So the myth that autistic kids is just as prevalent as before, we just know more about it now...Is just that. A myth. Today according to the CDC about 1 in 70 kids have autism, and about 1 in 5 kids in the US have some sort of developmental brain impairment. That is STAGGERING!
Genetics are most definitely NOT the culprit according to epidemiologists. It's most definitely environmental, and may be in part due to genetics, but something is happening in our environment
It turns out there is the beginning of some evidence that may support this, at least in part.
Could it be as simple as needing to eat a healthy diet free from GMO's, drinking clean water, with a mostly plant based diet, and nursing our babies the way nature intended? Is that too simple of a solution to prevent autism?
What do you think?
There might be a connection.
Way back in 1991, a genetic study found that significant percent of autistic subjects carried a genetic mutation (C4b nullallele of the major histo-compatibility complex). This particular mutation occurs in about 15 percent of the general population and is strongly associated with autoimmunity. it occurs in about 45 percent of autistic people,. suggesting an autoimmune dysfunction in autistic individuals.
Breastfeeding , especially in the few days right after deivery, may be an important preventitive.
I was going to mention the auto-immune nature of some neuro diseases and allergies, not only suspected in connection with lack of breastfeeding, but possibly also connected with modern antibiotics that kill some of the natural, beneficial micro-flora in our gut. (It's still recommended we use antibiotics when necessary.)
No. The answer is no. Worthwhile evidence is absent. The health benefits of breast feeding are limited to a weak correlation of higher IQ, a slightly better chance of reaching adulthood and maybe a lower risk of cancer for the mother...besides the benefits of bonding. There are no demonstrated negative effects for not breast feeding besides the opposite of what's written above (remember these are weak correlations and modestly studied). If you don't want to or cannot breast feed...don't.There are also limited dangers when breast feeding.
Rationalwiki has a good summary on the topic which I helped write. Especialy important is the double pronged problem of breast feeding shaming. This is the article.
I should also mention breast feeding may help a mother recover more quickly from PPD and that a child's immune system might be slightly better than babies who are not breast fed.
Dangers include transmission of cafe in, alcohol, toxic substances as well as some diseases. It can also be harmful or painful for the mother in limited cases.
I am not praising formula. In most cases breast is best. But it is not abuse if you don't breast feed. However the evidence linking breast milk with getting any disease or any problem other than a deficiency at all...is absent. Any claim you find linking autism with anything...is almost an certainly nonsense.
I am curious to know if there are any infants who were breastfed according to the WHO recommendations (2 years minimum) who are now autistic.
Even assuming that there's no relationship between breastfeeding and autism, a certain percentage of live births will turn out to be autistic for reasons various and/or unknown. So the answer is almost certainly "Yes, some turned out to be autistic."
Yes, there certainly are many children out there who were breastfed for 2+ years and are autistic. I myself have worked with quite a few of those children. Also, many of these same children with autism were also fed diets that were organic, GMO free, and high in plants or fed vegetarian diets.
Also - so far we just don't know what causes autism and we really don't know exactly what it is. Right now it's a list of symptoms that covers a rather wide range of things. I personally think as we learn more that we will realize that what we are calling autism is really several different things with different causes that produces similar enough symptoms to have been grouped together. So far all we are getting are mostly weak correlations and things that might be leads. For the time being all we can do is raise our kids to the best of our abilities, continue to improve early intervention programs, and continue to follow any possible leads that will give us more information on this thing we call autism.
I suspect a lot of what you say in your second paragraph applies to all sorts of different mental conditions, including a lot of things (schizophrenia, OCD, anxiety, depression) that often seem to hit someone in groups. When I read that condition X is often associated with condition Y and condition Z, I think, "these aren't primaries, the cause is something else we haven't identified, and X Y and Z are symptoms of it, whereas X by itself could be caused by something different." I think we'll eventually realize they're symptoms of something deeper that causes them.
Poor mothers. One more thing to feel guilty about.