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Autism: Eight Questions Dr. Nicole has for Parents

by in Autism, Kitchen Sink, Pediatrics June 4, 2009

thankyousignBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

I won’t even pretend to be an expert on autism, but since this great group of autism blogging moms found me here at the kitchen table, I have a few questions of my own….

Below is a brief interview I did with one parent of a child diagnosed with autism, and if you would like to copy and paste the questions in to the comments section and share your own answers either anonymously or publicly it would greatly help me while I research the latest biochemistry on autism, vaccines, diets, vitamins, low homocysteine, and so forth.  Also other doctors and health care professional subscribed to my website will benefit.

Please share any other info you think would be helpful beyond my very basic questions, please by all means do so…I sincerely believe that the parents are the experts on this topic and even though April is “Autism Awareness Month,” author Tara McClintick and I decided that autism continues 365 days a year….so we are going to keep talking about this important and ever growing “epidemic” at the kitchen table.

#1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

Yes. We were childless for 9 years and I had two or three unsuccessful cervical bypass procedures. I also had one ectopic pregnancy prior to the birth of my daughter. I did manage to get pregnant on my own without drugs or other procedures. I was 29 when she was born.

#2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

Very simple. Very little morning sickness, nothing major.

#3 Any problemss at birth?

Not at all. However, I was induced and was in labor for almost 17 hours.

#4 Normal APGARS?

Yes.

#5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

Yes. She was unable to nurse (could not latch on). She had poor eye contact, few words by age 2, echolalia when she did speak, repetitive behavior (such as stacking books), wandering, not pointing, not always responding to her name, sensory sensitivity, tantruming

#6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?

I don’t recall when this vaccine was administered, but we definitely knew there was something wrong by about 18 months.

#7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?

Full, at least I think so. She was vaccinnated as the schedule required in 1997-98.

#8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

No.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table to share your story.

Related reading:

Autism Awareness Month

Autism: 10 Strategies for Implementing Diet Changes

The Autism Diet Connection

Autism: 10 Tips for Everyone

6 Comments
  1. #1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?
    No, surised ourselves by getting pregnant the very first time we tried..

    #2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?
    I never felt well, no morning sickness, but felt swollen and bloated, and achy and tired, and, and, and…..Tested a false positive for downs syndrome on the maternal serum screening test, had the amnio to confirm the false positive.

    #3 Any problemss at birth?
    Went into labour 5 1/2 weeks early. Labour stalled, did the whirlpool wand walking but ended up being induced.

    #4 Normal APGARS?
    Don’t know –

    #5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?
    Subtle ones. Was expressionless for a long lon gtime – took forever to to finally have his first laugh, was slower to sit up, slower than we were to walk (15 months).

    #6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?
    I saw no connectin between the vaccines and the on-set as my son didn’t show sudden on-set nor is he Kanner’s – he is Aspergers.

    #7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?
    Full. He was vaccinnated as the schedule required in 1996 onward

    #8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?
    No.

  2. Sent the wrong email address – I submitted as kustra.krw should be kustra.krew@cogeco.ca

  3. #1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

    Nope. simply stopped taking the birth control pill and that did it 🙂

    #2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

    Simple. Everything was right on schedule

    #3 Any problemss at birth?

    No. It was a fast and furious birth -my water broke and the baby was born within 15 minutes of getting to the hospital. No time for the standard IV even.

    #4 Normal APGARS?

    Yes.

    #5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

    He had eczema on his cheeks starting at about 2 months. These cleared up when I took dairy out of my diet (breastfed) at about 6 months. Chronic ear infections, and not knowing the damage it could do, I followed doctors orders giving repeated rounds of antibiotics. Spit up after every feeding like a faucet. Ear infections finally stopped when I took wheat out of his diet

    #6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?

    Yes, after the MMR is when his few words he had started coming out distorted. He started running in circles a lot and pacing, withdrawing and jerking his arms. He stopped responding and I thought he had lost his hearing.

    #7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?

    Full schedule, right on time.

    #8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

    Everything was great 🙂

  4. Well, as I have 4 on the spectrum

    diagnosis: Asperger

    #1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

    Yes.

    #2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

    Morning sickness, high bloodpressure at the end.

    #3 Any problems at birth?

    No. Home birth.

    #4 Normal APGARS?

    Yes.

    #5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

    Yes, it was clear he had autism before first birthday.
    He was diagnosed at 18 years.

    #6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?

    No. Far before.

    #7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?

    Schedules in different countries differ.
    He was fully vaccinated according to our schedule, which is less than the USA one, and less than it is now.

    #8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

    Plenty. But those didn’t cause autism

    ———————

    diagnosis: PDD-NOS

    #1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

    No

    #2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

    Morning sickness, minor gestational diabetes

    #3 Any problems at birth?

    No.

    #4 Normal APGARS?

    Yes

    #5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

    Yes, he had symptoms before first birthday.
    Diagnosed at 18.

    #6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?

    No, far earlier.

    #7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?

    see above

    #8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

    no

    ========

    diagnosis: Not officially diagnosed. Probably PDD-NOS

    #1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

    no

    #2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

    morning sickness, minor gestational diabetes

    #3 Any problems at birth?

    Induced, but that wasn’t a problem.

    #4 Normal APGARS?

    yes

    #5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

    Yes, it was clear he had problems before age 1.

    #6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?

    No, far earlier

    #7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?
    see above

    #8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

    No

    ======

    diagnosis: classical autism

    #1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

    no

    #2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

    morning sickness. minor gestational diabetes

    #3 Any problems at birth?

    No

    #4 Normal APGARS?

    Yes

    #5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

    Yes, it was clear he had autism before age 1

    #6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?

    No. Far before

    #7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?

    see above

    #8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

    No

    laane’s last blog post..bathroom

  5. #1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

    No, we got pregnant the first cycle after coming off birth control.

    #2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

    Complicated. Morning sickness all 8 months, pre-term labor (stopped with terbutaline) at 31 weeks, premature delivery at 35 weeks.

    #3 Any problemss at birth?

    Yes. I had pre-eclampsia, the doctor did not do a timely c-section (three days of BP at 215/115), and he was underdeveloped for his age. He had breathing difficulties requiring ventilation, which the doctors felt was odd because he was a 35-weeker, nursing problems, etc. Severe jaundice, as well.

    #4 Normal APGARS?

    No.

    #5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

    I knew something was wrong at 8 months. He would not follow me with his eyes when I walked by, he would not hold on when I sat him on my hip. It was like carrying a sack of potatoes.

    #6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?

    No, it was much earlier.

    #7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?

    He was vaccinated on a more-or-less full schedule.

    #8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

    Not particularly. He was fussy and cranky as a baby.

    He is now high-functioning, Asperger’s.

  6. #1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

    No. Got pregnant first month of trying.

    #2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

    Nausea and had trouble gaining weight, but managed to force-feed myself and made it through. Only gained 20 pounds.

    #3 Any problems at birth?

    Excellent fast labor (better than previous experience) and painless due to epidural.

    #4 Normal APGARS?

    I was never told the Apgars score, but I assume it was good.

    #5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

    Physically, at first my son was great. Breast-fed to 10 months (stopped after flu shot), wonderful eye contact, loads of giggling, played peekaboo, etc. Became chronically ill after flu shot at 9 months with constant colds, flu, ear infections, then pneumonia. Had learned to say Mama and Dada at 7 months, but lost all speech at about 10 months till he was 22 months. Started hand-flapping shortly after MMR at 13 months. Late to walk – 15.5 months. Lost eye contact at 27 months. Never responded to his name, never pointed, lined up toys, didn’t know how to play with toys, unaware of danger, unaware of other children.

    #6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?
    Onset of handflapping and posturing after the MMR vaccine. I would find him in his crib lying in the fetal position, but on his stomach hunched over. He was not asleep and looked like he had been in this position for some time (probably was caused by abdominal pain). He stopped calling for me at night after the MMR.

    #7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?

    Full, including flu shots with thimerasol (which I was not informed were still in the vaccine).

    #8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

    Moved to new home, so new carpet off-gassing, etc.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table to share your story.

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