WHAT IS AUTISM & PDD?
is a pervasive neurological and/or immunological disorder that impairs language development, communication
and social interaction. It is more prevalent than multiple sclerosis, cerebral
palsy or Down syndrome. Autism affects more than 1 in 150 children
Jenny McCarthy & Toni Braxton are two of the newest moms being challenged to solve their child's autism.
will affect over 22 new babies born today and every day in the US.
Without effective treatment, its sufferers often require lifelong care. Early diagnosis and intensive early intervention have been shown to influence
that outcome. Healing medical/biological problems can improve pain and/or symptoms.
children have difficulties in three areas but the degree of difficulty varies.
First, they have problems using and understanding language.
Second, they have problems in understanding how to interact with others or to make friends.
Third, their toy play is sometimes unusual or immature with limited pretending, some show unusual repetitive movements,
some have a strong preference for doing things the same way,
many have limited interests and some have limited diets. Often, motor abilities and the ability to learn by watching
how things are done are normal. Individuals with autism have to painstakingly learn normal patterns of speech
and communication, and appropriate ways to relate to people, objects, and
events, in a similar manner to those who have had a stroke.
describe the difference between Autism and PDD differently. The two most
common descriptions that I hear actually have totally different
The first is - That PDD is the "HOUSE" and in that house there are
many rooms. Some of these rooms are: Aspergers, PDD-NOS (Pervasive
Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified), PDD (Pervasive Developmental
Autism, Infantile Autism, ect..
The second is - Autism is the Umbrella. Under that umbrella are different
varieties that may meet less criteria, such as: Aspergers, PDD, High Functioning
I can see both of these as being correct so I don't get too hung up on it unless
one of the "labels" allows my child more privileges or denies them of
something. I just want the best care for him no matter what the
diagnosis. I do know that most of our kids have a lot of medical
issues that families need to test for and then treat.
only thing I knew of autism before his diagnosis was from watching movies such as:
Man, & Mercury
Rising. They were a little deceiving and since Autism affects people so
differently that it is hard to catch the true essence of the spectrum.
I do understand is that this disorder is reaching families everywhere.
Most people know of someone with autism.
Doug Flutie, Sylvester Stallone, Jenny McCarthy, Toni Braxton, Holly Robinson-Peete, Didi Conn and Dan Marino are just some of
the parents that have autistic children. Senator Dan Burton works diligently in Congress fighting for the rights of our children and his grandson with autism. Yes, this disorder knows no boundaries.
The Doug Flutie Jr Foundation,
founded by Doug Flutie and his wife, have made it their lifetime commitment
to make life easier for Autistic children and their families.
1982, Sylvester Stallone's son Seargeoh (with wife Sash Czack) was
diagnosed as autistic. Today, at 22, Seargeoh is "high-functioning."
"He spends a great deal of time with his mother. He lives 200 yards away."
"I can actually yell from my house to his," said Stallone.
Conn's autistic son is 8 years old. She has appeared on
the Montel William's Talk Show to talk about autism.
Marino Center was initiated by Dan Marino,
former NFL quarterback, who also has a recovered son. His story is a very moving and inspirational one since his son did not begin to show improvements until age 4 and did not begin inclusion until the third grade.
He has endowed Miami Children's Hospital, providing a center for Neuroscience.
Joe Mantegna's 14-year-old
daughter is autistic. "Mia is high functioning and attends a mainstream
regular classroom. That was a big decision because we had to weigh the
benefits of a regular class versus special education. It was very intuitive
— it felt right so we did it," says Mantegna, 54.
Disorder causes impairments in social interaction, communication, and
imaginative play prior to age 3 years. You will see a variety of stereotyped
behaviors, interests and activities.
Asperger's Disorder characterized
by impairments in social interactions and
the presence of restricted interests and activities, with no clinically
significant general delay in language, and testing in the range of
average to above average intelligence.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder-
Not Otherwise Specified (commonly referred to as atypical autism). A diagnosis
of PDD-NOS may be made when a child does not meet the criteria for a specific
diagnosis, but there is a severe and pervasive impairment in specified behaviors.
Rett's Disorder a progressive
disorder which, to date, has occurred only in girls. Period of normal development
and then loss of previously acquired skills, loss of purposeful use of the
hands replaced with repetitive hand movements beginning at the age of 1-4
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder characterized
by normal development for at least the first 2 years, significant loss of
previously acquired skills.
(American Psychiatric Association 1994)
Other related disorders or syndromes are:
Attention Deficit Disorder
Fragile X Syndrome
Hyperlexia Web Page
is a spectrum disorder. In other words, the symptoms and characteristics of
autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild
to severe. Although autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors, children
and adults can exhibit any combination of the behaviors in any degree of severity.
Two children, both with the same diagnosis, can act very differently from
one another and have varying skills. Therefore, there is no standard "type"
or "typical" person with autism. Parents may hear different terms used to
describe children within this spectrum, such as: autistic-like, autistic tendencies,
autism spectrum, high-functioning or low-functioning autism, more-abled or
less-abled, mild, moderate, or severe. More important to understand is, whatever
the diagnosis, children can learn and function productively and show gains
from appropriate education and treatment. The Autism
Society of America provides information to serve the needs of all individuals
within the spectrum.
GIVE UP HOPE!!
are many children that are making great strides.
the Surgeon General's Report on Autism
TO DETERMINE IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS AUTISM
I have listed 2 different methods below that are used.
CRITERIA FOR 299.00 AUTISTIC DISORDER* *
Source: The American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Washington D.C., American Psychiatric
A. A total of at least six items from (1), (2), and (3), with at least two
from (1), and one each from (2) and (3):
impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye
gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction.
failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level a
lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements
with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects
of interest) lack of social or emotional reciprocity
impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied
by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such
as gesture or mime) in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment
in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others stereotyped
and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language lack of varied, spontaneous
make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level
repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities,
as manifested by at least one of the following: encompassing preoccupation
with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal
either in intensity or focus apparently inflexible adherence to specific,
nonfunctional routines or rituals stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms
(e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole body movements)
persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with
onset prior to age 3 years:
(2) language as used in social communication, or
(3) symbolic or imaginative play.
The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett's Disorder or Childhood
for Autism in Toddlers
The original CHAT paper was first published by Simon Baron-Cohen in 1992.
He has since published a follow-up paper (Br J Psychiatry 168:158-163).
As described in the abstract, he tested 41 18-month-old children "at genetic
risk for autism" (they had older siblings with autism) and 50 randomly selected
18-month-olds. The CHAT identified 4 children and all 4 were later diagnosed with autism. This is a very small sample and it is difficult to establish
validity of the CHAT based on it.
A - Ask Parent:
1) Does your child enjoy being swung, bounced on your knee, etc?
2) Does your child take an interest in other children?
3) Does your child like climbing on things, such as up stairs?
4) Does your child enjoy playing peek-a-boo/hide-and-seek?
5) Does your child ever pretend, for example, to make a cup of tea using a
toy cup and teapot, or pretend other things?
6) Does your child ever use his/her index finger to point, to ask for something?
7) Does your child ever use his/her index finger to point, to indicate interest
8) Can your child play properly with small toys (e.g. cars or bricks) without
just mouthing, fiddling, or dropping them?
9) Does your child ever bring objects over to you, to show you something?
B - GP's observation
i) During the appointment, has the child made eye contact with you?
ii) Get child's attention, then point across the room at an interesting object
and say "Oh look! There's a (name a toy)!" Watch child's face. Does the child look across to see what you are pointing at?
NOTE - to record yes on this item, ensure the child has not simply looked
at your hand, but has actually looked at the object you are pointing at.
iii) Get the child's attention, then give child a miniature toy cup and teapot
and say "Can you make a cup of tea?" Does the child pretend to pour out the tea, drink it etc?
NOTE - if you can elicit an example of pretending in some other game, score
a yes on this item
iv) Say to the child "Where's the light?" or "Show me the light". Does the
child point with his/her index finger at the light? NOTE - Repeat this with "Where's the teddy?" or some other unreachable object,
if child does not understand the word "light".To record yes on this item, the child must have looked up at your face around
the time of pointing.
v) Can the child build a tower of bricks? (If so, how many?) (Number of bricks...)
of a child with autism may include:
or no speech
-Little or no understanding of language
-Stereotyped and repetitive idiosyncratic language
-Little or no eye contact
-Little or no ability to relate to or communicate with others
-A lack of affection toward or attachment to others
-Lack of make believe or play or imitative play
-Inappropriate toy play or odd attachment to objects
-Adherence to nonfunctional routines or rituals
-Stereotyped and repetitive mannerisms
-Self-injurious behavior, aggression, or tantrums
-Walking on tips of toes
MADORE FAMILY'S AUTISM
OUR STORY RESOURCES
HELP HOME PROGRAM
JUST DIAGNOSED TREATMENTS