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what-is-autismHow Do You Get Autism

We all hope and pray that our children will grow up healthy and happy, and without a disability like autism.  We work hard as moms to nurture and raise up our children in the best way we can.  But there are times when our intuition tells us there is something wrong; something a bit "off" as we see our child faltering developmentally, like autism.  It could be a hearing problem, it could be a learning disability or something else. And no matter what it is and how much we worry about it, the truth is, any "red flag" we see in our child's behavior is pause for us to check it out.

Children and Autism

Many of us have friends that have autistic children.  It is difficult to understand what causes autism and even top researchers are still baffled, although great strides have been made in identifying, understanding the brain chemistry and seeking solutions. So what are the solutions?  How do children become autistic?  There are many theories out there but little has been proven.

Causes of Autism

  • The question of vaccines playing a part.  There are some who say that the mumps-measles shot is linked to autism, in that it causes problems in the intestines which lead to autism.  Another theory is that the mercury in some shots as a preservative causes autism.  The medical community steadfastly denies this.
  • The question of genetics playing a part.  Researchers have found that families with a member who has autism tend to have children with autism.  However, there have also been what researchers call a sudden or spontaneous genetic mutation, meaning that the mutation negates the genetic component. 
  • Brain Differences. As researchers study brain development, they have found that autistic children have larger brains.  Not only that, but they are finding an autistic brain is wired differently, in that autistic children process information in a different way.
  • Do Food Allergies Cause Autism? Many parents and researchers think so.  Jenny McCarthy, famous actress who had a child with autism claims she healed him from it by completely revamping his diet.  Researchers think certain foods contribute to autistic tendencies.  Wheat and dairy seem to be the main possibilities.

Proven Causes of Autism

Keep in mind that most cases of autism are a mystery.  Researchers are baffled as to how it developed.  The truly documented cases of autism, though, seem to point mainly to genetic disorders that run in families, including Fragile X syndrome, Tuberous sclerosis, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Rett Syndrome.  Also a definite cause of autism is the taking of an anti-seizure medicine during pregnancy called Depakote.

Symptoms of Autism

Social Behavior.  Children with autism seem to live in their own little worlds, wanting to play by themselves, not making eye and unwilling to let you hold and cuddle them. They also may not answer you when you call their name and have trouble undestanding other's feelings.

Language Skills Delayed.  The autistic child either talks later than 2 years of age or loses ability to speak previously learned language.  The child's intonation may also sound different when talking and may repeat words over and over again.

Different Behavior.  Specific routines and rituals need to be adhered to in the autistic child.  Failure to keep things consistent with them results in disturbed behavior; they will become very upset.  Autistic children also need to keep moving at all times, can be especially sensitive to sound and light.  Additionally they can become mesmerized with the smallest of objects.

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