© December 2012, The Center For Development
Autism is a serious behavioral disorder among young children that now occurs at epidemic rates. According to a recent article, autism is diagnosed in America about 1 of every 120 girls and 1 in every 70 boys. In some areas, it is far more prevalent. It is now occurring around the world, especially in the developed nations of the world.
According to California records, autism has increased 1000% in the past 20 years! Autism used to account for 3% of the caseload of the California Department of Economic Security. As of 2012, it accounts for at least 35% of the caseload and costs taxpayers about $2 million per child! Lifetime care costs are easily five times higher.
This article discusses the possible causes for autism, natural approaches to helping autistic children, and autism prevention. The latter is quite simple.
WHAT IS AUTISM?
In nutritional balancing science, autism is regarded as a type of social anxiety disorder. A young child who often begins life normally, suddenly begins to withdraw socially and in other ways. The reason, at one level, is that there is too much chaos internally in the brain and nervous system. The child responds by withdrawing to reduce stimulation and chaos from outside. This understanding may sound odd, but it helps explain some autistic symptoms.
The cause of the internal brain chaos is always nutritional in nature, and is always aggravated by certain food allergies and by the presence of viruses, usually acquired through vaccination of the child when very young.
In a typical autism case, around the second birthday, a normally-developing child stops communicating with others and withdraws. There is little eye contact and the child may act strange and aloof. Various motor nerve disturbances may occur such as jerking movements or walking on his toes. Physicians also describe behaviors such as head banging, crying spells, speech problems, and gastrointestinal and immune system problems.
Other behaviors depend on the severity of the condition, which may vary. Some autistic children are able to attend school, while others must be institutionalized as their behavior is so disruptive to their families.
A complex scale of levels of autism has been set up to classify what is now called autism spectrum disorder. This is admirable, but does little to help parents really get to the root causes of the problem.
Medical doctors claim they do not know the cause of autism. However, research from hair mineral analysis always reveals:
1. Severe zinc and perhaps other nutrient deficiencies.
2. The presence of excessive toxic metals.
3. A reduced ability to eliminate toxic metals, especially mercury.
In addition, secondary causes include:
A. Leaky gut syndrome and food sensitivities or food intolerances.
B. Perhaps other infections that affect overall health.
When these causes are corrected, the entire syndrome goes away, especially when correction is done early in a child’s life.
Cause #1. Nutritional deficiencies. Without exception, all autistic children are malnourished, usually from birth. This has to do with the nutrition of their mothers, and perhaps that of their fathers, as well. All children born in the Western world today are malnourished to some degree, in my experience.
It is hard to overcome the problem because the food supply is depleted of nutrient minerals, in particular, due to the exclusive use of hybridized crops around the world.
It is made far worse by the popular habit of eating refined white flour products, refined white sugar, white rice, and millions of pounds of chemical additives and preservatives and other substances that make the food taste and look good, but have little or no nutritional value.
The problem is made far worse by the widespread use of medical drugs and over-the-counter drugs that damage the intestinal lining, causing impaired absorption of nutrients. Even worse, the lifestyles of young women today do not favor good nutrition. Most stay up late at night, work too hard, eat on the run, and in general do not care for themselves well at all.
All of this must be addressed now, or the problems of autism, attention deficit disorders, delayed development, failure to thrive, cancers in children and other health issues will only get worse. For more on this important topic, read Having Healthy Children on this website.
Cause #2. Toxic metals. All children with autism, without exception, have excessive amounts of toxic metals in the brain. This is beyond dispute, in my mind, based on hair analysis research on these children. Hair tissue mineral testing is an excellent research tool with autism, by the way.
Chelation. Do not use chelation therapy for autism. It is not safe. The drugs are toxic, but worse is that all chelators, even the mild oral and rectal and transdermal ones, remove some vital minerals along with the toxic ones. This is the main problem with chelation therapy for heavy metals. I never use it, and I would stay far away from it, as it is not needed. Nutritional balancing works far better, and is much safer and more gentle as well.
Toxic metal types of autistic children. I have found several toxic metal types of autistic children, each of whom have slightly different mineral patterns. Most of the children have a combination of these types, with predominance of one or another of the toxic metal types below:
A. Cadmium/mercury types. This is the most severe autistic type, usually with very abnormal behavior patterns, no speech, almost complete withdrawal from family and society, and the most difficult to correct. Fortunately, it is not the most common one, however.
B. Manganese/aluminum types. This is the most common type of toxic metal autism. It causes severe mental illness, but not the level of mental retardation found with the cadmium type, so it is easier to correct in this regard.
C. Copper type. This is also a fairly common type, with copper as the predominant toxic metal. This type is the one with the most digestive problems, for whom getting off all gluten such as wheat, rye, oats and barley, as well as all casein or dairy products, produces quite dramatic improvements, although it is not nearly enough for full correction.
Cause #3. All autistic children seem to have difficulty eliminating toxic metals. Ninety-nine percent of autistic children in a recent study have dysfunctional metallothionein metabolism. Metallothionein is a protein that binds to toxic minerals such as mercury, copper and others and allows the body to eliminate them. If this binding protein does not function well, one is less able to transport and eliminate many toxic metals.
We find that children with autism often have low hair mercury levels on their first hair mineral test. Their levels of other toxic metals are often low, as well. This is a pattern termed a poor eliminator pattern on a properly performed hair mineral analysis. It indicates difficulty eliminating the toxic metal, and not that the metal is not present. In fact, it is present in excess because the body cannot eliminate it adequately.
This concept is a key to autism that must not be overlooked, since removal of toxic metals is necessary for complete reversal of this serious condition. However, the best way to boost metallothionein, ceruloplasmin and other mineral transporters is not with random vitamin supplements, but with a nutritional balancing program that gently balances the entire body system.
MERCURY TOXICITY AND VACCINATION
The symptoms of autism are very similar to the symptoms of mercury poisoning. Sadly, and disgustingly, by the age of six months, children in the Western world, in particular, today receive over 100 times the safe dose of mercury for their age due to vaccines.
Vaccine makers now claim they are using less mercury as a preservative and a bacteriocide in their products. However, I find this is a lie, or at least it is very difficult to confirm. If you care at all about your child, avoid ALL the vaccines, boosters and flu shots today. Your child will be perfectly safe without them if you follow a nutritional balancing protocol.
The first case of autism occurred in 1943 in America, twelve years after a mercury-containing preservative, thimerosal, was added to the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine. In the 1950s, with only four recommended vaccines, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000 children.
As more vaccines were recommended, the incidence of autism increased dramatically. By 1981, children received 135 micrograms of mercury in vaccines. The incidence of autism increased to 1 in 2600 children. Children in 1996 received 246 micrograms of mercury in vaccines and the incidence of autism was about 1 in every 350 children.
Today, 13 vaccines are recommended with varying numbers of booster shots. The number of shots ranges from 50 to over 100 in some areas. The incidence of autism now averages about 1 in every 150 children by some estimates and it is still increasing.
In one study, children who receive vaccinations containing thimerosal have six times the amount of autism as those who received a vaccine free of thimerasol. Parents report to me that many cases of autism symptoms begin after a vaccination.
Some physicians particularly blame the hepatitis B vaccine, often given on a child’s first day of life. This vaccine is quite insane, as most babies are not prone to hepatitis. It is also extremely dangerous. Soon after birth, children do not have a well-developed immune system, and their nervous system is extremely vulnerable. In one day, a child receiving the hepatitis B vaccine may receive 36 times as much mercury as is safe. One must realize that most children are already born high in mercury due to excessive mercury in their mothers’ bodies, so this extra insult is extremely harmful.
The hepatitis-B vaccine, in my view, is guaranteed to produce many more problems than it could possibly solve. Every parent should refuse it, along with the others. Newborns are simply not exposed to hepatitis B, except perhaps in the hospital by accident. Why doctors go along with such inanity is beyond my comprehension.
Of course, vaccines containing mercury are also given to mothers. In one study, 50% of autistic children’s mothers had received Rho Gam shots containing mercury as a preservative. These shots are given to mothers who have an Rh negative blood type and may be carrying an Rh positive baby. Flu shots may also contain the mercury-containing preservative, thimerasol.
Most vaccines also contain other deadly preservatives such as other mercury compounds, aluminum compounds, and others.
In addition, vaccines introduce other viruses and bacteria into the bodies of vulnerable children. This is a difficult problem to overcome, as all vaccines tend to be somewhat contaminated with other viruses and bacteria due to the nature of their manufacture. It is simply impossible to limit the vaccine shot to one type of organism.
Also, vaccination is based on faulty science. While it is true that giving a small and attenuated dose of a virus or bacteria will induce some immunity, it is not the same as the so-called natural immunity that one acquires after having the disease. This is debated, but it should be obvious to doctors. If it were true, then vaccine boosters would never be needed, but they are needed because the vaccine confers only a minor immunity to the disease that does not last more than an year in many cases, or a few years, at the most.
For all of these reasons, vaccination remains the number one cause of autism, ADHD and many other problems for all newborns and children today. It must stop now, before all our children are autistic. For more about vaccination’s effects, read the article on this site entitled Vaccination.
LEAKY GUT SYNDROME AND AUTISM
Most autistic children have food reactions or sensitivities. The most common of these appear to be strong negative reactions to cow milk protein or casein, wheat protein or gluten, and sometimes to other foods such as soy protein or whey protein. This may be due to digestive disturbances, chronic intestinal infections, toxic metals or other causes.
Leaky gut syndrome. The food reactions may be the result of, or perhaps a cause of what is called “leaky gut” syndrome”. In this common situation today, partially digested proteins or peptides are able to leak from the intestinal tract into the blood stream, where they cause allergic types of reactions in the brain and elsewhere.
Also, any food that is not digested properly can putrefy or ferment, giving rise to infections and toxin production in the intestines that can affect the entire body.
Autistic children must eliminate the sensitive foods, especially all wheat and perhaps all gluten-containing grains such as wheat, oats, barley and rye, and all products made with wheat such as breads, pastries, bagels, pretzels, pasta and much more.
In addition, most autistic children should stop ingesting all dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and perhaps even butter.
Several articles on this website address the issue of what should children eat, such as Children’s Nutrition.
STRESS FROM OTHER CAUSES
Hair mineral tests of autistic children often reveal chronic stress patterns. These are often due to improper diet, nutrient deficiencies, infections in some cases, family stressors, and the use of medical drugs such as antibiotics and many others that are quite toxic for children. Fluoride in the water, children’s toothpaste and dental fluoride treatments are another source of poisoning for today’s children. All of these may play a role in autism.
If a child has been diagnosed with autism or a related disorder, there is much that can be done. A nutritional balancing program based on a properly performed and correctly interpreted hair mineral analysis is excellent and often effective to correct it completely if begun early and the family is willing to stay with the program a few years.
A complete nutritional balancing program will correct the nutritional deficiencies, will cause the removal of about two dozen toxic metals, and will heal the intestinal tract and leaky gut syndrome.
Using the results of a properly performed and correctly interpreted hair mineral analysis, a custom program is set up to help to detoxify, rebalance and rebuild the body. A child’s first hair mineral analysis reflects the top layer of metabolism and will not show all the imbalances. We address what is revealed on the test with diet, supplementary nutrients, lifestyle modification and detoxification procedures.
After a number of months, a retest will reveal a deeper layer of metabolism. Many times it will look quite different from the previous layer if the healing program was followed. Uncovering and reversing layers of adaptations and compensations, a process called retracing, requires time and some persistence, but is far more permanent and health-producing than simply removing symptoms with either drugs or nutritional supplements. I would strictly avoid chelation, homeopathy and herbal therapies. These are discussed in other articles on this website.
The DAN doctors. Many parents of autistic children take their child to a DAN doctor. DAN stands for Defeat Autism Now. In connection with the Autism Research Institute, they list doctors who take a short course on therapies for autistic children.
While helpful to some degree, I find the DAN program wholly inadequate to reverse the deeper causes of autism. None of the DAN doctors I am aware of currently offers nutritional balancing science, the only way that I know of to reverse the deeper causes of autism. Also, the DAN doctors often charge too much money, much more than a nutritional balancing program costs. There may be exceptions, but not many, according to our patient feedback.
Some people also believe that DAN and the Autism Research Institute have been infiltrated by standard medical interests. As a result, they may no longer offer as innovative programs as they once did.
Only a nutritional balancing program does all of the following simultaneously and in an integrated way to help reverse autism:
1. Improve the overall energy and vitality level of the child.
2. Balance the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is overactive in many if not all autistic children. Parasympathetic supplements and even foods, along with balancing the chemistry, can calm the sympathetic system, allowing for much better elimination of toxic metals and chemicals.
3. Improve the organs of elimination. This is necessary in all cases to enhance toxic metal and toxic chemical elimination.
4. Provide natural toxic metal antagonists, but not chelation. Antagonists are minerals or other substances that get in the way of the absorption or metabolism of toxic metals or toxic chemicals. For example, zinc is an antagonist for cadmium, copper and lead. Selenium has an antagonistic action on mercury and other toxic metals. They work well when recommended correctly.
In contrast, chelation therapy, which is used by some doctors, always removes some vital minerals from the body and does not remove toxic metals nearly as deeply. Chelation also always upsets the biochemical balance of the body, as it is quite indiscriminate.
1. Diet. All infants should be breast fed for 3 years. Hopefully, they will not need any adult food during that time, although many of them do want some adult food after about age two.
If necessary, some home made formula, not adult food, can be added. Until age 3, I would not recommend much regular food, if possible, as the child’s digestive system is not ready for it. The idea of stopping breast feeding before age 3 or so is pernicious, in my view. It just weakens the child.
When it is time for food, do not give a child any sweets or fruit or fruit juices. These are not appropriate for fast oxidizers, which is how all babies begin life. Excellent foods are preferably organically grown fresh cooked vegetables, never raw ones, whole well-cooked grains, but not wheat, natural meats and eggs, and healthful beverages such as spring water or mild herbal teas only. Avoid tap water, ‘drinking water’, all juices, and all alkaline waters and other beverages such as fruit juices.
Young children and babies also all need plenty of healthful fats in their diet for the development of their nervous system. These include foods such as eggs, butter, meats, fresh toasted almond butter, and a little olive oil and butter.
Strict avoidance of all cow’s milk and perhaps all dairy products is beneficial for many autistic children. Avoiding wheat, and perhaps all gluten-containing grains (rye, oats, barley and wheat) often helps as well.
Many autistic children have chronic intestinal yeast infections that make them very sensitive to sugars. It can be very important to avoid all concentrated sugars including soda pop, candies, cookies, and even natural fruits and all fruit juices and other sweetened foods. Excessive carbohydrates in the diet, even good quality one, may also worsen an intestinal yeast condition.
2. Strictly avoid all vaccines, boosters, flu shots, tetanus shots and other vaccinations.
3. Also do your best to avoid all medical drugs. For example, antibiotics cause many problems, for example, and should rarely be needed if one uses natural alternatives. See the articles entitled Boosting The Immune System and Beyond Antibiotics on this site. Babies and children need a quiet, peaceful lifestyle and loads of rest and sleep.
4. Eat loads of cooked vegetables, though not the nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and all peppers).
5. Most autistic children need extra zinc. Red meat is the best source of zinc, and red meat several times weekly generally works well for these children.
6. Give the child 2 foot rubs daily, use the heat lamp for one hour total on the abdomen and back.
7. Have carrot juice daily, in most cases. The amount varies from 2 to 10 ounces, depending on the age and weight of the child.
Other Natural Therapies. Other natural therapies may be helpful for some autistic children. These can include chiropractic, massage, and craniosacral therapy in some cases.
Prevention starts with the nourishment and general health young women before they become pregnant. The nutritional condition of the father probably also plays a part. A healthful lifestyle with plenty of rest and sleep, a quality diet, freedom from toxic chemicals and metals in the food, air and water and healthful emotional states are all important.
Ideally, all young women should go on a nutritional balancing program for at least a year before becoming pregnant. They must also take a full program of supplements, not just a prenatal vitamin once they are pregnant, which is totally inadequate!!
The problem starts in utero. The problem of autism may indeed begin during pregnancy, although it may not manifest until a few years afterwards. In my experience, the health of young women around the world is horrible, even when the ladies look beautiful and have few, if any symptoms.
Most young women are nutritionally depleted due to horrendous diets. Many are also overtired and are not living a healthful lifestyle.
They are also all quite toxic. Toxic metals and perhaps toxic chemicals from the mother pass through the placenta and affect the brain and other organs such as the liver. The child is born with this and must try to eliminate them as it is growing. This is an extra burden on any child.
These toxins today are found everywhere such as mercury in all fish today, lead and cadmium sprayed on produce, and hormones added to meats and dairy products. They also include medications, both prescription drugs and OTC remedies used widely by women even more than men.
They also include cosmetics, skin care products and a large number of other drugs and products available without prescription that mothers are falsely reassured are “safe” during pregnancy although they are not safe. In fact, no artificial substance is very safe. The less the mother exposes herself to all toxins, the better for the baby inside of her.
Contact toxins, of course, are another problem today. These include dental amalgams, other metals in the mouth, work-related poisons in offices and factories and many more. Even new plastic equipment such as computers outgas toxins that are harmful for developing fetuses if the mother breathes them or touches them.
People forget that all toxins are absorbed through the skin, often even more so than those that are ingested in the food or water. Often, conditions such as autism, ADHD and others are merely the end result of the process.
Most women unaware. Most of the time, mothers to be are totally unaware of the influence of their toxic makeup, toxic shampoos and toxic skin creams they use each day. Nor are they aware of the toxicity of their aspirin tablets and other drugs of all kinds that they so casually take for fatigue, anxiety, irritability before their menstrual periods and for other reasons. All of them build up in their bodies, and some can be passed to their unborn children.
As if this is not enough toxicity, there are many more problems of young women today. These include horrendous diets filled with toxic chemicals whose mixtures have not been researched and really cannot be known. In addition, most are fatigued, reducing their ability to eliminate these toxins. Their vitamin D levels are low, their omega-3 fatty acid levels are often dreadfully low, as are their levels of zinc and other vital minerals, even if they eat well.
One cannot identify these imbalances without doing a hair mineral test, as they do not show up on routine blood tests. As a result, mothers innocently and unknowingly pass their deficiencies and toxicity on to their children.
Fortunately, this can be reversed using a nutritional balancing program, but it takes a few months to a few years to do so.
Indigenous cultures much more aware. In some indigenous cultures, as soon as a young woman reaches puberty, the community celebrates by feeding her special foods to prepare her for bearing children. The adults may walk for miles, or go on special fishing trips to locate just the right type of foods they have found will help produce superior offspring.
Many health-minded societies are described in the classic book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price, DDS. This brilliant man went around the world in the early twentieth century and studied tribes that were the healthiest to determine why this was so.
His work has never been duplicated and probably cannot be, as many of the tribes no longer exist, thanks to the intrusion of modern society upon their tribal lands. The people are far worse in their health today as a result, though civilization has brought far greater benefits in other ways.
Animal breeders smarter than most modern doctors. Animal breeders understand well that to produce healthy offspring they must feed the parents, especially the mothers-to-be, a very high-quality diet. They usually add special nutritional supplements as well.
They also know that this feeding should begin long before a female animal becomes pregnant. They also understand that all toxins affect living creatures, not just the food and water. So chemicals in the environment and those put on the skin or in the mouth create just as many problems as those in the food and water.
The truth revealed on many tissue mineral analyses. Tissue mineral analyses of autistic children and of their parents almost always reveal mineral deficiencies, toxic levels of heavy metals, intense stress patterns and so much more. Of course, one must be able to interpret the test properly, which most doctors do not do. So beware of just getting a hair mineral test from any holistic doctor or naturopath. Most are not competent to interpret it. This is why this website contains so many articles on this subject.
The autism epidemic causes a staggering level of suffering and wasted human potential. It is also an enormous financial burden on families and helping agencies. Standard medical treatments are not very effective. Natural therapies, especially nutritional correction, are demonstrating very positive results.
Nutritional balancing is a very advanced nutritional approach that is simpler and often much less costly and more effective than other nutritional approaches.
A few states have banned the use of thimerosal in vaccines and seen a slight decline in autism. In addition, there may be other positive outcomes from the autism epidemic. It is definitely drawing attention to the problems of vaccines. Alert doctors and parents are beginning to question the wisdom of injecting dangerous viruses into their newborn children, especially when the vaccines are preserved with toxic metals such as mercury and aluminum.
Most important for the future, we hope autism will also cause more people to be concerned with the way young women are prepared for motherhood, and I hope that prenatal care will drastically improve. All young women need supplements of vitamins A and D, omega-3 fatty acids, and the whole complement of important minerals and vitamins.
If the pain we all suffer from the autism epidemic helps us to wake up and pay more attention to the nutrition of teenage girls and young mothers-to-be, this would indeed be a positive step toward producing healthier generations of children in the future.
For a case history of a case of autism, click here.
1. Miller, D.J., MD, “Mercury on the Mind”, Health Freedom News, pp. 16-18, 27, December 2004. Also available at www.donaldmiller.com.
2. “Mercury in Medicine”, The Congressional Record, May 21, 2003, E1011-E1030.
4. O’Shea, T., The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination Is Not Immunization, 2004.
4. Miller, N. Z., Are Vaccines Really Safe and Effective, 2002.
5. Autism Research Institute (www.autismresearchinstitute.com)
6. Geier, M. and Geier, D, MD, “America’s Developmental Disorder Nightmare”, Dental Truth, A Publication of DAMS International, pp. 20-21, December 2003.
7. Defeat Autism Now (www.danconference.com)