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I am an engineer and a father of a child with autism. He started to regress during his third year. The “A word” was mentioned along with PDD and other vague definitions which kept us, his parents, hoping for a final definitive diagnosis.
This was given only when Yankele (our son) was 3 and a half years old by Prof. Ritvo’s clinic at UCLA. Prof. Ritvo suggested we contact Prof. Lovaas of UCSD who was successfully implementing behavior modifications programs for children with autism. Unfortunately, we received the answer “Yankele is too old for our program”.
Ever since we have been striving to understand autism and, like every parent of a child with a disability, we searched for a cure, to no avail.
Very early in my research I realized that there is no agreement on the mechanism or nature of autism. The community has reverted to using the term: “Autism Spectrum”. As an engineer, it is obvious to me that if you want to solve a problem, you need first to define what the problem is. The current way to define and diagnose autism is by using behavioral markers.
There is no better way to demonstrate the inadequacy of the current mode of diagnosis, than to show the following graph:
Prevalence of autism graph throughout the years (Source: CDC):
This graph shows us that we do not know what we are measuring.
Since then, I have devoted myself to understanding the mechanism of autism and thus attempt to create an objective diagnosis of autism. The most important insight I have gained is the realization that poor social communication skills is not a symptom of autism but the cause of it.
As of late my efforts have reached fruition and SensPD was established.