“Autism – What We Know” by Wendy Chung

All About Autism

For today’s blog, I originally planned to take a look back on the month of April and our activities.

However, I just watched a TED Talk titled “Autism – What We Know (And What We Don’t Know Yet)” by Wendy Chung, the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) Director of Clinical Research. Dr. Chung’s presentation is a concise, informative review of what we know about autism, what we don’t know, and what definitely has been proven false.

Image Dr. Wendy Chung

Some of the information that I found fascinating included:

– Genes play a larger role in autism than they do in cancer, heart disease, or diabetes

–  25% of cases with autism are caused by a genetic mutation that was neither possessed nor transmitted by the parent but occurred in the egg, the sperm, or both

– There is not one gene for autism but 200 to 400 different ones…

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Singer Johnny Dean: I Was Diagnosed With Autism as an Adult

British singer Johhny Dean wrote in the Guardian recently about his life as an adult with autism, particularly his difficulties getting diagnosed as an adult, and receiving support for his condition. The article pointed out that 70% of autistic adults in the UK feel they are not receiving the help they need.

Adults seeking diagnosis are often faced with a struggle. Not being taken seriously seems to be a common occurrence. I experienced more than just a few quizzical looks and furrowed brows when I asked to be assessed. Many people simply give up at this point. I was even asked outright, by a consultant psychologist, why I was seeking diagnosis when I was an adult. Apparently, this happens a lot. [quote from the article]