DOCTORS lack clear and easy ways to assess if a child is on the autism spectrum, says lead
researcher Professor Katrina Williams from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the
University of Melbourne. Despite some improvements, there is still a “grey zone which could
lead to over and under diagnosis”, say the researchers. And new diagnostic changes no longer
recognizes Asperger’s syndrome as a separate condition. Although the prevalence of the
disorder has more than doubled to one in 100 children in about 20 years, it is unclear if this is
because of greater awareness or broadened diagnosis criteria? There is no known cause of the
disorder, although there is evidence of a genetic link.
According to Dr. Harold Levinson, the increased prevalence of this disorder appears primarily
due to both it’s increased awareness and broadened diagnostic criteria rather than exclusively
to new age causes as some believe. Although the severest cases of Autism appeared to
resemble aphasic-like cerebral receptive and expressive language impairments, those high
functioning types seem qualitatively and etiologically different, thus falling into the Asperger’s
category. The latter often have no language impairment, suffering primarily from social deficits
related to impaired emotional processing. The majority of autistics examined have coexisting
cerebellar-vestibular deficits which often respond favorably to inner-ear improving antimotion
sickness medications and nutrients, albeit their primary disorder remains. The latter treatment
will be further elaborated in a follow-up blog release.
About Harold Levinson, M.D.
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr.
Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in
Great Neck, Long Island, New York. He is a well known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher
and author. His “highly original” research into the cerebellar-vestibular (inner-ear) origins and
treatment of dyslexia and related learning, attention-deficit/hyperactivity and anxiety or phobic
disorders has evolved over the past four decades. Initially supported by Nobel Laureate Sir
John Eccles and other outstanding cerebellar neurophysiologists and inner-ear scientists,
Levinson’s research has more recently been independently validated worldwide by highly
sophisticated neuroimaging brain studies.
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