Archived | Cure Autism Now: AGRE Newsletter: Listening To You | Circa Summer 2004 #NotAnAutisticAlly

Family Lives With Autism: disorder affects three of four sons

Ana Marie Echaniz, Fort Valley, VA

When we moved to Fort Valley, Virginia from Florida with my son, Johan, we never dreamed how dramatically the birth of our three sons would change our lives. Gabriel, 7, Dominic, 4, and Yulen, 3, are handsome and dark-haired, reflecting their Hispanic heritage. All three of them have autism.

I did not spot autism immediately in my three children. The things that were wrong were very unique and different in the three of them. Gabriel’s disorder was not diagnosed until age 4, when a local doctor realized the reason for his speech and language delays.

I was not ready to accept the diagnosis. When he doctor said autism to me, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Dominic’s diagnosis in August 2002, at age 3, came earlier. His development was “completely on target” until 21 months, when his baby brother, Yulen, was born. Then he regressed almost overnight. He stopped speaking but all a few words and for awhile refused to look at him. We thought he was jealous. Later, when Yulen only said “mama” at 15 months, I took him in immediately for an evaluation and he was diagnosed as autistic in July. (Cont on pg 8)

An Interview with A.H.M. Mahbubul Huq, M.D., Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Department of Neurology

Wayne State University

Detroit, MI

Dr. Huq is the recipient of a Cure Autism Now Pilot Grant Award, Candidate Genes for Autism on Chromosome 7q. In addition, he has a published 5 scientific publications using the AGRE resource over the last 2 years.

Q: How did you get started in autism research?

A: I am a child neurologist, trained in clinical genetics as well as molecular genetics. The genetics of a complex trait such as autism is an intellectual challenge. As a clinician, I see many patients with autism and want to do something that will one day make a difference for them. Moreover, my colleagues at Wayne State are involved in autism research, so I am in a good environment to do this work.

Q: How dwould you characterize your approach in the study of autism genetics?

A: The general approach is to look for candidate genes based on chromosomal location. We also use information (already known from other research) about genes associated with “other disorders”, such as Fragile X and Tuberous Sclerosis. For example, 70% of patients with Tuberous Sclerosis have autistic features. The same pathway may be somehow involved in the development of autism. This allows us to make more educated guesses and improve the odds of locating specific genes. Genes of known identity are tested directly for association with autism. (Cont on page 11)

The Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) – AGRE was created by Cure Autism Now to advance genetic research in autism spectrum disorders. Blood samples and clinical data are obtained from families that have two or more children diagnosed with autism, pdf, or Asperger’s Syndrome. These samples, along with the accompanying clinical data, are a readily to AGRE-approved researchers.

More With AGRE


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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