Autism is defined as a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior. During the gestational stage our neurological systems are developing. Once we take our first breath our mental capacities continues to grow. Due to the increase of children with cognitive disabilities such as autism there is growing concerns as to how it will impact children into adulthood. During my research on autism, I found out that there are multiple factors that contribute to the disability, for instance: environmental, genetics, exposure to heavy metal (Neurotoxins), and metabolic imbalance just to name a few. The map in my article points out to autism in NewYork city. In addition, I will be focusing mainly on the Bronx borough and how the public school system can be an additional and beneficial pathway to children with autism. Map that shows progress from toddler hood to adolescence (autism) the difference of rigorous treatment vs limited treatment struggle. Although there are studies done to show that their are some environmental causes that are susceptible to autism in NewYork City, governmental organizations such as the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIEHS) can do so much more, but fails to do so in helping and educating pregnant mothers. Ultimately,what is at stake here is people’s lives. Recent studies shed new light on autistic children and the theory that it is caused by exposure to environmental chemicals which previous studies have not addressed and the rates are increasing even higher yearly due to toxic exposure during pregnancy.
With a population of approximately 8.55 million people living in NYC their needs to be legislation implemented in order to decrease and prevent further harm and exposure to people living in the environment. According to Philip J. Landrigan, Luca Lambetrini, and Linda S. Birnbaum “ A Research Strategy to Discover the Environmental Causes of autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities”, in reference to the Environmental Health Perspective, they indicate that “ Proof of the principle’ that early exposures can cause autism comes from studies linking ASD to medications taken in the first trimester of pregnancy ….. rubella infection.” All these medications that they are giving to both children and parents are considered environmental causation too. And to make matters worse, once a child is born they are given their first dose of vaccines within the first 24 hours of birth. The vaccines vitamin k and hepatitis B, are filled with neurotoxins that hinder cognitive development. http://(National Research Council 2000(, this hyperlink is linked to background information about Scientific Frontiers in Developmental toxicology and Risk Assessment. First off, researchers have found that there are some deadly chemicals that people are exploring which causes harm to thousands of children and endangers the lives of pregnant mothers which gradually breakdown and later affect stages in prenatal development. Then they further explained that these examinations are taken to better improve the health of parents also the child so that it doesn’t lead to other issues such as birth outcomes, childhood morbidity and even other health related illnesses like cardiovascular disease. However, there is so much more that can be done. I agree with the authors views that, “In addition, these disorders place enormous economic burdens on society,” because they have to further evaluate research which cost a lot, by sending and testing results from one lab to another to make sure that the results are accurate. Yet at the same time I disagree because people’s lives are at risk here. In order to make sure that they are reliable, epidemiological study and data, money has to be spent in this process in order to find the treatment for autism.
Too often we take into consideration the amount of money that is being spent, but how can we improve or even solve the issue and provide treatment for autistic children in NYC if no work is being put in. In the article, by authors Cynthia C. Woo, Michael Leon “Environmental enrichment as an effective treatment for Autism: A randomized controlled trial”, they mention the impact of certain medications on different age groups. First they argue that, “ While significant improvement in autism symptoms have been reported following intensive early behavioral interventions, these expensive approaches are typically effective to some degree for some children, and only if initiated early in life.” Early detection of autism is very important and can be improved once noticed. He explains this when he states, “ Here, we have used a low-cost therapeutic approach … in our study ‘This treatment also benefits autistic children who are past the age at which other treatments are effective.” So, once the child’s past a certain age and depending on the treatment it predicts how well it will work. In addition, while conducting the research they highlighted and briefly explained that apart from using medication, things such as behavioral analysis, speech therapy, occupational therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy could be used to improve autistic person intellectual functioning. In fact, cerebral work is a very important approach. Parents sending their children to school help in this process by engaging children in reasoning with others and comprehending complex ideas since autistic people may suffer with intellectual disability.
We as humans tend to always blame parents, but in order to make the world a better place teachers too can play their part on getting better training in understanding how to deal with special needs children, especially autistic children. According to “Understanding Autism: A Guide for Secondary School Teachers (Part 1),” this video essentially lead subordinate school teachers on better ways of understanding autism in New York. The spokesperson in this video states “Just because they can talk very intelligently to you in a monologue doesn’t mean that they don’t have a disability.” It’s just a way for them sometimes to try interacting with people. When they do this they are happy even if they are repeating the same thing over and over again because they themselves think they are actually having a conversation. Normal children often believes that children with autism do not have any sense but they do and they are supposed to be treated like non-austic students. Fortunately with the increase in special needs educators there will be more opportunity for cognitive corrections. I agree that these children have “ Extreme sensory Sensitivities,” which means they have a different sensation to things. For example, they have the ability to hear sound from a far distance. So overall this video was very important and helpful which shows how beneficial it is to have secondary school teachers in the classroom who understand and will do everything they can to help autistic children because they process information much differently. This is where further research has been done to further develop therapy in helping autistic children.
How can we know if these therapies really work? Well the only way to know is by trying. According to “ 10 Types of Autism Therapy | Autism,”this video elaborates on the therapies that these children are getting and how it is based on the child’s physical needs. For example a child suffering from speaking properly the speaker in the video would recommend speech delay. Apart from the speech therapy other therapies that have been used are: occupational, ABA, RDI, PECS, TEACH, Sensory, Floortime, Swimming and Behavioral therapy. This video is an essential proof to my report because it has educational information on what they are doing on improving the issues in NYC by developing more and more therapies to fulfill their needs. The speaker mentions about one commonly therapy that has been used is the behavioral therapy which helps children with autism work on their social communication and learning and even self care. This is really important because often times autistic child struggle with communicating and social interactions so the fact that they are implementing these therapies to help is a good thing. This video helps in reminding parents that true their most stressful times getting swamp it is true continued support that really helps the get the full outcome of a child so must be reinforced. In conclusion, reflecting back it was mind blowing how people of course wanted to reward question whether or not vaccines are accountable for autistic spectrum disorder. However, the evidence I’ve cited proves conclusively that vaccines and medication are responsible for autism spectrum disorder and also environmental causation. In this day and age, we all know that technology has opened the eyes of many of these authors and researchers to view, collect, process and implement treatments for different health related illnesses and disabilities. Precisely the circumstances of autism was unrecognized. Today, it is acknowledged as neurological disorder of significance in which many scientists and researchers seek to rectify. Many organizations including the NEIGHS have fought so hard on finding the causes for the disorder as well as which treatment would work best. With all these treatments that have been developed to help these children there is a major improvement in their communication, their movements and even the potential to speak more fluently. These articles were very important because they included the map which shows the environmental causes of autism in NewYork City and the ways in which the public school system can be a beneficial pathways for children with autism. Finally, what I have learned from these articles and videos is that research is very important, because it helps you gain insight to so many things that haven’t been known which you could teach someone else about. Furthermore that the main goal of this research was to learn more about autism which means I now know the treatments for autism and how this research could lead to better school benefits down the line.
Cynthia C. Woo, Michael Leon “Environmental enrichment as an effective treatment for Autism
A randomized controlled trial”. Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 127, no. 4, 2013, pp 487-
Philip J. Landrigan, Luca Lambetrini, and Linda S. Birnbaum “ A Research Strategy to Discover
the Environmental Causes of autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities”. Environmental
Health Perspective, vol.120, no. 7, 2012, doi: 10.1289/eph.1104285.
“Understanding Autism: A Guide for Secondary School Teachers (Part 1)”, Organization for
Autism Research. 7 March 2013, https://youtu.be/4yAAOI6JUsM.
10 Type of Autism Therapy | Autism, YouTube, 22 NOV 2014. https://youtu.be/JeMycRm-H6M.