what causes autism?

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  1. Little Nell profile image76
    Little Nellposted 13 years ago

    I was doing some internet research following a suggestion by my husband's doctor that he should have a blood test for Lyme Disease.  I came across a research paper that had carried out blood tests on children diagnosed with autism, and had found that 25% had antibodies to Lyme Disease.  Lyme Disease is a hugely underreported disease for a number of reasons:-  a tick bite can be easily missed,  the symptoms are flu-like and can be readily confused with a host of other infections.  Is it possible that an infection transmitted by a tick is responsible for the rising epidemic of children diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum?

    1. Charles James profile image68
      Charles Jamesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I suggest you look at the work of the late Dr Tomatis of France. He had considerable success in eliminating the autistic condition. One of my friends who is really into this says that Handel therapy is more effective and considerably cheaper than Tomatis therapy.
      What both "schools" say is that autism is an emotional and communications issue rather than bring linked to a physical condition.
      I do not know enough to comment.

      1. Mom n-os profile image57
        Mom n-osposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Charles,
        Ingo Steinbeck offers the SAMONAS method of assisting autistic children to relate more and this is based on the Tomatis system (he was one of the late doctor's students in this field). 
        There is also Dr. Michael Merzenich's Fast ForWord system, which is much harder to come by and more difficult to administer as it has to be sold/carried out by a licensed psychologist, OT, SLP practitioner.
        There are as many different ways to 'heal' or 'correct' autism offered, but I'd like to hear from someone who has actually been able to do it consistently and with evidence to back it up.  Anyone out there with this information?

    2. double_frick profile image60
      double_frickposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      i think thats an interesting theory. so what you are asking is: is it possible that those with autism have a case of misdiagnosed or undiagnosed lyme disease?
      and my answer is no. its not possible. just because lyme disease MAY be undiagnosed, but with the symptoms and the characteristic bull's-eye mark where a tick is or has bitten leaves little chance that a parent missed that, or that all parents of those with autism did.

      i don't know what causes autism.

      i don't think any one thing causes it.

      i've read and have pondered whether it may actually be an evolutionary trait.

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
        Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Apparently vaccinations don't cause autism according to this article.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/healt … ref=health

        A prominent British medical journal on Tuesday retracted a 1998 research paper that set off a sharp decline in vaccinations in Britain after the paper’s lead author suggested that vaccines could cause autism.

        The retraction by The Lancet is part of a reassessment that has lasted for years of the scientific methods and financial conflicts of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who contended that his research showed that the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine may be unsafe.

        [The entire article linked above is worth a read.]

        1. Mom n-os profile image57
          Mom n-osposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Hi Ralph,
          I personally know 2 children who reacted immediately with seizures and have ended up extremely autistic - for life - right after receiving vaccinations.
          I think they should test children for this BEFORE vaccination.  Not do away with them entirely.  Research is required in genetics before they can determine what type of test should be administered.  It might not be in our lifetime, but I hope for the sake of others that eventually something will be done.
          On another note;
          My son received the HEP A/B, Chicken Pox and the MMR vaccine all in one doctor's visit.  He was  diagnosed autistic a couple of years later.  Not one person on either side of his family is autistic, we all had regular vaccinations.  So where did this come from?

          1. melpor profile image91
            melporposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Vaccines do not cause autism. If that was the case it would be a lot more children with this condition. Also, a few days ago the scientist who conducted the study more than 10 years ago to determine the link between autism and vaccination admitted he fabricated the data. The data does not support the link between the two. Other scientists have been saying for years that there was no link between autism and vaccination. Genetics is the strongest of several causes or reasons  why autism occurs in many children.

  2. profile image0
    seasoningposted 13 years ago

    interesting point...... my grandson has autism,  They have moved to Florida to try to get the best help for him.... They have recently discovered he has some bacteria that stops  him getting the goodness out of his food, at present they are trying to clear this bacteria up, but it is proving extremely difficult....

    There are far too many people with autism, and something has to be done, research is going on, so let us hope they find out the true cause.   The strange thing is it effects more boys than girls,   it is an epidemic, how sad.

  3. skyfire profile image80
    skyfireposted 13 years ago

    How to find out if the person is into autism.

    1. thisisoli profile image70
      thisisoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Ermmm autism is not a belief!

      1. skyfire profile image80
        skyfireposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Well @seasoning said it's epidemic so maybe there is some way to find out ?

  4. Dena Bez profile image61
    Dena Bezposted 13 years ago

    I agree, Autism is not a belief, it is a disorder, and one that has no known causes but a lot of theories.  More research is needed and that is starting to happen.  I hadn't heard the tick causation theory yet, but unbalanced diet due to internal digestional orders I have heard.  Chemical imbalance basically.

    Awareness is key.

  5. Lynda Gary profile image61
    Lynda Garyposted 13 years ago

    Interesting question.

    I have a son who is autistic.
    I am trying to find a doctor to provide a Lyme disease evaluation for myself.
    As a result of these two things, I've reasonably educated on both subjects.  It never occurred to me that there might be a connection.  Hmmm.

    I WILL say, to differ with an earlier post, that a parent can EASILY overlook the bite / bulls-eye rash.

    We live in Missouri, and ticks are prevalent here.  I had a nightmare about them last night, in fact.  (How odd. LOL. It had to do with a stray dog, tick-infected. Whatever. I'm rambling.)

    The symptoms of Lyme disease are SOOO varied, I could see some cross over with autism.  But, truly, I can't imagine a connection.  Possibly, Lyme disease would lower the immune response, and somehow THAT would bring on autism?

    As for traditional "causes" of autism, the jury is still out.  My personal opinion is that there are multiple causes -- just like there are multiple causes for cancer.

    Too many people with autism respond positively to differing treatments, while others don't respond at all.  This suggests "types" of autism on the spectrum, yet the medical community has not (yet) divided it into sub-categories, only lists it as the same disease "on a spectrum."  I think in the future we'll discover that there are types of autism, just like types of cancer.

    1. Mom n-os profile image57
      Mom n-osposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree Lynda,
      it is tough for parents to decide what course of action to take to help our children when there are so many different treatments out there.  Since the attention to this 'disorder' is relatively new there is a massive influx of information out there that is incredibly confusing!

      There are so many varying components of behaviours that no two ASD kids are alike - so I don't think there is any ONE method that works, nor any ONE reason for the increased diagnosed rates.

      I have a blog site MOM N-OS where we share information and can make up our own minds on determining a course of action.  I am involved in research, support groups, provincial/national affiliations etc. So anything you'd like to share, please do!

  6. Rafini profile image71
    Rafiniposted 13 years ago

    Autism is possibly caused by a tick with Lyme Disease?  Did I get that right?

    I don't think so...my son never had a tick - it would have to still be in him if he was ever bitten...and he showed signs of Autism before he could sit up so I'm fairly sure he was never bitten.

    1. Lynda Gary profile image61
      Lynda Garyposted 13 years agoin reply to this


      Sorry for the confusion.

      It's possible that Lyme Disease symptoms cross-over with the autistic spectrum symptoms, and therefore it is just as possible that a child with BOTH will not be properly diagnosed.  At least, that is my understanding.

      I believe there are multiple causes for autism.  Just like cancer.  And that explains why certain treatments work for some kids but not for others.  (The food-related treatments, for example, had NO effect on my son.  They "cured" Jenny McCarthy's kid, though.)

      1. Rafini profile image71
        Rafiniposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I actually wrote an essay about this food treatment - for ADHD -  in 2002 (but I lost it when my floppy went bad) - I was VERY unhappy with it and don't believe it for a second.  It is my belief that the Parents who change their own behaviors through this program are changing the way they discipline/handle their kids and that is why they see improvement. 

        I remember trying to cut out foods that everyone said was the problem, the only problem was my son didn't eat much of that food to begin with!  He always wanted 'real' food, fruits, veggies, cheese, etc.  He didn't even eat candy at Halloween until he was about 8 years old.

        Multiple causes for Autism?  I don't know about that one...but then again, I have to get caught up!  lol

    2. Mom n-os profile image57
      Mom n-osposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Rafini,
      I agree.  I don't see much of a link here... that seems way too simple.
      MOM N-OS

  7. profile image0
    Pani Midnyte Odinposted 13 years ago

    No one knows the cause of autism. They've run many tests and each autistic patient differs greatly physically and mentally. The good news is that patients with autism can have very happy, very normal lives. I used to work as a living support staff for people with dementia and autism. I can personally attest that the residents with autism were some of the happiest and affectionate people I have ever met. At the moment, I have made friends on a chat game with a sixteen year old boy who has autism. He lives with his grandmother and, upon finding out that I had experience with autistic patients, she introduced us in a chat conference. I've become the boys confidante, in a way. He is so smart and so kind!

  8. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 12 years ago

    It might be epidural and vaccination or both. We interfere with natural processes in a complex mechanism of a human body. We still don't know a lot.
    I never heard about epidural in my old country.
    I never heard about autism in my old country. Well, may be it was called differently.
    But that means nothing. It all might be just coincidence.

    1. TahoeDoc profile image79
      TahoeDocposted 12 years agoin reply to this


  9. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 12 years ago

    Yes, epidural. As long as you and your baby are connected - you share everything. Well, I do not insist, it's just my theory. I see that babies born after epidural don't even cry loud sometimes, just calm, quiet, sleepy. When I saw that it struck as unbelievable wrong, as in my experience(and I gave life to 3 of them in my old country without any anesthesia, of course), every single baby cried very agressively right after birth and not just mine. First 5 minutes loud and clear. It was one of the signs that baby was okay!

    1. TahoeDoc profile image79
      TahoeDocposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and theories. I have placed thousands of epidurals and been around for hundreds of  births and know of no such connection, so I'll have to disagree. If you have some data about how many babies you've seen born of mothers who had epidurals, didn't cry loudly after birth and ended up being autistic, I'd love to see it,  please.
      As for mine, I had epidurals with both and they both screamed their heads off.

      1. profile image0
        Home Girlposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I once accidently dropped my baby on the cemented porch head on and he ended up okay, just had bump. I don't know. Something does it for sure. Sometimes innocently looking things hurt the most. I read a lot about epidural on Internet, it does not look that innocent. Vaccination paralisized my brother for life. One small shot, so innocent... I cannot prove anything, I wish I could.

        1. TahoeDoc profile image79
          TahoeDocposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Whether epidurals are "innocent" or not does not mean they cause autism.

  10. 2besure profile image81
    2besureposted 12 years ago

    There is noting anyone can tell me, to convince me that autism is not caused by childhood vaccinations.  My grandson was talking and communication well until after vaccination.

    1. Druid Dude profile image60
      Druid Dudeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think that with the outrageous number of environmental pollutants we pumped into our lives, a definitive cause will remain elusive. The recent spike in autism births over the last two decades indicates some new variable, in conjunction with what we know, or suspect has something to do with it.

      1. 2besure profile image81
        2besureposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Even if the medical field is aware that childhood vaccinations are causing this spike in autism cases, they would never admit it for fear of a landslide of law suites.

        I also don't trust research reports contradicting the link between autism and vaccination.  It is too easy to bribe a research with grants to continue research.

        1. CYBERSUPE profile image60
          CYBERSUPEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          It is also easy to bribe a research team into saying that vaccinations do cause autism.

  11. TahoeDoc profile image79
    TahoeDocposted 12 years ago

    Yep, Wakefield fabricated the data because he was being paid over $700,000  by lawyers who wanted to sue the vaccine makers. He altered and fabricated the medical records of children to make the data fit. No one had been able to duplicate his findings which is what raised suspicion in the first place. All the other studies by different groups, unrelated to him and unrelated to each other could not corroborate the findings. Believe me, there was more money to be made by being the discoverer of the cause of autism, than one who would cover it up.

    I don't know or even have a guess at this point about what causes autism. A lot of people still are convinced of the vaccine connection, but as for Wakefield's methods and conclusions, they are discredited.

    What I REALLY don't want is fraudulent research or every random "theory" on the internet to cloud the picture. We need to find out what is going on.

  12. CYBERSUPE profile image60
    CYBERSUPEposted 12 years ago

    Thank You TahoeDoc for you input and I am of the same opinion.
    I to read the same report as you did and wrote a Hub on the subject. The Hub is "Do Vaccies Cause Autism"


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