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Autism epidemic... what do you think is causing it?

30 years ago, there were almost no children with this disorder, and now the numbers are staggering. In your most honest heart of hearts, what do you think is at the root of this explosion in autism diagnoses?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:21 PM on Aug. 4, 2009 in Kids' Health

Answers (18)
  • honestly i think that 30 yrs ago there were just as many children with this problem, however no one knew exactly what the problem was so they would treat it differently; a misbehaving child, a "slow" child, etc. then someone somewhere realized that a few of the kids had the same issues and started to look into things and discovered it was something that needed help w/meds and what not so that got it all started. i think 30 yrs ago they just said "oh shes a little slow" and left it at that b/c thats what the doctors told people about their children.
    i don't think its actually caused be meds, vaccines, or something in the air or whatever else people think. i believe its either genetic or a type of birth defect.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 3:29 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • Vaccines. Although there has been no evidence to prove that - there is also no evidence to DISPROVE it - and the CDC refuse to do a proper investigation into it - that should tell you something.

    Also - the Amish community to not vaccinate - they also have no reported cases ever of autism --- weird huh?

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:29 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I agree with the first poster. It's all diagnosis advancements. There were a lot of things 30+ years ago that were around but not diagnosed. Just because not much was known about these conditions :)

    Answer by tangleballlover at 3:39 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • maybe all the drugs that a lot of people have done in their lives? ok, not all people have done drugs but a lot of people probably wouldn't admit it either if asked, also THE POPULATION IS SO MUCH HIGHER THAN IT WAS BEFORE, THEREFORE IT IS ONLY LOGICAL THAT THERE ARE MORE CASES

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:09 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • The definitions of autism have also changed. 30 years ago, autism was only believed to involve those who isolated themselves utterly, or the idiot savants a la "Rain Man."

    Now we have the autism spectrum, which includes a range of social behaviors which were once blamed on an odd personality at best or "bad parenting" at worst.

    My son is an Aspie. His symptoms usually include an inability to control anger, and inappropriate reactions in social situations. Many people would consider him to be a "brat" or rude. Or they'd say we didn't teach him manners. That CERTAINLY would have been the attitude 30 years ago!

    Improvements in diagnosis and a broadening of the definition have a LOT to do with the change...more so than vaccines.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:45 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I am not a scientist, but my gut tells me that it is all of the chemicals that we eat and put on our bodies. I believe that this will only get worse with the spread of GMO foods.

    Answer by rkoloms at 4:50 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • There is proof that it's not vaccines. Read from reliable sources, and not articles, read the studies.

    1) there are more kids today
    2) Parents are more aware today
    3) There are better diagnostic tools today
    4) There is a wider, more recognized spectrum today
    5) 30 years ago, autistic kids were labeled as "retarded"

    Gee...I wonder why there are more diagnosed cases today? Seems like a "no-brainer" to me. Simple common sense why there is such an increase of ASDs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:19 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • The Amish community tend to shun outsiders. They also tend to hide those with "differences" from outsiders. They are FAR from being a reliable comparison. Not even in the running.

    Families with one autistic kid...but they vaccinated all kids. Kills Anon:29's theory.

    Families who don't vaccinate but have an autistic kid. Kills Anon:29's theory.

    Give it a rest and find something else to blame. Something that makes sense.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:52 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • Autism has also increased in the non-vaccinating community, at the SAME rate as in the vaxxed community. If it was vaccines, you would see a much lower rate in the non-vaxing community, but you don't. The rates are identical.

    I too think it's largely in part with a wider diagnosis. Twenty years ago Aspie kids would just be considered odd or unsocial. Severely autistic kids would have been labeled "retarded".


    Answer by mancosmomma at 7:09 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • So you think there are no autistic adults then? lol Look it up.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:06 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

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