A recent article brings up the debate once again: Are we seeing a rise in incidence because we’re more vigilant at diagnosing?  Or are we seeing more because it’s really increasing?

This article introduces the subject: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705374734/Has-your-child-been-diagnosed-with-autism.html

This article introduces the debate: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/Autism/27012?utm_content

I believe it’s a bit of both.

The first article opens by stating the prevalence: “Autism Spectrum Disorder is four times more likely to occur in males than females. According to the Centers of Disease and Control and Prevention, autism affects 1 in 150 children in the United States and 1 in 58 in England. That is more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.”

One psychiatrist, Thomas Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health and former director of an NIH-funded Center for Autism Research at Emory University, is quoted in the second article saying, “I think it’s quite likely that there are children who get a label of autism today who would have gotten a label of something else or not gotten a label of autism 15 years ago,” he told MedPage Today at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in Honolulu last month.”

Yes, we are getting better at identifying Autism.  Remember, the diagnosis has nothing to do with finding underlying causes and everything to do with behaviors.  Behaviors are merely a cluster of symptoms, and there are certainly more children who are developing this pattern!

But, why?  I disagree with the author, who writes that “Because there is no cure, [emphasis added] therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms that can bring about substantial improvements.”

The idea of “cure” is a very sticky point.  We are discovering that children who develop Autistic behaviors often inherit diminished abilities to detoxify, and to maintain normal immune and neurological function.  But, there is so much that we can do to improve their internal states that the behaviors improve dramatically!

The reason we’re seeing so much more of this is because for the past 3 generations we have been inundated with toxins, antibiotics, vaccinations, and processed foods, to name a few.  These insults get passed-down through the family.  Grandmother might have had some mild digestive difficulties and took antibiotics a few times; but now mom has even more and got treated with even more antibiotics; and grandson has it so bad he’s developed Autistic symptoms!

Think of this: lets improve their digestive function, lets improve their nutritional status, lets improve their neurological function, lets decrease their toxic burden, and lets watch them function more normally!

— Dr. Jon