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Parents of autistic kids fear diagnostic changes will mean reduced services

Feb 13, 2012 - Tags:

After raising three boys past the diaper stage, Lisa Wilson could tell that something about her fourth son’s development was askew. At age 2, Jonathan didn’t speak. He would bang his head against the wall, look at his fingers twiddling and avoid human contact, she says. “He was your classic definition of autism.”

Jonathan began receiving intensive therapies and support for moderate to severe autism at age 3. Five years later, his diagnosis was changed to PDD-NOS(pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified), a less severe form of autism.

Jonathan, now 10, “is very much in our world,” Ms. Wilson says. But without early intervention, she says, “I do not think he would have made that kind of progress.”

Ms. Wilson says she is concerned that proposed changes to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – the go-to guide for mental-health professionals – may put higher-functioning children into a “foggier category” of individuals who need support services but no longer meet the criteria for autism, she says.

Source : Globe and Mail : Read the whole story here

Why French Parents Are Superior

Feb 08, 2012 - Tags:

While Americans fret over modern parenthood, the French are raising happy, well-behaved children without all the anxiety. Pamela Druckerman on the Gallic secrets for avoiding tantrums, teaching patience and saying 'non' with authority.

Emmanuel Fradin for The Wall Street Journal.

Pamela Druckerman's new book "Bringing Up Bebe," catalogs her observations about why French children seem so much better behaved than their American counterparts.

When my daughter was 18 months old, my husband and I decided to take her on a little summer holiday. We picked a coastal town that's a few hours by train from Paris, where we were living (I'm American, he's British), and booked a hotel room with a crib. Bean, as we call her, was our only child at this point, so forgive us for thinking: How hard could it be?

We ate breakfast at the hotel, but we had to eat lunch and dinner at the little seafood restaurants around the old port. We quickly discovered that having two restaurant meals a day with a toddler deserved to be its own circle of hell.

Bean would take a brief interest in the food, but within a few minutes she was spilling salt shakers and tearing apart sugar packets. Then she demanded to be sprung from her high chair so she could dash around the restaurant and bolt dangerously toward the docks.

Source: The Wall Street Journal : Read the rest of the story here.

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