November 29, 2004

Why my boy can spell Mommy better than he can say Mommy

NIH:Brains of people with autism recall letters of the alphabet in brain areas dealing with shapes.

Finding supports theory that autism results from failure of brain areas to work together.

In contrast to people who do not have autism, people with autism remember letters of the alphabet in a part of the brain that ordinarily processes shapes, according to a study from a collaborative program of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

The study was conducted by researchers in the NICHD Collaborative Program of Excellence in Autism (CPEA) at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. It supports a theory by CPEA scientists that autism results from a failure of the various parts of the brain to work together. In autism, the theory holds, these distinct brain areas tend to work independently of each other. The theory accounts for observations that while many people with autism excel at tasks involving details, they have difficulty with more complex information.

"This finding provides more evidence to support a promising theory of autism," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD. "If confirmed, this theory suggests that therapies emphasizing problem solving skills and other tasks that activate multiple brain areas at the same time might benefit people with autism."

People with autism typically have difficulty communicating and interacting socially with others. The old saying "unable to see the forest for the trees" applies to people with autism, describing how many of them excel at matters of detail, yet struggle to comprehend the larger picture. For example, some children with autism may become champions at spelling bees, but have difficulty understanding the meaning of a
sentence or a story.

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Update: Better explanation of the study here

November 14, 2004

Your source for autism research information

I am big on reading up on what is new in autism research. I have decided to go ahead and post links to any articles that I find that are of interest.

This one is on research into the possibility that it is caused by brain inflamation stemming from a problem with the immune response in the nervous system.

Doctors closer to finding cause of autism

Better and Worse?

It has been a while since I posted an update on Chandler P. Chelation has gone really well and each week that we have done it he has had real improvements. Unfortunately, due to financial restraints, we have to take a break from chelation for a bit. Since we have, his improvement has slowed.


It had kinda slowed down, although he was still making small gains, then about two weeks ago, he got a bad cold. He is almost recovered now, but oddly, he has become more interactive, with better eye contact and even being flirtatious with us, but his speech has dropped way off. I am hoping that this is just one of those setbacks that every one says are commonplace, and that he will pick back up soon.