Weight Loss News and Current Events - Obesity and Autism - did anyone else's heart sink?




berryblondeboys
04-21-2012, 09:28 AM
When I heard this I think part of me died. My younger son has high functioning autism and I was obese when I was pregnant with him and had gestational diabetes.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_123869.html

I blogged about it today too.


Thighs Be Gone
04-21-2012, 09:39 AM
We can't blame ourselves for things like this. When we know better, we do better. Both the ladies I know with autistic children were obese during pregnancy too ironically.

Mama Bee
04-21-2012, 09:44 AM
Hmm... I think they are really pushing to find some kind of link for autism to anything. The biggest concern I have would be heavy metals getting into the body, not proteins.

I work with autistic children and children with other developmental delays. None of the children I work with currently have overweight mothers...

Don't fret over it. This was probably a biased study... it says 21% of moms who have a child with autism were obese. Well isn't the percentage of obese Americans something more like 34%? If you look at it THAT way, if you are obese you are more likely to NOT have a child with autism.

I do know a lot of the autistic children I work with are obese... it has a lot more to do with the fact that some of them are particularly difficult to motivate to do active things, it stresses them out. And they are very sensitive to food choices... so the parents do what they can to get food into them.


gonnadoitthistime
04-21-2012, 09:58 AM
I agree that you shouldn't blame yourself (as a mom I know that isn't easy). My grown have some serious issues too and when I find myself blaming myself, searching for a reason I tell myself it is a waste of precious time and energy and self indulgent, that works for me. Deal with what comes your way the best way you can, and feeling bad about yourself saps your power to deal with things effectively. I also agree the "experts" keep trying to find links to autism and other issues, but remember these are all people looking to make a name for themselves in their fields of study and to do work that keeps that grant money coming in. Nothing happens in a vacuum, there are always other factors at work in these studies and sometimes the motives are less than pure.
Good luck with your son, there is a great site call wrong planet if you haven't checked it out, it might be helpful for you.

Violet73
04-21-2012, 10:02 AM
you can't blame yourself for this. There are thin moms who have children with autism too. I was considered obese when I had my DD and she doesn't have autism. I think it's just something else they are looking into. I worked for a doctor and she had three children, two girls and a boy and her son is autistic. They need to find out why more boys are autistic than girls. Something about estrogen protecting the brain barrier? Idk, seems like I read that once when I was researching gluten free diets. They may never know exactly what causes it.

DrivenByAmbition
04-21-2012, 10:08 AM
There is no underlying factor to autism that has been found. No need to take one person's opinion to heart.

dcapulet
04-21-2012, 10:40 AM
Hmm... I think they are really pushing to find some kind of link for autism to anything.
^THIS. As someone who works in the field, THIS THIS THIS.

threenorns
04-21-2012, 10:43 AM
i was in DAMN fine shape when i was pregnant with my first daughter, the one with asperger's - it wasn't until i landed in the maternity home on bed rest with strict feeding regimen that didn't allow for inactivity that i gained 65lbs in the last 3mo. up to then, i hadn't gained anything at all. my doctor was going *hysterical*.

and you know what?

seriously, considering how many of them are SO gifted, i don't even count it as a disability - it's just a different kind of human. maybe it's not the kids that have to adapt - maybe it's society that has to evolve.

sontaikle
04-21-2012, 11:26 AM
Don't let this study get to you! It doesn't really have conclusive evidence anyway :/

I agree with Mama Bee and dcapulet, I think they're trying to find ANY LINK POSSIBLE to autism. I work in Special Education and many a teacher has come to me and expressed that there must be "something" going on that so many kids are diagnosed these days.

I think it's more awareness than anything. I work with children that right now would have probably fallen through the cracks 30, 40 years ago. Other children would have just been seen as eccentric and people would have shrugged their shoulders. When people thought of developmental delays, autism, etc. back then they thought of children who had trouble speaking and would need assistance for the rest of their lives. We now know that that's not the case.

It's quite easy to say that the rise of obesity and the rise of autism are related, but I think to find a SOLID stance on this we would have to go back to older definitions of how children were diagnosed and compare it to data from back then (if there even is data). A child with asperger's today probably would have not been diagnosed years ago, for example.

It's so easy to point fingers here and there but what comes down to it is that we're more aware of the fact that not every child fits into that cookie cutter mold of what we want them to. Instead of trying to find an answer so we can point fingers we need to make sure that all of these children get the education and services they deserve.

saggzz
04-21-2012, 12:57 PM
I work with students with special needs, autism included. I think all the new studies that come out need to be taken with a grain of salt. I remember about 5 years ago there was a study that said there was a higher rate of autism in children born to parents who were engineers and accountants. Really? I am sure that can't be true. Love you children for who they are and celebrate the special gift that they are. ((hugs))

threenorns
04-21-2012, 01:33 PM
actually, saggzz, it is true. it's called the Geek Syndrome.

high-functioning autistics, just by virtue of being who they are, tend to do well in things like engineering and science; more so than the neurotypical population. also, like tends to call to like - it's more often that two "aspies" hook up than an aspie and a neurotypical.

speaking for myself, i have never dated normals and probably never will. if i met a nice, decent guy with a good job who was kind to kids, animals, and old people, he wouldn't even register on my radar. he'd be a null void - and he wouldn't be interested in me, either. too much of what i say is misunderstood bec i didn't say it the right way, either verbally or physically. many times i've been accused of being sarcastic when i really wasnt' being so at all.

here's the article on Geek Syndrome and why Silicone Valley has a *massive* spike in asperger's and autism cases - far, far more so than for what just better diagnostics can account:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html


the one thing they ALL agree on: a huge chunk of autism is genetic, not just exactly how much french vanilla with garlic dill crunchies mama ate.

threenorns
04-21-2012, 01:45 PM
here we go: from that article i cited above

In previous eras, even those who recognized early that autism might have a genetic underpinning considered it a disorder that only moved diagonally down branches of a family tree. Direct inheritance was almost out of the question, because autistic people rarely had children. The profoundly affected spent their lives in institutions, and those with Asperger's syndrome tended to be loners. They were the strange uncle who droned on in a tuneless voice, tending his private logs of baseball statistics or military arcana; the cousin who never married, celibate by choice, fussy about the arrangement of her things, who spoke in a lexicon mined reading dictionaries cover to cover.

The old line "insanity is hereditary, you get it from your kids" has a twist in the autistic world. It has become commonplace for parents to diagnose themselves as having Asperger's syndrome, or to pinpoint other relatives living on the spectrum, only after their own children have been diagnosed.

High tech hot spots like the Valley, and Route 128 outside of Boston, are a curious oxymoron: They're fraternal associations of loners. In these places, if you're a geek living in the high-functioning regions of the spectrum, your chances of meeting someone who shares your perseverating obsession (think Linux or Star Trek) are greatly expanded.

As more women enter the IT workplace, guys who might never have had a prayer of finding a kindred spirit suddenly discover that she's hacking Perl scripts in the next cubicle.

in short, one of the reasons asperger's and autism is sharply increasing is because these days, those on the spectrum've actually got a chance of having kids!


THIS!:

One of the first people to intuit the significance of this was Asperger himself - weaving his continuum like a protective blanket over the young patients in his clinic as the ****s shipped so-called mental defectives to the camps. "It seems that for success in science and art," he wrote, "a dash of autism is essential."

i told my two older daughters and my NVLD god-daughter and i'm telling my youngest daughter: "anybody who was ever anybody was never normal".

kuchick
04-23-2012, 09:24 AM
Oh yeah, I'm a geek (was a database programmer - now a stay-at-home mom homeschooling my child with Aspergers) and married a geek (an engineer). I've worked with both engineers and computer programmers and can attest that there is a higher population of autism there. Maybe there should be more studies about the genetic component - I suspect that some of the higher incidence of autism can be attributed to more women in previously male-dominated careers and simply more women attending college and meeting men who are just like them "autistic".

I have 3 kids; the oldest has been diagnosed with Aspergers (only because I had to to protect him at school - didn't work) and 2 who I have not had to have diagnosed because they don't have the extreme behaviors. They're all extremely intelligent (youngest taught herself to read at the age of 3), but have such a hard time "fitting in". I think they're amazing and interesting the way they are, but know from experience that they're going to have a difficult time in middle and high school with feeling different.

And did it ever occur to the researchers linking obesity and autism that autistic women tend to be overweight because of an increased interest in less active pursuits and therefore their children being more likely to be autistic is due to genetics (the mother is autistic) not because the mother was obese.

berryblondeboys
04-23-2012, 09:34 AM
Thanks everyone for your comments.

I think because they don't know what "causes" it that they are just looking for any connect and even though I "know" that this study, like most studies are flawed, it still put a "what if" in my head.

My husband is extremely intelligent - like EXTREMELY. PhD from Wharton kind of smart - people in his class coming to me saying, "you know your husband is the best student in the program" kind of smart. BUT, he's not autistic - at all. I am 'smart' (but not to that level) and I'm not autistic.

WHen we look in our families though, I would guess my brother, today, would be put on the spectrum, but back then - no (he's 38). My maternal uncle might have been too. Same with my husband's dad. So it's THERE as it's there many, many families. We just didn't know what to call it.

I have two kids - one nearly 16 and one just turned 7 over the weekend. My oldest has ADHD (bad), youngest high functioning autistic. Let me tell you, parenting has been NO JOKE. but they are also great kids - smart kids. Oldest one is very, very smart, but as scatter brained as they come. So hard to tell with the youngest with his language barriers and his limited interests, but he picks things up really fast and remembers EVERYTHING.

So, I know it's a mixed blessing. Many traits of autism (as with ADHD) are actually beneficial - a bonus. It's when too many of them collide/coincide that creates problems.

Violet73
04-23-2012, 09:50 AM
Nobody in my family has that kind of intelligence (LOL) . Seriously, we are just your average people. There are nurses, legal assistants, factory workers, etc. There is no autism in my family that I know of. We have a large family too.

guacamole
04-23-2012, 10:06 AM
Honestly, I think it is all a bunch of hogwash. You can find parents of autistic kids who fit the mold of this article and you can find parents who don't. I have a relative who has an autistic son. She and her husband were the "All-American" teenage sweetheart couple - Football team/Cheerleader - very popular. Both have always been in great shape and have maintained their weight and health by working out and diet to this day. Both very smart, well-educated, and working in white collar professions (very well off financially), but neither, I would guess, are at a genius level in IQ. They would be the last couple I would think of to have an autistic kid based on this study, but they do.

PrincessSophia
04-24-2012, 01:41 AM
high-functioning autistics, just by virtue of being who they are, tend to do well in things like engineering and science; more so than the neurotypical population. also, like tends to call to like - it's more often that two "aspies" hook up than an aspie and a neurotypical.

speaking for myself, i have never dated normals and probably never will. if i met a nice, decent guy with a good job who was kind to kids, animals, and old people, he wouldn't even register on my radar. he'd be a null void - and he wouldn't be interested in me, either. too much of what i say is misunderstood bec i didn't say it the right way, either verbally or physically. many times i've been accused of being sarcastic when i really wasnt' being so at all.

here's the article on Geek Syndrome and why Silicone Valley has a *massive* spike in asperger's and autism cases - far, far more so than for what just better diagnostics can account:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html


Yes. I hear you. :hug: I am also kind of "not normal" and my husband too. We are both computer geeks and like science and I see it in my son too. :mad:

When I heard this I think part of me died. My younger son has high functioning autism and I was obese when I was pregnant with him and had gestational diabetes.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_123869.html

I blogged about it today too.

I was not obese.

i33BabyGirl33i
04-24-2012, 03:09 PM
Don't blame yourself and really take this study with a grain of salt. I always see one study contradict one and other.

Vex
04-24-2012, 03:23 PM
I have a son who was extremely premature (25 weeks) who I could have classified with autism (more likely aspergers) if I pursued it. He's instead sitting with a "social development delayed" label.

Why did it happen? Was it obesity, depression meds, diet pop, immunizations, the weather, or 9/11 that made it happen? Who knows? (I actually believe it was 9/11 but that's another story...)

The point is the kids are here now, and that's what we have to live with. There's nothing to be gained (unless planning on having more) to go back and blame yourself for why. We have to focus on the best way to help them live as normal a life as possible today and in the future. The past is done.

.

freelancemomma
05-22-2012, 09:29 AM
Reminds me of the breastfeeding hoopla churned out by the media. Some articles would have us believe that bottlefeeding is akin to child abuse. I bottlefed my kids (wasn't successful at breastfeeding) and chose to ignore all those articles. In fact, the peer-reviewed medical literature reports much more modest benefits, if any, from breastfeeding than the popular media would have us believe. And my kids turned out to have none of the problems attributed to bottlefeeding.

F.

Daisy25
06-15-2012, 06:21 PM
berryblondeboys: I wouldn't beat yourself up over this article. This single study has only identified a potential correlating risk factor, not a causitive risk factor. These articles can be very misleading and dramatic if not written or interpreted properly. It is only one study done by one group of researchers who only found a possible link, not a definitive cause.

Steelslady
06-18-2012, 12:14 AM
Three good friends of mine as well as one of my cousins were all trim and thin when they had their children with autism. None of them smoked, drank, or took any drugs while pregnant, nor did they conceive them while drinking, smoking, or taking any drugs.

This is just ridiculous, to put such a thing on a mother's conscience like this because she was heavy. I remember one time, some doctor wrote an article blaming the mothers because allegedly, the mother didn't want the child she was carrying, and supposedly, the baby picked up these feelings in the womb and regressed into themselves before they were born. I remember my three friends, when this article came out, were so angry, and I was right along with them- they ALL couldn't wait to have their children, and in no way every felt angry or upset that they were pregnant. People looked at them for awhile and wondered if it was their fault that their child was the way they were because they didn't want them. My point is, these stupid, foolish people who do so called re-search and without any facts, present this to media outlets, do more harm than good to the medical community. Now they're blaming obese mothers, before, it was supposed mothers who didn't want their kids. What brain surgeon next will come up with something stupid such as if she wore the color black for three days in her first trimester, that it is the cause of her son/daughter's autism?

Enough is enough with this BS..........leave the autistic children's Moms alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad:

drixnot
07-16-2012, 06:16 PM
I don't buy it... I can understand higher rates of obesity related problems being passed onto a child... but autism? No... I agree with the nurse... that screams heavy metal toxins to me.

We already know for a fact that lead and mercury poisoning will effect the nervous system and sadly there is more of those two substances in the environment than ever before.

What's even worse is the possibility that toxins can lead to obesity. They even named this class of toxins "obesogen"

(link to Dr.Oz article on obesogens removed because I'm too new)

Justwant2Bhealthy
07-22-2012, 03:23 PM
My DH has Aspergers/autism -- he and all his family were and are slim (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts & uncles, etc).

Raspberry74
11-24-2012, 05:22 PM
I was 7st 7lb when i had my daughter ... didn't drink or smoke and ate healthly and she is autistic. So i don't believe obesity alone is a factor.

Becky Quilts
11-28-2012, 03:38 PM
Correlation does not mean causation.

In other words, even though both obesity and autism are on the rise, it doesn't mean they are connected.

My whole family is overweight, there is no autism.

My cousin is of reasonably healthy weight, and has an autistic son.

shcirerf
12-03-2012, 10:46 PM
Ok, this is a bit off the wall, but, bear with me.

I read an article that was published somewhere over seas about autistic children. After much research, the article concluded that autistic children had "HYPER" sensitivities to their environment. It's like being a kid with all the senses of, for example a dog. Their hearing, and eyesight, and sense of smell, etc. is magnified beyond anything we can comprehend.

That being said, could you imagine your senses magnified like that and try to live with other humans who could not imagine the barrage of stuff that creates?

The article did center mostly around the sense of hearing, and the fact that autistic kids, sense of hearing was so much more profound than the normal human, but the rest of their brain was human, that they found it very difficult to figure out how to filter it out and live with it. For them, opening a cupboard door was on the scale for most of us to setting off a bomb! Flushing the stool was like standing next to Niagra Falls!

It actually makes sense, if you think about it.

Nikel1979
12-04-2012, 09:47 AM
Ok, this is a bit off the wall, but, bear with me.

I read an article that was published somewhere over seas about autistic children. After much research, the article concluded that autistic children had "HYPER" sensitivities to their environment. It's like being a kid with all the senses of, for example a dog. Their hearing, and eyesight, and sense of smell, etc. is magnified beyond anything we can comprehend.

That being said, could you imagine your senses magnified like that and try to live with other humans who could not imagine the barrage of stuff that creates?

The article did center mostly around the sense of hearing, and the fact that autistic kids, sense of hearing was so much more profound than the normal human, but the rest of their brain was human, that they found it very difficult to figure out how to filter it out and live with it. For them, opening a cupboard door was on the scale for most of us to setting off a bomb! Flushing the stool was like standing next to Niagra Falls!

It actually makes sense, if you think about it.

I can relate to the sensory avoiding part of it - I am not autistic, but I am definitely sensory hypersensitive. For the most part I've learned to deal with it, unless I'm sick or overly tired or something.

My kiddo with autism though has some hypersensitivity, but there's also a lot of sensory seeking. Autism, from research and personal experience, often has hypo- as well as hypersensitivity.

Jentry07
12-14-2012, 12:50 PM
There is no underlying factor to autism that has been found. No need to take one person's opinion to heart.


I completely agree with this 100%!!! No one still knows scientifically why autism happens, there are too many misconceptions and guesses out there you are not the first obese women with gestational diabetes to give birth and plenty of them did not have an autism baby, it is merely a coincidence and you are not to blame! Don't beat yourself up about this!!!