There are many factors that seem to play into the development of autism including genetics, the mother’s diet, the child’s diet, as well as the physical health and age of the father. There is a lot left to learn about autism, and with the amount of children being diagnosed with autism, research better be done in an effective manner. However, this amount of children diagnosed with autism could be the result of various onsets. A major player in this is that the autism spectrum has been broadened. There is a whole category of autism designated by “unspecified.” For me, it is hard to understand how this is considered autism in the first place. If a child has something that is not categorized as autism, or something that is directly on the autism spectrum, why is it considered autism? I am starting to think that this disease is becoming a scapegoat for many children illnesses. This, in turn, can be harmful to the child who won’t get the correct kind of help he/she needs.
A reason for this spike of children being diagnosed with autism that I cannot seem to get away from is just how much our lifestyle has changed. There are pesticides and GMOs in almost everything, I wonder if it is directly correlated to this disease. Not only the alteration of food genes, but also the way we consume food as a society. It is almost impossible to get food that has come from the same state we live in, especially in the Midwest in the winter. The growing season is not long, so we have fixed this problem not by building better storage devices, but rather changing the food we are eating. I don’t understand how this can be safe for future generations who will know anything but genetically modified food. Of course not everything about altered food genetics are bad, but it is interesting that as soon as we start to change what we eat, especially mothers who are pregnant, we see changes in the generation that follows.
Children who are born with autism are obviously directly influenced by his/her mother, which is why the diet for pregnant women is so strict. If a child does not have enough good fatty acids in his/her brain, there is a much higher change that that child will have inflammation in his/her brain and the brain will not be able to develop in a way that is considered normal. This is also true after birth. A child on the autism spectrum has to undergo a lot of therapy, and surprisingly a lot of dietary restrictions. Many of these restrictions come from food intolerances, but a diet with lots of good fats (poly-unsaturated fatty acids) are seen as helpful for a child with brain development issues. Although it is still being study, they may be able to help prevent, or even in some cases reverse, autism and autism symptoms.
There is a lot that needs to be done in order to help people who have autism, and understand how this disease works. I also believe that it is important to understand why there is such a drastic increase autistic children. This is yet again another reason to take a look at how our society, as a whole, has changed and possibly do away with many of the “helpful” changes we thought would do no harm to us and the future generations.