A long time Autism One speaker Marcia Hinds says that autism should never be a term. She claims it should be included with autoimmune encephalitis. Autoimmune encephalitis is a real disease. Hinds claiming this trivializes what the people with this autoimmune disease go through every day.
Autoimmune encephalitis is a group of conditions that happen when the immune system attacks healthy brain cells. Autoimmune Encephalitis is a rare, frequently misdiagnosed disorder. This leads to inflammation of the brain. People with autoimmune encephalitis may have different neurological or psychiatric symptoms.
- impaired memory
- impaired cognition
- abnormal movements
- balance issues
- speech issues
- vision loss or unclear vision
- inappropriate sexual behaviors
- panic attacks
- compulsive behaviors
These symptoms may fluctuate but normally progress over days to a few weeks. Symptoms can progress to loss of consciousness and the patient may slip into a coma.
Autoimmune encephalitis is sometimes associated with antibodies to proteins on the surface of nerve cells. Autoimmune encephalitis can sometimes occur in association with cancer (called paraneoplastic syndrome). Autoimmune encephalitis occurs randomly, usually in people with no family history of this condition.
Treatment may include intravenous immunosuppressive therapy and tumor removal when necessary. Each treatment decreases the risk of long term complications, speeds recovery and reduces risk of relapse. If it is not treated, autoimmune encephalitis can lead to progressive neurologic deterioration or the loss of life.
According to the CDC,” Autism is a developmental disability that can cause significan social, communication and behavioral challenges.” Autistic people do not look different than neurotypical peers. Autistic people may communicate, interact, behave and learn in different ways from neurotypical peers. The linking, learning and problem solving abilities of autistic people can range from gifted to challenged. Some autistic people need more support and others need less.
When the DSM V was released, the autism diagnosis includes autism, pervasive developmental disorder and Aspergers syndrome. This is all now part of the Autistic Spectrum.
Signs according to the CDC:
- no point at objects or show interest
- not look at objects when another person points to them
- having trouble relating to others or not having an interest in other people at all
- avoid eye contact and want to be by themselves
- having trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own
- prefer not to be held or cuddled, or may only when they want to
- appear to be unaware when people talk to them but respond to other sounds
- be every interested in people but not know how to talk, play or related to them
- repeat or echo words or phrases said to them ,or repeat words or phrases in place of “normal” language (echolalia)
- have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
- not “pretend” games
- repeat actions over and over again (stimming)
- having trouble adapting to routine changes
- having “unusual” reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel or sound
- lose skills they once had
There is no cure for autism. There are therapies that can help with skills. They are speech language therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy if needed. An evaluation will be needed to determine what therapy is needed.
Autoimmune encephalitis is not Autism
There are very different signs of both conditions. Autoimmune encephalitis is normally diagnosed in a psychiatric setting when the patient is in their 20’s. In current times, children are diagnosed with autism between 1-3 years old.
Marcia Hinds wrote a book stating that she believes that her son is autistic because he has autoimmune encephalitis. Autoimmune encephalitis is fatal if not treated. Autoimmune encephalitis is treated with IV immune suppressants and tumor removal. This is a very dangerous therapy but it can be life saving. Autism is not a life threatening condition.
Hinds claims she treated her son with restrictive diets such as Nemechek Protocol, GAPS and Gluten Free and Casein Free. She also treated him with antivirals, vitamin D supplements, anti fungals and other supplements. I personally asked her this on a Zoom call. She uses a test called bio feedback. If her son truly had autoimmune encephalitis, he would have died using these quack treatments.