Some info on Autism
Monday, April 23, 2007
Our dinky city paper actually had something worthwhile printed in it last weekend (can you tell I just subscribe for the coupons and the ads?)

There was an excellent set of articles about Autism - one in 150 children in South Carolina have been diagnosed.

The first article related to the fact that insurance rarely picks up the cost of ABA or other therapies (aside from occupational and speech). Legislation that would require coverage is pending and stagnating in Colombia. Autism and mental health are notoriously not covered by insurance or poorly covered - my own plan will cover 30 mental health visits per year - that includes all psychologists, therapists, etc. One could easily go through 15-20 visits just getting an accurate diagnosis, with all of the varied tests required to rule things out. I don't know what would happen if we had an actual crisis that required more visits - there is a terrible shortage of child psychologists in our country, and many won't even file insurance. They don't have to, they are so in demand. It is not unusual for a child psych to have a 6-8 month waiting list just to be evaluated. In the meantime, these children are losing months and years of their lives untreated and possibly abused or maligned by their family, their school, their community because of their behavior which often looks like brattiness.

The second article reflected an alternate approach, profiling one mom who discovered that her child was sensitive to aluminum (which is present in many vaccines and just one reason that many believe there is a vaccine/autism link). Testing for heavy metal poisoning at a clinic not too far away from our town revealed high levels, and sure enough when Mom changed the diet by scrutinizing food labels and started filtering the water, the child improved - from non-verbal to a normal kid. I'm definitely going to see about getting Mr. R into this guy, as our other doctors are reluctant to order these kinds of tests (and a doctor's order is required for insurance payment. They are too expensive for me to have done on my dime right now.)

On another related note, researchers have discovered that often autistic children have certain abnormal infant reflexes - and are developing a simple screening test that could be given even before one year of age. Early intervention, indeed.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/23/2007 07:35:00 AM | Permalink | |