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How to Fix Autism

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posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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originally posted by: DAVID64
a reply to: Astrocyte




By coming into a baby or child's experience, that is, taking an authentic interest in whatever they seem to be paying attention to, you all of a sudden enter their phenomenological field of "joint awareness". With this, through time, the baby's amygdular system might calm down and actually register what its designed to register: safety. When the adult spends time with autistic child in this way, when the sensor goes down and emotional expression (expressed interest) is shown, the adult had gained "access" into the autistic child's phenomenology. The brain has just recorded its first "positive social interaction". The intuitive adult will understand that this represents a small 'window" within the baby or childs brain. The idea is to open it, SAFELY, which means slowly if needed. Dampen affect is needed. Slow down if the baby or child seems overwhelmed. If you attune to the affective information present in their behavioral cues, you can operate quite carefully, as well as compassionately, "setting open" possibilities that wouldn't open otherwise in an autistic brain destined for an awkward life.


This "genius" just figured out what every parent of a autistic child already knows.


I disagree. I don't think that this is true at all and "every parent of an autistic child already knows" this. My experience is the opposite; many parents of autistic children want to force the child to pay attention to what they the parent wants the child to register and pay attention to, so that the child will be "normal". They do not understand at all that the child does not feel safe and is overwhelmed but they are still looking for those connecting and validating interactions with an caregiver.

Ironically, it is the parents that use similar language to the OP in his description of this process: "fix" or even "cure", as if something is wrong with the child that are the most obtuse to the sensitivity of their child and don't understand what their children need. My lack of patience with this tendency in parents is why I am hesitant to go with my plan once I finish school in a few months and work with autistic children. It frustrates me and makes me angry.




posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 12:08 PM
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originally posted by: redhorse

originally posted by: DAVID64
a reply to: Astrocyte




By coming into a baby or child's experience, that is, taking an authentic interest in whatever they seem to be paying attention to, you all of a sudden enter their phenomenological field of "joint awareness". With this, through time, the baby's amygdular system might calm down and actually register what its designed to register: safety. When the adult spends time with autistic child in this way, when the sensor goes down and emotional expression (expressed interest) is shown, the adult had gained "access" into the autistic child's phenomenology. The brain has just recorded its first "positive social interaction". The intuitive adult will understand that this represents a small 'window" within the baby or childs brain. The idea is to open it, SAFELY, which means slowly if needed. Dampen affect is needed. Slow down if the baby or child seems overwhelmed. If you attune to the affective information present in their behavioral cues, you can operate quite carefully, as well as compassionately, "setting open" possibilities that wouldn't open otherwise in an autistic brain destined for an awkward life.


This "genius" just figured out what every parent of a autistic child already knows.


I disagree. I don't think that this is true at all and "every parent of an autistic child already knows" this. My experience is the opposite; many parents of autistic children want to force the child to pay attention to what they the parent wants the child to register and pay attention to, so that the child will be "normal". They do not understand at all that the child does not feel safe and is overwhelmed but they are still looking for those connecting and validating interactions with an caregiver.

Ironically, it is the parents that use similar language to the OP in his description of this process: "fix" or even "cure", as if something is wrong with the child that are the most obtuse to the sensitivity of their child and don't understand what their children need. My lack of patience with this tendency in parents is why I am hesitant to go with my plan once I finish school in a few months and work with autistic children. It frustrates me and makes me angry.


I like your post.

I'm working with my 7 year old High Functioning Spectrum grandson. Not "classic" Autism, but still requires intervention and different methods of teaching.

He taught himself to read through phonics at age 3, but was barely talking. I only discovered it because he was reading the TV guide menu to tell me what shows he wanted to watch. He's been in special classes, public school, since age 3. Im fortunate to have great schools.

They held him back in Kindergarten to give him a year of maturity to be able to sit through a full day of school. Academically he's about 3rd grade level in 1st grade. Its a challenge.

But, he's very outgoing, social, talks to anyone ----- when he wants to.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 02:00 PM
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As an ostensibly "high functioning" individual on the autistic spectrum (though my "functioning" in any practical, societal, and employment senses of the word is pretty limited) who went undiagnosed until late adulthood... I'm not going to respond defensively to the concept. Because if there is a way to improve the lives of people from an early age on the spectrum, and there's any validity to this particular approach in that regard, then I say that's a good thing.

It's not about "fixing" or "curing" people. I concur that such terminology is damaging and hurtful. But it is about helping people have happier lives. Not everyone on the spectrum is happy "the way nature made them." I find ways to be happy and at peace, but I'd have been a lot happier and healthier for sure if I didn't have the crippling social anxiety I do, which has been resistant to a broad array of therapies to date unfortunately.

There are things I like about it too, of course. Listening to music is a trip for me.
Any experience I'm comfortable with and engage with willingly is arguably more immersive and sensual for me than it might be for others. And I don't have the stereotypical (and in my experience near-mythical, but that's anecdotal - I know that manifestation of it is out there) lack of empathy. If anything I'm too empathetic. But if something can be done at an early age to ameliorate some of the other impacts, do I think it's at least worth looking at? Yes.

That doesn't mean I'm not skeptical, mind you.

Peace.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 03:52 PM
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originally posted by: AceWombat04

It's not about "fixing" or "curing" people. I concur that such terminology is damaging and hurtful. But it is about helping people have happier lives. Not everyone on the spectrum is happy "the way nature made them."


Yes. With my grandson I do what I call "blocking space". Which means to separate the different places you have to be in life. Like school, soccer, dance, work, gym, beach, etc.

You only have to "perform" for a period of time in each. None of them are a whole that can consume you.

We try to balance out controlled environments and free-to-be environments.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: boymonkey74

I disagree.

From the perspective of biology, the end phenotype - or the type of person a human being becomes - is entirely determined by the inch by inch developmental processes of epigenetic regulation of genes and the nature of adult communicative displays.

This is the most sophisticated conception of development, ever ^^^. It's not my work, but the work of countless scientists working day in and day out, trying to understand the nature of human development.

A communicative 'display' is the way we experience ourselves, and how our experiences become "displayed" on our faces. Dozens and dozens of neuroimaging studies (using functional magnetic resonance imaging machines) show that emotional communication is implicit and preconscious - that is, only enters consciousness as affective experience - and is almost entirely handled by the right frontal lobe cortical and subcortical areas. To just give an example, autistic infants show disturbed brain stem and later on amygdular development. Because normal human development begins with a growth spurt in the right hemisphere, at birth and for the next 16 months, this time period is called a period of "attachment", because the infant's basic programming of the world - at the brainstem, homeostatic (cardiopulmonary) systems are synchronized with core affective systems - or the how organism, i.e the baby, experiences the world.

This is how the famed early childhood psychologist Colwyn Treverthan describes the issue of autism:

Based on evidence of early neural growth errors in core brainstem systems during fetal ontogenesis, and on new evidence of disturbance of primary prospective motor control of expressive action, we present the following hypothesis on the etiology of autism for testing and argument:

1. A primary cause of autism spectrum disorders is an error in early growth of intrinsic motive and motor systems of the brainstem during prenatal ontogenesis.

2. This interferes with efficient integration of sensory information with motor timing, and is accompanied by disturbance of autonomic functions, disrupting timing and control of prospective sensory perception in movement as well as vital regulation of functions within the body. All these disorders become most obvious in early childhood, when a toddler normally gains many new powers of movement in engagement with the environment, including speech.

3. Social isolation, socio-emotional and cognitive delay, and language disorder in children and adults with autism are secondary consequences developed within socio-emotional systems as experience-dependent compensations for primary sensori-motor and affective integration errors and poorly regulated motor intentions. These compensations are elaborated mainly by cortical systems that grow after birth.


Personally, I think the whole neurodiversity movement to be a bit too much. I understand and try to commiserate with the feelings autistic adults feel about their condition; however, I think because Autism is an END-PHENOTYPE, and one which can be altered to a more normal pathway with finely timed, skilled therapeutic interventions, I think its important to reflect on the philosophical meaning of autism.

For me, the issue is qualitative. Having suffered developmental trauma myself, I know, first hand, from within my own lived experience, how different and qualitatively distinct an experience of little emotion is relative to expansive, spontaneous emotion. People who don't know what a deep belly laugh is or who can't collaborate with a communicative partner with high energy, or more spiritually, to have a deep sense of empathy and awareness of another persons needs and suffering, do not realize how ONTOLOGICALLY different the world can be, and seem, to the individual in question.

Autism, according to Schore, is basically a psychology forced into psychological dissociation because of a brain that is desynchronized in its developmental timing. The Amygdala grow to fast, therefore, everything to the infant is felt with fear and arousal; the consciousness IN THE DEVELOPING BRAIN is subsumed with fear. The normal, species-wide response to this psychological experience is dissociation. The emotional numbing of dissociation becomes the 'default' mental condition of the developing autistic mind.

As a person who has actually lived in chronic dissociation, similar in many ways to the experience of autistics, I cannot do justice in explaining how much is lost, how different the world seems, when your body - and a feeling of aliveness - isn't involved in your mental construction of the world. The world is different in all dimensions of experience: time, thought, emotion and body.

So, do I think we should intervene to help prevent autism from dominating a persons life? Absolutely. Do I think Autistic adults are wrong in wanting to promote neurodiversity? No. I can understand and empathize with this need of theirs. But I also think they are too preoccupied with their own needs to recognize how qualitatively different - as someone whose lived a life like me would know 'from the inside' - whats it like to share a deep laugh, walk freely with others, speak casually or connect empathically - their experiences are, on the negative side, compared to the evolutionary norm.

Is every outlier adaptive? Many kids are born with a genetic form of cerebral palsy. And there are still many other conditions which compromises ones quality of life.

On a final note, although autistic people have great skills and very quick minds, the difference between them and math-oriented scientists with normal emotional profiles is probably not so great to make autistics an "evolutionary adaptation" as some autistics think.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 06:59 PM
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Unfortunately, there are developments going on in utero, as well as externally with the mother, before she even realizes she is pregnant and is able to begin taking better care of herself by limiting stressors and eliminating exposure to toxins such as insecticides.

This is a fascinating read.
edit on 9/10/2015 by ladyinwaiting because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: and14263

The entire process is dyadic, and unfortunately few people can appreciate the brilliant analysis that goes into this science.

The autistic infant is born, and he can't handle being touched. He cries whenever mom touches him. Mom though keeps trying. It's painful for her to have a baby that wont respond to her. People, and woman in particular, have basic, natural emotional needs for recognition, and what can be more painful than to have the baby growing in your uterus for the last 9 months not respond to your emotional needs: to give and express the love you have for it.

The whole idea of a 'refrigerator' mother is true, but the term was and is deprecatory, and completely uncalled for. The mothers of autistic children pull away from their baby's because they are hurt and defensive. They see that the baby can't handle being touched or connecting, so they do not make the efforts anymore. They don't touch, not because they are "cold", but because they are hurt and traumatized by the experience of having a non-responsive baby.

But what have people done? They've jumped to the other extreme: it's just the baby's. It's genetic. Coded in this explanation is the idea "we can't do anything significant to change it". This is wrong for a simple, basic biological reason: human beings, like all mammals, experience emotions for the purpose of promoting survival. Threat/Safety become fear, shame, joy and laughter. In the case of the developing autistic infant, the enlarged amygdala is rapid-firing in response to behavioral displays that constantly overwhelm it. Touch and the inability to coordinate motor movements add to the fear and anxiety. Experience is disordered because sensory systems are disordered. Affective displays from adults, although normal, natural, and evolutionarily expected, chronically overacivate the amygdala, thus further "dysregulating" the infant mind/brain.

The "refrigerator" mother pulls away from instinct, but with a little bit of thought, and a lot of compassion, you can actually apply what we know about emotional development to bias the developmental process.

Since autistic children cannot tolerate interactive displays, you have to go in "sideways". What is sideways? An example:

Autistic infant turns away from humans and focuses on an external object as a way to regulate affect. A direct adult response to this would be to touch or directly communicate with the infant. But clearly these efforts seem to overwhelm the infants present neurobiological outcome.

A sideways approach would be to sit beside the infant and focus on the same object, thereby establishing what psychologists call "joint attention". The same object in the environment is being tended to, but the adult is not directly 'entering', or intruding, into the infants phenomenology. This way of entering, what we can call an "entry-point", establishes a feeling of safety, which may, over some indeterminate time period, lead to a relaxing of the amygdala-anterior cingulate complex (which assess the threat/safety of objects in the environment), and generates a normal developmental interest: to explore the intentional state of another conspecific (or member of your species).

Simply watching and focusing on the same object of interest, quite naturally arouses an interest in the infant. This is an entry-point in the infants phenomenology. The window is tiny, and you've finally gotten in. But to stay in, you have to be responsive to the behavioral cues from the infant. If you speak too fast, too long, or too powerfully, you'll overwhelm him. So pace yourself and understand the slow, incremental nature of the process. You're trying to become a 'safe-object' for the infant, to be another mind whom the infant can share joint-intentionality with. Eventually, when you're in, you can discover (depending on the time of your intervention) that the infant will generate his own communicative displays; a smile, joint gaze, a pointing gesture.

It should go without saying how subtle this process is. You have to be acutely aware of your own phenomenology, have some useful theory of human mental functioning, and have a deep sense of love and care for the well being of your infant. You have to be tough: you can't take it personally. You can't become dejected. Your 'enemy' is subtle - the anxiety and fear that is overwhelming your baby's nervous system. Finding an entry-point may seem impossible. This is why timing matters: some times are appropriate while other times aren't. You need to time the intervention so that you can get optimal results: when the baby is already relaxed and focused on an object, THEN, you may come and enter joint-attention. Entering too strongly, too "unconsciously" into their experience is another instantiation of trauma. So walk nimbly, sensitively, and kindly.

Being effective at this requires a lot of awareness of your self and what you're actually feeling. If you can't control automatic defensive behaviors, you're going to feed into the processes. The only way to reverse the process, or provide negative feedback (in systems theory language) is to enter his or her reality as a 'positive object'.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:29 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: boymonkey74

I disagree.

From the perspective of biology, . . .


He's not a biologist.

He's a clinical psychologist.

Behavioral Biology - - is not biology



Behavioral biology is an interdepartmental, interdivisional area major for those wishing to study the natural and social sciences in relation to human and animal behavior.

edit on 10-9-2015 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Sorry dude way over my head at this present time (scrumpy) I just see my dudes as a gift to all.
We help them have a great life we really do, we try and give them every oppotunity they can manage.
Heck next month I'm going skiing with one cos he saw it on TV.
Forgive my drunkness.
I just see autism as part of the human condition just as people with downs are.
Just miss my dudes cos I have broken ribs and not in for a week or so
.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:41 PM
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originally posted by: boymonkey74

I just see autism as part of the human condition just as people with downs are.
Just miss my dudes cos I have broken ribs and not in for a week or so
.


There is no "One fits all".

He's talking about behavioral therapy.

We already know about behavioral therapy.

You have to work individually to find the connection.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:43 PM
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a reply to: Annee

Yeah I use it everyday and it varies from dude to dude.
Anyhow Anne great to see you
and send monkey kisses to your kin from me
.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:36 PM
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a reply to: boymonkey74




posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 04:27 AM
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Autism is diagnosed if a human shows deficits in social skills and social communication and/or unusual patterns of behaviors and interests.

So, let me see: here we are, communicating using a keyboard and screen, a distant spooky communication in the distance so to say. No real human face-to-face interaction at all, so a doctor might conclude we're lacking proper social skills. And given the frequency and rhytm of postings by some, they are clearly showing an unusual pattern of behaviour. But oh boy, wait until we check for "unusual interests"..

Y'all are freaks! Go get cured! Autists!



posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I'm not ignoring your brilliant reply. I'm just taking a few days to take it all in.

Enjoy your weekend.



posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 10:56 AM
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originally posted by: ForteanOrg
Autism is diagnosed if a human shows deficits in social skills and social communication and/or unusual patterns of behaviors and interests.

So, let me see: here we are, communicating using a keyboard and screen, a distant spooky communication in the distance so to say. No real human face-to-face interaction at all, so a doctor might conclude we're lacking proper social skills. And given the frequency and rhytm of postings by some, they are clearly showing an unusual pattern of behaviour. But oh boy, wait until we check for "unusual interests"..

Y'all are freaks! Go get cured! Autists!


You are right in that the computer is a very good tool for those on the Autism Spectrum.

But, it is not exclusively used by those who are.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 11:33 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte
Fix Autism? Wouldn't that involve grasping the issue at the root? Maybe an early in uterus gene therapy? Not sure about the ethical considerations here, guess in many Asian countries they wouldn't have that many issues with it like the Christian dominated cultures. Anyway, that technology and a full gene sequence locking ability lies probably still some decades in the future. I think effective post birth treatment involves more like coping strategies such as CBTish techniques, than a real "fixing" of the condition so to speak. Interesting topic nevertheless.

edit on 12-9-2015 by TauNorthwolf because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 12:02 PM
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originally posted by: TauNorthwolf
a reply to: Astrocyte
Fix Autism? Wouldn't that involve grasping the issue at the root? Maybe an early in uterus gene therapy? Not sure about the ethical considerations here, guess in many Asian countries they wouldn't have that many issues with it like the Christian dominated cultures. Anyway, that technology and a full gene sequence locking ability lies probably still some decades in the future. I think effective post birth treatment involves more like coping strategies such as CBTish techniques, than a real "fixing" of the condition so to speak. Interesting topic nevertheless.


Excellent post.

Yes, Autism is "who you were born". And we're definitely not there yet on actual treatment of prevention.

The author of the article is a clinical psychologist specializing in behavior.

The information is good ---- but, has nothing to do with Fixing Autism ---- other then behavior modification, which anyone dealing with Autism already knows about and probably practices.



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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stop sting children red blood goyims vaccines



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 12:28 PM
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originally posted by: mangust69
stop sting children red blood goyims vaccines


Are you a biologist?

Or just a "jump on the band wagon"?



posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 05:43 PM
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Dr. Schore is without a doubt one of the most knowledgeable and influential scientists in this field, at least in my opinion. I'm not going to argue with the work he is doing one bit. It is extremely important that the brain be researched and understood by scientists, both in the fields of biology and psychology. It is pretty clear that the quote is simply a suggestion that toxic outside influences during pregnancy may increase the likelihood that the child will be extremely introverted at birth and though childhood. Of course, that makes sense. If you're in a toxic environment you will protect yourself, even after you leave that environment. Some of these defenses may become seemingly permanent. Like someone who just got out of prison, or a bad relationship, or war; except, these are babies who just got out of prison, or a bad relationship, or war.

Too many people see autism as a learning disability, and it's really not. It's more like there is a balance in your brain, between introversion and extroversion. "Normals" are more or less balanced, perhaps leaning toward the extroversion (social, emotional) side. Those who have autism lean (run?) more toward the introversion (rational, reflective, exploratory) side -- less social skills, better abstract thought skills. It only becomes a learning disability because the educational systems in place aren't set up to handle 'deviants'. People tend to believe that if you are unwilling or unable to conform to societal standards, then you should be cast out of normal society and relegated to some sort of "special place". (What's wrong with your home?! JUST GO TO YOUR HOME!)

This is only a problem with society because everyone seems to be obsessed with being part of the group. "Little Johnny isn't talking to other children and screams when anyone touches him". That's because Little Johnny is busy trying to figure out what reality is, and he doesn't want to be bothered. Leave him alone and let him figure out reality. Sure, being a "team player" is a great skill to have. It helps you integrate into new circles. It means that you will be a dependable cog in a machine. But here's the thing... Little Johnny doesn't want to be a cog in the machine. Little Johnny redesigned the machine in a way that requires no cogs. So when Little Johnny is told how cogs work with other cogs, he shrugs and continues using his zero-cog machine. The adults get upset because he won't put cogs in the machine, and he gets upset because they keep talking about cogs.

Many autistic children (who are treated like people and not vegetables) end up learning social skills over time. They begin to pick up on social cues, learn via trial and error what is acceptable and what is not. They can learn to control the emotions that were a nightmare as a child. They can tone done those repetitive behaviors, perhaps replacing a problematic one with a less obnoxious alternative. Many times you will not even know an adult is/was autistic, because they have adapted to society.

If you really look at the behaviors of autistic children, you would see that they don't behave like children at all, and more like adults. Many of them skip the 'baby talk' phase, skipping straight to normal language -- but unable or unwilling to express it because they are handled like they are defective. To make it worse, the way that 'normals' interact with hem reinforce the idea that they are supposed to be communicating in non-normal ways, such as squealing, screaming, or mumbling -- they learn to do what is expected of them. It's pretty common for communication to be nonverbal, the reason being that gesture or pictures communicate much larger amounts of information than words do -- after all, "a picture is worth a thousand words" and they don't want to waste time or energy in being inefficient. Many times when they are incredibly upset by people interrupting them, it's because they are deep in thought, or busy organizing their world -- things that adults do and children do not do, and the interruptions are too frustrating for words.

If anything autism should be considered a temporary social handicap, and not a permanent mental one. Actually, handicap is too strong of a word. The word should be 'different'. It is simply a different type of person, not something that needs to be fixed, or suppressed, prevented, or eradicated. Maybe it is the world that needs to adapt to autism, not autistics who should have to adapt to the world. Maybe we should talk about things in terms of labels. The autistic kids, who are the 'thinkers', and everyone else who are the 'talkers'. Maybe people should take a hard look at the people of the past who made the great discoveries. You might be able to draw more parallels than you are comfortable admitting.

So does autism need to be fixed? No. The perception of autism needs to be fixed. You have brains of adults trapped in the bodies of children, who are treated like they are stupid and broken, and are simply trying to fit in as best they can... but there is no way to fit in, because nobody will let them.

So why do I say all this? Because I am/was one of those "defective children".




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