Over SEVENTY-SEVEN percent (77%) of medical practitioners in the United States do not make any attempt to study or learn about autism during their education or in their continuing medical coursework. They will feebly and unconvincingly justify autism as a neurological condition, and thus a specialty. To this infantile evasion, we say ‘that’s just unrealistic.”
Autism, no matter how you analyze, slice or dice it, is fundamentally a medical matter in that any neurological condition is within the brain, which is an organ. With autism, one cannot treat the condition as purely psychological, nor neurological without including the entire human body affected by it. The highest probabilities are that autism is genetic, and thus forms part of one’s complete physical matrix, making it a medical issue, not psychological.
Doctors, please get with the program. Very few autistic individuals are without consequential medical conditions, and as such, have need of medical care, which you took an oath to provide. Depending on the severity of their autism, physical conditions may dominate the person’s health care needs. Out of pure ignorance in the medical profession, few of these people can find the health care they need. Is that right?
Out of the doctors who are trained in autism, the majority belong to two specific fields: pediatrics and neuro/psychiatric medicine. There is a predominance of negligent thinking in medicine that autism is strictly a childhood condition. NOT true.
While autism is detected in childhood in the majority of cases, there are perhaps millions of Americans who remain undiagnosed. Often, they are older than the time when medicine started evaluating and diagnosing the condition. Anyone over 50 is likely to be undiagnosed. Today, even pediatricians miss it, and so we ask, why?
Taking a holistic approach, autism isn’t a singularity, such as kidney disease or a heart condition. It affects the whole body, which is why people with autism almost invariably have affiliated additional conditions such as epilepsy, gastro-intestinal problems, and many more. Thus is it critical for every doctor to understand autism and their autistic patients.
Here’s a secret for all doctors to learn, children grow up. As they do, their autism remains constant, but their other health concerns increase, just as with other people.
Joe, a co-founder of Autism Citizen was diagnosed at age 26. To find a doctor who was qualified to conduct this examination, he had to travel over 280 miles from home. More to the point, his primary care physician of seven years never even suggested he may be autistic. His endocrinologist of several years also ignored or missed his condition, despite treating him for thyroid matters. His pediatrician, when he was a child missed it completely, as did every other physician caring for him all his life.
Clearly, if a doctor doesn’t take the time to learn about autism, they won’t see it; won’t understand it; and will consider the nature or actions of their patient to be strictly behavioral. Joe wasn’t the product of bad parenting. He IS autistic, and deserves fair treatment and care.
When an autistic person experiences seizures, whether epileptic or not, or gastrointestinal crises, kidney stones or heart attacks, they’re strictly out of luck finding a qualified practitioner who understands their autism and how to successfully communicate with their patient and safely treat them.
People do not choose to be autistic, and unlike many valid psychological conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it is not the result of an onset caused by outside influence. You’re born with it. The condition doesn’t develop in your 30’s or 40’s, though many in those age groups are diagnosed then or later in life.
Our goal at Autism Citizen is to train physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners about autism so that the autistic never have to wait or suffer while doctors try to figure out what their ailments are. Doctors, this is probably the most important training you can take today, with an ever increasing population of autistic patients, you need to know the whole story.