This article is written for parents who would like to reduce their chances of having an autistic child or who would like to improve or recover a child who is already on the autism spectrum.
I had two children who were on the mild end of the autism spectrum. When my wife and I had our children, we followed our doctor’s orders and did everything we were told to do. We did our best, but our best was not good enough. With the help of some brilliant people and over fifteen years of effort, both of our boys are fully recovered. Had I known then what I know now, I believe this all could have been prevented. There is a lot more to learn about autism, but I believe at this point we have enough information to prevent new cases and recover many of the children who are already on the spectrum. This can start today, one household at a time, with parents taking action to protect or recover their children.
The first priority is to reduce or eliminate top environmental suspects. Many scientists and parents have come to the common sense conclusion that rolling back environmental factors to pre-1990 levels would reduce autism rates. A full rollback of environmental factors to the levels of the 1980s is almost impossible, but targeting a short list of top environmental suspects is something most people can do. As a funder of environmental health and autism research for over ten years, I have access to some of the brightest minds in the field. Listening to them, I have compiled a list of five top environmental suspects in the autism epidemic:
1) Wireless and electromagnetic fields (EMF)
4) Chemical toxins in general
For each of the five suspects, here are tips for avoiding or reducing exposure:
1) Wireless and Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)
Prior to conception, the father should avoid keeping a cell phone in a front pocket, since wireless exposure is known to damage sperm, including DNA damage. He should also avoid using a laptop on his lap with the Wi-Fi turned on. Both should be avoided for at least the lifecycle of sperm (about 74 days). This should reduce the risk of de novo mutations (non-inherited mutations), which are associated with autism. Pregnant women should also keep cell phones and laptops away from their uterus. The parents’ and child’s bedroom should be free of wireless baby monitors, cordless phone base stations, and Wi-Fi routers. Use antennasearch.com to locate cell towers and antennas near your home and work and try not to spend large amounts of time within a quarter mile of a cell tower or antenna. Wireless signal levels drop off significantly the further you are from them, so use distance to protect yourself and your child. Minimize or eliminate your child’s contact with devices that emit wireless signals, like tablets, laptops, and cell phones.
Mercury is a known neurotoxin and has been a suspect in the autism epidemic for over a decade. Large fish like swordfish and tuna usually contain higher levels of mercury than smaller fish. Use SeafoodWatch.org to find fish with the lowest possible mercury levels. Silver dental amalgam fillings are approximately 50% mercury. Avoid getting amalgam fillings, especially during pregnancy. It’s also important to avoid unsafe removal of mercury amalgams, so if you opt to have yours removed, make sure your dentist uses the proper safety protocols. Multi-dose flu shots still use the preservative Thimerosal, which contains mercury. To avoid mercury exposure, ask for a single-dose flu shot or get the nasal spray, which doesn’t contain Thimerosal.
Glyphosate is the primary ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp. It is also registered as an antibiotic, so being exposed to it can reduce healthy gut flora. Glyphosate exposure has been rising rapidly since it is now being used more heavily in “RoundUp Ready” GMO (genetically modified organism) foods. Minimize or eliminate consumption of GMO foods and switch to certified organic foods to reduce exposure to glyphosate.
4) Chemical toxins in general
Air pollution, flame retardants, BPA, and vinyl flooring have all been linked to a higher risk of autism. It is important to understand that most toxins are positively charged molecules that can act as “electron stealers” (free radicals/oxidation) in the body. So the total exposure to all toxins should be considered, and not just avoidance of a small set of toxins. Try to avoid living within one mile of a freeway to reduce exposure to air pollution. Try to find furniture, especially mattresses, without flame retardants. Reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds) by avoiding fabric softener sheets, air fresheners, most paints (unless designated low or no VOC), new cars (that “new car smell” is caused by off-gassing toxins), and off-gassing from plastics and vinyls.
The pain reliever Tylenol (acetaminophen) depletes glutathione, an antioxidant that the body uses for removing toxins. Avoid Tylenol during pregnancy, prior to vaccination, in the days after vaccination, and before and after circumcision. Sufficient levels of glutathione are required to protect the body from toxins, and to remove them, for both the mother and the child.
I hope that by taking action to reduce these exposures, you and your children will be safe and thrive.
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Pall, M.L., The Autism Epidemic Is Caused by EMFs, Acting via Calcium Channels and Chemicals Acting via NMDA-Rs: Downstream Effects Cause Autism (Conference Presentation). 2015.
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