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Myths about Autism


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Destroying the Myths of Autism.
Presentation from the National Autism Association.

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Myths about Autism

  1. 2. DESTROYING THE MYTHS OF AUTISM <ul><li>Presented by </li></ul><ul><li>Wendy Fournier </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Jo Pike </li></ul>
  2. 3. What exactly is autism? <ul><li>Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3. </li></ul><ul><li>Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls. </li></ul><ul><li>Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals with autism often suffer from numerous physical ailments . </li></ul><ul><li>Autism does not affect life expectancy. </li></ul>
  3. 4. Myth #1 Refrigerator Mother Theory Bruno Bettelheim <ul><li>Bettelheim believed autistic children did not feel loved by their mothers and retreated into a world of their own. </li></ul>X
  4. 5. <ul><li>Myth #2 </li></ul><ul><li>No Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Children with autism and related disorders most definitely do have emotional feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Children with autism and related disorders are able to love and feel loved. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Myth #3 Your child needs a good spanking! Too Loud Too Crowded Too Bright
  6. 7. Myth #4 You’re born with autism.  <ul><li>On average, autism is diagnosed at 44 months. </li></ul><ul><li>Many children with autism met all of their developmental milestones before the age of 2 and suddenly regressed into autism. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Myth #5 Vaccines do not cause autism.  <ul><li>A recent study shows that children receiving vaccines containing the preservative “Thimerosal” are many times more likely to develop autism than those who receive thimerosal-free vaccines. </li></ul><ul><li>Thimerosal is 49.6% Mercury by weight. Mercury is the 2 nd most toxic substance on Earth and a known neuro-toxin. </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1990’s the number of required childhood vaccinations dramatically increased. So did the rate of autism. </li></ul><ul><li>Please do your own research. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Myth #6 </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals with Autism are Savants. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not common for individuals with autism to be like Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Rain Man”. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  9. 10. Myth #7 Autism is a Neurological Disorder <ul><li>Feeding Disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Allergies </li></ul><ul><li>Asthma </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep disturbances </li></ul><ul><li>Inflammatory bowel disease </li></ul><ul><li>Food Sensitivities </li></ul><ul><li>Epilepsy </li></ul><ul><li>Digestive Disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Persistent Viral Infections </li></ul><ul><li>And more… </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Myth #8 </li></ul><ul><li>The increase in the rate of autism is due to better diagnosing. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>10 years ago, the rate of autism was 1 in 10,000 births. </li></ul><ul><li>Today it is 1 in 166. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a 5,000% increase in 10 years. </li></ul><ul><li>If this astonishing increase is due to better diagnosing, where are the thousands and thousands of adults with autism who should have received a diagnosis 10, 20 or 30 years ago? </li></ul>This leads us to…
  11. 12. <ul><li>Myth #9 </li></ul><ul><li>Autism is a rare disorder. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 166 children are now being diagnosed with autism. </li></ul><ul><li>Every 16 minutes another child is diagnosed with autism. </li></ul>
  12. 14. 1992 Baseline year
  13. 15. 1994 0-30% 31-100% 101-300% >1000%
  14. 16. 0-30% 31-100% 101-300% >1000% 301-500% 501-999% 1996
  15. 17. 0-30% 31-100% 101-300% >1000% 301-500% 501-999% 1998
  16. 18. 0-30% 31-100% 101-300% >1000% 301-500% 501-999% 2000
  17. 19. 0-30% 31-100% 101-300% >1000% 301-500% 501-999% 2002
  18. 20. Over 2000% 2003 incomplete
  19. 22. <ul><li>Myth #10 </li></ul><ul><li>There is no cure for Autism. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Dietary intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Nutritional supplementation </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy metal chelation </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-viral treatments </li></ul><ul><li>Applied Behavior Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Auditory Integration Therapy </li></ul>
  20. 24. To learn more about autism and related disorders, visit