Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review of 1,000 Studies: No Link between Vaccines and Autism |

Review of 1,000 Studies: No Link between Vaccines and Autism |

Vaccines can cause inflammation of the brain, fainting, and seizures. But autism? Apparently not.

The Institute of Medicine has done a comprehensive review of the studies on vaccines. They reviewed 1,000 studies and found no link between vaccines and autism and type 1 diabetes. The findings are that vaccines are generally OK. Vaccines have been a highly controversial area, especially in the autism community. Last year there was a fraudulent study; several celebrities have trumpeted the risks of vaccines.

The Institute of Medicine gathered experts to review the studies. The Institute of Medicine, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, is a non-profit group outside the framework of the U.S. federal government. It provides independent guidance and analysis to improve health conditions. Their review indicates that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.

Vaccines Can Cause Short-term Problems

The review committee did find that in rare cases, vaccines do cause problems including inflammation of the brain, fainting, and seizures. They also found less clear evidence that certain vaccines may impact allergic reactions and temporary joint pain. They also found convincing evidence that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can lead to fever-triggered seizures in some…but that the effects are almost always without long-term problems.

Experts Say Report Disproves Claims of Autism Link

The report disproves claims made by the British physician, Andrew Wakefield who reported in 1998 that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine contributed to autism. The U.K.'s General Medical Council in 2010 revoked Wakefield's license to practice medicine due to glaring problems with his research.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

With support, autistic students find greater success in college | Deseret News

With support, autistic students find greater success in college | D

With support, autistic students find greater success in college

Published: Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011 11:39 p.m. MDT

It's bedtime in her Arizona home on a recent summer night as Catherine Moreno softly taps her son's forehead, a gentle reminder to come back.

"You're with mommy now, be with mommy," Moreno says.

Daniel, her 10-year-old son, has been diagnosed with autism. For kids like Daniel, it is hard to stop themselves from slipping into their own little world, to escape from the nearly constant sensory overload that comes with the disorder.

Daniel is one in 110 children in America who has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and those numbers are climbing, according to, making autism more common than pediatric AIDS, juvenile diabetes and childhood cancers combined.

That rise has coincided with an era of increased acceptance of those with disabilities, which partly explains why more students with autism are enrolling in college and earning degrees.

There are different levels of functionality for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, a range of developmental disorders which includes Aspergers Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. For many with ASD, socializing doesn't come easy, because of sensory hypersensitivity and the failure to pick up on social cues.

Steven Moody, a junior and psychology major at Utah Valley University, has been diagnosed with high-functioning Aspergers. Moody worries about parking, class assignments and making deadlines, like every other student, but he also has other stresses others don't.

Moody had to learn through trial and error the right amount of eye contact to make during conversations and even the appropriate number of questions to ask.

The social struggles also make it difficult for Moody and others with ASD to approach an instructor about their special needs. Approaching an instructor can be intimidating, and Moody is often hesitant.

At UVU the Accessibility Center will often speak with professors on behalf of students seeking assistance, and will ask instructors to be more understanding to a student's particular needs, as well as be clear about expectations and assignments, according UVU's Director of Accessibility Services, Edward Martinelli.

These students "take things very literally, so they need specifics and examples," Martinelli said. "We encourage communication to be done by email. That can be helpful because they get specific information and they can go back and read it again. It can also be easier for them to compose an email than to speak face to face."