The fact is that no one really knows for sure what causes autism, but many professionals would most likely agree that autism is likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. For many parents, this uncertainty in what causes autism can be very frustrating.
The topic of what causes autism has become extremely controversial. Many individuals are passionate about the subject, and have very strong convictions. Although there is no known cause for autism there are a few theories on what my cause it. Some of those theories are:
Vaccines Cause Autism - some people believe that the mercury (thimerosal) used in some vaccines could cause autism.
Is Autism Genetic - I tend to believe that autism most likely has a genetic basis of some sort. Several studies and reports over the years have proven many families with one autistic child are at increased risk of having more than one child with autism. That is certainly the case with us. After our second boy was diagnosed with autism the Genetisit told us we better not have any more children since there was a good chance we would have another child with autism.
Autism is Caused By Bad Parenting - This one is pretty ridiculous. “The refrigerator mother" causing autism was a popular notion in the 1950's but as I said it is totally ridiculous and absolutely absurd.
Autism Caused By Abnormal Brain Development - A few researchers have found differences between the brain of someone with autism and the so called normal brain. People with autism appear to have larger brains.
Autism Caused By Deficiency in the Immune System There are a few studies that have shown autism is associated with troubles in the immune system. Mostly that the individual has an allergy to gluten and dairy products that contribute to the symptoms of autism.
Autism Caused By Poor Nutrition - The late Dr. Bernard Rimland of The Autism Institute has been researching megavitamin therapy for many years in treating individuals with autism.
Even with all these theories we are still no closer to knowing what causes autism. But I feel with the recent awareness of autism and the emphasis on research that it will not be very long before we find out what truly causes autism. I think it most likely will be a combination of factors and maybe different reasons for different individuals - maybe even within the same family.
Nancy Clyne operates http://www.livingwithautismonline.com a blog all about Autism. Nancy loves giving away free information and is now giving away FREE memberships to her newsletter. You're not going to believe what you are going to receive when you sign up. . . and it's all free! More information here: