Diagnosis, causes of autism still spotty
Even though Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are nothing new, people still scratch their heads at the rise of autism incidences in recent years. The exact cause of autism is hotly contested, and there are several prevailing theories on how autism starts in children. Official sources such as the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)":http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html state *there is no single known cause of autism.*
"Dan Olmsted":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Olmsted, blogger and webmaster for www.ageofautism.com and former UPI columnist, thinks there is a “paradigm war” happening among those who believe ASD is a genetic predisposition, those who believe ASD is genetic with environmental triggers and those who believe ASD is caused by early childhood vaccinations.
Olmsted falls into the final camp of the three. He’s not anti-vaccine, he said, but believes that vaccine use is out of control.
“We probably would be better off with fewer vaccines and fewer combined shots and administering them spaced out and later,” Olmsted said.
While Olmsted believes demographics and socioeconomics have nothing to do with autism prevalence, he thinks that *initiatives in the developing world to increase vaccination is causing the rising number of autism cases in other countries,* particularly since many countries use vaccines laced with toxic mercury.
Since pinpointing the cause of autism is still a guessing game, the U.S. should fund more ASD research, Olmsted said. More money and effort should go into finding natural treatments and therapies for people with ASD, rather than treating them with anti-psychotic drugs and the like, he said.
*Medication, alternative medicine, therapy and dietary routines are the four main treatments for autism,* according to the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).":http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html The CDC reports that there are only medications, such as the anti-psychotic drug risperidone, to treat the symptoms of autism rather than cure it. Also, complementary and alternative medicines are both controversial and potentially harmful, the CDC website states.
There are many places to find autism treatments in the United States, including the "Autism Treatment Network":http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/programs/atn/, part of "Autism Speaks, Inc.,":http://www.autismspeaks.org/index.php and the doctors affiliated with "Defeat Autism Now!,":http://www.defeatautismnow.com/ which is part of the "Autism Research Institute.":http://www.autism.com/