DAVID GRANOVSKY

AUTISM SPECTRUM, TREATMENTS AND CURES(?)

In ALL ARTICLES, OFF THE BEATEN PATH on April 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

autism-not-a-disease

What is the Autism Spectrum? What does it mean to Treat? Does treat mean Cure?

Let’s be clear, as clear as we can. Nothing applies to all but we speak of an autistic spectrum, a gross lumping together of many different variations.

“A spectrum (plural spectra or spectrums[1]) is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary infinitely within a continuum…the autism spectrum. In these uses, values within a spectrum may not be associated with precisely quantifiable numbers or definitions. Such uses imply a broad range of conditions or behaviors grouped together and studied under a single title for ease of discussion.”

We use spectrum because it’s easier to do so and because we don’t have 100 different, perfectly defined types of Autism in the spectrum. We don’t have: “Jimmy Jones presents with ADS#72” and even if we did, it would probably look more like, “Jimmy Jones presents with ADS72 with non-specific characteristics of ADS34 and a dash of ADS9.” We are limited in that we have a spectrum, an umbrella of sorts with perhaps more dissimilarities than similarities between those on it but it’s the umbrella we have so let’s use it because it allows us to move forward on the discourse.

As for the term treat   and what I “mean” by it, now we are getting into strictly defined   terms.  Treat means:
1. To give medical aid to someone.
2. To give medical aid to counteract a disease or   condition.

Treat does not mean cure. .  Likewise, recovery does not mean remission. Asymptomatic does not mean therapeutic benefit.  A treatment, when applied to different people with the same condition or different people on a spectrum, may result in dissimilar responses or results. Some may recover, some may become asymptomatic, some may derive significant therapeutic benefit, some may derive lesser benefits and some may have no significant response to a treatment and some may have limited quantifiable change yet huge quality of life improvement.  I wish there were guarantees on treatments but there are not.

In addition, there are many different kinds of treatments stemming from different schools of thought on cause, affect, symptom alleviation, etc.  There is HBOC, MSC, Chelation Therapy, Nutritional Intervention, Gut Bacteria Proliferation, etc. and many studies showing their safety and efficacy and many swear by them.  Some of these treatments or therapies or interventions have worked for some on the spectrum and because it’s a spectrum, may not work on others. But we educate ourselves to what’s available and the new studies and advancements.

So, here are a few articles. Some will be relevant to your inquiries, some will not. I hope they are helpful and enlightening.  And this is not the sum total of the information out there, just a broad brush stroke collection.   I’ll keep looking and I’ll try to gather some more over the next few days to create a more comprehensive… spectrum…of data and information:  AUTISM AND STEM CELL TREATMENTS

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I’ll leave you with this one last thought.  I used the image at the top for a reason.  It is something I’ve been wrestling with quite a lot lately.  Is Autism an identity or a disability?  Should we search for a cure or try to understand it.  I wrote an article on the subject early this month – AUTISM: IDENTITY OR DISABILITY  

And a chicken and the egg scenario just occurred to me.  Simply put:

Stem cells are the body’s natural healing system.  If you implant stem cells into the body, it will begin to repair itself.  It is the job of the stem cell to assist your body in functioning as well as it possibly can.  Dead tissue can begin to regenerate, new tissue can begin to develop, genetic anomalies can begin to correct, etc.  The stem cells and the body “know” what needs to be done or even, what needs to be fixed.  We can force them to do ‘x’ but eventually they will go fix ‘y.’

So if stem cells ‘fix’ something, that means (at the very least) that the stem cells and your body believed it needed ‘fixing.’  So in the simplest of terms and the broadest of definitions, if stem cells fix Autism, was it not because it needed to be fixed?  I don’t know.  I’m asking.  Maybe you have a different view.  If you do, I’d love to hear it.

p.s. A “friend” noted that cure is perhaps not the best term to use and I agree.  We do need a new set of words. Both for that reason and because we need to start seeing people as people and not as patients and definitely not as diseases. 

Further, when I eat well it is not to cure, when I go to the gym it is not to cure, when I meditate or do yoga it is not to cure. All of these things are to maximize my life, my health, my soundness of body and mind, my time on this earth, not to cure. Part of the issue is that Western medicine treats illnesses not people…wait until someone is sick and then try to fix what’s wrong with them with zero ‘cures’ since Polio 1954.   A pretty backward way of thinking.  Eastern medicine prevents disease as a by product of the efforts taken to maximize one’s health, vitality and life. We could learn a lot from this attitude.

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