The ACC one-two punch.
The degree to which someone with ACC is affected depends on a trump card associated with the disorder. In about 30 percent of the cases, the corpus callosus— or the bridge—can be partially developed or it could be missing. What exaggerates the effects of ACC is when there is another problem in the brain development. This happens in about 70 percent of the cases and it’s called complex ACC. Dr. Tennison points out that he has seen children with no other identifiable abnormality and they child still shows substantial developmental difficulties. In a majority of the complex ACC cases, the missing bridge isn’t the major concern. As with most congenital birth defects, when one anomaly is discovered, others can be present. The missing bridge of ACC is often a red flag that signals the child has been delivered a one-two punch. “What that second punch is we don’t always know,” said Dr. Tennison. “It’s this hidden wild card that determines the degree at which the patient is affected. Many times we can’t find that other element. We just see how it affects the patient’s motor skills and mental development as he or she grows. It’s at about age 5, that the extent of the disorder can be gauged because this is the age a reliable IQ test can be administered”. Dr. Tennison explains it’s this unknown that affects the ultimate outcome of the disease. Coping with the disease means early detection so training can start. ACC is at a disadvantage because they don’t have the skills or ability to keep up, so they can ill afford to get behind. They need extra time learning basic motor skills and mental functions. The sooner they are diagnosed, the better their chances are of getting the most out of their abilities and giving them more opportunities to be “Normal”.