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Parents Talk: More Kids Have Autism

A spectrum of conclusions explain autism spectrum disorders. What are you doing to limit autism risks for your children?

Some scary new statistics on autism were released last week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States have been identified as having autism, according to a study that looked at data from 14 communities.

Results have changed since 2009, when 11.3 per 1,000 8-year-old children had been identified as having autism. There has been a 23 percent increase since the last report. Some of this increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed and served in their communities, although exactly how much is due to these factors is unknown, according to the CDC.

Although the cause of autism is not yet known, scientists have studied children on the spectrum and parents have been there to witness their behavior.   

Is the cause vaccines?

Although science has so far proven that autism is not linked to vaccines, there are countless parents across America who have decided to sign the school’s consent form and forgo immunizations. This week, Donald Trump told Fox News viewers that he strongly believes that autism is linked to vaccines.

Is the cause genetics?

A recent study demonstrates that genetic mistakes can occur across the genetic code. Although many are harmless, the errors can cause big problems when they occur in parts of the genome needed for brain development.

Is the cause faulty sperm?

Another new study found that new mutations occurred four times more frequently in sperm cells than in egg cells. Also, the older the father, the more likely he was to have sperm with these mutations. This is possibly resulting in cases of autism.

Is the cause the environment?

A study of twins done in July 2011 found that environmental factors are more responsible for autism than previously believed. In this study, environmental exposures– like environmental chemicals and certain drugs– were found to trigger autism as often as genetics.

With so many potential causes for autism, what are you doing, if anything, to limit your child's autism risks?

Caitlin Burgess April 10, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Thanks for adding a little more background! And I totally understand why you didn't use his name. Just curious.
Rachel Powell April 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM
While I agree that obesity is a huge problem in today's society, I think that now they're just grappling in the dark for answers to a huge mystery.
Rachel Powell April 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM
While i agree that obesity is a huge problem in today's society, I think that now they're just grappling in the dark for answers. I know many obese women who have gone on to have healthy children, and I know many average weight women who have had autistic children. Plus if you look at the alarming outbreak of Somali women in our country giving birth to autistic children, you have to admit - I have not seen an obese Somali woman. And that one population has more than the average amount of autistic children. Funnelling money into teaching women to not be obese when they get pregnant doesn't seem really practical. Funnelling money into prevention AND education about the kids already out there is the most important thing to do. Schools don't educate their teachers on how best to teach these children, even though every school must have several autistic children. My son has had nothing but trouble in school because they don't understand his needs, how he is not a cookie-cutter kid that will follow the rules like all the other children just through their strength of will, etc. We need the people who deal with our children with autism in a way that they have a chance to grow up and lead as productive a life as possible according to their abilities.
623 parent April 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Personally I would seek the advice of a Medical Doctor over that of a Doctor of Chiropractic when making choices regarding vaccinations!
James Sanna April 10, 2012 at 03:31 PM
FYI, for any readers who are struggling with their autistic child, check out the SW Minneapolis nonprofit End of the Spectrum, a non-profit that helps parents advocate for their children with severe autism. http://www.endofthespectrum.org/ Here's our story on their work: http://patch.com/A-rwwK

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