Participants: Dr. James Marcum (Host), David Adams
Series Code: BRX
Program Code: BRX00009A
00:01 Are you confused by the conflict in the health reports
00:03 in the news today?
00:05 In this well marketed world it is hard to know who or
00:07 even what to believe.
00:09 But there are answers you can depend on.
00:11 Hi, I'm Dr. James Markham.
00:14 Join me for Bible RX, a program exploring the
00:18 healthcare world.
00:19 Looking at all aspects of healing, using the Bible
00:23 and biblical prescriptions as the ultimate
00:26 source of truth.
00:49 Our program we have today is on Autism.
00:51 More and more families are realizing this is a
00:53 condition that they might experience or have to
00:56 deal with in their life time.
00:58 Today we have a specialist, Dr. David Adams.
01:01 He had special insights into this condition that's
01:04 growing in prevalence across the world.
01:09 Recently I opened the newspaper Autism
01:13 on the front page.
01:14 Everyone in the United States and the world is talking
01:17 about this deadly disease.
01:18 Yes it is a disease that is afflicting many people.
01:21 We are going to talk about this subject today and we are
01:24 going to actually answer
01:25 questions that comes into
01:27 Heart Wise Ministries from
01:28 literally all over the world.
01:29 We are so glad today, to have
01:31 someone that is very
01:32 interested in Autism, Dr. David Adams.
01:35 Dr. David Adams welcome today, and I want to ask,
01:38 what got you so interested in the field of Autism?
01:41 Six years ago my middle son, Zeke,
01:44 suffered from regressive Autism.
01:48 He developed normally until
01:49 about age 22 months and
01:50 then began to lose speech,
01:52 began to lose social skills,
01:54 and was ultimately diagnosed with Autism
01:58 at age two and a half.
02:00 Then you begin looking for help and resources into
02:07 that matter and 6 years later he is now 9 and I
02:13 spend a lot of time treating approximately
02:16 300 children with Autism.
02:18 Did you know much about this field at all before
02:20 you had Zeke?
02:22 Autism, when I was in medical school in the early
02:26 1990's the rate of Autism in the United States was
02:30 1 child in 5000, now it is 1 in 150.
02:32 To be honest looking back on my medical training
02:35 I saw a total of 2 children with Autism.
02:37 Right, right!
02:39 I actually, when my son was diagnosed,
02:41 I ordered the textbook.
02:43 I was shocked at how little we knew in the medical
02:46 community about this disorder that is becoming so common
02:50 in the United States.
02:51 Fortunately in the last two years there has been a
02:53 lot of research and a lot more information but we still know
02:57 less than ten percent of what we really need to know
03:00 with this disorder.
03:01 You know it seems like we know a lot about diabetes
03:03 and high blood pressure and heart disease,
03:05 lots of randomized trials.
03:07 I haven't seen much really research done into
03:10 Autism as of this date.
03:12 The US government and the National Institute of Health
03:16 spends approximately 80 dollars per child with Autism
03:20 in research, compare that to over a 1000 dollars per
03:24 adult diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
03:27 So spending a 1000 dollars on someone with the diagnosis
03:30 of breast cancer and 80 dollars per child with Autism?
03:32 Correct, that's right, they are spending approximately
03:36 1200 per adult, or an individual diagnosed with HIV.
03:39 Wow! - it has been an under ignored disorder.
03:45 You think about that it not only affects the child,
03:47 but as you can attest to, it affects the other children
03:50 in the family, the family and, it affects the whole life.
03:52 Really! - the last statistics that I've seen are
03:56 approximately 80 to 85 percent of families with a
03:59 special needs child will end up getting a divorce.
04:02 Wow! -Incredible divorce rate, incredible financial burdens,
04:06 incredible emotional burdens on families.
04:09 Well Dr. Adams we have a lot of questions.
04:11 We have collected questions and are trying to group
04:14 them on a subject.
04:15 So we are going to be talking about Autism,
04:16 some of the questions we will be able to answer,
04:18 some we might refer to someone else.
04:20 But we are going to try today to get as many
04:22 questions in as we can here.
04:23 The first one comes from Janelle,
04:25 and Janelle comes from Wisconsin.
04:27 Janelle writes:
04:47 Janelle is asking what does this mean,
04:49 he might be autistic?
04:50 So I guess she is asking what is this, Autism?
04:53 In children affected with Autism you look for
04:57 3 groups of symptoms, 3 groups of problems.
05:00 The first is in language, particularly if language
05:03 is delayed, it may be completely absent.
05:06 Where a child is not develop normal language or normal speech
05:10 it doesn't begin to say words or that language is abnormal
05:14 where they only repeat phrases.
05:16 For example: if you say, do you want a cookie,
05:18 and the child would reply, do you want a cookie.
05:21 Then he is saying the same thing you say?
05:23 He would repeat or echolaliaic, or repeat the same phrase
05:28 over again, or use language inappropriately.
05:30 For example: at one point my son would use mommy,
05:33 but he would use it for anything.
05:35 Rather than specifically addressing what the word means,
05:41 or what the word should do.
05:43 The child will also have problems with, in general
05:46 communication, nonverbal communication
05:48 is impaired very early.
05:49 The child will have problem gesturing or pointing,
05:54 often instead of pointing to something that the child wants,
05:58 he wants to take you and pull you hand over hand,
06:00 by grabbing your hand and taking you to it.
06:02 Eye contact is often very early impaired, the child will
06:07 not look you in the eye.
06:09 Social smiles that we take for granted, when you look at
06:12 a child may smile back at you and you can get them to
06:15 laugh or play peek-a-boo.
06:16 Children with Autism seem to have trouble recognizing faces,
06:20 recognizing and maintaining eye contact.
06:22 The second area that you see is social interaction.
06:26 Okay - children with Autism often, because of the
06:31 communication delay, they have problems with
06:32 social interactions.
06:34 They do not seem to bond with individuals,
06:36 they don't seem to be bond with parents.
06:39 People are often, treated by autistic children, as
06:42 objects rather than to recognize them as a person.
06:46 The third issue is stereotypic behavior,
06:50 or inappropriate behavior.
06:52 A very common thing is children will not play with
06:54 toys appropriately.
06:56 They will often lined up toys and watch them,
06:59 they sit for hours and watch wheels on trucks spin,
07:02 rather than playing with a truck as a truck.
07:05 The thing that can be really confusing is the child
07:08 will not necessarily have all those characteristics,
07:11 but may only have a few of them.
07:14 So this sounds confusing because I know a lot of children
07:16 1 or 2, how would you know, because they can slip through
07:19 and be 4 or 5 before you really picked up on this?
07:22 Most children - do the parents pick up on it or
07:26 does the doctor?
07:27 Who usually tells, something is not quite right?
07:29 In my experience it is almost always the mother.
07:31 Okay - the mother or parent will say, something is not right
07:35 comparing my child to their siblings, or playmates.
07:38 About 30 percent of children however regress,
07:43 which means they develop normally and gained normal
07:46 milestones and then lose them.
07:48 Those children often are diagnosed a little later.
07:52 My son for example: we sat down, when we began to see
07:55 problems, as it was pointed out to me by my cousin.
07:59 We sat down and came up with a list of words that
08:02 he said, and we noticed that he was saying less and
08:05 less of them over time.
08:06 Now obviously some children will have symptoms that
08:09 might be confused with Autism, but it is really when
08:12 you look at the symptoms the child will present.
08:16 It is very easily diagnosed, and be almost always
08:20 reliably diagnosed, at age 18 months.
08:23 There is a simple questionnaire called the M-Chat, which
08:27 is available from most doctors offices, it is available
08:30 on the Internet that a parent can take and can reliably
08:33 give them an early diagnosis.
08:35 Now Dr. Adams are these children, are they loving
08:38 children, are they like the typical child, do they
08:40 cry a lot, or is there any other clues that
08:43 we can help Janelle with?
08:46 Outside of what we see...
08:49 it seems like it is in language, you know a
08:51 communication problem that you first notice.
08:54 Often there can be a lot of other behaviors
08:57 issues that associated with Autism.
08:58 What we use for a criteria for diagnosing is just
09:04 the tip of the iceberg with what you see.
09:06 Children with Autism, a substantial fraction of them
09:09 will have bowel problems, gut issues, chronic diarrhea,
09:13 chronic constipation.
09:14 Large numbers of them have sleep disorders.
09:17 It is not uncommon to talk to a parent who has a child
09:20 that has slept no more than 2 hours a night since birth.
09:24 There are often other issues that go on.
09:30 Now the classic child with Autism is not loving,
09:36 or not interactive, however most children with Autism,
09:42 at some level desire or seek interaction.
09:45 They do not have the communication skills,
09:49 or often have sensory or other functions that
09:52 do not allow them to express and reciprocate emotion.
09:58 But most children seem to at least desire.
10:01 So they might be loving inside but they do not have
10:05 the necessary components to express it
10:07 the way we are used to.
10:09 Correct - okay that is good.
10:10 Well that is a great answer.
10:12 Let's go on to our next question.
10:13 This is from France's in Missouri, and Francis writes:
10:31 I guess she is asking is this a possible diagnosis?
10:35 Absolutely! - I guess another thing is that Francis has
10:38 picked up on this what should she do is the neighbor,
10:41 and as a friend?
10:42 I think 2 symptoms do not necessarily make the diagnosis,
10:47 but when you see red flags like that in a child
10:50 who is not making eye contact.
10:52 A child who's not playing appropriately with toys.
10:55 Especially if you are seeing problems with language.
10:59 You are seeing problems in other areas of that child.
11:02 Francis needs to approach her friend and mention her concerns,
11:08 and encourage her friend contact either the child's doctor, or
11:14 most states will have an early intervention service
11:18 that can be contacted and is
11:20 mandated by the federal government to provide early
11:23 screening and diagnosis for children.
11:26 This is a real touchy issue because nowadays some
11:29 parents are busy and put their kids in daycare.
11:32 They may not spend a lot of time with them and
11:35 here someone coming in telling you there's
11:37 some thing wrong with your kid.
11:38 I mean that could be a touchy issue.
11:41 I would say, there's nothing wrong with my kid.
11:43 I know what my kid is doing.
11:44 You run into parents who are in denial about that.
11:49 You run into parents whose children had never developed
11:54 language and has all the classic criteria,
11:57 but the majority parents especially mothers are
12:02 often very intuitive.
12:03 When someone approaches them with their concerns,
12:08 they usually say, I've always known or have shared
12:12 those concerns I just didn't know what to do next.
12:17 So I would encourage her to go her friend and talk
12:21 to her or provide information.
12:23 Okay well that is a good answer.
12:25 Well we are going to continue talking about Autism
12:28 and we will be back after this short break.