Doctor: Effects of autism far-reaching
Whether you're a parent, friend or other family member, one Arizona doctor says everyone knows someone with autism.
Dr. Sydney Rice, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona, will be in Yuma Oct. 1 to speak about the disorder that Rice said is diagnosed in one out of 150 babies born in the United States.
Rice will speak at 6:30 p.m. October 1 at the Hampton Inn Conference Room, located at 1600 E. 16th St. in Yuma. The cost to attend is $10 a person. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling Barbara DeWitt at (928) 783-0969 or Tanya Hodges at (928) 271-9560.
Her talk will include discussion and research relating to immunization and autism.
"It's a very controversial topic," she said.
Rice said she'll talk about research through the last 10 years that shows there is no link between immunization and autism, talking about research from a British scientist that started the controversy dating back to 1998.
"The research has shown to be fraud," she said. "He faked it."
For parents deciding whether or not to immunize a child can be a tough decision, she said.
"Often, it's very hard to make that decision until more (research) comes out," Rice said. "We're understanding more where the controversy came from in the first place.
She said it all started with poor science.
"It's hard because when families hear things, it's hard to sort out what's real and what's not real," Rice said.
Rice said she'll also speak about how to understand children with autism: how they think. That way, she said, people can understand the children better and how they can help. And most have an area where they really excel.
"When we understand how children with autism think, it becomes more clear why they have those areas of brilliance," she said. "If we can uncover how they're thinking and how to help them, their overall outcome is going to be better.
"My goal is to try to help each child be the most successful that they can be."
Rice, a practicing physician for 14 years has been working with children with developmental disabilities for 10 years and is also an editor of a medical journal titled Peds DB.
Rice is also part of an autism study group with the Center's for Disease Control representing Arizona. She is a Yuma native, and graduated from Yuma High School in 1982 before studying at the University of Arizona.