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The Cause of Autism

A word of caution:  All the articles on this blog are my own wanderings of the mind and so its probably unnecessary for me to point out that this one is as well.  But autism is a touchy subject, so I am reminding you here at the beginning of this article.  The following are my opinions.  Just bear in mind that most of what we think are facts are not facts at all.  They are just other people’s opinions and these are mine.

I was sitting at lunch with a friend of mine the other day and she was telling me about her neighbor.  The neighbor has a child with autism.  She was saying how she knows so many people who have children with autism or on the “spectrum”.  I guess most everyone knows that term, on the “spectrum”, but for those of you who don’t, I’ll explain.

Autism is a condition that varies widely amongst the children it affects.  There is a spectrum of  degrees of the disorder, from full blown symptoms to very mild attention deficit disorder.  Full blown autistic children don’t like to be touched, can’t speak, and can display obsessive behaviors such as head banging or hand waving.  Mild autism spectrum can be a slowness to learn how to speak or inability to concentrate in school to mild hyperactivity.  The mild end of the spectrum gets its own name, ADD or attention deficit disorder or ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The statistics vary, but generally 1 in 100 children suffer from autism and in some localities it can be 1 in 75 or even 50 children.  Contrast this to the 1950’s & 60’s when the rate was 1 in 10,000 children.

So my friend asked me, “Why are there so many children with autism?  Does anyone know what causes autism?”

The cause of autism is not unknown.  I am not the brightest star in the sky and I know what causes autism, so certainly there are many people more savvy than me who know as well.  (more…)

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