#20 Autism. TED talks in a way we can grasp.
Click HERE to watch this video and learn more about the complexities of autism spectrum disorders.
Please be aware of the myths and facts that surround this complicated and frustrating spectrum of disorders that is now diagnosed in 1 in 68 kids, with more boys than girls being diagnosed. What we know, according to Wendy Chung, a geneticist with the Simons Foundation, is that one of the causes is advanced PATERNAL age at the time of conception. A MYTH is that vaccines cause Autism. We know this is not true despite social controversy. In addition, exposure to certain agents in utero while the brain is developing is another possible cause. Genetics also plays a role, but it doesn’t look the same for every child. Some mutations in the egg/sperm can develop just within that one growing child, while other genes may in fact get passed down from mother/father. There is possibly 200-400 different genes that may cause Autism, many of which fit together on a network that effect how the brain functions.
EARLY DIAGNOSIS is key. Being able to impact the developing brain is imperative for improvement. Lack of eye contact and missing that desire for social connection as an infant is one of the biggest signs that Autism most likely will develop. Identifying the genes that impact the development of autism will help researchers target certain medications that can become a part of several treatment options. Yet, educational interventions will be most essential. We need to understand the best ways in which each individual child learns in order to help them excel. Technological advances will also be of great assistance in the future treatments for Autism.
Anyone touched by Autism Spectrum Disorders is encouraged to join the Interactive Autism Network (http://iancommunity.org/) to help advance research, guide treatment, and maybe even find a cure.