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Autism is many diseases

By Mary Coleman
The field of autism is riddled by several unsolved mysteries. One concerns the rate of children who suffer from autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). A study released last year by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network used school behavioral assessments and clinical reports of children who were 8 years old in 2008 and applied a standard checklist of criteria for diagnosis.

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Can a child with autism recover?

By Mary Coleman
The symptoms of autism occur because of errors, mostly genetic, in final common pathways in the brain. These errors can either gradually become clinically apparent or they can precipitate a regression, often around 18 months of age, where the child loses previously acquired developmental skills.

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Is there an epidemic of autism?

By Mary Coleman
Autism was first described in 1943 and since then, the understanding of this disease entity by the scientific community has greatly changed. In 2012, autism is now considered a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder arising well before birth, characterized by a marked clinical and etiological heterogeneity. Recently there is a question whether there may be an epidemic of autism, as the rates of diagnosis have continued to rise to alarming levels.

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A case of mistaken identity

Since Peale took the painting with him back to Philadelphia, Yarrow obviously did not pay for it. There is no record of whether Peale displayed it in the museum or showed it to the American Philosophical Society. He died in 1829, but the museum continued to operate. When it finally closed in 1852, Peale’s grandson Edmund came across the painting and mistakenly labeled it “Billy Lee,” thinking his grandfather had painted the body servant of George Washington. That the portrait might be of Lee was not an unreasonable assumption. Peale knew him during the terrible winter at Valley Forge.

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