Sunday, March 16, 2008

The myths of Autism

By A. Chris Gajilan
Senior Producer

Over the past few years, CNN Medical News has provided extensive coverage of autism. From the stories of parents and children living with the disorder to the latest science on possible causes to a vast array of treatments and therapies, we have followed most major developments in the field. Every story we report on autism has been stirred an incredible amount of passion from our viewers and our readers.

Now it's your turn to have some of your own questions answered. CNN is planning a comprehensive day of coverage in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that at least 1 in 150 children are affected in the United States.

In a report called, the "Myths of Autism" we hope to dispel any misperceptions about the disorder and the people who live with it. We also want to be very clear that there is still a great deal the scientific community has yet to learn about autism and its related disorders.

Here are some ideas that we hope to address:

- Every autistic person has savant abilities in some area such as Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Eg: math or memorization

- Thimerosal in vaccines is the main cause for autism.

- Autistic adults will never be able to live on their own. They will always need assisted living care.

Do you think that there are prevailing myths related to autism? What are they? What questions do you need answered?

Does autism touch your life? Tell us your story here:
Autism iReport

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

Posted By A. Chris Gajilan, Senior Producer, Medical News: 3:42 PM ET

CNN Health : Autism : Technology gives girl voice

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