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Autism on the upswing?

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There has been a series on the Today Show about Autism - I hear the blurbs advertising it on my way out the door, but have not been able to see any of the programs. Anyway - one of the blurbs said that the frequency of Autism has increased ten fold in the last decade or so.

 

Is this true, or is it perhaps that the disorder is recognized more readily? If true - what is thought to be the cause - something in the environment?

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Some people think the DPT vaccine is the culprit. I have read several places that it is on the upswing, but there is no denying that they are now more canny about it and able to diagnose it sooner. Probably some autism was mistaken as certain forms of mental retardation in the past. Of course they often exist together.

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I dont think its a case of increasing,its the diagnosis on varying degree's of severity that we might be seeing.Like everything else our medical knowledge improves.

However these vaccine scares like MMR dont inspire confidence.I waited till my youngest daughter was 29month before she got it,just to be sure.

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The amount of people being diagnosed with autism is rising rapidly, however there are two problems with that data:

 

1. They might have missed diagnosing a lot of people in the past so it only appears to be increasing. However based upon studies this alone can not explain this much increase.

2. In recent years the definition of autism has been expanded. It used to be plain autism, then came Asperger syndrome and then more syndromes/disorders.

 

 

 

I do believe the number of people with autism is increasing, since all types of neurological/brain disorders are increasing in numbers. The cause of this is in MY opinion the lack of genetic "cleansing" to put it very bluntly. Normally people with some disorders would die in nature without help. Now however these people live and part of them reproduce. And if the cause is genetic it means an increase in % of all people who have that disorder.

 

Further I believe that the air/water etc. pollution, all types of waves in the air are also contributing to creating disorders.

 

And last innoculations might be responsible to some degree as well.

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T

Is this true' date=' or is it perhaps that the disorder is recognized more readily? If true - what is thought to be the cause - something in the environment?[/quote']

 

 

It has been postulated that Autism is a genetic condition related to 'maleness'. An Autistic brain is a brain that has excessively 'male' biological characteristics.

 

An increase could be related to a change in breeding patterns among humans. Humans typically pair with partners they meet in the workplace. Jobs which require 'male' characterisitics such as enginnering will attract humans with 'male' brains. Thus men with 'male' brains and women with 'male' brains will be mating, increasing the likelyhood of children with extreme 'male' brains, ie Autistic brains.

 

On an ancedotal level, it is interesting that Autism used to be refered to as the 'engineers disease' as it so disproportionately affected the offspring of engineers.

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It has been postulated that Autism is a genetic condition related to 'maleness'. An Autistic brain is a brain that has excessively 'male' biological characteristics.

 

An increase could be related to a change in breeding patterns among humans. Humans typically pair with partners they meet in the workplace. Jobs which require 'male' characterisitics such as enginnering will attract humans with 'male' brains. Thus men with 'male' brains and women with 'male' brains will be mating' date=' increasing the likelyhood of children with extreme 'male' brains, ie Autistic brains.

 

On an ancedotal level, it is interesting that Autism used to be refered to as the 'engineers disease' as it so disproportionately affected the offspring of engineers.[/quote']

 

This makes lots of sense.

 

Aardvark, if this is true, then how will this influence how we shape society, culture, and government in the future?

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This makes lots of sense.

 

Aardvark' date=' if this is true, then how will this influence how we shape society, culture, and government in the future?[/quote']

 

I'm not sure i'm going to be able to fully answer that question, but i'll have a stab at at least putting a few ideas on the table.

 

If Autism has a significant genetic component then some sort of DNA testing might be developed to allow people to see if there is a risk any children they might have developing the condition. This cold be similiar to people testing for other genetic problems such as Cystic Fibrosis.

 

In the long term it might be possible for some form of genetic therapy to be developed, but that is not anywhere on the horizon at the moment.

 

A social method to reduce Autism could be for people working in jobs that require 'male' characteristics to be deliberately encouraged to mix with members of the opposite sex from non work related areas.

 

Finding ways to socially mix engineers with florists. :P

 

For this to work then perhaps a different view of 'work-life balance' is needed. People spending less time in the work place, allowing more time for normal social interaction and bonding in the wider community.

 

I'm not sure how that can be brought about, but it seems like a good idea to encourage more social mixing both on the grounds of genetics and for general social reasons.

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I'm not sure i'm going to be able to fully answer that question' date=' but i'll have a stab at at least putting a few ideas on the table.

 

If Autism has a significant genetic component then some sort of DNA testing might be developed to allow people to see if there is a risk any children they might have developing the condition. This cold be similiar to people testing for other genetic problems such as Cystic Fibrosis.

 

In the long term it might be possible for some form of genetic therapy to be developed, but that is not anywhere on the horizon at the moment.

 

A social method to reduce Autism could be for people working in jobs that require 'male' characteristics to be deliberately encouraged to mix with members of the opposite sex from non work related areas.

 

Finding ways to socially mix engineers with florists. :P

 

For this to work then perhaps a different view of 'work-life balance' is needed. People spending less time in the work place, allowing more time for normal social interaction and bonding in the wider community.

 

I'm not sure how that can be brought about, but it seems like a good idea to encourage more social mixing both on the grounds of genetics and for general social reasons.[/quote']

 

I like your ideas, but I gotta tell you that the absolutely worst party I ever went to was one in which the would-be groom's engineer friends met the would-be bride's creative writing friends. These people actually struggled very valiantly to communicate and failed abyssmally. Oh yeah, and the engagement didn't last either. :D

 

My daughter and I suspect that she has Asperger's. She works in a boutique, but the only guys she is attracted to are the very smart, techie, workaholics. I will try to encourage her to find a nice interior decorator. ;)

 

Do you think an increase in 'male' brains would mean more aggressive solutions towards solving problems (ie: war as opposed to diplomacy) or is aggression unrelated to autism?

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I like your ideas, but I gotta tell you that the absolutely worst party I ever went to was one in which the would-be groom's engineer friends met the would-be bride's creative writing friends. These people actually struggled very valiantly to communicate and failed abyssmally. Oh yeah, and the engagement didn't last either. :D

 

I think you've got me there. On second thoughts that social mixing might require quite a lot of alcoholic lubrication ;)

 

 

My daughter and I suspect that she has Asperger's. She works in a boutique, but the only guys she is attracted to are the very smart, techie, workaholics. I will try to encourage her to find a nice interior decorator. ;)

 

I anticipate updates on your search for a nice interior decorator for her. I've a feeling its going to be interesting :D

 

Do you think an increase in 'male' brains would mean more aggressive solutions towards solving problems (ie: war as opposed to diplomacy) or is aggression unrelated to autism?

 

I'll try and disregard your crude insult against men which is so grossly unfair that i want to get a big stick and go and hit people with it. :)

 

Seriously, men do seem to have a greater propensity to use force to solve problems, but i'm not sure this is related to autism.

 

Autism may be increasing but i don't think that implies that 'male' brains are increasing in the general population as a whole. Rather, that those with 'male' brains are more likely to breed together resulting in a greater concentration of those 'male' characterisitics in a limited segment of the population.

 

As Autistic people aren't generally in positions of power of influence such as being diplomats i can't see any direct link between Autism and how society is structured.

 

Men may have a greater propensity for violence, but they also have the ability to focus clearly on individual problems and deal with them very directly, as opposed to female multi tasking and attention to detail. So 'maleness' isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself. ( Prior statement issued with all usual cravets and disclaimers about how it is a gross generalisation)

 

I think it fair to say that it is a male characterisitic to be blunt and direct. This can be a good way to approach problems (as well as causing the occasional genocidal war). Presumably a combination of the male directness and female consideration is the best combination, as i don't think 'maleness' is increasing in the general population i am cautiously optimistic that some sort of constructive balance can be approached.

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I think you've got me there. On second thoughts that social mixing might require quite a lot of alcoholic lubrication ;)

 

Even the liquor didn't help. :rolleyes:

 

I anticipate updates on your search for a nice interior decorator for her. I've a feeling its going to be interesting :D

 

Yes' date=' I have scratched nice doctors off my list. :D

 

I'll try and disregard your crude insult against men which is so grossly unfair that i want to get a big stick and go and hit people with it. :)

 

Ouch!

 

Autism may be increasing but i don't think that implies that 'male' brains are increasing in the general population as a whole. Rather, that those with 'male' brains are more likely to breed together resulting in a greater concentration of those 'male' characterisitics in a limited segment of the population.

 

Okay. That gives me a clearer understanding.

 

As Autistic people aren't generally in positions of power of influence such as being diplomats i can't see any direct link between Autism and how society is structured.

 

Hmmm. I wonder if Bill Gates is a people person. But it would be unfair to assume that he is somewhere along the Autism Spectrum.

 

Men may have a greater propensity for violence, but they also have the ability to focus clearly on individual problems and deal with them very directly, as opposed to female multi tasking and attention to detail. So 'maleness' isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself. ( Prior statement issued with all usual cravets and disclaimers about how it is a gross generalisation)

 

Thank you for that caveat. I admire and envy all women who can multitask.

 

I think it fair to say that it is a male characterisitic to be blunt and direct. This can be a good way to approach problems (as well as causing the occasional genocidal war). Presumably a combination of the male directness and female consideration is the best combination, as i don't think 'maleness' is increasing in the general population i am cautiously optimistic that some sort of constructive balance can be approached.

 

Everyday, in every way, we are getting better and better. :) I too prefer to be optimistic.

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Even the liquor didn't help. :rolleyes:

 

Any situation so bad that the liquor can't help is too scary for me to contemplate :eek:

 

Perhaps a cadre of interpreters need to be trained to help engineering types and creative writing types communicate.

 

I can just imagine the dialogue,

 

Creative type: How are you?

Interpreter: Tell me about your feelings.

Engineering type: I feel hungry.

 

On second thoughts, maybe not.

 

 

 

Hmmm. I wonder if Bill Gates is a people person

 

Cyborg Bill?

 

I get the feeling that that mans pyschology is in a whole unique catergory of its own.

 

But it would be unfair to assume that he is somewhere along the Autism Spectrum.

 

Possibly as unfair to Autistic people as to him. Isn't it a bit odd that a man can have every characteristic that we are supposed to admire, to have achieved what we are supposed to dream off, and when people think about him they just think 'he's a bit odd, bit of a geek, glad i'm not like him'.

 

 

Thank you for that caveat. I admire and envy all women who can multitask.

 

As i admire (well, feel spiteful envy really) all those men with mechanical aptitude and the ability to completely focus on the task at hand.

 

 

Everyday, in every way, we are getting better and better. :) I too prefer to be optimistic.

 

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.

 

The world is a lovely place and humans are just dandy. :)

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Cyborg Bill?

 

I get the feeling that that mans pyschology is in a whole unique catergory of its own.

Oddly enough, his is remarkably simple and boils down to "Daddy, acknowledge me :-( ".

 

True story.

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Oddly enough' date=' his is remarkably simple and boils down to "Daddy, acknowledge me :-( ".

 

True story.[/quote']

 

Who needs business school when you can just have neglectful parents?

 

Economic theory has been missing something big here.

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