Autism / PDD-NOS
What is Autism?
In one of the mysterious synchronicities of science, autism was first recognized on two continents almost simultaneously.
Leo Kanner discovered it in 1940. “A language development and social development disorder in which a child withdraws socially tends to avoid direct eye contact, avoid physical contact, not to recognize visual and visual cues and has alterations in social interactions with family and peers “.
In 1943, Kanner published a monograph outlining a curious series of behaviors he noticed in 11 children at the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. A year later, a pediatrician in Vienna named Hans Asperger, who had never seen Kanner’s work, published a document describing four children who shared many of the same traits. Both Kanner and Asperger gave the condition the same name: autism – from the Greek word for itself, autd – because the children they trusted seemed to retreat into iron-walled universes.
Autistic children may have a complete lack of awareness of others or fail to understand their behavior on others.
The child often becomes self-absorbed and socially isolated.
The child often has serious emotional expression problems – little or no eye and smile contact, no obvious external joy or sadness – no “connection”.
The child may be intensely worried about objects and toys, or tighten a support, and may have a profound dependence on routine activities, which means less rituals with little deviation and fear of unusual objects and situations.
Flapping of hands, vibrating fingers, oscillation, stimulation, tics, vortex and bizarre repetitive body movements often seen.
Self-harm behavior (SIB) may appear.
It may not speak much despite a high understanding rate.
Echolalia is common.
The speech is typically acute and “sings”.
May exhibit self-stimulating behaviors – “STIMMING” —- Any behavior the child repeatedly uses to calm himself.
The absence of pointing objects (a sense of sharing with the experience of others) is a distinctive feature. Lack of “theory of mind”.
Epilepsy is common (25-30%).
A classic “spectrum” disorder in that symptoms and behavior can and often vary widely.
10% can be considered “expert” (portrait of Dustin Hoffman by – Rainman).
12-18 months is the usual age of onset, usually before 30 months.
Symptoms generally appear ALWAYS BEFORE THE AGE OF THREE YEARS OF DEFINITION. However, the children were not fully diagnosed until almost 3 years old.
Most seem to develop completely normally for the first year, therefore wandering, even losing the language they may have already acquired.
4-5 times more likely in males, 80% are males.
Among the first reliable signs of autism seems to be the lack of joint attention, the fixed gaze and the game of fiction at 18 months. These difficulties signal a failure to participate and subsequently manifest themselves in failure on a simple false belief test.
What increases a child’s risk of autism?
Flags of study Possible association between parents, pregnancy, childbirth. Factors of pregnancy, parental psychiatric history and preterm birth can be associated with an increased risk of autism. American Journal of Epidemiology, May 18, 2005. Here are the potential associations indicated in the study:
Breech presentation of the child
Low Apgar score, an index used to evaluate a newborn baby’s condition five minutes after birth
Birth before 35 weeks of pregnancy
Parenting history of schizophrenia-like psychosis
Parental history of affective disorder, which includes some psychosis, depression and bipolar disorder
However, these traits are not presented as definite causes of autism or the only possible risk factors for the condition. Of course, not all babies born in such circumstances have autism or related disorders.
From my clinical observation, parents with an increased tendency to food and / or chemical allergies or allergic conditions tend to have a higher risk of having autistic children.
According to the scientists, MRI research studies have shown that the brains of autistic individuals have particular anomalies in the cerebellum, brain stem, hippocampus, amygdala, limbic systems and frontal cortex.
In autism, subtle brain abnormalities are present from birth. Babies and young children move their bodies differently. From 6 months to 2 years, their heads grow too fast. Parts of their brains have too many connections, while other parts are not connected.
In addition, their brains show signs of chronic inflammation in the same areas that show excessive growth. Inflammation seems to last a lifetime.
Is Autism Treatable?
It depends on who you talk about the treatment of autism. Most doctors are still holding back the old, obsolete autism treatment model.
The old autism treatment model refers to genetic factors, prenatal conditions and wired brains; Therefore, autism is untreatable and hopeless.
The new treatment model refers to environmental factors, pre and postnatal conditions and to the malleable brain; Therefore, treatment is possible and some children have recovered.
How can we help autistic children?
By combining all the knowledge learned from different medical disciplines, there are many different non-pharmacological and non-invasive techniques that we use to help autistic children and other developmental disorders in children. The treatment protocol is very dynamic depending on the deficiencies of each individual’s brain function. Whatever we do, the goals of treatment are to balance the cerebral hemispheres and eliminate food and / or chemical allergies or allergic conditions.
Our treatment protocol for autism and other developmental disorders is one year. Each treatment session is approximately one hour, three sessions per week. Usually, each child only needs one year of treatment before they can enter their normal school or lose their autistic diagnosis. The best age for treatment ranges from 3 to 10 years.
We have seen children with autistic and other disorders recovered from our treatment program with verbal and non-verbal functional skills. We may be able to help your children too. Dr. Vincent Do, MS, DC, QME can be reached at (408) 770-2194.