Image by: Linsenhejhej
By Tallulah Ray
From the moment that we learn of our pregnancy to the day that they leave for college, we do our best for them. At least, that’s what a good parent does. But what happens when there are things beyond our control, which hinder our children’s best prospects in life?
Autism is a mental condition which affects a child’s (and adults’) ability to communicate effectively, develop relationships with other people, grow socially, and (in certain cases) affects how a person learns and processes information.
Did you know that autism appears to be becoming more prevalent? Did you know that it is more prevalent in boys? Yup, 1 in 54 boys have a form of autism. Overall, 1 out of every 88 children have a form of autism. Let’s talk about some of the latest news about this mental condition to see what
#1) The Stats On Autism
First of all, since there are so many different types and cases of autism, the official name for autism is now “autism spectrum disorder”.
What is now being called “high functioning autism spectrum disorder” is otherwise known as Asperger’s Syndrome.
Boys are more likely to have autism spectrum disorder, than girls.
One or more of your kids are more likely to have autism if you or your man have had a history of autism in your family.
#2) Inducing Labor Now Linked To Autism
A study conducted last year (the biggest study of it’s kind) noted that there may be a link between inducing labor and the prevalence of autism. Of course, this study is too preliminary for you to worry about changing your practices – especially if the health of you and/or your baby is involved in the decision to induce labor.
The study was done with researchers from the University of Michigan and Duke University. They looked at more than 625,000 births and the school records of those children who happened to also be diagnosed with autism.
Among those births, those who were induced (and ended up birthing a boy) a 35 percent higher occurrence of autism was apparent.
They believe that the connection between autism and the induced labor may come from the oxytocin medication that doctors use to safely induce labor. The name of that drug (the version that they use for this procedure) is Pitocin.
They are also looking at whether pregnancy condition and the events that occurred during and right before delivery (that caused the need for the induced labor) may affect the occurrence of autism.
#3) Integrating Senses
The latest research indicated that people with autism see the world much like you when you are watching a badly dubbed movie; the integration of senses (particularly visual and audio) don’t quite mesh. This could be a fantastic find for scientists and researchers because if they can pinpoint, what causes this, they may be able to fix it.
#4) Can I Prevent Autism
Relatively speaking, there hasn’t been a lot of research done on autism. What doctors do know, however, is that you can’t do any specific action to prevent autism spectrum disorder. It is genetically passed down to various generations. However, what you can do is treat and take care of your child the best you can.
#5) How Can I Treat And Support My Child?
There are various treatments to help cope with the varying symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. There are specialized programs for your child and there are support groups for you.
One of the things that you have to remember is that your health is extremely important. You may and will want to put your child first but if you aren’t functioning well, you won’t be much help for your child. This includes your emotional and mental well-being. If you are raising a child who has autism, you know how exhausting and draining it can be.
Check out these tips to help you keep up your strength:
Take time for yourself. I spent some time taking care of a family member who could no longer take care of himself. It was draining to say the least (despite my drive and need to be there). When I got a break, it was a godsend. So don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. Take time for yourself: relax, spend some time with your man, plan date nights, spend time with your other kids (don’t neglect them).
Seek out support from support groups and other family of children with autism. Look in your local yellow pages and online for support groups in your area. If you take your child to a specific playgroup, day care, or school program which is targeted toward children with autism, look around the room or ask the teacher for a pamphlet for local support groups.
Learn about it. It is the most important piece of information that I can give you. There are so many myths surrounding this disorder. Read about it and become informed so you can avoid all of those nasty myths. Check out Autism Speaks; it is a great resource. Arm yourself with information.
Image by: BLW Photography