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Katy

43% Rise in Autism rates in 4 years in New Jersey

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I believe that the Bi-Polar, Autism, Depression, Substance Abuse, Schizophrenia and Giftedness in my family are all permutations of the same genes.  We are all the same type (and we all marry the same type) but we have *very* different labels and outcomes.   We have some super high flyers and some who never managed to launch, but we make one hell of a quiz bowl team!

(My mom is one of 28 first cousins, and it’s fascinating to see the variations on a theme you can get with a large enough sample size.  I’m not convinced there is a “normie” in the whole group.)

 

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4 hours ago, BeachGal said:

 

An area of the brain called the fusiform gyrus appears to be affected in autistic people. It’s involved with facial recognition. I read about the fusiform gyrus and autism in The Emotional Life of Your Brain which was written a few years ago. Researchers might have discovered something new or different in the meantime.

 

Interesting...dyslexia also effects the fusiform gyrus, which my daughter has! No ASD for her, not sure on face blindness yet. Crazy

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Is face blindness something that goes along with ASD? A moderate level of face blindness runs in my family....I have it, my Dad I think, and I know my sister does to an extent, probably not as severe as me. And my son with ASD as well. It causes a LOT of social anxiety, and eventually can lead to giving up even trying to make new friends/aquaintances because you know you won't recognize them next time anyway and who needs that stress. 

 

Oh, absolutely. In fact, I think it may have been largely through the efforts of autistics that faceblindness (prosopagnosia) became recognized at all as anything other than "a very rare condition that you'd need to have some sort of traumatic brain injury to have", and why you know the word at all.

Agnosias in general seem to be widespread among the autistic population, though they're not all as widely recognized. For example, I have topographical agnosia - places that ought to be familiar often don't look familiar, or they look "postcard familiar" not "this is my own neighborhood" familiar. Anecdotally, not uncommon among autistics. In the literature, "very rare condition except among people with dementia". (Though you know how it is. You go ask any forum for autistic people "Hey, does anybody else get this weird thing?" and a bajillion people will respond. That's not data, that's barely even anecdata. That's noise. More research is needed.)

 

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2 hours ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

I believe that the Bi-Polar, Autism, Depression, Substance Abuse, Schizophrenia and Giftedness in my family are all permutations of the same genes.  We are all the same type (and we all marry the same type) but we have *very* different labels and outcomes.   We have some super high flyers and some who never managed to launch, but we make one hell of a quiz bowl team!

(My mom is one of 28 first cousins, and it’s fascinating to see the variations on a theme you can get with a large enough sample size.  I’m not convinced there is a “normie” in the whole group.)

 

Lots going on in my own and dh's families as well. 

I've often thought we'd make a great genetics research project for someone; we both come from big families (my kids have more than 50 first cousins) so lots of relatives to compare.

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9 minutes ago, maize said:

I've often thought we'd make a great genetics research project for someone

If someone has ASD diagnosed in the family, they and close relations can participate in the SPARK study. 

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Back in the 1970s, my MIL developed prosopagnosia from what we believe was a small stroke that was not diagnosed until much later. In her case, she could still see parts of faces but not the whole face. My husband, who may have some small degree of autism, has trouble recognizing actors who look similar. I’ve read that could be prosopagnosia as well, just a mild form. Not sure though.

Richard Davidson’s lab in Wisconsin might have done some studies on it. He did do brain imaging studies on autistic adolescents and saw that the fusiform gyrus was involved. I don’t have the book with me but what he has to say about gaze aversion, anxiety and the fusiform gyrus are interesting. The book is a few years old by now so more recent research might have changed it.

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I can sort of recognize people, but only after a long time, and in unfamiliar situations I have trouble. So say, meeting someone coming off a plane, I can manage if it is my immediate family, but not much beyond that. 

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