Can you really CURE a child of autism?

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Tequila
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01 Feb 2013, 9:27 am

More curebie type stuff from the Daily Mail:

Quote:
Can you really CURE a child of autism? With parental devotion and a pioneering treatment, Jamie's behaviour has been transformed. So why are experts sceptical?
  • Robertson family paid for a psychologist to assess their son aged three
  • Father Christopher said learning about child's autism was 'distressing'
  • He has attended mainstream preparatory school since the age of four
  • Parents credit turnaround on vigorous intensive educational therapy
  • His grades are amongst the best in his class and he hopes to do GCSEs
Like all new parents, Rhona and Christopher Robertson were mesmerised by their adorable baby son, and when he reached normal development milestones a little later than expected, at first they thought nothing of it.

But by the time Jamie was two, they were getting concerned.

‘He was walking at 18 months — which was a wee bit late — but speaking just didn’t happen,’ recalls Christopher, 49, a technology marketing consultant who lives with his family in Cambridge.



Ann2011
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01 Feb 2013, 11:05 am

These parents are putting a lot of pressure on the kid. God help him if he doesn't live up to their expectations and investment.



Zodai
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01 Feb 2013, 11:59 am

Ann2011 wrote:
These parents are putting a lot of pressure on the kid. God help him if he doesn't live up to their expectations and investment.


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visagrunt
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01 Feb 2013, 11:59 am

"Cure" is a loaded word.

If we take "cure" to mean a permanent elimination of causative agent of illness, then there are very, very few cures out there.

But there are a great many controls out there. Much of modern medicine is taken up with means by which symptoms of illness can be mitigated, or better yet, their manifestation suppressed.

Can a person with diabetes be cured? Not yet. But we have many strategies to make diminished pancreatic function more effective, or to replace it altogether. Insulin injections aren't a cure, but they counteract the impact of the disorder.

Is an HIV+ person with an undetectable viral load cured? No, of course not. But the person's therapy seeks to ensure that the virus can never proliferate to such an extent that their immune system is threatened. A pretty good result.

Can autism be cured? Of course not. But in some cases, a person with an ASD can develop skills that will reduce the clinical significance of their symptoms. Perhaps not all the time, and perhaps not consistently. But enough so that the ASD no longer presents a significant impact on daily living. And even trickier, what works for one person does not necessarily work for any other.

But since we can't cure it, let's not be to quick to dismiss the idea that it is possible--at least in some cases--to make it as easy to live with as possible.


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01 Feb 2013, 1:08 pm

Can't be cured but the edge can be taken off by some constructive coaching. By that I mean leaning executive skills and how to effectively deal with others to enable them to get by in the world.
A lot of parents, like mine, bury their heads in the sand.


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Dillogic
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01 Feb 2013, 7:33 pm

No, but people with LFA/HFA can improve as they age to someone of AS (they don't know why this is), which can be seen as "cured" depending on how you look at it.



cyberdad
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02 Feb 2013, 3:51 am

Dillogic wrote:
No, but people with LFA/HFA can improve as they age to someone of AS (they don't know why this is), which can be seen as "cured" depending on how you look at it.

Which is not really a cure is it, just an 'improvement'...



LimitedSlip
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02 Feb 2013, 4:22 am

I don't think it's understood well enough for anyone to judge even why symptoms improve.



Dillogic
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02 Feb 2013, 4:29 am

cyberdad wrote:
Which is not really a cure is it, just an 'improvement'...


Yep, but you get plenty proclaiming that they're cured -- my special elixir did it! ABA did it (forcing eye contact isn't a cure, it's just forcing eye contact)! Nope, they don't actually know why there's an improvement; too bad they don't realize that problems will be coming back as the individual ages (it gets harder for people with AS-level symptoms as they age -- teenage and on).



cyberdad
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02 Feb 2013, 5:23 am

Dillogic wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Which is not really a cure is it, just an 'improvement'...


Yep, but you get plenty proclaiming that they're cured -- my special elixir did it! ABA did it (forcing eye contact isn't a cure, it's just forcing eye contact)! Nope, they don't actually know why there's an improvement; too bad they don't realize that problems will be coming back as the individual ages (it gets harder for people with AS-level symptoms as they age -- teenage and on).


LOL! not to mention self learning/awareness, amazing developmental changes happen when a child becomes a teenager and then an adult.



ripped
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02 Feb 2013, 6:37 pm

There are savant intellectual and creative gifts that come with autism which are not present in the greater community.



Kraichgauer
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03 Feb 2013, 3:07 pm

While there is no cure, therapy can help the autistic child operate better in an NT world. That, and the acceptance by the parents of their child can go a long way. In the case presented in the article, I sense that is sadly lacking.

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btbnnyr
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03 Feb 2013, 4:26 pm

Autistic children develop, and some with severe childhood traits make big gains by adolescence, but are still autistic.



visagrunt
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04 Feb 2013, 12:18 pm

ripped wrote:
There are savant intellectual and creative gifts that come with autism which are not present in the greater community.


I see no evidence of that.

There are certainly autistic savants. But they are exceptional people, atypical among an atypical population. As for creative gifts, some of us are, indeed, creative, but no moreso than any other cross section of the population.


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05 Feb 2013, 1:00 am

What a surreal story, and did anyone read the comments below the artical, even worse! My thought is they just copy and paste wikipedia quotes then filled in some personal details in between, hope the author works for free becouse that takes very little effort and if that is the new style I may of found a new profession. And the line autstic kids don't like to play, what?, we always loved to play. So sick of assumptions made by stupid people with keyboards attached to high currulation news papers.

I also wonder when I see stories like this if the kid was simply mis-diagnosed in the first place, nowadays does every parent with a slow developing kid turn to autism for anwsers?



noxnocturne
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06 Feb 2013, 11:47 pm

Tequila wrote:
More curebie type stuff from the Daily Mail:

Quote:
Can you really CURE a child of autism? With parental devotion and a pioneering treatment, Jamie's behaviour has been transformed. So why are experts sceptical?
  • Robertson family paid for a psychologist to assess their son aged three
  • Father Christopher said learning about child's autism was 'distressing'
  • He has attended mainstream preparatory school since the age of four
  • Parents credit turnaround on vigorous intensive educational therapy
  • His grades are amongst the best in his class and he hopes to do GCSEs
Like all new parents, Rhona and Christopher Robertson were mesmerised by their adorable baby son, and when he reached normal development milestones a little later than expected, at first they thought nothing of it.

But by the time Jamie was two, they were getting concerned.

‘He was walking at 18 months — which was a wee bit late — but speaking just didn’t happen,’ recalls Christopher, 49, a technology marketing consultant who lives with his family in Cambridge.


I loathe parents like this.