Summary: Autism is a distinct brain damage disorder that produces a characteristic range of behavioral abnormalities. Discussed below are some of the initiating and causative factors, diagnostic patterns, management issues, and hopes of future therapies. Our experiences in autism management. Links to sites with detailed information on autism included.
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Diagnosis of Autism

According to the Autism Society of America: AUTISM is a severely incapacitating lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It occurs in approximately one out of every 150 births (or near-about: see our new page on this) and is more common in boys than girls. It has been found throughout the world in families of all racial, ethnic and social backgrounds. No known factors in the psychological environment of a child have been shown to cause autism. The symptoms are caused by physical disorders of the brain. They include:

  1. Disturbances in the rate of appearance of physical, social and language skills.
  2. Abnormal responses to sensations. Any one or a combination of senses or responses are affected: sight, hearing, touch, pain, balance, smell, taste, and the way a child holds his body.
  3. Speech and language are absent or delayed while specific thinking capabilities might be present.
  4. Abnormal ways of relating to people, objects and events.


It appears that HOXA1 gene is a predisposing factor behind autism. Other factors may act as the trigger. (See at bottom)

Possible role of Heavy Metal as trigger

Dr. Rashid A Buttar of USA suggests that there is some genetic predisposition to a reduced ability to excrete mercury in some children. When such children are exposed to mercury from their mother (dental fillings, sea food, water pipes, etc.) or from Thiomerosal containing vaccinations and injections, they accumulate dangerous levels of the metal in their body. The drug is incorporated in protein molecules, including in brain, causing symptoms of autism. Hence, blood, urine and hair assay levels may even appear to be normal. When a proper chelating agent is given, the child improves even as his blood mercury level shoots up from the mercury leached out from proteins. This mercury gradually gets secreted in urine, and thereafter the blood mercury levels fall, while the child continues to improve.

Dr. Buttar's own child was (that's right), WAS autistic. He has cured his child by using his own patented mercury leaching agent. The child now leads a normal life. Dr. Buttar can be contacted at 20721 Torrence Chapel Rd., Suite 101, Cornelius, NC 28031, USA, Tel.: 001-704-895-9355

Autism occurs by itself or in association with other disorders which affect the function of the brain such as viral infections, metabolic disturbances, and epilepsy. It is important to distinguish autism from retardation or mental disorders (like Fragile-X, Tuberus sclerosis, CP, traumatic brain injury, severe peripartum hypoxia, severe post-partum jaundice, etc) since diagnostic confusion may result in referral to inappropriate and ineffective treatment techniques. The severe form of the syndrome may include extreme self-injurious, repetitive, highly unusual and aggressive behavior. Special educational programs using behavioral methods have proven to be the most helpful treatment.

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Behavior of an autistic person

Autistic children display unusual behavior. A typical autistic child's behavior is likely to include some of the following:

Clinical Features of Autism

Spinning Repetitive behavior (perseverance)
No speech Balancing, e.g. standing on a fence
Flapping hands Behavior that is aggressive to others
Walking on tiptoes Lack of interaction with other children
Lack of eye contact Extreme dislike of touching certain textures
Self-injurious behavior Desire to keep objects in a certain physical pattern
Lack of interest in toys Desire to follow set patterns of behavior/Interaction
Dislike of being touched Treating other people as if they were inanimate objects
Non-speech vocalizations Delayed echolalia: repeating something heard at an earlier time
Preoccupation with hands Confusion between the pronouns "I" and "You"
Lack of response to people Echolalia: eech consisting of literally repeating something heard
Extreme dislike of certain foods Either extremely passive behavior or extremely nervous, active behavior
Delayed development of speech When picked up, offering no "help" ("feels like lifting a sack of potatoes")
Extreme dislike of certain sounds Islets of competence;, areas where the child has normal or even advanced competence. Typical examples include drawing skill, musical skill, arithmetic, calendar arithmetic, memory skills, perfect pitch

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Etiology of Autism

There is no theory of the cause of autism which everyone has found convincing. There may be multiple causes. Thus we will review some of the proposed causes. Most researchers are absolutely convinced that the cause is biological rather than psychological. Bernard Rimland in his book Infantile Autism (1965) cited the following evidence for a biological genesis and against the idea that parents cause their children to be autistic:

  1. ??? MERCURY poisoning in a genetically predisposed child ??? See news flash at the beginning of this page
  2. Some clearly autistic children are born to parents who do not fit the autistic parent personality pattern.
  3. Parents who do fit the description of the supposedly pathogenic parent almost invariably have normal, non-autistic children.
  4. With very few exceptions, the siblings of autistic children are normal.
  5. Autistic children are behaviorally unusual "from the moment of birth."
  6. There is a consistent ratio of three or four boys to one girl.
  7. Virtually all cases of twins reported in the literature have been identical, with both twins afflicted.
  8. Autism can occur or be closely simulated in children with known organic brain damage.
  9. The symptomatology is highly unique and specific.
  10. There is an absence of gradations of infantile autism which would create "blends" from normal to severely afflicted.



BETHESDA, MD (NIH) - Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have identified a gene that may predispose people to developing autism.  The gene, known as HOXA1, plays a crucial role in early brain development.  The study was conducted by a research team in NIH's Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism and was published in the December issue of "Teratology". Click here for the detailed report.


.Brain nerve pathways Carnegy Melon Institute of USA is doing some very pathbreaking work in the field of brain damage. They have a specia MRI Scanner that can trace and map the movement of protons in intracranial pathways whever the subject thinks about doing something, using
Diffusion Spectrum Imaging.
It showed that the autistic brain is characterised by a reduction of nerve fibres connecting one part of brain to another. That may explain why interventions like NMDA receptor regulators, HBOT and properly done (rarely done like that) Stem Cell therapy, show some promise as all three have the property of stimulating nerve re-growth.
Undercommenctivity in Autism

There is still controversy over neurological differences in the brains of autistic people and the rest of the population. However, it does appear from evidence obtained through autopsies, MRI and PET scans that there are subtle cellular changes in the autistic brain. The increased incidence of seizures (20-30% develop seizures in adolescence) also points to neurological differences.

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