11 May 2005

Letting go...

Chandler's mom writes the following about letting go of our kids:

Our instinct as parents is to hold on tight and protect them from the harsh world and tell them where to go and what choices to make because we know better than they do. But if we are to serve them we have to let go of them just a little bit at a time as they begin to master their own lives, occasionally stepping back in when they are having trouble navigating (done with most frequency between the ages of 14 and 16).
Of course, for those of us who are parents of autistic children, the idea of letting go takes on a whole new meaning.

Don't give up hope

The Cincinnati Post - Noah, for one, is peeling back the layers of autism gives one mother's example of why you should never give up hope:

Terri says Noah is emerging from autism. The official word from the medical establishment on autism is that there's no cure. But Terri says the establishment is wrong. She insists Noah is coming back to her, getting better. His drawings suggest she's right.
A fairly long article by online newspaper standards, but lots of good information.

I also heartily recommend reading Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder : A Mother's Story of Research & Recovery by Karyn Seroussi. Excellent insights into the effect of diet on autism.

06 May 2005

Research suggests possibility of diagnostic testing for autism at birth

More on biological basis of autism and the potential for diagnosing autism at birth.

Research suggests possibility of diagnostic testing for autism at birth:

The findings 'suggest the possibility for future diagnostic tests for autism at birth' and might mean that 'we can get children into effective treatment much earlier than is now possible,' said Dr. Helen Tager-Flusberg of the Boston University School of Medicine, who chaired the fourth International Meeting for Autism Research in Boston, where the research was reported.

Studies suggest that researchers are beginning to tease out the biological and developmental causes of the disabling disorder....

05 May 2005

Study Shows Blood Differences In Children With Autism

Several stories today about a study that has identified a possible biological basis for autism. Representative of the stories is Study Shows Blood Differences In Children With Autism:

Amaral and his colleagues have just announced the findings of a new study that shows, for the first time on a large scale, a major difference in the blood of children with autism, compared to the blood of typical children. The hope is that there could be a routine blood test that would detect autism at birth.

'What we've discovered is more than 100 proteins that are different in these children. Now, we have to go back and figure out what these proteins do, whether they are simply markers or maybe they are even causative of the disorder,' Amaral said.
I'll see if I can find the actual paper....

03 May 2005

How About NOT Curing Autism?

Along the lines of my recent post Thoughts on curing autism is a piece from about.com titled How About NOT Curing Autism?:

Autism has always had more than its share of conflict. Disagreements and debates over causes and treatments are old news. The new debate?
Is an autism spectrum disorder a 'way of life,' or is it an illness/disability/disorder?
The links are well worth following, and lead to an even wider array of links and discussion. No easy answers.

It goes without saying (IMHO) that we should dedicate whatever resources we can to figuring out the causes of autism, as well as a cure. The question of whether or not autistic people should be forced to accept that cure for themselves is, however, a bit stickier.