Autism and Other Stuff from the "Do It" Thread


jeffrey smith

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Re: Mental hijacking

What you are describing sounds like what is usually called hyperfocus: it's a core element of ADD and AHDH, and is usually present in autism (which is why autistics think of ADD and AHDH cases as "cousins"). Everyone has the ability to hyperfocus, but ADD/AHDH/autism has it to a degree that impinges on normal skills, because it does not allow the individual to multitask. IOW, ADD/AHDH is not a situation in which the person doesn't pay enough attention to things around him; rather he or she pays too much attention to one thing in his environment, although the focus of attention may shift rapidly betwen various objects.

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Jeffery,

Actually, if I remember correctly, I got the term "mental hijack" from Blair Warren and thought of it as a takeoff on Goleman's "emotional hijack."

I will look deeper into hyperfocus. I even have an audio course by Tellman Knudsen called Hyperfocus, although this is slanted toward Internet marketing and not cognitive science. I already listened to the first lesson and he described patterns in my mental operations to a tee.

Michael

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Re: Mental hijacking

What you are describing sounds like what is usually called hyperfocus: it's a core element of ADD and AHDH, and is usually present in autism (which is why autistics think of ADD and AHDH cases as "cousins"). Everyone has the ability to hyperfocus, but ADD/AHDH/autism has it to a degree that impinges on normal skills, because it does not allow the individual to multitask. IOW, ADD/AHDH is not a situation in which the person doesn't pay enough attention to things around him; rather he or she pays too much attention to one thing in his environment, although the focus of attention may shift rapidly betwen various objects.

There is growing evidence that mercury is implicated in autism. It has been proposed that Alzheimer's and autism are one and the same except one is happening in a young person and the other is happening in an old person.

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Adam said:

Careful here there is a lot of poor spotty studies and a lot of publicity and agenda driven

groups including Diedre Imus and her husband's whole network of TV and radio.

And anything that involves Jenny McCarthy, and anyone who still thinks vaccination can cause autism (that specific claim has been disproven in the last couple of years). Also anyone who seriously talks about "curing" autism. You can no more cure autism than you can cure a woman of being female or a man of being male.

And some less obvious organizations like Autism Speaks, whose ultimate goal seems to be finding genetic tests that will allow parents to choose abortion when they find out the unborn child is autistic, and whose intermediate goals seem focused on finding educational regimes that will turn autistic kids into replicas of neurotypical kids despite the inevitable psychological damage.

Autism seems to be caused by a variety of factors which almost certainly include genetics--it seems to run in families--and immune system problems--auto immune diseases seem to be more common among autistic people than among the normal population. The most reasonable theory now in play is that environmental toxins (which might include mercury but also lots of other things we don't really know about now, and come from plenty of sources besides vaccines) produce or enhance traits in genetically predisposed individuals. There are however also other aspects which seem present at birth, and certain things associated with autism such as hypersensitivity and synasthaesia which are found (albeit at lower rates) in the neurotypical population, so it's doubtful there is a single cause. And there is the rather odd fact that a relatively high proportion of congenitally blind children also turn out to be autistic (about one third of them, if I remember rightly).

I haven't heard of the Alzheimer's connection; from what I know of AD, which unfortunately is a lot, I tend to be skeptical.

Edited by jeffrey smith
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Jeffery,

There is way too much not known about autism for you to make the absolute statements you do.

Kat and I support Autism Walks since Sean (her son and my step-son) has an Autism spectrum disorder. These people are wonderful and Sean is only progressing with happiness and serenity.

I do know one thing. Autism is like heart disease, alcoholism, stomach upset or any other general category where the symptom is promoted as the disease. There are many varieties of autism and I believe it will be found that there are many causes with different treatments for each, including mixtures.

As a recovered alcoholic and drug addict, I know for a fact that there is no one size fits all for these things.

I am concerned that the excessive amount of chemicals in the food here in the USA may be a contributing factor. I don't recall autism being so prominent in Brazil as it is here. Also, when I arrived here after over 30 years in Brazil, I was appalled at the sheer quantity of pharmaceuticals consumed in this country. I speculate that this could be a biological aggravation.

A lot more study needs to be carried out to find the causes and good treatments. We are only at the beginning.

Michael

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Jeffery,

There is way too much not known about autism for you to make the absolute statements you do.

Kat and I support Autism Walks since Sean (her son and my step-son) has an Autism spectrum disorder. These people are wonderful and Sean is only progressing with happiness and serenity.

I do know one thing. Autism is like heart disease, alcoholism, stomach upset or any other general category where the symptom is promoted as the disease. There are many varieties of autism and I believe it will be found that there are many causes with different treatments for each, including mixtures.

As a recovered alcoholic and drug addict, I know for a fact that there is no one size fits all for these things.

I am concerned that the excessive amount of chemicals in the food here in the USA may be a contributing factor. I don't recall autism being so prominent in Brazil as it is here. Also, when I arrived here after over 30 years in Brazil, I was appalled at the sheer quantity of pharmaceuticals consumed in this country. I speculate that this could be a biological aggravation.

A lot more study needs to be carried out to find the causes and good treatments. We are only at the beginning.

Michael

Quite agree with you about not much being known and that more study needs to be done. You may be very right about the chemicals in food.

I am one of those classified as high functioning or Asperger's. I don't know where your stepson fits on "functioning" scale, but one of the criticisms we autistics have is that the "high vs. low functioning" idea needs to be complexified, to account for the fact that in relation to various things the same individual may "function" at different levels.

We also object to the "disease" model of autism. It's simply the way we are: the basic personality type. My own opinion is that there is only one type of autism that expresses itself differently in every individual because of specific environment, talents, innate intelligence, etc. etc.

Autism Speaks seems to be an organization run by parents for the sake of parents, without recognizing the fact that the autistic children of those parents have their own values and opinions which may not necessarily match those of the parents. Furthermore, Autism Speaks seems not to want input from adult autistics.

As for treament, that depends on what you mean by the word. If you simply mean trying to help the autistic individual live as independently as possible, I am totally in agreement with you there. But that can't be simply training the individual to act as if he or she was a neurotypical. The amount of energy needed to "fake neurotypicality" is enormous. I can "fake" it for extended periods,but I have to keep reminding myself of what I need to do to carry out the imitation successfully, and I have to retreat into absolute silence and solitude as quickly as possible to recover from it, physically and mentally. I couldn't do it as a basic strategy, to be maintained throughout the day: I would crash and burn (as in check me into the psychiatric ward type of crash and burn) within hours. But there are less extreme strategies I can use to disguise myself, so to speak, in the presence of strangers, and other ways of maintaining the necessary interface with my environment so I can hold a job, feed myself, look after the house, etc.

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Autism seems to be caused by a variety of factors which almost certainly include genetics--it seems to run in families--and immune system problems--auto immune diseases seem to be more common among autistic people than among the normal population. The most reasonable theory now in play is that environmental toxins (which might include mercury but also lots of other things we don't really know about now, and come from plenty of sources besides vaccines) produce or enhance traits in genetically predisposed individuals. There are however also other aspects which seem present at birth, and certain things associated with autism such as hypersensitivity and synasthaesia which are found (albeit at lower rates) in the neurotypical population, so it's doubtful there is a single cause. And there is the rather odd fact that a relatively high proportion of congenitally blind children also turn out to be autistic (about one third of them, if I remember rightly).

I haven't heard of the Alzheimer's connection; from what I know of AD, which unfortunately is a lot, I tend to be skeptical.

Skepticism is good but keep your mind open :DSee here.

Alzheimer's disease was discovered in 1906, again in America, where dentists used mercury-laden amalgams to fill cavities (dentists in Europe largely avoided them). Today, more than 4 million Americans now have Alzheimer's disease. It afflicts half of people over the age of 85 and 20 percent aged 75 to 84.

The first symptoms of this disease are difficulty concentrating and variable degrees of memory loss, leading ultimately to devastating mental deterioration. The brains of people with Alzheimer's disease shrink by 25 percent and have distinct pathologic hallmarks (neurofibillary tangles, amyloid plaques, and phosphorylation of tau protein). Brain cells grown in the laboratory develop the same three pathologic findings when exposed to nanomolar (3.6 × 10-10 molar) doses of mercury, an amount approximating that found in the brains of people who have a lot of amalgam fillings.

Autism was discovered in 1943, in American children, twelve years after ethyl mercury (thimerosal) was added to the pertussis vaccine. (The disease was not seen in Europe until the 1950s, after thimerosal was added to vaccines used there.) In a typical case, shortly before his 2nd birthday a normally developing, healthy boy stops communicating with others and withdraws into himself. He avoids eye contact and becomes strange and aloof. His vision becomes blurred; and he develops various motor disturbances, such as involuntary jerking of the arms and legs and walking on his toes. In addition to these manifestations, Dr. Sallie Bernard and her colleagues, in a study titled, "Autism: A Unique Type of Mercury Poisoning," describe the speech difficulties, unusual behavior (such as unprovoked crying spells and head banging), various degrees of cognitive impairment, gastrointestinal difficulties, and immune difficulties that these autistic children can have. Mercury is most likely a causative factor in other developmental disorders as well, such as delayed speech and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

I think one of the biggest fallacies of logic is attributing to one cause when in fact there are many causative (and other) factors. One theory I read stated that mercury destroys brain cells in both groups but in children the cells are being replaced much faster than in elderly people which explains why the elderly lose their cognitive ability. Since I have had mercury fillings in my mouth for 40 years or so and am beginning to have health problems I find this very concerning. I am actively trying to remove mercury from my system through various means as a precaution.

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Furthermore, Autism Speaks seems not to want input from adult autistics.

Jeff,

If this is true, this is troubling. I will look into this.

On another front, Kat is reading Temple Grandin and enjoying her books a lot. I intend to get to her work later.

As for treament, that depends on what you mean by the word. If you simply mean trying to help the autistic individual live as independently as possible, I am totally in agreement with you there.

Basically that is what I mean. Kat and I have taken the approach of trying to learn Sean's language, but we also guide him in directions where he is aware of risks from behavior others will consider inappropriate and threatening. I also make a point of treating him as a normal kid without any kind of condescension or walking on eggs around certain issues, but making a flexibility space for non-typical reactions. I have only been in his life a few years, but we get along wonderfully.

He is basically high functioning and seems to have a variation on Asperger's.

You might enjoy the posts of Bob Kolker (Ba'al) here on OL when he mops up some of the blood from his computer keyboard. :) He describes himself as a high-level Aspie.

Michael

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Basically that is what I mean. Kat and I have taken the approach of trying to learn Sean's language, but we also guide him in directions where he is aware of risks from behavior others will consider inappropriate and threatening. I also make a point of treating him as a normal kid without any kind of condescension or walking on eggs around certain issues, but making a flexibility space for non-typical reactions. I have only been in his life a few years, but we get along wonderfully.

He is basically high functioning and seems to have a variation on Asperger's.

You might enjoy the posts of Bob Kolker (Ba'al) here on OL when he mops up some of the blood from his computer keyboard. :) He describes himself as a high-level Aspie.

Michael

Very high. So high I consider it a gift, rather than a disability. I have learned to adapt to the NT* world, which is the majority world. By my mid twenties I was doing stuff that a normal five year kid could do without thinking about, like reading face and body language. For me it was like learning a foreign language. BUT.... once learned, never forgotten. Sort of like riding a bike.

Hell! I even married an NT and most of my kids are NT. If one has a good head for rule formation, one can learn to pass for human without too much trouble. NTs are so predictable. God must love the NTs. He made so many of them.

Ba'al Chatzaf

*NT means neurologically typical. Your basic "normal" person. The sort of people who fight wars and ruin the environment.

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"The sort of people who fight wars and ruin the environment."

Hmm so you are a necessary evil to help the NT's fight wars as you have stated in the past? :)

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Adam,

I don't think you caught Bob's meaning. The complaint against "people who fight wars and ruin the environment" is not because of morality. NT's just don't get it. It's because of efficiency.

Much better to annihilate entire populations and flatten the environment to a radioactive glaze. That resolves the issue.

:)

(Bob, I'm just teasing...)

Michael

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Michael--I'll try to locate some pertinent material for you regarding Autism Speaks.

General Semanticist-- you're not taking into account that the naming of a disease or syndrome simply marks its scientific recognition as a separate medical condition, and does not mean that case didn't appear before then. Perhaps you don't know that Dr. Alzheimer was a German doctor? And that Alzheimer's is recognizable throughout history in any society where enough people survived to what we call old age, albeit then simply classified as a form of senility. Among other prominent individuals in the past, Kant certainly suffered from it: if you read his biography, the symptoms and progress are unmistakeable.

Same situation with autism; cases which fit the description of autism appear with relative frequency throughout history. See the work of Ute Frith on this point. Among people often cited in this connection, Newton was certainly, Beethoven and Einstein were probably, Mozart was possibly, autistic. The connection between autism and what is commonly called genius is one of those things that researchers would like to know about. And Dr. Asperger, after all, was an Austrian; one reason why high functioning autism/Asperger's was relatively unknown was the fact that his work was not translated into English for three or four decades after he first published his findings.

The fact that mercury poisoning produces symptoms that mimic some of the traits of autism does not mean that mercury poisoning is the main cause of autism. The matter seems to be much more complex than that, and one has to take into account the apparent genetic factor in autism (and Alzheimer's for that matter).

Edited by jeffrey smith
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Jeffrey:

My understanding is that there are now Thiomersal* free vaccines and that it is incumbent upon the parent to ask for them with the pediatrician as it was a preservative.

We used to roll mercury around in the palms of our hands for fun but ingesting it would never have made any sense.

Adam

*Thiomersal (INN) (C9H9HgNaO2S), or sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate, commonly known in the United States as thimerosal, is an organomercury compound (approximately 49% mercury by weight) used as an antiseptic and antifungal agent.

It was invented and patented by Morris Kharasch. The pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly and Company gave it the trade name Merthiolate and it has been used as a preservative in vaccines, immunoglobulin preparations, skin test antigens, antivenins, ophthalmic and nasal products, and tattoo inks.

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Michael--I'll try to locate some pertinent material for you regarding Autism Speaks.

General Semanticist-- you're not taking into account that the naming of a disease or syndrome simply marks its scientific recognition as a separate medical condition, and does not mean that case didn't appear before then. Perhaps you don't know that Dr. Alzheimer was a German doctor? And that Alzheimer's is recognizable throughout history in any society where enough people survived to what we call old age, albeit then simply classified as a form of senility. Among other prominent individuals in the past, Kant certainly suffered from it: if you read his biography, the symptoms and progress are unmistakeable.

Same situation with autism; cases which fit the description of autism appear with relative frequency throughout history. See the work of Ute Frith on this point. Among people often cited in this connection, Newton was certainly, Beethoven and Einstein were probably, Mozart was possibly, autistic. The connection between autism and what is commonly called genius is one of those things that researchers would like to know about. And Dr. Asperger, after all, was an Austrian; one reason why high functioning autism/Asperger's was relatively unknown was the fact that his work was not translated into English for three or four decades after he first published his findings.

The fact that mercury poisoning produces symptoms that mimic some of the traits of autism does not mean that mercury poisoning is the main cause of autism. The matter seems to be much more complex than that, and one has to take into account the apparent genetic factor in autism (and Alzheimer's for that matter).

I was not implying that autism or Alzheimer's were not around historically. In fact, very little was known hundreds of years ago about the dangers of metals, like lead, copper, mercury, etc. But we keep much better records now and the systematic use of mercury in vaccines and amalgam provides an easy reference point. I even read somewhere that autism cases are down 9% in California since they removed mercury from children's vaccinations. Course I don't know if that is true or not :unsure: , but there is no doubt that mercury is one of the most toxic substances known to man and it seems to me if we can avoid it then we should not be putting it into our bodies. It's bullshit when the ADA says it is safe and we have to prove it isn't. It should be the other way around - we know it is dangerous and they should have to prove it's safe. The FDA considers mercury fillings removed from people's mouths a toxic substance but it's ok while it's in there??

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Good arguments.

Is it possible, not talking about probable, that saliva helps detoxify the effects of the mercury fillings?

Just a question.

Adam

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A researcher working with a super-concentrate of mercury got a drop on her skin. She knew she was going to die. Took six months.

Over ten years ago a man visited his father who had concentrated hydogen peroxide in his fridge and mistook it for water and drank a glass and died right there on the spot.

As for mercury filings in your mouth, the removal of same will probably generate much more mercury exposure than leaving them in place.

--Brant

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As for mercury filings in your mouth, the removal of same will probably generate much more mercury exposure than leaving them in place.

Mercury has many forms. When removing amalgam from the teeth it may produce tiny particles that contain elemental mercury which is ingested and also some vapor that can be inhaled. These are minimized by using lots of water, suction, and a dental dam. When it is done you have removed a source of mercury in the body that leaks continuously as long as it is in there. Ingested mercury is poorly absorbed by the body and most goes out in the feces. What is really interesting is that bacteria and fungus in your gut will ingest mercury and attach a methyl group to it and excrete it as methyl mercury which is readily absorbed into your bloodstream where it can get deposited in all your vital organs and go through the blood brain barrier. This is also the kind of mercury found in seafood, especially shark and tuna.

You know, I once read the most interesting statistic. We are often told that the average lifespan of humans has risen dramatically with the advent of modern medicine yet the single biggest reason for this is the reduction of infant mortality. If you take a sample of 1000 people 200 years ago and calculate the average lifespan and compare to today it will be much lower because many of those lives were ended in childhood. But if you look at how many years they live after age 60 it has hardly changed at all. In other words, given that you have made it to your 60th year, what is your expected lifespan. In this regard our modern medicine has made little progress and I think the situation with mercury is an excellent example of why we have not done better even with all our technology. I think many of the gains we have made have been offset by the lifestyles we have created for ourselves.

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Good arguments.

Is it possible, not talking about probable, that saliva helps detoxify the effects of the mercury fillings?

Just a question.

Adam

From what I have read, having more saliva than normal is one of the reactions to having amalgam in your mouth, so it could very well be the case.

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I think many of the gains we have made have been offset by the lifestyles we have created for ourselves.

Let me elaborate. Let's start at the beginning and check our premises :D . Why do we have tooth decay in the first place? A dentist's job is to drill out the decay and fill the empty spot with something else but why does it happen in the first place? Dentists and doctors don't want to know why disease happens because they get paid to treat it, not prevent it. We need to pay people to investigate prevention and there is no profit in that, except it will save billions in healthcare costs! So this is something the government needs undertake as the "free market" system will not address this. There are things besides maintaining law and order that governments need to be involved in if we want to get to the bottom of many complex issues. Linus Pauling et al have done some amazing work but most research is funded by drug companies who just want sell more drugs and treatments. Apparently. the American Dental Association owns several patents for amalgam preparations. Hmm... I wonder if what they say about the safety of amalgam is biased at all?

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GS:

Excellent arguments.

Dis-ease is why I have absorbed the Chinese approach to wellness. Keeping the body in "balance" or "at ease" means being in a state of wellness.

I have seen the life/death stats that you alluded to and they are quite convincing.

The problem with "heavy metals" being entombed in the cellular structure of the human can have devastating results.

I became aware of a wonderful Doctor in NY City who used IV chelation to achieve "miraculous" results. Folks came from all over the world. Well of course we could not have people being cured running around talking about this particular Dr. and her effective approach to dis-ease, so the NY State

Insurance Department and the NY State Department of State basically ran her out of the US. I worked with her on her case and she basically decided

to go back to Northern Italy where she could practice medicine effectively.

You should look into the IV chelation to attack that mercury problem.

Adam

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GS:

"We need to pay people to investigate prevention and there is no profit in that, except it will save billions in healthcare costs! So this is something the government needs undertake as the "free market" system will not address this."

1. We don't have a "free market system" here in America. And I sure as hell know that you don't have a free market system in Canada.

2. If private investors don't think it is wise to sink money into this idea, why in hell should taxpayers be forced to pay for it?

In fact, here's an idea: why not privately organize this noble profitless venture yourself?

Edited by Michelle R
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GS:

Excellent arguments.

Dis-ease is why I have absorbed the Chinese approach to wellness. Keeping the body in "balance" or "at ease" means being in a state of wellness.

Take that "alternative medicine" stuff with a grain of salt.

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GS:

Excellent arguments.

Dis-ease is why I have absorbed the Chinese approach to wellness. Keeping the body in "balance" or "at ease" means being in a state of wellness.

Take that "alternative medicine" stuff with a grain of salt.

Now that was funny.

Balance. For example, acupressure for a headache works.

Knowledge. Urine will kill a foot fungus. Example, my lady was a mid-wife in Bolivia for almost five years and out in the chaco, that

was what you used.

Alternative medicine "advocates" should be listened too, but selectively.

Adam

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GS:

Excellent arguments.

Dis-ease is why I have absorbed the Chinese approach to wellness. Keeping the body in "balance" or "at ease" means being in a state of wellness.

Take that "alternative medicine" stuff with a grain of salt.

Now that was funny.

Balance. For example, acupressure for a headache works.

Knowledge. Urine will kill a foot fungus. Example, my lady was a mid-wife in Bolivia for almost five years and out in the chaco, that

was what you used.

Alternative medicine "advocates" should be listened too, but selectively.

Adam

Quite, my good sir.

In general, I don't trust people who make a fashion of it.

But it would be foolish to dismiss everything lumped under the category 'alternative medicine' because it attracts a few wacko leftists.

As you say, selectivity is key here.

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