What is scarier than having raised your child with a cognitive or neurodegenerative disease from birth? Seeing him or her regressing from a bright, active, talkative little child to a listless, almost catatonic one involved in his/her own little world – the indicator of autism.

The latest statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are affirming this potential nightmare for parents: an increase in the prevalence of autistic children from 1 in 68 in 2004, to 1 in 59 in 2006! The state of New Jersey leads the U.S. in terms of autism prevalence – a ratio of 1 in 35 children, and 1 in 22 boys. In simple terms, it means 5% of boys in New Jersey have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as defined by the new autism guidelines by the country.

Of the children they found with autism in the U.S., 56% had an evaluated IQ of 85 or less. This means these children have intellectual disability with the majority of those children having an IQ of less than 70.

Autism – Genetically Determined or Man-made?

Many scientists have asserted that autism is genetically determined, and researchers have been looking for the genome that is causing this disorder for quite some time. However, the over 400 genes that have been attributed to autism risk were discovered to only contribute to a fraction of the autism cases.

Eventually, researchers and the media coined the phrase “individuals born with autism” to differentiate autistic children who developed and regressed into autism after birth.

The numbers are giving us an idea of how prevalent autism is these days – and how dramatic the change is in the last 18 years since the CDC started to officially count autism numbers in the U.S. In 2000, the prevalence was 1 in 250 kids, then 1 in 133 (2006), followed by 1 in 88 (2012), 1 in 68 (2014), and currently, 1 in 59 kids. Of course, you only realize how drastic the change is when you compare it to the rate of autism in the 1980s which was near 1 in 2,000 children.

If this trend is going to continue in an ever-increasing rate, there will definitely be an epidemic of a developmental disorder where the majority of children will never be able to live independently on their own.

Now, going back to the issue of “individuals or children born with autism”, a lot of the kids that you are seeing with autism now were not really born with it. These kids were born normally, developed normally and functioned normally for the first one year to one and a half years of life, and then they “regressed” into their isolated and disabling world of autism. It is believed, based on the number of studies and interviews that were conducted on the issue that the decline in cognitive functions happened after an environmental stressor.

That environmental stressor, in my opinion, could be vaccines (active ingredient thimerosal has mercury which could impact negatively onto neurocognitive functions of the body), processed food, cooking food using Teflon pans, or even ordinary market vegetables with herbicides such as Roundup. The list of environmental stressors is getting longer every year that it’s not surprising anymore if someone – in this case, your kid – is going to be impacted by the effects of “environmental stressors”.

Just before the release of the latest CDC autism prevalence statistics, another research entitled “Onset Patterns in Autism: Variation across Informants, Methods, and Timing,” was conducted by Dr. Sally Ozonoff and her colleagues at the prestigious UC Davis MIND Institute. The study tracked the onset of autistic symptoms as evaluated by parents and special education professionals using an autism assessment tool called Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

It was discovered that among the children diagnosed with autism, 88% were found to have a decline in function, meaning “regression” from a state of average to above average performance to the autistic state they are in now. In fact, the study examined 147 infants with a family history of ASD and 83 without a history during seven comprehensive practitioner assessments within the first three years of life of the children.

Moreover, the researchers discovered a higher rate of regression among the subjects – 88% compared to only 69% as reported by parents. This figure was even smaller – at 40% when recall of incidents was used to assess the subjects.

The conclusion that is most impactful for us and those in the industry from this study is that nearly all of the children followed in the study who developed autism had regressive autism. They definitely were not born with it. If they were not born with it, then the challenge now is to conduct more extensive studies to find the specific environmental stressors that caused the cognitive decline among autistic children.

If you’d like to know more about how to keep your children’s minds healthier to withstand and cope with environmental stressors, do check out our websites at www.naturalcancermedicine.org or www.drfarrah.online.