Autism Spectrum Disorders

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  • The degree of the severity of the impairments varies from mild (subtle difficulties and can function independently) to severe (extreme behavior difficulties and require dependent care throughout their lives).
  • Such increase of the prevalence of ASD coincides with the increased number of immunization shots that children receive in their first two years of life.
  • The study linking the MMR vaccine with ASD was later discredited because of the small sample size.
  • Even though no link was found the concerns are only growing.
  • While Andrew Wakefield’s research study was discredited because of the small sample size, Mark and David Geier’s research was criticized for its methodology, and Jill James’s work does not have a lot of support backing the findings.
  • Some parents are starting to believe that government agencies are covering up for vaccination companies so that they can prevent lawsuits. Also, doing so would prevent parents from choosing to not give their children the immunization shots.
  • The research studies were discredited and criticized.
  • The exact genes and the environmental forces that come to play a role in ASD are still unknown.
  • Raising a child with ASD has many challenges which can lead to parental stress.
  • With the right kind of education, some children with ASD can grow to live a life close to a normal one.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

    1. 1. Autism Spectrum Disorders<br />Is there a link between immunization shots and autism spectrum disorders?<br />OrjolaLasku<br />August 16, 2010<br />
    2. 2. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental disabilities characterized by certain impairments such as:<br /><ul><li> Qualitative impairment in social interaction
    3. 3. Qualitative impairments in communication
    4. 4. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior</li></ul>**The degree of the severity of the impairments varies from mild (subtle difficulties and can function independently) to severe (extreme behavior difficulties and require dependent care throughout their lives).<br />
    5. 5. There has been an increase of ASD cases in recent years:<br /><ul><li> Tens of thousands of American children from all socioeconomic levels have been diagnosed with ASD.
    6. 6. According to the United States Department of Developmental Services, the prevalence of ASD increased 556% from 1991 to 1997.
    7. 7. There are 30 to 60 cases of ASD per 10,000 children.
    8. 8. One in every eight boys is diagnosed with ASD and boys are four times more likely to be affected by the disorders. </li></ul>**Such increase of the prevalence of ASD coincides with the increased number of immunization shots that children receive in their first two years of life. <br />
    9. 9. Because the increase of ASD rates coincides with the increased number of immunization shots, many parents are concerned with the safety of the vaccinations.<br /><ul><li> Babies can receive up to 26 vaccines in their first year of life.
    10. 10. It appears that some children are developing normally until they receive immunizations.
    11. 11. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine has been linked to ASD by a research study done by British pediatrician Andrew Weinkfield.
    12. 12. Thimerosal (approximately 50% mercury by weight), which is used as a preservative in many vaccinations, is believed to have toxic effects on infants impairing their development. </li></ul>**The study linking the MMR vaccine with ASD was later discredited because of the small sample size. <br />
    13. 13. In response to the concern of a possible link between immunization shots and ASD, many organizations examined the vaccine safety issues and rejected a link. The organizations are:<br /><ul><li> Immunization Review Committee
    14. 14. Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    15. 15. Institute of Medicine
    16. 16. American Academy of Pediatrics
    17. 17. Medical Research Counsel
    18. 18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</li></ul>**Even though no link was found the concerns are only growing.<br />
    19. 19. The following are some examples of research that connected vaccines to ASD:<br /><ul><li> Andrew Wakefield linked the MMR vaccine to ASD.
    20. 20. Mark and David Geier, a father-son research team, believe that mercury exposure is linked to autism.
    21. 21. Jill James, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas, found that thimerosal may cause neourodevelopmental disorders in some children who cannot eliminate mercury from their bodies the way that most children do. </li></ul>**While Andrew Wakefield’s research study was discredited because of the small sample size, Mark and David Geier’s research was criticized for its methodology, and Jill James’s work does not have a lot of support backing the findings. <br />
    22. 22. A strength of the research studies that do not show a link between vaccinations and ASD is that they use a large sample size, which increases their validity. <br />One weakness of the research studies that show no link is that they use data collected by government agencies, which may prevent them from seeing the small number of children that may be affected by the immunization shots. <br />**Some parents are starting to believe that government agencies are covering up for vaccination companies so that they can prevent lawsuits. Also, doing so would prevent parents from choosing to not give their children the immunization shots. <br />
    23. 23. One strength of the research studies that support a link between ASD and immunization shots is that they were conducted by experienced professionals.<br />A weakness of the research studies that support a link is that they had small sample sizes, which diminishes their validity. Their methodology was also questionable. <br />**The research studies were discredited and criticized.<br />
    24. 24. One fact, however, is clear: ASD has a genetic basis.<br /><ul><li> Families with an autistic child have a 3 to 5 percent risk of a sibling being autistic as well.
    25. 25. Twin studies have shown higher concordance rates among monozygotic than dizygotic twins.
    26. 26. Research has shown abnormalities in the structures of the brain of ASD children, such as the cerebellum, amygdale, hippocampus, and basal ganglia. Other abnormalities include increased total brain volume and abnormal connectivity of white matter tracts.</li></ul>**The exact genes and the environmental forces that come to play a role in ASD are still unknown. <br />
    27. 27. Caring for an ASD child can cause a tremendous amount of stress:<br /><ul><li> It represents significant challenges to the caregivers.
    28. 28. Caregivers may feel as though they do not have enough time for themselves, as they are caring for their dependent ASD child.
    29. 29. Less access to support and other resources may increase parental stress.
    30. 30. Parental stress may lead to depression for those caregivers who report more overall symptom-related parental stress. </li></ul>**Raising a child with ASD has many challenges which can lead to parental stress. <br />
    31. 31. Education becomes extremely important when it comes to having ASD children reach their full potential:<br /><ul><li> Parents and teachers must work together
    32. 32. There must be a good environmental fit
    33. 33. Matching task demands to student ability
    34. 34. Use positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior
    35. 35. Challenging, yet accommodating activities </li></ul>**With the right kind of education, some children with ASD can grow to live a life close to a normal one. <br />
    36. 36. Conclusion<br />More research needs to be done to address the concerns of the parents.<br />Finding the exact genes as well as environmental factors of ASD would lead to better treatment and prevention methods.<br />Meanwhile, providing support to parents with ASD children is important for their well-being.<br />Effective educational programs can lead to better functioning of children with ASD. <br />
    37. 37. References<br /> <br />Blakeley-Smith, A., Carr, E. G., Cale, S. I., Owen_DeSchryver, J. S. (2009). Environmental Fit: A Model for Assessing and Treating Problem Behavior Associated with Curricular <br /> Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Hammill Institute on Disabilities, 24(3), 131-145.<br />Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S., Hooley, J. M. (2007). Abnormal Psychology. (13th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.<br />Dooren, J. C. (2010). Health and Wellness: No Benefit in Delayed Immunization. The Wall Street Journal, Retrieved July 3, 2010, from http://proquest.umi.com.<br />
    38. 38. Kostyuk, N., Rajnarayanan, R. V., Isokpehi, R. D., Cohly, H. H. (2010). Autism from a Biometric Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Retrieved July 3, 2010, from http://proquest.umi.com.<br />Koyama, A. (2009). A Review on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Autism. Activital Nervosa Superior, 51(4), 125-139.<br />Levy, S. E., Mandell, D. S., Schultz, R. T. (2009). Autism. The Lancet, 374(9701), 1627-1639. <br />Miller, L, Reynolds, J. (2009). Autism and Vaccination: The Current Evidence. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 14(3), 166-173.<br />
    39. 39. Phetrasuwan, S., Miles, S. M. (2009).  Parenting Stress in Mother of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 14(3), 157-166.<br />Rhodes, A. M. (2009). Autism and the Courts. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 14(3), 215-217.<br />Schulman, D. (2005). Drug Test: Is a Vaccine Preservative Linked to Autism? Politically, Scientifically, and Emotionally Complex, the Thimerosal Question Challenges Journalism. Columbia Journalism Review, 44(4), 44- 53.<br /> <br />

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