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Doctor insights on: Discovery Health Channel Unlocking Autism

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Are people with autism at more risk of health problems?

Are people with autism at more risk of health problems?

Yes: People with autism have a higher risk of several types of health problems such as seizures, gastrointestinal problems and adhd. The communication difficulties in autism can also make it difficult for medical professionals to detect other problems such as heart burn or constipation. Many healthcare professionals receive limited training in autism. ...Read more

Dr. Johanna Fricke
623 doctors shared insights

Autism (Definition)

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting three areas: abnormal socialization, communication, and restricted interests with repetitive patterns of behavior. It is usually detected in the first two years of life. Cause is unknown but strong evidence points to an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Patients with autism may display significant delays in certain developmental areas while having normal or superior strengths in other developmental or learning domains. The severity of the disorder is highly variable ...Read more


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Child mental health problems. How common are the real psychiatric problems, not autism or add?

Child mental health problems.  How common are the real psychiatric problems, not autism or add?

Wow, where to begin?: I'm not sure what's "not real" about autism or adhd; but, in prepubertal children, there's also anxiety, sometimes depression, & learning disabilities. After puberty, depression and anxiety increase markedly, as do eating disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. Not counting adhd (8-10% of the population), in any one year, serious other illness affect about 10-12% of the child population. ...Read more

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I need your expertise, is higher functioning autism or Asperger syndrome also considered a mental health disorder?

Yes: The diagnosis has been incorporated into high-functioning autism. However, just because it's a handicap of sorts -- you'll never be super-coordinated and probably never excel at team sports -- you can learn social skills, and your ability to focus your mind is a huge PLUS in our tech age. And if single agrees with you, you're extra fortunate. Who needs to be exactly like everyone else? ...Read more

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Does being pregnant and have an anxiety disorder increase the risk of having a baby with autism or any other mental health problem?

Does being pregnant and have an anxiety disorder increase the risk of having a baby with autism or any other mental health problem?

No and Yes: Having anxiety disorder is not a risk factor for your baby developing autism. Anxiety is a common problem in populations. Having anxiety does increase the chances that the child may have a mental health problem. Anxiety runs in families. Definitely keep on top of your counseling, therapy and treatments during pregnancy and as a young parent. Untreated anxiety has bad effects on kids! ...Read more

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Has anyone tried global health trax threelac probiotic or a gluten-free, casein-free diet for autism?

Has anyone tried global health trax threelac probiotic or a gluten-free, casein-free diet for autism?

Consumer beware: The present understanding of the autism spectrum involves the concept of a miswired brain due to a variety of genetic/chromosomal errors.Special diets, exercises, potions and the like have been offered for millennia to treat chronic conditions.One need to approach any with caution.When simple and paired with standard therapy there is no loss in trying.If hard & costly with no measurability=beware ...Read more

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Are there any recent medical discoveries regarding autism?

Genetics: Some of the most cutting edge research are in genetics. Genetics researchers are honing in on a variety of mechanisms of genetic variance that they believe plays a role in autism. One is gene deletion, and one is gene duplication. Sometimes big chunks of DNA in autistic kids is missing. And sometimes its duplicated compared to their parents. ...Read more

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What is autism?

What is autism?

Disconnected: Autism is a disorder characterized by qualitative impairments in communication and social interaction, with restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behaviors and interests. Abnormal development is present before the age of 3 years. [1] [2] there is a history of language delay (single-word or phrase speech delay) and 25% of children lose previously acquired language skills (regression). ...Read more

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What is autism?

Developmental dis. : It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that falls under the category of pervasive developmental disorders. It's affects can be severe to mild which will impact when it is first recognized and diagnosed. There are usually deficits in speech/ language, sensory integration, social interactions and cognitive processing. Early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention is key to improving outcomes. ...Read more

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What is autism?

What is autism?

Autism Spectrum DO: It is classified as pervasive developmental disorder, and includes asperger syndrome, autism, childhood disintegrative disorder & rett syndrome. It is characterized by social deficits, communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviors or interests & sometimes cognitive delays. ...Read more

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What causes autism?

Mostly genetic.: More and more genetic links to autism and autism spectrum disorders (asd's) are being found; there's even genetic testing available for siblings of patients with asd's to see if they have it, too. Good studies have shown there's no link to vaccines. ...Read more

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Dr. Johanna Fricke
516 doctors shared insights

Autism Spectrum Disorder (Definition)

Autism spectrum disorder, also called pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), is a type of condition that includes life-long impairment in the ability to communicate and to have normal social interactions. These include ...Read more