Autism ar­ti­cle never more top­i­cal

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - NAME AND AD­DRESS SUP­PLIED

I READ your ar­ti­cle ‘Next step is a film for autism aware­ness cam­paigner Anna’, which re­ported that Uxbridge mother Anna Kennedy OBE has cre­ated a video about women liv­ing with autism.

This con­di­tion has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly in re­cent years.

A re­port in The Lancet med­i­cal jour­nal stated that mil­lions of chil­dren world­wide may have suf­fered as a re­sult of in­dus­trial pol­lu­tion.

US and Dan­ish sci­en­tists de­scribe a ‘silent pan­demic’ of neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders, in­clud­ing autism.

Two hun­dred and two in­dus­trial chem­i­cals, in­clud­ing pes­ti­cides, methylmer­cury, sol­vents and ar­senic are iden­ti­fied as caus­ing brain dam­age.

The re­search was by Dr Philippe Grand­jean of En­vi­ron­men­tal Medicine at South­ern Den­mark Univer­sity and Dr Philip Lan­dri­gan of Mount Si­nai School of Medicine, New York. The re­view says that fewer than half the chem­i­cals used in in­dus­try have un­der­gone enough safety tests.

How­ever, when autism is present, one-to-one tu­ition with an in­struc­tor qual­i­fied in ABA (ap­plied be­hav­iour anal­y­sis) can re­ally help some chil­dren on the

autis­tic spec­trum, es­pe­cially if be­gun at a young age.

The child is taught the things that other chil­dren pick up nat­u­rally, such as so­cial­is­ing and play­ing games.

It’s achieved by fun and laugh­ter

and re­wards with praise and lit­tle treats. It’s like hav­ing a friend come to play.

It is ex­pen­sive and par­ents also have to buy teach­ing aids. I hope Anna’s video will be a suc­cess.

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