A Note About Copyright
I retain personal copyright on all my writings. But those published on this web site are freely available for NOT FOR PROFIT use so long you follow these conditions:
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I found your editorials while looking up what was meant by a DAN practitioner (merely curious, saw a business card of one). After reading the DAN information, I read one of your articles. As a professional who cares for many individuals with autism and as a parent with an Aspergers-affected teen, I am often faced with being tactful with others about unproven therapies. Thank you for having the courage to call them quacks.
Cheryl, we participated in an online conference about autism. Another professional wrote a paper asking if parents could be overinvolved; we commented. Both the author and us were deemed heretics, frauds, and the mob attempted to use their rhetoric to burn us at the steak. The “with us or against us” mentalities that many of the alternative treatment proponents promote results in cult-like acceptance of quackery. What’s interesting, too, is that they often cite one another as authorities, appeal to religious beliefs (for “medical” treatments no less), and self reference their own, non-peer reviewed research.
My son is autistic and he is attending ROSHNI at Gwalior. He is showing marked improvement by using techniques tought to us by AFA specialist. Please let me know he way i can remain in touch with AFA. THANKS!
Dear Dr Rajeev
I think you want the website of my namesake, Action for Autism in India.
A recent literature review article reports evidence linking omega-3 fatty acids and amelioration of autistic symptoms. Well, if it is true that inadequate levels of DHA (/and EPA) may be implicated in prevalence of autism, then we would expect certain things, four of which are the following:
(1) Ethnic populations such as Intuit/Eskimos in northern Québec who live on fish high in DHA (and EPA) should have low levels of autism.
[Confirmed – having treated thousands of Inuit/Eskimo infants and children, Fombonne et al. report that there is not a single case of autism to be found in this group; see “No Autism Amongst Inuits From Northern Quebec?” E. Fombonne, J. Morel, J. Macarthur — Reported at The Fifth Annual Meeting for Autism Research in Montreal.]
(2) An increase in autism in populations where DHA levels decrease over time.
[Confirmed – the US citizens consume anywhere from 10% to 1% the DHA we consumed 100 years ago, according to nutritionists such as Dr. Barry Sears. And autism in the US is notoriously on the rise. Especially baneful in the recent years (past two decades) is perhaps the intensive factory farming of food animals, which are otherwise high in DHA/EPA].
(3) An decrease in autism in populations where DHA levels increase over time.
[Unconfirmed – bottle-fed infants have only received DHA supplmentation in the past couple years and autism prevalence studies that I’ve seen report on prevalence of autism in 8 year-olds].
(4) Mothers in dietary groups (such as vegans or veggie carrying) who have pathologically low levels of DHA would be more likely to have children with autism (a vegan friend of mine with an autistic boy got me thinking about that possibility). Also, bottle-fed babies w/o DHA supplemented formula.
[Unconfirmed, though anecdotal evidence may be supportive].
[One aside note: We have the burden of explaining the link between autism and larger brain size, since there is the apparent contradiction in the fact that DHA leads to larger brain size. Inuit/Eskimos have significantly larger brains (not to mention higher intelligence, tested at age 5, than any other ethnic population worldwide). US infants supplemented with DHA have larger brains than control groups without DHA supplementation, and so on. One possibility is that DHA protects the Eskimos from autism. Another less likely possibility is that DHA leads to larger head size and an increase in susceptibility to autism, and therefore Eskimo populations have developed a strong genetic resistance against autism – I hope this is not correct since my wife has been heavily supplemented with (extremely highly refined) fish oil throughout gestation and breast-feeding our two babies].
I am curious if anyone in the organization has considered these possibilities? And if you have other evidence or data to help flesh out this picture in the hopes of finding some answers/treaments for this biopsychosocial calamity.
Stranger than Fiction
Fantasy Author Offers his Autism Story
It has been said that all geniuses must deal with the fate of being misunderstood. Perhaps that is also the fate of those dealing with autism spectrum disorders. Surely Caiseal Mór, bestselling author of The Wanderers Series, The Watchers Series and The Wellspring Trilogy would agree. Diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder around the age of 9, Mór developed a strategy for dealing with the world by assuming different personas—the Mahji, Charles P. Puddlejumper, Marco Polo and Chameleon Feeble—all of whom appear in his autobiography, A Blessing and a Curse: Autism and Me (April 2007; Jessica Kingsley Publishers; $18.95; 978-1-84310-573-2).
“My symptoms aren’t the problem,” Mór writes on his website, “the perception you have of my symptoms is the problem.” His early preoccupation with pretending to be different characters allowed him to deal with the “problem” of perception which manifested itself in the form of ignorance and abuse, but became an invaluable contribution to his fantasy writing. Mór’s captivating autobiography poignantly demonstrates the struggles those living with autism must endure but offers the reader hope that those on the autism spectrum can ultimately accept themselves and live creative, productive and satisfying lives. Though this book is not fiction, A Blessing and a Curse blurs the line between personal experience and fantasy.
Mór’s autobiography is as compelling as any novel and a must read for those dealing with feelings of isolation or disconnect as a result of autism. The depictions of his various personas offer insight into the minds of those dealing with autism and also make clear the tremendous creative potential of those on the spectrum. The progress that has been made in understanding autism since the time of Mór’s childhood during the 1970s is also evident. Remembering the abuses and neglect of his youth, Mór paints a picture that is, in the words of Donna Williams in the book’s foreword, “as beautiful and magical as it is shocking.”
Caiseal Mór is the well-known author of two non-fiction books, twelve fantasy novels, including The Wellspring and Watchers Trilogies, and the composer of six accompanying musical CDs. He lives in Australia with his wife.
Further information about this book may be found on the JKP website: http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843104995
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 116 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JB, UK
Tel: (+44) 020 7833 2307 Fax: (+44) 020 7837 2917 email: email@example.com
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Tel: (Toll free ordering) 866-416-1078 Tel: (main office) 215-922-1161 Fax: 215-922-1474 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Kingsley Publishers – 20 years of independent publishing 1987-2007
Independent Publisher of the Year
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ANyone in the NY-Tristate area might be interested in this conf. I thought I would share the info with you.
The Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) will co-host a Groundbreaking Two-Day Conference entitled Aging with Autism: Defining The Future on Thursday, November 29th and Friday, November 30th from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Huntington Hilton. Thanks to support from co-hosting agencies, Eden II Programs and Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism (NSSA), this conference will aim to educate and enlighten audiences to the intrinsic issues of a population growing older with autism.
A panel of inspirational keynote speakers and noted experts from a variety of fields will make presentations on an array of issues including employment, residential, transition, quality of life, sexuality, medications and many more, and open dialogue to discuss what can be done to improve understanding and promote positive interaction among service providers, elected officials and the families facing these issues. Contact: 631-462-0386 ext 12, email email@example.com or visit http://www.ddiinfo.org. Open to everyone.
The treatment for autism is inexpensive, effective and is therefore concealed. Autism is a functional encephalopathy as are vascular headaches, ADHD, CFS bipolar disease, etc. All of them are, actually, allergies of the brain. All of them have the same roots as allergies and/or asthma, and therefore a lot of autistic children have these. Look at the website and go to page 384. The knowledge is hidden not from autism patients but from all those who can benefit. Do we need to spell out the reasons!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Teresa Finnegan
WILL SHOWS A WAY THROUGH AUTISM
Revised Edition of Mother’s Memoir Rekindles the Potential for Hope
“I was beginning to take for granted the fact that we could move through a morning, an afternoon, perhaps even a whole day without a flip-out or a freak-out,” writes Kelly Harland, the mother of Will, a boy with autism. “Sometimes, in my indefatigable optimism, I get to a place where I really believe the whole nightmare is over. But something eventually comes up again, out of the blue, in a flash, an electrifying bolt.”
Seattle-based Harland, a teacher, singer, and writer, has masterfully captured these “flashes” in a compilation of evocative vignettes entitled A Will of His Own, Reflections on Parenting a Child with Autism [January 2008, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, $18.95, 978-1-84310-869-6].
Harland’s prose is vivid, her insight is razor sharp, and her story has merit for anyone who has ever experienced the utter vulnerabilities and joys, heartaches and little miracles which go along with raising a child not described as “typical.” Her chapters involve sometimes frustrating and heartrending depictions of life with a child who reacts fearfully to everyday events such as checking out at the grocery store. Yet, in the revised edition Harland adds glimpses of William in his teenage years that provide encouraging indications of hope, learning, and growth.
Harland writes, “Whatever has led us to this—years of speech therapy, hours upon hours of my own input based on instinct and a few educated guesses, his father’s incredible talent for showing him a way to walk through this world—William can see his dream, and it looks good. In fact, it looks perfect. And he’s telling me about it.”
Above all, it is the love for Will—for what he is, not for what he might have been—that shines through this book, and we get to know him as a charming, intriguing, and undeniably worthwhile human being. “Those with autism may have a very different way of looking at the world from the rest of us,” writes Jane Asher, President of the National Autistic Society, in the book’s foreword, “but if we can just step back occasionally and see life through the eyes of those like him, we might learn, not only something about their problems and what we can do to help, but also about ourselves.”
Kelly Harland is a Seattle vocalist, writer, and voice teacher. She is on the faculty of the music department at the Cornish College of the Arts. Her voice has been featured not only on radio and television, but also in backing vocals with Ray Charles and Etta James. She has written articles for the magazine Autism Advocate and contributed to the Cup of Comfort book series. She lives with her husband Chuck Deardorf, her mischievous cat Georgie, and her son William, who has autism.
For further information or for a review copy, please contact:
Teresa Finnegan, Jessica Kingsley Publishers email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I just wanted to put a quick comment in for you on autism. I think it is a shame that you are so blinded by “quackery” that you think that all biomedical treatments are unfounded and don’t work. I am a health professional and have a son who was diagnosed with severe autism, PDD-NOS and severe developmental delays. I began treating him with diet and supplements after going the traditional route (which helped my son a very small amount). I have been treating him for the last year and 10 months and have been able to recover him about 90%. Recover….not cure….but at least now he will look at me and smile when I smile at him, give me a hug before he gets on the bus in the morning and tell me that he loves me, can hop on one foot at a time when asked to, went to the potty yesterday for the first time by himself without being asked to go, can brush his teeth; not great but by himself, can eat breakfast with a fork and spoon…..he’s 3 years 10 months. He went from losing all ability to communicate at 13 months and us all learning sign language to at least try and keep his eyes on us and now can talk in complete thought-out sentences with wonderful reciprocal behavior. I’m not bashing you, but there are children out there that are recovering and my son is one of them. Have I strictly followed DAN!….no….but I have learned a lot from some DAN! doctors as well as Dr. McCandless, Dr. Yasko and Dr. Jepson. My son is being treated by me…..his greatest supporter and does not even have a doctor anymore. Opening your mind to other possibilities helped to bring my son back to me. And he is almost back to where he was before he got sick. A smiling, happy baby. I was TRADITIONAL medicine for a very long long time and had to let that go because the doctors who I thought were going to help me, told me there was nothing that could be done. The developmental pediatrician who diagnosed our son could only offer a prescription for each symptom. I don’t want to treat a symptom; I wanted to find out what was making our son sick and why we “lost” him. Finding out that our son was sick on the inside took a lot of convincing in my traditional medical mind. But once I opened up that as a possibility and began treating him like he had “gut” issues…..was when he began to get well. My biggest motivation was when he called me “Mommy” for the first time. I don’t ever look back…only forward and thank God that I was not too stubborn or too proud or too smart or too good to learn something new. I have humbled myself to God and realize that all things are possible; it is only people who close their minds that limit those possiblities.
I would love to meet with you and discuss biomedical treatments for Autism. Let me know if you would like to do that.
Great website and you write brilliantly well….
With Kind Regards
Dr Caroline Traa, (www.treatingautism.com)
Acting Chairperson, Treating Autism
thank you for your kind offer. I do not think it would serve any useful purpose at present if we were to meet to discuss autism treatments. But comment is always welcome on my blog. If you go to my recent post on Thinking Differently about Autism and Treating Autism you will find a discussion in which questions relating to biomedical treatments and neurodiversity are being discussed. Please feel free to participate.