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You asked me a question. Here's your answer.

Asking me why my kids have autism 
is the same as
me asking you 
why you're so clueless.

When people meet me and learn that I have three children with Autism, they look dumbfounded. 
I really think it throws them into a confused daze, because many times, they look at me and ask, "How could that be so?" And, "What causes Autism?" Like somehow through ownership, I know why my three boys have different manifestations of Autism. 

The answer is, I don't. My guess is as good as anyone else's. 

I do have my hypothesis, though. 

I believe we all have certain characteristics that are passed down through genetic lines, like hair or eye color. But there are also less tangible characteristics that jump on the band wagon. We can all look at something in our children, ie: perfect pitch, introversion, ability in sports, science, math, music, quirkiness or some other abilities we possess and link it to our genetic line.  When we choose to reproduce, our offspring inherit whatever is mixed among the DNA. We have no control over it. 

With that said, most of us have heard from someone in our families: "Uncle Johnny was always a little off", or "Uncle Pete didn't talk until he was five", or "when I was little, I made up a language no one understood but me," or "I used to memorize books of facts at tedium because it interested me. And my favorite:  "Ben was always anti-social and always said inappropriate things at family dinners." This means that in addition to our inheritable physical traits, we may also possess the genetics that can allow us or our off-spring to behave like those "off" relatives. 

We all know that in the "good ole days" people had disabilities and developmental delays. However, the prevalence was no where near the level it is now. The diets, air quality and medical precautions were far different than they are today.

Now, take the genetic factors and add in the stressors from the environment. Then, add in the low-level, unmeasured contamination from our food, fertilizers, and food packaging. There are a myriad of affects that we can endure from consuming foods that are processed heavily, packaged with potentially dangerous materials, and lack any nutritional value. Our bodies become a petri-dish begging to mutate. This imbalance can exacerbate certain tendencies, heighten sensitivities and in some cases, make us just plain sick. Our DNA, somehow becomes affected and even a marginal shift in the code can affect us. Autism is in many ways a natural amplifier. It pushes sensitivities, thoughts, obsessions, feeling and obsessions to a higher level. 

However, being able to determine if our DNA is affected is almost close to impossible because the affects are varied and subtle.  No one can pinpoint any one cause and Autism remains to be an enigma. 

I remember a conversation I had with our new pediatrician when we moved to Maryland. I told him that #1 stopped speaking and turned off shortly after he received the MMR, (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella shot). He was quick to tell me that the one study published on this topic was invalidated. I didn't know about the study, yet I didn't think that it was so cut and dry. I explained, "You know how some people have adverse reactions to certain medicines, drugs, food or the environment? Well, it means that every immune system is unique and different than any other. That is why there are trials with medicine and why some people can't have penicillin. I am saying that HIS immune system, perhaps, had an adverse reaction to the MMR. Especially since there was a noticeable change. Did he have a fever? No. Was he sick? No. But something inside that sweet little 18 month old child shut off that week and I know it wasn't the crackers that caused it. Something caused it. We put a foreign body into his system and he reacted. And maybe, his system wasn't able to handle it."

So let me clarify, am I blaming the shot? No. I am saying that the maturity of an immune system is hard to gauge and should be taken into consideration when introducing foreign bodies. When you enforce a standard of care on a diverse population, there are going to be ramifications.  

This is where the science has to adapt. We should be looking at Autism as a cocktail; containing many different components that affect comparable areas of the brain. It is when we can accept there isn't one answer that we can move forward. 

So lady, did you regret asking me why do all my children have Autism or why so many kids are being diagnosed with it? 

As I said, I have my hypothesis. It is MY opinion. I can see that many of my children's Autistic characteristics are in some ways just exaggerated quirks from myself or their father.  And in the cases in which we both had the same quirky tendencies, the children got it double.  

And considering the way we as humans live on this earth presently, it is no wonder why we are having problems. Our treatment of the earth is affecting us on a personal level.

I have faith that someone will figure it out. Unfortunately with this kind of issue, it may be decades, if not longer before there is enough data to make any type of hypothesis

Be warned, no one is immune.
Autism is everywhere and might be in your genes. 

Comments

  1. I am on the same page as you. I worry about the autism rates continuing to grow as siblings of ASD individuals have children of their own.

    ReplyDelete

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