A four-year-old, who is autistic, easily was becoming , resulting in tears and temper tantrums. Then into the child’s life came a special friend. That’s friend’s name was Billy. Billy had a rough start in life, abandoned by his owners and left to his own means. Since their first […]
While devastating for severely afflicted children and their families, autism has long been assumed to be relatively uncommon, appearing in perhaps 1% of all kids. But that figure was a rough estimate at best, based largely on the population of children who have already received a diagnosis of the disorder.
What happened to little, red-haired Hannah Poling is hardly unique in the world of autism. She had an uneventful birth; she seemed to be developing normally smiling, babbling, engaging in imaginative play, speaking about 20 words by 19 months.
In 1998, Andrew Wakefield, a gastroenterologist at London’s Royal Free Hospital, published a study in the prestigious medical journal Lancet that linked the triple Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine with autism and bowel disorders in children. The study and Wakefield’s subsequent public statements that parents should refuse the vaccines sparked a public health panic that led vaccination rates in Britain to plunge.
Charlie Lamb was barely 2 years old when he was diagnosed with autism.
Few medical conditions rival autism as a magnet for controversy. Practically everything about the disorder its cause, its treatment, the way it is diagnosed, how it is studied is subject to bitter dispute, sometimes to the point of death threats.
At the Eating Disorders Unit at the Maudsley Hospital in London, anorexia is not seen as a social disorder or even primarily a psychological one. While most American treatment providers blame perfection-seeking parents and the media’s idealization of hollow-cheeked actresses for eating disorders , researchers at Maudsley believe the root cause has little to do with social pressure.
Show the average 14-month-old baby a sealed jar of cookies, and you get some pretty predictable behavior. The child will reach for the treats and, when thwarted, look beseechingly at the nearest adult.