Causes of Autism – Your Baby Magazine

A big question we would like to answer in this article is whether
autism is something the parent did?
There is one thing we know for sure: Autism is not a fault of a parent.
While there still exist many unanswered questions about “Autism,”
and a tidal wave of research both completed and yet to be performed,
there are certainly aspects we can speak to with some level of
authority now.
Autism presents itself across a broad spectrum that will manifest for
each child in infinitely unique ways. As infinitely varied is the
combination of factors that contribute to this condition, including
external and internal environmental factors, timing of exposure to
environmental factors and genetic susceptibility.

What causes Autism?

Before we can determine what causes Autism, we need to develop a
definition of what the problem is. The current held belief states that,
Autism is a genetically determined neurodevelopmental disorder.
Research provides an alternate perspective, offering the idea that
Autism is epigenetic in origin and is a complex “Whole body multisystem,
metabolic disorder.” Relying on this perspective we can then
determine what form of genetic susceptibility may be playing a role
and what environmental “stressors” may be contributing.

Is Autism triggered by something?

Environmental “stressors” are thought to act as triggers. However,
environmental triggers alone cannot be blamed, neither can any single
environmental “stressor” be determined to be the primary stressor for
all. The population of children on The Spectrum is too heterogenous
(diverse). There must be some form of genetic, systemic and
metabolic vulnerability that environmental stressors “detonate” in
order for the outcome to occur. Two other big factors that must be
considered are timing and synergy of the stressors.
Are genetics involved?

For most diseases to occur, there has to be some type of genetic
“vulnerability.” However, autism is not a “genetic disorder.” One
cannot define the increase in numbers as an epidemic and then blame
genetics. In the language of science you cannot have a “genetic
epidemic.” On the other hand, we do consider the prevalence of
autism to have reached epidemic proportions.
Through the work of Jill James and others, we have learned that
Autism is an “Epigenetic” phenomenon. In simple terms, it is an
event that emerges post conception and is related to genetic expression
and environmental “stress” rather than any single gene.
Again, given the heterogeneity of the disorder and the emerging
evidence of “subtypes,” it would be inaccurate to blame any single

Can you take steps before and after pregnancy that may reduce the risk?

Certainly. If we embrace the research and adopt the perspective that
Autism is an Epigenetic phenomena emerging from environmental
stressors acting upon genetic susceptibility, then we can begin to
identify those at greatest risk. We can employ more detailed
screening of parents and counsel them to reduce their exposure to
environmental triggers in the pre-, peri-, and post-natal periods. We
can also provide mothers with guidelines how to support their
metabolism and “bypass” the genetic “susceptibility.”

Vaccines and Autism?

There is plenty of literature that both verifies and refutes any
connection between vaccines and autism. This debate is driven by the
medical industry, business interests, politics, special interests… you
name it. From my perspective, vaccines are part of the environmental
“stressors.” Not only as individual stressors but also in the context of
their schedule, timing, and the adjuvents used as preservatives in their
production. Like any other medical intervention, vaccines should be
tailored to address the unique needs of each individual and not
administered in uniform way that overlooks biochemical individuality.

Birth Control Pills?

Birth control pills impact a woman’s nutritional status by affecting
levels of certain B vitamins, vitamin C and copper. Prior to
conceiving, these changes must be adequately assessed and addressed.

Diet and Pregnancy?

A healthy diet pre-, peri- and post-natal is very important for both
mother and child. It is wise for a woman planning a pregnancy to
“clean up” her diet. There are many changes she can make to reduce
the burden of environmental “stressors.” If a woman eats as mother
nature provides, that is, simple, natural “whole foods,” ensuring that
her choices whenever possible are organic and non-GMO, then she
and her developing child are less likely to be exposed to a wide range
of tetragenic toxins. Ken Cook at the Environmental Working Group
has provided us with some very important information regarding
toxins found in cord blood of newborns. This is real information and
cannot be ignored. As Hippocrates, the father of medicine stated, “Let
foods be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”