Archive for July 17th, 2008

Autism Can Improve with Age

There are many theories and ideas regarding care and treatment of autism.  Some treatment has become standard practice.  After years of research, other, newer ideas have begun to take hold regarding care and treatment of autism.  New treatment ideas have brought positive results, and even some experimental treatments have helped alleviate the symptoms of autism.

Some of the more accepted treatments of autism include:

• Education and behavior – Therapists use specific interventions to help improve language and social skills, as well as working with parents to help children develop and strengthen those skills.
• Use of medication – Medication to deal with symptoms of depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder and other issues can be prescribed to treat children with autism who have these and other secondary symptoms.
• Other therapies, such as chelation therapy – which is not FDA approved and is only in experimental stages – have been used by parents and holistic practitioners to treat children with autism.  A variety of results have been reported, most of them being positive.

Though there is no known cure for autism, specific treatments are designed to work on specific symptoms.  There have been many advancements when it comes to treating autism, and there is evidence that substantial improvement can be made with the appropriate treatment for the right symptoms.  Healthcare professionals agree that if a child has intervention and treatment as early as possible they have a greater chance of maximum improvement.

Many children experience dramatic improvement through treatment, especially as they get older, and especially if the treatment was initiated when they were young enough.  Many children with autism grow up to live normal lives.

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New Information Discovered Regarding Autism & Genetics

Autism is a disorder which is part of a spectrum of disorders of the brain.  It is a congenital mental disorder that affects about 1 of every 150 children born in the United States, and can affect children with any IQ, whether high or low, but usually affects more children in combination with mental retardation.  Autism affects a child’s socialization and communication and is usually discovered by age two or three in most children.

Autism has usually been blamed on many things including bad reactions to immunizations, however more recent studies have confirmed that it is most likely a genetic disorder.  How the genetic mutations work to disrupt the brain is not totally understood.

The newest information regarding autism has been discovered by studying 100 families with a high incidence of autism.  Researchers found that there are at least 6 genes that contribute to or cause autism.  They have determined that autism is not just a simple disorder, and that it can be caused by genetic factors, environmental factors or a combination of both.  There appear to be many different genetic mutations involved with each family having different and distinct mutations.

The study is groundbreaking in that it changes previous thinking that autism is usually caused by just a few genetic mutations.  Because of the study researchers now feel that there are unique causes to autism and depending on the cause, autism can be treated in many cases.  In fact, researchers now feel that if they can isolate and figure out how to compensate for some of the deficiencies with medication or behavioral therapy and treatment, doctors may be able to help the brain develop more normally in the future.

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