And* I think you are missing the boat just a smidge.
You see, you kind of glossed over the causes of autism by reciting a bulleted list that included genetics, heavy metals, vaccines, preservatives, and other environmental factors.
I feel frustrated when broad discussions about autism leave out the Fragile X factor.** It's not because I want my disorder to win or because I want all the attention. (I do love me some positive attention, though.) It's not because I want to be all "woe is me." It's because children and their parents deserve an accurate diagnosis. And these are the reasons why:
- Their siblings need to be tested
- Their parents need to plan
- Their parents may need to address FXTAS and POI
- FXers learn in pretty much the opposite way that autistic children do
- FX carries with it a label of mental retardation or other learning disabilities that autism may not
We need to understand the children and adults we work with as much as possible in order to help them be as happy and successful as possible.
Here's the word from the people who know best, The National Fragile X Foundation:
Please include the thousands of us who are affected by Fragile X in your large scale conversations about awareness. I will try more to include you in mine. Please continue to be a positive advocate for special needs children. I LOVE the way you focused your intervention on the changes adults need to make in order to gently teach young people appropriate functional behaviors.***
Fragile X syndrome can cause a child to have autism or an Autism Spectrum
Disorder (ASD), though not all children with fragile X syndrome have autism or
FACT: For between 2% and 6% of all children diagnosed with autism, the cause
is the Fragile X gene mutation. (This may not seem very high, but consider that the CDC now reports that 1 in 150 have autism. Two to six percent of 1 in 150 is a sizable number of people.)
FACT: Approximately one-third of all children diagnosed with Fragile X
syndrome also have some degree of autism.
FACT: Fragile X syndrome is the most common known single gene cause of
If your child is diagnosed with autism, or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD),
please ask the doctor to rule out fragile X syndrome by ordering the DNA blood
test for Fragile X. http://www.fragilex.org/html/testing.htm
If your child is diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, and you believe your
child also has autism or an Autism Spectrum Disorder, please consult with your
child's doctor and ask that he or she be evaluated for autism or an ASD.
To learn more about the relationship between Fragile X and autism please
click here: http://www.fragilex.org/html/autism.htm or
call the National Fragile X Foundation at 1-800-688-8765.
From Dr. Randi Hagerman's statement to the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health and Environment: "...Fragile X represents a portal through which we hope to view and treat a wide variety of other disorders of brain development and function. All children with autism...should be tested for Fragile X."
Also, your kid looks super cute,
the other lion
*I learned in our in-service yesterday that when having important conversations and when using "I Messages," it is a good idea to substitute the word 'and' for the word 'but' to ensure that each person's individual truth is maintained. If I say the word 'but', I may infer to you that your truth is in fact invalid. I'm sure my preschoolers will pick up on the change.
**Check out my first class "I Message."
***Let me know if you want details on this. It basically talked about how all behaviors are an attempt to communicate and that a caregivers response either reinforces or eliminates said behavior.