Every so often, a new "study" will be conducted, with results claiming to establish a new potential link to autism. The latest installment of these never ending theories comes from a California study claiming that spacing babies too closely causes autism. Although the findings are admitted to be preliminary by the researchers, this is just another example of the endless confusion and misinformation that is unnecessarily being added to the autism debate. With autism rates as high as 1 in 110 children, (1 in 70 boys), many studies like these can be put together to find a potential link – the overwhelming numbers of autism are simply in favor of connecting the disorder to whatever theory is being tested.
The problem with these types of studies is that they detract attention away from the true root causes of autism, which unfortunately, we still don’t know.
One thing we do know, however. Autism is a complex disorder and there
are most likely multiple factors that come into play. The sharp increase
in autism rates over the last twenty years is most likely due to a combination
of genetic and environmental factors. While new studies are certainly
welcomed and appreciated, it is apparent that many of them only serve to lead
parents and families down rabbit holes that only add confusion to an already convoluted
Other past studies and theories (some of which have been debunked) claiming to make an autism link include:
- Refrigerator Mother theory ( http://www.pbs.org/pov/refrigeratormothers/ )
- Watching too much television at an early age ( http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1548682,00.html )
- Older fathers ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/04/AR2006090400513.html )
- Freeway pollution ( http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_17051910 )
- Folic Acid ( http://www.click2houston.com/health/3915033/detail.html )
- Clomid ( http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1990567,00.html )
- Smoking during pregnancy ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2151289.stm )
…and the list goes on and on.
Unfortunately, with all of these theories, it makes it that much harder to reach the truth. As the X-Files television show used to say: "The Truth is Out There." The problem is, will we ever find it?