Autism

It has been over 50 years since Dr. Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, wrote the first paper applying the term 'autism' to a group of children who were self-absorbed and who had severe social, communication, and behavioral problems.

Autism is a very complex disorder; and the needs of these individuals vary greatly. After 50 years of research, traditional and contemporary approaches are enabling us to understand and treat these individuals. It is also important to mention that parents and professionals are beginning to realize that the symptoms of autism are treatable--there are many interventions that can make a significant difference.

One characteristic which is quite common in autism is the individual's 'insistence on sameness' or 'perseverative' behavior. Many children become overly insistent on routines; if one is changed, even slightly, the child may become upset and tantrum. Some common examples are: drinking and/or eating the same food items at every meal, wearing certain clothing or insisting that others wear the same clothes, and going to school using the same route. One possible reason for 'insistence on sameness' may be the person's inability to understand and cope with novel situations.

Individuals with Autism sometimes have difficulty with the transition to puberty. Approximately 25% have seizures for the first time during puberty which may be due to hormonal changes. In addition, many behavior problems can become more frequent and more severe during this period. However, others experience puberty with relative ease.

Readings:

Autism and Aspergers syndrome
A slide show by Hermine Posch

Click here for slide show Click here for single page

Autism and Aspergers syndrome
Part of a paper by researcher (Hermine Posch) University of Granz, Austria on Autism and Asperger syndrome

Links:

Autism Genetic Research Website: http://www.autismgeneticresearch.org
The identification of autism related genes and their precise mechanisms of action would enable us to better understand why and how autism occurs. This knowledge is essential for the development of effective treatments and diagnostic tests.

Autism NZ Website: http://www.autismnz.org.nz/
Official Website of the Autistic Association of New Zealand Inc.

ANDI: Autism Network for Dietary Intervention Website: http://autismndi.com/
ANDI was established by parent researchers, Lisa Lewis and Karyn Seroussi, to help families around the world get started on, and maintain a gluten and case-in free diet for their autistic children.

Autism Society of America Website: http://www.autism-society.org
The mission of the Autism Society of America is to promote lifelong access and opportunity for all individuals within the autism spectrum, and their families, to be fully participating, included members of their community. Education, advocacy at state and federal levels, active public awareness and the promotion of research form the cornerstones of ASA's efforts to carry forth its mission.

Autism Treatment Services of Canada Website: http://www.autism.ca/
The Autism Treatment Services of Canada is a national affiliation of organisations that provides treatment, educational, management and consultative services to people with autism and related disorders across Canada.

Beyond Autism Website: http://trainland.tripod.com/
Beyond Autism is a site by a parent that has "been there, done that, and still doing it". This autism site contains over 2,300 links to other resources and is a comprehensive source of information for those of you just starting out.

Center for the Study of Autism Website: http://www.autism.org/
The Center for the Study of Autism (CSA) is located in the Salem/Portland, Oregon area. The Center provides information about autism to parents and professionals, and conducts research on the efficacy of various therapeutic interventions.

Division TEACCH Website: http://www.teacch.com
A site based on enabling individuals with autism to function as meaningfully and as independently as possible in the community.

Families for Early Autism Treatment Website: http://www.feat.org/
FEAT is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing world class Education, Advocacy, and Support for the Northern California Autism Community.

Geneva Centre for Autism Website: http://www.autism.net
The Geneva Centre empowers individuals with autism, and other related disorders, and their families, to fully participate in their communities.

Indiana Resource Centre for Autism Website: http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca/
This site reflects our continual efforts to bring you updated and accessible information on Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Ladders Website: http://www.ladders.org/
Founded in 1981, LADDERS is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide services in the evaluation and treatment of children and adults with autism, pervasive developmental disorder and related disorders.

Maap Services, Inc. Website: http://www.maapservices.org/index.html
Maap Services, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information and advice to families of More advanced individuals with Autism, Asperger's syndrome, and Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Special Kids Website: http://www.specialkids1.com/
Exciting, new learning videotapes and educational materials for children (even teens) with learning disabilities, from parents of a boy with autism.

Society For The Autistically Handicapped Website: http://www.autismuk.com/
The Society exists to increase awareness of autism, together with well established and newly developed approaches in the diagnosis, assessment, education and treatment. The main goal is to improve the quality of life for persons with Autism.

The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism Inc. Website: http://www.dougflutiejrfoundation.org/
From his experience on the football field, Doug Flutie understands the importance of support and teamwork. Doug and his wife Laurie started "Dougie's Team" in 1998 to honor their son Doug Jr., who has autism, and to help other families facing childhood autism through support and education.