Autism spectrum disorders affect 1 in 100 children and the prevalence is 3 times higher in females. One-third of all children with autism have seizures.
In response to publicity about an alleged but erroneous link between vaccination and autism, the number of children who are being immunized has decreased. This is of concern because many vaccine-preventable diseases have potentially devastating and even lethal consequences.
West Virginia (the state in which I practice) was not one of the 10 best places to live if you have autism, according to this year’s survey from Autism Speaks. Although thanks to a piece of legislation enacted this month, it is now a better place to live if you have autism. Your state can become better too.
The recent article in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine by Shattuck and colleagues should act as a wakeup call to all policymakers about the use of resources for families with disabilities. The transition from being a dependent adolescent with autism to an independent adult requires a major financial and social investment from schools, families, and entire communities.
In this podcast, Dr John Harrington of Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, and Dr Michael Paul, CEO and Rena Vanzo, Genetic Counselor of Lineagen—provider of a new integrated genetic testing and counseling service FirstStepDx—discuss the diagnosis of autism and genetic testing for autism.
Families of children with an autism spectrum disorder face many hurdles when seeking care for their child. Creating resource handouts for parents and partnering with educational institutions and research facilities are just a few ways pediatricians can help guide these families through the maze of therapeutic options.
A 4-year-old boy with a history of autism presents to his pediatrician’s office with a complaint of right leg pain. He is presumed to have pulled a muscle; an elastic bandage is applied and he is given ibuprofen. Over the next few days, he begins falling and tripping and is unable to maintain his balance. At a return visit, the patient’s mother says her son’s right leg is “like Jell-O” and that he appears to be dragging the leg.
Two recent reports, one conducted by the Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA)1 and a second from the CDC,2 now estimate that the current prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children born in the United States has risen from 1:150 to around 1:100. The HRSA report was based on a telephone survey of 78,037 parents involved in the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health.1 However, for its study, the CDC used a rigorous identification and confirmation system called the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which cross-references educational and health data in 11 states.2
I thoroughly enjoyed the articles "Anti-Vaccine Media: Its Impact-and Strategies to Combat It" by Linda Nield, MD, and "Vaccinations: Immunizations Do Not Cause Autism Spectrum Disorder . . . They Prevent Disease" by Golder Wilson, MD, PhD, and Miranda Ramirez, MD (both of which appeared in the Special Issue on Vaccines that accompanied the September 2008 issue of CONSULTANT FOR PEDIATRICIANS).
This 14-year-old boy with autism presented with sudden visual loss in the right eye. For a week, the eye had been red, irritated, and painful. Three days earlier, "a white bubble" had developed on the cornea and had begun to obscure his vision.