Wednesday, April 7, 2010

another one bites the dust

We constantly hear from neurodiversity that funding medical research for autism is different from funding research for cancer or AIDS because the latter diseases kill people.

Perhaps they should tell this to the parents of christian DeJons Perhaps Michelle Dawson, Morton Gernsbacher and Laurent Mottron as well as Autism Speaks who donated half a million dollars to these people should tell Christian's parents that autism isn't harmful


Oliver M Canby said...

Nice Queen reference there Jonathan. It's so sad that this child died simply because of his autism. That is why autism needs to be cured, so you me and everybody can have better lives.

Kent Adams said...

How does a 6 year old child with severe autism wander off (I know where my son is at all times)? I never trust these stories. I think there is far more we don't know and because the child is autistic, authorities I believe, though I have no proof, fail to investigate. Notice how its never traffic related deaths (which I would think would be far more likely than a body of water), always drownings? See in a traffic related death, there are usually witnesses. Ever notice there is no witness to the drownings?

I think you could be more sympathetic and change the headline, "bites the dust" seems a bit callous.

jonathan said...

There was a boy who got hit by a train in north carolina. I would consider that a traffic death. There are other instances where they wandered out in the street and hit by cars and died, I can't remember the exact instances. I will post some links if i find them.

ian MacGregor said...

The headline is indeed callous. A young child's life has ended tragically. My daughter lost a classmate to drowning last year. The parents had left her in the care of a young lady to whom their daughter had established a strong bond. The young lady did not notice the child was gone for a few minutes, searched the house frantically and found her in the pool.

We all strive to be perfectly vigilant and make sure our children are safe. Perhaps at a store one's attention is distracted for a split second and one's child wanders off. A frantic search follows, the child is found three aisles over, or store authorities are notified and employee finds him, on the other side of the store, or perhaps he wanders out of the store and into a life-ending tragedy.

I once lost my daughter in a store. I found her a few aisles over. I'm sure we were separated for a minute at most, but it seemed an eternity. I also know that it could of ended in a much different way.

IT is most likely Christian's parents a not only dealing with the incredible grief of losing a child, but also the feeling of having failed to protect their son.

jonathan said...

Yes, I agree that the headline may be callous. Ian McGregor's points are well taken. However, it came from the lyrics of a song that many people are familiar with and I certainly care that autistic people are dying yet neurodiversity continues to perpetuate their propaganda and takes a flippant attitude towards children like Christian.

Whenever an autistic child is needlessly murdered, neurodiversity always shows their outrage and persons, such as myself, who long for a cure, are somehow blamed for their murders. Yet never a tear is shed for children like Christian and Ashley Brock and other children who die needlessly in drowings and being hit by cars or trains or the boy in Canada who died in the snowstorm.

SM69 said...

Some ASD children are runners and disappear. Sometimes they escape even professional care. This can happen as it has been reported often in the press. In Scotland/Glasgow, one boy was recently taken into care (after 2 escapes, one from his mum and one from a professional care provider). This decision was made by a children panel, with immediate effect (i.e. the child was picked up after school and sent to a care home, his mother had no say). The mother can only see her son for a few hours a week. He is 12, non verbal and was not prepared to leave his home, let alone his mum. This story occurred 3 weeks ago and has not yet been reported in the press. Authorities often misunderstand the issues with autism. Loosing a child with autism is a real threat, with potential life threatening consequences. I doubt taking the child into care is the answer.
There is rarely witnesses in reports of drowning...

Addressing the logic...

If one witness drowning, one usually responds and acts to prevent it- -> consequently, there will be no drowning and nothing to report. When and if there is no witness, drowning of someone unable to swim will occur.

Traffic related accidents: Always involve another person in addition to the child. That means there will always be someone witnessing (unless this is someone running away). This person, and others (if the road is busy) can act to prevent an accident to happen. Accidents that none the less occur will be reported and chances are high that it will involve a witness report.
These are logical facts not related to depth of the investigation.

María Luján said...

The problem of higher rates of mortality has been also published
J Autism Dev Disord. 2010 Mar;40(3):352-7.

Mortality in autism: a prospective longitudinal community-based study.
Gillberg C, Billstedt E, Sundh V, Gillberg IC.

Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Queen Silvia's Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Gothenburg University, Kungsgatan 12, 411 18, Göteborg, Sweden.

The purposes of the present study were to establish the mortality rate in a representative group of individuals (n = 120) born in the years 1962-1984, diagnosed with autism/atypical autism in childhood and followed up at young adult age (>or=18 years of age), and examine the risk factors and causes of death. The study group, which constituted a total population sample of children with these diagnoses, were followed up in Swedish registers. Nine (7.5%) of the 120 individuals with autism had died at the time of follow-up, a rate 5.6 times higher than expected. The mortality rate was significantly higher among the females. Associated medical disorders (including epilepsy with cognitive impairment) and accidents accounted for most of the deaths, and it was not possible to determine whether autism "per se" actually carries an increased mortality risk.
Autism. 2008 Jul;12(4):403-14.

Mortality and causes of death in autism spectrum disorders: an update.
Mouridsen SE, Brønnum-Hansen H, Rich B, Isager T.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

This study compared mortality among Danish citizens with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) with that of the general population. A clinical cohort of 341 Danish individuals with variants of ASD, previously followed over the period 1960-93, now on average 43 years of age, were updated with respect to mortality and causes of death. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for various times after diagnosis. In all, 26 persons with ASD had died, whereas the expected number of deaths was 13.5. Thus the mortality risk among those with ASD was nearly twice that of the general population. The SMR was particularly high in females. The excess mortality risk has remained unchanged since our first study in 1993. Eight of the 26 deaths were associated with epilepsy and four died from epilepsy. Future staff education should focus on better managing of the complex relationships between ASD and physical illness to prevent avoidable deaths.

From USA there are at least two manuscripts published on the topic, from Shavelle et al. This is one
J Autism Dev Disord. 2001 Dec;31(6):569-76.

Causes of death in autism.
Shavelle RM, Strauss DJ, Pickett J.

Life Expectancy Project, San Francisco, California, USA.

Comment in:

J Autism Dev Disord. 2006 Feb;36(2):287-8.

The objective of this study was to determine which causes of death are more frequent in persons with autism, and by how much, compared with the general population. Subjects were 13,111 ambulatory Californians with autism, followed between 1983 and 1997. The units of study were person-years, each linked to the subject's age, sex, and cause of death (if any) for the specific year. Observed numbers of cause-specific deaths were compared with numbers expected according to general population mortality rates. Standardized mortality rates (SMRs) were computed for each mental retardation level. Elevated death rates were observed for several causes, including seizures and accidents such as suffocation and drowning; elevated mortality due to respiratory disease was observed among persons with severe mental retardation. Overall, excess mortality was especially marked for persons with severe mental retardation, but life expectancy is reduced even for persons who are fully ambulatory and who have only mild mental retardation.

Anonymous said...

Autistic kids do have traffic accidents or many close calls. The second party of the vechicle's driver can react to averting kid's error. A body of water jjust follows the rules of physics. Plus these kids are often eloping to relocate the water that fascinates them, not seeking traffic. My oldest child at six kept in sight , my younger son could sneak off when not looking for a brief bit and my grandson can disappeare while being watched when one just looks the other way. A door looking shut but not fully fastened by someone rushing around has been used by my indoor cat to elope.I'm suspicious of a fair number of infant deaths or disapperances of infants who can't walk or unlock doors, but not in autism cases. These kids when bigger are so unco operative the forensic autopsy would have so many defence signs and or extremely high levels of sedatives. The majority of parents in these cases are distraught normally vigilant people because if you note these kids are reperted and searched for very promptly. True autism is an awful wearing condition for any family to endure with no rewards or recipricocity or really meaningful developmentsf for what parents and services put into these kids. Despite that, most parents sustain caring feelings for them. It takes a powerful amount of irrartional committment to sustain caring for a miserable family vampire. That's what's remarkable. Fact is, any concealled autism murders would have occured in infancy by a mother who was repulsed by something different in the infant, long before any diagnosis was on the horizon. Kent Adams you
haven't worked out this kind of scene too well. I think the heading ain't harsh, but sympathetically accurate!