Article from 2009 re: potential causes
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Sheryl - posted on 12/20/2010
for me i don't know of anyone in my family who has austim. my son is the only one! my oldest was just fine. i think it may have someting to do with the envorment and maybe our genes. like chem. changed my dad was in the milarty when i was a kids. but then again i did just rencently move to a place right after i found i was preg. so i don't really know! plus my other son was just fine. for me i don't think it was the shots. if anything i wonder if it may have been the birth of my son. it was not an easy and plus have to be indosed. all i know i feel like we need to do more rec. on this and maybe even have other countries help some to like germany. i hard not to long ago they found a thing that was helping kids and adults handle there austic better. speech inprovment and other things too.
Amy - posted on 12/16/2010
shannon it's not that the total number of cases of ASD has gone up. Then what you are saying would be correct. The problem is the RATIO of people has risen so much and so fast. You see a ratio shouldn't change just because the population increases unless there is a rise in the number of people who are being affected. That's why there is such a concern for the cause. It is obviously something that is increasing rapidly. Does it make any sense that a gene causing Autism would suddenly be on the rise. Or does it make more sense that an environmental cause has increased and so has caused an incease in the number of people affected. And yes there are genetic factors such as people who can not efficently remove toxins from the body are more likely to then have a toxic overload that results in symptoms of ASD. That is just one of several possible genetic weak links that may make one more prone to ASD. but some are totaly environmental such as a child born to parents who have had prolonged over exposure to toxins and therefor the unborn child is born with a toxic overload showing as ASD and other metabolic disorders.
Bridgette - posted on 12/15/2010
Yes and shots and genetics I believe also to be added factors as well as diet because the textures and smells of foods, they are picky eaters. Because all these factors are individual to you, the autism is individual to your child.(basically no 2 autistic children have been exposed to the same factors, the childs own personality also plays a part.) However all our doctors tell me other wise.
Melissa - posted on 12/11/2010
My most severely autistic child was born when we were stationed in the least military-ridden area with the cleanest water and best resources of all of them. I didn't come into contact with a high amount of toxins, including metals and pesticides. If anything, I was more careful as I went along. I think that for the military theory to be further developed, we should look at which people in the military are most likely to have autistic children (and have autistic traits themselves). The argument of whether it's geographically related or job related would be a good place to start. My personal theory is that certain military jobs attract young adults with undiagnosed Aspergers. [Following the observation that such people are more likely to be educated and employed below their ability level. Therefore, certain enlisted fields that require high intelligence and following very specific rules might attract undiagnosed aspies.] Conversely, there are theories where people stationed in certain areas or with certain jobs are exposed to different environmental toxins that somehow make them more suseptible to having autistic children.
I also agree with what Mary said. Some people do not want to consider the idea that they themselves might be different from the societal norm. I would be interested to know if those types of people have an external locus of control.
Mary - posted on 12/11/2010
I think that people just don't want to know that they could be a cause of the child having any condition. My in-Laws would not admit to anything in their family. I wasn't trying to place blame I was trying to find answers. I think that Autism is genectic but is also may be related to the environment.
Abigayle - posted on 12/08/2010
I agree that some children diagnosed with Autism have been born with the disorder and may have a genetic disposition to ASD. HOWEVER, thirty years ago we saw a diagnosis rate of 1 in 10,000 that ten years later didn't change. Within ten years after that we saw an increase to roughly 1 in 3000 I believe. Last year, nine years later its 1 in 150, and a year later 1 in 110. Military children are diagnosed currently 1 in 88 and its concurrent with worldwide statistics. I agree also with the theory it wasn't diagnosed at all, or not properly etc but not to that dramatic of an increase. My nephew exhibited from birth Autistic traits and was diagnosed at age three with HIgh Functioning Autism. No other person in our family has had this diagnosis. My son one month after his DTaP and also one month after his MMR got severly sick and almost hospitalized. One more month after his DTaP he stopped talking all at once and one moth later after the MMR he began the rocking, banging his head, the wierd ritualistic behaviors, the self injurious behaviors. His meltdowns were so severed I have had to rock and bear hug restrain him ten or more times a day and for up to six hours. I didn't believe the vaccines did it so I also vaccinated my third child that is now six and about to be diagnosed with Asperger's. She exhibited the same behaviors but more mild that we believed she learned from her brother but after two years plus preschool she isn't doing anybetter and she is staring through people, tantrums are starting again etc. Out of my four children they were the two that I was pregnant on a naval base in Central California that contracted out farm land to civilians and sprayed pesticides daily, several times a day. So much spraying that my glass in my glasses got eroded from the chemicals. We bought our produce and it was locally grown. Water was contaminated and we were advised not to drink it but we stuck a store bought filter on it and drank bottled water but used the tap water for bottles and juice and cooking. The water was proven to be very contaminated. Mercury levels in fish was high during my second pregnancy and WIC gave me Tuna vouchers that I used and ate all the time not aware of the high mercury levels. So I do believe the over 1000 percent increase in diagnosis has more to do with the enviornmental factors. I just recently was given a link to sort of a consipiracy type theory but if you lived on a military installation especially around sensitive areas such as fighter jets, underground facilities with rumored warfare etc...and also farm land and saw the things daily we did in Lemoore...its not so much a theory as our reality and kind of scared me with how true it might be and that would be chem trails or geoengineering. I am not stating that it is a cause or its true but something to think about. As we all know vaccines seems like such a necessity but I have rfefused to vaccinate my three year old for a year now and am planning on only giving him the necessary ones and getting a medical waiver due to three cases of autism in my immediate family not genetic.
We all have our theories but truthfully I believe they want it to be genetic because otherwise we all have contributed in some way to this disorder affecting our own children. But even though we see tons of struggle...we cry many tears....some of the most influential people in technological and cutlural advances have had Autism Spectrum disorders...Einstien, Jefferson, Mozart etc. Maybe we just bred the next generation to be more genius and compassionate than any other.
Shannon - posted on 12/04/2010
I do not believe most studies on anything are completely or even partly accurate. Most studies are done on a small amount of sources/people and so on and then they base their findings on those alone when the picture is much much bigger then what any statistics may show.
While it is possible to be environment it is more likely to be genetic. Does not mean anyone is at fault for their child having any sort of disorder they may get through genes.
If I had a choice I would much rather it to be caused by genes, at least then at some point it will become diagnosed before even getting pregnant or birth or even just after birth with just a few tests (at some point in the future). Then it will be easier to treat or to get help. If it were environmental then likely things will just get worse because those things are not about to change.
I think maybe there is such a growth in the amount of children with autism is because the population is also larger and larger every year so it only makes sense that the population of people with any kind of illness or disorder would grow too!
Katherine - posted on 12/01/2010
The last issue of the prestigious Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry included a study that examined the role of parental age on the risk for autism among two very large nationally representative cohorts in two separate countries (Sweden and the UK). The basic question – whether the parents’ age impact the risk of having a child with autism – is not that exciting or innovative as several studies have shown that older parents, especially dads, are more likely to have children with autism. What was really interesting about this study is that it was conducted with an incredibly large numbers of twins, which can help us understand the association between parental age and the relative environmental vs. genetic contributions to autism.
Melissa - posted on 12/01/2010
I didn't see any mention of diagnoses of nuclear or extended relatives of a person diagnosed early with autism (that wouldn't have been considered otherwise).
As for environmental factors, look at where the study is coming from and who's involved. I didn't read anything conclusive in that article. I read a lot of baseless conjecture and appeals for funding.
Correlation does not mean causation! A butterfly landed on my arm as a baby and my hair later turned from brown to blond. Therefore, butterflies cause hair color changes. My dad ate an ice cream sandwich and five years later, he died from a heart attack. Therefore, ice cream sandwiches cause heart attacks.
We have at least 5 people, in 3 generations w/ autism that can be traced in our family. We all grew up with extremely different lifestyles and environments. I know people want something to blame, but I don't buy the environmental cause theory.
Shelly - posted on 11/30/2010
Amen, Connie. I just posted a Temple Grandin quote to another thread: ‘Who do you think made the first stone spear?” asks Temple Grandin. “That wasn’t the yakkity yaks sitting around the campfire. It was some Aspberger sitting in the back of a cave figuring out how to chip rocks into spearheads. Without some autistic traits you wouldn’t even have a recording device to record this conversation on.”
Jane - posted on 11/30/2010
ahhhh thanks - totally agree - When you take ASD kids across the board you have some that will swear it's vaccines, others environment, others genetics - so like you, I think a combination is far more likely.
Megan - posted on 11/30/2010
No, I was actually saying that I thought that genetic factors had a high chance of being the main issue, but that environmental issues are also a factor. I was trying to say that vit D affects too many things to make it the culprit as well. I think they are groping towards anything to make the bad guy when it may not be any one thing at all but a combination of factors all at once.
Jane - posted on 11/30/2010
Sorry Megan - not quite sure what you are saying? That a genetic cause is questionable?
I think if you look hard enough then a large % of the population will have tendencies that point towards a ASD diagnosis. Personally I hate labels and like to embrace people's differences!
Vit D is common deficiency - more so here when we are told to 'slip, slap, slop'!! People are too worried to be out in the sun anymore
Connie - posted on 11/30/2010
These kinds of studies can prove to be dangerous when people are making life decisions about their children and their well being. Statistically the rise in the diagnosis of autism is showing more because aspergers is getting a lot more attention then it used too. Most people I know who have a child on the spectrum say their child has autism when in actual fact it is more the aspergers side of the spectrum. In my family we have both. Generationally there are three boys (including one of my own) who are all genetically related and all have a form of autism on the spectrum. My son has classic autism and he is 7, my cousin is 15 and he also has classic autism, my brother who is 16 has aspergers. My uncle who is 51 has aspergers. In one family that is considered to a lot and our doctors have agreed that there has to be a genetic link and so there is another study in the US...they have used MRI technology and taken pictures of the brains of autistic children and their siblings and compared it to the same number of typical kids' brains and they have been able to map the differences in brain activity and patterns are distinctly different. They have also discovered that the siblings of these kids have the similar brain patterns & so NOW what they are trying to figure out is where or when in the brain does it change. They know that it is definately in utero - they are trying to figure out when. The rise in "autism" is mostly aspergers which is still a tough one to work with but high functioning autism has been around forever and they are just now giving it a lot of attention. If you have the chance to watch Temple Grandin talk - she will tell it to you straight. It is genetic based...not vaccines...cheers.
Megan - posted on 11/30/2010
I can argue that even though I am not anywhere close to on the spectrum, and neither is DH, we both have tendencies that point towards it, and they do get a lot more obvious when we have a vitamin D deficiency, but we both suffer from depression, which also flares when we are D deficient, so its kind of questionable.
Jane - posted on 11/30/2010
I don't think they quite said that Katherine - more there was just too much emphasis previously put on genetics, rather than other factors.
Here in our family genetics certainly plays a part. After my son was diagnosed, my husband got diagnosis of Aspergers - blindingly obvious now!!! However he went through school/work etc... but he has difficulties and communication is hard. Typical Aspie, but then most people my age (40's) hadn't really heard of it.
Here in Western Australia there is a very strict criteria which has to be met before official diagnosis - then every case has to go before central disability services to confirm diagnosis meets criteria. People who migrate here often fail the criteria they met in their own country.
However I do agree environmental factors play a big part too - but they haven't looked at all the pesticides they spray on our crops - surely that is gonna be more significant than whether we have lino or not!
Shelly - posted on 11/30/2010
I can trace the genetic path of Asperger's in my family tree, from symptomatic person to SUPER symptomatic person.
Why are people so unhappy over it being caused by genetics? Don't they understand that the upswing in diagnoses is because we know more about it and so are able to identify it better in its spectrum of forms?
Is it a "my genes are perfect" thing? I never got that.
By the way, Scientific American also states that Vitamin D deficiency and vinyl flooring cause autism. Huh?
Check out this data: http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=158
Megan - posted on 11/30/2010
While I agree that enviromental agents are a huge suspect, I also remember reading just a couple weeks ago that they had tracked down a mutated gene in one form of autism. So I am guessing its a little bit of both. Perhaps a mutation of a gene that is usually harmless exacerbated by environmental factors.
Also, my son has a fairly mild ASD and in reality, 40 years ago, we would just have entered him into school late and held him back a year so he would be with his emotional peer group (he is developing about a year to a year and a half behind) He would still have issues, but he would be able to cope at that level I think. So he would never have been diagnosed with any sort of ASD, he would have just been put in the slow class. I am sure that there really is a rise in ASDs but I am not sure any one thing is to blame for them.
Katherine - posted on 11/29/2010
Excellent article. I especially like how they talk about autism not being genetics.
"There's genetics and there's environment. And genetics don't change in such short periods of time," Hertz-Picciotto, a researcher at UC Davis' M.I.N.D. Institute.