According to the US Department of Education, autism is increasing at a rate between 10% and 17% per year. In the decade between 1992 and 2002 the number of cases of autism in the United States increased by over 700%.

These numbers are alarming–even frightening, especially considering that autism basically did not exist before 1940. The argument has been made that we are just getting better at diagnosing the disease and that it has been with us all along. Really? Is it so hard to notice autism that doctors did not pick up on it until 1940? I don’t want to call that idea absurd, but it is hard not to. Not many answers are coming from the medical profession–except that they are pretty sure that vaccinations have nothing to do with the disease. There are some journal articles that suggest that too much iron, not enough iodine, or the environment may be responsible. Medicine likes to find a single cause for a health problem and that may be why there are so few answers coming from the medical community.

Something is assaulting the nervous systems of our children, and that something didn’t exist (or was a minor influence) before 1940 (unless you can believe that doctors were so incompetent before 1940 as to not be able to notice a case of autism). We can begin by making a list of things that can damage the nervous system that may have not been present in the early part of the 20th century.

  • Vaccination: It is pretty much a taboo to question the value of vaccinations, and we are told that studies prove that they do not cause autism. Actually the study that needs to take place has never been done. We need to look at the health of a large group of people who have never been vaccinated and compare it to a large group who has gotten all of the “necessary” vaccines (including chicken pox and hepatitis B). Count the cases of autism in both groups (and while you are at it, count the cases of ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, MS, crib death, and autoimmune diseases). You can’t really say that vaccinations are safe or that they are dangerous until this is done.
  • Antibiotics: Prior to 1940 there was no widespread use of antibiotics. By the end of World War II the US was producing 80 tons of antibiotics each year. By 1990 we were producing 20,000 tons per year. About 1/3 of all pediatrician visits are for ear infections (treated with antibiotics). Antibiotics are also in the food supply; they are fed to animals to fatten them up. This may be creating problems with Candida and dysbiosis, as well as food allergy.
  • The environment: There are 75,000 chemical produced in the US every year; 3,000 of which are produced in amounts greater than 50,000 tons. The average American has over 116 synthetic compounds stored in his or her body (according to the CDC). Many of these things are neurotoxins; insecticides work by attacking the insect’s nervous system.
  • Heavy metals: Mercury amalgams came into widespread use in 1927 (a child in 1927 would be of childbearing age in 1940). Mercury is also used as a preservative in vaccines. Cadmium is in cigarette smoke. Lead was in gasoline until the 1970s. All heavy metals are neurotoxins.
  • Nutrition: The use of food additives, hydrogenated oils and refined foods steadily increased through the 20th century. Sugar consumption increased and the amount of vitamins and minerals in the average diet decreased. Also, sensitivity to regularly eaten foods is increasing.

It turns out that the health care professionals who are actually getting results with autistic patients are looking at it as a multi-faceted attack on the nervous system. Testing for these issues and addressing them nutritionally can produce gratifying results.