Independent Living Skills and Cognitive Disabilities: Reduce Anxiety, Solve Problems

Autism Issues: Terminology, Mercury and More

Definition of Autism

The DSM-V manual contains revised diagnostic criteria for autism. Here’s a quick summary with added links to more articles:

Chart showing the increase in autism diagnosis...

Chart showing the increase in autism diagnosis, with statistics based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autism on the Rise

In this video, a sibling of an autistic young man shares her concerns about the rising number of autistic persons reaching adulthood. Her brother is ‘the one’ in 88. As a sibling, she takes responsibility for her brother’s care and asks what will happen to those who have no sibling. Caution: She presses for a cure for autism, which is offensive to some. Her response is “if you are able to argue about whether a cure is needed, you don’t need one”.  Hear her concerns.

Are Immunizations Linked to Autism?

It depends. Do they contain mercury? See this very telling video. As a caution, this is a trigger for many who feel strongly about this issue.

The emotional controversy over whether immunizations cause mercury is widespread. This author reviews the original cases of autism documented in the 1930s at the same time that mercury was introduced as a preservative for immunizations, lumber, and seeds. The parents of the first cases dealt directly with research related to these products. Take a look and tell us what you think.

For more information:

To be fair, some argue that not getting vaccinations is creating another problem. See this article about measles:

Finally, some research out of Denmark indicates no relationship to mercury or thimerosal in the rate of autism:

Related articles

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A Person with Autism, A Person on the Spectrum, or an Autistic Person?

At the Autism Society’s annual conference in Pittsburgh, PA, a number of self-advocates were in attendance. In more than one instance, whether a self-advocate was addressing the speaker or whether a panel of self-advocates was responding to audience members, individuals insisted on being called an autistic rather than someone with autism. Why is this?  Their interpretation of this term is that it sets them apart. They are autistic and there is no separation between autism and them as a person, so they are autistic. An example given was that females don’t describe themselves as a person with femaleness, so why say a person with autism?

In another context, I read that the term “on the spectrum” is acceptable. However, when an audience member at the conference described them as “high functioning” , the comment brought the entire panel out of their seats to say that it was presumptuous to use this term. One women said that just because she was speaking in front of a room by no means meant that she was a functioning human being. In fact, she said that she was a failure in her personal living situation. I am paraphrasing but in general they seemed to convey that they struggled with daily living; they did not want to give the impression that because they are verbal that they are successful in all aspects of their lives.

So what’s a person to do?

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