Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Breastfeeding and EFAs

I just found this study in PubMed and I was surprised that no one has commented yet. Maybe it just appeared there. I think this could be pretty controversial.

Breastfeeding, Infant Formula Supplementation, and Autistic Disorder: the Results of a Parent Survey.

Schultz ST, Klonoff-Cohen HS, Wingard DL, Akshoomoff NA, Macera CA, Ji M, Bacher C.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Although autistic disorder is associated with several congenital conditions, the cause for most cases is unknown. The present study was undertaken to determine whether breastfeeding or the use of infant formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid is associated with autistic disorder. The hypothesis is that breastfeeding and use of infant formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid/arachidonic acid are protective for autistic disorder. METHODS: This is a case-control study using data from the Autism Internet Research Survey, an online parental survey conducted from February to April 2005 with results for 861 children with autistic disorder and 123 control children. The analyses were performed using logistic regression. RESULTS: Absence of breastfeeding when compared to breastfeeding for more than six months was significantly associated with an increase in the odds of having autistic disorder when all cases were considered (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.42, 4.35) and after limiting cases to children with regression in development (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.01, 3.78). Use of infant formula without docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid supplementation versus exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a significant increase in the odds of autistic disorder when all cases were considered (OR 4.41, 95% CI 1.24, 15.7) and after limiting cases to children with regression in development (OR 12.96, 95% CI 1.27, 132). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this preliminary study indicate that children who were not breastfed or were fed infant formula without docosahexaenoic acid/arachidonic acid supplementation were significantly more likely to have autistic disorder.


The methodology looks OK. For anyone interested in environmental factors in autism, there you go. Nutrition and brain development appear to be related (no kidding). It even looks like there's a stronger correlation of lack of EFA supplementation to regressive autism.

This puts a recent double-blind study of EFAs in perspective. So for anyone interested in "biomed" interventions, there you go.

There are prior studies on lactation supplementation and neurological outcomes in the general population. See, for example, Birch et al. (1999) and Helland et al. (2003).

I would not say that reduced EFA supplementation causes autism, but it probably makes a diagnosis more likely.

72 comments:

  1. Just to point out that my autistic son was breast fed for 10 months while my younger kids were not breastfed at all.

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  2. John: But you are an "old dad", aren't you?

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  3. This is very interesting, Joseph. It occurred to me that autistic children may be more difficult to breast feed than NTs. If the social bonding is impaired breastfeeding may be less rewarding for mother or child, making it more likely that the mother will switch early on to formula.

    Has anyone, apart from the makers of omega 3 supplements published any research on whether there are critical periods when omega 3 oils do have a measurable effect. I was thinking of periods of rapid brain development when lack of EFAs would have a damaging effect on any brain, autistic or NT.

    I also think it is important to distinguish between the reasonable hypothesis that lower than normal levels of EFAs may have a negative impact on brain development and the far more speculative hypothesis that giving extra EFAs to normal children can boost brain performance.

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  4. It occurred to me that autistic children may be more difficult to breast feed than NTs. If the social bonding is impaired breastfeeding may be less rewarding for mother or child, making it more likely that the mother will switch early on to formula.

    That could be a confound. Or BAP moms may prefer not to breastfeed. However, this wouldn't explain the difference between no-breastfeeding and formula without EFAs.

    There's a meta-analysis of about 20 studies which concludes breast-feeding does have a significant effect on cognitive outcome.

    There are some studies of EFAs on older people, but the effects don't seem that impressive.

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  5. Positive outcomes from breastfeeding may arise not from the quality of the milk but from the quality of the mother child interaction, and breast feeding may have a strong correlation with positive mother child interactions.

    I am fully in sympathy with your original post but very much aware of all sorts of issues that may be confounds in this kind of research.

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  6. There's a prior study of interest: Burd (1988). It found that breastfeeding rates were lower than average in PDD, but they were about the same in a control group matched by IQ. This suggests there's a correlation with IQ, and not with autism per se.

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  7. "However, this wouldn't explain the difference between no-breastfeeding and formula without EFAs."

    To further confound it, I know of many asd kids (anecdotally only) who could not tolerate regular milk-based formula and that is the kind that is supplemented with the EFAs. I don't think the soy and the non-allergenic formulas have the EFAs. With many of the asd kids (again anecdotally) having colic in the first place, they would not have had regular milk-based, EFA-added formula.

    Then, to follow-up on what Mike said; I also know lots of asd kids (anectodotal) who were preemies and in NICU who were tube-fed and/or those with sucking problems, so could not breast-feed. So, the issue is that the asd kids were neither amenable to breastfeeding nor milk-based, efa-enhanced formulas.

    In my personal case, my child had the issue with the problem of sucking and was in the NICU for a week (as a result of prematurity).
    Also, due to colic, milk-based formula could not be tolerated.

    So ... we gave a mixture of soy, goat, hypoallergenic, etc. HOWEVER, even though it was the mid-90s and the research was very new, I was aware of the EFAs. So, I supplemented with that. Furthermore, due to my OCD/contamination fears, I sent a sample of the EFA brand off to lab to be analyzed (seriously!) to make certain it was free of mercury and toxins.

    So, I think it could possibly have more to do with sensory and/or allergy issues, then the actual EFAs. But this is not to say that EFAs are not needed and provide benefits ... because they do.

    Sorry for rambling!

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  8. María: Thanks for the links. That was a great, concise list without abstracts :)

    Burntcherry: That's a plausible and interesting confound. It would also apply to kids with other developmental disabilities. Didn't think of that.

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  9. I've heard several mothers of ASD children say it was difficult to get them started with nursing. I wonder if there might be reduced oxytocin levels in some breast milk too.

    Very interesting study and I'm sure it will be cited by formula makers who are adding in DHA and ARA

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  10. This is very interesting as others have noted. :-)

    Burnt cherry's observations were one's I wouldn't have thought of. My ASD kid spent some time in a hospital in another state (I mean s/he was in Utah, I was in Idaho) for a week or so before I could get there to be with him/her. Under those conditions, most babies are hard to breastfeed, but this kid was a natural at nursing. We were fotunate, I know it's not always so easy. I breastfed both of my kids like... forever. I was pretty vitamin conscious, but I don't know if I supplemented myself or the kids with EFAs when they were really little. I bought flax seed and put it in pancakes and granola for a while, but I always tried to avoid hydrogenated fats if at all possible.

    Neither me or any of my siblings were breastfed, all the kids in my ex-husband's family were, and they are some odd people.

    This will be interesting to follow.

    I am picturing people suing the formula manufacturers... someone if FOIA ing Gerber or Nestle right now, what do you bet?
    Evidence of Harm - Sour Milk ... Kirby is working on the rough draft...

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  11. My child was breastfed with no problems for a year and a half.

    I hope other breastfeeding advocates don't pick up on this as another benefit of nursing, as in;
    breast is best; it prevents autism
    'cause it doesn't.

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  12. My 4 kids were all breastfed for over a year, my youngest for 2.5 years. Alex, as an infant, would only tolerate being held when he nursed, and he nursed well -- my first child nursed for 5 minutes every 20 minutes, Alex nursed for 20-30 minutes every 4-5 hours. As an Aspie mom, I had no difficulty with the concept or the process.

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  13. Hm. My son had trouble nursing and didn't gain weight well for the first 6 weeks. I remember he didn't latch on well and when the milk would start he'd fall asleep. I remember the nurses telling me to tickle his feet to try to keep him awake and nursing. He gained very quickly after 6 weeks, though.

    OT...we noticed he had problems with eye contact when he was very young--about 9 weeks or earlier, when most babies start to engage more. He could't maintain eye contact for more than a couple of seconds, would constantly look away like he was overwhelmed.

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  14. Thanks everyone for your experiences and comments.

    There's a study which documents lower breastfeeding rates among children with Down's syndrome. That kind of puts the possible confounds in perspective.

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  15. Hi! Hope it's OK if I pipe up here with my own anecdotal data; I'm not a member of the Hub, but an avid reader, and moderator on the Rett Devil boards. I agree that breastfeeding and fatty acids are two separate, albeit related, issues.

    My almost-10yo daughter is Asperger's, 6yo is NT. I've always been a breastfeeding advocate; both girls were champion nursers and nursed until around three years old. My Aspie girl was in the NICU for 2 1/2 days after birth, but was woken to nurse every four hours. She doesn't like to be touched by strangers, but has *never* had trouble with cuddles and contact with me. I will always wonder about the sensory deprivation of that time though (naked under the bili lights). But I don't think it "caused" her autism!

    Mike Stanton: I also think it is important to distinguish between the reasonable hypothesis that lower than normal levels of EFAs may have a negative impact on brain development and the far more speculative hypothesis that giving extra EFAs to normal children can boost brain performance.
    Right. I don't think you can make up for lack of fatty acids during the perinatal period (eg. one rat study).

    notmercury: I wonder if there might be reduced oxytocin levels in some breast milk too.
    Oxytocin and prolactin trigger milk letdown, but is breastmilk content really an issue?

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  16. My autistic son was breastfed for a year. Yes, he was more difficult to breastfeed mostly because he bit a lot! I am more inclined to think breastfeeding contributes more to IQ than a basic autism diagnosis.

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  17. Joe;
    Yuh, I was 42 when Sam was conceived. But, the kids I conceived at 44 and 46 were also born normal and remained normal. It was about the time that Sam stopped breastfeeding that he became autistic.

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  18. Maybe the estrogen from his mother was nullifying the effects of mercury? Do kids get estrogen from the mother in breast milk?

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  19. gretl said: Oxytocin and prolactin trigger milk letdown, but is breastmilk content really an issue?

    Guess not, at least I can't find much on the subject. Thanks Gretl

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  20. Wait a minute. Do fathers "conceive." I thought mothers "conceived" and fathers, uh, fathered.

    John Best you are OOOOOLD. How old were you when you got married? How many times have you been married? Is your wife a local girl or from another far away country? Just curious.

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  21. Wait a minute. Do fathers "conceive."

    John has trouble with conceptual reasoning.

    How old were you when you got married?

    I won't say it was a long time ago but the wedding carriage was pulled by a giant sloth.

    Is your wife a local girl or from another far away country? Just curious.
    Male Order?

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  22. John: Did you just invent a new DAN! protocol based on estrogen supplementation? Maybe you can file a joint patent with the Geiers and TAP. You can worry about plausibility later.

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  23. Joe;
    They were simple questions. Not being a doctor or scientist, I don't know the answer. I thought some of your alleged scientists might know.

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  24. Anonymous:
    Why should I answer personal questions for an anonymous person? Not that I mind answering but I like to know who I'm talking to.

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  25. i don't think the substances you're all referring to are toxic i.e. by definition.

    Please give me a link to a study with the raw data as everything else is just hearsay.

    Lemons cause autism.

    Refrigerator mums cause autismn. A particular favourite of Joseph's.

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  26. Mr Stanton,

    "Positive outcomes from breastfeeding may arise not from the quality of the milk but from the quality of the mother child interaction, and breast feeding may have a strong correlation with positive mother child interactions."

    What do you mean by "positive outcomes" and "positive mother child interactions."?

    I think there are many substances out there that cause cognitive delay. I don't think a drop in IQ of 120 to 110 is going to cause much controversy. The controversy will be how do you detect such a phenomenon.

    You need to look at: IQ < 70. A statistic that is outside the normal distribution of data.

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  27. Anonymous,

    ooOO, somebody's tired!

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  28. kevin_1000:

    "You need to look at: IQ < 70. A statistic that is outside the normal distribution of data."

    Is that what you meant when you said "someone's tired"?

    Just to clarify for those who don't get what went wrong there...

    Kevin_1000 did not, if he (assuming male, on basis of name) knows statistics (and this is no comment on whether or not he does; this is purely clarification), mean that an IQ < 70 is outside of normal data distribution. I think he meant that it is outside of normal limits (when using the '-1 < z < 1' rule for determination of normal limits... plus-or-minus-1 standard deviation; some determinations of normal limits actually go for the middle 50% of scores*).

    No data point in a normal distribution can possibly be outside of the distribution and a normal distribution is assumed to encompass all possible data points, hence its asymptotic nature... The frequency count per data class (which determines the shape of the curve, when plotted against the data classes) approaches - but never reaches - zero. It gets "arbitrarily close", but no closer.

    * Of the tests I use, some have the +/-1SD rule in place and others use the middle-50% (i.e., data points strictly between the first and the third quartiles). On standard scores, it makes little difference, but going through T-scores and on to standard index scores, it can be the difference between an index range of 85-115 (+/-1SD rule) or 90-110 (approx; the 1st-3rd quartile rule).

    The figure given by kevin_1000 (IQ < 70) refers to IQ scores below z=-2; in other words, 2SD below the mean.

    If he meant, then, that IQ < 70 was outside normal *limits*... yeh, he's right. He may not have many that like him here (I'm not one, and I can imagine that the feeling is mutual), but I can see how being tired can lead to a simple error like that. Just saying this so that nobody launches into him on the basis of a fatigue-related selection error.

    David N. Andrews MEd (Dec 2006)
    Applied Educational Psychologist, Kotka, Finland

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  29. JBJr: "It was about the time that Sam stopped breastfeeding that he became autistic."

    So your wife caused it, not mercury!

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  30. David;
    Just to clarify. Did you say this?

    "You have some room to talk, really... one day you kid will kick shit out of you for being too stupid to realise he's not a worthless being!

    I would love to video that day!"

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  31. Anonymous/David,

    I see you like to switch from one to the other. You're like Jekyl and Hyde. Using your anonymity when being obnoxious and David when you feel you have a valid point to share. Bit of sly fox ay!

    OK, so it should be 'limits', big deal.

    "I'm not one"

    I think thou dost protest too much!

    OK so your IQ = 71.

    Dr(pending) kevin_1000

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  32. Notice how the JBJr fan club allows itself to be 'Jekyll&Hyde', but when someone outside that exclusive bunch actually puts anything out that clarifies (so that no misunderstandings occur... in fact, so that the person on that side of things *does* end up with any finger pointing from this side!)... they go all nasty anyway?

    Fuck this.

    jonsmum wants civility, but still feels it's okay to call me an "arrogant bastard" apparently, but still wants me to be nice to her?

    Fuck that too.

    I gave her a chance to be civil, but as soon as I leave a place, she's back to being nasty-bitch.

    Not me that's JnH, k_1000... it's you lot being two-faced.

    Sad that people can be that pettyminded and nasty; but then... can't all be nice, like USUALLY am.

    David N. Andrews MEd (Dec 2006)
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

    K_1000... Dr (pending)? Dr of what? DFA! (Doctor of Fuck All) Kevin_1000... grow up.

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  33. David;
    I don't care how 'nice' you are to me, but I do care about how nasty people can be about innocent children.
    Yes I was nice to you before I realised you were the anonymous, arrogant bastard who said this;

    "You have some room to talk, really... one day you kid will kick shit out of you for being too stupid to realise he's not a worthless being!

    I would love to video that day!"

    Are you going to admit it was you who said this?
    It's a very valid point.

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  34. Aqualung;
    Will you be performing Thick as a Brick anytime soon?

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  35. David;
    "jonsmum wants civility, but still feels it's okay to call me an "arrogant bastard" apparently, but still wants me to be nice to her?

    Fuck that too.

    I gave her a chance to be civil, but as soon as I leave a place, she's back to being nasty-bitch."

    I don't expect or want any civility
    from you. I want the truth.

    I'll take it from your lack of response to my question, that you, as an "Applied Educational Psychologist" said this;

    "You have some room to talk, really... one day you kid will kick shit out of you for being too stupid to realise he's not a worthless being!

    I would love to video that day!"

    How "nice" do you think this would look on your CV?

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  36. David,

    limits vs distribution: pretty much the same unless you're a statistician. I'm sure most people would've got the drift.

    I think you've over reacted a wee bit. Your bodering on psychotic and it's not good practice to treat yourselves.

    Take a chill pill and some deep breaths into a paper back.

    You have to expect some flak if you're going to be obnoxious under a pseudonym and then your real identity is discovered. At least have the balls to express all your opinions as 1 person or try and cover your tracks a little better.

    BTW the clarification you provided was like the Gettisburg Address!

    Dr (pending till such time I feel the need to attain this status) kevin_1000.

    "K_1000... Dr (pending)? Dr of what? DFA! (Doctor of Fuck All) Kevin_1000... grow up."

    "grow up" you've got to be kidding me with a statement like the above.

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  37. David;
    "Actually, if you look at how jonsmum approached me in her latest post... none of the sarcasm and a lot more of the showing an appreciation of my experience and point of view... well... there it is. I'll respond to people how they approach me and my kind."

    Do you think I was born yesterday?
    Without any provocation, your first comment to me was dispicable.

    And you have the nerve to say;
    "I'll respond to people how they approach me and my kind"

    PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH.

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  38. jonsmum: "PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH."

    After your nice wee turncoat demo on JBJr's blog, you have no business saying that. I was shown a little sample of your nastiness about me and what I look like at the end of a hard day with my head in books. You were totally nasty.

    I left there having humbled myself somewhat, and left the animosity aside; but you kept it on.

    I'd even offered to have at least civilised discussion elsewhere. But your carried on the nastiness.

    Is you child non-verbal? If you do to him what you are doing to me, I'm not surprised: I wouldn't want to talk to you either.

    With you, as with all of you lot, it's a case of being fucked if I *am* nice and fucked if I'm not.

    Not much motivation for me to bother treating you with respect, is it?

    Now this is it: leave me alone. And I'll leave you alone. You'll be the one to break first, because you have to have someone to be nasty to.

    Bye.

    DNA-MEd(12/2006)

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  39. (Different anonymous)
    My daughter was very premature and in the NICU for over a month when she was born - she was fed breastmilk because I would pump at home and would bring it in a cooler. Initially it was given through a tube than in little tiny bottles. Actual breasfeeding was very hard to establish because of that so we switched to formula at about 4 months. She is not autistic. My son was breastfed for 11 months and he was very content to - he is autistic. So it may be a factor for some - but neither prematurity or breastfeeding seems to be factors related to autism for us. LB

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  40. Aqualung;
    If you were cured, you would be able to take it as well as you give it.
    John Best,Ex Capt, USAF, Executive Officer,BA, MPA (Pending Cured Child)

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  41. David;
    "I left there having humbled myself somewhat, and left the animosity aside; but you kept it on."

    Again, your first comment to me without any provocation, was;

    "You have some room to talk, really... one day you kid will kick shit out of you for being too stupid to realise he's not a worthless being!

    I would love to video that day!"

    Your comments here are in the same vein;

    "Is you child non-verbal? If you do to him what you are doing to me, I'm not surprised: I wouldn't want to talk to you either."

    And your "poor Jon" comment.
    How do you think I felt, after being "civil" and "nice" to you, as you say, when I realised you were the anonymous pig who would love to video my son kicking the shit out of me.

    David; I responded to you in same the manner you initially approached me. Does that sound reasonable enough for you. After all you said it. AFTER YOU MADE YOUR SICK COMMENT.

    You leave your anonimity aside when you present yourself as a reasonable civil human being, but you hide behind your anonimity when you spout vicious sick insults.

    You provoked my "nastiness" when I
    realised you were the anonymous arrogant bastard who brought my son into this.

    I recognised your language David, and I'm not a psycholgist, yet.
    Unlike you I do not cite my pending qualifications after my name, and when I complete my BA(hons)Psychology, I'll be able to register with the British Psychologists Society and call myself a psychologist ligitimately.

    "Now this is it: leave me alone. And I'll leave you alone. You'll be the one to break first, because you have to have someone to be nasty to."

    You can insult me as much as you want.
    You can call me all the names under the sun.
    As one adult to another, that's fair.
    But if you taint my son with your foul remarks, I'll never leave you alone.

    You're nothing but a professional student.

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  42. jonsmum: "Unlike you I do not cite my pending qualifications after my name, and when I complete my BA(hons)Psychology, I'll be able to register with the British Psychologists Society and call myself a psychologist ligitimately."

    Um... since when does the BPS hold sway in Finland?

    And - for your information - I can also call myself a psychologist LEGITIMATELY!

    Graduate Membership Eligibility is also eligibility for the title of 'psychologist':

    *BA (or foreign equivalent), with 50% content in psychology (3pts)

    *PgCertSpEd in applied educational psychology (1pt)

    *over one full-time-year-equivalent supervised work experience, supervisor was not just Graduate Member Eligible (Chartered Psychologist) (1 pt)

    Required: 5 (5 is also maximum that can be claimed)
    Eligibility: 5
    Membership not required.

    Ergo: I am a psychologist, like it or lump it.

    And - since the MEd has been confirmed - I'm quite okay to use the letters.

    I wish you well with your degree, I really do. But I have no interest in talking to you. And you can now, knowing the above, get off my case about qualifications (even though I actually told you that lot before... pity your listening/reading skills are not as sharp as your nastiness skills).

    Now, leave me alone.

    Bye.

    David N. Andrews MEd (Dec 2006)
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

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  43. JBJr: "John Best,Ex Capt, USAF, Executive Officer,BA, MPA (Pending Cured Child)"

    Congrataulations on the two degrees that you appear to be wasting. Well done on the commission.

    What you're pending though is some sense of reason.

    DNA-MEd(Dec2006)

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  44. Oh, and before I go to bed...

    jonsmum: "You're nothing but a professional student."

    Um, I'm ostensibly a graduate of Oulu university (since they passed me on with the requisite number of credits for a BA in psychology, since it was not the custom in 2001 to get a Bachelor/Kandidaatti degree - this was before Finland adopted the Bologne agreement and the two-tier system; one just went straight on with the Master's after the credit had been gained for a kandidaatti degree), and an MEd graduand with a prestigious UK university.

    And you can come back no better than calling me a professional student? Shouldn't all students have that attitude? I did. Don't you? I was very professional, to the point of being very clear and accurate about the terminology I used in my papers; and I was pretty damn professional in how I dealt with practicum clients (to the point where they preferred to talk to me than the people that they had been sent to by their GPs); professional enough to have been asked by a paediatrics professor at Helsinki university for my assistance in trying to essay a diagnosis; professional enough to have had a prominent Finnish psychiatrist in Helsinki refer a patient of his to me; professional enough to have done talks at a number of seminars and conferences (Tampere, Oulu , Birmingham, Joensuu, Jyväskylä universities) as well as having trained both the people at the now-completed Asperger-partio-projekti in Kerava AND the people who trained those before I did (by request of the second lot)... and, yes, I designed the courses.

    You want to talk professional? Get to that level, then.

    DNA-MEd(Dec2006)

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  45. David;
    You are deliberately evading my point.
    Anyone who would say sick and twisted remarks about a disabled child, such as you did, are more of a psycho than a psychologist.


    "You have some room to talk, really... one day you kid will kick shit out of you for being too stupid to realise he's not a worthless being!

    I would love to video that day!

    Stupid sod!

    LoL

    One day....Idiot!"

    I wonder what your prominent Finnish psychiatrist would think of you, after reading that.

    Get your own head sorted before you mess with anyone else's.

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  46. DNA;
    I was just given a two year appointment to a public policy position on the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council. So, I'll be representing Mrs Seidel and other NH citizens. My MPA might come in handy.
    As I told you before, however, what you learned in school only teaches you some of the basics you need to know to make yourself useful. You still have much to learn. Since you've failed to learn anything from those of us who have improved our children's lives with chelation and other biomedical treatments, I suspect you will have a difficult time in the real world outside of academia.

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  47. Anonymous,

    I would think that would be the case for most. Both my kids weren't breastfed, one is severely autistic the other isn't.

    The fact that some autistics weren't breastfed may be attributed to the autism. And, with what confidence can we say that there are no autistics in the control group.

    In any case more work needs to be done here to iron out the controversy i.e. more detailed studies.

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  48. Mr Stanton,

    "Positive outcomes from breastfeeding may arise not from the quality of the milk but from the quality of the mother child interaction, and breast feeding may have a strong correlation with positive mother child interactions."

    What do you mean by "positive outcomes" and "positive mother child interactions."?

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  49. John;
    "I suspect you will have a difficult time in the real world outside of academia."

    This is what is meant by "professional student"

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  50. JBJr: "Since you've failed to learn anything from those of us who have improved our children's lives with chelation and other biomedical treatments, I suspect you will have a difficult time in the real world outside of academia."

    I'll ignore the first part of that statement, purely because it's bollocks. The second part...

    I don't have a difficult time in the real world that much; enough to have defined support needs, sure. But as a professional, I'm bloody good at what I do.

    jonsmum: "This is what is meant by 'professional student'"

    So now that notion makes less sense, in light of my response to JBJr's silliness.

    JBJr: "As I told you before, however, what you learned in school only teaches you some of the basics you need to know to make yourself useful."

    Um... wrong again, John. I completed a taught MEd by original research (it was a practitioner-research-based course, applying theory to real life issues, and I did pretty fucking well according to the powers that be). Sorry to make you a liar yet again.

    DNA-MEd-Dec2006

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  51. jonsmum: "Anyone who would say sick and twisted remarks about a disabled child, such as you did, are more of a psycho than a psychologist."

    You are kidding me, right? Sick and twisted remarks? He might well do that, you can't tell. When I found out how I had been treated and why, I can tell you I felt that way. Glad I didn't though, but I remember the shit that happened to me.

    You are also guilty of sick and twisted remarks about a disabled person (your comments on the video, remember your own nastiness after I thought that hostilities had actually been put to one side?).

    Pot calling kettle. And you're still at it. And another thing: "Get your own head sorted before you mess with anyone else's."

    Suggest you do the same.

    NOW leave me alone.

    DNA-MEd-Dec2006

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  52. JBJr: "I was just given a two year appointment to a public policy position on the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council."

    Looks like the disabled in NH are fucked then, going by how you have constantly dealt with people who disagree with you on the net.

    I wonder why jonsmum doesn't see you nasty side, only what she thinks is mine. Not exactly an objective observer, is she?

    DNA-MEd-Dec2006

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  53. DNA;
    The people who disagree with me allow children to suffer. They think relieving children's distress is "bollocks". The object of the Council is to allow people to achieve their potential, not rot in an institution.
    When applying theory to real life now Dave, you won't have any "powers that be" looking over your shoulder to make sure you don't screw up. You'll find out it's a little different.

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  54. The fact that some autistics weren't breastfed may be attributed to the autism.

    Damn, something that looks like science from kevin_1000. Maybe he got that from the initial comments, though.

    And, with what confidence can we say that there are no autistics in the control group.

    We can't, and I'd say as much as 1.5% of the control group might be autistic. But it doesn't matter because the important variable is that there's *considerably* more autism in the autistic group than in the control group.

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  55. BTW, don't count on anyone else reading this thread besided David and myself. The only reason I'm allowing it to go on is that I intentionally have a high threshold for irrelevant, ignorant and off-topic comments.

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  56. Thanks Joseph, and I do apologise for my end of OT stuff, where I'm trying to get something across to some people who can't be arsed to listen... and who seem to have one goal: to derail discussion.

    MKS: "I am more inclined to think breastfeeding contributes more to IQ than a basic autism diagnosis."

    I find that fascinating and I'd be interested to know how this happens... If it's VIQ where the differences are, then this could be down to mothers talking to their children whilst feeding. Working with adults, I don't end up doing this sort of research; plus, what I end up doing (because of time and money constraints) ends up being practitioner research. We don't do basic research (as it's called).

    DNA-MEd-Dec2006

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  57. The fact that kids with Down's syndrome are breastfed less often might be indicative of a significant confound even in regards to the general link between IQ and breastfeeding, which is considered well established.

    As far as EFAs, that question could be resolved with a large double-blind.

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  58. Joseph,

    Do remember that the study is based on an online survey.

    We can't, and I'd say as much as 1.5% of the control group might be autistic.

    How did you arrive at 1.5%?

    The hypothesis is that non vaccination is protective for autistic disorder.

    I'm sure a similar study of the above using the Amish in Lancaster County as the control group would yield far more controversial results.

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  59. David;
    How do you expect me to 'leave you alone' when you keep coming back with comments that demand a response from me?

    "You are also guilty of sick and twisted remarks about a disabled person (your comments on the video, remember your own nastiness after I thought that hostilities had actually been put to one side?)"

    Stop trying to make out that you're the 'victim' here.
    I could just as well say to you; leave me alone.

    "You can insult me as much as you want.
    You can call me all the names under the sun.
    As one adult to another, that's fair.
    But if you taint my son with your foul remarks, I'll never leave you alone."

    Do you understand the difference between two adults arguing, being hostile with each other etc, and someone saying unprovoked, extemely offensive and nasty remarks about a child that cannot answer back.
    If you can't see the vast difference between the two, then you are a poor psychologist.

    If you think what I said about you and your video was nasty and hostile, you need to develop a thicker skin, if you want to keep blogging the way you do.

    You deserve everything you get and more.

    As for the population in New Hampshire. I think the fact that they have given JB a two year appointment to a public policy position with the DDC, shows they are good judges of character, and have their 'heads screwed on' the right way.

    As for your comment to John Best;

    "I wonder why jonsmum doesn't see you nasty side, only what she thinks is mine. Not exactly an objective observer, is she?"

    You're so wrong. I can see the "nasty side" of everyone. I don't have to look very hard to see it. But I can also look behind the "nastiness" and question the motivation and reasons behind it. I'm quite capable of making my own judgements and observations on who or what is right or wrong.

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  60. So now you've said what you want...

    LEAVE ME ALONE!

    DNA-MEd-Dec2006

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  61. How did you arrive at 1.5%?

    I have some good reasons to believe that 60 in 10,000 is still a substantial underestimate. (For example, Kindergarten prevalence in Canada is now 1%).

    The hypothesis is that non vaccination is protective for autistic disorder.

    I'm sure a similar study of the above using the Amish in Lancaster County as the control group would yield far more controversial results.


    Let's say the hypothesis is that TV watching or french fries causes autistic disorder. Would your Amish study still be valid? (BTW, the Amish do appear to have autism so that might go nowhere very quickly).

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  62. Joseph,

    Come on then lets here the statistic for amish autistics in Lancaster County?

    I think if your control groups were non TV watchers and non french fry eaters the statistic would be the same. Not a very good analagy.

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  63. well I did both with Noah. I breast fed him and he also received formula. I guess part of me gets exhausted from everyone trying to figure out the "why" of how their child or themselves ended up like they did. I am a bit more concerned with just getting "acceptance" of Noah for who he is. People around him willing to understand him and accept him just the way he is. It makes no real difference to me HOW he got this way. I just want people to accept him and for him to learn to adapt in the world around him so he has a chance at a good life.

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  64. Melinda: I agree there's too much emphasis in the why, particularly in looking for a 'why' that is somehow reversible. This is one of the things that prevents acceptance and causes people to strive to change us.

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  65. John,

    Your genetic material was defective. Learn to deal with it.

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  66. Come on then lets here the statistic for amish autistics in Lancaster County?

    There has not been a screening of the Amish, of course, but it is known that the Old Order Amish have a form of regressive autism with mental retardation and seizures. (This would be LFA). See here.

    I think if your control groups were non TV watchers and non french fry eaters the statistic would be the same. Not a very good analagy.

    That didn't make sense. There is no difference between vaccines, TV or french fries in relation to Amish vs. non-Amish.

    So if we were to find that the Amish have a significantly lower prevalence of autism, many candidates for causation should be looked at: vaccines, genetic heterogeneity, TVs, diet, computers, anything related to motor vehicles, pollution, electromagnetic radiation, antibiotics, diapers, various home products, and so forth.

    You're not suggesting we should be narrow-minded and only look at vaccines?

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  67. Joseph,

    It is a comparison I made to the study you cited.

    From your link it looks like the seizures cause autism. Whereas generally seizures occur some time after autism in non amish.

    The amish statistic for autism is less than that of America. That is what I'm pointing out and asking you why that should be?

    Make an informed judgement. TVs aren't going to cause autism!

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  68. K_1000: "Make an informed judgement. TVs aren't going to cause autism!"

    Nor is mercury.

    DNA-MEd(Dec2006)

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  69. I came across this article about TVs as a potential autism cause. It's speculative, but no more than vaccination is a speculative hypothesis.

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  70. 3//18/2008



    To whom it may concern:


    The purpose of this writing is to offer a new (at least I think it's new) explanation for the cause of autism. Were it true, the idea would also explain why the number of newly diagnosed cases has been increasing in recent years. I will present the idea as briefly as possible and without offering much evidence. The evidence is both vast, and easily obtainable, and my intent here is merely to present the idea, and then let the reader decide if any portion of it is plausible enough to merit further study. As a lay person, I really have no idea. I do know, that if I remain quiet while new cases are continually diagnosed, and later find out that my ideas were accurate, I would have trouble living with myself, knowing that I didn't even try to make a difference. So, to ease my conscious, here are my thoughts:

    After reading the book by Dr. Michael Lyons, 42 Days to a New Life, I began thinking about what I had just read, and how it related to Autism. As a layperson with no association to autism, I'm not sure from where it arose, but from somewhere, came an idea about a potential causal relationship between Omega 3, the MMR vaccine, and the development of autism in children.

    The book explains that both Omega 6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential to human health and cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, they must be obtained from food or supplements. For many reasons that are detailed in the book but that I will not get into here, the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3, in the average American diet, has been increasing steadily since the 1950's. Although no one knows for sure what the ideal ratio is, the generally accepted correct ratio for optimum health, ranges from 10:1 to 4:1, and many informed persons are now recommending 1:1. (This is the ratio that most likely approximates that of early humans.)

    Since most of us consume an abundance of Omega 6 in our diets, it is usually not necessary to supplement it. Omega 3, on the other hand, probably should be supplemented, but for most of us, it isn't. Thinking about this, I began to wonder. . . . what would happen if the MMR vaccine were administered to a child who was deficient in Omega 3? I began to read more.

    One of the primary functions of Omega 6 is to initaite immune inflammatory responses. Omega 3 on the other hand, is responsible for halting the response. Without understanding all of the chemistry involved in turning these fatty acids into LNA and DHA and so forth, I think it is entirely possible to conclude that vaccinating with MMR, in children who are deficient in Omega 3 (and its fatty acid derivatives ANA and DHA) is fool hardy, especially since it is this fatty acid, that will be needed to halt the immune response that the triple dose will create.

    At the exact time when a child's brain is developing, and needs an abundance of both Omega 6 and Omega 3 to build and grow, we inoculate and thereby initiate immune responses that will require the body to send what ever stockpiles of these fatty acids it has, to areas outside of the brain. I imagine that with an ample supply of omega 6 to initate the inflammatory processes, the immune system could successfully build an arsenal to fight Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, but that once begun, the Omega 3 needed to halt the response, is unavailable. Since the body cannot synthesize the protein, it might use what ever is available to stop the immune response, while ignoring the needs of a developing brain. Another scenario that seems plausible to me, is that a cascade-like situation develops; with any supply of Omega 3 that becomes available, being immediately diverted and used by the body to halt the immune response, leaving the developing brain to starve for months, or possibly years to come.

    Once I started thinking about this possibility, and began to investigate by reading online, I found a plethora of evidence to support the idea and very little that would run contrary to it.

    I read what I could find about mother's milk and infant formulas. I found that while, mother's milk usually has a high ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 (It varies depending on what the mother is eating and/or supplementing.), infant formulas never even tried to replicate the ratio found most often in nature. In spite of the recommendation of the World Health Organization in 1994, that the makers of baby formula begin adding DHA and ANA (derived fatty acids), it wasn't until 2003 that such formulas became available, and then it was only offered in two of the many formulas available. Even today the FDA has not mandated the addition of these fatty acids, and they are currently found only in a few of the more expensive formula choices.

    I also found that parents of autistic children have been networking and exploring the possibility that a correlation exists between breastfeeding and autism. Here is one example I found on and autism blog (http://autismnaturalvariation.blogspot.com/2006/09/breastfeeding-and-efas.html):

    “Breastfeeding, Infant Formula Supplementation, and Autistic Disorder: the Results of a Parent Survey.

    Schultz ST, Klonoff-Cohen HS, Wingard DL, Akshoomoff NA, Macera CA, Ji M, Bacher C.

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Although autistic disorder is associated with several congenital conditions, the cause for most cases is unknown. The present study was undertaken to determine whether breastfeeding or the use of infant formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid is associated with autistic disorder. The hypothesis is that breastfeeding and use of infant formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid/arachidonic acid are protective for autistic disorder. METHODS: This is a case-control study using data from the Autism Internet Research Survey, an online parental survey conducted from February to April 2005 with results for 861 children with autistic disorder and 123 control children. The analyses were performed using logistic regression. RESULTS: Absence of breastfeeding when compared to breastfeeding for more than six months was significantly associated with an increase in the odds of having autistic disorder when all cases were considered (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.42, 4.35) and after limiting cases to children with regression in development (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.01, 3.78). Use of infant formula without docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid supplementation versus exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a significant increase in the odds of autistic disorder when all cases were considered (OR 4.41, 95% CI 1.24, 15.7) and after limiting cases to children with regression in development (OR 12.96, 95% CI 1.27, 132). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this preliminary study indicate that children who were not breastfed or were fed infant formula without docosahexaenoic acid/arachidonic acid supplementation were significantly more likely to have autistic disorder. "

    There are many other ways that this could be researched to attempt to prove a statistical connection, but the only definitive way to determine if this idea has merit, is to conduct medical research.

    I am sending this to Dr. Michael Lyons, as he is the person who inspired my thought process, with his book, 42 Days to a New Life. I am also posting it to several blogs for parents of autistic children, sending it to the CDC, the NIH Autism Research Network, several local doctors, and anywhere else that I think may have an interest. My hope is that if the idea has merit, someone will eventually begin the medical research needed to make a final determination.

    Finally, for anyone who is still reading, if you deem this just the ramblings of an uninformed, uneducated layperson, I apologize for consuming this bit of your time.

    Sincerely,




    Terry Adamik
    380 Island Blvd.
    Fox Island, WA 98333
    253 238-1413
    lupette@comcast.net

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  71. Terry, this is a dead thread with low traffic at this point. Not many people are going to see your message.

    Your hypothesis, albeit not a very popular one, has been proposed before in one way or another. See, for example, autismfries.com.

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