Posted by Dad
on July 30, 2000 at 07:07:43:
In Reply to: thank you so much and another question... posted by art_smart on July 28, 2000 at 13:23:48:
There are many forms of autism, non of which are the mother or father's fault, unless you consider the fact they chose (or accidentally) concieved. I mean, if you did not have childrenat all, then there would be no autism.
Some autism is clearly linked to very specific genetic problems, such as Fragile X, Rhett's (girls only please) and Tourette's. Kanner's model is also thought to be genetic, but as yet we have not identified a specific bad gene to "fingerprint" this problem. (Kanner's remember is the "original" autism, still thought to be quite rare)
What we have today is an explosive growth in the prevalance of autism for which there is no identifiable source. Many a re sticking to the genetic cause, fpr whatever reason absolving environmental factors, possibly because by holding to strict genetics you can absolve the medical community from partial guilt and certainly from responsibility for providing effective and appropriate treatments (which gets the full support of the HMO's, the Rat B*st*rds, who consider this to be cost containment)
It is indeed possible that all autism is genetically predisposed, and environmental factors are merely intensifiers or triggers. One current theory is that autism is not always the result of one specific genetic problem, but rather comes about by getting a combination of up to ten "bad" genes. So if you have one or two, you're not autistic, maybe just smarter than averagfe or a little nerdy, but if you get say 6 or 7, then you will be autistic. This would explain better why we can't isolate the gene responsible and why it would tend to run in families.
Some of the suspected environmental factors which are more than likely to be triggering agents include:
Toxic metal poisoning, especially lead and mercury. Lead has long been known to cause mental impairment, including loss of communication skills, social withdrawal, and decreased cognitive ability (sound familiar?) Lead is all around us, in nearly every building more tan 30 years old, in common household items, in the industrial fallout which lays in the upper soil around industrial region, and along nearly any street, despite the use on unleaded gasoline. Mercury too is quite common, in the form of toxic rain (from the burning of coal), in vaious household objects, and until just recently, in many vaccines, where it was used as a preservative (Thimerasol).
Chronic infection of the intestine, whether yeart (Candida) or "bad" bacteria (as in Celiac's), thses leads to a complex metabolic dysfuntion, which allows for undigested proteins gluten (grains) and casein (dairy) to enter the bloodstream. The body cannot tolerate whole proteins in th blood, these act more like viruses than nutrition, and when the liver (the body's garbage dump) attempts to break them down into aminos, it is only partially successful, breaking them down into poly-peptides, which have a host of bad characterisitcs. Three of the most common are gluteomorphin and caseinmorphin, which are classified opiods because they bond to the same receptors as morphina and heroin, these contribute greatly to sensory integration problems (just like the drugs would) and beta casein 7 which has been demonstrated to induce stimming and hinder communication skills. It is clearly understood the problems gluten and casein pose tyo adults with Celiac's, what is a mystrey is why the medical community refuses to allow for children to have this same problem.
MMR, the big one. Many autistic chidldren have elevated measles titres, which is an indication that the vaccine didnn't work quite as intended. One theory is that by giving MMER as a triple live virus vaccine, you cause children with weakened immuno systems to react adveresly to it. It is known that people who contract measles and mumps within a twelve month period face a hoast of problems, not the least of which is brain damage. It is astounding to think that the drug makers, the medical community and the govt. regulators all have circled the wagons to protect MMR, instead of determining the truth in the matter and acting accordingly to provide a safer alternative. It is almost too coincidental to note that the explosion of prevalance in autism began shortly after the triple shot MMR replaced the single shot dead virus vacinnes in 1978 in the US AND again in the mid 80's in the UK, when the vaccine was introduced there. It is also important to note that the independant studies which hint at a direct connection have all been refuted by studies which it turns out use loaded methods to prove an already determined outcome, and are fubded by the makers of the suspected vaccines. (Remind anyone else of the Tobacco Institute's findings for 50 years that smoking did not cause cancer?) It is also critical to point out that the regualtory boards at the CDC and the NIH in the US AND the group in the UK (I forget the initials) all have sitting members making these recommendations who have portfolio investment in the drug companies. Apparently they don't understand the notion of "conflict of interest", and in my opinion should be subjected not just to investigate, but criminal prosecution.
Please tell your friend that the important thing is not to dwell on why are we here, but rather to focus on where do we go from here. There are many options for therapies to help improve the lives of autistics, giving them the skills to live independant lives with minimal support. They ain't easy or fun, but they are there. Two of the best educational formats are Lovaas' ABA and Greenspan's Floortime. If the child is suffering from lead or mercury poisoning, chleation is a must (my boy improved dramatically after we "got the lead out". If the child is gluten and casein intolerant, going on the GFCF diet will help tremendously, as reported by many, many parents. Most importantly, do not get discouraged because you will run into doctors who truly don't have a clue. There are very definate answers to this problem, keep digging till you find some that will work for you.
And most importantly, never, never NEVER give up on your child!!!