Why are SOO many kids on spectrum now???

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CockneyRebel
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28 Aug 2010, 10:01 pm

The reason is because there's a lot more awareness these days, than there was, many years ago.


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NickyLynn
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28 Aug 2010, 10:28 pm

I should also add I don't entirely see this as a bad thing. The kids nearby are great people. We love having them in our lives. It's more that I just wonder at the prevalence.



willaful
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28 Aug 2010, 10:45 pm

katzefrau wrote:
the difference is if these kids were kids now, they would be tested instead of just being either behavioral problems or so depressed or anxiety stricken they could not come to school. thats way more than 1 in 100 that may or may not have had AS. so i am including kids whose problems may have been the result of something else but who i remember sticking out like sore thumbs. all the kids were just thought of as strange in one way or another (or as trashy kids with difficult parents), and oh well.


I resemble this remark. I really wish we had had the sort of testing and resources available now when I was a kid. I could really have used some of the interventions my son gets. Instead I just became a chronic truant.


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Dnuos
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28 Aug 2010, 10:57 pm

I'm guessing more awareness - I've seen a few articles where many adults are being diagnosed with Asperger's because it's been overlooked before when they were growing up.

Another thing to consider is genetics, as time goes on, well, with... "breeding", we'd multiply. Basically...



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28 Aug 2010, 10:59 pm

Hehe... An Aspie invasion! Where do you live. Imma move there.

Seriously though, everyone else is right: Back in my youth, there was no such word ever issued in my presence. I started hearing little bits and pieces about Autism only about five or ten years ago, in any context other than [insert image of drooling child]. [Add image of Rain-Man].



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28 Aug 2010, 11:46 pm

What make anyone think that autism/asperger's is being over-diagnosed? I've never known a person to have it, not counting the one's that have it and don't say anything about it.



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29 Aug 2010, 12:31 am

On my street in Depew, New York right around the corner from my street they blocked off a large portion of the street between these two streets because of lead. They have also found lead and other toxic wastes two miles from us down the road.. They also had to strip off a foot of top soil from a several acre block of land due to toxic wastes that leeched into the soil. I also live very close to a water treatment plant that is conected to a creek on the street behind us. There was three other kids on my street that were in special education with me. My teachers did not find that odd.


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29 Aug 2010, 2:09 am

Callista wrote:
Pretty simple: We're labeling them "autistic" rather than "badly behaved", "mentally retarded", or "eccentric". Autism as a diagnosis has increased at the same rate that mental retardation has decreased; it's also stealing a few cases from ADHD. Now that we know what autism is and what it looks like, we're seeing it everywhere.


They had me diagnosed as having ADHD but my doctor assures me I do not have it. But I do have Aspergers.


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CaptainTrips222
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29 Aug 2010, 2:41 am

Seanmw wrote:

like the Romans and their "environmental" lead poisoning fiasco?


Wow! The exact same thing came to mind while I was reading this thread, about how the Romans sweetened their wine with lead shavings. We just don't know what's really causing this. It may be something way more far fetched that we don't really have the means to detect.



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29 Aug 2010, 7:58 am

I honestly wish the Dx existed well before 2000. In the mid-80s, I had autistic tendencies, but not the normal Dx criteria at the time for it, so they thought I just had childhood depression . . . which also didn't fit. I agree that it's not so much that more are getting diagnosed with it, but more like our awareness of the "spectrum" has improved so that people are getting the right kind of help. Given that Autism can range from mild to severe (like many forms of syndromes /disorders), it's good to know that the guidelines have become more blurred and encompassing rather than overly rigid. Now it's more like if you meet 50% of the criteria, chances are you have a mild condition and can therefore get the help needed. Chances are, the 1/150 ration they have been talking about lately has always been there, we're just now realizing how common it really is.



TPE2
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29 Aug 2010, 8:06 am

Perhaps the social demanding are higher today, then the social strangeness becomes more visible.



NickyLynn
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29 Aug 2010, 9:05 am

You may have something there, actually. My son seemed slightly odd when younger but nothing major when interacting with adults. That is why many didn't see it. If he had been working on a farm or something growing up and/or in a small school, he might have been able to hide more. It's in overwhelming social situations - malls, crowded libraries, busy school lunchrooms, recess situations with lots of kids that these behaviors became apparent.

The only thing an adult would see is that he was a "close-talker" and when he was younger tended to go on and on about things. Oh and the fact that he tended to see a 2-year old as not being much different from an adult in his interactions.



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29 Aug 2010, 11:13 am

TPE2 wrote:
Perhaps the social demanding are higher today, then the social strangeness becomes more visible.


That's probably true. I'm sure as curriculum in elementary school has gotten tougher (Algebra in 3rd grade??), teachers may be expecting more socially from their students as well. With increased awareness about autism, teachers are probably finding it easier to identify the students with social deficiencies.



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29 Aug 2010, 3:51 pm

Why are SOO many kids on spectrum now???[Quote]
3 reasons
#1 Doctors and parents have gotten smarter 8)
#2 Autism awareness by books, internet, media, etc.
#3 Ever since they first used the term Asperger Syndrome in the 1980's and classed it as an ASD in 1994, slowly but surely more people are starting to identify their kids on the spectrum.


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29 Aug 2010, 4:36 pm

clumsybee wrote:
TPE2 wrote:
Perhaps the social demanding are higher today, then the social strangeness becomes more visible.


That's probably true. I'm sure as curriculum in elementary school has gotten tougher (Algebra in 3rd grade??), teachers may be expecting more socially from their students as well. With increased awareness about autism, teachers are probably finding it easier to identify the students with social deficiencies.


Agreed.

Also, I started school in 1987. Throughout the 90s, everything became about "teamwork" and "networking." Individual accomplishment was frowned on in favor of learning "team player" skills because the job market was becoming increasingly orientated towards social skills.

These days, you can hardly get a job without at least 20 personal references.

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29 Aug 2010, 7:38 pm

I think the mindset that it's been this way all along and it's just now being diagnosed is a bit dangerous. I had to cut a friend out of my life who believed that there was truly nothing wrong with my daughter that good old fashioned discipline wouldn't correct. I just find it very hard to believe that kids were displaying the level of differences that they are now back then and everyone was ignoring it. My brother, who has AS was diagnosed by the school as mentally retarded and put in special ed in 1978 and they said he would never read. Now he is very high functioning with a good job, doing what he is good at (industrial design) with a family. It didn't come easily and he still struggles but he has proven all of them wrong.

It's the ADHD phenomenon that has led us to think that there can't actually be this true increase in the numbers. But something is truly going on. My daughter licks and chews everything (at 7 years old) and it's hard for me to believe that would have been "ignored" 30 years ago. Not to mention her social anxiety and how severe it is, and there's no conditioning that will change that.

30 years ago we didn't have microwaves, computers or cell phones or as much tv usage, not to mention the food additives we have today and genetically engineered foods. I think we are going to find out one or all of these in combination with a genetic predisposition is at fault for the massive increases in numbers.