Emotional Reactions of children with Autism, Ms Heather Nuske Olga Tennsion Autism Research Centre, Latrobe University
For years the autism professional community accepted the non evidence based speculation that autism disorders were caused by detached, cold mothers. The professions’ embrace of this fantasy caused serious harm to many families. The other side of the coin is that persons with autism disorders are also cold, detached, do not show typical emotional responses. The cold autistic persons theory has endured but is now under serious challenge from some of the innovative, fresh thinkers at the Latrobe University’s Olga Tennison Autism Research (Read more…)
Julia Rendleman/Post-Gazette Jeffrey Maloney, 19, is comforted by his mother, Lisa, during a family outing at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. In a rarity in the mainstream media the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an honest, informed article by Mark Roth and Julia Rendleman on the challenges faced by a family with two children on the autism spectrum, one diagnosed as PDD and the other an adult son with severe autism disorder and the impact on the family, the Maloney family, of caring for them. The article was the first in a 4 part series on autism disorders run by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Media Rarity: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Autism Series Includes Severe Autism And Family Impact
Research to date benefiting persons suffering from autism disorders can be summed up in two words: Lovaas, ABA. The work done by Dr. Ivar Lovaas has been applied successfully for decades as reported by the US Surgeon General’s office (1999) and by the American Academy of Pediatrics (2007), reaffirmed (2010):
The effectiveness of ABA-based intervention in ASDs has been well documented through 5 decades of research by using single-subject methodology21,25,27,28 and in controlled studies of comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention programs in university and community settings.29–40 Children who receive early intensive behavioral treatment have been shown to make (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Research Progress To Date In Two Words: Lovaas, ABA
The Chalmers Foundation has officially announced that it has met its funding goal and will soon be purchasing the patient monitoring system that is instrumental in helping the Chalmers Hospital Intensive Care Unit save many lives … including my son Conor’s for which his Mom and Dad will always be grateful: “The Chalmers Foundation shared a link. September 25 The Foundation along with the DECH Auxiliary Inc. have officially reached our $600,000 goal to support the purchase of a new monitoring system for the ICU here at the DECH!! A HUGE THANK YOU to all donors, supporters, staff and (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Excellent! Chalmers ICU Team Reaches Its Funding Goal to Purchase New Patient Monitoring Equipment!
Autism Speaks has entered into a Research PACT to continue its focus on “pure autism“ (referred to in the PACT as core symptom autism), while ignoring 50% of the autism spectrum, those with intellectual disability (WHO, September 2013):
“Working together, the PACT team is developing a platform of preclinical tests to evaluate and compare new medications for the core symptoms of autism.“
Vivanti and his colleagues offered the term “pure autism” to refer to the tendency of autism studies to intentionally exclude subjects with autism AND intellectual disability:
“the question of the nature (Read more…)
During recent weeks the TPGA “autism experts”, have done a great favor to children, like my son, who suffer from severe autism disorders. The TPGA autism wizards told parents like me who speak candidly about the deficits that limit and impair his ability to function independently in this world that we are making “monsters” of ours and all autistic children. Our children’s autism disorders, in the view of the humble yet brilliant autism experts are not really disorders, despite the title, despite the medical diagnoses that identified them as autistic. For our children’s benefit we should learn to accept (Read more…)
Laverne Stewart of Fredericton’s Daily Gleaner reports (September 24, 2013) that National autism advocate Senator Jim Munson, shown left in his Parliament of Canada photo, is frustrated, that after years of working to secure a national autism disorder spectrum strategy, Munson said the federal government has done little to address Canada’s national autism crisis: “In a phone interview with The Daily Gleaner, he said the federal government has started to look at what approach each province is taking to address autism. “They’re different all across the county,” he said. Munson said people across Canada need to keep pushing the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Senator Jim Munson Says Ottawa Has Done Little to Address Canada’s Autism Crisis
“Dr. Lynn Waterhouse @autismideasfail 6 Sep http://bit.ly/17WbZVi #autism gene AUTS2 tied to dyslexia ADHD epilepsy ID motor delay microcephaly MORE SYMPTOMS should be part of ASD DX”
The above Tweet by Dr. Lynn Waterhouse, author of Rethinking Autism: Variation and Complexity, who also worked with Dr. Lorna Wing on the APA DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria for autism, should be read by any existing DSM5 committee members charged with developing modifications to DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. The DSM-5 has doubled down on the failed approach of simplifying autism contrary to solid evidence and research. Dr Waterhouse’s (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: #autism gene AUTS2 tied to dyslexia ADHD epilepsy ID motor delay microcephaly MORE SYMPTOMS should be part of ASD DX
CHEO: No Teddy Bears & No Autism Program for Severely Challenged Children
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario has been added as a respondent in a human rights proceeding, and accused of discrimination, after it kicked an autistic child with global developmental delay, severe intellectual disability, out of an early intervention program.
In an Ottawa Citizen article Don Butler reported:
“CHEO declined to comment specifically on the case Thursday. But in an email, it said the hospital’s care providers are “incredibly committed to the well-being of kids and would never discriminate against a child because of a disability.
“Our (Read more…)
“Children with autism who are older than 13 years and have low intelligence are at the greatest risk of having epilepsy, says one of the largest epidemiological studies on the issue to date1. Children are typically diagnosed with epilepsy after having at least two seizures — uncontrolled surges of electrical activity in the brain. About 2 percent of the general population has epilepsy2. Most studies peg its prevalence among people with autism at 30 percent. The new study, published 4 July in PLoS One, breaks down this prevalence by age. It finds that among children (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: SFARI Highlights Serious Risk of Epilepsy for Young Children and Teens with Autism and Intellectual Disability
Excellent panel discussion by the La Trobe University Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) with Dr. Giacomo Vivanti, Dr. Cheryl Dissanjake and Dr. Cynthia Zierhut. The panel comments on the cultural representation of autism as genius in movies such as Rain Man and television series such as the Big Bang theory. Dr. Vivanti talks about autism research tendency to focus on high functioning autism perceived by many autism researchers to constitute “pure” autism research. He calls this bias into question as non evidence based, circular reasoning. There is no legitimate basis to separate autism and intellectual disability as “comorbidity”. (Read more…)
The Conor Countdown continues, as Conor gets up each day at 6 am and changes the number reflecting the number of days until school resumes. My son Conor, and his autism disorder disability, have been well accommodated in schools here in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He has benefited both from the assistance of education aides and resource teachers trained in the UNB-CEL Autism program and by placement, at our request, outside the regular classroom for his ABA based instruction. His placement is not segregation in the sense of the racial segregation which once prevailed in the American south. His (Read more…)
Autism Speaks has done much to create publicity around the word autism, the color blue, puzzle pieces and … some very talented, high functioning individuals with autism diagnoses like Alex Plank and J. E. Robison. In terms of its public statements and presentations though it does little to nothing to raise awareness about one very basic fact: autism has a very close relationship with intellectual disability to the extent that 40% of persons with autism spectrum diagnoses (DSM-IV) also have intellectual disability. Prior to the DSM-IV and prior to the addition of PDD-NOS and Aspergers persons with intellectual disability constituted (Read more…)
Conor & Dad, couple of hosers enjoying the snow, eh?
Conor’s Saint John River view clear day, above, not so clear below
Conor helps Dad with a visit at the Chalmers Hospital Acute Care Unit
Conor and Mom head out for a stroll on the North Riverfront Trail
Conor changes his mind about the strolling part Conor enjoys a late March snowstorm eh? Conor isn’t the only one who gets to fly along our North Riverfront Trail The Run Jump Fly Boy lets it all loose on the North Riverfront Trail, Fredericton Just days after Conor was running, jumping and (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor’s Fredericton Adventures 2013 Part I
In yesterday’s commentary Autism Speaks Joins Drake And J.Cole In Insulting 40% With Autism AND Intellectual Disability I criticized Autism Speaks for stigmatizing persons with Intellectual Disability, particularly the 40% of persons on the autism spectrum with ID, the 40% that Autism Speaks seldom acknowledges in its promotions and literature. I received the comment, posted above, from BLOOM – Parenting Kids With Disabilities editor Louise Kinross that expresses my issue with Autism Speaks’ approach to intellectually disabled members of the autism spectrum better than I did. It would do Autism Speaks and the autism community it (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Sound Advice for Autism Speaks
I have never subscribed to the assumption that Intellectual Disability is a co-morbidity as described by the authors of a new study examining Intellectual Disability in Autism: (unrelated in etiology and causality from the ASD itself) I have been frustrated by the historical tendency of ”autism” researchers to exclude intellectually disabled autistic subjects from their research studies. I am very disappointed with Dr. Lord, Dr. Swedo, Dr. King and other APA members for their efforts to further the dissociation of Intellectual Disability from Autism Spectrum Disorder (s) in the DSM5. I have always believed, as the father of (Read more…)
Yesterday was Canada Day and Conor sported his Team Canada shirt to celebrate. He also debunked not one but TWO autism myths. Conor has received ABA based intervention at school for 8 years. Yet, contrary to the myth that ABA causes discomfort and harm to persons with autism disorders, Conor shows his terrific smiles again ( see also side bar on this blog) debunking that nonsense yet again. He also debunks the myth that people with autism disorders do not like hugs and his Mom was very happy to assist in the demonstration!
. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor Debunks TWO Autism Myths Eh!
Canada flag photo by Harold L Doherty, very happy to be a Canadian, living in Canada, despite the lack of progress on the national autism front Today is Canada Day and I am very happy to be a Canadian living here in Canada. We can still enjoy living in one of the world’s freest countries in the world. I am happy and thankful that Canada is my home. I am thankful for our freedoms, our beautiful natural environment and our national health care system that generally takes good care of all Canadians not just those who can (Read more…)
Andy Scott With A Megaphone Supporting Autism Cause with Andrew Kavchak Canada has lost an autism champion with the passing this morning of former Fredericton MP Andy Scott. In a telephone conversation with a friend and fellow autism advocate elsewhere in Canada I once suggested the person contact their federal Member of Parliament. I was informed that had already been done but there would be a wait before the MP could be seen. There was some apparent disbelief when I mentioned that I could literally walk across the street to the office of our then MP Andy Scott and if (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Canada Loses an Autism Champion: Andy Scott Passed This Morning
We have been very happy with the excellent care Conor received after his adverse drug reaction. Everyone involved, from our family doctor who saw us very quickly after our concerns arose, immediately advised cutting back on Conor’s meds and was at the ICU and pediatric wards as part of his treatment team to the doctors, nurses, technicians, physiotherapists and all staff at the emergency, ICU and pediatric ward teams. All were terrific in ensuring Conor’s recovery. Everybody was top notch and we are grateful for their service to our son.
Each day of progress brought fresh signs and while (Read more…)
The Intensive Care Unit of the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton made a difference for our family. They saved our son Conor’s life after he suffered an adverse reaction to new anti seizure medication. They gave our son back to us. For that we are, as the CBC caption underneath the audio of my interview in support of the ICU campaign to raise funds for new monitoring equipment put it … extremely grateful.
As we understood it Conor’s muscles were breaking down and releasing proteins that were very dangerous to his kidneys. The ICU team were monitoring him constantly (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Extremely Grateful
The New Brunswick Teachers Association has spoken up … sort of … about New Brunswick’s extreme inclusion philosophy. The NBTA to its credit acknowledges, finally, that inclusion is a philosophy not an educational plan as stated by outgoing NBTA President Heather Smith at a meeting of delegates from around the province. Smith also acknowledged that the education focus during the past year has been on the Porter Aucoin Report with all “professional development” focused on inclusive education. Smith, in a recent Daily Gleaner article by Tara Chislett, also talks about the need for more resources without identifying any of those resources. (Read more…)
In “The new definition of autism” CBC News provides detailed descriptions of autism as represented by the five pervasive developmental disorders in the DSM-IV and the Autism Spectrum Disorder in the now published DSM5. With one major exception the article is a good summary of autism disorders pre and post DSM5. On another positive note the article expressly references ABA/IEBI as the primary evidence based intervention for autism treatment. The major exception to this otherwise balanced, thorough article is the failure to mention, while describing conditions commonly associated with autism, the substantial numbers of persons with autism (Read more…)
Conor home after a great swim adventure; making terrific progress on his recovery
Conor’s autism and profound developmental delay were supplemented by two grand mal seizures between November 2012 and April 2013. The second seizure occurred two days after he began treatment with the anti seizure medication Lamotrogine. During the second week of treatment when his dosage was increased from 1 to 2 25 mg tablets a day he began to sleep and medical advice was sought. The specialists were not available quickly but our family doctor saw us early the next day and advised us to cut back on (Read more…)