Archive for September, 2009
Parenting can be a stressful job in itself – young children require almost constant care and attention as they learn to navigate the world and negotiate the problems that confront them. In a typical day, a parent might have to change a baby’s diapers numerous times, feed them and deal with the trials and tribulations of bedtime. Without even mentioning the guidance and supervision necessary to make sure the child doesn’t hurt himself, it’s basically a full-time job.
Studies have shown that parents of autistic children deal with much more stress than parents of kids with other developmental disorders. A bulk of the mental strain comes from playing a sort of guessing game with the child. By its very nature, autism inhibits young kids from getting their point across. They don’t demonstrate the same verbal and gestural cues that normal children would.
Parenting a child with autism can be maddening at times, which is why it pays to join an autism support group. Parents can always benefit from tricks and techniques that have served other people just like them well in the past. It’s also important to take a proactive approach to the diagnosis process by seeking out a medical professional with a specialization in developmental disorders.
We spend so much time highlighting the symptoms and potential treatment options for autism on this blog that the rest of the autism spectrum disorders occasionally go unacknowledged. The fact is that parents of children with Asperger syndrome can be equally distressed and frustrated as they try to diagnose the disorder and seek a cure.
Asperger’s is unlike autism in that a child’s linguistic and mental development continue unabated by the disorder. But as soon as the child is put into a social setting, the disorder makes its presence felt fast. Kids with Asperger’s tend to be loners as their disorder often prevents them from demonstrating empathy for others. They instead seem to lack any social graces that would come naturally to other children: making eye-contact, displaying an interest in others, appropriate facial expressions and so on.
As is the case with other disorders on the autism spectrum, some medical professionals have theorized a link between thimerosal – a mercury-based preservative used in some vaccines – and the onset of Asperger’s. The onus is on parents of afflicted children to seek out as much autism information as possible – both online and from trusted physicians – before seeking a remedy.
When parents begin to notice warning signs in their children’s behavior – difficulties communicating, compulsive behaviors and the like – they often jump to conclusions. Diagnosing autism spectrum disorders isn’t a matter that should be taken lightly. The process involves lengthy discussions with a family pediatrician who may or may not have any experience dealing with autistic children.
If you suspect that your child has a developmental disorder, but your doctor seems out of his or her element on the matter, get a referral to see a specialist. You’ll then encounter a number of diagnostic tests, including long interviews with the specialist which will be studied afterward. When the diagnosis finally arrives, you’ll have plenty to think about it. The market is saturated with products that ostensibly treat autism to some extent or another.
In order to effectively treat the disorder, you’ll need to trace it back to its roots. Many doctors suspect that the onset of autism in young children correlates with mercury-based preservatives in vaccines. The long-term effects of mercury poisoning match up with the symptoms of autism. Considering that mercury stays in the brain for years and years following the original exposure, it’s crucial that parents take a proactive approach to treating the problem.
The birth of a child is supposed to be one of the highlights of a mother’s life. It offers her a chance to display a whole new side – that of caregiver and nurturer. Unfortunately, the joys of childbirth are occasionally tempered by disturbing circumstances. When children are found to have birth defects, parents immediately think of all of the special care and costs associated with the condition.
Although the precise cause of most birth defects is difficult to pinpoint, there are a number of well-known risk factors that have been shown to be contributors. For example, women with high rates of exposure to heavy metals during pregnancy put their unborn children at significant risk. The effects of birth defects mercury poisoning causes are lasting and far-reaching.
Luckily, the general awareness about mercury and its dangers to humans is more widespread these days than ever before. Mercury exposure is rare, but an overabundance of seafood – especially shark, swordfish, halibut, salmon and canned tuna – can cause harm to pregnant women. After childbirth, it’s crucial that parents pay close attention to the vaccines their kids receive. Mercury has been used as a vaccination preservative in the past, and parents can never be too careful.
For conscientious parents, the worst fears about swine flu have recently been confirmed. And those fears don’t even relate to the H1N1 virus itself. Rather, they concern the release of the new flu vaccine and its all-too-familiar contents. As it turns out, the vaccine contains trace amounts of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that has been linked to the onset of autism in a number of cases dating back to the 1990s.
Although the medical establishment prefers to downplay the disastrous effects thimerosal has wrought throughout last decade, the preservative was nonetheless banned in 2001. It’s a shame that it’s making an unwelcome reemergence at a time when many American families will be seeking out early flu shots. There may be a way to receive a vaccination while still forgoing the preservative, however.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, which has been trumpeting the release of the vaccine and the public’s need to use it, a single-dose version doesn’t require a preservative. That means it should be thimerosal-free. In any case, it’s important for parents to do their homework before leaving their children susceptible to mercury exposure.
Parents of autistic children are very familiar with the difficulties and frustrations that characterize everyday life, but through various support groups and treatment methods they learn to make the best of the situation. It’s not as easy for those parents who suspect their child has autism but are unable to get a satisfactory diagnosis. Bear in mind that not all family doctors are well-versed in developmental disorders. Getting a second opinion from a developmental pediatrician can make a world of difference.
There are a number of ways you can expedite the process of getting a diagnosis and moving on to the most important step: finding a treatment option that works for your child. First, bring in written and video evidence of the child’s struggles. If you can secure a letter from the child’s babysitter or teacher testifying as to his symptoms, it carries a lot of weight with a medical professional. The same is true of a video documenting the difficulties.
Articles on autism often recommend parental support groups. Seek out other parents who have gone through a similar experience. They will be more than willing to help navigate you through this difficult process, and they’ll be ready to listen as you vent about it. A huge network of support groups for autism already exists, but perhaps you’ll see an opportunity to start a whole new one in your area. Remember that the sooner your child receives a diagnosis, the sooner he or she will be on the way to treatment and a more normal life.
Do you have an autistic child? Have you found yourself pacing day and night trying to come up with answers as to why this happened to your family? Well it’s about time to put your anxious mind to rest and stop pointing the finger at yourself. You shouldn’t be focusing on why your child has autism, but instead concentrate on how you can help your child learn and grow with love.
Although your child may be autistic, they are just like any other kid when it comes to needing tools and guidance to learn how to play and interact with others. Your child might adapt to such lessons at a slower rate, but it’s important to make them feel normal and not attach a stigmatism to a disorder that’s not their fault. The causes of autism are somewhat blurred, but don’t let the search for answers bog down your life. Live, love and growth with your children!
Many parents and an ever increasing number of physicians have long suspected a link between certain vaccines and the onset of autism. Even if the medical establishment, along with vaccine manufacturers, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control all deny these claims, they have yet to produce conclusive evidence. It’s important to note that the power to choose rests in parents’ hands. If you don’t feel comfortable with your child being vaccinated, don’t let it happen.
If, on the other hand, you suspect that your child has already received a vaccine featuring the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, you will most likely want to look into various forms of autism therapy. The key is in finding a product that flushes and detoxifies harmful heavy metal particles from the system. Ask your doctor for recommendations, but don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands by doing your homework.
By now many of you have undoubtedly heard about the disastrous effects of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that found its way into some children’s vaccines in recent years. Unsurprisingly, the fallout has been tremendous, and the medical establishment has been taken to task for its negligence and incompetence on the issue. While many parents are understandably angered and confused by their children’s exposure to a dangerous heavy metal, it’s important to correctly diagnose a problem before its treatment is addressed.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists the following problems as potential mercury poisoning symptoms. Peripheral vision is generally impaired, and patients complain of “pins and needles” sensations in their extremities. Coordination suffers as do speech, hearing, a motor function. Mood swings and memory loss are also common. If your child seems to be experiencing some or all of these symptoms, he or she should be examined by a medical professional. The sooner the problem is diagnosed, the sooner it can be resolved through innovative techniques.
In the past, we’ve explored the mental and emotional toll that an autism diagnosis can take on parents and the victims themselves. But this leaves out another group of individuals who also bear a considerable strain from dealing with the disorder indirectly. Siblings – especially when they’re young – require attention and education in order to fully cope with the realities of the situation.
Brothers and sisters of autistic children generally have two major difficulties in coping with their affected sibling: first, they feel jealousy as the parents are focusing more attention on the autism sufferer. Second, they might feel embarrassment when an autistic brother or sister comes in contact with their friends or peers. These reactions are natural, and it’s important for parents to discuss them frankly with their children.
Autism awareness is especially important as it relates directly to siblings. Parents should tailor the information they provide their kids according to age and maturity level. There’s no need to go into medical detail about the disorder if you’re addressing a 5-year-old, for example. Likewise, a preteen will need a thorough, detailed explanation. In the end, your family will be happier and better adjusted as a result of learning about autism, its symptoms and potential treatments.