My parner and I experienced a fantastic cruise with our two children, one with autism recently. The organization is called, Autism on the Seas and you can get information on their 2010 cruises on their website. The other families in our group (straight) were very supportive and have become apart of our extended family. Our Group Director, Jamie (family) was AWESOME! He is a veteran cruiser so was able to tell us about things most first time cruisers like us would not know. The activities and Autism on the Seas staff were fantastic and we are already looking to do another cruise with them in May 2010. If you have a special needs child, I highly suggest looking into going on a group cruise with them. You can also see others comments on their Facebook page.
The World Health Organization or ( WHO ) and American Psychological Association or ( APA ) recognize autism as a developmental disability resulting from disorders of the central human nervous system. Though the most apparent signs of autism in children are visible at two or three years of age, parents should also be wary of symptoms of this disorder in their infants.
Though specific causes remain unproven, autism is usually judged to be caused by some of the following:
- Genetic influences
- Anatomical abnormality or variations (e.g. head circumference)
- Abnormal blood vessel functions
According to the National Institute of Mental Health or ( NIMH ), some common early indicators for autism are when babies:
- Don’t ever babble or smile.
- Never respond to gestures.
- Avoid eye contact.
- Seem to be hearing impaired at times.
- Do not respond to calling by name.
- Don’t play with other children or toys.
- Seem to be losing their scarcely developed language skills.
Autistic children fall off the charts when it comes to achieving basic developmental milestones. Generally, babies smile or react in some way when ‘ooh-ed’ and ‘aah-ed’ at. They tend to reach out to grab at pacifiers or crayons handed to them. Autistic children are unable to perform these simple actions.
Keeping in mind that autism usually isn’t diagnosed until about age 3, it is best for parents to trust their instincts about their children and get a full formal developmental evaluation done by a medical expert. The earlier children are diagnosed for this disability, the better are their chances for treatment and intervention.
Useful Article: Parenting Skills
ProudParenting members – Happy 2 B moms – bring autism to our attention in a recent post.
The Orange County moms, to 2 1/2-year old Eric [pictured], write:
Today, 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls.
As you can see from our pictures, Eric is a “normal” looking little boy. He was having delayed speech issues and began to have behavioral problems (tantrums) which were becoming more severe. He was meeting all of his milestones till he hit about 2 1/2 than the “signs” started showing.
The Autism spectrum is very broad and isnt what people used to think of as typical Autism, non-affectionate kids that dont make eye contact. My son does quite the contrary. He is very social however his expressive and receptive speech is not at the level it should be and he is what the world sees as a “brat” with “bad parents” when we are shopping or out to dinner.
Take a moment to visit AutismSpeaks.org or any other autism website and check it out. Thanks!
Prior to bringing our son home in 2007, I never once thought twice about getting a vaccine. For me, someone who worked in the healthcare field and managed multi-million dollar clinical research programs, I was aware of vaccines’ safety profile. Yet, I became acutely aware of their potential ill effects when I began listening to the longstanding “hysteria” that mercury-laden vaccines, particularly the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, caused autism in children. Sharon Begley, author of “Anatomy of a scare”, argues that “science illiteracy” and “fearmongering of the press”1 created the vaccine hysteria. Begley makes for a valid argument in favor of vaccines attempting to dispel the autism-related vaccine myth. After reading the article, I felt better about the decisions we made to vaccinate. I invite you to look at the article, and provide your opinion.
1. Begley, S. (2009). Anatomy of a scare. When one study linked childhood vaccines to autism, it set off a panic. The research didn’t hold up, but some wounded families can’t move on. Newsweek, 153(9), 43-47. http://www.newsweek.com/id/185853.
Note: I write for Adoption Under One Roof (www.ouradopt.com). I posted this blog on March 12, 2009.
It’s only speculation now that environmental factors, including assisted reproduction technologies, have contributed to the high increase in the number of children diagnosed with Autism. Education and awareness of Austin have been key to the increasing diagnosis in children. The study, by Irva Hertz-Picciotto, PhD, MPH, chief of the division of environmental and occupational health at the University of California, Davis, clearly demonstrated that they increase in reported cases is very real. While most of the research being conducted is genetic based, the author says that more research should be done on environmental factors, including assisted reproduction technologies, which have only become available in the past 30 years.
Before I cause panic, I need to let you know that assisted reproduction was not the only environmental factor considered by the author of the study. Others included shampoos, soaps, and medications.
See the following link for more on Autism and assisted reproduction technologies http://tinyurl.com/6tmrq2