To put that in perspective, if you're starting a family or thinking of starting a family, and you end up with 3 children, you have nearly a 5% chance that one of your children will have some level of autism ... and if you have 3 boys, it's closer to 8%.
I'm not one for fear mongering. Rather, I'm one for education mongering. It is time to seriously start becoming educated about health as a nation -- not educated by pharmaceutical companies and their paid-for studies; not educated by the doctors who only read material from those companies; but educated for ourselves from multiple perspectives.
Why? Because your health professionals aren't bothering to learn from multiple perspectives; their education is bought by drug companies. And our political leaders are bought and sold too, for the most part, which is why the FDA is also so cozy with the drug companies. This isn't some conspiracy theory -- it's widely understood and discussed by those in the medical community. Check out one of my favorite books on the topic by a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine: The Truth about the Drug Companies.
This is why it's critical to learn for yourself so you're not duped by the mainstream message. I'm not saying the mainstream message is always wrong -- only that it's very often paid for and, in my opinion, often by those who really don't care about your well being. Taking the time to study means being able to make educated choices that are right for you and your family.
So why the ongoing increase in autism? I won't pretend to have a factual answer more than anyone else, but I think common sense can tell us some things:
1) Our bodies have always operated on nutritional elements like vitamins, minerals, healthy proteins and fats, etc. (along with sunshine, water, and air). That will never change unless we start incarnating in robot bodies.
2) Many of us are choosing food that does little to replenish our nutritional reserves. We may be getting calories, but we're not getting nutrients. Even when we do bother to choose good foods, nutrient levels are far lower than they used to be. A study on 1950 to 1999 nutrient levels of 43 different fruits and vegetables showed "'reliable declines' in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century.
There have likely been declines in other nutrients, too, he said, such as magnesium, zinc and vitamins B-6 and E, but they were not studied in 1950 and more research is needed to find out how much less we are getting of these key vitamins and minerals."
3) Toxic elements cause problems in the body especially when we're lacking nutrition because toxins that are chemically similar to elements we need for good health will take the place of useful nutrients if the nutrients aren't present. Therefore, increased toxins and decreased nutrition are two sides of a devastating coin.
4) We live in an increasingly toxic world. Energy production putting mercury and other toxins into the air; depleted uranium in the air from military efforts; chemical runoff in our water supply; chemicals from our carpets and furniture in the air we breathe; herbicides and pesticides in the foods we eat; mercury dental fillins. These are just a few examples of probably hundreds showing how our bodies are increasingly fighting against toxins.
5) Pharmaceuticals are toxins designed to block the proper functioning of the body (to mask pain, to stop the sniffles, inhibiting dead bone material from leaving our bones, etc.). Again, not some crazy opinion. This is simply what they are. This is why drug commercials -- one of our saddest national jokes -- tell us about all their side effects. So when we resort to drugs, we are adding to the already great challenge of handling toxins.
6) It really doesn't matter what anyone tries to tell you about vaccinations, and it doesn't even really matter if they work for their intended purpose. Bottom line is that they're highly toxic. This isn't just about mercury content -- they are concoctions of the most noxious things, including foreign (e.g., monkey) DNA. So even if they work for one thing, there's no question in my mind that they're introducing extreme toxins into the body. And maybe worst of all ... we're injecting these into babies.
A lot of people have blamed vaccinations for autism, especially with a focus on the mercury content (that we're told has been taken out of most vaccinations). Studies have supported and refuted vaccinations being the cause, and I think it's because they are just part of a much bigger picture involving all the points above.
UPDATE: Months after writing this, a whistleblower came forward and explained how the industry had covered up the connection between MMR vaccines and autism. In other words, there has been a known link. They changed data from a major 2004 study on the topic to hide the link, according to one of the authors of the report. This sounds like the cigarette industry all over again.
Bottom line: common sense tells me that good health follows good nutrition and minimal toxins. So why is our medical system knowingly putting toxins in our bodies? And why are we volunteering to have this done? My hope is that it's just an education issue, and if each person would take more time investigating outside of what their doctors or drug commercials tell them, we would see more people realizing that they have to take responsibility for their own health.
As with many in the natural health community, it's my suspicion that having people opt for nutrition and avoid toxins would start to turn the trend on autism. I can't state this as a fact -- it's only what the points above suggest to me.
If anyone thinks that they don't have the time to study or they don't have the money to invest in healthy food and/or supplements, they may not have thought through the time and cost involved in having a child with some sort of developmental disorder ... or the pain and cost of having their own increased health problems.
It's the "it'll never happen to me" syndrome that I think sinks so many of us. So what does it take? If one in three children got autism, do you imagine that everyone would take nutrition and toxins seriously? I'll bet most would. (And some believe that 1 in 11 will have autism by 2020.) How bad do the odds have to get before we decide that blindly following the instructions of those with a financial bias is a bad idea?
There are so many good options for turning the tide in your own life. You can explore the Natural Health articles on this site to begin or continue your own wellness journey. And if you're looking for serious and personalized nutritional guidance (lifestyle changes and supplement costs involved), I'm very impressed with the work my wife is doing, and encourage you to check out her work.