Autism in older adult not a common diagnosis
To Your Good Health
Q: I am writing about a lifelong problem I’ve had with food.
A newspaper article spelled out exactly what I’ve lived through for 55 years.
The article was about an 8-year-old boy who is autistic and caused problems by taking his own food into a restaurant. The story described him as “autistic,” “a special-needs child” and that he “only eats 15 types of food.”
Also, it noted that, to the boy, “certain foods smell different . . . look different . . . have to look a certain way.”
This is exactly my life story. I eat only a limited number of foods, too. Many look bad, smell bad or are too pungent for me to eat. I also can’t tolerate many smells.
I was ridiculed, punished, harassed, lectured to and bullied as a child for my eating habits.
I am a poorly adjusted adult with many problems. I am single and have no friends. I have lost many job opportunities. I have had no girlfriends or dates after high school and can’t eat in public places.
Could I be autistic in my 60s? How do I find out?
A: I am very sorry to hear of the experiences you have had.
Autism is a disorder of development, with poor function in language and social interactions, usually with repetitive movements. Autism probably isn’t a single disease but multiple diseases that have a similar appearance to parents and doctors.
Most important, autism is a spectrum of illness, ranging from severely affected people to people with deficits that can be in large part masked through other strengths the affected individual might possess.
Autism in the 1960s was considered a rare disease, with prevalence rates of about five affected individuals in a population of 10,000, with males affected about five times more often than females. In contrast, the most recent data now show 147 cases per 10,000.
There is no way for me to tell you whether autism is the correct diagnosis for you. The diagnosis in children is usually made by an expert in pediatric development after a comprehensive series of tests, usually with a dedicated team.
My guess, based on what you have told me, however, is that it is likely you would be considered to be on the autistic spectrum.
I have certainly seen adults diagnosed as autistic, but never someone as old as you.
If you want to look into this as a diagnosis, I would find someone experienced with autism in adults.
The group Autism Speaks has a list of support groups, including ones specifically designed for autistic adults. Visit http://www. autismspeaks.org .
Dr. Roach answers letters only in his North America Syndicate column but provides an order form of available health newsletters. Write him at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or ToYourGoodHealth @med.cornell.edu .
(Jan’s musings. . .
. . . one can’t fault Dr Roach’s response to this man who questions why he is the way he is. His life has been difficult through no fault of his own and apparently, no one has questioned why he is the way he is, or determined answers. I do question the data Dr Roach is referencing however, for current data I have been seeing is a good deal higher today with prevalence in ADD, ADHD and of course, all the various levels of autism and nervous system damage, none of which is the ‘fault’ of the child or parent, but most generally, the interference of normal childhood development by medical intervention using “protective vaccinations” throughout early growth periods.
The dramatic escalation over the last 4 to 6 decades both in volume and intensity is reflective of the current data’s horrendous cost to humanity. . . in so many ways. Fifty and sixty years ago, the inoculations were minimal and scant. Indeed, there have been successes, but very few of them. . .Salk’s Polio vaccine as an example. Mostly, it has been over done to the detriment of families and to the benefit of the rising, ultimate power, dictate and greed of BIG PhRMA.
For those like this querant, it seems he has struggled alone feeling out of step with everyone else for his lifetime. At this point, I question whether any ‘out there’ can provide the “why” to anyone’s satisfaction; but there are directions one could take if relief from of his preferences are growing too uncomfortable to continue. But it requires thinking outside the box and would take much effort to be able to willingly do the work required to incorporate the type of nutrient change which could enhance normal function within the entire organism. The body is a simple organism with simple but definite needs. And yet it is magical, complex and all knowing. It knows how to heal itself, if freed of toxins and provided the natural, organic nutrients it requires to function normally.
Since this man’s diet is an unknown, it can’t be determined what and/or which steps need to happen and/or how. But seeing a doctor or practitioner who uses natural methods; and/or especially someone like Donna Gates of the (BED) Body Ecology Diet who has had great success helping those afflicted with autism. . .there can always be relief. She has a product line, personally developed using natural enzymes and potions. Tried some and they are delicious and do work.
But I also have an additional thought. If this condition now under discussion were my own, I would be motivated to secure an appointment with DONNA EDEN (or one of her fully credentialed practitioners) of EDEN ENERGY over at “Innersource” for a consultation. Why?. . .because they ‘see’ things differently, or one could say — they look for different things. It is in their purview to determine if the body’s meridians (energy channels) are open and free-flowing or perhaps blocked and malfunctioning. They can test the health of the vital organs thru simple, educated maneuvers, and importantly, how all of it is working together. They also can test the efficacy of a nutrient’s effect on one’s body needs or conversely, it’s rejection. One can find these helpful people all around the world, for surely, Donna Eden is a “Healing Goddess” who comes from an understanding of pain and sickness without hope. So these are my thoughts. .)