Science has not yet been able to steer us towards the cause of autism, a serious developmental disorder which affects children from birth. Normal patterns of development are absent in the autistic child and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines the disorder as "a group of developmental disabilities defined by significant impairments in social interaction and communication in the presence of unusual behaviors and interests". This somewhat dry definition does not adequately describe the nightmare that the parents and the victims themselves live through. Sometimes the child is violent, can be self abusive, will not speak and they can become physically ill. Significant medical symptoms can include inflammation, infections, and severe food allergies.
It is often difficult to identify autistic signs, but they can include anger, outbursts, inability to learn, screaming, throwing things, breaking things, no pain sensations and tantrums. It is very hard to communicate with sufferers and both parents and children suffer significantly. If the illness itself were not cause enough for concern, many point to a secret truth behind the affliction - a link between autism and vaccinations.
It appears that autism can affect four times as many boys as girls in the United States and the CDC is unable to tell us why. They simply state that "there may be many causes that lead to autism spectrum disorders". Disturbingly, it would appear that the rate of affection has increased considerably, up from an estimated one in 10,000 children in the 1970s to today's breathtaking assumption that one in 150 kids is autistic. Of course, we must look at the figures from the 70s in the light of the fact that our understanding of the issues has increased significantly over these decades and with this the ability to more accurately diagnose.
More troubling is the fact that during a somewhat secret meeting in June of 2000, attended by fifty individuals from the CDC, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics and various pharmaceutical companies, looked into findings from a CDC study. This appeared to show that an increase in mercury exposure during the intensive vaccine schedule of the 1990s caused an enormous increase in neurobehavioral disorders, perhaps 11 fold, leading (many believe) to a huge rise in autism cases. An official statement from the CDC simply states that the "weight of the evidence indicates that vaccines are not associated with autism".
What seems to have happened is that many of the vaccines containing the preservative Thimerosal, (which contains 50% mercury) were given out in the '90s. A separate study has shown that an autistic child, who had exhibited the presence of a considerable amount of mercury and was subsequently given other chemicals to remove the toxicity, began speaking and acting normally once again, without any signs of autism.
It appears from many studies that the reported cases of autism are on the increase, whilst mercury in the form of Thimerosal, is still being administered within vaccines. The Autism Society of America reckons that autism is indeed growing by 10 to 17% per year, costing us $90 billion a year and is projected to increase to $400 billion within 10 years. Lifetime support is estimated at $3.2 million per affected individual, per a Harvard study.
The impact of autism on our schools and societies is indeed distressing, and the role of mercury along with the lack of intent by our government bodies to fully assess and address the situation, perhaps even more so.
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