Early Symptoms? Autism May Soon Be Diagnosed Earlier

June 8, 2011

Scientists are now researching the electroencephalography (EEG) signals of young children, so that they can later distinguish the brain patterns of those who go on to be diagnosed with an autism disorder.

Autism in children is usually diagnosed starting at 18 months with confirmation around 3 years, which coincides with the last round of vaccinations. Because of this correlation, and because of the mercury and aluminum added to vaccines as preservatives there are many who think vaccines may cause autism.

If scientists can find a sign of autism in young infants, this would contradict the correlation between autism and vaccines.

Other benefits of using an EEG will include better understanding which areas of the brain are affected by autism, as well as how different children (who may have different autism disorders) may benefit from different treatments.

There are no easily identifiable symptoms. Autism can be mild (high functioning individuals) or severe (low functioning). Generally, the pattern of symptoms revolve around social interaction and childhood development. In the milder forms autistic children have trouble picking up on non-verbal clues, as well as communicating with adults in an expected and clear ways. More severe cases of autistic children may have severe language and communication problems.

Those worried about vaccines and autism should talk to their pediatricians about spreading out vaccinations (minimizing the severity of heavy metal exposure) and which vaccines are available combined (like MMR, which combines measles, mumps, and rubella—3 vaccines for one dose of preservatives).

Although many are forgoing vaccines altogether, this is not advisable as serious illnesses such as whooping cough (pertussis) are starting to reappear in these communities, and are often deadly to small children. Milder childhood diseases, like chicken pox and flu, are arguably less necessary as vaccines.

Somewhat ironically, one of the suspected causes of autism is a mild infection that affects the fetus in the first 8 weeks of development. Rubella is one virus strongly attributed to this possible cause of autism.

What do you think of current diagnosis/treatment of autism? Will this be an improvement, or cause unnecessary alarm to parents of potentially autistic children?

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