Increase in Autism Rates

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

A new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 88 American children has some form of autism spectrum disorder. That's a 78% increase in 10 years. The increase in numbers are attributed to better diagnosis, broader diagnosis, and better awareness. However, according to Mark Roithmayr, president of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, the reason for about 50% of the increase is unknown. Research has pointed to environmental changes as one of the reasons for this increase. The three BIG environmental influences seem to be: 1) Pesticides: Infants and small children should be consuming organic foods as much as possible. Especially when it comes to fruits, vegetables and dairy. 2) Overuse of antibiotics: Ear infections are very common in children and so is prescribing antibiotics. Most ear infections are viral and will not be helped by antibiotics. Overuse can cause resistance to superbugs, as well as lowered immunity. 3) Changes in diet (possible allergens): This one is a little tougher, but many parents have noticed improvements when eliminating certain foods, particularly casein (found in dairy), gluten and MSG. Luckily, with awareness and some effort, these are all relatively easy changes to make.