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"Autism is a treatable condition that requires much patience, understanding and love". Dr. K. Ferraro !
9 Brookwood Avenue    Carlisle, PA 17015   Ph  (717) 243-0616   Fax  (717) 245-2351

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Autism

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

We have all seen bumper stickers on cars as we are driving that read "Autism Awareness". As much as these puzzled ribbons bring autism to mind, we should really look at autism differently. The incidence of autism has been increasing exponentially. Why do I say that? Look at the statistics in the graph below (Figure 1.).

This graph, is frightening, because it shows a near exponential rise in the incidence of autism in our country. I won't go through all of the details, but using this graph, one can reasonably predict that the incidence of autism will increase significantly in the near future. Especially if we continue on the current trajectory we are following now.

So what is the cause of autism, along with this graph there have been many correlations, increased use of certain chemicals, perhaps metal exposures, immune reactions from infections or other causes, or even the increase in electromagnetic frequency use. All of these things have increased together with the autism incidence.

Despite these increases, not every child who has been exposed to these potential environmental triggers is diagnosed with autism. The best explanation is that we are all born with a certain genetic susceptibility to autism or other conditions, and if we have an increased genetic risk for the condition and the correct set of environmental exposures we get a constellation of symptoms we call autism. A popular phrase in the autism community is that there are autisms and not truly one diagnosis of autism. What does this mean? It means that the diagnosis of autism is just a name given to a symptom cluster, but the cause of autism can vary greatly among individuals. I have found, for example, that there is autism associated with infections (causing a chronic inflammatory and immune processes), there is autism associated with food intolerances- such as gluten and dairy sensitivity and there is autism due to intrauterine events among others.



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