I was excited, three weeks ago, to read information about some new studies being conducted in the field of genetics. Researchers have found overlap in mutations of genes in Schizophrenia and also those connected with mutations in autism and cognitive disabilities. You can read the article here.
I have always been interested in how many of the traits seemingly reserved for autism affect my oldest with a serious mental illness. Processing, poverty of speech, affect, executive function issues are all part of his deficits, along with his diagnosis of early onset schizophrenia. Two of my other sons exhibit nearly the same processing, executive function and working memory deficits. Their WISC scores are nearly identical all across the board.
Sometimes it is really tough to get others, including professionals, to understand that which we see and experience at home. This is why it is doubly important that we have access, either through the school system or privately, to affordable testing so that our kids can be identified and accommodated early on to reduce stress, anxiety and hardship.
Studies like these are important in getting the focus off of completely environmental factors that some professionals are so quick to latch onto. Behaviorists tend to unduly blame parents and environment for what is happening with our children. I have seen some insist that consequence/reward systems work for EVERY child. The more we learn and discover about genetic factors and brain function, the more we see that this simply isn’t true.