Autism has become more common over the years, with 1 out of 68 children has autism. That 1 out of 48 boys, and 1 out of 189 girls. There have been numerous suspected causes of autism. Scientists have not been able to figure out what causes it and why it is more prevalent now, than any other time before, nor have do they know why more boys are affected by it than girls.
Vaccines, air pollution, chemicals in our food are all things that have been blamed for autism. Some people believe that it is mom's fault why their child has autism. Some scientists even believe this to be true. While it is definitely going to offend some people, the studies have linked that things moms do while pregnant, and even after the baby is born, can cause autism in their offspring.
Being that there is an increase in autism, and the numbers continue to go up each year; there have been many more studies on the subject. Scientists are working all over the world to figure out what exactly causes autism.
There are many ways for mom to cause autism, some have not been proven, or need more scientific data. Just to be safe, heed the warnings.
15 Running A Fever
Running a fever while pregnant may not seem like a big deal, however, it can be. Running fever (high or low grade) can actually bring on a variety of problems for the mom and fetus. One of the problems it can cause is autism. When a woman is in her 2nd trimester, and develops fever, is when the fetus is more likely to develop autism. Women who develop fever after 12 weeks are 300 times more likely to have their child diagnosed with autism. Scientists are still doing studies to find the main cause linking fever in a pregnant woman and her fetus. The main reason that links fever and autism, which stands out is this: there is a chance that they have an underlying virus which can cause autism.
14 Turning On The Microwave
In 2007 a study came out linking the use of microwaves to autism. Microwaves (and other devices) put off what is called "electro magnetic radiation" waves. The same thing cell phones emit, as well as other wireless technology devices. Now, we are not just talking about the use of actual microwaves , but other devices which transmit these waves. This includes baby monitors, wireless routers and cell phones. The study suggested that EMR's basically prohibit toxins from leaving the cells, due to the EMR's causing such damage to the bodies cells. EMR's wreak havoc on a persons cells. When a woman is pregnant and uses a microwave or any device which emits EMR's; the fetus is going to be affected by this, thus making the child more likely to have autism.
13 The Beauty Bag
Personal care products are rife with chemicals. Soap, cosmetics, lotion, deodorants and many other personal care products have hundreds of chemicals and toxins that are not safe for anyone, especially an unborn child. The chemical toxins we are around everyday are linked to cancer, reproductive problems, asthma and yes, autism. Findings suggest that a woman who uses products, full of these toxins while pregnant, are more likely to have a child that is diagnosed with autism, than a women who stayed away from harmful chemicals while pregnant. Just avoiding the personal care problems that have strong scents and artificial ingredients can help lessen the risk of autism for an unborn fetus. It is safest to use fragrance free lotions and other personal care items.
12 Not Taking Enough Folic Acid
Too much folic acid has been linked to causing autism, and not taking enough has been linked to other birth defects. The right amount of folic acid, especially around the time of conception, can greatly reduce the risk of a child developing autism. When taking folic acid while pregnant, to prevent increasing the chance of autism, it is the mother's job to diligently monitor her levels of folic acid, by regularly seeing her doctor. Folic acid helps lessen the effects of pesticide exposure in the fetus, thus greatly reducing the risk of the child developing autism. For a pregnant woman, speaking to her doctor will be the best route to find out just how much folic acid is right for her and her fetus.
11 Teen Pregnancy
While it has been confirmed that parents who are older are much more likely to have a child with autism, it has also been proven teen moms are 18% more likely to have a child diagnosed with autism than mothers in their twenties. Apparently, the best ages to have a baby, with the least risk of autism, is from 25-29. Scientists have long been studying the impact age has on increasing the risk of autism. Despite the studies, they still are unclear as to why certain ages, like teenagers, have an increased risk of having a child with autism. Although, one factor could be that some teenage mothers are unable to get the proper prenatal care needed, due to socioeconomic status.
10 Eating Out Of Plastic Containers
The use of plastic containers has been linked to causing autism. Some of these plastics have been found to have hormone disrupting chemicals, which can lead to neurological problems for a fetus. People who eat out a lot, especially fast food or out of to go containers, are at a 40% higher chance for their child to have autism.
Phthalates, particularly, which are a group of chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl are linked to autism. The dangers of phthalates are well known and used to be found in children's toys, and teething rings. They were removed due to the toxic effects of them. Which makes one wonder why they are allowed in containers we eat out of?
9 Getting Pregnant After 35
It is know that becoming pregnant at the age of 35 (or older) can bring on the risk of more problems for mother and child. One of the risks is autism. The older a woman's eggs get they are more susceptible to toxins and they are more likely to carry genetic changes that can affect the baby's development. One study has found that older mom's put their unborn child at a 50% higher risk for developing autism. Women over the age of 40 are 70% more likely to have a child that will be autistic. The studies are not clear as to why the older the mother, the risk goes up. One major contributing factor is the changes that a woman's eggs undergo as she ages.
8 Ever Heard Of Rubella?
Epidemiological studies have indicated that prenatal exposure to certain viruses open a pathway for the fetus to develop autism. This include the mom getting herpes, measles and rubella. Rubella is a contagious, viral disease that brings on a low grade fever, sore throat and a distinct red rash. The rash typically begins on the face, then spreads to the rest of the body. Many studies suggest that genetic development causes autism. When the mom is carrying a virus, like Rubella or herpes, the pathway opens up for the fetus to develop autism. Rubella was the first know cause of autism. After more studies it was later proven that a mother with measles or the herpes virus also caused the fetus to develop autism.
7 Pantry Full Of Packaged Foods
Food and what goes into our food is an extremely popular and controversial topic. Prepackaged foods are wrought with chemicals, arsenics and other poisons which a person would not normally consume. The link between what are children eat and behavioral problems is well know. When a pregnant woman consume prepackaged foods she is putting her unborn child at a higher risk for developing autism. While pregnant (and any other time really) the best foods to eat are natural ones. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great, but should always be thoroughly washed to help prevent chemicals from pesticides from affecting the fetus. Organic produce and meats are the safest to eat. While studies are ongoing on this, avoiding prepackaged foods while pregnant will help decrease the risk of autism.
6 What's In The Medicine Cabinet?
Many medications, over the counter and prescription, are usually a no-no for expecting mothers. The medicines can cause a variety of problems for the fetus. Mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs in a certain class have been proven to cause a higher risk of the baby developing autism while in the womb. The specific class of drugs are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This includes medicines that are very popular like Prozac, Paxil, Celexa and Effexor. The study on this was relatively small, and more studies are needed. Some doctors believe that the benefit of the drugs to the mom outweigh the risk to the developing fetus. Other doctors don't feel that way, and will recommend the mother to stop taking any medicines that could potentially harm the fetus.
5 The Air You Breathe
Air pollution in general has been linked to autism and that link gets stronger with each new study. Not just normal air pollutions either, specifically, vehicle exhaust is showing to be the major one which can cause a baby to develop autism. Children who develop autism are 3 times more likely to have been subjected to vehicle exhaust while in the womb or early in their lives. The third trimester is when the risk for autism is at it's greatest when it comes to vehicle exhaust. Despite the findings, linking autism to exhaust pollution and air pollution, scientists are still struggling to find out why autism has increased in the past three decades. Even though the air and vehicle exhaust is worse than it was 30 year.
4 Trying To Stop Early Labor
In 2011 the United States Food and Drug Department said that injectable terbutaline was not safe for use in pregnant women to stop preterm labor. The drug can cause serious heart problems for the mother, as well as the child. The FDA also said it does not condone the use of the oral tablet for pregnant women either. A study from Duke University found that terbutaline also significantly increased the risk of neurological and cognitive deficiencies in babies whose mother was treated with the drug. The study also showed that the drug predisposed babies to autism. As autism is at an all time high, having risen 172% since 1990, many parents have come to believe this drug is or was the cause of their child's autism.
3 Even "Natural" Can Be Dangerous
Due to many medications being unsafe for a fetus and the expecting mother, many turn to natural remedies. The homeopathic approach is widely know and many people turn to it because many medications are just so bad for us. Some side effects of known medicines can cause a variety of issues, especially for a fetus, including death. When trying out natural medicine it best to do some research when pregnant. There have been links to certain natural medicines making the risk for autism much higher in an unborn child. Many women take certain vitamins or herbs during pregnancy to help boost their immune systems and keep them from getting ill. Women with too much of certain vitamins, are 17.2 times more likely to have their child diagnosed with autism
Pesticides are known to cause a variety of illnesses including cancer, birth defects, and autism. Some countries refuse to use such deadly chemicals on their crops, but in the United States, the government seems to think, regardless of the fact that they are poisoning their citizens, it is still ok to use these harmful pesticides. One study proved that children who lived near pesticide treated fields while as a fetus or small child, were twice as likely to have autism. They came to the conclusion it was most dangerous for the fetus to be around pesticides during the 2nd and 3rd trimester when the risk for autism greatly increased. Simply living 1 mile from pesticide treated fields can increase the chance of autism by 60%.
1 Being A "Refrigerator Mom"
Lack of maternal bonding, also know as "The Refrigerator Mother Theory" has been said to cause autism in babies. The theory was developed in the 1950's. The theory says if the mother is not warm and loving to her baby and the baby then becomes withdrawn thus causing the child to develop autism. With this theory it is also believed that abuse and traumatic events or treatment of an infant can cause them to develop autism. The theory has been around for years, and while The National Autism Society does not believe this theory to be true, it has stick around for years. Many scientists and behavior specialist still believe there to be a link between a lack of maternal bonding and autism.