Mental and Physical Illness

Organic pathology Physical ailments are much easier to recognize than mental disorders. For example, a person with the flu has a fever, aches and pains, and other recognizable signs; there are laboratory tests that can determine whether a person with a sore throat and a fever has an infection. A doctor can successfully treat the […]

No, It Doesn’t Hurt. Who are you?

How does one make a decision to go to the hospital emergency room when one has an acute change in mental status? This is actually a two-part question, or actually a question for two different classes of individuals; for the person with the change in mental status and for the friend or family who notices […]

Do Not Be Surprised

Why throw away interesting stuff? In preparing to move, I am sorting out my stuff. I always save little tidbits of interesting items. For instance, there was a short article about some man who just won a settlement against a tattoo parlor. The tattoo depicted a man stabbing someone in the back with a knife, […]

Such Promise

It was 1949. My parents’ first child, my older brother Michael, was born.  I am my family’s archivist, so I still have the baby album my parents started. It begins hopefully enough. Black and white pictures, probably taken with Dad’s Hawkeye camera. After half a dozen pages of Mike in his crib and in his […]

More about Stimming

I’ve been doing some reading about stimming. In a previous post, I speculated whether my brother, diagnosed as autistic, profoundly retarded and nonverbal, was a ‘stimmer’. Although he doesn’t engage in much repetitive behaviors, he performs certain ‘trademark’ actions quite frequently. For instance, he will slap his head, often while biting his hand; he smacks […]

Fruitful Approach to Autism?

Diagnosis of autism I discussed the history of autism diagnosis a previous post. As the science matured, the psychogenic origin (blame for autism on the ‘refrigerator mother’) was replaced by consideration of the premise that autism could arise from biological origins. Both versions of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) use behavior as […]

More About Biomedical Intervention in Autism

Post as I go I am trying to sift through information available about biomedical interventions used in treating symptoms of autism. I realize that my approach is not scholarly or academic, but I would like to write a series of posts that chronicle my efforts to discover what biomedical intervention options are and how I […]

Autism – Biomedical Intervention

I had heard that biomedical intervention was an approach to the treatment of autism. I also had an impression that this topic is controversial. Since I am a biomedical engineer by training and a biological determinist by inclination, I decided to discover what this the buzz surrounding biomedical intervention is all about. Due to the […]

Low Functioning

Since one of the major missions of my blog is discussion of autism, I introduce my brother in each post by saying that Michael is autistic, nonverbal and low functioning. I used to say retarded, but refrain from using that word now due to the negative connotations. What does low functioning really mean? Part of […]

Empathy and Sympathy

Empathy is the ability to vicariously feel what another person is experiencing, while sympathy is the ability to understand what another person is going through. The medical profession has many people who care deeply about their patients. I think this is a fair assumption, even though there may be some who are in the field […]