One of 88 children has some form of autism. What is causing it? Can would-be parents prevent it? What are the symptoms that parents need to watch for? What treatment options are available to help families cope? Ten years ago autism was just 1 in 10,000. Over the last 10 years there has been a rise of 78% in the USA. Similar rise is seen globally in industrialized nations. In the UK 1 of 86 children exhibit some form of special needs. The cost of caring for a child with autism is mind boggling $72,000 a year for extreme cases. Are we going to see the same trajectory as we have witnessed with the rise in juvenile diabetes? These are just some of the hundreds of questions that are being posed since this statistics was announced this week.
What is autism or austism spectrum disorder (ASD)? What are the symptoms in a child between age 1-2?
- Asymmetrical movements in walking, crawling or sitting during infancy
- Appear to be deaf or does not respond evenly to sounds or not at all to sounds
- Difficulty sleeping or wakes up at night
- Begins to develop language then loses it, or doesn’t acquire language at all
- Difficulty to control tantrums
- Does not “point and look”
- Failure to bond with loved ones
- Reacts to vaccines
- Self restricted/selected diet
- Limited imaginative play
- Not interested in playing with other children
- Chronic digestive problems
- Repeated infections
Boys are five times more prone to autism than girls. One in 54 boys has autism. Could this mean that genetics is more likely the cause? Not in all cases. So why is there a rise of such enormity in the last decade? Genetic changes usually take a few generations. So what is causing this disorder.
Over the years we have had scientists refer to links between lack of maternal love and autism, environmental toxins, genetic abnormalities, vaccines, maternal infections and immunity defects. Both environmental factors and genetic predisposition are typically cited as the major cause of autism. As is the case of fetal alcohol syndrome, the fetus is very susceptible to environmental factors during its residency in the womb. The womb needs to be safe, pure, organic, nurturing and nourishing for every organ of the fetus to develop to perfection. Anything that affects fetal environment affects the fetus.
So what has changed over the last 10 years? What is affecting the fetus?
According to scientists the fetus is affected by the thermal affects of prenatal ultrasound. According to the FDA ” Ultrasound is a form of energy that even at low levels can cause damage to tissue in the form of jarring and thermal injury.” Even though the temperature from ultrasound is not discernible or injurious to the tissue of the mother, the temperature inside the uterus exceeds the acceptable temperature for the residence of the fetus. The central nervous system of the fetus is attacked causing damage.
Even though medical device manufacturers have been alerted to this concern, the need for “entertainment” from ultrasound scans appears to supersede the need for protecting the fetus as he/she develops his/her organs without damage.
Additionally, over the last decade environmental toxins have increased phenomenally. Polluted air, polluted water supply, non-pure food supply and toxic chemicals in beauty and skin products that the mother is exposed to affect the fetus. More importantly, mothers who are overweight or who have diabetes are 67% more likely to have a toddler with autism. The increased blood glucose levels in the developing fetus damages vital areas of the brain of the fetus.
So what if the damage has already occurred? Parents of new born infants should train themselves to be aware of the normal developmental milestones for their toddler.
Having the child diagnosed and treated at 2 years old versus 4 years old can make a huge difference in the prognosis for the future. Early diagnosis is vital. If parents pick up on some of the symptoms and fail to receive the proper testing, diagnoses and immediate intervention, the vital years for developing and changing the brain receptors may be lost.
The brain of a child is developing very rapidly in the first few years of life. If focused intervention is received during these years, the long term prognosis can make the difference between a child who grows into a well adjusted adult versus one who leads an unfulfilled life with many instabilities. The financial cost for the family and the autistic child (later adult) can be enormous if the ASD is not diagnosed and participating in focused intervention before age 4.
The parents of Jake Barnett know the steps very well. Jake stopped speaking and stopped making eye contact just before the age of 2. The diagnosis was autism. His determined parents located in Illinois, enrolled Jake in several intervention programs including speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and developmental therapy. But his condition worsened and he began to withdraw into a world of his own. His parents were worried. Then they realized that Jake was happy only when he was doing things that he loved like math and science. It was only during this time that he became communicative.
At the age of 6 he was still behind in speech and language but way ahead of his peers in math and science. His life began to take on an interesting mixture. Young Jake would attend elementary school during the day and college classes at night. At the age of 10, Jake dropped out of public school, taught himself school grade math in 2 weeks and entered college with an IQ of 170 – higher than Einstein!
His parents started the Jacob’s Place Center for Autism. Today at age 13 almost all of Jake’s symptoms of autism have disappeared. Jake says “I am thankful for having autism.” Jake gets his rewards when he helps his fellow students understand math and science. He is now getting ready for his Ph.D.!
According to experts about 10% of autistic kids have the genius gene which makes the other symptoms of autism less disruptive. Here is Jake talking about one of my favourite topics the space time continuum.
What about the remaining 90% of autistic kids? How can they be assimilated into society as they grow into teens, young adults and contributors to the economy? The secret lies in early diagnosis and intervention.
The checklist for toddlers should be done at 18 months to determine if the toddler is at risk for autism or related developmental disorders.
The brain is very receptive to developmental and restorative changes in early life. Parents and the child’s support group need to identify the child’s strengths which may include non-verbal reasoning skills, reading skills, perceptual motor skills, drawing skills, computer interest and skills, exceptional memory, visual spatial abilities and music skills. By allowing the child to develop their skills the rewards are dual fold – the child is happier and achieves emotional stability, but it also prepares the child for a sustaining future as an adult.
The areas of difficulty include social relationships, communication/language, follow through on tasks, need for routine, affected by sensory stimulation, behaviour, intellectual functioning, uneven development, difficulties in sleeping, toileting and eating, immune irregularities, nutritional deficiencies and gastrointestinal problems.
So what happens as the autistic child grows into an adult? Adults with Asberger syndrome ( a variant of autism) indicate a high intellectual functioning and very poor social communication skills. We probably know of people in our surrounding environment who exhibit these signs. If the rise in autism in now at 78% over ten years, the number of adults with these characteristics will also be on the rise. However, we also know that if ASD is addressed with the proper attention then these individuals can be taught to overcome their weaknesses, focus on their amazing skills and contribute immensely to society at large.
In a time of the world when we need to be focused on compassion and love, we need to be more aware of the consequences of damage to the fetus in the residence of the womb. Parents should be aware that the fetus is very vulnerable in the womb. The fetus is dependent on the well being of the mother. However, the fetus is more susceptible to injury from devices and toxins that may have minimal or no effect on the pregnant mother.
Prevention of course is better than cure.
So if you are planning on becoming pregnant, of if you are already pregnant then please be aware of the damaging effects of ultrasound on your baby. Be aware of the effects of polluted air, non-pure water and be aware of food laced with preservatives, colors, additives and unnatural ingredients. Healthy weight of the mother before becoming pregnant is good for the fetus and may prevent autism in the fetus. If you are diabetic then you may need to be aware that there is a great risk of your fetus to incur damage to the brain resulting in autism. Your fetus is 100% dependent on you during its life in your womb.
If you already have a baby please check for developmental milestones by 18 months. If you find one or more symptoms listed above please take immediate action by early diagnoses and intervention so that you and your child can lead a wonderful happy life.
Register for my free online seminars that promote natural health. and feel free to contact me for any further information. I am here for you.
Dr. Vie, Scientist & Founder Dr. Vie, Inc.
Founder, Dr. Vie Academy