To see Autism diagnosis, go to Documents link.
Inherited Red-Hair Gene From European / Middle East Ancestry
"Variation in human skin and hair color is largely explained by the levels and ratio of the two major forms of melanin—eumelanin, which is brown-black, and pheomelanin, which is red-yellow (Quevedo and Holstein 1998). The [ melanocortin 1 receptor] MC1R gene (chromosome 16q24.3) is the only gene identified, thus far, that explains substantial phenotypic variance in human pigmentation (Rees and Flanagan 1999). ...MC1R is highly polymorphic in European populations and that, in Irish, Dutch, and Swedish populations, homozygotes or compound heterozygotes for three particular variants are associated with red hair and increased sensitivity to burning from UV radiation (Valverde et al. 1995; Box et al. 1997; Smith et al. 1998). These three variants (Arg151Cys, Arg160Trp, and Asp294His) all bind α-melanocyte–stimulating hormone but show diminished intracellular ability to activate adenylate cyclase (Frändberg et al. 1998; Schiöth et al. 1999).... Arg142His—but not Val60Leu—has been found in association with red hair (authors' unpublished data). Val60Leu, however, may be associated with fair or blonde and light-brown hair colors (Box et al. 1997)." Harding, Healey, Ray, Ellis, Flanagan, Todd, Dixon, Sajantila, Jackson, Birch-Machin, & Rees, Evidence for Variable Selective Pressures at MC1R, Am J Hum Genet., 2000 April; 66(4): 1351–1361, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1288200/?tool=pubmed (hereafter "Harding et al., 2000").
"Both African and non-African data suggest that the time to the most recent common ancestor is ~1 million years and that the age of the global 314 variant is 650,000 years. On this time scale, ages for the Eurasian-distributed Val60Leu, Val92Met, and Arg163Gln variants are 250,000–100,000 years....For the European red hair–associated Arg151Cys and Arg160Trp variants, we estimate an age of ~80,000 years; for Asp294His, and Ser316Ser, we estimate an age of 30,000 years. ...MC1R alleles (Arg151Cys, Arg160Trp, Asp294His, and Arg142His) that act as recessives in the red-hair phenotype (~11% of the British and Irish population) also contribute to UV radiation sensitivity in heterozygous genotypes (~28% of the population; J. L. Rees, unpublished data)." (Harding et al., 2000).
Photo: Mary Katherine Day-Petrano, 4th Grade, circa 1965, age 9 showing her natural red-hair derived from her Caucasian Eurasian ancestry
Autistic People Have Our Own Language, And Have Been Found to Utter Different Pre-Verbal Vocalizations Than Neurotypicals
"A Kansas University professor has ... show[n that preverbal vocalizations of very young children with autism differ from those of typically developing children. The idea that children with autism display different vocalizations than normally developing children isn’t new.... Some parents of children with autism have pointed out that their children were displaying different vocal characteristics ..." Andy Hyland, Autism research may be used as screen, July 20, 2010, http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/jul/20/autism-research-may-be-used-screen/.
"[T]here are an unlimited variety of ways in which people experience the world. Even in a world that puts a high value and price on the 'normal' - there really is no such thing." Lynne Soraya, The Power of Presupposition: Presuppositions. What part do they play in our interactions? Asperger's Diary blog, April 27, 2008, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/200804/the-power-presupposition (hereafter "Soraya, 2008).
"Reading the works of such neurologists as Oliver Sacks and V. Ramachandran - it becomes clear that the variation in the human experience is very affected by our brains interpret the world around us, and this varies widely. Being the concrete beings we are, I believe many people miss this. In a "what you see is what you get" world - where is the room to realize that what your brain "sees" when looking at an object, person, or situation, may be completely different than what my brain "sees"? And what presuppositions will that assumption cause you to make? I think this a common root of some of the social issues experienced by people on the autism spectrum, or others who have similar, invisible disabilities. People seem to make the default presupposition that your experience is similar to theirs ...." (Soraya, 2008) (emphasis added).
According to Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher (2008), "[f]ew aspects of neurology have not been proposed as being atypical in autism."
"For example, regions of reported neurofunctional atypicalities range from the brainstem to the inferior frontal gyrus, while reported neuroanatomical atypicalities range from increased white and gray matter volume (e.g., Hazlett et al., 2005) to more densely packed cells and increased numbers of cortical minicolumns (Casanova et al., 2002). Neurofunctional connectivity has been suggested to be atypical (e.g., Just et al., 2004), and neural resources may be atypically allocated or rededicated (e.g., Koshino et al., 2005; Turkeltaub et al., 2004). Virtually every fundamental human cognitive and affective process, singly or as part of an overarching model, has been proposed to be dysfunctional or absent in autism, while persistent findings of superior performances by autistics are often interpreted as evidence of neurological and cognitive pathology (e.g., Beversdorf et al., 2000; Chawarska et al., 2003; Heaton et al., 1998; Just et al., 2004; Langdell, 1978; Ropar and Mitchell, 2002; Shah and Frith, 1983, 1993; Toichi et al., 2002; for analysis and perspective, see Baron-Cohen, 2005; Gernsbacher et al., 2006; Mottron et al., 2006; Mottron et al., in press). Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphasis added).
'[E]arlier findings [have been replicated] that parental autoimmune disease increases risk for [Autism]. ...Alexander Keil and colleagues found that there was nearly a 50% higher chance of being diagnosed with autism if the parent had an autoimmune disease, such as type-1 diabetes and rheumatic fever. The mechanisms by which parental autoimmune disease increases risk for [Autism] are now a focus of further research. What is clear from these and other studies is that the causes of autism are likely to be complex rather than simple and many rather than a few.2010: The Year in Review from Autism Speaks' Chief Science Officer, Jan. 4, 2011, http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science_news/dawson_year_in_science_2010.php (hereafter "AutismSpeaks, 2011") (citing Keil et al., (2010) Parental autoimmune diseases associated with autism spectrum disorder in offspring. Epidemiology, 21: 805-8).
Martha Bahr Thrun Jan. __, __ -Apr. 14, 2001: My Grandmother, Mother's Side -- Auto-Immune Disease: Rheumatoid Arthritis
My "grandma," as I called her, on my Mom's side was diagnosed and suffered many years as she aged with autoimmune disease - rheumatoid arthritis.
Photo: My grandparents, from L to R: Cortez F. Day, Queen Angelica Ballard Day; Martha Bahr Thrun, Elmer Thrun circa Dec. 1955
Photo: My grandparents, from L to R: Elmer Thrun, Martha Bahr Thrun circa during the 1980s / 60th Wedding Anniversary
'Several noteworthy papers on environmental risk factors were published in 2010. Five studies found that premature birth is associated with increased risk for autism. (Johnson, S et al., 2010) (Autism spectrum disorders in extremely preterm children. Journal of Pediatrics, 156: 525-31). Exposure to hazardous air pollutants shortly after birth also was found to be a risk factor. (Kalkbrenner, AE et al., 2010) (Perinatal exposure to hazardous air pollutants and autism spectrum disorder at age 8. Epidemiology, June 17 (Epub ahead of print)).' (AutismSpeaks, 2011).
People with Autism "are much more likely to have defects in a cellular structure called the mitochondria, which is responsible for producing the energy used by brain cells." Jenifer Goodwin, Cell Dysfunction May Play Part in Autism: Mitochondria, energy center of cell, found impaired in some, researchers report, HealthDay News, Nov. 30, 2010 (hereafter "Goodwin, 2010") (emphasis added).
"Mitochondria, sometimes called cellular 'powerhouses,' produce energy that's used to fuel a cell's activity -- an especially important function in the brain.... When mitochondria don't function properly, the results can be devastating." (Goodwin, 2010).
A recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Cecilia Giulivi, and colleagues reported a much higher prevalence of mitochondrial dysfunction in children with [Autism] than had previously been found. Mitochondria, found within cells, contain enzymes that are responsible for producing energy. Unlike previous studies, researchers studied lymphocytes (white blood cells) which have a higher number of mitochondria. The children with [Autism] had lower mitochondrial enzyme activity and other indications that the mitochondria were not functioning optimally. Five of the 10 children with [Autism] had more copies of their mitochondrial DNA than expected, suggesting that the body may be trying to compensate for poor mitochondria functioning.'' (AutismSpeaks, 2011) (citing Giulivi, C., Zhang, Y., Omanska-Klusek, A., Ross-Inta, C., Wong, S., Hertz-Picciotto, I,, F., Pessah, I.N. (2010) Mitochondrial dysfunction in autism. JAMA, 304: 2389-2396).
People with Autism as compared to others, are "far more likely to have mitochondrial dysfunction, including defects in mitochondrial DNA and abnormalities in the levels of various enzymes produced by the mitochondria."Among the various mitochondrial defects," the mitochondria of people with Autism have been found to "consume less oxygen" than mitochondria from Neurotypical people, "suggesting less mitochondrial activity." (Goodwin, 2010) (emphasis added).
"Mitochondrial disease can lead to symptoms including muscle weakness, exercise intolerance (pain and muscle cramps during exercise), gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, liver disease, vision and hearing problems, developmental delays and increased susceptibility to infection." (Goodwin, 2010) (emphasis added).
'It is not known whether the mitochondrial dysfunction is a cause or effect of autism. However, mitochondrial dysfunction can amplify brain dysfunction because the brain requires a high level of energy and depends on the mitochondria to supply that energy' (AutismSpeaks, 2011).
'The role of the immune system in autism was also highlighted in several other 2010 studies. Paul Ashwood and colleagues from UC Davis found that children with [Autism] had increased levels of cytokines, small molecules that are secreted by the immune system. Increased cytokine levels were pronounced in children with regressive autism and those with more severe [Autism Spectrum] symptoms.' (AutismSpeaks, 2011) (citing Ashwood, P. et al., (2010) Elevated plasma cytokines in autism spectrum disorders provide evidence of immune dysfunction and are associated with impaired behavioral outcome. Brain Behavior Immunology, August 10. (Epub ahead of print)).
"Individuals with autism more often had microscopic deletions in their chromosomes that affected the function of specific genes. The specific deletions (called “copy number variations”) are extremely rare in the general population, and many were “de novo,” meaning that they occurred for the first time in the individual with [Autism], and were not inherited from parents. De novo mutations can arise spontaneously through errors in DNA replication or be caused by environmental factors, such as viruses or chemicals." (AutismSpeaks, 2011).
"The need for better assessments and treatments of medical conditions in people with [Autism], including GI, sleep, and seizures, among others, was the topic of a 2010 presentation to the IACC." (AutismSpeaks, 2011). "'[A] central difficulty in recognizing and characterizing gastrointestinal dysfunction with [Autism] is the communication difficulties experienced by many affected individuals.'” AutismSpeaks, 2011) (citation omitted, emphasis added).
Preference for Geometric Patterns, Pictures, Objects & Things -- Early Autism Identifier
Photo: Oct. 20, 1956 - Mary at 6 months, gazing at pictures & patterns
"Only autistic babies looked at the geometric patterns more than 69 percent of the time. 'It's pretty clear that showing heightened interest in geometric patterns and repetitive moving objects is a risk factor for autism.'" http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_103003.html.
A recent study identified preference for geometric patterns over social images as an early risk factor for the development of Autism. Marlena Smith, Preference for Geometric Patterns Identified as a Possible Early Sign of Autism, Feb. 25, 2011 (citing Pierce, K., Conant, D., Hazin, R., Stoner, R., & Desmond, J. (2011), Preference for geometric patterns early in life as a risk factor for autism. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 101-109), http://blog.centerforautism.com/2011/02/25/preference-for-geometric-patterns-identified-as-a-possible-early-sign-of-autism/.Vaccines
"Vaccines kill children in more than rare occurrences. In 1986, Congress officially acknowledged the reality of vaccine-caused injuries and death by creating and passing The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (Public Law 99-660) which requires doctors to provide ... information about the benefits and risks of childhood vaccines prior to vaccination. Doctors are required by law to report suspected cases of vaccine damage. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) -- operated by the CDC and FDA." http://www.naturalnews.com/031172_vaccines_children.html (hereafter "NaturalNews, 2011").
"The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) reported that, "In New York, only one out of 40 doctor's offices [2.5%] confirmed that they report a death or injury following vaccination," -- 97.5% of vaccine related deaths and disabilities go unreported there. Implications about the integrity of medical professionals aside (doctors are legally required to report serious adverse events), these findings suggest that vaccine deaths actually occurring each year may be well over 1,000." (NaturalNews, 2011").
A research team from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina examined children with regressive autism and bowel disease occurring after vaccination with the MMR vaccine - "and of the 82 tested so far, 70 prove positive for the measles virus. ... [S]o far, all are vaccine strain and none are wild measles. 'This research proves that in the gastrointestinal tract of a number of children who have been diagnosed with regressive autism, there is evidence of measles virus.'" The new research supports the previous discovery of British doctor Andrew Wakefield of "a new bowel disease, autism enterocolitis. ... This is the second independent study to back up Dr Wakefield. In 2001 John O'Leary, Professor of Pathology at St James's Hospital and Trinity College, Dublin, replicated his findings." Sally Beck, Scientists fear MMR link to autism, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-388051/Scientists-fear-MMR-link-autism.html.
insert new 2014 CDC whistleblower info here
My Autism Vaccine Injury
“Many doctors refuse to report vaccine reaction, and … only about 3% had been reported damaged by their doctor. In the USA the FDA admits that 90% of vaccine damage cases go unreported.” Id. “In the US from 1990-1993 (3yrs) the FDA counted 54,072 adverse reactions following vaccination. They admit only 10% are reported which puts the real figure at over 500,000.” Id.
I was born on April 16, 1956. My earliest photos do not show proof that I had yet suffered my Autism Vaccine injury as evident from my perfectly symmetrical Cranial Nerves -- in particular my left eye does not partly close with a paralysis to my brain stem Cranial nerves and the right side of my mouth does not curve downward from a paralysis to my Cranial Nerves while the left side curves upward.
My Baby Photo Nov. 1956 - Age 6 1/2 Months Showing NO Paralytic Brain Stem Cranial Nerves
My Baby Photo Dec. 1956 - Age 7 1/2 Months Showing NO Paralytic Brain Stem Cranial Nerves
"The Vaccine Injury Table (Table)... lists and explains injuries/conditions that are presumed to be caused by vaccines. It also lists time periods in which the first symptom of these injuries/conditions must occur after receiving the vaccine. If the first symptom of these injuries/conditions occurs within the listed time periods, it is presumed that the vaccine was the cause of the injury or condition unless another cause is found." Vaccine Injury Table, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/table.htm
Photo: April 1958 Showing Me Having To Sit In A Baby Walker Because I Lost My Ability To Walk After Entire Body Paralysis And Marked Evidence Of My Left Eye and Right Mouth Residual Brain Stem Cranial Nerve Paralysis Autism Vaccine InjuryMy Second Grade Photo, 1963 - Age 7 Showing More Marked Evidence Of My Left Eye and Right Mouth Residual Autism Vaccine Injury
Photo: President Lyndon Baines Johnson Bestowed a Presidential Physical Fitness Award On Me For Efforts To Overcome As Best I Could My Autism Vaccine Injury
Photo: January 1976 U.S. National Equestrian Title "Edencroft Trophy" Derived From Countless Hours Of Autism Horse Riding Therapy, Showing Evidence Of My Left Eye and Right Mouth Residual Autism Vaccine InjurySudden Infant Death SYNDROME (SIDS)
"CDC itself admits, 'The age at which infants begin their primary course of vaccinations (2 to 4 months old) is also the peak age for the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).'" (NaturalNews 2011)."
Sleep Disorders and Seizures Occur In Significant Numbers in the Autism Population
Autism Speaks' Autism Treatment Network's patient registry, .. reported that 65% of children with [Autism] experience sleep disturbances, and 14% of those with sleep problems also have seizures." (AutismSpeaks, 2011).
"GI problems were also reported in 50% of children [with Autism], and children with GI problems were more likely to have sleep disturbances, behavioral problems, and a lower health-related quality of life. Other health issues identified include seizures, food sensitivities, anxiety and depression." (AutismSpeaks, 2011).
Different Implicit Learning In Autism
See discussion, supra: Autism-Specific Implicit Learning Disabilities, Autistic People's Implicit Learning May Not Map Directly Onto Non-Autistics' Implicit Learning Or Be Governed By The Same Constraints:
"[L]earning in autism is characterized both by spontaneous—sometimes exceptional—mastering of complex material and an apparent resistance to learning in conventional ways. Learning that appears to be implicit seems to be important in autism, but autistics’ implicit learning may not map directly onto non-autistics’ implicit learning or be governed by the same constraints." Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008.
"In both cases (perception and procedural memory), procedures (e.g., repeated performance of tasks) that reliably resulted in learning in non-autistics appeared not to do so in autistics, while autistics appeared to learn in ways (e.g., apparently passive exposure to materials) that did not necessarily benefit non-autistics." Id.Early Autism Interventions
"The effectiveness of comprehensive early intervention programs is judged against autism’s presumed poor prognosis, and according to the extent to which typical skills have successfully been acquired and atypical autistic behaviors have successfully been extinguished (Handleman and Harris, 2001; Smith, 1999)." Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphasis added).
"The possibility that a typical developmental trajectory and repertoire of behaviors may not be adaptive for autistics or beneficial for autistic learning has not yet been considered. Researchers have “studied the effectiveness of programs, not the appropriateness of various goals” (NRC, 2001) ...." Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphasis added).
Incredibly, U.S. "behavior analysts" beginning in the 1960's, "characterized autistics as being governed by the same laws of learning as all other organisms, while being distinguished by failing to learn from the typical, every-day environment (e.g., Lovaas, 1987; Green, 1996; Smith and Lovaas, 1998; Lovaas and Smith, 2003; Koegel et al., 2001)."Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphasis added).
"The identification of early signs of [Autism] is crucial to the advancement of early detection. As research studies have shown time and again, early intervention significantly improves treatment outcomes for children with [Autism]; however, early intervention heavily depends upon the time at which a child is diagnosed. Thus, it is important that researchers identify and explore early signs of [Autism] that may be useful in detecting [Autism] sooner.""Comprehensive early intervention programs in autism have borrowed extensively from each other and have become progressively more similar (Dawson and Osterling, 1997; Kasari, 2006; NRC, 2001). A typical curriculum may, at the outset, involve series of trials for training eye contact (“look at me”), commands (“sit down,” “stand up,” “come here,” “turn around”), motor imitation (“do this …”), followed by commands to point (“point to the …”), match, verbally imitate, and verbally label (Maurice et al., 1996). Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008.
"However, the only empirical investigation to date found that autistics acquired the specific trained behaviors (labeling pictures expressing facial affect), but did so without producing the desired neurofunctional changes (increased task-related activity in the fusiform gyrus, Bölte et al., 2006)." Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphasis added).
"[B]ehavior analytic literature in autism presents autistics as having an extremely restricted behavioral repertoire that is not recognizably human, as lacking in human experience to the point of being tabula rasa, as requiring the explicit teaching of virtually every human behavior ...." Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphasis added).
"[T]he ability of autistics to learn is considered nonexistent in the typical everyday environment (Lovaas and Smith, 2003) and fundamentally impaired (Klinger et al., 2006), but so astounding that the cognitive literature as a whole is insufficient to explain it (Atkin and Lorch, 2006). Autistic learning is recognized as distinctive (Volkmar et al., 2004) and singled out as subhuman (Tomasello et al., 2005)..." Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008.
 Immunisation. Theory vs Reality—Neil Miller cited in Polio Information & Polio Vaccine Dangers, http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/polio2.htm. Hoyt, William Graves; Miller, Neil; Walsh, Frank (2005), Walsh and Hoyt's clinical neuro-ophthalmology, Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, pp. 3264–65. ISBN 0-7817-4814-3. See Tinnerholm v. Parke, Davis & Co., 411 F.2d 48 & fn. 4 (2d Cir. 1969)
"[M]y brain is not particularly efficient in decoding sounds and speech. The net result is that sometimes there's a noticeable delay between my hearing a sound, and my brain decoding it. I'll hear some muffled, unrecognizeable sound, say "What?", then a second later my brain will decode it as speech. What does this lead to when the other person makes the assumption that my hearing/neurology is "normal"? The presupposition that I really heard them in the first place then lied about it, which is not true at all. Many articles about autism written from the outside perspective fall prey to this type of thinking ...." (Soraya, 2008) (emphasis added).
A Neurotypical person "who looks at typical autistic behavior - avoiding eye contact, not talking, and avoiding personal contact - tends to make the assumption that this behavior means the same thing that it would mean in a person who does not have autism. This leads to blanket statements such as 'People with autism have no desire for human contact.' The question is - do you know this, or is it a presupposition? Especially if the person in non-verbal - can you make that presupposition? Or could it be that the person wants interaction, but finds it painful or difficult to do so?" (Soraya, 2008) (emphasis added).
"[A]utistics are often divided into high- and low-functioning subgroups, based on a
snapshot measurement of intelligence or developmental level. While this division is an efficient shorthand to denote whether participants fall into the range of diagnosable mental retardation, instruments normed for the non-autistic population are potentially misleading when applied to autistics (e.g., Mottron, 2004) ...." Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphassis added).
Weschler IQ - A Measure of g-Intelligence
"Autistics’ average scores on intelligence test batteries (e.g., Wechsler scales) mask widely scattered subtest scores, raising the question of whether level of functioning can definitively be assigned even at any single point in time." Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphasis added).
"[A]utistics’ performance on Raven’s Progressive Matrices, the pre-eminent measure of fluid intelligence, may significantly exceed their performance on Wechsler scales, suggesting that the high- versus low-functioning division is of questionable validity ...."Dawson, Mottron, & Gernsbacher, 2008 (emphasis added, citation omitted).
Due to the nature of autism, and individual's difficulties with social interaction and communication, anyone assessing or judging person with Autism must have an understanding of the condition in order to ascertain Autistic people's needs. Personal Budgets Must Be Supported Warns The National Autistic Society, UK. Nov. 18, 2010, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/208235.php.
"It is not always apparent that someone with autism has a disability because autism can be a hidden disability and the needs of the person with the condition can fluctuate on a daily basis depending on their environment and levels of anxiety. ACT NOW (Autism Campaigners Together),http://networkedblogs.com/dM4rh.
It can be very difficult for someone who has not been specifically and specially trained in Autistic Spectrum Condition's to effectively determine the impact that the disability has on the person with the condition in a relatively short assessment process. Id.
[A] radical overhaul of the assessment process is urgently required. At the moment the assessment is not wrapped around a realistic works model. There is an overriding emphasis on what the person ‘can do’ as opposed to what they ‘can not do’ but it is almost impossible to decide what an autistic person can do without first understanding what they can not do." Id.