What causes autism?
At some point, once the dust settles, you will ask yourself this question: How did this happen?
Why are the numbers so high – reaching an epidemic rate of 1 in 88 as of 2012? *In 2014, the CDC estimated 1 in 68. And if you haven’t asked yourself these questions yet, you soon will because people will be asking you.
Whether you want want to be or not, you and your family are the face of autism in your church, community, and schools.
You represent a terribly high number of children affected by autism and their families desperately trying to understand it and find answers and yes, find a way to heal.
For decades, the medical community declared autism was a completely irreversible brain disorder. Even when our oldest was diagnosed we were told “that’s just the way his brain is wired.” But since the 1990s, there’s been a slow but diligent movement towards understanding the environment’s role in autism. And today, most autism experts will admit it is not one or the other but both genetics and environment that play a role.
When I am asked what I think causes autism, I quote a phrase that was originally attributed to Sudhir Gupta, M.D.:
“Genes load the gun, and environment pulls the trigger.”
Now if this is true, and I believe it is with the fiber of my being because of the research I’ve done and what I’ve seen in my own home, then this is very, very good news. This would mean it’s is not the end of the road, it’s the beginning of one.
Autism is not, then, a destination, but a journey.
And the road is called “recovery.” If environmental factors contributed to the autism then the logical argument is that strengthening those weaknesses can lead to improvement.