Breast milk, goats milk, cows milk, prematurity, ethnicity, pollution, vaccinations, anti depressants, epilepsy drugs, diet, gut flora, vitamin intake, heavy metals in food sources, brain signal pathway building in utero, and even birth method…guys; let’s face it, everything causes autism and its increased prevalence in today’s society. These are only a handful of the stories I have reported on over the past two years.
How about I turn this on its head? EVERYONE is autistic. All people of the world are somewhere on the spectrum. Modern medicine is thoroughly advanced enough to diagnose and compartmentalise some forms of autism. Asperger’s Syndrome for example. It’s so flippant to say “the child is on the spectrum somewhere”, which child, which adult? What individual?
We recently reported on an Irish research paper authored by Eileen Curran which states, and I quote:
“Delivery by CS [Caesarean section] is associated with a modest increased odds of ASD [autism spectrum disorder], and possibly ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder], when compared to vaginal delivery”.
The number 23% increased odds is pulled out of the small control group somehow, because the researchers couldn’t actually say if autism was caused by the C section or if babies born with autism seem to have more complicated births for some reason or another.
Coming at this as a parent, who had a completely normal two hour labour with a robust full term bouncing baby boy at the end of it, only to be told when he was four that he had Asperger’s Syndrome I asked myself where does the guilt end? Did I breastfeed my son? Yes. Did I vaccinate? Yes, but the symptoms were there long before he had his shots. Or were they? Did I ensure that I picked him up when he cried? YES! But still with the guilt and latent finger pointing that as a parent *you* must have done something wrong. Did I push too hard in labour? Did I damage my baby while he was still in the womb by taking paracetamol or headache tablets? Did my weekly trips to London affect him while I was breathing in the latent smog? Did my craving for tuna mayo salad baguettes affect his developing synapses?
I’m very glad that someone on the Irish Examiner is on the same page as I am with this. Victoria White wrote a wonderful piece regarding the research, and from this I quote: