Why Has Autism Increased 600%? - Schooleys Mountain,NJ

Updated on July 19, 2010
B.P. asks from Schooleys Mountain, NJ
44 answers

Hi moms,

I saw a PSA from autism speaks that said autism diagnosis have increased 600% in the last few decades. I know its the million dollar question, but why? Is there something really scary going on in the environment? Are diagnosis getting more accurate? Are more kids getting diagnosed who in previous years, would just be described as "quirky"? I was just wondering what your thoughts were.

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answers from Austin on

Personal opinion.
I think it is being diagnosed more.. Also I was a PTA President at an Elementary school and Middle school. I have a ton of teacher friends and I have a nephew who has this diagnosis (he is doing great BTW).

We have observed that people that in the past these children would have been kept close to home all the way through adulthood, not be able to find the things that interest them and others like them to date and then marry are now out there with different opportunities.

We like to joke "they bump into the opposite sex while working at Dell (computer company) and the next thing you know they have a child!" Hee, hee.

These children tend to be from extremely well educated parents, with nice incomes and they are given great therapy and tend to succeed one way or another. They then go to great schools and meet others like themselves and it starts over again..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

Because up until the last few years autistic children have been labeled incorrectly. Science and medical advancements have allowed for more diagnosis. Autism is now being put into the genetic disorder category. The same goes for ADHD. Up until the past 10-20 yrs , and even some people still today , ADHD was put in the behavior problem category. When in reality it has nothing to do with discipline, its a brain chemical thing.

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answers from Washington DC on

I believe in immunizations, but I do also think they should be spread out a little more. I think it's hard on their systems to have them all at once.

I also have two words that I think sum up most of the problems with today's kids.... VIDEO GAMES.

Video games do strange things to the developing mind. Children end up addicted to hyper-stimulation and become unable to process normal sensory input.

Just my opinion though and I do think there has to be something else as well since there are many diagnoses at a very young age nowadays (which I also think is crazy since kids are still developing and all at different rates). So ultimately it's probably a combination of factors.

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answers from Minneapolis on

A few decades ago, many disorders that are now commonly diagnosed were not being diagnosed, or had not even been agreed upon by the psychiatric community. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (the "bible" of all agreed upon mental disorders) was only first published in 1952. It listed 106 disorders. There have been 5 versions of this manual published, the latest in 2000, now with 296 disorders described. A new version is set to publish in 2012. The psychological knowledge base and agreed upon research results are growing, as in all scientific fields.

So, in short, more kids are being diagnosed that would have not been diagnosed in previous years.

Another reason (theory) that has been proposed is that the genetic basis for Autism (commonly agreed upon by researchers) is coming into play more often because people with Autistic traits are not shunned from or avoiding society as they would have earlier, but are working as computer programmers, scientists, and engineers or artists - and are having children with other people with some Autistic traits. Children with this family history have a much higher instance of Autism/Asperger Syndrome. (Microsoft's medical insurance plan pays for very expensive behavioral therapy for their employees children who are diagnosed with Autism/Asperger Syndrome because they have recognized the exceedingly high instance of this diagnosis among their highly skilled employees' children. And the numbers of children with these diagnosis in "Silicon Valley" in CA is a statistical anomaly - higher than could happen by chance.)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I think what many people fail to realize is that Autism has been around for centuries...but has only recently been given a name. Think back to the 60's & 70's...any kid that demonstrated any "abnormalities" was labled as "retarded." In the 80's, every "difficult" child had a "learning disability." Then came the 90's and the ever-present "ADD" which turned into "ADHD." My point is that while all of these other things are very prevelant in our society (I live with Adult ADD), everything is discovered at different times. When my no 21 year old brother demonstrated symptoms of Autism at age 3, he was labled as "developmentally delayed," even though he had progressed typically until that point. It wasn't until about 6 years later that he received the correct diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.

I don't think it has increased at all. I think it is just finally being diagnosed correctly.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

This is completely my feelings on the topic, so I don't know if there's support anywhere. I am an educator and have worked with children on the spectrum of autism. I truly feel we are getting better at diagnosing children with autism. We had several students in my building diagnosed with autism last year, one of them being in my classroom. She was a student that probably would have just been considered "quirky", but our speech and language pathologist recognized the signs of autism. She was able to guide the parents towards having it diagnosed and finding therapies to help her.

As parents, teachers, and medical professionals are becoming more educated on the topic, we are all becoming more aware of what to look for. The emphasis is on early detection to start therapies as soon as possible. People seem more sensitive to behaviors that, years ago, would have been dismissed.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I believe it is partially due to all the interventions we do to pregnant women. Even healthy pregnant mom's are having sonograms at every doctor's visit. This does effect the fetus. Then as soon as the baby is born it is immediatly injected with chemicals. The hep B vaccine is given at birth and the majority of babies do not need this. Babies have erythromycin put in their eyes and once again this is not needed in the majority of cases. Then before the first year is over babies are given 40 more shots and tons of antibiotics. We give all of this to babies who have immature brains, spinal cords and immune systems and then we wonder why autism has increased. And this is why my babies are born at home and I partially vaccinate but not until they are over a year old.


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answers from Dallas on

I couldn't agree more with Suz T. Read The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O'Brien and it really opens your eyes to our country's food supply and the scary connections between those making/enforcing food regulatlions and those benefiting financially from those regulations. In most cases, it's the same individuals! Very scary. Also read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears and read about aluminum levels in vaccinations and how they compare to the levels that have been deemed safe to ingest. There are no studies done on the effects these ridiculous levels have on children and babies, and no proof whatsoever that it is safe. VERY SCARY!!! I think some children have a predisposition to autism and something in our environment or a combination of things in our environment are just too much for their little systems to handle. Unfortunately there's no telling if your child is one of those children who lacks the defenses until it is too late so it's better to avoid whatever you possibly can, just in case.

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answers from Washington DC on

My personal opinion is this: Autism has always been there - there were the quirky kids - the ones now diagnosed with Asberger's. There were the kids who were Autistic with the worst cases, but they were few and far between. Now a days, there is an Autism Spectrum. Diagnostic changes/improvements, etc... have made diagnosing Autism a whole different ball of wax.
I don't think there is more Autism. I think that more kids are being diagnosed. There are people my age who probably have Asberger's or are high functioning Autistics who were never diagnosed. (They are the quirky, odd ducks who blew the curve in physics, chemistry and calculus!)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

it would be nice if there were one single reason we could point to and say 'there! that's the culprit!' but there's not. certainly the changes in diagnostic guidelines are huge. there was no such thing as autism in the very near past, it was around but had different names. but that doesn't account for all of it by a long shot. vaccination proponents will leap to defend them, but i think it's naive to overlook the toxicity of mercury and aluminum that we're pumping into kids, and have done at even higher rates until recently. and environmental factors can't be overlooked either. anyone who thinks our world and its food and water sources aren't being severely compromised isn't paying attention, and it's just common sense to figure out that we are what we ingest.
i think there's a huge broad squishy gray area between hard diagnoses in which there are no clear answers.

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answers from Norfolk on

Scientifically speaking, the answer and problem lay in the same thing: Too many dependant variables. There are a lot of theories, but no one knows. It is likely a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors, but that is supposition. Since my son was diagnosed more than a year ago, I have done exhaustive research on the subject and come up with one several conclusions:

1. Though the schedule of immunizations is busy, I would rather have an autistic child than a dead child, so I will continue to get my other children vaccinated. (A brief sidenote. A friend of mine, who is in the pediatric medical field, confided in me her insight that the current "grab 'em and stab 'em" mentality is born out of a serious concern for the number of children with little to know insurance and the parents who become very lax very quickly about keeping their children's medical check-ups up to date. If not money, the sheer inconvienence of our medical system makes it difficult for many parents.)

2. Autism being a "Spectrum Disorder" has afforded it the unique diagnostic opportunity of receiving a diagnosis in order to get started with early interventions and the like. The doctors don't have to say how severe it is or is likely to be, but that they exist somewhere on the spectrum. Years ago, diagnostic requirements were likely stricter. Today, the emphasis is on getting the help a child may need rather than bogging them down in medical red tape.

3. We live in the instant gratification age with technology supplying so many distractions.... I have to be honest that having an autistic child really makes me slow down and take more time to truly appreciate the strides he makes. Perhaps it is a matter of human evolution that we are being gifted with more and more children who make us pay attention and appreciate the nuances of being a parent and the beauty of a child.

Just sharing a few of my reflections as a parent of an amazing child on the Spectrum.

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answers from Norfolk on

I think it's because a whole lot of people are having kids later in life. My grandfathers sister had 8 children, and the first three did not survive past the age of 2 yrs old. People died of simple infections - there were no antibiotics before WWII. People drank wine, beer and alcohol in general because it was safer than water. A lot more babies are surviving conditions that would have been fatal 100 years ago. On top of that, there is just a lot more of labeling that happens when anyone feels there is anything abnormal. I don't think there's any more of it than there ever used to be, we're just more aware of it and more worried if we feel our kids don't fit in with a perceived normal range. Normal is a lot wider range than people want to admit. Even at Harvard, someone graduates at the bottom of their class - and there is nothing wrong with that. A 'no vaccination' mentality means a lot more dead children. Take a walk through an old cemetery (100 years or older) sometime - you'll find headstones for lots of babies and young children. There's plenty about the 'good old days' that was not good at all.
Additional Comments:
All living things need sulphur. It is especially important for humans because it is part of the amino acid methionine, which is an absolute dietary requirement for us. The amino acid cysteine also contains sulphur. The average person takes in around 900 mg of sulphur per day, mainly in the form of protein.
I suppose there are many people here who would sign a petition to ban
dihydrogen monoxide. It's so dangerous because :
* is called "hydroxyl acid", the substance is the major component of acid rain.
* contributes to the "greenhouse effect".
* may cause severe burns.
* is fatal if inhaled.
* contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
* accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
* may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
* has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
* as an industrial solvent and coolant.
* in nuclear power plants.
* in the production of Styrofoam.
* as a fire retardant.
* in many forms of cruel animal research.
* in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
* as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

Despite all it's dangers and hazards you'll die without it. I just can't buy into the hype from the chemophobes because they don't have any idea what they are talking about.

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answers from Lafayette on

I have a son with Aspergers autism. Looking at his family history, I see that his paternal grandfather, father, me, and others would also likely have been diagnosed with that had the condtion been known when we were children. I received speech therapy, as did a lot of my ancestors who also had social difficulties, etc. So I think a lot of it is having a name for the symptoms. I also think that there is a connection to mercury. Both sides of the family owned coal yards and would come home with coal dust all over. I lived across from an electic plant with a coal fired genreator and the coal dust from their smokestack coated everything in the neighborhood. I played outside a lot. I have discovered I am allergic to thimerasol, the mercury preservative in vaccines.
Also have a mouthful of fillings with mercury. Whatever the cause is, I am glad they are finding therapies that help.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My opinion is i think they are giving too many immunizations at one time. I agree in immunizing, but one at a time. DPT is already three things and they want to do an MMR at the same time which is another three things. I think thats crazy!! Some of the imm. have a base of sulphur or eggs. Kids are often allergic to these things. Who decided it was ok to inject sulphur into a childs body anyway?? Its really a tough decision whether or not to immunize your child. I just do it slowly.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Well, who knows really! Better diagnositc tools and a much more inclusive spectrum have increased the numbers. Gentetics are so important. There are so many variables so all the conclusions of coincidental origin are just speculation and result from that human need to find a scape goat. I think it is fruitless to search for a vilan, or a smoking gun or a substance to blame; it just will never be that simple. The Autism Genetic Research Exchange is making progress and the genetic research is so very promising.

Think about this; what was life like 100 years ago? 200 years ago? 300? What was the cultural and familial attitude about people who had quirks? what happened to people who were economic liablities insead of economic assessets in hunter gatherer society or in pre modern agrarian society? What happened to all but the most healthy among us?

Even more basic, what happened to babies who lacked the motor skills to nurse at the breast? What happened to very jundiced babies? I know that I would not have my two autistic children alive and well had it not been for sanitation, modern baby bottles, and extensive intervention for "failure to thrive." 100 years ago, no one would have known that the babie who never nursed, or died from jaundice was also autistic. Our generation is just the fourth or fith for whom survival is so likeley beyond infancy. Long ago, only the finest specemines of human kind survived.

Luck and good skills played a role in survival to adulthood too. I am sure that were my Aspie daughter to have survived infancy, she would never have survived life in a home with open flame. On the frontier, many people (young girls in particular) perished because of the fire that they used to heat and cook with when they came too close and thier clothing caught fire. Life was hard. I have lived with my child for 18 years, and there would be no way to have protecter her from herself.

They live, they have families, they pass on their DNA and they seek out people who are like them. People with quirks like people with quirks.

This makes more sense to me than the ever changing chemical debate. Sure, environtment must play some kind of role, but to my mind, the things that helped life expectancy be what it is today is a more complete explanation.


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answers from New York on

my opinion:
vaccines (100 per cent convinced vaccines are the main thing to blame)
our food filled with msg, things that we eat while pregnant and transport into our babies.
overdiagnosing (a child does not fit the 'normal' model, then he/she has to be out in autism spectrum)
did i say vaccines?
yup. freaking vaccines
a few shots as a newborn, then a few more at 2 weeks, then what the heck, a few more at 4 week checkup. then we get really eager to shoot cocktail of vaccines up their bodies at 1 years old and then a few more at 15 months.
my first shot was at age 5.

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answers from Dallas on

I have a child with autism. I could fill a room with parents who saw their kids regress after vaccines. Sometimes not until boosters. I just spent an hour talking to a woman whose daughter stopped talking and started walking on her toee at 3 years old after dental surgery. I believe there is a huge increase in autism. Yes quirky people have always been around and there are probably lots of asperger people at NASA and in other places brilliant minds are at work. If these adults can live on their own and function in society we have nothing to worry about. What I don't see is 1 in every 100 adults who can't talk and can't use the bathroom. I do see 8,9, and 10 year olds who can't talk and aren't potty trained. When you are in the autism community you see the spectrum. Some kids are just quirky or socially awkward but so many more have no language and no skills. It is truly scary. I wonder who will take care of my son and all the others when I am gone.

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answers from Portland on

While I agree that we are getting better at diagnosing the problem, I also think there are other factors involved which lead to mis-diagnosis.
Sleep and diet mainly are two areas that many parents overlook when trying to figure out what is wrong with their children.
I think a lot of it is environmental also however. There are horrible chemicals in almost everything we use, from soap to shampoo to preservatives in the food we can keep on our shelves for months at a time.
No simple answer here, but a bunch of things we can do differently to try to lower the number. I always suggest to a parent to try all options out before medicating their child.
We've turned into such a "treat the symptoms, not the cause" kind of world lately.... :(

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answers from Norfolk on

I do believe today's anxious parents are more likely to seek a diagnosis if they are not completely confident that their child is 100% "normal," whatever that means. And, of course, in regard to specialists, if you are a hammer everything looks like a nail. I did recently read an article (I cannot recall if it was in "Discover" or "Scientific American Mind" - I subscribe to both) detailing a strong correlation between older fathers and the incidence of autism in their offspring.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I believe that there are so many things happening to make the situation the way it is. I do believe that Autism is the 'hot' diagnosis these days, and any spectrum disorder is a one size fits all opportunity to label any child. However I also believe that the prevelance of chemicals in our society is creating problems with nearly every body system.
Go natural, go organic, look at what you clean your home with, there are so many chemical questions that we have yet to ask, much less figure out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I believe it's because the spectrum has expanded which gives more kids the diagnosis. Just being 'quirky' is nealry enough for a diagnosis it seems.

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answers from Rochester on

My theory......Autism itself has not increased, being diagnosed has. The same average of kids have autism, but now doctors are more able to diagnose it better. And more parents and doctors are aware of it and are getting the kids tested. In the past lots of kids were never tested so no one knew they had it. They knew there was something wrong with the kids but didn't have a name for it.

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answers from Atlanta on

HI Beata,

I believe it has grown exponentially from the onslaught of synthetic chemicals in our lives. Vaccines are just the tip of the iceberg. We see them more readily because they are injected directly into the bloodstream and go straight to the brain. We coat ourselves down with cosmetics, soak in bathtubs and wash our clothes in chlorine and phosphates, breathe in outgassed chemicals and they all contraindicate with each other. Our immune systems were built to ward off natural things like germs and viruses, not man-made evils.

I understand that some things have been statistically good but we have overdone it and always want a quick fix. What's wrong with a runny nose? Do we really have to stop it? The body makes it run to purify and heal the problem. A headache can sometimes tell us that we are messing with stuff we shouldn't be messing with. Should we really try to mask the symptoms and keep going?

Beata, Autism is visible and should be a red flag for society. Think of all the slow moving dangers we face today like cancer. I believe cancer is man-made and no one seems to want to prevent it, only cut it out or radiate it. Do you know that the cure rate for cancer is actually dropping? The US government statistics considers someone cured if they don't have symptoms for 5 years. If that same person has another bout of it they are classified as another individual and if it stays gone for another 5 years, then they are cured. The record then is two people cured. Sad!

God help us!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I think we're screwing ourselves with some chemicals out there. I do think that there are certain chemicals in our daily lives that we don't really know about yet that interact with people's genetic makeup (those who have the markers, but who maybe wouldn't actually develop Autism/Asperger's except these chemicals kick it into hear). We haven't isolated them yet, but that's my theory! I also think that we have MUCH higher rates of diagnosis. Diagnosis used to be almost non-existent. These kids were "strange" "weird" "anti-social" or in the more extreme cases -institutionalized. I'm pretty certain that I went to school all through elementary and high school with a boy who had/has Asperger's. From what we know now -I look back on it and think - "WOW -that sounds just like ****!" Unfortunately not a lot was going on in treatment and diagnosis in the 70s, and his parents were VERY anti-anything (refused to admit there was an issue).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Saginaw on

Our way of life has changed a LOT over the last few decades. We use products every day that have harmful chemicals that absorb into our skin. They say they harbor there for years. A recent study testing the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborns revealed that an average of 287 toxic chemicals were in the blood shared between mother and child! I don't think that can happen without consequences.

Answers are not clear yet as to all the causes of autism, ADD, etc... but as moms, we need to educate ourselves and do what we can to find products w/o all the toxins. EWG is working hard to get laws changed to REGULATE the toxic chemicals that have been allowed with no restraints for way too long. Be sure you use their website to check out the brands you have at home, and use it to find better products for YOU and your family www.cosmeticdatabase.com.

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answers from San Diego on

One thing that is contributing to the increase is that in recent years they've reclassified more things as autism that once weren't considered so. By putting more conditions into the category it now inculdes more children. Each year I read another group of conditions being considered autism. The other thing is doctors are better at diagnosing so children that were once missed are being recognized.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Hi Beata,
When I was in OT school 16 years ago, there was no Autism "spectrum." You either had what we call classic Autism back then, or you didn't.

Now, with the "spectrum" diagnosis, almost any child with unusual social and language developmental disability is "autistic."

I am not saying this is "good" or "bad," this is just an observation on my part, and surely NOT the entire answer.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

It's interesting to read the responses. I too think you answered your own questions as the increase is a factor of all those things. What about ADD and allergies as well, we are being overun by people with these problems as well? Of course some of these cases are from better diagnosis but there is no doubt in my mind there's something creepy going on in our environment. We are ingesting, breathing and applying more chemicals, petroleum products, hormones, antibiotics and poisons than ever before. They are in our food, soil and water supply, all over the counrty. I bet there are a lot pf people in this country who go an enitre week without ingesting one bit of real food that isn't full of additives, chemicals, dies and pesticides. What do we think is going to happen over the long haul? To me it's just common sense and hopefully someday America will wake up and realize you don't need a expensive long term study to prove what is clearly happening right before our very eyes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The DSM-5 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will change how Autism is diagnosed so expect those numbers to go up. My daughter does not qualify as Autistic under the current guidelines for diagnosing Autism but twhen the DSM-5 comes out she will. I have a cousin diagnosed with Autism when he was an infant my aunt video taped everything leaving them with great documentation of the significant changes in him after he had a few different vaccinations. So my daughter sits on the verge without the vaccinations and I am left wondering how different life could be had we had her vaccinated on schedule. I seriously doubt she would be sitting on the boarder. For me there is no question that it is genetic predisposition complicated by environmental factors.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

Go to facebook and become a fan of Dr. Tenpenny. If you asked this question on her fan page, you would get the "right" responses because she is truely an expert in this area.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I don't know--nobody does. I do think something in the environment has made the number go crazy in the last 10 years or so. I have a theory, but it's only my theory--no science behind it at all. I can't help be wonder if the genetically modified corn that has entered into our food supply is partly to blame. I think it entered in at around 1996. I just wonder.


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answers from Sarasota on

Yes and Yes
I think we know how to diagnose better. Also we have to be smart about vaccines. Meaning not too many at one time. What we but in our bodies is also important. Everything that we stay away from while we are pregnant should be a lesson....stay away from it when not pregnant and do not give it to our kids.
Now they think there is a link with pesticides.....Now it is in our food too.... ??!! http://www.healthtree.com/articles/autism/pesticides/

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answers from Cincinnati on

I too feel that it is a combination of factors. I feel that we are better with diagnosing children with ASD and are able to diagnose at a much younger age. This may account for a % of the increase, but I strongly believe that there are other environmental factors that are also contributing to the increase in ASD. Think about all the pesticides that are used on our food (some of which are banned by other countries – for one example see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1279... and http://www.panna.org/pesticidesandchildren ; http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/30/local/me-autism30 ), the high use of microwaves (when heating in plastic containers or covering in plastic wrap the plastic breaks down and gets into the food you eat), and the food industry (high use of preservatives, colorings, etc again some which are banned in other countries). As far as vaccinations - I don't think they are the specific cause but rather there is a group of people whose immune system is unable to process the ingredients that most people can. Those who can't process the ingredients have side effects/reactions (eg Hep B vaccine is made from yeast - there is a % of people with ASD that are effected by gluten, yeast, casein) – the government is pushing Hep B at birth – How do you know if your child has an allergy to yeast (this is a contraindication according to the government with administering the Hep b vaccine).

I do agree that video games and technology (texting, etc) play a role in the decreased social skills children have (but not necessarily a link to autism).

Look forward to reading what others think



answers from New York on

These are the possible causes I have heard:
1) too many and too long diagnostic ultrasound sonograms - especially with many women having children older (you can refuse some or all) -- blamed for autism.
2) pesticides (blamed for ADHD) - so eat organic while pregnant and nursing (also stay away from caffeine)
3.) DHA in plastics (water bottles, baby bottles, baby food containers)
4.) mildly autisitc people who would have been socially rejected in former generations better integerating in society and having more children (genetic factor)
New vaccines for children do not have mercury in them, and studies seem to show this is not the cause.



answers from Atlanta on

The University of Pittsburg has just published new findings that show
BRAIN DAMAGE from vaccines. Read it. It will change lives!



answers from Williamsport on

I think it's diagnosed more. I think there could be environmental factors including vaccines, but also, aside from the truly definite cases in kids whose parents have done everything humanly possible to give a structured loving environment with discipline and proper diet and exercise, etc to no avail, there are also the borderline cases where parents do not discipline enough for outbursts, their homes, diets and sleep patterns are hectic, and by a few years old the naturally quirky or difficult child is out of control and seems to have a disorder-and doctors today are very quick to oblige the parents with a diagnosis without studying their environment.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Beata-I think that all of your guesses are correct. It is a combination of increases awareness/diagnosis and the environment. IMO (and I will probably be flamed for it) I don't think it is a coincidence that breastfeeding rates and autism rates have risen together. I think there is something in our food chain or toiletries or environment that is contributing to autism that we have yet to figure out and by nursing we are feeding these toxins to our infants.


answers from Kansas City on

i think it is a little bit of every thing.

i do think they know what they are looking for more now to diagnose it.

i think that a huge amount of it has to do with the chemicals that pregnant women are exposed to. We absorb so much and pass it on to our babies. the world is polluted, our foods are loaded with pesticides, with growth hormones, our cleaners are full of phosphates and formaldehyde. its just nasty.


answers from San Antonio on

You have wonderful answers. A book that I started reading recently was very eye-opening (I had to return it to the library beforeI could finish it). "Changing the Course of Autism" by Jepson. I need to check it out again or buy it online.

But to add toeveryone's opinion. Yes I think perhaps vaccines. I don't trust a lot of what's said out there in the media. The media is biased and people will say anything based on how much money they get from pharmaceutical companies. I want the truth! Watched Gary Null on youtube a while back trying to get the truth out about vaccines and vaccine testing with it's relation to autism.

But maybe it's vaccines PLUS chemicals. We all take multi-vitamins, right? Well MANY of the vitamins we take are not NATURAL vitamins - they're CHEMICALS. We're pollutting ourselves! I will only use Metagenics and will only give my son the same.

Maybe it's microwaves, maybe it's air conditioners .... anything could be causing Autism. We may never know. Thanks to all for all their great insight and answers. I loved reading the responses.



answers from Boston on

I don't know but instead of focusing on whether or not something is caused by genetics, environmental factors, viruses or psychological factors or anything else, I try to just focus on living the healthiest life possible (btw that doens't necessarily mean the cleanest life, in terms of eliminating microbes-we need them as much as they need us). Do your own research and define Health for yourself, and then do your best to maintain good health. You will have to sift through a lot of fluff to find real answers. Also wanted to add that "genetics" are influenced by the environment. Our DNA is altered by what we are exposed to and how we live our lives. We then pass our mistakes and exposures on to our kids and grandkids in the form of genetic tendencies. You really can't separate genetics from environment, brain from stomach from kidney from heart from lung. they are all related and what affects one will effect the other. Sorry to be so abstract but I just don't think this is a question that can be answered definitively, by anyone, ever, nor do I think it has one singular cause.



answers from Davenport on

I think that partly because it is being diagnosed correctly. But, I agree with the other comment about the amount of chemicals we are exposed to. Just look at the food that eat every day and try to find one thing that doesn't have some kind of chemical or artificial ingredient. Unless, you are a vegan and grow most of your own fruits & veggies. It is not easy to do and I think we are now seeing the consequences of that.



answers from New York on

To the woman going off on vaccine schedules: My children did not get their very first vaccines until 10 weeks. Nope, the hospital did not give hep at birth. What kind of schedule has babies getting vaccines at 2 and 4 weeks??? That's insane. Or you are just exaggerating to make your point.



answers from Dallas on

I think all the things in your question are parts of the answer.



answers from New York on

I would like to know too!

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