Monday, February 28, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Bill repeals insurance for autism treatment
It was only last year that New Hampshire required insurance companies to provide support for early treatment of autistic children.
Now the new majority seeks to end that. HB 309 would end mandatory insurance for all kinds of early interventions.
I’m 55 years old, only recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome – a form of high-functioning autism. I’m married and a former partner of a major consultancy – all without such treatment.
Lack of social skills exposed me to sexual abuse as a child, caused several episodes of extended insomnia and isolated me socially until I did learn how to practice social skills in my teens.
Denying autistic kids the skill to connect is equally cruel. It is also fiscally irresponsible. Early treatment is costly, but much less than 50 or more years of institutionalization.
I also hope the political sponsors of HB 309 will recognize that this is political suicide. Autism affects one in 70 families. And we will speak out. Forcefully.
This demonstrates most clearly why universal coverage is needed now. So that millions of our children will not grow up in isolation, will be less vulnerable to abuse and bullying and will get their shot at a life defined by their abilities rather than their limitations.
The House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee hearing is today at 1:15 p.m. in Room 302 of the Legislative Office Building. Let’s speak out and help Rep. John Hunt, R-Rindge, and his colleagues not to make this big mistake.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Trained service dogs can be great help to autistic kids By Richard Robbins
Despite initial skepticism, Becky Pekar now believes her son, Alex, is getting a tremendous boost by having a trained service dog constantly at his side.
Alex, 11, has autism, a developmental disorder that affects 1 in 110 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pekar of Youngwood said Alex is "a bolter in public." He once disappeared from her side and was discovered in a nearby cornfield. Such behavior can characterize autistic children who typically have a difficult time with social interactions and connections.
Bella, a German shepherd service dog, moved in with the Pekar family in November.
The 5-month-old dog has already made a difference, Pekar said. With special training, Bella is learning how to track Alex down in case he wanders off.
Since Bella's arrival, Alex has started to come out of his shell. Among other things, he's eager to talk about the dog, Pekar said. In the past, he didn't want to be bothered with people.
Pekar, a nursing professional who specializes in blood draws for special-needs children, founded Wineman Farm Outreach of Youngwood, an autism service center, several years ago.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Autism News: Exit Eden, Enter Dr. Oz Booty Call
An upcoming Dr. Oz show will probably sensationalize autism, while maintaining only the most politically correct dialogue with regard to scientific findings. For many it might provide an hour of nothingness, to be added on to all the other fantasies that can be engaged upon in front of what can sometimes be referred to as the 15 minute fame idiot box.
Oh, the meanderings within the autism opus when it comes our media darlings, ones so recognized as infinitely informed; the ones who only allow the political correct agenda!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
A West Des Moines psychiatrist claims to use a "miracle drug" that improves symptoms of autism.
Dr. Randall Kavalier prescribes the drug "Namenda," which is designed for and marketed to Alzheimer's patients, to children who have autism or who suffer from brain injuries. Dr. Kavalier claims that Namenda clears up the interference among signals to nerves in the brain. Dr. Kavalier said that while elderly brains have long finished developing, children's brains are still being molded. He said that, in many cases, after children swallow a few pills, "They light up. I mean, they turn on."
Before you read any further, you should know (and Dr. Kavalier acknowledges) that many other child psychiatrists disagree. They think it may be dangerous to prescribe Namenda for something other than what it was intended. Channel 13 News received an email from an anonymous person who claimed to be the parent of an autistic child. They said that their child suffered "months of horrible side effects" as a result of taking Namenda. That being said, Dr. Kavalier insists that "it's like patients start talking... suddenly."
Greg and Stacy Brakefield believe in Namenda. Three years ago, a trip to a water park hotel was out of the question for the couple from New Germany, MN. Their daughter, Mackenzie, suffers from a brain injury. She nearly suffocated as an infant. Stacy said, "We were told she wouldn't walk. She wouldn't see. She wouldn't really be a very normal functioning kid."
One year later, the Brakefield's son, Josh, was born with autism. Greg and Stacy said that they found their miracle in Namenda. "It is a miracle drug," said Stacy. "Am I going to say it's a cure for either one of the things my kids have? I wouldn't say cure. I'd say it's a thing to help the journey be easier. That's what I'd call Namenda."