Some scary new statistics on autism were released last week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States have been identified as having autism, according to a study that looked at data from 14 communities.
Results have changed since 2009, when 11.3 per 1,000 8-year-old children had been identified as having autism. There has been a 23 percent increase since the last report. Some of this increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed and served in their communities, although exactly how much is due to these factors is unknown, according to the CDC.
Although the cause of autism is not yet known, scientists have studied children on the spectrum and parents have been there to witness their behavior.
Is the cause vaccines?
Although science has so far proven that autism is not linked to vaccines, there are countless parents across America who have decided to sign the school’s consent form and forgo immunizations. This week, Donald Trump told Fox News viewers that he strongly believes that autism is linked to vaccines.
Is the cause genetics?
A recent study demonstrates that genetic mistakes can occur across the genetic code. Although many are harmless, the errors can cause big problems when they occur in parts of the genome needed for brain development.
Is the cause faulty sperm?
Another new study found that new mutations occurred four times more frequently in sperm cells than in egg cells. Also, the older the father, the more likely he was to have sperm with these mutations. This is possibly resulting in cases of autism.
Is the cause the environment?
A study of twins done in July 2011 found that environmental factors are more responsible for autism than previously believed. In this study, environmental exposures– like environmental chemicals and certain drugs– were found to trigger autism as often as genetics.
With so many potential causes for autism, what are you doing, if anything, to limit your child's autism risks?