Autism May Be Environmental

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The causes of Autism may be rooted in the environment after all.  In a case of “it is..it isn’t..it is.., the latest research seems to indicate Autism may not be genetic after all.  This is not getting a lot of press yet, but I think that will change today or tomorrow.  In our area there is a town with a large number of people that believe vaccinations can cause Autism.  That may have been disproved in some studies and not in others, but this latest research indicates that, if not vaccinations, the cause may be in other external environmental factors.  Let me guess… man made chemicals perhaps?  Oh yeah, some have been claiming that for years only to be labeled crazy by many with a financial interest in these chemicals.  Well this research states the cause may be “pesticides, viruses and chemicals in household products”.

Sometimes I get laughed at by my opinions on Teflon, plastic water bottles, and other views I hold on the danger of chemicals like plastics, herbicides, pesticides, and even food additives, but these things are important issues.  Recently I wrote about some studies that linked Autism to rain, certainly an unusual theory.  In any case here is a link to a Scientific American article on the Autism study.  I hope this condition has not impacted any of your families personally, but with Autism and other health issues, education and common sense is the best approach to take.  Just because several studies don’t find links between a health condition and environmental toxins does not mean that the link is not there.  It may be lurking just out of the researchers reach, waiting to be uncovered in a future study.

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Will Sig
1 Steve

hi Will,
On a more serious note than my previous comment…
We have a friend with an autistic child. It is tough, very tough. It is discouraging that we don’t yet know what causes autism…
I clicked through and read the study. It is sobering. It makes sense what they say that the startling increase in California cannot be attributed all to “better diagnosis” and is too quick to be caused by genetics, so by default, environmental factors must be considered.
I don’t believe in the vaccination argument (though I’d be more than happy to be proven wrong if it meant solving this problem), and the public health consequences of not getting a portion of the population vaccinated are real. It would be ironic if it turned out to be flame-retardant clothing (i.e. kids PJs?), and just plain sad if it was anti-bacterial hand-soap (which I have avoided for other reasons)…
I just hope we can find out the cause and thus find a cure…
~ Steve

Steves last blog post..Trade Show Booths and Duct Tape

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2 Linda Prout

Interesting that you should bring this up now. I attended a Weston A Price meeting in Williams Oregon yesterday. Although “causes” are complicated, and can involve vaccines, many kids are seeing tremendous results by removing gluten, as well as other grains, casein (from dairy), and sugars and incorporating more naturally fermented foods. All kids with autism have problems in their digestion. That is well established. The question is how did their guts become so imbalanced? A British MD and researcher found autistic kids have high levels of the MMR vaccine virus in their lymph near the large intestine. Vaccines are certainly implicated by other researchers. The other issue is that the birthing process is leaving kids challenged: the birth canal is what leaves us with the bacteria that populate our gut. If the mother’s system is in poor health, which most are now days, kids don’t end up with the beneficial flora needed for immunity, absorption of nutrients and even mental balance. Again, the solution lies in healing the gut.

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3 Will

Sorry to hear about your friends, Steve. I saw that about the antibacterial soap. I wonder what else it might be linked to. It is hard to believe people still use the stuff! I am so glad I wrote about those dangers so many times so long ago. I would be so happy if one of those articles stopped even one family from suing the soap. The next step is to get is banned. Maybe I’ll write an update and start rabble rousing for that!

Thanks again for being such a regular reader and commentator!

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4 Will

Hi Linda! You know when I read your great book, I was really enlightened as to how important diet is for so many reasons OTHER than what we hear all the time in the MSM.

It would be really something if a link between a healthy gut and Autism was definitively found. I always cringe when I read things like the health of the birth canal. On the one hand, if it is there, it is important to get the word spread far and wide. On the other hand, a link like this will be another reason for some mothers to feel guilty about their influence on their kids. Also many very healthy kids are born of a mother who has a terrible diet, lifestyle, drugs, etc. Making these types of connections definitive must be one of the most difficult things for researchers to do.

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5 Anna

Hey Will, this is very interesting theory. I am sure that there will be more more theories in the future. But you know we are very complicated creatures living in the very complex world – try to narrow that down, too many variables, just too many. I know few people with autism, plus in the family. I can see it also being genetic. Do you think once caused by environment, can then be carried to next generation in the genetic code, we don’t know, may be.
Excellent topic to start the conversation. Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..My Photography Year 2008 in Review

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6 Dan

Autism is one of what I believe are a number of what are called passive developmental disorders- and autism is the most common. Autism is a disability caused by a brain development disorder of unknown cause, yet some suspect the cause is some sort of neurological dysfunction. Usually, symptoms of the disease present themselves before the toddler reaches the age of three. Before Autism was more understood, others labeled them as childhood schizophrenia or as having a psychosis or mental retardation.
Out of 16 related characteristics, eight must be present to be considered autistic, according to others. As with all passive developmental disorders, the person expresses language, social, and behavioral difficulties. Treatment includes what are called psychotropic medications that delay the progression of the disorder, as well as relieve some of the symptoms of one who is autistic. Behavioral therapy is common as a treatment regimen as well. Boys get Autism much more than girls.
Then there is the controversy between many who claim that thimerosal- a preservative containing mercury, which is a neurotoxin that was used in vaccines until 2001, was the catalyst for autism in children. Over 5000 lawsuits have been filed because of this belief, and some have been successful for the plaintiff. Yet most agree the correlation between thimersal and autism is void of scientific merit. Furthermore, the cases of autism have not decreased since the preservative was discontinued in 2001.
Aside from Autism, the other four passive developmental disorders are known as autism spectrum disorders.
Asperger’s Syndrome is more common than autism, and the symptoms are milder, as there is minimal delay in language abilities, if at all. What is expressed with Asperger’s syndrome is mild autistic symptoms. In time, the patient may express atypical personality disorders, though. While intelligence is within normal limits with the Asperger’s patient, social interactions and abilities preset difficulty for such a patient. As with Autism, medications and behavioral therapy are treatment regimens with one with this syndrome
Rett’s Syndrome or disorder presents with not only atypical behavior, but also suffers from restricted physical growth and movement. There is cognitive and social impairment as well. The disorder affects mostly girls, and the cause is due to a gene mutation.
Chldhood Disintegrative disorder is rare, and is 10 times less common than autism. The disorder has a late onset with mild autistic symptoms. The disorder affects mostly boys, and regression is sudden and possible with this disorder. Skills lost with this disorder may be language, social, self-care, as well as play or motor skills. Decreased function or impairment with this disorder may include social skills and behavioral flaws. Central Nervous System pathology is a suspected cause of this disorder.
Finally, there are passive development disorders that are not otherwise specified. This may include atypical autism, for example. Yet as with the rest of types of these disorders, the symptoms vary in their intensity, and the range of abilities of these developmental disorders vary widely as well. Medicinal treatment along with cognitive and behavioral therapy prove to be most beneficial for all the different types of Passive Development Disorders that unfortunately exist for unknown reasons,

Dan Abshear

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