The Theories on the Causes of Autism
1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder. In the United
States it is estimated that 1 in 68 births are born with autism. More than 3.5
million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism in U.S.
children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68) (www.autism-society.org,
Autism has no become the fastest-0growing developmental disability. In the U.S.
cost of autism over the lifespan is about $2.4 million for a person with an
intellectual disability. It costs more than $8,600 extra a year to educate a
student with autism (www.autism-society.org, 2015). Although there is a
steadily high rise with children being born with autism, there is no sound
foundation as to the cause of autism. There are many speculations as what could
possibly be cause, but no solid answer just theories.
is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how someone communicates
with, and relates to other people. Autism also affects how a person makes sense
of the world around them” (autism.org). There are many speculations to the
causes of this disability, but no results to the cause of it, just theories! Some
of the theories as to what causes autism, and in no special order are prenatal
care, exposure to chemical pollutants, metals, pesticides, etc., and last but
not least vaccines. With the continuous and developing knowledge of what autism
is and the signs to look out for, we do know what the early signs or effects of
autism. There are certain behaviors that should be observed to know the early
signs or general signs of autism for early childhood. “These three things are
communicating verbally and nonverbally, relating to others and the world around
them, and thinking and behaving flexibly (WebMD). Although those are some signs
for early childhood years, there are signs to observe from birth, and that
would consist of the child not making eye contact, following gestures, but
especially does not play with others or share the same interest and enjoyment!
If signs are observed over a period of time, the child should get checked as
soon as possible (WebMD). The younger the child is the greater the impact of
treatment on symptoms of autism will help them.
information about what autism is, the signs of development to observe and when,
there is still one question that remains HOW! How is autism developed what
causes autism to come into play.
vaccines are supposed to prevent disease, people think there is a chemical in
them which causes autism, but this theory is false! The cause of autism has not
yet been fully determined, but it is not caused by vaccines; it is usually
caused by genetics, metabolic or neurological factors, or lastly problems that
occurred during birth.
Necks are. But the main
theory that many people think causes autism is vaccines. Although vaccines are
supposed to prevent disease, people think there is a chemical in them which
causes autism, but this theory is false! The cause of autism has not yet been
fully determined, but it is not caused by vaccines; it is usually caused by
genetics, metabolic or neurological factors, or lastly problems that occurred
Vaccines causing autism
is a myth. Between all the research, scientists and doctors have not found a
link between childhood vaccinations, autism or any other developmental
problems. Vaccinations are supposed to prevent disease not cause them;
therefore they can’t be a cause of autism. Some parents believe if they do not
get their children vaccinated, they will prevent autism. But that’s not true.
“Children who are not vaccinated do not have lower rates of autism spectrum
disorder “(help guide). Some parents get so paranoid that they investigate
every little substances and/or chemicals in vaccines. But the problem is they
are not going to find anything due to the fact that vaccines help people, not
hurt them! “According to the Federal Drug Association, vaccinations represent a
special category of drugs that are generally given to healthy individuals “(activist
post). That means vaccinations cannot harm or cause autism in individuals.
“In February 1998, there
was a man who was convinced that he and his colleagues had finally found the
link that vaccines caused autism “(immunize.org). “This man was Andrew
Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist who published a paper along with his
colleagues about their study “(activist post). “Wakefield claimed that, “the
measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was responsible for intestinal inflammation
that led to translocation of usually non-permeable peptides to the bloodstream
and eventually the brain where it affected development” (activist post).
Unfortunately Wakefield was way off with his study. The study was unpublished
and he lost his medical license because of his false acquisition. “Although
multiple other studies supported his research he was still punished and treated
unfairly for his mistake “(activist post).
One of the real causes of
autism is Metabolic and Neurological factors. Metabolic abnormalities such as a
genetic defect or the inability to process fats exist in some children with
autism. Since these differences may not be inherent in all children with
autism, the role that they play is currently indecisive. Research scientists,
however, believe that there is enough evidence to encourage the continuation of
studies to discover if there is a conspicuous connection between these
abnormalities and autism. Another element in which scientists are currently
reviewing is the neurometabolic component of autism. This means that they are
studying the relationship between the cells in the brain and observable
physical or biochemical characteristics of an organism as determined by
genetics and environmental influence. “The goal of achieving an accurate
diagnosis of metabolic disorders within children with autism will be less
difficult to achieve once these relationships are confirmed “(nab). This is how
metabolic and neurological factors are possible causes for autism.
During the years,
scientists have found and studied many possible causes/connections to autism.
One connection scientists have found during their studies was a link between
older fathers and an increased risk of autism in their kids.” In Sweden,
scientists did a study where researchers studied records for everyone born
between 1973 and 2001 “(autismspeaks.org). The total amount was more than 2.6
million people. “Researchers not only found a connection between older fathers
and their children having autism, but they also found that the probability of
children originating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is 13 times
greater while the odds of bipolar disorder is 25 times higher for those born to
45-year-old dads compared to fathers at age 24 “(autismspeaks.org). This study
not only proved a possible link to a cause of autism, but it showed that there
are many risks an older man can cause to his upcoming children. Another big
study regarding the causes of autism was published in the Journal of Annals of
Epidemiology. The study revolved around the Hepatitis B vaccine. “According to
this study, giving the Hepatitis B vaccine to newborn infant boys triples their
chance of getting autism compared to those who didn’t get the shot “(activist
post). These are some studies that scientists have done to try to figure out
the causes of autism.
Along with research that
scientists have done, there has been one celebrity who has investigated the
possible cause of autism on her own, and her name is Jenny McCarthy. Jenny
McCarthy’s son was diagnosed with autism at a very young age. She stated, “One
day he was a completely healthy two year old and the next he was having life
threatening seizures.” (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/09/24/jenny.autism/).
“McCarthy thought the cause of her son’s autism was the measles, mumps and
rubella shot “(news.nationalgeographic). She did all this research on the
substances in this shot, and was convinced that it caused her son’s autism.
“But the biggest issue of all was McCarthy thought she was able to cure her
son’s disability by using dietary changes “(news.nationalgeographic). She was
spreading her opinion all around and it led to some serious issues. “Jenny
McCarthy was told by experts to stop spreading rumors about how vaccinations
are the cause autism because her theory was invalid “(news.nationalgeographic).
“Glenn Braunstein, the Vice President of Clinical Innovation at Cedar-Sinai
Medical Center in Los Angeles stated,” She’s absolutely entitled to her own
opinion, but to say that it’s a fact when it’s not a fact is just wrong
“(news.nationalgeographic). To this day Jenny McCarthy still believes that
vaccines are the cause to autism.
Although the theory that
vaccines are the cause of autism has been proved wrong, people believe that
there is one substance in vaccines that cause autism. The substance is
thimerosal. “Thimerosal is mercury containing organic compounds “(fda.gov). “It
is used in a number of biological and drug products including vaccines that
help prevent life threatening contamination “(fda.gov). It is believed that
vaccines containing thimerosal are usually the ones that parents keep their
children away from so they will not develop autism. “Due to this problem,
thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to smaller amounts in vaccines for
children under the age of six “(parent’s magazine). “Thimerosal was removed
from vaccines in Canada in 1996 and Denmark in 1992 due to the constant rumors
of it being the substance in vaccines that cause autism “(parent’s magazine).
These countries thought if they took this substance out of vaccines, the
percentage of developing autism would go down, but it didn’t. “Autism is still
on the rise today in both of these countries. That just shows that taking
thimerosal out of vaccines proved nothing to these countries “(parents
magazine). “According to Eric Forborne, MD Director of psychiatry division at
Montreal’s Children Hospital,” If thimerosal in vaccines were causing autism,
we’d expect that the diagnosis of autism would decrease dramatically after the
chemical was removed from the vaccines” (parent’s magazine). “Also another
study took place in 2004 by both world health organization and Institute of
Medicine concluded no link between autism rates and thimerosal exposure after
examining the health record of hundreds of thousands of children “(parent’s
magazine). In conclusion these studies proved that thimerosal cannot be the
substance in vaccines that cause autism.
“Problems during birth
are another possible cause of autism “(WebMD). In a woman’s life some of them
have trouble having kids. They will try everything possible to get pregnant,
and once a woman gets pregnant her whole world changes. She is the happiest
person living even though gets to face a lot of changes being pregnant for 9
months. A lot of woman will have miscarriages when they first try to get
pregnant, but once they are pregnant again they are very cautious and careful.
One of the main theories that people believe cause autism is problems during
birth. “Some problems during birth that autistic children usually go through
are induced labor, labor of less than one hour, fetal distress, or lastly a
Cesarean section “(WebMD). These problems can cause more than just autism but
other horrible disabilities. That is why doctors have to be very careful at
what they are doing when delivering a child. Genetics is another possible cause
of autism. Many people believe the theory that autism is passed done by
genetics. “If you have one child with autism the risk of your next child to
have it is between 2-6%, but if autism were due to a single gene, the
percentage would be more like 25% or 50% “(genetics.thetech). “DNA works in
many different ways and changes from generation from generation
“(genetics.thetech). That is why it is a possible cause of autism.
Many people have
different opinions on autism. When asked what you think causes autism Sophia
Weiss responded with a great answer. She stated,” I believe there are so many
causes to autism and you cannot blame one thing. ” People blame vaccines all
the time when they are supposed to prevent disease not cause them. Another
question that was asked to an anonymous person was what is your biggest concern
or worry about your child? Anonymous replied,”I just always think what would
happen to him if something happened to me, he would not be able to be with
someone random, he needs someone who understands all of his problems. ” But the
most common question was how do you look for schools for an autistic child? An
anonymous friend answered,” For a seriously autistic kid, the best prognosis
might be getting into a mainstream school without too much of a shadow. For a
moderately autistic kid the best prognosis is full recovery. ” People have many
different opinions about autism. But the most important thing with autism is to
know how to help an autistic child.
Autism is a life changing
experience for a person. With all of the research and studies that are being
done, the theory that vaccines are the cause of autism has not yet been
determined. Autism can be caused by many different things and shouldn’t blame
one individual reason. The exact causes of autism may never be discovered, but
with all of the studies being done scientists should find out every little
detail about this disability, including a cure. The day autism is cured will be
the day every child struggling with this defect will be able to start a normal
life, and that day will make history.