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The CDC Vastly Underestimates the Autism Epidemic

child, autismThe Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that 1 in every 150 children has an autism spectrum disorder. But a report from the Vaccine Autoimmune Project puts the autism prevalence at 1 in every 67 children, based on Department of Education statistics.

Even that report only includes children who qualify for special education services through the autism eligibility category, and therefore potentially excludes thousands of children.

A recent report from the military also confirmed this number; there are more than 22,000 people service wide with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, almost all of them children of active duty or retired active duty dependents.

The numbers come to about 1 in 88 children of active duty personnel, and 1 in 47 retired active duty dependents, with a combined average of, once again, 1 in 67 military dependent children with autism.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
There’s been a major jump in autism in the last few decades. Some of it may be due to increased awareness and diagnoses, but we’re talking a 60-fold increase since the late 1970s, and that can’t be brushed off as insignificant.

The numbers of 1 in 67 from the Vaccine Autoimmune Project seem much more realistic than the CDC’s 1 in 150. Earlier this year researchers also suggested that as many as 1 in 50 people could be at risk of a mitochondrial disorder that could lead to autism. And the rate of autism in Great Britain has been cited to be as high as 1 in 58.

Some experts I interacted with at a recent conference believe that the incidence may be as high as one in ten if you include the entire autism spectrum disorder.

Despite all the recent attention, it’s still not known exactly what triggers autism, although it’s almost surely a mix of genetics (in small part) and environmental factors (in large part). In a past article I detailed some of the likely environmental culprits to autism, including exposure to environmental toxins like:
Is There a Positive Side to Autism?

Often when we talk about autism, it’s in the terms of how to help a child recover. Of course, this refers to those who need help with speech, communication, social skills, or extreme sensitivities to sounds and touch. Frequently, the symptoms can be severe, impacting the child’s ability to function normally if treatment is not given (see my top tips for natural treatment below).

That said, some of our readers brought up an interesting point that autism is not necessarily a “bad” thing or something that needs to be “cured.” The autism spectrum includes those who are highly functioning as well, and plenty of adults live their lives fully, even with an autism-spectrum disorder (ASD). In fact, many of them have skills that have been called the same as those associated with “creative genius,” making them excel in areas like mathematics, music, art, and poetry.

The fact that people with ASDs are often highly focused means that they can easily devote decades to the study of one topic, easily making them an expert in the area.

Michael Fitzgerald, professor of psychiatry at Trinity College, Dublin, actually compared the characteristics of 1,600 people with ASDs with the biographies of famous people. He concluded that the following people all showed traits associated with ASDs:
  • Isaac Newton
  • Albert Einstein
  • George Orwell
  • H G Wells
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Beethoven
  • Mozart
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Immanuel Kant
So if you are a parent who has a child with autism, keep in mind that they too can grow up to be great.

Top Tips for Preventing and Recovering From Autism

It’s a story that’s becoming all-too-common: a child is functioning normally only to suddenly regress … stop speaking, avoid eye contact, avoid human touch. Often, this occurs after a trauma of some sort, like exposure to numerous vaccinations. To help protect your child during their most transformative years, and also to help a child with autism recover, I suggest doing the following:

    1. Carefully review the vaccination issue, including the conventional vaccination schedule. Know that in most U.S. states you have the right to opt out of vaccines. You may also want to review some of the recommendations for a more sensible vaccination schedule.

    2. Avoid exposure to as many environmental toxins as you can, such as pesticides, herbicides, and sources of mercury, aluminum and fluoride.

    3. Avoid exposure to cell phones and other wireless technology, such as Wi-Fi in your home.

    4. Have your child eat a diet tailored to their nutritional type for optimal health. In my experience, nearly ALL children seem to respond favorably to the dietary changes when properly implemented.

    5. Pasteurized milk restriction is an ABSOLUTE imperative to the treatment of autism. Anyone managing this illness without restricting milk is deceiving themselves. This includes all milk products, such as ice cream, yogurt and whey. Even natural flavorings in food must be avoided unless the processor can guarantee, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that caseinate is not included.

    6. Complete elimination of sugar, juice, soda, French fries and wheat (pasta, bagels, cereal, pretzels, etc) is also highly recommended.

    7. Get proper sun exposure, as an additional theory that makes a whole lot of sense is the link between rampant vitamin D deficiency and the proportionate jump in autism. The vitamin D receptor appears in a wide variety of brain tissue early in the fetal development, and activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain. 

    8. Use an effective intervention to address any emotional stresses as soon as possible -- avoid having destructive thoughts and emotions fester. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is excellent for this purpose.

    9. Secretin has proven effective in relieving certain symptoms of autism. It is a powerful hormone, which has the ability to reduce intestinal permeability (leaky gut). I have even observed one 3-year-old who had no speech prior to secretin speak in full paragraphs just days after the infusion.

    10. Homeopathy may also help ameliorate symptoms.

+ Sources and References