Saturday, April 27, 2013

Autism and the Nautilus


of Autism

and farther out


Broader Autism Phenotype

seems to be

a disconnect

and Language.




and Autism is one.

The drive



social communication

Social Animals

is so

 one cannot help

but think




"Creation Activity"

in all
its forms


driven in


 who look to find
that connection

in Reciprocal
Social Communication






"expressionless face"


social communication

in messages


"Creation Activity"


Poets, Writers,
Painters, Musicians,
Mechanics, Carpenters,
Architects, Software Engineers,

and anyone else

that spends
their life


The End Result


we see
around us,


by the









and Galaxies.

is a Nautilus Shell,

which by Synchronicity



one was
born with
three at birth,

later graduating


three at twenty-three.

One also spent life
in a "Nautilus" Shell

in an attempt
to become stronger

aided by
that advantage

in Exercise

by culture


who are

born weaker

than others are.

One's school


 coming from

Oliver Wendell Holmes

and his poem about the Nautilus


"Build Thee
More Stately Mansions"


It took one longer

to Build one

than most

but one started

linked below,

in music

that has finally



One note

led to

one note

led to







Years after,

there was a word,

a sentence, a paragraph,






to one


the Human

and all that comes from it

is "man-I-fest"

of when



fully aware

of "AM" that "IS".

Shell becomes ONE
with Nautilus.

One could not identify
an emotion

in one'sMusic,

one thinks one
a word

Does not playback well on mobile devices,
but okay on desktops at low volume.

one perceives,

to it,

a spiraling 


no end


Link to Informal Poll and Discussion
on whether or not people on the spectrum
can relate to the Autism and Nautilus Metaphor
from the Wrong Planet website:

Another Place to find
"the Nautilus",

"Duckyway". :)

"Closer to the Heart"
"Rush" ,

seems to

"Catch the Spirit"

of what

trying to communicate:

Autism, the Internet and "Ideological First Identity", a Collection of Thoughts:

Blog Post
that goes into
more detail

about one's experience
with Alexithymia
and Music,

is linked below:

Opened at
12:01 AM
150 PostViews




Language is A Universe of Expression...

It starts with Stars...

4 digits...

and a

Angles In Sand...

Reflecting Stars In Sky...

Symphony of Science
"We Are All Connected"


"All the World's a Stage"
...William Shakespeare...

Existing Eyes of Universe ONEALLNOWFOREVERMORE ll


Written in the Stone
Earth Wind


AS Above!



Autism: Finding Mind and Body Balance

There is research that suggests a potential issue with deficits in the production of norepinephrine and dopamine as contributing factors to social impairments and sensory processing difficulties.

Quote from link:

“Pasca and Dolmetsch had an “aha” moment when they realized the neurons grown from Timothy syndrome cells were making too much of the enzyme most critical for producing dopamine and norepinephrine, which play an important role in sensory processing and social behavior. The realization may offer important clues about what causes the problems seen in autism.”

From a personal perspective, I determined by trial and error, that this was a solution to increasing my ability to connect with others, and focus better, in gaining a religious routine of vigorous exercise at age 12, that I still cannot live without, to date.

Vigorous exercise stimulates beneficial mood and focus increasing neuro-hormones and neurochemicals in social animals.




It is part of Nature's built in reinforcement coming from millions of years of evolution, which intrinsically motivates a species to "move forward" to gain subsistence.

Interestingly, the dopamine gene variant associated with ADHD and the disease of addiction is suggested as one for the risk of non-substance addictions in dopamine stimulating avenues for behavioral addictions including pornography and "extreme" video games.

Quote from the research linked above:

“Not only did the researchers find that the variant was more common among the oldest participants, they also learned that these people were also more physically active than their counterparts who lacked this particular version of the receptor. Having a less effective pleasure-generating dopamine system, the researchers speculate, may cause people to seek greater stimulation, making them more vigorous in the search for greater arousal. Perhaps as a result, these participants were twice as likely to exercise when first surveyed in 1981— and they remained considerably more active than those without the variant when data was collected again in 2003. That, say the researchers, may be the key to their longevity.

When dopamine isn’t regulated properly, it can contribute to a dysfunctional pursuit of good feelings, such as occurs in addictions, or lead to a hyperactive state as in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These conditions are generally associated with an increased risk of early death, rather than longevity, but the latest study suggests that “risk” genes for certain problems in some environments may be beneficial in other situations. It’s not helpful to think of genes as “good” or “bad,” in other words, but instead to consider them as more dynamic.”

Behavioral addictions can result in depressed feelings along with additional "autistic like traits" associated with the disease of addiction. The definition of the disease of addiction that now includes non-substance sources of behavioral addiction as similarly powerful avenues for addiction is provided in the link below from the "American Society of Addiction Medicine", ASAM.

The dopamine gene variant is the same gene often identified as the "Nomad Gene", related in my paragraph describing increased motivation to move forward to gain subsistence.

RRBI's associated with behavioral addiction avenues of high stimulation of dopamine could be integral to this issue among SOME people currently diagnosed on the spectrum, studied and reported anywhere from 30 to 70% identified with ADHD symptoms.

Considering the current high association of ADHD and ASD, along with RRBI's per potential non-substance behavioral addictions like pornography, extreme video games, or any other "high" avenue for stimulation of dopamine, there is the possibility that those two factors are significant contributing factors in what has led to a diagnosis of ASD under DSMIV criteria.

This may have particularly been the case from 1994 to 2000, when an editorial error in the DSMIV associated with PDDNOS technically allowed an individual to be diagnosed with PDDNOS with RRBI's alone, which could potentially be met with a behavioral addiction alone.

The neuro-biological mechanisms associated with non-substance behavioral addiction were not understood well then, and are still yet to be clearly defined in the DSM5, as an actual diagnosable condition. It is still up for review for the next revision of the DSM5.

It is also worth noting and amplifying that introversion is highly associated with a greater sensitivity to dopamine, and a higher sensitivity to avenues of dopamine stimulating activities resulting in satiation, rather than a continued powerful drive for avenues of dopamine stimulation. Introverted personality traits are also highly associated with ASD's.,9171,2105432,00.html

In addition, approximately 20% of animals throughout the Animal Kingdom have been observed as born "Sitters" vs. 80% that are identified as born "Rovers".  There does appear to be reproduction advantage in the caution and other attributes associated with "Sitting" as opposed to "Roving".


This association may be part of the reason one finds some individuals on the spectrum Hyper-sensitive to their environment and some individuals Hypo-sensitive to their environment.

All these factors are subject to change, in one lifetime, depending on one's level of physiological stress in their environment, among other potential factors.

This is also potentially part of the reason, when one is under severe stress for a long period of time, they may develop greater difficulties with sensory processing issues as the stress response and norepinephrine/dopamine production can be altered. Physiological effects from the chronic assault of stress related neuro-hormones and neurochemicals are studied as having a potential association with changes in the structure of the brain.

Part of the benefit in taking anti-anxiety drugs or SSRI's is to inhibit the stress response, as a physiological one that can negatively affect physical and mental health, with appropriate caution warranted for the side effects associated with the drugs.

The deficit in the stress response that can come from chronic severe stress, and the inherent genetic propensity toward "dopamine sensitivity" or "dopamine avenue seeking", can make this issue a complicated one, as to whether one needs a neurological "brake" or "accelerator".

This includes GABA associated anti-anxiety medications; SSRI's, drugs that affect Serotonin and dopamine/norepinephrine; and stimulatory drugs that impact dopamine/norepinephrine per ADHD related drugs, and others.

Vigorous exercise did the trick for me, for the most part of my life.

It is worth noting, for those that may have the dopamine gene variant, ADHD symptoms, or a propensity toward the disease of addiction, sitting still with a "high avenue" of dopamine stimulating non-substance behavior, has similar physiological effects as vigorous exercise, per dopamine/norepinephrine, in raising heart rate and stress chemicals.  Physical exercise is often required to "burn-off" the stress chemicals circulating through the body in the blood stream.

This physiological process, over time, can be a substantial source of anxiety or panic attacks, as the stress response eventually may become compromised.

If an otherwise professionally assessed medically healthy person is noticing their heart racing more than before, when sitting still doing a physiological stimulating activity, it is a sign to get up, move, and burn-off the stress chemicals.

This is also potentially part of the reason that borderline type two diabetes is now measured in a third of school age children. Humans overall, are evolved to move for subsistence.

One can fool “Mother Nature” for a while, but one's nature that comes, in part, because of millions of years of evolution, is not something one can easily escape in avoiding the built in intrinsic rewards of nature or the real consequences in living a life one may not be well "suited".

If a person is getting substantially depressed after any potential dopamine-stimulating avenue for behavioral addiction, chances are there could be a problem with a non-substance behavioral addiction.

If one's heart starts racing when watching a "scary" TV show and one cannot slow it down, it is probably time to, at least, take a walk if one can, or if one cannot, move to a less physiological stimulating activity, instead of ignoring one's body that will provide ample caution if one remembers they are human and subject to physiological limitations in stress of all kinds.

This does potentially include activities one might believe were once beneficial, including vigorous exercise, when the stress response has become compromised with chronic unrelenting severe stress.

Moderation is one answer, but it is not always an easy one for an "adrenaline junkie", which is often a way of life for those with the dopamine gene variant associated with ADHD.



The good news on the dopamine gene variant, as suggested in the study I linked above, is individuals with that gene variant are studied to live longer, if they can avoid accidents that are also associated with ADHD, in research.

All animals are limited in a level of chronic stress they can endure, before succumbing to the effect of "general adaptation syndrome", as described by Han Selye.

All these factors are vital to homeostasis and a healthy body, including the physical structure of one's brain, per health and overall wellness.

Organic issues with the brain can be associated with how one feels. This is in addition, to factors one might come to observe "outside" of physiology in the assessment of the origin of their discomfort, whether it is physical or personally assessed as mental discomfort.

Finding a balance in life, overall, per these issues is likely as challenging; if not more than it has been in the last century, as there are so many potential avenues of chronic stress and "high" dopamine avenues of stimulation.

It is best to seek the advice of a health care professional as well as a therapist, if one is having trouble in these areas one cannot adapt to on their own.

The important thing about all these details is a doctor or therapist can more adequately help a patient if they are in touch with their physiological response to the environment. It can be hard to put that into words without some type of human instruction manual, which sadly, they did not provide in school, not even in a degree in Health Science for me.

I hope that has changed since then, particularly considering the wealth of information that can be found on the internet if one stays with reputable sources of information. The tricky thing about Autism, is there is no stereotype of sensory or physiological response that is equal across the spectrum.

The DSM5 ASD criteria identifies that in reference to those who are hypo or hyper sensitive to the environment resulting in associated described and observable RRBI behavioral impairments. The DSM5 does not describe the real physiological dangers of stress, as that is an issue that everyone deals with to some degree. 

I think it is worth a mention in the diagnostic features in the text, which may eventually make its way in the text in coming revisions, with additional research over the life-span of people on the spectrum.

Neurochemical and neuro-hormonal "balance" is integral to avoiding what is described as “Autistic Burnout”, over the course of the lifespan.



Non-substance behavioral addiction is associated with what is described as "Autistic Burnout", and not an issue specific to only Autism, ADHD, or the identified Dopamine gene variant, per potential association with "General Adaptation Syndrome", which is a detailed look at the general process of physical burnout, I link in my "Autistic-Burnout" blog post above.

Autism, the Internet and "Ideological First Identity", a Collection of Thoughts:

"AutisticS Peeks!"

It's Good

to Hear




Autistic Spectrum



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Autism and Social Animal Acceptance

"Conscientious" efforts at understanding and validating the Perspectives and Life Experience of others is at the core of Social Animal Acceptance.


I recently made a comment below, that is part of a personal Lifelong Journey, in exploring this issue that includes the perspectives of hundreds of other people on the spectrum, in this month and in this decade that has become one identified as Autism Acceptance Month/Decade. 

I dedicate it not only to the person(s) I attempted to better understand and validate per their perspectives and life experiences, that wrote the two referenced articles in my comment, but to everyone else on the spectrum and well beyond it sharing similar Life Journeys.

Here is the comment and related Life Journeys, expressed below in my other blog links, that have led me to these thoughts:

Quote from an article:

"Nobody really hates or wishes you dead, [name redacted]. There is just a tiny, cowardly, anonymous minority that is always out there, resentful that people like you on the autism spectrum are getting more attention and genuine concern than they do. Welcome to our world."

My response:

Many of the comments in response to this article do not seem fair in devaluing the personal perspective of the author of this piece; however, the comment above devalues the personal perspective of the author of the other piece, [name redacted].

I cannot bring myself to devalue the personal life perspective of either author by denying them the truth of their life experiences.

I agree with the author of this piece on the points about the Search Engine Algorithms and the fact that this is not an issue specific to people on the spectrum per the label of Autism; however, the perspective that there is a substantial number of people out there in the population that are motivated in disliking people on the spectrum because they get more attention and concern is not within my life perspective/experience.

My intuitive feeling is that the author, moreover, is defending the ASA, Autism Society of America and other National Advocacy Organizations, health care professionals, and other individuals that volunteer and support people on the Spectrum as caring about them deeply.

There is no question in my mind that there is a great outpouring of concern and compassion in our country for people on the spectrum through these organizational, volunteer, and personal efforts.

One of the greatest tortures for any social animal, including people on the spectrum, is to be shunned by others of their own species.

It is a slow torture that can lead to self-annihilation or striking out at others as a last resort in a defense mechanism for survival.

Unfortunately, it is part of nature and an adaptation that every social animal faces to some degree.

I sense the author is saying this when he says "welcome to our world".

I also sense that the author is likely an analytical oriented "Broader Autism Phenotype individual", as what often can be observed among parents who have a BAP "genetic" link with their children on the spectrum, who may "occasionally" present blunt comments without realizing that not everyone else can fully relate to their personal life experience.

It has taken me decades to express my thoughts on this article topic, in a way to adequately provide the emotional content that may help others to understand what it feels like to live with this DSMIV and other diagnostic manual described condition of Autism per the impact of chronic "social shunning".

The author highlights that issue here but seems not to amplify it as an issue that can actually be one of greater concern than sporadic "acute" events of hatred expressed for others, whether the acute events of "hatred" come from a "heartless" search engine algorithm as an auto complete result with no intent of real hatred or a person who is not having a good day.

Those thoughts are linked below, in what is a broad attempt in considering different perspectives on this overall issue of "social shunning" associated with Autism that is not an issue specific to diagnostic label.

When a person on the spectrum, or identifying with it, says "people are not listening to them", it can be a cry of help from an individual who has not found their way out of a "bottomless pit" that some find themselves in because of chronic, lifelong "social shunning" from others in their own species.

It is part of the reason people on the spectrum gain greater comfort from other species. They can sense when they are shunned and when they are not shunned.

It does not require an overt expression of hatred or deep understanding of the emotional intent of others, to come to that realization.

It is part of the human instinct of emotional contagion that other animals share, as well.

I also sense that, while it may come in part from a place of deep hurt resulting in expressions of anger here, the author of this topic article is also "effectively" being socially shunned by people who share a similar, overall, broader autism phenotype, in the comments here.

Acceptance is impossible without making a "conscientious" effort at more fully understanding the perspectives of others.

It is more difficult at times for some people on the spectrum to do this, including me, but it is part of being a social animal, that no social animal can escape.

Autism and Unwarranted Fear Based on Label Alone:

Autism and Neuroexterrestrialdiversity:

The Problem of Determining who is Neurotypical:

Autism and the Broader Biological Gender Spectrum:

The Broader Amish Autism Phenotype vs. The Autistic Matrix:

Autism and the Nautilus:

Burnout on the Autism Spectrum:

Autism: Finding Mind and Body Balance:

Autism, the Internet and "Ideological First Identity", a Collection of Thoughts:

"AutisticS Peeks!"

It's Good

to Hear




Autistic Spectrum



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Autism and "Neuroextraterrestrialdiversity"

The article linked below was shared recently, and a “few” people were not happy with it, because the word “Alien” and “Autism” shared space.

I thought the Video was also interesting, linked in the article. I know those parents, but I cannot quite place where I know them. :)

The first time I became fully aware that I was an "Alien" was when the song "Alien" came out by the ARS, "Atlanta Rhythm Section" band. People had been telling me "that" for over a decade, and I could not understand what "they" meant, but something about that song brought equal awareness to me.

Whether or not I could accept that, in part, would determine whether I would survive.

I came to accept it, within a year.

That same year a wonderful and much more uplifting story of acceptance of "Neuroextraterrestrialdiversity" was introduced to the world, by someone likely on a spectrum somewhere who shared an iconic representation of his childhood spirit on the big screen.

The movie "ET" is strangely reminiscent of the song I heard a year before, with that amplifying message of acceptance, rather than separation from the rest of the world.


The couple that shares their story of challenge from “Money Magazine”, does not share much complex emotion in their facial expression or written words; however, I can still find that "Heart Light" for their child in their words and in the video.

"Alien Acceptance" is "Autistic Acceptance". There is no effective difference, as far as I can see, from my small place I call home on a spectrum, somewhere.

When I saw the video, I saw a family living in a similar place. I sense that the parents and child are not aware of it for their “selves”.

Perhaps that is a good place to stay, if one can, as acceptance can be much harder than awareness, when one finally recognizes them “self” as an "Alien", and does not attempt to run from the "truth".

That is not a "truth" for most people, but it was for me.

Other than that, "Money Magazine" is most often boring to me, except for some of the "cool math". :)

Back to my experience of "Alien Self-Awareness and Acceptance", as I moved past that point I also found easier access to a sensory awareness and understanding of experience that I could not put into words and share with others.

However, I came across others who could adequately express the awareness and experience.

I found "Fred the Robot floating through time and space transmitting a message" from the band, "ELO".

Much later, I found a method of "social communication" to share it with others on "Another Planet".

Informal Poll, I created on the "Wrong Planet" website, linked below, associated with the topic, and the song "Twilight" from ELO, "Electric Light Orchestra".


Autism, the Internet and "Ideological First Identity", a Collection of Thoughts:

"AutisticS Peeks!"

It's Good
to Hear




Autistic Spectrum



Autism and the Broader Biological Gender Spectrum

I enjoy what Temple Grandin and John Elder Robison write with their direct method of communication in “pulling no punches” about the challenges and advantages of living on the spectrum.

I also found another person writing about living without a label on “a spectrum” and many things associated with it, equally, if not more impressive in what I can relate to as a spectrum.

What I write below, in a way, is a tribute to that person:

I enjoyed your article, and was having difficulty too, understanding what the “Neurotypical Privilege" comment meant, but it seems to be along the lines of the pejorative phrase "Uncle Tom", which I have seen thrown around in some places in online Autism Communities. Alternatively, Gay people staying in the closet, to gain what some might describe as "straight privilege"

In the case of a Broader Autism Phenotype (BAP), it runs a little deeper than sexual orientation or skin color.

That said, I am fascinated by the Biological Gender/Androgyny correlations that I often hear people identifying with, on the spectrum.

I enjoyed your "personal" review of that related research done in the last few years, on the website linked below.

Here is another interesting review of that research from another individual:

Your analogy of the "non-flamboyant" homosexual male mind living in the female body, in one of the links in your article, is reported similarly by some people online per a "non-butch" homosexual female mind living in a male body.

I cannot help but to think that could be an interesting hormonal driven neurodevelopmental difference that in some part is at the core of what makes up online autism communities, as well as many people to date diagnosed with either PDDNOS or Asperger's Syndrome.

There is a popular therapist in my area specializing in Asperger's syndrome. She identifies Androgyny as a common element in her many years of clinical experience.

Androgyny is not one of those things a person can easily mask. It is a neurological and morphological difference following one through the course of a lifetime that often becomes more evident after puberty.

Androgyny can be an issue where self-acceptance is a big part of a solution in potential life-long internal conflicts in differing expressions of two biological genders sharing one body.

I have never particularly identified with a gender, and no longer try to fit a role. That is one advantage of the online experience, which I think is an attractive option for young people to escape that source of potential inner conflict and just be who they are behind an avatar.  

It boggles my mind in trying to figure what the privilege is in having a “gay mind’ and a “straight body”. I do not think that is a "choice" either. It is the farthest thing from typical neurology that I can imagine. :)

However, in all the people I have come across in my lifetime, which is thousands, in working with the public for two decades, those with that type of a-typical neurological/morphological difference, have been some of the most tolerant and accepting of differences in others, that I have come across.

I guess that is part of the "reason'' the gene pool continues to keep them around, as they often accept others for who they are, and can be valued supporting players, even if they do not get around to reproducing. :)

Maybe there is an advantage in having little to no privilege, living center in a much larger spectrum of biological gender difference.

Perhaps it is, most often, the advantage of others or what one might describe as unusual altruism.

Perhaps as far as a type of "Eusocial Primate”.

Maybe just a metaphor or maybe not.

Nevertheless, one not easily forgotten. :)

Additional information associated with Androgyny and 2D/4D Digit Ratio:

"Don't Let it Show" by The Alan Parson's Project:


Autism, the Internet and "Ideological First Identity", a Collection of Thoughts:

"AutisticS Peeks!"

It's Good 

to Hear




Autistic Spectrum



Monday, April 22, 2013

Burnout on the Autism Spectrum


I think the reason people on the spectrum are more likely to burnout has a physiological element of common sense.

A person that cannot maintain homeostasis eventually suffers health consequences both physical and mental. Some are robust, and hold out into old age. Others succumb at a very young age.


I watched people at work cruising through life with what seemed like little effort. I considered them lazy and unconcerned, but I clearly understand now, that I was the one that was over concerned and not able to relax.

Every social interaction required 100% of my attention to get it right.

I had a burnout at 21, recovered with youth and had a horrible one at age 47. It is much harder to rebuild and recover with an aging body. I think the burnout that most Autistic people experience is mental and physical burnout.

Psychological burnout can be different from physical burnout because it may not lead to all of the physical issues that are common with physical exhaustion.

My burnout started at age 45 and ended up in complete collapse at age 47. My coworkers thought I was the same as usual; but my body was going through literal hell from not being able to relax. I often wished I could run screaming from the building, but I felt like I had no option.

I think one thing that may be different about a person on the spectrum going through burnout, is they may have learned a social facade that can be carried into periods when they are horribly stressed.

Observing others through my career, most are not able to disguise this kind of distress, and they often do not receive the same demands that the hardworking dedicated worker with hidden distress receives.

It was hard for me to establish boundaries and I could have said “No” more often, but my opinion of life was one of acceptance or one to perish. It may be a harsh statement, but from my experience, I see a level of truth to it, particularly in the workplace. It is not that much different from the sociological mechanisms that are at work in the schoolyard sport of Dodge Ball.

If one's stress is chronic and severe, it could ultimately cause an early demise.

I did not understand how bad my stress was because my energy level was high until collapse. According to Hans Selye's theory of human exhaustion or "General Adaptation Syndrome", it is common to feel this way further into the stages of human exhaustion before collapse.

I suggest one seeks assistance from doctors, and if necessary take a leave of absence, if that is an option. If one feels like their head is going to explode, it may be a sign one’s body is providing fair warning.

Leaving work and accepting the fact that there was something wrong with me was against my nature after a life spent doing my best to fit in. This is part of the reason I stayed longer than I should have.

School and Work, the structure, routine, and stress kept me motivated all my life for productivity. I needed that stress to move forward; it kept my mind focused.

Unfortunately, the ultimate consequence of it for me, I believe, was inevitable. The link referenced below is the only one I have been able to find that gives much information on this topic as it relates to Autism. The research may be sketchy because an Autism Diagnosis in midlife is uncommon. The midlife burnout may precipitate a diagnosis for many.

I am not sure that the physiological process of burnout is different from what people who are not on the spectrum experience in today’s high stress world. Sensory issues are hard to measure, but for me, were a major issue with burnout. This may be what separates Burnout on the spectrum from Burnout off the spectrum, but I do not know how it can be measured beyond self-reports.

My understanding now from studying research is that dysfunction of the stress response and associated imbalances in neuro-hormones can actually result in sensory processing difficulties.

I think people on the spectrum experience stress over many things in life that others take for granted, so it is likely that a person on the spectrum would experience the mental and physical effects of stress more than some others.

The only solution I can see for anyone on the Autism Spectrum to avoid burnout is to manage stress the best one can, choose one’s battles wisely, when one can, and hope for the best, knowing that one’s life may ultimately depend on it.
There was an excellent discussion from people on the spectrum, linked below, from the Wrong Planet website, where people discussed this issue in detail in a demographic across the lifespan.

Several people have remarked it was very helpful for them, and I think it is worth looking at for anyone who finds one’s self on the Autism Spectrum. It also likely could be a beneficial source of information for anyone on the much larger human spectrum of life challenge.

"Invisible Sun" by The Police:


Autism:  Finding Mind and Body Balance:

Autism, the Internet and "Ideological First Identity", a Collection of Thoughts:

"AutisticS Peeks!"

It's Good

to Hear




Autistic Spectrum



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Update Part 2: Vaccines Not Associated With Autism


Additional attempts to bridge understanding and knowledge on this overall issue of Vaccines and Autism:

From the Left Brain Right Brain website:

From the Wrong Planet website:

From the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism Facebook Page:

Part two of Update on 4/21/03:

My last and likely final comment quoted below that was not published on the Left Brain Right Brain Website, LBRB, linked below, in the discussion there on the "Vaccine Controversies".

It appears that Mr. Carey misunderstood my communication in thinking I was suggesting that Temple Grandin referred to the MMRV, in the NYT interview, when in actuality I was correcting a mistake in communication I had made earlier in the discussion

In addition, I
provided further information in support of both acknowledgement of the warranted concerns of parents of children who fall ill to severe side effects of vaccines and potential unrelated illness, as well as evidence existing that supports the overall benefit of vaccines vs. the overall cost of potential rare severe side effects

Here is the comment that was not published, to this point in time, with some minor edits for reading clarity:

Note: Matt Carey from LBRB, did approve this comment and clarified he had problems with the mobile version of his Wordpress Blog. :)

"For clarification and correction regarding my earlier statement in this discussion about the MMRV vaccine, it is approved by the FDA. It is the CDC, not the FDA that does not recommend the MMRV be administered before age four, per recent findings by the Kaiser Vaccine Center.

The CDC's recommendation, as linked below, is for separate vaccinations of MMR and the Varicella vaccine before the age of 48 months (4 yrs.), due to the doubled risk of severe fever and seizures that have been identified in studies of children under the age of two.

The CDC recommends the MMRV vaccine after age four if the MMR vaccine has not been administered separately before age 4.

The risk of severe fever and febrile seizure at age 2 and below is identified as a little over two in 3000, for the MMRV vaccine, as opposed to one in 3000, with the MMR vaccine alone.

Per the 2012 study linked below, from the Kaiser Vaccine Center, the risk drops to 1 in 15,500 at age 4 to 6 for the MMRV vaccine and 1 in 18,000 for the MMR plus Varicella Vaccine.

Temple Grandin may be making her personal risk assessment of recommendation for vaccination at age 5, and what she sees as her own personal list of vulnerabilities associated with ASD, based in part, on this information from the Kaiser Vaccine Center.

However, the danger of not being vaccinated before age 5 based on these numbers alone, which is the newest government reported statistics on risk and side effect of high fevers and febrile seizures associated with MMR and MMRV, definitely does not outweigh the overall risk of what is associated with contracting the actual diseases before age 5 if one is not vaccinated with the MMR or MMRV or MMR plus Varicella Vaccines.

Febrile Seizures alone are not studied as increasing the risk of Epilepsy or Brain damage in the general population.

However, as quoted below from the article that provided further details from the linked abstract, it is worth noting that the peak of the high fevers and febrile seizures occur at 18 months, and typically do not occur after age 5.

The time frame of 18 to 24 months is where the correlation, to date, per regression and timing of event of high fever and illness among children has been identified and reported by parents of a relatively small subgroup of children exhibiting symptoms of developmental regression shortly after these high fevers and/or other elements of illness reported by parents.

This data from the Kaiser Vaccine Center presents a strong case, by itself, of a factor of correlation rather than causation in these vaccine related serious side effects and developmental regression occurring in the same time frame, among a rare sub group of individuals on the spectrum.

"The researchers noted that febrile seizures typically occur in children ages 6 months to 5 years, and the incidence of these seizures peaks at about 18 months of age."

One of the other greatest factors of correlation that may rule out vaccines as an actual direct causal factor per developmental regression is that research has also determined that there is abnormal brain growth specific to males assessed with regressive Autism, which happens well before vaccinations are administered.

This abnormal brain growth is not significantly assessed in a group of females with regressive autism or other children diagnosed on the spectrum at the same age, in that study, linked below:

There was a presentation scheduled in the upcoming IMFAR, (International Meeting For Autism Research), in May, on the neuro-pathology of Cavum Septum Pellucidum and Cavum Vergae in Macrocephaly and Autism Spectrum Condition, that could have potentially shed additional light on this issue, but it appears that abstract has been withdrawn and may still be published in the future.

Cavum Septum Pellucidum and Cavum Vergae are already implicated in association in some co-morbid and inter-related genetic based disorders associated with the spectrum such as 22q11 deletion syndrome and Schizophrenia.

I am a relative "nobody" on the internet, but based on all the evidenced facts that have been presented in this entire discussion, I personally recommend that children should be vaccinated according to CDC recommended vaccination schedule unless a medical doctor advises not to do so based on medical evidence of substantial risk of vulnerability, where the potential cost assessed may be advised as outweighing the potential benefit of vaccination, in rare instances where that determination is made by a qualified physician.

Update on 4/21/13 from my previous blog entry on this issue:

There is a very interesting discussion in the comments section of the Left Brain Right Brain, LBRB website, linked below, in a topic  where Matt Carey went through the historical element of this Vaccine Controversy along with the expression of disgust that exists among some people, associated with Andrew Wakefield and the recent outbreak of Measles in Europe.

There is good information in that discussion for anyone who may be considering Temple Grandin's recent recommendation on her website, in consideration of a delay in MMR vaccination to age 5, if there are familial vulnerabilities that Grandin identifies on her website, in what looks like a quote from her upcoming book, "The Autistic Brain". 

I support what I see as reasonable aspects of her concerns, in the comments section of the discussion linked below; however, in the discussion, I provide the evidence that I am able to locate and link, which still leans heavily toward the benefit of vaccines over the cost of potential rare side effects, even if some of the general vulnerabilities of neurology and health that Grandin identifies, exists per family history. 

My personal opinion that continues as it has been the same in the past, is that only a physician is qualified to determine what type of Health Vulnerability in each unique case is worthy of consideration on a decision whether or not to vaccinate. 

Where there is no health vulnerability assessed by a physician, all the available evidence that exists shows that the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the potential costs in risk of side effects that have been studied, identified, and assigned statistical risk in percentage, updated in 2012, as detailed in the discussion, linked below from the LBRB website.

I appreciate Matt Carey, allowing me to participate in the discussion, as a relative Layman on these issues, whereas some of the other individuals discussing the issue appear to have been focused on it for years. 

I do not share the same level of emotional investment that some of the other people in the comments express; however, on the other hand, I am not versed in the level of detail some others have by memory, so it is a research project for me in real time, where I stumble on some of the "vaccine related jargon" that I correct in my comments in the discussion.

In addition, Temple Grandin's website is linked below for those who wish to review the comment that I referenced from her, on that website.

(Edit on 4/28/13:  It appears that all Vaccination related advice has been removed from Temple Grandin's Website linked below)

Original Blog Post from "Vaccines Not Associated With Autism" on 3/30/13:


The headline provided by the CDC, in the linked article below, specific to the described study states: "Vaccines not associated with Autism".

Regressive Autism is the only significant subgroup of autism that is the topic of parental observation of concern with vaccines, in the broad autism spectrum and the much broader autism phenotype. 

This study did not prove there was no association of vaccines with Autism. Specific to the vaccine concern and regressive autism, what it did provide evidence for, as quoted from the article, was this:

"Children with ASD with regression (the loss of developmental skills during the second year of life) did not receive an increased number of vaccine antigens when compared to children without ASD with regression."

This was only an analysis of regressive Autism as defined in the loss of developmental skills during the second year of life, which may have a number of different underlying contributing factors depending on the type of regression.

The regression was not defined specific to loss of language skills, so it is difficult to assess the specific characteristics and severity of the regression, in the sample of 49 children studied. A similar limitation was addressed by Matt Carey, in 2009, in the LBRB blog linked below when an association of Mitochondrial disease, fever, and Regressive Autism was suggested in research. In that study, greater detail was provided in how Regressive Autism was defined than the CDC topic study.

Regressive Autism includes a spectrum of specific symptoms and differing severity levels that were defined in the study. There are a number of potential contributing factors for regression.

For one, Hyperlexia is associated with regression in language, and that general condition is estimated in about 5 to 10% of cases of Autism. Another potential contributing factor of risk for regressive Autism is abnormal brain growth associated specific to males with Autistic Disorder.

It is not clear what the direct causal factors are in any of these conditions but there is growing evidence for identified associations that may play a role as contributing factors of risk. What is known about vaccines and identified in the link below, by the CDC, is that there is a risk of fever severe enough to cause seizures in about one out of every 3000 that are vaccinated.

There is recent research, as linked below, that seizures, language and motor development in Autism are potentially associated and linked in genetic mutations in duplications of chromosome 15q11-q13, in 1 to 3% of spectrum disorders.

One can consider that Autistic Disorder, alone, is currently defined very loosely at this point in time, where 2027 potential combinations of behavioral impairments and/or developmental delays technically could result in a diagnosis where 2 people could be assessed with Autistic Disorder without any intersection of behavioral impairments.

It is beyond reason to suggest that one underlying factor could be responsible for Autistic Disorder, considering the complexity of how it is currently defined as a disorder. PDDNOS is currently defined loosely enough by DSMIV standards that a diagnostic tool used to assess PDDNOS in recent research conducted by Catherine Lord and associates, as described in the analysis in the link below, provides a suggestion of a potential misdiagnosis in up to 90% of those assessed in a "non-autistic" group of individuals studied.

At this point in time, the DSMIV guidelines describe an Autism Spectrum of Disorders that could be associated with almost any factor, including being alive, at least per the diagnostic tool used in Lord's study. It has never been too early to suggest that Vaccines are not the definitive Cause of Autism.

However, it is much too early for the CDC to suggest that there is no association, from this very limited study and the research that has been done to this point. For whatever reason, as provided in research by the CDC, in one out of 3000 people vaccines trigger a side effect of high fevers and seizures. At this point, they do not have clear evidence for why it happens, but it happens.

This is a common issue in many side effects of pharmaceutical intervention. I suspect that if identical research was done in an attempt to disprove that seizures are associated with exposures to greater numbers of antigens from vaccines, that the results would be the same. However, if so, it would be incorrect to suggest that seizures are not associated with Vaccines. They happen. They just don't fully understand why.

It is rare that this happens, but it is also not well understood at all what the actual percentage of children with regressive autism that get severely ill after vaccines are. There is no way to objectively assess that other than a parental survey. However, in rare cases, some children do fall severely ill, and behavioral symptoms of Autism do become more noticeable leading to diagnosis. It happens. They just don't fully understand why.

The underlying factors of seizures cannot always be assessed in an individual. However, the symptoms can be measured by behavior or EEG, when there are no structural anomalies in neurology that can be assessed. There are no clues but behavior in many individuals currently assessed with behavioral impairments associated with ASD's.

At least up until this point, much of the problem in assessing what the causal/contributing factors are is poor diagnostic guidelines that have been used to define what Autism even is, as a neurodevelopmental behaviorally assessed condition.

With DSM5 standards and ICD11beta revision to date, Autism becomes a core behavioral impairment in reciprocal social communication. There is currently no one defined impairment that can be measured by either neurological or behavioral assessment that is core to all Autism Spectrum Disorders, in either DSMIV or ICD10 guidelines, so there can be no potential of one core definitive causal factor. Not even five. Not even 10.

As long as there is the potential of a contributing factor of seizures and potential brain damage, no matter what the underlying factor of the seizures may be, there is the potential of some association. However, at least at this point, per the research that exists, it does not appear to be a potential contributing factor in more than 1 to 3% of the spectrum.

That may not sound like many people but it could comprise 20 to 60K individuals currently estimated as diagnosed, under the loose criteria that exist now. The topic study does not come close to disproving that potential rare association, however small it may be, as a contributing factor.

As a comparative gravity of issue, there were about 7 people that participated in a flash blog that got the attention of a large charitable organization recently, per concern over how the organization describes people on the spectrum in a video about AAC. However, this article, in that same charitable entity's delivery of the research, as communicated here, received much greater amounts of outrage from parents that witnessed their children falling ill after vaccination with observation of greater behavioral impairments after that point. It happens. They don't clearly understand why.

Nevertheless, it understandably, still, is an issue of concern among those that witness this serious issue in their children, in rare cases when it happens. There might not be so much fear of government conspiracies, if the CDC could just state at this point they don't know why this happens as a potential side effect in rare cases after vaccinations. It is reported. It happens.

It is much more common than death following a vaccination but potentially less common than one out of 3000 severe fevers and seizures as a side effect of a vaccination. Additional effort at research addressing potential root associations such as genetic mutation, fever, seizures, mitochondrial disease and Autism could still provide additional answers.

However, at this point, a general assessment in a statement of no association by the CDC is not much more believable than a statement of definitive causation. At least, for the limited number of individuals that has witnessed increased observable impairments associated with Autism, happening in their children after vaccination.

It makes it sound like there are many people complaining about it if one limits their world to online resources, but the potential contributing audience, online, is one of global nature and millions of people. It is a similar issue as a couple of hundred people online taking offense at a compassionate portrayal in a video about AAC.

In the real world, it is not on the radar for most people. There are more people listening to the anti-vaccine rhetoric of Alex Jones in the US, than has been attributed to people like Jenny McCarthy. However, in the US, the CDC is doing a great job of promoting what is the overall benefit of vaccines as a lifesaving effort, as the US retains levels close to the highest it has had in the past in "Herd Immunity" in the population at about 95%.

Religious waivers are still the greatest area of refusal to vaccinate other than medical reasons. This is one area, overall, in the US, per society adherence to the medical model of disability, in advantage in keeping the population healthy. The US was hardly phased by the Wakefield Vaccine/Autism research, whereas in Europe there was a substantial causal effect associated lowering the assessed vaccination rates below "herd immunity" in 80-percentile territory.

For anyone that made it this far, in this compiling of data, in three of my blog posts here is an additional avenue of potential interest. :)

The Autism Research Scientist that writes in the Blog linked below provides a virtual "Goldmine" of resources addressing the Co-morbid conditions associated with what is currently described and defined as the Autism Spectrum under DSMIV guidelines.

In regard to GI issues and Autism, and all the research that is coming out now, that is farther removed from the "vaccine controversies", this Autism Research Scientist's post linked here and the comments on it, provide an excellent overview of the state of science on this issue of GI difficulties and Autism, leaving the "vaccine controversies" in the dust, so to speak.

All of the blogs he lists on his blogroll are worth taking a look at when one who is interested in this kind of science, has the time.

Autism, the Internet and "Ideological First Identity", a Collection of Thoughts:

"AutisticS Peeks!"

It's Good

to Hear




Autistic Spectrum