What Autism Isn’t…

During the past few years I have learned A LOT! A LOT about topics I would have never imagined 10 years ago I would ever know anything about. One of those topics is AUTISM.  I have learned about Autism through not only our journey with our daughter, but also through our journey of learning about Mitochondrial disease and its connections with Autism.  One of the most shocking things I have learned about the formal definition of autism which is used for diagnosis (see the LEFT side of the Chart), is that it contains no medical evaluation of a child’s biochemistry (blood, urine, enzymes, genetics) and that it contains none of the VAST array of symptoms (see the RIGHT side of the Chart) that almost every child I have met or read about with Autism HAS CO-MORBIDLY with an Autism diagnosis.  To me this should be of grave concern for parents, practitioners and educators. Something is MISSING…. perhaps that is why Autism is often represented by the “puzzle piece” icon.  For us and our journey, that missing piece has been looking at our daughter’s metabolism and investigating mitochondrial disease (which encompasses many if not ALL the symptoms on the RIGHT).  For some other family, the missing piece may not be mito, but I feel strongly that family’s who have been given an AUTISM diagnosis, should also be given the INFORMATION about other conditions which may cause AUTISM or AUTISTIC LIKE SYMPTOMS or BEHAVIORS.

If your child has symptoms on both sides of the chart or just on the Right side… I urge you to speak with your doctor and seek a medical geneticist or neurologist who has a specialty in metabolic disorders for further discussion and/or testing.

A PDF version-  What Autism Isn’t

For More information on the connection between Mitochondrial Disease and Autism visit BabyFoodStep’s MitoAutism Page

For Support or More information, please request to join the group Mitochondrial Autism.







About Empowered Advocacy

www.EmpoweredAdvocacy.com Pediatric Patient Advocate
This entry was posted in Autism, Medical, Mitochondrial Disease. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to What Autism Isn’t…

  1. Christine Cox says:

    Nice work, Kristi! Reposting…

  2. Amy young says:

    Kristi, the chart is a very good tool! Concise and informative. What about a child with symptoms only on the right? Or is this geared mainly to children with autism diagnosis?

    • Baby(food)Steps says:

      If your child has everything on the right side… then discussing mitochondiral disease with a knowledgable doctor would be my next step. This awareness poster is mainly geared to those who have gotten an autism diagnosis first, but see other symptoms that are concerning… hope that helps!

  3. Dr. Pasqua says:

    Excellent tool for parents and professionals! I enjoyed the refresher.

  4. Amy says:


  5. Linda says:

    My only problem is, how do you get to see a metabolic or genetics specialist? I asked, got a referral, was given a phone screening and sent away!!! I started the mito cocktail and am working on my very PICKY daughter’s diet!

    • Baby(food)Steps says:

      Linda, there is a real deficiency in mito specialists in the US, making it difficult to get into see them. There is some basic testing that can be done before you see a specialist, that a pediatrician or general pract should be able to order. Here is a list of basic tier 1and tier 2labs recommended by a doctor who specializes in metabolic disorders: http://www.virtualmdpractice.com/documents/GeneticTestingforASD.pdf
      If any are abnormal, it may help prompt a visit with a specialist. Hope that helps. Feel free to use the contact tab if you need more info.

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