Is there a cause for autism?

Having two children with autism, I often get asked what do you think caused them to have autism? This is an ongoing question for many years. First things first, I believe that many things influence the way autism presents itself in diffterent children. I am a nurse/mother and have medical and mother reasoning for why things happen. I feel that there is obviously a genetic factor, being that both my sons fall on the autism spectrum. However, I know that although they are genetically related they present with different symptoms at any given moment. I feel that our environment does have something to do with the severity as well. But to say there is one or a handful of things that causes autism, people just don’t know the answers. There is need for more research on autism across the world. There isn’t one magic “treatment or cure” for cancer, so why should autism be treated any differently. There are a handful of things that improve the outcomes of children on the spectrum, that is speech, occupational, and Applied behavior analysis. There are many other treatments, therapies, diets and experimental treatments to choose from. What works for Hunter as far as diet or suppliments, can make our son Tristan into a totally different and quite a wild little man. So the first thing to do is the basics. Sleeping, eating and giving them the supports to communicate wants and needs are the most important things at first. It is not uncommon for children on the spectrum to have many sleep issues and be reluctant to eat more than a few select food items. Any person that is malnurished and sleep deprived, is going to have some issues in their activities of daily living. I mean think about having a child sick all night and not getting sleep? Then going to work pretty much exhausted, you do not interact well with people and feel agitated. Our children have problems sleeping and are reluctant eaters. They have vitamin defiencies that lead to further issues with sleep and behavior patterns. Frequent infections and poor immune function really cause Hunter to deteriorate in his social skills as well as his fine motor skills. If you were sick all the time, would you be able to do your job or even make it there? I feel that treating my children’s health issues they have greatly improved with their autism symptoms and ability to tolerate the hectic sensory overload that they encounter in social situations. We all suffer from sensory over load at one time or the other. Think about how your child feels? Put yourself in their shoes for a minute, if you yourself are out and its loud just multiply that by 100 and that is how they feel. There are a lot of options for treating the symptoms of autism, however, I feel that the symptoms are definatley more defined when we have tired and sick babies trying to live in a world that is totally out of sync with the comfort of routine and schedule. In essence, we must first get to the root of the problems internally to treat the outer shell of autism as we see it. Your child is different than mine and what works for Hunter may not be good at all for Tristan. The parents KNOW what’s going on and that is who physician’s, therapist’s, teachers and others need to listen to and learn not necessarily what causes autism, but how to adapt to the autistic child’s world and help them feel better and perform to their best ability. Most of all learn to accept autism because it is here to stay and on the rise. So the actual cause/causes is still unknown and we need to research more to find out why it’s growing and how to help the precious loved ones with it.

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