Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Vaccination Program Could Be Set for A Shake Up If President-Elect Donald Trump Has His Way

It’s easy to forget everything which has been promised and said during the run-up to the recent elections, but Donald Trump has been quite vocal about how he feels about vaccinations and autism.
Of all the things, which have been said during this election campaign, one of the most worrying is how Donald Trump believes that vaccines are directly linked to autism in children. This wasn’t a passing remark either. He has repeatedly taken directly to Twitter and other social media sites claiming that autism is directly related to the vaccination program and the size of the vaccinations children receive.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases! 11:35 PM - 28 Mar 2014
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
So many people who have children with autism have thanked me—amazing response. They know far better than fudged up reports! 1:11 AM - 5 Sep 2014
Despite this, he isn’t totally against vaccinations. It is important to remember that there have been no studies done that can directly link autism and vaccinations together. There was a study done by Andrew Wakefield in 1998, but no one could replicate the results. It’s also important to remember that many people who co-authored the study later pulled out after he was investigated by the British General Medical Council. They found that he acted dishonestly and irresponsibly, conducting unnecessary medical procedures and manipulated the results.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
I'm not against vaccinations for your children, I'm against them in 1 massive dose. Spread them out over a period of time & autism will drop! 1:10 AM - 5 Sep 2014
Even though Wakefield was eventually stripped of his credentials and removed from the medical roll, the damage had already been done. People around the world continue to believe that vaccinations cause illnesses in children. This belief has gained popularity around the world, with as many as one in ten people believing that vaccinations do more harm than good.
The way our children receive vaccinations, when and how often, has been established by medical professionals as the best way to prevent a variety of illnesses. The schedule is based off a child’s developmental stage in life, with vaccinations set for the perfect times to achieve maximum results as a child develops. Vaccinations are an important part of preventing outbreaks of diseases around the world. Polio, whooping cough, and measles are all diseases that were almost eradicated because of vaccinations but have recently been taking hold again due to anti-vaccination fears.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

How New Parents Could Help Their Children with Autism Improve

There may be no cure for autism, but some studies have suggested that there are things which parents can do to improve some of the more common developmental problems.
If you approach any problem with a positive attitude, the right advice, and tools, then you are more likely to reach a better conclusion. Unfortunately, right now there may be no cure for autism, that doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the future, but for now parents can still make a positive impact on certain aspects of the developmental issues which go along with autism. There are specialized autism starter packs and autism products available for parents with children who have recently been diagnosed with autism.
One study, in particular, has been showing some very positive results. The Preschool Autism Communication Trial worked with over 150 different children, aged between two and four years. One group of children in the study worked on a year-long parental intervention program, in conjunction with therapist feedback and their regular treatments. The other group of children just had their regular treatment programs without the parent-led intervention.
The group which had specific parental interaction and intervention was filmed throughout each parenting session. After each of these sessions, the parents would sit down with a qualified therapist who would analyze each of the sessions and discuss the results with the parents. One example of the benefits of having a qualified therapist watch each session was that they could identify certain things which the parents may have missed. A good example was a parent may not notice that their child was trying to communicate through a vocalization or sound, they might not realize that the attempt was even directed at them. Study author, Tony Charman says “Sometimes it might be natural for a parent at the beginning of the therapy to not notice that attempt at communication,” he says. “The therapist can help the parent see that as an opportunity: how can they respond or locate those cues?
The parents that were participating in the study had twelve therapy sessions spread out over six months and received support for a further six months after the study had concluded. Six years after the sessions ended, the researchers went back and analyzed 121 of the children who participated in the study. They used a standard measurement to assess each of the children’s autism severity. The scale assesses each child’s symptoms and then assigns them a score.
Almost all the children began the study with similar scores, but after the six years, the children who had participated with parental intervention scored much better. The children in the parental intervention group had 17% fewer symptoms than their peers, improved communication skills, and were less inclined to show repetitive behaviors. The children did not appear to have any notable improvements in their language skills or anxiety levels from the therapy, however. “We think the results are encouraging and even possibly somewhat surprising,” says Charman. “This follow-up took place six years after a one-year treatment had ended, and an awful lot of things would’ve happened to these children in the meantime.
Charman says the fact that the children showed increases in their communication skills over the long term “is remarkable and isn’t something people have been able to demonstrate up until this point.”
The study proves that through early parental intervention and the correct support and guidance, you can have some positive impacts on your child’s development. If you enjoyed the article, then please feel free to comment or share the article.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Autism Speaks Amended Their Mission Statement, Dropping the Word ‘Cure.'

Autism Speaks is the largest organization within the United States that deals directly with autism advocacy and science. Recently, it changed its mission statement, removing the word ‘cure,' instead choosing to focus on acceptance of autism, rather than a cure.
You probably think that this is strange, why would the biggest autism associated organization in the United States remove the word cure? Why would they switch their focus from trying to find a cure to trying to help grow to understand acceptance? A member of their board of directors was quoted as saying “the organization grew to believe that autism is something to be worked with for promoting fulfilling and productive lives of people on the spectrum – rather than something that has to be done to.” Now, they are moving into the future, instead of looking at support, advocacy, increasing awareness and acceptance of autism, and looking at discovering the causes of autism.
By taking a new approach, they will be better equipped to help those affected by autism and the people around them. By promoting awareness and acceptance, people will be better equipped to live normal lives on the autism spectrum. Autism shouldn’t be considered a mental illness that people need to struggle through, but instead a neurological difference which can be worked through, prepared for and appreciated. People with autism can be held in higher esteem by those around them, appreciated for what contributions they make to society.
By increasing support and awareness, people on the outside, but still directly involved with autism may be able to find additional support and guidance. The more that people accept autism and understand it, the better opportunities those with autism will have in life. Every day more and more companies are looking to employ people with autism, tailoring job positions to help those with autism secure positions.
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Reference Article

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Has the Movie The Accountant Provided Viewers with an Accurate Representation of Autism?

Often Hollywood leaves behind fact and accuracy in pursuit of ticket sales and big dollars, but have they done it again with The Accountant? Well, let’s have a look and find out for ourselves!
Ben Affleck stars in the new action thriller The Accountant, currently in movie theaters around the world. There is nothing unusual in this, but what is a little bit different is that Affleck’s character has autism and the film plays on many of the positive aspects someone affected by autism may have. The main character in the movie is Christian Wolff, complete with pocket protector. A genius with numbers, math, and bookkeeping, that also happens to be a highly trained killer. Wolff works with crime groups around the world, organizing their dubious accounts and handling all of their money.
This type of movie isn’t anything new to Hollywood. Since Dustin Hoffman’s movie where he played Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man in the late 80’s, Hollywood has started to shine a light on people affected by conditions such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and other mental health problems. The problem isn’t that Hollywood makes these films, it is how they portray the people in the films and the conditions which they have to deal with.
Many people would justifiably have concerns about any movie that portrays the main character as someone who has autism and also violently kills people.
The important thing that viewers need to remember is that Wolff isn’t running around the country randomly killing people. From an early age, Wolff’s father instilled a sense self-defense and self-preservation into him.
Ben Affleck spent quite a lot of time researching the role before committing to it. He watched documentaries, listened to podcasts, read books and also visited with Director Gavin O'Connor and the students at Exceptional Minds.
Ultimately Director Gavin O'Connor was pleased with how the movie portrayed people with autism and how it affected them and the decisions it made. He said it was important to remember that Wolff wasn’t just running around killing people. He was killing those that threatened him and had broken his moral code.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Children with Autism Could Soon See the Benefits of Medical Marijuana

As medical marijuana is rolled out for certain conditions in different countries
around the world, more and more people are starting to recognize the benefits of it across a broad spectrum of different conditions.

Minnesota Department of Health is one of the latest to consider adding autism to their list of conditions which patients could obtain medical marijuana. Many people, including those who care for people living with autism, have been seeking an alternative medication to prescription drugs, medical marijuana gives them that alternative.
Medical marijuana is already being successfully utilized to treat a wide variety of different illnesses. From things such as Tourette’s, depression, anxiety, pain relief, eating disorders, sleep disorders and much more. Medical marijuana itself has come a long way in a very short time. What used to be only available in the herb or plant form, is now available as pills, oils, candy, drinks and much more. This makes it much easier to administer to people, especially children.
Autism directly affects how the brain takes in and processes information, changing how the mind sees the world around it. This can then turn into communication problems, repetitive behavior, anxiety and problems interacting socially. Each parent will need to consider how medical marijuana could benefit their child, and take it one step at a time. As with everything, what works well for one, may not work for another.
The Minnesota Department of Health is also considering a number of other conditions to add to the medical marijuana list. Conditions like arthritis, depression, PTSD and insomnia are all undergoing consideration. For many people, taking prescription medications often leaves them struggling to cope with serious side effects, many of which are so harsh they outweigh the benefits of the medication in the first place.
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