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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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Sad BUT: Speaking as a mom of a kid on the spectrum, I have to vent my wacky theories a bit. Even kind doctors I know are quite narrow minded about dismissing possible causes as old wives tales or bad science. The one thing I know is that there is no ONE THING that causes autism. Anyone who tells you so is a charlatan or a fool. The moms who wax lyrical about one wacky therapy or another "curing " their kid (only for a while, then they pursue the Holy Grail again and again and again). As for me? My kid's symptoms began after a horrible reaction to being (by mistake) given a fourth shot in what should have been a 3 shot MMR series. We had been very pro-vaccination primarily for ethical reasons; if everyone stops it because of concern for their individual child, all people are threatened as there is a larger reservoir of potential victims to infect people. ALso, our oldest child had whooping cough despite having had the first MMR vaccine, and that scared us badly enough to make us willing to risk abstract dangers to avoid known diseases that might harm our kids.

I think there is something that happens to susceptible kids when vaccinated. Connected to vulnerable digestive and immune systems (most kids on the spectrum have such troubles, from birth) that affect absorption of nutrients and reaction to foreign substances. Something may act as a switch turning off that brain cell pruning that supposedly doesn't happen right in autistic kids in infancy.

Autism has no one cause, so it is stupid to rule out vaccines as a factor,just because, in isolation, vaccines do not make the difference between autism or not.

If I were to choose one trigger (apart from genes, which are what make a person vulnerable) it would be a slow virus. Perhaps the mother was infected years before and it passed in utero to the child, not having its effects right away. Perhaps connected to the unhealthy way animals are fed and housed in factories these days (fed dead animals, waste products, and often sick). We all know about Mad Cow Disease. Doesn't affect its victims immediately. Similarly, many forms of cancer and possibly schizophrenia are triggered by viral infections that may have occurred years before. Could vaccines be contaminated with something impossible to detect or kill with normal procedures?

Perhaps something in our daily habits and environment that has changed, that we don't know yet (for example, like the way Vitamin D is depleted in people who work under fluorescent light every day).

Genetic susceptibility, stress on the mother during pregnancy, certain types of labors (pitocin has been associated with higher incidence, tho this may merely reflect older mothers with dysfunctional labors, or older fathers married to older mothers), as yet unknown viral triggers (as in schizophrenia and other mental disorders), mother and baby's exposure to toxins, and yes: vaccines as one amongst many triggers that can push the kid over the edge. There is no one cause of autism. It's like cancer. I suspect that there are many environmental factors that make kids who might have been merely odd or quirky socially "more" autistic.

It's not like fetal alcohol syndrome where there is a clear cause (tho even there, some people handle liquor differently and their kids are more or less affected), and so a clear way to prevent it.

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