Understanding autism from an objective point of view

August 27, 2013

By Dan Aznoff

Bellevue College student Kevin May was given the opportunity to wear different hats during the annual of Autism Day WA celebration at the Jubilee Farm in Carnation last weekend. Literally.

Diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum as a teenager, the Issaquah resident understands the need to identify the outward signs of the disorder at a young age. Given the opportunity to interview and explore the aspects of autism as a reporter assigned to cover the annual Autism Day WA event, he was able to explore the controversy that surrounds the medical diagnosis.

Contributed Kevin May wears a vintage fedora with a ‘press’ card in the band as he enjoys walking from tent to tent at Jubilee Farm in Carnation during Autism Day WA.

Kevin May wears a vintage fedora with a ‘press’ card in the band as he enjoys walking from tent to tent at Jubilee Farm in Carnation during Autism Day WA.

Curiosity first drew May toward agencies that offer advocacy for families dealing with a person on the autism spectrum.

“Advocacy is important for families to know they are not alone. Being alone is the one thing that scared me the most. I spent many hours thinking, and writing, about my efforts to fit in,” May said. “And I spent almost as much time developing ideas that could help others not feel so all alone.”

May said he could relate to the words of Matt Young, of the Autism Advocacy organization, when he explained how the group was able to stop a billboard advertising campaign by Seattle Children’s that called for a cure to diabetes, cancer and autism. Young explained that autism is a condition that has no real cure.

“There are treatments and therapy,” Young told May, “but not something that can be eliminated like a disease.”

The young reporter’s curiosity then drew him to the booth that offered a different opinion where he spoke to Janelle Hall, the chapter coordinator for Talk About Curing Autism. Hall explained that her son had “recovered” from autism after being unable to speak and dealing with other symptoms for many years.

Hall told May that her son will always be on the autistic spectrum, but has recovered to the point that his symptoms are hardly detectable when he is with his siblings or interacting with other young people.

Given the choice, the TACA coordinator said her organization should probably not have used the word cure in its name. She said treatments for her son have included dietary supplements and physical therapy.

The free day of free family-oriented activities at the farm was established in 2001 by Sammamish resident Lynne Banki. Almost 500 people attended the 13th annual event.

May said he ended his day with a renewed respect for the agencies and organizations available for families dealing with somebody who has been diagnosed as being on the spectrum.

“It is so important for families and individuals to know they are not alone with their struggle,” May said. ”People do not want to be singled out. They need to be recognized and appreciated.”



On the Web

Learn more about Autism Day WA and being involved in next year’s event at www.AutismDayWA.org.


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4 Responses to “Understanding autism from an objective point of view”

  1. AnneDachel.com » Blog Archive » Issaquah (WA) Press: Taking the word “CURE” out of TACA on August 28th, 2013 11:20 am

    […] Understanding autism from an objective point of view […]

  2. Maurine Meleck on August 28th, 2013 1:10 pm

    TACA is a great autism organization and organizations and advocacy are important for autism. However, what autism really is—is not mentioned here. While behavior therapy, speech, physical therapy are important–we need to acknowledge that autism is really a neurodevelopmental and metabolic disorder affecting every organ in the body.. These kids suffer mainly from immune dysfunction, encephalopathy, oxidative stress and often inflammatory bowel disease. They need too to be treated bio-medically because autism is medical.

    When people finally realize what it really is–many more children can recover.
    The CDC pits the numbers at 1 in 50 and yet refuse to call it an epidemic.
    We hear that nobody in gov’t health agencies know the cause, yet tens of thousands of parents report that their normally developing children regressedinto autism following vaccinations. We really need a never been done study of fully vaccinated vs fully unvaccinated children. Why won’t the government do this?

    Wjile awareness and fun days are good, the thing we really need is to pinpoint the cause and stop the epidemic.

    Maurine Meleck, SC
    grandmother to 1 in 31(vaccine injured)

  3. bpatient on August 29th, 2013 6:26 pm

    “tens of thousands of parents report that their normally developing children regressedinto autism following vaccinations”

    Well, it happens taht several careful prospective studies of children as they developed ASD clearly showed that parents routinely missed the subtle early signs of ASD, and so any association that they made between vaccines and the development of ASD are . . . suspect, since they were trying to relate what they saw to something that happened long before the event that they thought was linked.

    Dr. David Amaral of UC Davis stated that his work “confirmed . . . that there is this precocious brain growth [in autism] . . . but in our cohort, which is about 200 children that we analyzed, [an aberrant pattern of brain growth] is most prominently associated with children that have a regressive form of autism; these are the kids that seem to highlight the vaccine issue, because these children have normal development to 12 to 18 months and then lose social ability and lose language function and regress back into autism . . . so it actually casts doubt on the idea that a vaccine . . . would be actually the precipitating factor, because [the abnormal brain growth patterns] were starting much, much earlier than that.” [Nordahl CW, et al. Brain enlargement is associated with regression in preschool-age boys with autism spectrum disorders. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Dec 13;108(50):20195-200.]

    Amaral recently reported that childen who develop ASD have abnormal accumulations of fluids in their brain at the earliest time points examined (these abnormal fluid accumulations were earlier shown to begin before birth.) [Brain. 2013 Sep;136(Pt 9):2825-35.]

    The evidence suggests that ASD begins long before birth, and long before the vaccinations that parents claim cause ASD.

  4. Bre on August 31st, 2013 5:27 am

    For whomever doubts vaccine link, do your research, not quote people who get funded by gov and Autism Speaks(who is gov funded) to oppose the link pharma doesn’t want you to know is real. Honestly, we are not serving 1 in 50 people with autism who are 40, 50, 60, 70 years old. And doctors are NOT suddenly better at diagnosis. This is a toxic overload…the vaccines only cause autism in that they are the final tipping point for toxic overload. If you don’t realize this by now, you are being paid not to or…
    Educate yourself about the lack of efficacy and harm before you jump on a sight and blindly reference one study. There isn’t enough time for me to site legit studies…. nvic.org, safeminds, generation rescue, vaccine epidemic, vaccine machine, dr sheri tenpenny….GOOGLE…try it.

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