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Medical Mortality rates for autistic children

  1. Apr 30, 2006 #1


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    Recently, the subject of this autistic teenager scoring 20 points in ~4 minutes has been prevalent in the news.

    Anyone know of any articles on the nature of the mortality rates for autistic people (unfortunately I'm not able to edit the title, meant "autistic people/individuals")?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2006
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  3. Apr 30, 2006 #2


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    Maybe I'm just tired, but I don't understand what you're asking at all. What did the autistic teenager score 20 points on? And what does that have to do with mortality?
  4. May 2, 2006 #3


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    Well on the news recently, perhaps it's a local thing, an autistic teenager had scored 20 points in ~4 minutes in the final minutes of a basketball (championship I believe) game. He got to meet with President Bush and is getting additional publicity from celebrities who are inspired with his story.

    The main question really doesn't have anything to do with this event in particular. I was wondering on whether most autistic people actually survive to old age or whether something like "accidental" suicide is more common.

    They are in their own world so to speak, and lack the fundamental awareness that normally developed people possess, that is an impaired ability to be conscious of...time, perhaps.

    I occasionally become interested in these matters, having studied higher level psychology courses that I took as an elective during my early undergraduate years.
  5. May 28, 2006 #4
    My thought is primarily in pictures. I have read people who think in pictures are considered autistic. IF this is true, my experience is there must be differing degrees of autism.

    While I do have and enjoy a stronger degree of sensitivity to people and the world around me, it does not prevent me from communicating with other people. The difficulty I have is in the way information is organized in my thought, which is not always the same as someone who does not think in pictures. I "see" what other people must piece together by words, so when I communicate with people who think in words, I consider it communicating in "flat" because it is different from the way in which I think. Sometimes it takes me a little longer to understand, but once I understand a subject or topic, I can examine it in ways most people cannot.

    There are a few things people would probably not consider "normal." I do loose time when I am deep in thought. Often whole days. It is not as though I am unaware, it is the thought I am in is so interesting I forget to notice not just time, but what is going on around me. I still function. Sometimes when I am deep in thought, I can make statements that may seem a little odd because I am not truly focused on anything other than what I am thinking intently about.

    There are advantages to being this way. One college professor kept me after class to share with me she considers me to be an amazing descriptive writer. One employer I had took full advantage of my unique perspective which resulted in my salary almost doubling. That was way cool!

    It has its downside as well. My first year of school I was terrified. I would not move from the chair for lunch or to go to recess. I remember barely breathing and not turning my head to the left or the right. Of course, they retained me thinking I had not learned anything, which was reflective in my grades.... The next year it was apparent I did learn the year before, and they asked me if I wanted to be placed up into the next grade. I still do not understand where the information came from or remember when I learned it. It was just there and I knew it.

    Time is not the true difficulty with autism. It is the great sensitivity we experience which makes us so sensitive to our surroundings that we have to insulate ourselves from things we find overwhelming to deal with in the world around us. Most of the time this is not an issue for me. Perhaps more so for others.

  6. May 31, 2006 #5


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    are you saying you're autistic? Or would you identify yourself more with selective mutism?
  7. Jun 9, 2006 #6
    Since you can understand the mind of other people. You are almost definitely not autistic. Although most if not all autistic people prefer visual thinking, the converse is not true. In fact, a lot of gifted children prefer visual/spatial thinking too.

    Wai Wong
  8. Jun 9, 2006 #7
    I think bipolar disorder and schizophrenia sufferers are more prone to suicide, but autistics are not. A google search on 'autistic life expectancy' shows that they have normal life expectancy.

    A sad thing is that the drug companies are influencing the diagnosis criteria for various neurological disorders so that more and more people are now positively diagnosed and thus need medication which in fact, may do more harm (including suicide) than good except for the few real sufferers.

    Wai Wong
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