What Are The Characteristics For Autism? What Causes It, And How Can I Protect My Child's Health?
What are the characteristics for autism?
Autism or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined as an abnormal neurological development syndrome. It has been seen and recognized increasingly in children during the last two decades of the 20th Century.
The symptoms, when grouped together, form a similar problem. Most cases of autism are usually diagnosed before the age of 3.
Stay up to date with the latest news by signing up for our e-zine:
Some of the characteristics for autism shown by children may be manifest by lack of affection, resistance to cuddling, or difficulty forming interpersonal relationships. Those suffering from autism typically withdraw into their own world and show minimal interest in their family, friends, and surroundings.
Other characteristics for autism may include difficulty with language, and their communication skills may be lacking. Other notable signs are lack of physical contact and eye contact.
It is often noted as one of the characteristics for autism that relationships with other people often don’t develop quite normally. It's as if the child is in their own world.
Aside from social difficulties, autistic children often exhibit repeated body movements, such as rocking, hand flapping, or finger flipping. Common symptoms may also include the repetition of words or phrases (called echolalia) and dependence on rigid routines.
In extreme cases, there can be self-mutilation or bodily injury as characteristics for autism. Fortunately, this is rare, but all of this put together makes it increasingly stressful for parents to deal with.
When discussing the characteristics for autism, it has been found that approximately 2-6 kids out of 1,000 have autism, or roughly one out of 150. Autistic spectrum disorder is on the increase and now considered epidemic.
Many feel the changes are linked to what children are exposed to either in the womb or as young children.
Might it be linked to their inability to detoxify certain poisons they are exposed to?
There are currently not a lot of options available to treat those suffering from autism. The two ways that we know of to treat this consist of a good offense and defensive strategy:
Offense : Limiting the exposure to these environmental toxins.
Defense : Helping those affected to detoxify from the
they are exposed to more efficiently to reduce their damaging effects.
We will discuss both strategies here.
Characteristics For Autism : Autism Causes
The autism causes are still unknown. There are several mechanisms believed to be at work, which include environmental and genetic actors.
Conventional wisdom tells us at this point that the characteristics for autism and autism causes are a combination of genetic and environmental in nature.
A genetic predisposition to autism may be triggered by exposure to certain environmental substances.
We know for absolutely sure that autism causes have nothing to do with parental neglect or abuse.
Autism causes are often associated with other diseases. It is being found more frequently along with with congenital rubella or measles, Fragile X syndrome, and Down's syndrome.
Many, when asking about the characteristics for autism, would like to know if there is a test for it. There is currently not a specific test for autism that we know of.
Likely, we will probably never see one test that effectively diagnoses autism spectrum disorder. There are many different possible pathways for autism causes.
Researchers are continually looking for biomarkers or autism genes for autism causes, but apparently there is no single one that appears in all cases.
For this reason, autism is considered a complex disorder - meaning that autism is not the simple result of a simple cause.
It is like a complex puzzle with many components, and many possible keys for unlocking it's mystery.
What are the autism causes? All theories have some plausibility. None can be entirely excluded, but they don’t all share the same possible causes.
Exposure to teratogens (substances known to cause birth defects), viral infection, oxytocin exposure during delivery, and exposure to mercury have all been considered.
So it seems prudent to limit your exposure to these where possible for the first line of defense in treating the characteristics for autism.
Characteristics For Autism : Autism Causes : Autism and Vaccinations
Mercury is a very potent neurotoxin. This means it is a poison to your nervous system. The only substance that is more dangerous to your nervous system is Plutonium.
There is a theory about autism causes that links mercury exposure to autism, and it is getting more attention. It still remains very controversial.
However, the evidence to support a mercury link to autism is rising. Mercury's effects on the unborn or the developing child is not as well understood as the established effects on adults.
To view firsthand the effects of mercury on brain cells or neurons, watch this video clip entitled "How Mercury Kills the Brain:"
So if mercury is at least part of the picture, then the question comes up, how are these affected children being exposed?
As an unborn child, it is well known that heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and others can cross the placenta if the mother is exposed during pregnancy.
Regarding mercury exposure, there is still much debate about mercury in dental amalgams and fillings being a possible source of exposure.
Environmental pollution is a major source of mercury exposure for some. For most, the major source of mercury exposure is due to fish consumption that contains high amounts of this dangerous heavy metal.
We should follow the established guidelines and limit the amount of mercury - laden fish we consume, if at all. Reducing our exposure to this harmful neurotoxin is a step we all can take. This would be especially important for pregnant women.
Regarding autism causes, the next logical question is how do babies get exposed to mercury if they aren’t eating fish?
Over the last few decades, the amount of children being immunized and the amount of immunizations each child receives are on the rise. The number of cases of documented autism is parallel to the amount of vaccinations.
So there is much debate over whether there is a link between immunization and autism. Is it the vaccine itself that is causing the concern?
No, it is not in fact the immunization itself that many are concerned about, it is the preservative used in the preparation. Many vaccinations contain the preservative thimerosal- which many are allergic to, and this contains almost 50% ethyl mercury.
So the solution for immunizations and autism would seem to get rid of the thimerosal, right?
This is not so simple. Thimerosal is being used much more judiciously now, and in many parts of the world, we are told it is outlawed, but in developing countries, it is still largely popular.
In the United States, some will have you believe that thimerosal has been removed from all vaccines. However, this is not the case.
Notice this recent report from the United States from Washington State Department of Health in 2008 which limits the amount of mercury in vaccines
(this link opens in a new window)
You can read more about thimerosal and vaccines on the FDA's website
Why not ban thimerosal entirely? It is a politically loaded question, and also loaded with legalities. When it comes to autism and vaccinations, if mercury is the culprit, then the legal implications are staggering, with the lawsuits that are sure to follow.
Many still don’t believe that thimerosal is the culprit. And so the vaccine controversy is not likely to go away anytime soon.
Some say the only reason autism is going up is because we are looking for it more closely. Other groups see the link between autism and vaccinations, and want to outlaw thimerosal completely. There are extremes at both ends of the spectrum.
So limit your exposure where you can to known autism causes, and this takes care of the first step - a good offense.
The second step is to remove the toxins that do make it in - the best defense.
Characteristics For Autism - Glutathione To Detoxify
So what can be done to help with the characteristics for autism?
Do your own research.
By now, you may be familiar with the detoxifying protein found in your body called glutathione. If you are not, please click
Immunocal is a patented
undenatured whey protein
that raises glutathione. You can take the building blocks for raising glutathione, or use intravenous chelation therapy.
Immunocal is so effective, it is considered an oral chelating agent.
The majority of children that receive immunizations have been found to tolerate mercury quite well. What is different about autistic children when it comes to autism and vaccinations?
Characteristics For Autism : Low Glutathione Levels and Oxidative Stress
Concerning autism causes, In the 1970s, a team of French researchers in Paris noted that autistic children had low glutathione levels.
More studies were done about ten years later in Turkey by two groups, one of child psychiatrists and one of biochemists. They found the same results, and felt that
was causing neurological damage.
At the turn of the millenium, research was more focused on allergies or toxins being an important causative factor in autism.
It has long been known that the highest amounts of glutathione are found in the liver, our main organ of detoxification.
Recently, a research team led by Dr. Jill James from the University of Arkansas helped to sort out some of the confusion for autism causes.
Working with the National Institute of Health, she found that the majority of autistic kids they looked at were low on glutathione. They were able to raise these levels through diet and supplementation with success.
There was a medical paper published on this in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004. 80% of kids tested were glutathione deficient - and of these, they had 50% less glutathione than their age matched control group. It was like they were running on half a tank compared to their healthy counterparts.
The idea then arose that many children with characteristics for autism were not able to protect themselves from the damaging effects of neurotoxic heavy metals.
Dr. Jimmy Gutman co-authored a paper on this. There was an initial pilot study done first to see if Immunocal was safely tolerated by autistic children.
This was because many believed that proteins in milk can make autistic kids worse. In milk, there is a protein called casein. As a result, many follow a gluten-free, casein-free diet, with good results.
Immunocal is a milk derivative. The casein has been removed, so it is negligible in Immunocal. They wanted to show that this supplement strategy was well tolerated. This was demonstrated.
This study was very small and did not achieve statistical significance, but the trends toward improvement were clear. This formed the basis for further larger studies.
The paper, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is referenced here:
Kern JK, Jones AM "Evidence of toxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal insult in autism“ J Tox Envir Health 9(6): 485-499, 2006
Now that tolerability had been demonstrated, there are larger studies underway currently that focus on behavior as the primary endpoint for characteristics of autism and autism causes.
For more on medical research on autism in regards to glutathione with Dr. Jimmy Gutman, please watch this video:
Other studies are being done also on intravenous glutathione therapy.
For all of the ways to raise glutathione, please click
The results of these studies will be published soon, and we will keep you updated as the results are released.
Characteristics For Autism : Autistic Research
There are published medical studies available at www.pubmed.gov that you can view directly from this website. The studies referred to on this page are shown here.
To view the study, "Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impaired methylation capacity in children with autism", click
This study found that “An increased vulnerability to oxidative stress and a decreased capacity for methylation may contribute to the development and clinical manifestation of autism.”
To view the study, "Evidence of toxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal insult in autism, " click
(this link opens in a new window)
In conclusion, it is up to each and every one of us to do our own research.
Autism is a multi-factorial disease involving a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The characteristics for autism are many, as are there many possible autism causes.
No one single cause for autism is likely to be found in the near future.
One common thread for characteristics for autism that seems to be found among many suffering is a glutathione deficiency.
Early trials suggest that raising glutathione has potential, and much larger research studies are currently underway to establish glutathione up-regulation as a strategy to treat the symptoms of autism.
Do your own research. Clinical trials need to be submitted to an independent review board, (IRB), and the Federal Government for accreditation.
This is followed by submission to the ethics board, where they sort through and determine credibility, submit to the study results board for review, and then and only then will it be published.
To conduct your research, you can google glutathione and autism. For even better results, you can go to www.pubmed.gov and type in "glutathione" and "autism."
I advise you go to PubMed. All of the clinical trials published in the world are here. And you don't have to be a doctor to check it out!
-The preceding information for "Characteristics For Autism" was summarized from a live Medline call done by Dr. Jimmy Gutman, author of "Glutathione - Your Key to Health", broadcast on July 15, 2009. Dr. Gutman is the world's most published author on the subject of glutathione.