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Autism Spectrum Disorder has Risen to New Heights

autism, autism spectrum disorder, ASDA pair of studies on autism rates show that somewhere around one percent of all U.S. children currently have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The rate is even higher among 6 to 11 year olds and among boys.

Among all children aged two to 17, one in 100 currently have an ASD, which is considerably higher than the previously estimated rate of  one in 150. There was a 100 percent increase in parent-reported ASD rates compared to 2003.

One possible explanation for some of the increase is the expansion of the ASD classification within the public schools to include not only full-blown autism, but also milder forms of ASD such as Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. But it is difficult to believe that this accounts for the entire increase.

One possible answer is the Hepatitis B vaccine, which also contained 25 micrograms of mercury containing thimerosal. Only 8 percent of infant children received the Hep B vaccine in 1992, when that birth cohort showed an ASD rate of 60 per 10,000.

By 1994, the number of children receiving Hep B vaccine had reached just 27 percent -- and the cohort showed an ASD rate of 66 per 10,000. The Hep B coverage rate rose to 82 percent by 1996, when that cohort's ASD rate exploded to around 100 per 10,000, or one in 100.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

If you’ve been following this issue you will be very aware that autism is on the rise.

For a number of years the accepted rate of autism was about one in 150, but for awhile now I have been stating that the incidence is far higher than that, and now we finally have statistics to support that.

Overall, the 2007 survey results from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reveals a 100 percent increase in parent-reported cases of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), compared to their 2003 survey.

According to this latest data, the odds that your infant will develop some form of ASD are now one in 63. And if you have a boy, the chances are a staggering one in 38.

That’s 2.6 percent of all male children in the U.S.!

Among all children aged two to 17, out of the 82,000 respondents, one in 100 reported that their child currently has an ASD. This is far higher than the previous CDC estimate of one in 150.

A similar British study puts the overall U.K. rate at one in 83.

These numbers sadly support the surprising findings earlier this year, when the journal Epidemiology published a study showing a sevenfold increase in autism cases in California, between the years of 1990 to 2006.

In 1990, 6.2 of every 10,000 children born in California were diagnosed with autism by the age of 5. By 2001, that had risen to 42.5 in 10,000.

I still remember that 25 years ago. when I first started practicing, the incidence of autism in the United States was only one in 100,000! This is clearly an epidemic happening in massive proportions right before our very eyes.

What’s Causing These Out of Control Autism Rates?

Many researchers are now advocating for a shift in autism research to focus on environmental factors such as pesticides, viruses and chemicals in household products rather than genetics.

It makes no rational sense that funding for studying the genetic causes of autism is 10 to 20 times higher than funding for environmental causes. Because although genetics play a role in an estimated one percent of cases, the other 99 percent are still a mystery to conventional scientists.

Likewise, to suggest this massive increase could be due to relaxed diagnosis criteria seems to be grasping at straws.

So what is the explanation?

The Common Thread Among Those With Autism

Dr. Klinghardt, one of my primary mentors and a pioneer in natural medicine, discussed the toxic origins of autism in an extensive interview with me late last year. You can watch a snippet of it here.

One topic discussed is the fact that in most people with autism, their pathways of detoxification have become overwhelmed by both man-made and microbial toxins.

The toxins that are at the top of this list are:

  1. Mercury and other metals, such as aluminum. The major route of exposure here is from vaccines, and also from eating contaminated seafood.

  2. Viruses and microbes, such as mold. Children with autism not only have overwhelmed detoxification pathways and often heavy metal toxicity, but, according to Dr. Klinghardt, they also have a silent, daily toxin production in their body caused by toxic microbes.

  3. Electromagnetic Fields (EMF). These come not only from cell phones and cordless phones, but also from electrical outlets and WI-FI. Dr. Klinghardt considers EMF “synergistically causal," partly because it potentiates the production of toxic microbes and endotoxins.

We already know that children are now born toxic due to the increasing toxic load of their mothers. We know that the childhood vaccination schedule has gone from requiring 10 vaccinations in 1976, to now including 36 injections before your child reaches 12 months of age.

We also know that the use of cell phones and other WiFi equipment has exploded, and according to some experts, like Dr. Klinghardt, EMF exposure increases the toxicity of many already hazardous substances.

For example, in a small study performed by Dr. Klinghardt, he showed that autism can actually be predicted based on the EMF levels of your sleeping quarters while you are pregnant!

He found that if you sleep in strong electromagnetic fields during pregnancy, your child will likely begin to exhibit neurological abnormalities within the first two years of life, such as:

  • Neurological dysfunction

  • Hyperactivity

  • Learning disorders

What About Vaccines?

Once you’ve reviewed the available data, it’s also virtually impossible to ignore the dangerous impact of our overzealous vaccination schedule.

According to Lee Grossman, President and CEO of Autism Society of America (ASA):

"A person with an autism spectrum disorder has a number of underlying and seemingly unnoticed immunological, inflammatory or mitochondrial issues happening, and there could be any number of factors that trigger this, and it is certainly plausible that vaccines are one of those triggers."

As discussed in the article above, the increased use of the Hepatitis B vaccine also coincides with a rise in autism, and the Hep B vaccine contained 25 micrograms of thimerosal – a mercury-containing ingredient that has long been thought to be a contributing factor to autism due to its potent neurotoxic effects.

According to the CDC's National Immunization Survey, 8 percent of infants received the Hep B vaccine in 1992. At the time the ASD rate was 67 in 10,000. Four years later, at which time 82 percent of infants received the Hep B vaccine, the ASD rate rose to about 100 in 10,000.

Recent studies have shown that the Hepatitis B vaccine can damage myelin in those with certain genetic factors. For example, one recent study found that children who received the vaccine were 50 percent more likely to develop "central nervous system inflammatory demyelination" than children who did not receive the vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline’s Engerix B brand of the vaccine was shown to be the worst of the bunch, increasing the risk of demyelination by 74 percent. It also nearly tripled the risk of developing multiple sclerosis in genetically susceptible people.

As you can see, there are likely a wide variety of potential factors involved, and we need to know what all of these exposures in combination mean to the health of our children if we ever want to turn this tide of autism around.

One Contributing Factor You Can Remedy Right Now

Another major contributor to autism that has recently been appreciated is vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women.

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. It is my personal belief that this may be the single largest contributing factor to autism and that it is a deficiency of sun exposure to the pregnant mom, and subsequently to the fetus, that puts the child at a massively increased risk of developing autism in the first place.

Fortunately, this is one risk factor you can do something about right now.

I believe one of the most important changes that could radically reduce autism is to make certain that ALL pregnant women normalize their vitamin D levels to 50-60 ng/ml.

What to Do and Where to Turn if You Have an Autistic Child

Lee Grossman of the ASA was quoted as saying,

"Now, many people believe that autism is associated with environmental triggers, and my message is: 'Wake up.'

If this doesn't wake people up, then I don't know what will.

I'm hopeful that this unfortunate statistic, and the terrible growth in autism, will finally get people to act to do something about autism. And by that, I mean the fine folks in government who are not responding in the ways that they should."

I hope so too.

But I’m not holding my breath for sanity to sweep across government any time soon. And if you’re waiting for conventional medicine to come up with some “cure,” you may be waiting for a long time.

Fortunately, there are other options, many of which are turning out to be effective.

I am collaborating with some of the leading experts in autism, including Dr. Klinghardt, and participating in the THRiiiVE think-tank that will provide basic resources for those afflicted with autism.

During the most recent THRiiiVE summit in October, 2008 we created the Top 10 Prioritized To Do List for people with autism.

I have detailed the entire list in this past article, so please, if your child or someone you know has autism, take a few minutes to review it.

As part of the program, Dr. Klinghardt recommends the following three steps that should be urgently addressed in children with autism:

  1. Lower microbial burden: Reduce microbial overgrowth in your child’s body through dietary changes (less starch and sugar at minimum) and lower overall stress. Also, consider testing for mold (in your house) and Lyme (in his or her body) but only after “provocation treatment.”
  2. Lower incoming toxic burden: Do whatever you can to establish a mold, dust, toxin and smell-free environment for your whole family and THEN establish a detoxification program. Please remember hidden toxins like fluoride, and look carefully at ALL your cleaning products.
  3. Lower EMF burden in your child’s home and bedroom: Your child’s health will be optimized with daily sun exposure (healthy EMF) and nightly avoidance of man-made (harmful) EMF.

If you are interested in receiving important updates on matters relating to autism directly from THRiiiVE, you can sign up for their e-Alert by sending an email to [email protected].

In the next two weeks I hope to post videos and transcript summaries of highly effective strategies for autism. These strategies have taken years to develop, so stay tuned.

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