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hope
14-07-12, 21:43
Figures for those suffering autism are not always easy to get right and often the figures move. For example it is estimated that around half a million people
in the U.K. suffer autism but new studies being carried out within Britain itself and Korea say the autism prevalence has always been higher than the estimate given in past years.
Just as the cause for autism is still not proven within a doubt. Whilst some say it may be caused German Measles, Tuberous Sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome, vaccines and even Phenylketonuria (PKU)
However studies being done at Cambridge University do say the results show a link to testosterone but it is not yet proven and there may be a third variable. (however it was several months ago I read this, so this may have changed).
I am not aware of present scientists that have been proven to have autism but I know it has been said such as Einstein, Mozart and Michelangelo may have had the syndrome. At the moment many of those working on the condition do have children with it.
As for all with autism have low IQ, this is not quite true. As already noted autism is a wide sphere. many with high functioning autism go to university, have degrees and I believe find work in areas of computing, research and labs ( but I don`t have figures.)
Yes, people with autism may be gay, it was thought different but as the views on being gay have changed it has simply let those with autism who are gay "come out", just as
it has across the board in general.

LeBrok
15-07-12, 03:31
This major nationwide study (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6103a1.htm?s_cid=ss6103a1_w) reports that, across ethnic groups in the USA, autism is most prevalent among non-Hispanic whites (12 per 1,000), and least prevalent among Hispanics (7.9 per 1,000). The same study gives data for some states. The highest prevalence given is for Utah (21.2 per 1,000) and the lowest for Alabama (4.8 per 1,000).

The prevalence of autistic kids in whites can be explain with age of parents. Caucasians in USA and Europe tend to have children much later in life these days. Same goes for other groups or nations higher on economical ladder. Having kids later in life increases chance of autism in kids.
Also it is worth noting that ADS increases recently faster in Hispanics and Blacks.

The combined estimates indicated a 70% increase among non-Hispanic white children (7.0–11.9 per 1,000), a 91% increase among non-Hispanic black children (5.5–10.5 per 1,000), and a 110% increase among Hispanic children (3.7–7.7 per 1,000) during 2002–2008.

Other increases with time might be related to changes in diagnoses and definition of ASD.

What has caused such a significant increase in the prevalence of autism and are there really that many
more individuals with autism today than there was 30-40 years ago? In a systematic review on
prevalence studies of autism spectrum disorder determined many factors that explain the variability
between the studies. Between the 1960’s to the early to mid 80’s, autism was determined using the
Kanner or Rutter descriptions of autism (Fombonne, 2003, Williams et al, 2006). These descriptions
were much more conservative and narrower in focus, often only focusing on typical autism, and
excluded any child who had an intellectual impairment.

http://www.caot.ca/pdfs/autism%20brief%20nov%2006.pdf
There might not be an epidemic, just broader definition and age of parents.

JFWR
15-07-12, 03:55
I find those studies which purport to find that autism was "always more prevalent" to be ludicrously hard to believe. Autistic individuals are not hard to spot except in the most mildest of cases. If this is merely a definitional thing, instead of what seems to be the actual rise in autism cases, then it is equivalent to this statement:

Coloonikzx always existed - we just used to call them certain bugs, birds, plants, and mammals!

The cause for the actual rise in autism cases -must- be found by medical scientists.

hope
15-07-12, 04:03
I find those studies which purport to find that autism was "always more prevalent" to be ludicrously hard to believe. Autistic individuals are not hard to spot except in the most mildest of cases. If this is merely a definitional thing, instead of what seems to be the actual rise in autism cases, then it is equivalent to this statement:

Coloonikzx always existed - we just used to call them certain bugs, birds, plants, and mammals!

The cause for the actual rise in autism cases -must- be found by medical scientists.


On the contrary many cases are indeed or were to be specific "hard" to diagnose and the sufferers were labelled as shy, slow, unsociable etc. As the study of ASD
grew the many other effects of it became apparent. See Wing and Gould, "Triad" of impairments.

JFWR
15-07-12, 04:13
On the contrary many cases are indeed or were to be specific "hard" to diagnose and the sufferers were labelled as shy, slow, unsociable etc. As the study of ASD
grew the many other effects of it became apparent. See Wing and Gold, "Triad" of impairments.

One must wonder how legitimate the definition of "autism" is if we give a medical designation to every form of "non-normal" (an amorphous concept to begin with!) behaviour in human beings which previously sufficed to be labelled as only mildly deviant ("shy", "slow", and "unsociable").

We see this elsewhere in psychiatry with the medicalization of "anxiety" or "occasional sadness".

If we're talking about the severe cases of these, then sure these are medical problems. But when you begin to suggest that autism was "vastly underdiagnosed" one is essentially suggesting that EVERY odd behaviour should be viewed as pathological symptoms of a psychiatric illness/condition.

A good question to ask in psychiatric matters is this: Does the medicalization of this problem result in significant improvement of a major life problem for this individual? If so, then treat it as an illness. If not, then treat it as a quirk. We need not "normalize" every individual, nor must we engage in "victimization", or making histrionic mothers feel okay with their mildly odd children.

hope
15-07-12, 04:38
One must wonder how legitimate the definition of "autism" is if we give a medical designation to every form of "non-normal" (an amorphous concept to begin with!) behaviour in human beings which previously sufficed to be labelled as only mildly deviant ("shy", "slow", and "unsociable").

We see this elsewhere in psychiatry with the medicalization of "anxiety" or "occasional sadness".

If we're talking about the severe cases of these, then sure these are medical problems. But when you begin to suggest that autism was "vastly underdiagnosed" one is essentially suggesting that EVERY odd behaviour should be viewed as pathological symptoms of a psychiatric illness/condition.

A good question to ask in psychiatric matters is this: Does the medicalization of this problem result in significant improvement of a major life problem for this individual? If so, then treat it as an illness. If not, then treat it as a quirk. We need not "normalize" every individual, nor must we engage in "victimization", or making histrionic mothers feel okay with their mildly odd children.

The "anxiety" and bouts of "occasional sadness" would be a different mental health issue. I would suggest you spend even a little time researching autism
to give you a better idea and understanding of it. You may even do this on line. It might improve your ideas on it.

JFWR
15-07-12, 04:59
The "anxiety" and bouts of "occasional sadness" would be a different mental health issue. I would suggest you spend even a little time researching autism
to give you a better idea and understanding of it. You may even do this on line. It might improve your ideas on it.

I have done a goodly amount of reading on the subject of autism. I have no problems with legitimate cases, and sympathize greatly with those who have it, and those who care for them. But the most mild forms, Hope, is what I am referencing.

If we are beginning to include small aspects of personality that do not harm the individual especially, and who can live a mostly normal life, then we are diluting the concept of the disease and over medicalizing problems.

If autism is not actually more prevalent, but it is being diagnosed more frequently, then this is likely the the reason that it is, and it represents a disturbing trend in psychiatry.

An opposite case of this in medicine is that of cancer. Cancer used to be a rare disease which, while ancient (dinosaurs had cancerous tumors), was not at all common (though far from unknown!). Nowadays, the cancer rates have skyrocketted, and are not merely occupational (asbestos, radon) or recreationally (tobacco).

hope
15-07-12, 05:24
I have done a goodly amount of reading on the subject of autism. I have no problems with legitimate cases, and sympathize greatly with those who have it, and those who care for them. But the most mild forms, Hope, is what I am referencing.

If we are beginning to include small aspects of personality that do not harm the individual especially, and who can live a mostly normal life, then we are diluting the concept of the disease and over medicalizing problems.

If autism is not actually more prevalent, but it is being diagnosed more frequently, then this is likely the the reason that it is, and it represents a disturbing trend in psychiatry.

An opposite case of this in medicine is that of cancer. Cancer used to be a rare disease which, while ancient (dinosaurs had cancerous tumors), was not at all common (though far from unknown!). Nowadays, the cancer rates have skyrocketted, and are not merely occupational (asbestos, radon) or recreationally (tobacco).

Yes JFWR, I appreciate what you are saying. However you firstly spoke of how prevalence has risen, to which I said that in past years children who suffered mild autism were not detected and were instead labelled as shy ..would not interact, slow..were unable to match the learning tasks of children their same age..and unsociable..they had very poor language skills and struggled to engage in conversation. Because these symptoms of what was in fact ASD went unnoticed those children did not get the help or
guidance required. Let us remember the child with autism becomes the adult with autism and if not recognised early the future for such adults is bleak.
Even mild autism needs expert help and thanks to the work of those in the field they are being recognised earlier and receiving the education and help better designed to allow them attain in the future.

JFWR
15-07-12, 06:48
Yes JFWR, I appreciate what you are saying. However you firstly spoke of how prevalence has risen, to which I said that in past years children who suffered mild autism were not detected and were instead labelled as shy ..would not interact, slow..were unable to match the learning tasks of children their same age..and unsociable..they had very poor language skills and struggled to engage in conversation. Because these symptoms of what was in fact ASD went unnoticed those children did not get the help or
guidance required. Let us remember the child with autism becomes the adult with autism and if not recognised early the future for such adults is bleak.

This is true, but in those cases how bad of symptoms are we talking about? If the child is just slightly struggling in school due to his quirks, this does not mean he won't be a productive human being, engaged in normal relationships, and have a useful life. Adding this as a case of "autism" and treating it as the disease can often make matters worse by creating both public alarm, and actually harming the patient by over medication, excessive treatment, misdiagnosis, treating them as a victim, et cetera, not to mention taking away time and money from serious cases.


Even mild autism needs expert help and thanks to the work of those in the field they are being recognised earlier and receiving the education and help better designed to allow them attain in the future.


This really depends on the protocol of treatment.

I also think there is a legitimate spike of -real- autism cases. This raises the question: Why are there more cases of autism now? Is it related at all to auto-immune disease prevalence in the first world? Hormonal imbalances? Other enviromental problems?

LeBrok
15-07-12, 07:18
I also think there is a legitimate spike of -real- autism cases. This raises the question: Why are there more cases of autism now? Is it related at all to auto-immune disease prevalence in the first world? Hormonal imbalances? Other enviromental problems?
This could be as simple as the eggs and sperm getting older. Women used to have a first kid around age of 18, now it is closer to 30, and often late thirties. Same goes to the man. These first kids recently are produced from twice older sperm and eggs. Without going deep into genetic degeneration, let's say, that the eggs are not that fresh anymore.:petrified:

JFWR
15-07-12, 08:44
This could be as simple as the eggs and sperm getting older. Women used to have a first kid around age of 18, now it is closer to 30, and often late thirties. Same goes to the man. These first kids recently are produced from twice older sperm and eggs. Without going deep into genetic degeneration, let's say, that the eggs are not that fresh anymore.:petrified:

Older pregnancies are more often associated with retardation than autism.

Sperm is constantly renewed so it probably isn't a paternal issue.

I mean, this could be the case. Definitely, Western decadence in late-pregnancy is not healthy for our society and birth rates, and hell, it might not be good for autism, either.

dublin
15-07-12, 11:39
recently i listened to the lecture given by Professor Padraic Fallon about inflamatory deseeses and how they are caused by our imune system going into overdrive due to absence of stomach parasites. at the moment clinical trials are taking place in european and american hospotals where they use infections with stomach parasites to cure things like arthritis, colitis...., and believe or not authism. he mentioned autism as being an inflamatory process in the brain. the western countries are "clean", have no stomach parasites and therefore have more authistic kids. i heard someone saying a few years ago that authism is a desees of afluent families. it seems that it is true....


first article is about worms and imune system. second is the lecture link. i am not sure if it contains the mention of the authism. i think he mentioned it during q and a session after the lecture.



Re: Bob Grant’s article about worm therapy for autoimmune disease:1 A minireview by Hanada et al., (Biol. Chem, 391:1365-70, 2010) of the RANKL/RANK system involving T-cell membrane protein ligands and ligand targets in various tissues, including specific neural and astroglial terrains in the brain, may provide additional support to the findings that inflammatory responses could play a role in autism.


http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/58060/#ixzz20gMdndYS[/QUOTE]








There's an interesting article on BBC News about a relatively new theory of allergies and immunological disorders. As you probably know, allergies have really increased in recent years and I'm not just talking about a sniffly nose here and there, I'm talking about potentially lethal allergies. Both allergies, asthma, type 1 diabetes, and many other diseases appear to be on the rise, and the specific causes of this are still unclear.


One of the leading theoretical explanations is the hygiene hypothesis this states that in early childhood, exposure to infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, train our immune system to recognize what is dangerous and what can be ignored. Thus, if children grow up in an environment that is "too clean," their immune systems may not learn what the appropriate targets are, and become indiscriminate in their attacks. After all, allergies are what happens when our immune systems go a little trigger happy, and start launching assaults on harmless substances, with our own bodies being the collateral damage.


A new refinement on the hygiene hypothesis is the old friends hypothesis. While the hygiene hypothesis is rather broad in claiming we need microbiologically diverse environments to train our immune system, the old friends hypothesis is more precise in that elderly Quakers specific micro-organisms and macro-organism parasites release substances that drive our immune systems. These organisms have become "old friends" with our immune system, each benefiting the other.


In an early illustration of the old friends hypothesis (Jeon & Jeon, 1976), amoebae were infected with bacteria, which they unsuccessfully tried to fight off. As time passed, the amoebae evolved to peacefully coexist with the bacteria by removing certain sequences from their genetic code but the result was the amoeba were now dependent on the bacteria and could not live without them. A pathogenic relationship had become symbiotic.


This principle of microbiological pathogens co-evolving with us to play a symbiotic role within our bodies has been demonstrated more recently in animals. Take type 1 diabetes (aka juvenile onset not the kind you get from poor diet), which is a disease of the immune system. Type 1 diabetes is rising in the UK at a rate of 4% per year a rate that far exceeds the possibility of genetic change alone. This increase is fast enough that an environmental cause is highly probable. In one study (Cooke et al, 1999), mice were predisposed to type 1 diabetes. However, when they were given an extract of the tropical worm that causes schistosomiasis, they did not develop diabetes. Mice without the worm extract developed diabetes as expected. Thus, a (dead) infectious worm appears to have prevented diabetes mellitus.


Another study involved dogs who had developed eczema, an immunologically mediated skin disorder. All of the dogs had been raised by their owners on bottled water and human food relatively sterile stuff. When they were exposed to bacteria found in cow patties, the eczema cleared up.


Similar processes appear to work in humans. A meta-analysis (Leonardi-Bee et al, 2006) of the relationship between parasites and asthma found that hookworm infections were associated with lower rates of asthma while Ascaris lumbricoides (round worms) were associated with much higher rates of asthma. Other parasites had no effect. Similarly, some types of pig worms appear to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease (Summers et al, 2005; Summers et al, 2003).


The exact processes at play here are still uncertain, unproven, and likely to be diverse, but a few conclusions seem likely: 1) The roles of pathogen and symbiote; disease and treatment; and the whole macro-/micro-organism ecosystem are much more complex, colourful, and intertwined than we have realized. 2) It is less likely that the live infectious organism itself must be present, but rather certain substances produced by the organism. Even an extract of a parasite appears to confer beneficial properties. 3) Although it is still a long way off, it may be possible to create a kind of vaccine from extracts of parasites, avoiding the suffering they can cause, while maintaining their benefits. Your grandchild may receive a medicinal smoothie of pureed hookworm, schistosoma, and pig worm designed to prevent asthma, diabetes, and Crohn's disease, respectively.


I'll drink to that!








http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7856095.stm


Over the last 20 – 30 years immunologists have observed an epidemic of allergies across the world. Irish children experience one of the highest levels of these inflammatory diseases, such as excema and asthma, when compared with the global population.


On May 17, Professor Padraic Fallon, recipient of the 2012 ISI Public Lecture Award discussed how aspects of modern life are contributing to this epidemic and highlighted how Irish scientists are leading the field on an international scale to find new therapies for such diseases.


Professor Padraic Fallon is Director of Research for the School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin. This lecture is organised by the RDS and The Irish Times in association with the Irish Society for Immunology.






http://www.rds.ie/cat_webcast_detail.jsp?itemID=1099693

JFWR
15-07-12, 11:47
Great post, Dublin. That immunological research is fascinating, and I cannot wait till it is more widely practiced around the Western world. The bane of auto-immune diseases would be far more treatable if we smartened up and lived a wee bit dirtier than we do now.

Maciamo
15-07-12, 13:35
I find those studies which purport to find that autism was "always more prevalent" to be ludicrously hard to believe. Autistic individuals are not hard to spot except in the most mildest of cases. If this is merely a definitional thing, instead of what seems to be the actual rise in autism cases, then it is equivalent to this statement:

Coloonikzx always existed - we just used to call them certain bugs, birds, plants, and mammals!

The cause for the actual rise in autism cases -must- be found by medical scientists.

One of the primary cause of autism is heritability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability_of_autism) - so genes. Autism is actually one of the most heritable of all psychiatric conditions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_autism#Genetics). This alone proves that autism has always been there. It's just that most people were never diagnosed before. Even if someone's family knows or suspects that a person is autistic, unless they are officially diagnosed by a medical professional, that person will not be counted in the statistics. As going to a psychiatrist with a child is not a common thing to do in many cultures (the USA is an exception), most autistic children never get diagnosed. Furthermore, autism generally tends to improve with age, especially from puberty. Mildly and highly-functional autistic people (including those classified as Asperger's Syndrome) may not need any professional help at all to lead a normal adult life, and may not be recognised as autistic by most people.

I believe that in cultures like Japan, that put a lot of emphasis on reading other people's feelings rather than saying what one wants clearly and directly, autistic people will stand out and be noticed more easily than in cultures where outspokenness is liked, like Germanic ones. The border between Autism Spectrum and "normalcy" is therefore a subjective one that can vary greatly depending on what is considered "normal interpersonal behaviour" in each culture.

hope
15-07-12, 14:35
This could be as simple as the eggs and sperm getting older. Women used to have a first kid around age of 18, now it is closer to 30, and often late thirties. Same goes to the man. These first kids recently are produced from twice older sperm and eggs. Without going deep into genetic degeneration, let's say, that the eggs are not that fresh anymore.:petrified:

You could have something there LeBrok :
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9186457/New-genetic-link-to-autism.html

hope
15-07-12, 15:11
[QUOTE=JFWR;396964]

I also think there is a legitimate spike of -real- autism cases. This raises the question: Why are there more cases of autism now? Is it related at all to auto-immune disease prevalence in the first world? Hormonal imbalances? Other enviromental problems?

All good questions JFWR. Maciamo has given good reasons why more cases are now noted so I wont repeat that.
In regards to the relation of autism and auto-immune diseases, there was a study carried out in Denmark covering 12/14 years which found many children born with autism
or related disorders also had a family history of auto-immune diseases. There were arguments against this which said it was possible the same genes were involved in auto-immune diseases and autism (this sounds plausible).
Of course being it is linked to genetics but many say environment may "trigger" the mutated genes to act. Brings it back really to what environmental influences this could be.
There are many theories from the plausible to the ridiculous on this, too many to list but easily found on line.

dublin
15-07-12, 15:14
maciamo


One of the primary cause of autism is heritability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability_of_autism) - so genes. Autism is actually one of the most heritable of all psychiatric conditions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_autism#Genetics).

strong immune responses are heritable particularly through epigenetic switching. however this really means nothing except that the people in the same family have multiple members with autism. there are no genes identified as autism genes.
if you think that it is a lack of certain parasites that triggers the auto immune reaction that causes autism, then these parasites are very likely to be missing in all the members of the same family.

JFWR
15-07-12, 17:35
One of the primary cause of autism is heritability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability_of_autism) - so genes. Autism is actually one of the most heritable of all psychiatric conditions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_autism#Genetics). This alone proves that autism has always been there. It's just that most people were never diagnosed before. Even if someone's family knows or suspects that a person is autistic, unless they are officially diagnosed by a medical professional, that person will not be counted in the statistics. As going to a psychiatrist with a child is not a common thing to do in many cultures (the USA is an exception), most autistic children never get diagnosed. Furthermore, autism generally tends to improve with age, especially from puberty. Mildly and highly-functional autistic people (including those classified as Asperger's Syndrome) may not need any professional help at all to lead a normal adult life, and may not be recognised as autistic by most people.

Three things of this part:

First, you confuse the notion of inheritance with commonness. Many disorders are highly hereditary, but just as many of those are very rare. There are a host of genetic diseases which are exceedingly rare. This does not at all imply, then, that autism was as common before as it is today. THere is a notable spike in rates which cannot be accounted for merely by underdiagnosis.

Second, the heritability of autism, while certainly true in many cases, probably is not a single-gene problem and may be based on sponteneous gene deletion or multiplication (forms of mutations as you are aware). Knowing that genetic damage can result from enviromental factors, as well as phenotypical and epigentic changes in general from these things, it is not at all unreasonable to suggest that potent enviromental factors can account for the massive spike in rates.

Third, a person with such limited autism that can live a normal life is hardly "autistic" in a meaningful sense. If one could reasonably go through life without anyone ever suspecting you were anything but slightly quirky, it is meaningless to speak of them suffering from anything. Moreover, as the physical criteria of mild autistic cases are virtually absent, one may even speak of an unscientific diagnosis. Of course, psychiatry is full of them in general.

These mild cases are also not the large cause of the spikes in autism rates.


I believe that in cultures like Japan, that put a lot of emphasis on reading other people's feelings rather than saying what one wants clearly and directly, autistic people will stand out and be noticed more easily than in cultures where outspokenness is liked, like Germanic ones. The border between Autism Spectrum and "normalcy" is therefore a subjective one that can vary greatly depending on what is considered "normal interpersonal behaviour" in each culture.

I am unaware of Japan's rate of autism to begin wtih, but I would agree that autistic individuals (beyond the mild) would have a harder time in those societies. HOwever, Japan is also, from my understanding, is not as indirect as is sometimes supposed. There is plenty of directness in Japan, but there is a degree of politeness that involves social cues that isn't as often found in the US or Europe. In Japan, for instance, if you are doing something wrong, people will often alert you to it in a round about way to begin with. "Ah, I really don't like those throwaway sandals. They hurt my feet so much. I buy a pair of legitimate sandals. You should, too. You will liike it."

JFWR
15-07-12, 17:36
maciamo



strong immune responses are heritable particularly through epigenetic switching. however this really means nothing except that the people in the same family have multiple members with autism. there are no genes identified as autism genes.
if you think that it is a lack of certain parasites that triggers the auto immune reaction that causes autism, then these parasites are very likely to be missing in all the members of the same family.

Very good point, Dublin.

JFWR
15-07-12, 17:39
[QUOTE=JFWR;396964]










All good questions JFWR. Maciamo has given good reasons why more cases are now noted so I wont repeat that.
In regards to the relation of autism and auto-immune diseases, there was a study carried out in Denmark covering 12/14 years which found many children born with autism
or related disorders also had a family history of auto-immune diseases. There were arguments against this which said it was possible the same genes were involved in auto-immune diseases and autism (this sounds plausible).
Of course being it is linked to genetics but many say environment may "trigger" the mutated genes to act. Brings it back really to what environmental influences this could be.
There are many theories from the plausible to the ridiculous on this, too many to list but easily found on line.

I think DUblin made a good point here regarding epigentic switching from enviromental causes.

It would be odd to say the same genes that cause autoimmune diseases, however, would cause autism in others. I would find it quite odd if autistic people were found to share the same genetic flaws as people who suffer from eczema (as an example) or any other auto-immune disease carrying genes that acn be triggered by enviromental causes. I would imagine, rather, that there would be separate genes affected in their expression from enviromental causes in those who would be more suspectible to autism.

Maciamo
16-07-12, 10:32
This could be as simple as the eggs and sperm getting older. Women used to have a first kid around age of 18, now it is closer to 30, and often late thirties. Same goes to the man. These first kids recently are produced from twice older sperm and eggs. Without going deep into genetic degeneration, let's say, that the eggs are not that fresh anymore.:petrified:

This is a misconception. People are not getting married or having children later today. At least not in northern Europe. There are big cultural differences between countries, so that in parts of Africa or in India it may be or may have been common to marry and have children very young (even as young as 12). Non-Western countries are increasingly adopting Western practices though.

However, the median age of marriage in Europe in the 16th century was already around 26 years old (27 for men and 25 for women). I clearly remember seeing a chart with the evolution of the median age of marriage in England since the 16th century, and how it lowered to 23-23 years old in the early 19th century, then went up again to 26-27 years old in the late 19th century, then down again in the mid 20th century (probably as a result of WWI and WWII), to rise again in the late 20th century. Unfortunately I cannot find it anymore (it might have been in a book I read and not on the Internet). All I could find was the median age of marriage in the USA from 1890 to 2010 (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005061.html). This page (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/83569652/Social-History-Chart) on the social history of Europe, though, confirms my recollections. Europeans married in their mid-20's in the Middle Ages, and late 20's or later from the 16th to 18th century. There are small fluctuations over the decades and centuries, but nothing tremendous.

Therefore I do not believe that autism is more common today because people are having children at an older age. I also do not believe that autism is more common today. The annual increase that is reported by doctors is simply the result of better screening and more parents sending their kids to the shrink when they don't fit nicely in the system (especially in the USA).

dublin
16-07-12, 10:43
maciamo


Therefore I do not believe that autism is more common today because people are having children at an older age. I also do not believe that autism is more common today. The annual increase that is reported by doctors is simply the result of better screening and more parents sending their kids to the shrink when they don't fit nicely in the system (especially in the USA).

professor Fellon claims that it is ever increasing as are all the other auto immune diseases. by the way the relationship between the lack of parasites and extreme auto immune reactions is not a theory any more. the scientists know which exact chemicals secreted by the worms switch the immune system off. they just can't make pills from them. this is why they are now doing clinical trials with live worms. they are talking about preventative infection of children to insure development of a healthy immune system. he was also very critical of the mmr vaccines, saying that they mess up the immune system.

JFWR
16-07-12, 15:32
This is a misconception. People are not getting married or having children later today. At least not in northern Europe. There are big cultural differences between countries, so that in parts of Africa or in India it may be or may have been common to marry and have children very young (even as young as 12). Non-Western countries are increasingly adopting Western practices though.

However, the median age of marriage in Europe in the 16th century was already around 26 years old (27 for men and 25 for women). I clearly remember seeing a chart with the evolution of the median age of marriage in England since the 16th century, and how it lowered to 23-23 years old in the early 19th century, then went up again to 26-27 years old in the late 19th century, then down again in the mid 20th century (probably as a result of WWI and WWII), to rise again in the late 20th century. Unfortunately I cannot find it anymore (it might have been in a book I read and not on the Internet). All I could find was the median age of marriage in the USA from 1890 to 2010 (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005061.html). This page (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/83569652/Social-History-Chart) on the social history of Europe, though, confirms my recollections. Europeans married in their mid-20's in the Middle Ages, and late 20's or later from the 16th to 18th century. There are small fluctuations over the decades and centuries, but nothing tremendous.

Therefore I do not believe that autism is more common today because people are having children at an older age. I also do not believe that autism is more common today. The annual increase that is reported by doctors is simply the result of better screening and more parents sending their kids to the shrink when they don't fit nicely in the system (especially in the USA).

Two things:

First, do you have numbers for the ages of men at marriage v. women? It was very frequently historically for men to be much older, which could significantly alter an average number.

Second, in the US here are some facts about the increase in autism:

1 percent of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder.1
Prevalence is estimated at 1 in 88 births.2
1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.3
Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.4
10 - 17 % annual growth.5

From: http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/facts-and-statistics.html
Some of that is based on criteria changes, but it would be absolutely absurd to suggest that it is overdiagnosis alone that is causing -this- much of an increase. Psychiatry would have to be condemned as quackery if it can so greatly expand a disease without the prevalence actually increasing.

LeBrok
16-07-12, 18:08
However, the median age of marriage in Europe in the 16th century was already around 26 years old (27 for men and 25 for women). I clearly remember seeing a chart with the evolution of the median age of marriage in England since the 16th century, and how it lowered to 23-23 years old in the early 19th century, then went up again to 26-27 years old in the late 19th century, then down again in the mid 20th century (probably as a result of WWI and WWII), to rise again in the late 20th century. Unfortunately I cannot find it anymore (it might have been in a book I read and not on the Internet). All I could find was the median age of marriage in the USA from 1890 to 2010 (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005061.html). This page (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/83569652/Social-History-Chart) on the social history of Europe, though, confirms my recollections. Europeans married in their mid-20's in the Middle Ages, and late 20's or later from the 16th to 18th century. There are small fluctuations over the decades and centuries, but nothing tremendous.



I'm pretty sure it was an English phenomenon, or maybe it just relates to upper classes. Maybe the minimum age was set by Anglican or Lutheran church, or other government regulations.
Technically there was no reason to keep a girl home over age of 20. There was no university to attend, carrier to make or save money for an apartment. They could only become a housewives or nuns, and for this they were ready at age 15.

LeBrok
17-07-12, 04:21
This is a misconception. People are not getting married or having children later today. At least not in northern Europe. There are big cultural differences between countries, so that in parts of Africa or in India it may be or may have been common to marry and have children very young (even as young as 12). Non-Western countries are increasingly adopting Western practices though.

However, the median age of marriage in Europe in the 16th century was already around 26 years old (27 for men and 25 for women). I clearly remember seeing a chart with the evolution of the median age of marriage in England since the 16th century, and how it lowered to 23-23 years old in the early 19th century, then went up again to 26-27 years old in the late 19th century, then down again in the mid 20th century (probably as a result of WWI and WWII), to rise again in the late 20th century. Unfortunately I cannot find it anymore (it might have been in a book I read and not on the Internet). All I could find was the median age of marriage in the USA from 1890 to 2010 (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005061.html). This page (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/83569652/Social-History-Chart) on the social history of Europe, though, confirms my recollections. Europeans married in their mid-20's in the Middle Ages, and late 20's or later from the 16th to 18th century. There are small fluctuations over the decades and centuries, but nothing tremendous.

Therefore I do not believe that autism is more common today because people are having children at an older age. I also do not believe that autism is more common today. The annual increase that is reported by doctors is simply the result of better screening and more parents sending their kids to the shrink when they don't fit nicely in the system (especially in the USA).

Never mind marriage, here is a statistics on first child born to women in Canada. It is amazing how quickly, in one generation, the shift happened. This strongly coincides with fast growth of ASD cases. Surely more kids with mild ASD are included in stats these days, as I stated before, but what I found is very interesting.


Moms keep getting olderThe change in the age distribution of mothers is particularly striking compared with one generation earlier. In 2004, women aged 24 and under made up 20.6% of all mothers, half of the proportion of 40.7% in 1979.
The bulk of the births now occur to women aged 25 to 34, who accounted for 62.1% of all births in 2004 compared with 54.7% in 1979.

Well, check this surprising part:

Births to older mothers, those aged 35 and older, were almost four times as frequent as a generation earlier. These mothers accounted for 17.2% of births in 2004, nearly four times the proportion of only 4.6% a quarter century earlier.
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/060731/dq060731b-eng.htm
I'm pretty sure that this Canadian trend is also common in most western world. So, 4 times more kids are born to older mothers, therefore to older fathers too, than a generation ago. It is not a secret that age of parents goes in hand with more genetic abnormalities in kids. Lots of research and stats available online, especially with Down Syndrome.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d4/Maternal_Age_Effect.png/150px-Maternal_Age_Effect.png (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/File:Maternal_Age_Effect.png)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_syndrome

There are none so detailed statistics for ASD, but strong correlation with age of parents exists. Looking quickly at some stats, older parents age might account for 100%-200% increase of ASD cases in one generation, and the rest (other 100-200%) is probably explained with wider and more rigorous diagnostics.

Maciamo
17-07-12, 13:45
I'm pretty sure it was an English phenomenon, or maybe it just relates to upper classes. Maybe the minimum age was set by Anglican or Lutheran church, or other government regulations.
Technically there was no reason to keep a girl home over age of 20. There was no university to attend, carrier to make or save money for an apartment. They could only become a housewives or nuns, and for this they were ready at age 15.

It is not an English or upper-class phenomenon. The link I posted is for all Europe, and for ordinary people. It is easy to double check this by going on a big international genealogy website and check a random the age of marriage for people in various countries and centuries. I did it and mid-20's seems to be the average age of first marriage.

However, people in past centuries had much more children than today because child mortality was much higher. Between the 16th and the early 20th century, it was not uncommon for a woman to have between 7 and 15 children, of which perhaps one third would die in low age. In such circumstances, the younger children were typically born when the mother was in her late thirties or in her forties (I have seen cases of early fifties), which is later than the average mother age for the last child today. So in all logic, in an older age of the parents did increase the rate of autism, autism should be decreasing now that most people only have in average two children born around the age of thirty.

Incidentally, autism seems to be more common in first born children (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427091115.htm)*, so when the parents sperm and egg are the youngest. One of the reasons behind that is that first-time mothers have higher levels of testosterone in their body, and that testosterone masculinises the foetus' brain. This is also why, reversely, homosexuals are often boys with several older siblings (especially brothers).

It is somewhat of a contradiction that older mothers are also at increased risk of having autistic children, since the more children they have the older they are.

It is nevertheless well established that Down syndrome and schizophrenia are both associated with older parents, older mothers for the former and older fathers for the latter.


* this other study (http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/195/1/7.full) gives a 61% increase in risk of autism for first-born children compared with children born third or later.

hope
17-07-12, 15:39
Before I post can I say that on noticing this thread having been moved from an earlier thread, and now my post from that thread being first here, is seen as myself breaking previous topic, then I apologise. In my defense there were two posts before mine that went that way and I merely answered the second.
:
:
In regards to older women having children with autism figures show that women of forty and over are 50% more likely to have an autistic child than women between the ages of 25-29. However , this only accounts for 5% of the rise in autism figures.
It is also suggested that an accumulation of environmental chemicals in a womans body may play a part.
Again the study says that mothers of some autistic children have anti-bodies in their blood which act against the brain protein of the foetus.
It is also noted (not in the same study) that more children with Down Syndrome are also being diagnosed with ASD, "dual-diagnosis".
I have added the link to the above mentioned if any-one is interested in reading it.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7188456/Putting-off-motherhood-increases-risk-of-autistic-child-researchers.html#

Maciamo
17-07-12, 16:15
Before I post can I say that on noticing this thread having been moved from an earlier thread, and now my post from that thread being first here, is seen as myself breaking previous topic, then I apologise. In my defense there were two posts before mine that went that way and I merely answered the second.


No worries. One off-topic post wouldn't have been the object of a separate thread, but there were 25 of them, a whole new discussion from what I intended. So I think it's better to separate the two topics for the sake of consistency and clarity.

LeBrok
17-07-12, 19:26
However, people in past centuries had much more children than today because child mortality was much higher. Between the 16th and the early 20th century, it was not uncommon for a woman to have between 7 and 15 children, of which perhaps one third would die in low age. In such circumstances, the younger children were typically born when the mother was in her late thirties or in her forties (I have seen cases of early fifties), which is later than the average mother age for the last child today. So in all logic, in an older age of the parents did increase the rate of autism, autism should be decreasing now that most people only have in average two children born around the age of thirty.
.
I'm sorry Maciamo but this is total fabrication. People had more kids because they didn't use contraceptives, and not because the kids were dying. When they had sex they usually produced kids. Today's situation is totally different.
Secondly, look at third world today and see how old the mothers are, the age the marry, how many kids they have, etc, and it goes same for all the races and religions. Europe was in same situation not that far back ago. There is no reason to pretend that this situation in Europe was much different than we can observe today in poor countries. This is the natural way for all people, and if in England it was different way back, it was because of some religious regulation or some other unusual factors.

The average life span back than was 35-40 years. What would be the benefit waiting to get married and have kids when in their thirties? Half of population was dead at that age.

Besides, look at canadian stats from my previous post, about a quick trend change of last generation, regarding having kids late.
There is now 4 times more kids born to mothers over 35 than generation ago. Now, this is a profound change only during last 25 years!

LeBrok
18-07-12, 07:47
To shine some lights on the marriage discussion, this is what I've found, in my limited time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage


In Ancient Greece (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Ancient_Greece), no specific civil ceremony was required for the creation of a marriage (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Ancient_Greek_marriage_law) – only mutual agreement and the fact that the couple must regard each other as husband and wife accordingly.[citation needed (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] Men usually married when they were in their 20s[citation needed (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] and women in their teens.


Where Aristotle (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Aristotle) had set the prime of life at 37 years for men and 18 for women, the Visigothic Code of law (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Visigothic_Code) in the seventh century (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Seventh_century) placed the prime of life at twenty years for both men and women, after which both presumably married. It can be presumed that most ancient Germanic women were at least twenty years of age when they married and were roughly the same age as their husbands.[51 (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/#cite_note-50)

Now middle ages:

The average age of marriage for most Northwestern Europeans (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/North-West_Europe) from the late 14th century into the 19th century was around 25 years of age (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Hajnal_line);[58] (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/#cite_note-57)[59] (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/#cite_note-58)[60] (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/#cite_note-autogenerated82-59) as the Church dictated that both parties had to be at least 21 years of age to marry without the consent of their parents, the bride and groom were roughly the same age, with most brides in their early twenties and most grooms two or three years older


As part of the Protestant Reformation (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Protestant_Reformation), the role of recording marriages and setting the rules for marriage passed to the state, reflecting Martin Luther (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Martin_Luther)'s view that marriage was a "worldly thing".[65] (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/#cite_note-64) By the 17th century many of the Protestant (http://www.eupedia.com/wiki/Protestantism) European countries had a state involvement in marriage.

It looks more like Germanic traditions plus Anglican and Protestant churches set the minimum age to 21.

LeBrok
18-07-12, 09:13
Here is an interesting read about mothers getting older.
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=age%20at%20first%20childbirth&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oecd.org%2Fdataoecd%2F62%2F49 %2F41919586.pdf&ei=mEwGUM2DIsTkqAHyxN3DCA&usg=AFQjCNHX4-wIKKBw50ctLXDeyVjicrJ-XQ

and one more:
http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-5242339.html

Women in the U.S. and other developed countries are waiting significantly longer before having their first children than new moms of a generation ago, according to a study by the CDC.

The average age of first-time mothers in the U.S. jumped from 21.4 in 1970 to 25 in 2006, an increase of 3.6 years, according to a report in the August edition of NCHS Data Brief, a publication of the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

By comparison, the average age at first birth in Switzerland is 29.4 and in Japan is 29.2.

One explanation of the change in average age of first-time mothers is that the proportion of first births to women 35 and older has increased nearly eight times since 1970, the researchers say.

Researchers T.J. Mathews, MS, and Brady E. Hamilton, PhD, both of the National Center for Health Statistics, say average age at first birth is important because it influences the total number of children a woman might have as well as the population's size and future growth. A mother's age is also a factor in birth outcomes such as birth weight and birth defects.

The study also shows:
• The average age at first birth has risen five years or more in Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, while increasing less than 2.5 years in Mississippi, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
• Since 1990, average age at first birth has increased across all racial and ethnic groups.
• Asian or Pacific Islander women had the oldest average age at first birth, at 28.5, and American Indian or Alaska Native women the youngest at 21.9.
• In 1970, average age at first birth was lowest in Arkansas at 20.2 and highest at 22.5 in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. In 2006, Mississippi had the lowest average age at 22.6 and Massachusetts the highest, 27.7.
• The average for non-Hispanic white women was higher at 26 than for the U.S. population as a whole, 25. The average for non-Hispanic black women was 22.7 and the average for Hispanic women was 23.1.
By Bill Hendrick




If it comes to society getting bit more sicker with every generation form allergies to cancers, we shouldn't overlook one important fact. In the past child mortality at birth or early childhood was at least about 20 times of today's. Only the strongest/healthiest kids survived to adulthood. For last 100 years, with advances in medicine, we are saving almost all kids, who typically would have died for variety of diseases, genetic ones too. These kids grow up and make new kids, maybe even weaker then themselves, that will survive thanks to even better medicine. New kids will make make more weaker kids, who will survive thanks to even better medical technologies in the future, etc, etc. Not only we have more people that wouldn't be alive if born in the past, but we have more and more people who can't live a year or even a month without constant medications, transplants or other medical technologies. This really should explain at least a portion in increase of some diseases in population.

Did we stop the natural selection?

hope
18-07-12, 17:20
I like your graph LeBrok showing mean age for mothers, it`good to see it all in one picture.

:
Recent rates given by the Office for National Statistics show 48% of births in 2010 were to mothers age thirty and over.
For first time births in 2010 the age is averaged around 27.8 yrs, up from 27.6 in 2009 which in turn is an increase from 26.5 yrs
in 2000. So the trend to wait seems to be increasing.

For anyone interested there is a link below with some interesting facts. It does not deal with first time births only but all births in general.
(England and Wales,note)
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_239220.pdf

JFWR
18-07-12, 17:34
To shine some lights on the marriage discussion, this is what I've found, in my limited time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage





Now middle ages:




It looks more like Germanic traditions plus Anglican and Protestant churches set the minimum age to 21.

Yes, but this is not counting parental consent, which is potentially far more common than non-parental consented marriages. Plus, the Visigothic code defined "prime of life" not "marriage age".

Also, one cannot forget (as I mentioned last page in the forum but Maciamo hasn't produced anything to that end) that many cultures had men marrying much younger women. If you then average the ages out, one gets a figure which isn't true of either sex.

LeBrok
19-07-12, 04:32
Yes, but this is not counting parental consent, which is potentially far more common than non-parental consented marriages. Plus, the Visigothic code defined "prime of life" not "marriage age".

Also, one cannot forget (as I mentioned last page in the forum but Maciamo hasn't produced anything to that end) that many cultures had men marrying much younger women. If you then average the ages out, one gets a figure which isn't true of either sex.

It's hard to know for sure, marriages were not registered till couple of centuries ago, in some european countries even later. We have only records of general impressions of some historians. One thing obvious is that Northern European countries are leading in late marriages and later child birthing. Not sure what it equates too, are kids growing up there slower, have lesser sexual drive or are less romantic than the rest of the world? Maybe it is as a simple thing as GDP, wealth of a country? They have been stronger economically for some time, used contraceptives sooner than others, social and family pressure were not that great as anywhere else, to get married. Generally they went through these trends of "lateness"( that we observe right now around the world), sooner too.

Maciamo
19-07-12, 08:15
I'm sorry Maciamo but this is total fabrication. People had more kids because they didn't use contraceptives, and not because the kids were dying.

For both reasons. I did enough genealogical research (over 500 direct ancestors + thousands of their siblings and cousins) to know that infants did die in great number under the age of five (especially under the age of one) as late as the early 20th century, even in Belgium.


When they had sex they usually produced kids. Today's situation is totally different.

I am sorry, but how is this helpful to the discussion about autism ? If people got married, say at 25, they didn't have children before that (from my experience as a genealogist, illegitimate children were extremely rare, except perhaps for kings or high nobility). If they had a lot of children, the average age of the parents for each birth was higher than now.




Secondly, look at third world today and see how old the mothers are, the age the marry, how many kids they have, etc, and it goes same for all the races and religions. Europe was in same situation not that far back ago. There is no reason to pretend that this situation in Europe was much different than we can observe today in poor countries. This is the natural way for all people, and if in England it was different way back, it was because of some religious regulation or some other unusual factors.



It's hard to know for sure, marriages were not registered till couple of centuries ago, in some european countries even later.

You are speculating about European history based on the Third World today, and that is just not the way to go. There happen to be detailed statistics about the births, marriages and deaths in many European countries going back several centuries. In Britain, the Benelux, France and Italy at least, almost all births and marriages were listed in registrars since the 17th century, but many families can go back even further. So there is no need to speculate about the average age of marriage and average age of either parent for all births. The data is there. Just look at it.

There are plenty of reasons why the Third World today isn't comparable to Europe in the last 500 years. There are still a lot of places in Africa (or even in the Indian and Chinese countryside) where births are not officially recorded today. 150 years ago, almost nobody outside the Western World kept tracks of genealogical data, not even advanced cultures like Japan (where ordinary people didn't even have surnames until the late 19th century, under the influence of the West).

Even economically, it has been estimated (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101205234308.htm) that the real GDP per capita at PPP in late Medieval England was twice higher than many of the world's poorest nations today. Needless to say that it will take time before places like Congo can reach the same level of development as 16th century Europe - let alone 18th or 19th century.

JFWR
19-07-12, 08:18
It's hard to know for sure, marriages were not registered till couple of centuries ago, in some european countries even later. We have only records of general impressions of some historians. One thing obvious is that Northern European countries are leading in late marriages and later child birthing. Not sure what it equates too, are kids growing up there slower, have lesser sexual drive or are less romantic than the rest of the world? Maybe it is as a simple thing as GDP, wealth of a country? They have been stronger economically for some time, used contraceptives sooner than others, social and family pressure were not that great as anywhere else, to get married. Generally they went through these trends of "lateness"( that we observe right now around the world), sooner too.

Birth control, feminism, career, economic conditions, abortion. Those all explain late first births.

LeBrok
19-07-12, 09:32
For both reasons. I did enough genealogical research (over 500 direct ancestors + thousands of their siblings and cousins) to know that infants did die in great number under the age of five (especially under the age of one) as late as the early 20th century, even in Belgium.



I am sorry, but how is this helpful to the discussion about autism ? If people got married, say at 25, they didn't have children before that (from my experience as a genealogist, illegitimate children were extremely rare, except perhaps for kings or high nobility). If they had a lot of children, the average age of the parents for each birth was higher than now.

I'm not questioning child mortality. I was saying that your presumption about numerous kid families in the past is wrong. They didn't have many kids because they were dying easily. The main reasons they had many kids is because they had sex and there were no birth control pills.







You are speculating about European history based on the Third World today, and that is just not the way to go. There happen to be detailed statistics about the births, marriages and deaths in many European countries going back several centuries. In Britain, the Benelux, France and Italy at least, almost all births and marriages were listed in registrars since the 17th century, but many families can go back even further. So there is no need to speculate about the average age of marriage and average age of either parent for all births. The data is there. Just look at it.



Can you produce rural records from 17 century about age of mother when first and last child was born, at least a baptism of child and age of mother? Rural records are preferable as 80 to 90% of population lived in villages, therefore they were more representative of population in most European Countries. And off course let's skip the upper class, it's only 1-2% of population. Also it would be nice to sample 4 places in Europe, let's say England, Italy, Greece and Russia. We would have representatives of 4 main European cultures, not just North-West. Well, 18 century is fine too. That would be a great piece of statistics, and possibly relevant to autism issue.

Do you think any of the rural parishes had put their archives online?

I think we shall go on speculating...:indifferent:

LeBrok
19-07-12, 18:26
Birth control, feminism, career, economic conditions, abortion. Those all explain late first births.
Yes, I was just musing why Northern Europeans lead the world with said trends.

hope
19-07-12, 19:31
Did we stop the natural selection?

I suppose it is possible we may have, to a point, interfered.
There`s little doubt, as you have said, with the advance of medicine and science people are controlling diseases that may have killed them in the past.
However I think also the environment we live in can "trigger" some diseases. We live in a world surrounded by more chemicals than ever before. Even in our homes we spray and wipe every corner with some chemical or another to kill germs.
(dublin mentioned something similar) Animals are fed with hormones and we eat the animals. People take all sorts of medication for even minor ailments. We could be setting off ailments that might otherwise stay quiet.

JFWR
20-07-12, 04:03
Yes, I was just musing why Northern Europeans lead the world with said trends.

Ideology, mainly.

Northern Europe is a hedonistic culture that has been ideologically bombarded for decades with the activists for precisely the things that are coming to pass. People are easily led when you tell them from birth that this is how society should function and what the role of men and women ought to be.

The result is a Europe that is dying off, men and women who are decreasingly happy with their situations, et cetera. And of course, late births leading to problems associated with late births.

Dorianfinder
27-07-12, 17:20
Autism is not a single diagnosis, it is a spectrum on which there are varying degrees of 'social' dysfunction. The 'rain-man' (Dustin Hoffman) savant-type autism is extremely rare and is not the same thing as Aspergers, of which they are both viewed as specific types of Autism-Spectrum Disorders. The spectrum is composed of very severe forms of congenital disorders on the one end of the continuum and much less severe developmental one of the other end. But what is more important is that two cases of the same disorder may vary significantly, so much so that most people would not realize that both individuals share the same diagnosis.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders should be viewed with caution and interpreting or comparing cases should be avoided by the layperson. An increase in Asperger's d/o has resulted in many parents feeling stigmatized as educators generally have a poor understanding of its definition and how to deal with it.

There seems to be more diagnosing of Asperger's due to the social awkwardness of the Asperger's patient and increased class sizes. There also appears to be a need by lay-educators to classify what they perceive as learning difficulties as either ADHD (attention-deficit & hyperactivity) or ADD (attention-deficit). Needless to say, Ritalin is being over-prescribed, but this is thankfully changing.

The Asperger's label prevents in essence a child from being prescribed ritalin as simple ADHD/ADD can be ruled out in most cases when class disturbances are coupled with general poor social functioning + above-average verbal/comprehension skills. On the WAIS (IQ assessment) Aspergers children should have a negative spike on a single indicator, social fx. The rest should be pretty normal.

Whereas ADHD/ADD children will find concentrating difficult and hence have problems with math & science. Attention-deficit children are very socially-minded in contrast to Asperger's-type cases.

The social deficit in Asperger's is a complex issue in modern society where television, video games and a general lack of face2face communication is more common than it use to be before the tech revolution. There is no doubt a physiological and environment component to the increased prevalence of this type of Autism.

Some environmental factors that may precipitate the onset of Asperger's include:
- Both parents work long hours and child spends too much time unsupervised in front of TV/PC
- Primary care-giver communicates without making necessary eye-contact (general lack of attention to emotive and other non-verbal signs)
- A diet rich in refined sugars
- Lack of routine and general structure (role-definitions) in the household. Absent parents

There is a cultural component that needs to be taken into account as well!