

    "These findings suggest that the presence of co-occurring psychiatric and neurodevelopmental conditions are associated with a change in ASD diagnosis. Questions remain as to whether changes in diagnosis of an ASD are due to true etiologic differences or shifts in diagnostic determination."



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    Sin City Moderator RobJohnson's Avatar
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    Doctors love to diagnose. It helps the parents get SSI and that is good for business! Then single mamma can't work due to the special needs of her children...so throw in some free rent, money & food...

    Same with ADHA....the doctors write scripts for "baby sitter in a bottle" and the familiy's next stop is the social security office.

    This is not true with 100% of the cases, but at least 90%.

    I know a liberal family that had a son "grow out" of ASD....this is the same family that told me Autism is due to immunizations a few years prior.
    Last edited by RobJohnson; 01-25-2012 at 05:31 AM.
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    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    It might be abused at times, but I'd hate for parents to miss the problems when the kids are young with autism. If it is "caught" at around age 2 or younger, the child has a better chance of getting better with less problems later in life.

    It's a shame that the scammers of the world, who are anxious to get their hands on some welfare money, make it more difficult for people with legitimate concerns.

    I know first hand from a little relative that autism spectrum disorder is indeed real, and I've also witnessed the benefits of early treatment and devotion by the family.

    Maybe I'm a bit suspicious, but think that kids with this problem and seniors are going to be thrown under the bus by the Obama administration. After all, we've got to pay for that damned Obamacare some way.
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    I can see where a mild hearing problem that slipped through could get diagnosed as ASD. I have a coworker who has a hearing loss of around 50% in each ear that did not get diagnosed until she was in her mid 30s and working here. She was born with this condition, but also has a very high IQ, so she learned to compensate long before she was at an age where the symptoms showed.

    But she has maladaptive behaviors, that some might mistake for a mild form of autism. It's basically a lack of some, but not all, social niceties, non-verbal communications and the inability to match skirts and tops.

    I suspect autism is getting over-diagnosed, especially at the highest and lowest functioning levels. Some severe developmental disabilities are misdiagnosed as severe autism, because the person rocks herself, doesn't speak and has other really primitive behaviors that some psychiatrists always associate with autism, like playing with one's own poop. A court shrink recently told me that diagnosing autism is the current trend, the way ADHD was in the 80s and 90s.
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    Sin City Moderator RobJohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintLouieWoman View Post
    It's a shame that the scammers of the world, who are anxious to get their hands on some welfare money, make it more difficult for people with legitimate concerns.

    I know first hand from a little relative that autism spectrum disorder is indeed real, and I've also witnessed the benefits of early treatment and devotion by the family.

    .
    Very true.

    There are many people that try to scam the system. Children suffer either way. Adult scammers often end up in jail.
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    I've worked with several autistic children over the years, partly because I enjoy working with them (they are fun to visit). I don't know that if a kid seems to grow out of it, that the kid never had autism. The kid may have been successfully treated so that his symptoms no longer interfere with his functioning. I know a guy from church who is a good example of that-he's quiet and shy, but he has a job doing something with computer tech, and told me that he had really good teachers and parents that helped him learn to cope.

    I read a story once about Thomas Edison, when he was a kid. I've seen professionals make a case that he had ADHD-I think he had Aspbergers Syndrome, which is the highest-functioning end of the autistic spectrum. I knew a kid once who had an innate ability with cameras, and made his own movies. He was really talented. For someone who is on the higher functioning end of the spectrum, it may be that that child has a unique gift or ability that causes them to be distracted from what the rest of society judges to be "reality". Or that ability comes with a price-the same person doesn't have the same ability as the majority of people to filter external stimuli properly.

    I find autism to be fascinating, personally and professionally. Nobody knows what causes it, although it does seem to run in some families. It's so hard for a lot of parents, because they feel that the child is rejecting them, or that they did something wrong to make their child that way. I really think the key to helping kids and their families is finding out what that child's talent is and encouraging them to develop it. It can be the one thing that the kid is willing to talk to others about.

    If that doesn't work, there's always Risperdol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobJohnson View Post
    Doctors love to diagnose. It helps the parents get SSI and that is good for business! Then single mamma can't work due to the special needs of her children...so throw in some free rent, money & food...

    Same with ADHA....the doctors write scripts for "baby sitter in a bottle" and the familiy's next stop is the social security office.

    This is not true with 100% of the cases, but at least 90%.

    I know a liberal family that had a son "grow out" of ASD....this is the same family that told me Autism is due to immunizations a few years prior.
    You're diagnosing a whole lot of people out there with a very broad brush.

    Autism diagnosis expansion has been suspect for a long time, and rightfully so. Anytime a condition is expanded by definition to include such a large percentage of the population, either something is in the water or there is a problem with the science. That doesn't mean that the parents who find themselves in this situation and become desperate for answers are universally dishonest and lazy. Some parents do drop out of the workforce to care for an autistic child. According to what I have read, that is cheaper than institutionalizing that child or having him in professional care during that period.

    Yes, there is a lot of bullshit around autism as well. There is a lot of bullshit around cancer treatment, but most of us recognize it as such and ignore it. But because we have middle class, quite possibly liberal or liberal appearing, parents running from one point of promise to another and because those of us for whom "autism" once meant a child who doesn't speak and/or rocks and knocks his head on the wall consider the entire diagnosis to be suspect then it's open season on autism and autism parents?

    Reserve your contempt for those who refuse to believe that the science which has told them what the problem is has also ruled on its source and treatment. Reserve your contempt for those who believe that the pothead in the health food store knows more about it than the doctors at Johns Hopkins. They are a small subset.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintLouieWoman View Post
    I know first hand from a little relative that autism spectrum disorder is indeed real, and I've also witnessed the benefits of early treatment and devotion by the family.
    .
    I think a huge problem we have to deal with as a culture is the effort to label every child outside the norm with a medical condition. It's no longer acceptable to a parent that his kid just isn't the brightest candle on the cake, especially if he doesn't make up for it with athletic ability. He needs to be learning disabled or have something that can be treated. Treat the condition of the child to mitigate the shame of the parent.

    Somehow, autism got caught up in the whirl of suspect science. Doctors are partly to blame and the social service agencies which blew the autism numbers totally out of proportion.

    And now we will see the true brilliance of medical science at work. We can expect the parents who worked hard with their autistic children and who brought them up to speed in their areas of deficiency to be told "Well, Johnny doesn't show any signs of ASD now, so the diagnosis was wrong."

    All that really matters is that the kids get the help they need when they need it. If they "outgrow it" then it will be fantastic. But they better not tell my neighbor that she spent 18 years (and lost her marriage in the process) protecting and nurturing an autistic child while raising two normal kids all because she imagined that something was wrong with the autistic kid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    All that really matters is that the kids get the help they need when they need it. If they "outgrow it" then it will be fantastic. But they better not tell my neighbor that she spent 18 years (and lost her marriage in the process) protecting and nurturing an autistic child while raising two normal kids all because she imagined that something was wrong with the autistic kid.
    Well said, bravo. My favorite little girl (well, after my granddaughter) has worked so long and hard with her parents to overcome the repetitive movements, the not-looking anyone in the eye, the many quirks to become a beautiful little girl who responds so politely to everyone. Hearing her tell me on the phone that she misses me and that she wants me to visit her in St Louis melts my heart. I'm so proud of all of them for making lemonade out of the lemons that were dealt them.

    She has asberger's and is high functioning in certain areas. The other areas, such as math, are made up by tutors paid for by her parents, not the system. She's brilliant artistically.

    It didn't take a quack to tell that something was wrong from early on. Now it's harder to detect, thanks to early treatment and lots of hard work by the parents and the little girl. Kudos to them.
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    Best Bounty Hunter in the Forums fettpett's Avatar
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    They are rewriting the definition of what Autism Spectrum Disorder is http://rochester.ynn.com/content/top...ing-rewritten/

    which I think is a good thing
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