Autism was first brought forth to the public's attention in the 1950's. Since then, it has been rising steadily. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently released that today 1 in 110 children are autistic. More alarming is the fact that on December 18, 2009, it reported that autism increased by 57% in the last four years.

Most experts attribute the cause of autism to be unknown, defining it as a combination of genetic and environmental factors. However, there has been much controversy as to what, indeed, is responsible for our children not being able to communicate, form relationships, and/or respond to their surroundings.

The most popular of these controversies is vaccines, pointing directly to the Mumps-Measles-Rubella vaccine and the mercury based preservative, thimerosal. Other theories include:
  • Genetics
  • Atypical Brain Development
  • Immune Deficiency Disorder
  • Food Allergies
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Complications During Delivery
  • Environmental Toxins
  • Exposure to Heavy Metals
Experts explain the reason for this dramatic increase with the fact that they are more able to easily diagnose this disorder.

However, those advocating more research state that the alarming rate at which this disorder is growing simply cannot be explained away. The statistics have grown from 1 in 5,000 children 20 years ago to 1 in 100 today. This points the finger to environmental factors such as vaccines and environmental toxins to the very foods we eat.

The conventional approach to autism says there is no cure, at times addressing the behavioral aspects of the condition with such drugs such as Ritalin, Prozac, and Risperdal. However, there are several natural alternatives that have shown great promise, improving overall health and behavior without the use of dangerous drugs.

A common factor in children with autism is low levels of gluthathione, as well as an overall improperly functioning detoxification process. Testing will determine the level of toxic heavy metals which can be removed with chelators. Additionally, care should be taken to avoid environmental toxins.

Another fact to take into consideration is that another common thread is digestive disorders, such as leaky gut and imbalances in the beneficial intestinal bacteria, leading to food allergies. This can be addressed by supplementing the body to replace nutritional deficiencies, including supplements focusing on digestive and immune functions. Autism is also associated with a weakened immune system.

Studies have shown that Vitamin D supplementation is extremely beneficial for the autistic child.

Autistic children respond favorably to dietary changes. Offending foods are dairy, gluten, sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, coloring agents, and hydrogenated oils.

There are no specific tests for autism. Diagnosis is made by observing a child's behavior. Parents are often the ones to first realize that their child is not responding according to age level. Autism can present itself in the form of mild social impairment to more serious communication and behavioral issues.

Education and prevention is the key to minimizing these numbers. Becoming aware of the dangers of vaccines, toxins, and unnatural ingredients found in today's foods can go a long way in controlling the rise of this disorder.

Although it can be devastating for parents to receive a diagnosis of autism, natural alternatives can make a distinct difference in the lives of these children.


New CDC estimate: 1 in 110 children have autism

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