Causes of Autism

Based on parent reports – including parents representing the National Autism Association – sharp regression occurred in their children directly following immunizations.  While many parents can provide detailed accounts of regression in their children following vaccination, other parents have reported autism in their unvaccinated children. More sparsely, parents report swift regression following an illness, use of antibiotics, and random chemical exposure – such as carpet cleaning. Though published mainstream science fails to acknowledge a causal link to any of these specific exposures, it’s important that parental accounts be carefully considered.

Most researchers do agree that environmental factors play a role, though there is no one cause of autism identified by mainstream science. In identical twins who share the exact same genetic code, if one has autism, the other twin also has autism in nearly 9 out of 10 cases. There are cases where one twin has autism and his/her identical twin with matching genetic codes do not. It’s important that environmental exposures are considered among all cases, especially cases of regressive autism.

A recent review of the world’s medical literature suggests that underlying biochemical abnormalities are likely involved in environmental susceptibilities and the development of autism including mitochondrial dysfunction, immune dysregulation, inflammation, oxidative stress, methylation problems, transsulfuration issues and toxicity.

AUTISM AND GENETICS

According to officials at the National Institutes of Health, while there is most likely a genetic predisposition, there must also be an environmental component to autism. The rapid rise in the rate of autism over the last 20 years cannot be attributed solely to genetics.

CONTRIBUTING ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

The theory that parental practices are responsible for autism has long been disproven. While mainstream science discounts vaccinations as a cause, members of the National Autism Association feel vaccinations have triggered autism in a subset of children, and that an overly aggressive vaccination schedule coupled with toxic adjuvants in vaccines could affect individuals who have a family history of autoimmune disorders specifically. As with any medication, adverse events do happen, and vaccinations are no exception. Research to investigate, and reduce, adverse events in immunized individuals is currently nonexistent.

The National Autism Association believes:

  • Vaccinations can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.
  • Other environmental exposures may trigger, or exacerbate, autism in certain children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.

Mainstream research has identified other contributing factors, including:

  •  Pesticide Exposure: Scientists think that chemicals in pesticides may adversely affect those who are genetically predisposed to autism, leading them to develop the full-blown disorder
  • Parental Age: A study found that women who are 40 years old have a 50 percent greater risk of having a child with autism than women who are between 20 and 29 years old.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Babies that have been exposed to certain pharmaceuticals in the womb, including SSRI’s, valproic acid and thalidomide, have been found to have a higher risk of autism.
  • Freeway Proximity: A study found that children born to mothers who live within a 1000 feet of freeways have twice the risk of autism
  • Limited Prenatal Vitamin Intake: Women who reported not taking prenatal vitamins immediately before and during a pregnancy were twice as likely to have a child with autism, one study found.

It’s important to do your own research into the various causes that are being investigated. We believe that families should have access to all information including environmental insults, vaccines, and genetics. We also believe that because the onset of autism is triggered by an environmental factor, or combination of factors, autism is preventable and treatable.

Environmental research holds the key to finding the cause and developing effective treatments for those affected.

If you are a parent seeking detailed information on vaccine safety, we recommend visiting the National Vaccine Information Center website.

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