Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Autism, Sonograms, 21st Century Parakeets

Posted by bsflag2007 on Saturday, December 9, 2006

I believe someone in my life really gets around. I have seen my little personal jokes and favorite sayings show up on sit-coms and in movies…. and now my personal theory that autistic symptoms and the increased use of ultra-sound technologies have a connection is hitting the mainstream.

I was prompted to look into the current status of autism/ultra-sound link research after seeing a really cool advertisment for the National Geographic Channel’s “Animals in the Womb” special (airing Sunday night)—

I hesitate to use the now generic term “autism” – because it is a word that has become so politically explosive and loaded that it is hard to proceed with rational discussion once it is uttered…. too many preconceived notions.

It is hard to imagine anyone who has not been touched by the “autistic behaviors” that plague 1 in 500 (or more) American kids. One would think with those kinds of numbers the funding and search for answers would be free-flowing. Unfortunately, the various “camps” argue constantly and there is so much infighting and posturing while “everyone” searches for “THE ANSWER” — the magic bullet, the one size fits all therapy, the single cause — and dismiss any progress that does not fit all victims neatly. (a recurring theme, I find)

“Autism” (meaning the traits that distinguish folks on the autism spectrum) has been around for hundreds of years (or more)— Michelangelo exhibited classic autistic symptoms — so, obviously, inutero ultra-sound exposure cannot have caused his autistic traits — neither were vaccines. So we can cross those off the list of possible causes too, right?

Dr. As-h— (Betelheim) said “refrigerator mothers” caused autism in the 1940’s — which was the fairly standard position until the 60’s when Dr. Rimland took a more enlightened look at the issue. Things moved along at a dull place after that – until the 1990’s – when … “a marked increase in the incidence of autism and autism related disorders was observed”.

This increase corresponds nicely to the increase in the use and availability of ultra-sound technology…. and traces closely the pattern of the use of this technology beginning with the more affluent and well insured populations and spreading slowly over all socio-economic groups.

Even as legislators in various states (nj,mont) and researchers ask the question…. hmmm, do you think ultra-sounding developing embryos might not be the best idea ever….?? — there are those who want to jump on the question and stomp it out before it can reasonably be answered.

I’m still not convinced that vaccinations that contained toxic amounts of mercury as a preservative could not have had detrimental effects on some of the kids who had them —- but I’d be willing to bet someone out there would like to set me straight on that question.. in no uncertain terms.

Of course, for years there were influential folks who insisted the “live polio vaccine” was “perfectly safe” — unless of course you were one of the folks who got polio! Seldane was safe until it killed a bunch of people — statins were safe until people died …. I’m a little concerned about drug eluting stents right now (though if the option is death I guess i’d take the risk )— the Romans thought using lead pipes was a fabulous idea …. so was asbestos…. (cigarettes were NEVER a good idea) …. you get the point. Where are all the pompous, self assured folks who give you the stink eye for questioning their pronouncememts when it turns out they were WRONG? I won’t even tie “w” in here, though I could…

Just a little reminder to be humble, and just say “no thank you” to things that aren’t really necessary — or that your gut tells you just might not be the best idea ever.

Maybe we should keep an eye on the various and assorted animals who made their tv debut inutero — in case we see baby elephants who wave their trunks wildly —- or pigs that are driven to stack their mud pies obsessively.

Cindy Vaillancourt

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5 Responses to “Autism, Sonograms, 21st Century Parakeets”

  1. Cindy,

    I haven’t seen the research on ultra-sound, but will look into it. Personally I don’t think it holds water. There is still high incidence of autism in 3rd world countries, where ultra sound is rarer than a white elephant.
    As for mercury poioning (and lead) this is definitely a major factor, and certainly tips some kids over the edge (and keeps them there!).
    Currently looking at Dr. Amy Yasko for guidance, as she is putting some awfully compelling stuff out.

    Thanks

  2. cindy vaillancourt said

    Eric,

    I doubt any one “answer” is going to apply to ALL the kids currently being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. I think that is one of the stumbling blocks to getting a handle on what is happening.

    Autism has been around “forever” – a good case can be made that Michaelangelo and Thomas Edison had some form.

    In the years to come, I think we may realize “autism” as a label is as general as “cancer” —- different types, different causes, different contributing factors. Some curable, some livable, some more devestating.

    I will also not be surprised when links to environmental and current medical practice are announced – in much the same way hormone based pharmaceuticals and breast cancer have been linked.

    My take away messege is to not play too fast and loose with technology – not matter how seemingly safe or innocuous. If it isn’t really necessary — are if it is just fun and interesting — don’t be too quick to just give it a go.

    Cindy V.

    btw- I heard an interesting theory that 21st century nutrition and health has contributing to “evolutionary” type improvements to the human brain – (increases in size and synapses etc) that we simply aren’t equiped to handle yet. Now there’s a thought.

  3. mcewen said

    there are as many causes of autism as there are experts to promote their theories. It’s interesting to note that the rates are 1 in every 100 in both the UK and New Jersey.
    Best wishes
    http://whitterer-autism.blogspot.com

  4. Eric said

    Thanks Cindy,

    I am forever hopeful that the underlying causes of autism will be found, and that they will be proven to be mainly environmentally caused. My son is autistic, and we are so optimistic that the treatment he is getting will make the difference. Mb12 injections/l-glutathione/enzymes/mega dose of b6 vitamin/ efa omega 3/ anti yeast treatment – candex and nyastatin.

  5. cindy vaillancourt said

    How old is your little guy?
    cv

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