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General paper about Autism Essay

Autism is a complex brain disorder that often inhibits a person’s ability to communicate, respond to surroundings, and form relationships with others. First identified more than 50 years ago, autism is typically diagnosed by the age of two or three. Autism affects people of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Few disorders are as devastating to a child and his or her family.(The Autism Book) While some people with autism are mildly affected, most people with the condition will require lifelong supervision and care and have significant language impairments. Many children with autism will never be able to tell their parents they love them. So the next time you are mad at your parents and don’t want to even say the words I love you, put yourself in this position and re-think your decision, you could have it worse.

Studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention suggest that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders has significantly increased, from approximately four in 10,000 in the early 1990s to as many as one in every 166 births today. Despite strikingly high prevalence, autism research remains one of the lowest funded areas of medical research by both public and private sources. Currently, the causes of autism are unknown and there are no specific medical treatments or cure. Physicians have no blood test or diagnostic scan that can definitively diagnose the disorder. As such, the diagnosis of autism is based solely upon observations of behavior.(American Academy of Pediatrics)

There is no known single cause for autism, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in autistic versus non-autistic children. Researchers are investigating a number of theories, including the link between heredity, genetics and medical problems. In many families, there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities, further supporting a genetic basis to the disorder. While no one gene has been identified as causing autism, researchers are searching for irregular segments of genetic code that autistic children may have inherited. It also appears that some children are born with a susceptibility to autism, but researchers have not yet identified a single “trigger” that causes autism to develop.

Other researchers are investigating the possibility that under certain conditions, a cluster of unstable genes may interfere with brain development resulting in autism.(Institute of Medicine) Still other researchers are investigating problems during pregnancy or delivery as well as environmental factors such as viral infections, metabolic imbalances, and exposure to environmental chemicals. Autism tends to occur more frequently than expected among individuals who have certain medical conditions, including Fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, congenital rubella syndrome, and untreated phenylketonuria (PKU).( American Academy of Pediatrics) Some harmful substances ingested during pregnancy also have been associated with an increased risk of autism. Early in 2002, The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) prepared a literature review of hazardous chemical exposures and autism and found no compelling evidence for an association; however, there was very limited research and more needs to be done.(The Autism Book)

The question of a relationship between vaccines and autism continues to be debated. In a 2001 investigation by the Institute of Medicine, a committee concluded that the “evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship…. between MMR vaccines and autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).” The committee acknowledged, however, that “they could not rule out” the possibility that the MMR vaccine could contribute to ASD in a small number of children.(www.immuzationinfo.org) While other researchers agree the data does not support a link between the MMR and autism, more research is clearly needed.

Researchers focus in on toxic mercury found in these vaccines that may cause autism and exposure to a wide range of adverse health effects. (www.autism-society.com) Currently in the United States there is a public health effort to reduce human exposure to mercury from all sources. Still Autism continues to be an unsolved mystery when it comes to immunizations and any other theory. While there is no evidence that any child has been harmed by the mercury content of a vaccine, some parents and health care providers still have questions: What is thimerosal? Why is it in some vaccines? Does it present a risk to children? Is it still in the vaccines that children receive? How can you be so sure it has no effect, and if it does not have an effect than what is it?

In my opinion, wouldn’t it be something if all this time it was the vaccines that were the main contributors that triggers that one thing in our bodies that could happen in every one of us but in certain cases doesn’t mesh and¬†we are “safe”? All this time we could have the cure at the tip of our fingers, yet we are so lost within statistical autistic studies. I believe Autism is an autoimmune deficiency disease and it manifests itself at an early age as autism. Maybe this is pre-destined for you at that ripe age such as other categories containing Crohns, MS, ADD, etc, but at that one instance when receiving the vaccine ,BOOM, you’re autistic. Basically, if it is not the immunization, what is it? The lack of intelligence portrayed in this subject is strikingly too high, what do you think?

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