AAP Urges Early Autism Diagnosis, Then Drugs Often Used

AAP Urges Early Autism Diagnosis, Then Drugs Often Used

by Barbara Loe Fisher

America's pediatricians, who cannot explain to American parents why so many of their young, highly vaccinated children are developing autism and other developmental disabilities, announced this week at a conference in San Francisco that it is time for doctors to get serious about diagnosing autism early and often.
This push for "early diagnosis" before age two is coupled with a push for "early intervention." Currently that intervention involves doctors prescribing psychiatric drugs for 80 percent of the children diagnosed with autism or Asperger disorder according to a report released at the same conference.

Although few parents would argue that it is important to recognize when a child is regressing physically, mentally and emotionally into autism, many parents are more interested in addressing the biological root causes for the kinds of brain and immune system dysfunction that their autistic children are exhibiting, rather than giving their children psychotropic drugs that only suppress the symptoms. Many parents, like Cindy Goldenberg in the early 1990's and Jenny McCarthy a decade later, have found that eliminating gluten and casein from their child's diet and employing other alternative therapies to repair healthy immune function, can effectively address vaccine-related biological causes for autism and greatly improve their children's health.

However, currently mainstream American pediatricians are overwhelmingly attempting to deal with the autism explosion by drugging children. Tobias Gerhard, PhD, assistant professor at the Rutgers University Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research acknowledged that the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders increased 10-fold in the last decade and presented an analysis of medical care surveys reflecting two million health visits involving autism or Asperger disorder. He found that children were overwhelmingly male and white and that disruptive behavioral disorders were involved with 3 of every 10 cases.

The surveys revealed that about 80% of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are treated with at least one psychiatic drug; 30% are given antipsychotic drugs, 40% antidepressants, 40% stimulants and about 30% some other drug, including mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants. Some children are prescribed several medications. "As with many psychiatric conditions in children, we really know very little [about] how these drugs actually work and how they should be used in practice," Dr. Gerhard said.

In Canada, where there is a nationalized health care system and long waiting lines for a doctor's appointment, there is a warning by Canadian pediatricians that early screening and treatment for autism is easier said than done. The former president of the Canadian Pediatric Society, Emmet Francoeur, points out that increased screening would involve an increase in the number of evaluation teams and treatment services, all of which is time consuming and expensive. He says "Unfortunately, unlike a broken bone or pneumonia, where you can take an x-ray and come up with a diagnosis, it takes multiple observers looking at multiple aspects of a child's development to diagnose autism."

As hard as it is for pediatricians to figure out how they are going to identify and treat lots of highly vaccinated autistic children, it is much harder for parents searching for answers for why their once healthy children developed autism and how to help them heal. The diagnostic screening tests, the visits to different doctors specializing in different parts of the body and the drug and behavioral therapies that may or may not work, can bankrupt the average middle class family.

One day, the educational and health care costs associated with the biggest epidemic our nation has ever experienced - the chronic disease and disability epidemic - may bankrupt our nation. It is a chronic illness epidemic that makes the polio epidemic of the 1950's look small by comparison. We are all paying a very high price for the failure of pediatricians, drug companies and government health officials to act responsibly in the 1980's when parents of DPT vaccine injured children pleaded with them to conduct methodologically sound scientific studies to investigate the biological mechanisms and genetic factors involved in vaccine-induced regression and neuroimmune dysfunction.


Jenny W said...

i send new moms to your blog all the time. i don't always comment when i visit and i know they don't either, but WE'RE ALL READING. keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being a voice on this important subject.
When will people realise that war will never bring peace and it is time people start to think for themselves.
First do no harm and if it ain't broken, don't fix it.
Land of the free should include the freedom of informed consent.

Helene Collette