reply to post by Byrd
For decades now doctors have been drawing more and more connections between the environment in which a mother conceives, carries, and delivers, and
the health of the final product.
It's now common knowledge that a prenatal diet rich in fatty acids and leafy greens and so on can stimulate brain growth and boost IQ - it's even
said that pre-conception, the diet of the parents plays a huge role in the health of their child when it finally is conceived.
I'm not saying the whole mess couldn't be genetic, but it seems more likely to me that something has changed dramatically in the lives of the
parents over the last 50 or so years that has led to the spread of the condition.
I mean, genetics is a LONG game, millions of years. Environment is something that can change overnight. An environmental cause fits better with the
circumstances surrounding the disease, I think.
I've heard it said many times that improved detection, or diagnosis, or a more compassionate society, are to blame for the increase in autism, in the
sense that we no longer lock these people up. I don't think that's an adequate explanation for the numbers we're seeing, but I could be wrong.
Increased diagnosis is one thing, but there just weren't THAT many sanitariums and asylums built over the course of this country's evolution.
A lot of these people with Asperger's and Autism-spectrum disorders would have just been diagnosed as good old fashioned crazy, that's true, but has
the world ever had this many 'crazy' people? I'm not sure that's enough to explain the spike.
Someone mentioned the Amish - this is the philosopher's stone of the whole question, I think. If you can figure out why certain communities simply
do not have experience with autism or autism-spectrum disorders, you can map out the differences between their communities and the communities
affected, and start to develop a plan of action. Pacific Islanders are another demographic, I believe, which remain relatively unfamiliar with
autism. Eskimos are another.
Someone earlier in the thread mentioned that it could be because of genetic mixing, the result of intermingling of people from different parts of the
globe. I'm not sure I buy that at all, because nothing I've seen indicates that mixed race children are at a higher risk.
The only demographic that displays a spike in frequency is boys - not from any one race or region - just boys (and most often firstborn if I'm not
I've got another thread somewhere on ATS about the link between corn and hormone imbalance - could that be related? A hormone-link might explain why
it affects boys 4 times more often than girls.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if years from now it's discovered that all the extra estrogen floating around in our food chain caused a whole mess