Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Camps

I believe a whole new, eclectic field of autism treatment/intervention is due.  There are too many "camps"  that are in opposition to each other: Bio-medical vs. Behavioral, Behavioral vs. Play/Floortime, Vaccines vs.Genetics,etc.  Each "camp" believes they have the best intervention or information.  Sometimes, they believe it is the ONLY  "true" intervention. (Sounds like religion, doesn't it?).

The therapists, who are open-minded enough to listen and learn from other disciplines, will be of the most help to their clients.  The parents, who are open minded enough to learn from other parents, will be of the most help to their children.  The communication between parents and therapists is vital.  The communication between therapist and the child, even more so. 

"But my child/client doesn't TALK, " I hear you say, exasperated. That may be true, but I GUARANTEE you that the child DOES communicate.  Tapping into the child's mode of communication is vital for both the parent and the therapist.  Why do we see aggression in many non-verbal kids?  Because NOBODY has bothered to learn their mode of communication!    Success with a child will be fast and furious when they are with someone who "understands" them and communicates that understanding, back to them.

Up until this year, I was a pretty solid member of the "genetics triggered by vaccine camp"--our 22 year old niece exhibited a regression after her vaccines.  Nearly every child I came across, in the past 10 years had a similar story.  Then, this year, I started working with triplets--not ONE of whom have had a vaccination--EVER!  They were preemies and the parents, having medical backgrounds, refused to permit it.  Two of the three are definitely on the Spectrum.  So--if it wasn't vaccines, what was it?   

People who don't believe in a genetic aspect, are not researching genetics.  Just because you don't have any relatives with ASD, doesn't mean you don't carry the gene. Are there any "quirky" relatives in your family?  Anybody with ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette's?   Autism genetics is much like alcoholism:  If you have the alcoholism gene, but don't drink alcohol, you will never have alcoholism.  We know alcohol is the trigger for that gene.  What we DON'T know, is WHAT is the trigger for ASD?  I now believe vaccines can be A trigger, but are not THE trigger.  I also believe that the parents of the ASD kids, being the first "fast food" generation may have a gene that got changed, due to diet and environment.  [A great show to watch, regarding this is "The Ghost in Your Genes" on PBS (usually during pledge week).]  What our parents ate or didn't eat, could have affected our genes. Nearly all Americans, under 40, always had a microwave in the house, had a regular diet of artificial sweeteners, and ate more processed food than any generation before them.  Could these things have altered their genes, just enough, to afflict their children?  These are questions that need to be answered, but not assumed, and not argued to the point of dismissal.  We just don't know.  Yes, you know for YOUR child--but what about all the others out there?  And why more boys than girls?  Is testosterone the issue?  Then why girls, at all? 

I believe, in the next 10 years, they will conclusively know what  most of the causes of autism are and how to treat them.  And I think they will find a link to Bipolar Disorder and some other "quirky" things we see in people.

If I had it to do all over again, my 19 year old would have had a LOT less vaccines.  I found one of his vaccination charts (his 5 yr. shots for Kindergartedn) and he got 7 (SEVEN) vaccines at one time!  That can't be good for anybody, much less a 5 year old at the 50% in weight and 25% for height.


  1. It does seem that everyone has their 'religious' viewpoints on the topic of Autism, which is why it is becoming as unsafe a conversation topic as religion and politics. Since there is a clear genetic component in our situation, and my daughter presented with symptoms the very day she was born, I never even considered vaccines and was actually quite surprised when I heard that anyone did. I selectively delay some vaccines (completely different reasons), so like you noted with the triplets, vaccines couldn't have been causative in our situation.

    I LOVE what you said about communication; "Why do we see aggression in many non-verbal kids? Because NOBODY has bothered to learn their mode of communication!" Exactly. And thank you! My son has the added complication of Apraxia where his communication issues are concerned, and he has been quite inventive with some of the ways he communicates. Listening isn't always with the ears :)

  2. Great post! I too, love that you brought up that non-verbal kids' behavior is directly linked to others not bothering to learn their mode of communication.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog- and I'm glad you did because I'm totally stalking yours right now. Lurve it! :)


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Autism, Floortime, PLAY Project