Posts Tagged ‘IACC’

New CDC medical diagnosis code expected to help prevent autism wandering

July 26, 2011

A medical diagnosis code for wandering was announced by the Centers for Disease Control last Tuesday, a move intended to prevent wandering among people with autism and other disorders and diseases. The code will go into effect October 1 and will be identified as “wandering in conditions classified elsewhere” (V40.31). The code was announced at the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting in Bethesda, MD, and was welcomed by autism advocates. Although the code is not specifically linked to autism or any other disorder or disease, it is hoped that the code will improve safety for those vulnerable to wandering, which include those with autism, cognitive disabilities, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Wandering and subsequent drownings are leading causes of death for children with autism, who are often prone to wandering, fascinated by water, and unaware of danger.  Many of these children are also impulsive and nonverbal.  In 2010, at least nine children with autism died in the U.S. after wandering, all of them by drowning. The trend has continued in 2011, with multiple incidents of deaths due to wandering. For each death, there are countless near-misses of mostly young children with autism who wander from homes and schools.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

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Landrigan calls for more research into pesticides, toxic chemicals, environmental causes of autism

July 19, 2010

Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai Medical Center told the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Friday that more research needs to be conducted on potential environmental causes of autism.

Dr. Philip Landrigan told the IACC Friday more research needs to be done into the environmental causes of autism. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

For decades, autism has been believed to be primarily a genetic disorder, but in recent years, scientists have acknowledged that environmental factors such as pesticides and other chemicals also play a significant role in the causes of autism.

Landrigan is one of the leaders of the National Children’s Study, which is expected to identify causes of autism and many other childhood disorders and diseases. The study will “examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21.”

Landrigan has been investigating the effects of environmental toxicants on the development of children since the early 1970s when he determined that even very small levels of lead could affect cognitive ability.

His landmark work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resulted in the government banning lead from gasoline in 1976 and from paint in 1977, actions that decreased childhood lead poisoning in the U.S. by more than 90 percent.

To see the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.