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Encyclopedia > Controversies in autism
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There is considerable disagreement over the exact nature of autism, however it is generally considered to be a neurodevelopmental condition which manifests itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability, patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior. It encompasses a wide range of atypical conditions, none of which is well understood. Although there are common and specific physical conditions comorbid to autism spectrum disorders, not all people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders experience these. The diagnostic criteria, as of 2006, are still generally limited to psychiatric and cognitive evaluation methods with IQ score and a particular patterns of abilities (common to those with autism) featuring strongly in the formal diagnosis of autism and distinguishing it from Asperger's Syndrome at the time of diagnosis. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in delays of social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play, with onset prior to age 3 years, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. ... There are many comorbid disorders associated with autism spectrum disorders and Aspergers Syndrome. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that studies and treats mental and emotional disorders (see mental illness). ... Cognitive The scientific study of how people obtain, retrieve, store and manipulate information. ...


The cause(s) of autism and the spectrum of pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) are as yet unknown, as are the prognoses, or best treatment options. There is, however, widespread agreement that early diagnosis and intervention can often make a significant difference for the long-term prospects of a person with autism because the human mind and nervous system are more plastic at a younger age; therefore, research for possible therapies and treatments is often focused toward children who have been diagnosed early with a spectrum disorder. However, many adults on the autistic spectrum, as well as other interested parties, believe that this emphasis on the problems facing children has resulted in limited research and treatment options for adults with autism. The nervous system of an animal coordinates the activity of the muscles, monitors the organs, constructs and also stops input from the senses, and initiates actions. ...


Today's medical community considers autism to be essentially incurable, or at least to have life-long effects. Meanwhile, judging by the plethora of material on the Internet and elsewhere, many autistic spectrum adults and neurotypical (non-autistic) allies in the autism rights movement do not consider autism to be a disorder, but simply a different way of perceiving and behaving. These people believe that at least some of the difficulties encoutered by people with autism may result from prejudice and lack of accommodation from society. The autistic spectrum (sometimes referred to as the autism spectrum) is a developmental and behavioral syndrome that results from certain combinations of traits. ... Neurotypical (or NT) is a term used to describe a person whose neurological development and state are typical, conforming to what most people would perceive as normal. ... The autism rights movement (which has also been called autistic self-advocacy movement [2] and autistic liberation movement [3]) was started by adult autistic individuals in order to advocate and demand tolerance for what they refer to as neurodiversity. ... Prejudice Baerass the name implies, the process of pre-judging something. ... Human relationships within an ethnically diverse society. ...


With knowledge being so limited and scientific progress so slow, nearly all conjectures about autism are hotly debated. Parents of autistic kids face a bewildering set of choices and attendant uncertainty about the merits of various diagnoses, prognoses, and alleged cures and treatments. Some of these controversies are described below. Cure can be: successful treatment of disease preserve (meat, for example), as by salting, smoking, or aging (see curing) prepare, preserve, or finish (a substance) by a chemical or physical process (one example is the curing, or seasoning, of a cast iron pan; another is the curing of an adhesive...

Contents

The usefulness and accuracy of autism as a diagnosis

The 1994 DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis of autism are the result of several revisions, and consequently the psychiatric community is divided as to whether the condition should be ordered by severity along a spectrum or categorised into multiple distinct disorders that have similar symptoms. This division is exacerbated by the wide range of conditions comorbid to autism spectrum disorders. Research and clinical experience suggests that, while autism may appear to manifest itself as a psychiatric disorder, its underlying causes are neurological. PDD has emerged as an overarching descriptive term for the cluster of disorders that includes autism. 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the handbook used most often in diagnosing mental disorders in the United States and other countries. ... There are many comorbid disorders associated with autism spectrum disorders and Aspergers Syndrome. ... The diagnostic category pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), as opposed to specific developmental disorders (SDD), refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions including socialization and communication. ...


A diagnosis of autism is complicated by the fact that there is no definitive test for autism due to the significant variance of symptoms among people with autistic traits, as well as a lack of knowledge about the etiology of the condition. Those with Asperger syndrome may be highly functional cognitively but lack 'social' skills, whereas others with so-called "profound autism" may be non-verbal and deficient in elementary skills. Some autistic people are considered mentally retarded, having low IQs (Intelligence Quotients), while some have been ultimately found to have average or above average intelligence. A minority of people with autism even have narrow, but exceptional autistic savant abilities. The term symptom (from the Greek syn = con/plus and pipto = fall, together meaning co-exist) has two similar meanings in the context of physical and mental health: Strictly, a symptom is a sensation or change in health function experienced by a patient. ... Etiology (alternately aetiology, aitiology) is the study of causation. ... Asperger syndrome — also referred to as Aspergers syndrome, Aspergers, or just AS — is one of five neurobiological pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) that is characterized by deficiencies in social and communication skills. ... IQ tests are designed to give approximately this Gaussian distribution. ... An autistic savant (historically described as idiot savant) is an autistic person with Savant Syndrome [1]. Savant Syndrome describes people with both a severe developmental or mental handicap and extraordinary mental abilities not found in most people. ...


This is not just an academic issue - treatment strategies and choices are based on definitions of what needs to be changed. Different treatment approaches have had widely divergent outcomes depending on each specific person. For example, some parents claim their children recovered with only behavioral approaches, some credit biomedical intervention as the best method for improvement, and others report little or no progress after trying many different approaches. Occasionally, parents claim their autistic children have simply "grown out of it".


There are also those (primarily those on the autistic spectrum themselves) who reject the premise that autism is necessarily a disorder that should be cured. In their view, a diagnosis can sometimes result from a judgment of non-conformity that is followed by efforts to correct what are essentially personality traits. It has been suggested that Personality psychology be merged into this article or section. ...


Asperger's Syndrome and autism

Currently, Asperger's syndrome is classified as a separate diagnosis from autism in the DSM-IV, but it is still considered an autism spectrum disorder. The primary distinction between the definitions of autism and Asperger's Syndrome in the DSM-IV is that autism involves a speech delay and Asperger's does not. Many people believe autism and Asperger's syndrome should not be given separate labels in the DSM-IV because they believe that differences in language acquisition are not significant enough to separate the disorders or that autism and Asperger's have no definitive differences[citation needed]. It is also unclear whether a child with high-functioning autism who learns to speak should have their diagnosis changed to that of Asperger's Syndrome though it should be noted that late speech does occur in a minority of neurotypical children and, in itself, need not be indicative of autism in a child with Asperger's Syndrome who goes on to develop good functional language. Asperger described his patients as little professors. Aspergers syndrome (AS, or the more common shorthand Aspergers), is characterized as one of the five pervasive developmental disorders, and is commonly referred to as a form of high functioning autism. ... The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the handbook used most often in diagnosing mental disorders in the United States and other countries. ... A boy with autism and his mother Autism refers to a spectrum of disorders, and lies somewhere under the umbrella of a greater encompassing spectrum, that of pervasive developmental disorders that involve the functioning of the brain. ...


Geeks and nerds

It has been suggested that so-called 'geeks' and 'nerds' are persons with undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome[citation needed]. This has been disputed by professionals who indicate that 'geeks' and 'nerds' simply exhibit normal variant behavior, not pathological behavior. Many people diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome believe their behavior is not abnormal and reject the notion that any divergence from a supposed social ideal should be considered pathological. There are many cases where people who once considered themselves 'geeks' or 'nerds' later notice that a diagnosis of Asperger's may apply to them (this often follows having a child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder)[citation needed]. Look up geek in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up nerd in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Behavior or behaviour (see spelling differences) refers to the actions or reactions of an object or organism, usually in relation to the environment. ...


Since the terms 'geek' and 'nerd' are social stereotypes rather than terms that can be genetically or behaviourally defined, this issue has not been resolved. Some suggest that there is a trend to pathologize almost any variant human behavior (e.g., ADHD) which could be interpreted as a method of phasing out ad hoc terms such as 'geek'[citation needed]. DISCLAIMER Please remember that Wikipedia is offered for informational use only. ... Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which means for this [purpose]. It generally signifies a solution that has been tailored to a specific purpose, such as a tailor-made suit, a handcrafted network protocol, and specific-purpose equation and things like that. ...


'Autistic' vs. 'Has autism'

Many autistics who express their views on the Internet have stated their preference for the word autistic to be used as both an adjective and a noun; they dislike the politically correct person-first terminology. Autistic author, Donna Williams has written about this group as culturalists , distinguishing them from curists who see autism as a condition requiring cure. Some persons with Asperger's syndrome prefer to be called Aspergerian or aspie. Others with Asperger's Syndrome prefer to refer to themselves collectively as autistics, preferring to see themselves as part on one collective spectrum rather than having a condition different or separable from autism itself. There are, however, moderates who prefer to think of treatment and management of extreme functioning issues in autism rather than seeing everything as either culture or cure. An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually describing it or making its meaning more specific. ... A noun, or noun substantive, is a part of speech which can co-occur with (in)definite articles and attributive adjectives, and function as the head of a noun phrase. ... Political correctness is the alteration of language to redress real or alleged injustices and discrimination or to avoid offense. ... Person-first terminology is a linguistic technique used when discussing disabilities to avoid perceived and subconscious dehumanisation of the people involved. ... Donna Williams is also the name of one of the creators of Neopets. ...


Person-first terminology is preferred by many with medical conditions, such as AIDS or epilepsy, where it may serve to remove some of the stigma of these illnesses. Many in the autistic community, including some persons who are considered to be severely autistic or low-functioning, feel that to use person-first language conveys the impression that autism is another such disease, something that can and should be cured. These autistics feel that autism is an integral part of their identity, that the person and the autism cannot be separated, and that proposing the removal of autism is akin to proposing death for them. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). ...


As with other such arguments involving the autism rights movement, many parents of autistic children disagree with the position of the autistic self-advocates. They contend that the autism of those they live with is an illness, that autism is not part of the person, and should be removed or cured. Others in the autistic community who dislike being autistic and wish they could be made non-autistic also continue to prefer the person first terminology, as they do not want to identify autism as an integral part of themselves. The autism rights movement (which has also been called autistic self-advocacy movement [2] and autistic liberation movement [3]) was started by adult autistic individuals in order to advocate and demand tolerance for what they refer to as neurodiversity. ...


Person-first terminology remains the preferred form in most clinical literature about autism.


Epidemiology of autism

For more details on this topic, see frequency of autism.

There is uncertainty and controversy over whether the incidence of autism is actually increasing or if there simply is an increase in the number of reported cases. Some argue[citation needed] that if the incidence is rising, then environmental factors play a greater role; if it is simply being reported more often, genetics deserves more attention. One theory, particularly associated with Simon Baron-Cohen, suggests that increased social mobility and assortative mating may lead to the genetic amplification of autistic traits. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Autism (incidence). ... Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ... Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD, is a renowned British psychologist and director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. ... Assortative mating (also called Assortative pairing) takes place when sexually reproducing organisms tend to mate with individuals that are like themselves in some respect (positive assortative mating) or dissimilar (negative assortative mating). ...


Anecdotal reports from school districts and physicians lend support to the impression that the incidence is rising, and some studies appear to support this as well. Some believe the incidence has risen markedly in the last few years, from about one in 5000 to estimates ranging between one in 400 or even as high as one in 166, which may indicate a major societal problem. In the United States, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have vacillated between the latter two figures. In January of 2004 the CDC sent out an autism alarm to all pediatricians stating that they believed that 1 in 166 children had an autism spectrum disorder and as common as one in six now suffered from a neurodevelopmental or behavioral disorder. (Others have quoted these figures as high as 1 in 40 for autism and one in three for the neurodevelopmental or behavioral disorders.) The Doctor by Samuel Luke Fildes This article is about the term physician, a type of doctor; for other uses of the word doctor see Doctor (disambiguation). ... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta is recognized as the lead United States agency for protecting the public health and safety of people by providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships with state health departments and other organizations. ...


Others point out that several factors are likely to cause increased reporting. First, some say that the broadening definition of autism, which began most markedly with revised classifications in DSM-III-R in 1987 and the greater availability of services for autistic individuals, creates an incentive to be inclusive in the diagnosis. Second, the last few decades have seen a greater awareness of autistic traits among pediatricians and other medical specialists, and it is surmised that some children who were previously diagnosed as retarded, or as having a psychotic disorder are now diagnosed as autistic or having PDD. (Autism was once believed to be a type of childhood schizophrenia.) 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pediatrics (also spelled paediatrics or pædiatrics) is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants and children. ... Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state in which thought and perception are severely impaired. ...


It will take time to resolve these diagnostic prevalence issues. As previously mentioned, there is no definitive, standardized way to diagnose autism, whether in past, present, or future incidences. There are important implications from this controversy because the answer will guide both the allocation and magnitude of research, legal action, and therapy in the future.


Genetics and autism

For more details on this topic, see Heritability of autism.

There is evidence that autism has a genetic component, and ongoing research focuses on finding the biomarkers that determine autistic phenotypes. However, there is significant disagreement as to whether genes contribute to a vulnerability to environmental triggers or have another role in the etiology of autism. The heritability of autism is debated by psychology researchers, parents of children diagnosed with autism, and members of the autistic community. ... Individuals in the mollusk species Donax variabilis show diverse coloration and patterning in their phenotypes. ...


There is a trend in research towards viewing genetics as an underlying factor. However, most autistic children have apparently neurotypical parents, which suggests that a single gene is not likely the cause. The spectrum of autistic disorders is notable for its significant gender disparity, with the incidence of autism in males greatly exceeding the incidence in females. A 1994 study estimated the ratio at three males to one female, while a 1982 Japanese study indicated a ratio of nine to one. Several studies on human and animal tissue suggest that testosterone potentiates the toxic effects of mercury, hence the gender disparity has been suggested to add credence to the theory that mercury plays a role in the etiology of autism.[citation needed] There are some, however, who speculate that autism occurs equally in both sexes, and that males are simply more likely to be diagnosed because of differences in childhood socialization. Neurotypical (or NT) is a term used to describe a person whose neurological development and state are typical, conforming to what most people would perceive as normal. ... The word gender describes the state of being male, female, or neither. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Scientists have recently (July 2005) shown that variations in the gene for protein kinase C beta 1 (PRKCB1), a protein with an important role in brain function, are strongly associated with autism. This exciting find suggests some answers to a number of previous, but unexplained, observations about autism and provides the potential for a mechanistic explanation for some of the characteristics of the condition. In animals, the brain, or encephalon (Greek for in the head), is the control center of the central nervous system. ...


Implications of genetic testing

If and when genetic testing for autism becomes available, it is anticipated that many women pregnant with an autistic child will decide to abort the pregnancy. There is some precedent from Down's Syndrome which points in this direction. Autism rights advocates believe this will be akin to genocide and, furthermore, that the impact of such an event on the human species as a whole could be very significant, arguing that common pro-life rhetoric about the potential for geniuses to be aborted might be more persuasive if people such as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were, as some have claimed, autistic. Some autistic people have at least some language skills, and have started to speak and/or write for themselves about their experience. ... Look up Genocide in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Pro-life advocates make a silent complaint in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Pro-life is a term representing a variety of perspectives and activist movements in bioethics. ... Einstein redirects here. ... Sir Isaac Newton, FRS (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) [ OS: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727][1] was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, and natural philosopher, regarded by many as the greatest figure in the history of science. ...


Vaccines and autism

In the late 1990s, controversial hypothesis arose that linked childhood vaccinations to autism. The claim was that the mercury used in vaccinations causes regressive autism. See also 1990s, the band Germans dancing on the Berlin Wall in late 1989, the symbol of the cold war divide falls down as the world unites in the 1990s. ...


Thimerosal

// Thimerosal controversy In recent years, it has been suggested that thimerosal in childhood vaccines could contribute to or cause neurodevelopmental disorders in children (most notably autism, but also other disorders on the PDD spectrum, such as ADHD). ...

MMR triple vaccine

Main article: MMR vaccine
Main article: Vaccine controversy#The MMR controversy

The MMR vaccine is a mixture of live attenuated viruses, administered via injection for immunization against [[measles]], [[mumps]] and [[rubella]]. It is generally administered to children around the age of one year, with a booster dose before starting school (i. ... The vaccine controversy encompasses many issues over the benefits and risks of vaccines. ...

Intelligence and autism

For more details on this topic, see Intelligence tests and autism.

Until recently, a large proportion of children diagnosed as having autism were also believed to have mental retardation. The term 'mentally retarded' itself is debatable because this determination is based on IQ testing, which has its own set of controversies and detractors. A more accurate description would be to say that children who are diagnosed autistic may also have low IQ scores. However, this view is inconsistent with other findings, particularly the increased incidence of 'high-functioning' autism and the recognition of Asperger's syndrome as being part of the autism spectrum. IQ tests are regularly used during the process of an autism diagnosis. ... Mental retardation (also called mental handicap[1]) is a term for a pattern of persistently slow learning of basic motor and language skills (milestones) during childhood, and a significantly below-normal global intellectual capacity as an adult. ... IQ redirects here; for other uses of that term, see IQ (disambiguation). ... Hans Asperger (February 18, 1906_October 21, 1980) was the Austrian pediatrician after whom Aspergers Syndrome is named. ...


Autistic persons who have normal or high intelligence are often not diagnosed with autism, so the average IQ of the autistic community as a whole cannot be determined. Furthermore, anecdotal accounts of autistic children whose IQ scores have increased dozens of points over a relatively short period of time are not uncommon. It has been suggested that these increases do not correspond to an increase in actual intelligence, however; perhaps, as with neurotypical children, children with autism may simply get better at taking IQ tests (the so-called practice effect).


Characteristics observed by some studies as being associated with gifted children at least appear to be analogous to those of autistic children: Gifted children are those considered by educational systems to have significantly higher than normal levels of one or more forms of intelligence. ...

  • Some studies suggest that gifted children are more than twice as introverted as their peers.[1]
  • Gifted children have been characterized as having obsessive interests, preferring to play alone, and enjoying solitude. They are also said to have prodigious memories and show intense reactions to noise, pain and frustration.[2]
  • According to some reports, gifted children have a higher-than-average propensity to allergies[3]

These findings have led to speculation that high intelligence and autism are related. Autistic author Temple Grandin speculates that genius itself "may be an abnormality."[4] This article deals with the psychological term Introversion. ... Temple Grandin, one of the more successful adults with autism. ... A genius is a person with distinguished mental abilities. ...


An alternative view is that autism and intelligence are unrelated; all levels of intelligence have been observed in those with autism. According to this view, those with autism and low intelligence would be more likely to be recognized and diagnosed, and those with normal to high intelligence might be better able to articulate their experiences (either verbally or through writing) and would be labeled as high-functioning regardless of their other neurological deficits.


Prognosis for autistic children

Children who are diagnosed with autism face a great range of outcomes. Some are reported to have learned speech and/or writing, self-care, and social skills on their own. Others experience an apparently miraculous "recovery" and begin behaving in a way that is generally indistinguishable from the way neurotypical children behave, either for no apparent reason or from a few simple alterations in diet. Some become mainstreamed after years of hard work and intensive training. Some develop slowly, but never lose their diagnoses. There are a few who never move beyond a level of functioning that society perceives as 'low', yet others are fairly typical during childhood and report becoming "more autistic" in adulthood.


While some people see early intervention as crucial for autism, the prognosis is also less certain the younger the child is. An idiosyncratic development path may be confused with a more severe disorder, and the child may 'catch up' on his/her own. Research indicates that the human mind and nervous system remains plastic for longer than originally thought, and people with autism, like those with learning disabilities, have been known to cognitively develop throughout their lives.


There is broad consensus in the medical community to the effect that autistic behaviors can be improved through training and through medical or educational interventions, though there is apparently no consensus on treatment regimes and objectives.


See also

This is a list of autism-related topics. ... Advocates for Childrens Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning (A-CHAMP), is a United States political activism group, founded by parents, which advocates on behalf of children who were injured by mercury in thimerosal-containing vaccines, and other toxins. ... Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in delays of social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play, with onset prior to age 3 years, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. ... The autism rights movement (which has also been called autistic self-advocacy movement [2] and autistic liberation movement [3]) was started by adult autistic individuals in order to advocate and demand tolerance for what they refer to as neurodiversity. ... Infinity logo as a positive representation of autism Aspies For Freedom is a group which is at the forefront of the autism rights movement. ... It has been suggested that autistic community be merged into this article or section. ... Chelation therapy is a process involving the use of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. ... Generation Rescue is a nonprofit organization which was founded by parents united by their belief that many childhood neurological disorders, such as autism, Aspergers syndrome, ADHD, speech delay, sensory integration disorder and other developmental delays, are the effects of a primary diagnosis of mercury poisoning and related complications. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Richard Deth, Ph. ...

Critique of Autism Genetic Research

  • Joseph, J. (2006). The Missing Gene: Psychiatry, Heredity, and the Fruitless Search for Genes.New York: Algora. (Chapters 7 & 11)

References

  1. ^ www.a-gifted-child.com
  2. ^ www.jewishworldreview.com
  3. ^ www.sengifted.org
  4. ^ www.onlineparadigm.com
Pervasive developmental disorders / Autistic spectrum
Diagnoses
Autism | Asperger syndrome | Autistic enterocolitis | Childhood disintegrative disorder | Conditions comorbid to autism | Fragile X syndrome
Rett syndrome | PDD-NOS | Sensory Integration Dysfunction | Multiple-complex Developmental Disorder
Controversy
Andrew Wakefield | Incidence | An epidemic? | Autism rights movement | Biomedical intervention | Causes | Chelation
Generation Rescue | Heritability | Neurodiversity | Refrigerator mother | Therapies
See also: List of autism-related topics

  Results from FactBites:
 
Controversies in autism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (5505 words)
The usefulness and accuracy of autism as a diagnosis
The spectrum of autistic disorders is notable for its significant gender disparity, with the incidence of autism in males greatly exceeding the incidence in females.
A recent theory is that children who develop autism subsequent to vaccination lack sufficient ability to eliminate mercury due to reduced quantities of enzymes in the trans-sulphation pathway of the brain, and thus, cannot make enough glutothione which plays a vital role in the elimination of ethylmercury from the body.
Controversies in autism - AspiesForFreedom (1349 words)
Controversy exists as to whether autism is a disorder at all, or simply a variation in neurological wiring.
For they know that what is labeled their autism is an intrinsic part of themselves, that the autism could not be eradicated without causing them to be someone else, no longer themselves.
For these people a cure to autism would be a cessation of their self; for these individuals a personal cure would be death, much as the social cure would be the death of the unborn.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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