Experts’ Opinions Confuse Autism Issues

Story by: DAYANE OLIVEIRA / Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush

TUHS Press reporter Dayane Oliveira

With the subject of Autism a variety of information is available on the Internet. However that variety of information can be both positive and negative.

It’s positive to be able to analyze all sides of a subject but when there is a variety of inconsistent information about a medical condition, it can have a negative effect; especially for a parent whose child is taking medicine and receiving treatment that may not be necessary.

Autism is now considered an epidemic but many professionals don’t agree with that. Some claim Autism cases have grown from 1 in every 2,000 Americans to 1 in every 88. Some claim that now it’s easier to diagnose but others disagree. They argue that doctors are misdiagnosing and sometimes even mistaking Autism with other medical conditions.

Different people take differing positions on Autism.

For example, a 2009 study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics showing the prevalence of autism diagnosis produced reactions claiming that over a third of such diagnoses were wrong and the claims of a big “epidemic” were also wrong.

On the other hand, Indiana Congressman Dan Burton feels there is an Autism epidemic, placing the blame on a mercury-based preservative found in vaccines given to children. Burton said his opinion comes from his very complex research including closely watching the condition of an autistic grandson who received seven vaccines containing the mercury preservative in one day shortly before the child was diagnosed with autism.

Others argue that Autism is now easier to recognize following the introduction of new diagnostic subcategories like Asperger’s Syndrome.

All of this can be quite confusing for an ordinary person who looks up Autism and realizes that there is a big inconsistency in the information about it.

People are exposed to all different types of information and eventually have to decide which side seems more reasonable and fits better to their personal case. It’s not an easy chore and people shouldn’t have the responsibility of making such a risky decision especially when it involves their loved ones’ future.

It’s difficult to understand the whole concept behind the identification of autism because the symptoms can collide with other medical conditions’ symptoms.

A cousin of mine, who is 10-years-old now, was diagnosed with Autism at age four and later when he was 8-years-old he wasn’t “qualified” for it anymore.

Another cousin of mine was diagnosed with Autism due to her different behavior. She was given prescription medication and therapy but years later it was found that in reality she had hearing hyperacusis (over-sensitivity to certain frequency ranges of sound). This condition caused her to behave the way she did. All she really needed was a hearing device to help her with her hearing problem.

People develop differently at different pace. We can’t all be the same. Some of us are better with language, some with mathematics and logic, while others are better athletes. There are even the ones who are good at everything. We should all be free to be the three-dimensional creatures that we are even if that is not being as social as the majority.

The human craving for control has gotten out of hand leading to the creation of various medical conditions that can’t be treated and serve only to segregate of the minority that behaves differently.

Certainly there are many people who really have Autism and need the treatment. But the expansion of the Autism Spectrum has led to many cases of misdiagnosis that will surely affect not only those individuals’ lives but the lives of people who have severe autism that needs to be treated.

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