Study: Signs of autism may show up as early as first month
As part of the study, researchers tracked babies and toddlers' responses to videos showing actresses playing a caregiver.
November 6th, 2013
02:11 PM ET

Study: Signs of autism may show up as early as first month

The first signs of autism may be visible as early as the first month of a child's life, according to a study published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.

"These are the earliest signs of autism ever observed," says lead study author Warren Jones.

Researchers at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta followed 110 children from birth to age 3, at which point a diagnosis of autism was ascertained. Fifty-nine babies were considered "high risk" for developing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because they had siblings with autism; 51 were considered "low risk" because they did not have first, second or third-degree relatives with ASD.

Data was collected at 2, 3, 4 ,5, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 24 months of age. Each time, the children watched videos showing actresses playing the role of a caregiver. "Every baby watched the same videos, and then we could measure what was different about the responses of infants later diagnosed with autism versus infants who were typically-developing," Jones says.

Lack of eye contact is one of the red flags when it comes to autism - a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

Jones, who is the director of research at Marcus Autism Center and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, says he really expected the children later diagnosed with autism would have diminished eye contact from birth. Instead, he and his colleagues measures how much time each baby was looking at the eyes of the caregiver in the video.

"Basically from birth, (all) babies will look more at the eye part of faces," says Jones. But at about 4 to 6 weeks, he says the attention to eyes decreases, then in typical babies picks up again at 2 months. Jones found, "in the first 6 months of life we're seeing a decline in the amount of looking at other people's eyes in children who later are diagnosed with autism."

The research suggests that a baby's initial eye contact ability may be an almost a reflex-like behavior, but then there may be a second phase of development that depends on different brain and gene systems which lead to social interaction, Jones says. That's where a typically developing child's development may differ from a child with autism.

The study authors conclude that "the observation of this decline in eye fixation - rather than outright absence - offers a promising opportunity for early intervention."

This is not something parents are going to see by just holding their baby, Jones points out.  This type of eye-tracking requires sophisticated technology that can track even the slightest movement of the eye.

"It's a very interesting study with intriguing results. " says Wendy Stone, a longtime autism researcher and director of the Research in Early Autism Detection & Intervention (READI) lab at the University of Washington. But, she adds, "many researchers in this field have not seen behaviors under 6 months to be predictive of later diagnosis."

She also cautions that babies looking at videos of their mothers are not the same as the actual stimuli created by a mom interacting with her baby. "Are these babies less interested in eyes because mouths are more interesting to look at and more attractive because there's more movements? To me that's one of the big questions," says Stone.

Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist and autism specialist at the Rainbow and Babies Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, says this new study is a continuation of previous work in babies. He says this research makes sense to him. "There's a decrease in the amount of attention to eyes as an early marker of social behavior (think of it as a primitive level of socialization)." Wiznitzer suggests the failure to establish these early social skills has ramifications later as "social behavior shifts into more sophisticated patterns."

If this research bears out, then maybe at some point a pediatric practice could track eye movements as one way to diagnose a child with autism, says Stone. "But we're really, really far away from that."

Wiznitzer says this may explain why the autism symptoms may be more apparent at 18 to 24 months, "even though 'subclinical' onset was months earlier." He also suggests these study results may offer another explanation why the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, which isn't administered until a baby is at least 12 months old, cannot be blamed for causing autism.

Everyone agrees this research needs to be replicated in bigger studies with more children, Wiznitzer says. "The authors are correct that a replication study using a larger number (of children) is necessary. Before that time, I would not devote extensive resources towards assessing eye attention in infants or designing major intervention programs."

Jones says, "what we really want to do is create growth charts for social behavior, just like we have growth charts for charting a child's height and weight." He says these those are the kind of tools that pediatricians need and parents are looking for.

soundoff (1,698 Responses)
  1. Skeptic

    I look into my crystal orb, and I predict deafening silence from the anti-vaccination lobby.

    November 6, 2013 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      We can only hope. But I predict they will attack this study, with weak attacks, because it doesn't support the pet notion that vaccines cause autism.

      November 6, 2013 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • Suomi

      No matter how much evidence is uncovered by scientific means some will never accept that vaccines are not causing autism. Quite simply because that belief is not rational but based on ideology, much like global warming is not real (or not caused by humans). It will take one at least one generation and much education in schools for that to eventually disappear. It really does not matter too much. Good science eventually prevails

      November 6, 2013 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Unfortunately, too many actors who are not doctors, who actually entice doctors to say that vaccinations cause autism is almost cruel. There are parents out there with autistic children beating themselves up over letting their child get vaccinated. This article is about as close to the truth as believe it is. There are signs and symptoms before the age of 3 months including eye contact, head rocking, and no smiling for example that can occur before an infant is vaccinated.

      November 6, 2013 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
    • earthshoes44

      How many times in the last hundred years or so do you suppose they've found the answer to the "why" of autism? (Are you old enough to know what "refrigerator mother" means?) Why does it strike this child and not that one? Why does it seem to appear out of the blue with children that seemed perfectly healthy and were developing normally a few months before? Why do some children react to vaccines and others don't? And don't tell me they don't without first going and looking at the CDC's website that tracks vaccine injury pay outs.

      I am not arguing against vaccination exactly, but I am pointing out that this single study means very little in the grand scheme of things. In case you missed it there are researchers questioning its value. Those of us who live with children with autism understand something you who don't never will. That autism is complicated and does not spring from any one cause.

      I have a son on the autism spectrum. His three brothers are neurotypical–socially adept, largely successful in meeting their goals–good students, happy people, etc. In our case, I can point to a strong possible cause. It was a birth injury caused by a sloppy doctor who gave orders to give me a sedative (I'd requested pain relief and he gave me a demerol promethezine shot–they apparently don't do this anymore with very good reason and they weren't supposed to do it then within three hours of delivery) without bothering to check to see how far along labor was. I delivered a very blue baby who was breathing poorly. He was handed to me and I was assured that he was fine. It took two hours of my repeatedly requesting that they check on him before a nurse finally recognized the problem. After eight hours of oxygen and extensive tests, he was back on track, but they decided to keep him in the hospital for a week, injecting him with two different kinds of antibiotics (one in each leg) three times a day–just to be safe. even though all their tests came back negative. No. I'm not kidding. Had I known then what I know now, we'd have sued. And though he is an adult now–graduated from high school (straight A student) and works at a hardware store and his autistic behaviors less noticeable with each passing year, it's been a very long difficult road for him and us. I expect him to move out in another couple of years and I'm really hoping he'll go to college like his brothers, but who knows?

      So what caused his autism? Was it the oxygen deprivation? I asked the doctor about the possibility of brain damage. He said that there was very little chance of that (was he hoping I'd just go away?). Was it all the unnecessary antibiotics? Or did he just lose the genetic lottery? Or was it a combination of all of the above?

      I have friend with a daughter on the autism spectrum. In their case, it appears to be genetic. I have another friend with an autistic son–his autism didn't appear until his third birthday–no warning at all. And, yes, it appeared shortly after a set of vaccinations were given. So we cannot rule out anything–including vaccinations.

      November 6, 2013 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
    • joe

      I blame smoking. Jenny McCarthy smoked before and after her pregnancy so it must have something to do with it. Only now is she swtiching to e-cigs.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Charles Munford

      I won't attack it, but why are you putting so much faith in it?

      Vacs are bad no matter the reason.

      Are you eyeballing me boy?

      November 6, 2013 at 17:15 | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      Funny how they would forgo known prevention and safety with vaccines for their children and risk all of that for a pseudo-science guess that it may cause autism. I wouldn't mind if it meant a cleansing of the gene pool but their non-vaccinated kids put societies at risk. They may not be autistic but their moms are mentally retarded.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • mama

      "I blame smoking."

      Please don't stone me, but 30 to 40 years ago I smoked before, during and after my 4 pregnancies. I had 4 healthy, happy, normal children, who are now healthy, happy, normal adults.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • co_cynic

      why silence? Part of the routine immunization schedule is a flu shot and the DTAP for pregnant women and the Hep B at birth... that's a lot of shots before you even leave the hospital. no wonder why they are finding this earlier and earlier.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • EJ

      Babies receive vaccines within hours of birth. I'm not saying that proves anything vaccines and autism, but neither does this article. Most "experts" agree that autism likely has more than 1 cause.

      November 6, 2013 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Anyone who blindly advocates vaccines is just as misguided and uninformed as those who fervently oppose them. Vaccines should be carefully decided upon by informed parents. Information should include but should absolutely NEVER rely on those glossy pamphlets handed out in the doctor's office, CDC recommendations AND research studies based in the country in which the parents live, and in depth research into the exact dosage and makeup of every vaccine as well as any and all potential side effects. Just as each child is different, so is each vaccine. Know the difference. Ask questions. Challenge assumptions. Some vaccines are harmful for different reasons. Some are ineffective. Some are just unnecessary.

      November 6, 2013 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Simply because the anti-vaccine crowd knows nothing about medicine, physiology, medical science, or the first thing about interpreting a medical study. They are among the most dangerous group of fanatics out there. They quote crap interpretations from crap propaganda sites that are unequivocally skewed interpretations. NO, and I mean NO study has shown any link between vaccinations and autism. And, no, you aren't retarded, just misguided and naive and posing a danger to your child. As a physician, if I get a parent that inquires about alternative vaccine schedules, I know right away that I will not accept them as a patient and will refer them to someone that will cater to their ridiculous whims. And, no there is absolutely, positively, unequivocally NO correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism. None, zero, nada. The Wakefield data was the most ridiculous you will ever encounter. Even a simpleton could note the complete leap of faith, the temporal correlation without any causal relationship, the selection bias, the ridiculous small sample size, and the motivation for the study and its bogus interpretation that was not disclosed.

      I repeat, these parents are a danger...they are a danger to their own children and a danger to every child in that herd immunization is what makes the vaccination programs so effective in curbing or completely eliminating the most deadly viral illnesses of the 20th and 21st centuries and preventing the horrific sequelae of these diseases. What is clear is that areas where vaccines dip are areas where outbreaks of these diseases occur. All the while, nothing to support a relationship between vaccines and any pervasive developmental disorder.

      These websites that espouse bogus data and invalid interpretations of data are there to make money preying off of the fears of parents. Nothing smug intended, just the simple and unequivocal reality of the matter. I am sorry for your naivete.

      November 6, 2013 at 20:13 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Katie...enlighten us all. Let's see your data, what dangers are imposed by what specific vaccine (and I'm not talking about a side effect that occurs in 0.05% of the population) and those that are ineffective? Please include references and statistical breakdown, discussion of selection criteria, and any bias that might be present. I would truly enjoy a nice scientific critique. I've done mine during tox research, a nice 30 page discussion of the MMR vaccine and the development of PDD's. The quality evidence is overwhelming. You guys are more entertaining than the crowd insisting that aspartame is the cause of every major illness known to man. Funny, funny stuff. Sad, but funny.

      November 6, 2013 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      And, as an aside...the internet is the worst thing that ever happened to medicine. Nothing worse than the supposedly "informed" parent. Perhaps I should provide my own legal defense if ever needed. After all, I can read a nice legal website or two. Or maybe I could fly to Mars. There have to be plenty of sites related to space travel. Patient-centered medicine...scary dangerous. The sad thing in this case...it's posing a danger not only to yourself but your child as well.

      November 6, 2013 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      seriously.. Why silence.. do you know how many vaccines you get within the first 6 hours of being born??? What people do not seem to understand is that this is not the 70s or 80s or even early 90s anymore... children now are getting countless more vaccines than adults these days had... Yet everyone panics if the kid does not get the vaccine... yet is ok if the parent of that child does not have the vaccine?? Are adults magically invulnerable from these diseases they never got vaccinated for but their children are not?

      November 6, 2013 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      Raised six kids ages 39-20. Never heard the word autism. Now have grandchildren and refused the Hep B shot at birth. Unless Mom is positive..no way a baby will get it. I get bullied at every dr's office about it but you mom's had better wake up and realize that it's from the shots. So much info is out there on it. I stuck with the old shots such as MMR, Dtap, and Polio. They are now treating infants with shingles bc of the chicken pox shot. The dr did confirm all of this as being true. I just can't believe you mom's out there aren't screaming about this. Please do the research and stop hurting your babies.

      November 6, 2013 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      http://www.naturodoc.com/library/bio-war/HepB.htm A MUST READ BY ALL!!!!!!

      November 6, 2013 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • CallMeCrazyBut....

      Just an FYI folks: mother's are getting vaccines (flu shot, MMR, DTaP, etc) during pregnancy and babies are getting the Hep B vaccine within mere hours (sometimes even minutes!) of birth, so you cannot effectively rule out vaccines as a cause.

      November 6, 2013 at 23:36 | Report abuse |
    • Nobody you know

      I'll call you "crazy" all right. Why is it autism was occurring before any Hep B vaccines were given to infants?

      November 9, 2013 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
    • Nobody you know

      If only that were likely, Skeptic. But nut-jobs like Mercola will continue to deceive people regardless of research and evidence.

      November 9, 2013 at 19:06 | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      My Son has Autism and it sucks. For the past 3 years my wife and I have lived on "newborn" sleep. I picked up on the autism signs very early and got him diagnosed before 2yrs old. For anyone still reading my comment, if you suspect autism, trust your parental instinct and get a diagnosis. Get your kid in therapy/ early intervention/ aba. Learn ABA yourself so you can save your child.

      November 9, 2013 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
    • LaDasha Jackson

      I was a crack addict before during and after pregnancy and I still am. I'm proud of it too, I've had 6 babies with 7 different thugs and their just fine.

      November 20, 2013 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
  2. Brenda

    So basically doctors think they know our babies better than we know our babies. Speaking as a mom of a kid on the autism spectrum, I strongly disagree. I had a happy, happy, friendly baby. When he started school, that all went downhill. Doctors didn't help him one iota.

    November 6, 2013 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      No. They're not saying they know better. They are saying there are some signs of ASD visible as early as 3 months that are, specifically, not easy to detect simply by human observation. I feel for the challenges you face raising an Autistic child, but this study points to earlier detection and earlier intervention to help kids and their families deal with it early on.

      November 6, 2013 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • bros

      Have you considered the fact that when a child with Autism starts school, they enter a much more structured environment than that of the home? They have to conform to structure more than ever before. Students on the spectrum have great difficulty with transition, as I am sure you are aware, which is probably when things started to go downhill.

      November 6, 2013 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Yes, of course, a peer reviewed study using very precise and calculated instruments and procedures over multiple children is no match for your personal observations of one child. Way to go internet. We just proved the earth is flat again.

      November 6, 2013 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      That's an absurd straw man. Brenda seems incapable of honest consideration of this issue.

      November 6, 2013 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • Trum

      As a mom of an Autistic boy, it doesn't help me to finger point re who or what caused it – though it would be very interesting to know. All these studies talk about detection and some slightly related findings that in no way affects the lives of those affected by the condition. When someone finds a cure or the cause, then do a report, otherwise leave us be to figure out how we help our kids survive in this world – not just the US. In countries where people can hardly feed their families – what do you think happens to Autistic kids who have little or no access to existing therapies? If you want to help some of us in the Autistic community – show us how to get the best treatments and the expected outcomes, show us some real models of how to integrate our kids in our society without begging for kindness and marching around in t-shirts, so we can also as individuals focus on other areas of our lives besides helping our affected kids to cope. Help us find cost effective routes to therapy and highlight best standards for treatment, instead of overwhelming us with irrelevant discussions. My kid too was a very happy and interactive baby, extremely engaging and could do sight words and some counting at age 1. At age 2, most doctors scoffed at the idea that he may be Autistic because of his limited speech. Its impossible to understand the frustration as a parent with so many conflicting assessments. Help us help our kids – not add to some scholarly or sensational debate.

      November 6, 2013 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      No. They're saying they can evaluate babies objectively, something you are incapable of doing with your own.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
    • Daremonai

      Well, yes, people who dedicate their life to the study of the human body does mean they generally know better then you.

      November 6, 2013 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Drew...while sarcastic, your post is so dead on in terms of the implied meaning. Scary, scary parents out there. Should be banned from parenthood.

      November 6, 2013 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
    • D. Hulsey

      As a grandmother of a child with autism, I am very happy to see this study and its results. I was a special education teacher, prior to becoming an attorney, and I noticed at about 2 to 3 months that my grandson would avoid looking into the eyes of my daughter when she breastfed or gave him a bottle. He would look over his head and to the side. I had four children and knew from experience that this was not normal. Hesitantly, I told my daughter that she needed to talk to her pediatrician about the situation. We noticed a serious delay in his speech development over the first year and a half and his doctors were able to make a diagnosis relatively quickly, which helped get him into an early intervention program. He is a lovely child adored by all and very smart, just delayed in social and language development. This study confirms what we already knew. P.S. The editors at CNN really need to try to do a better job of proofreading articles before posting them. I have read four tonight with glaringly obvious grammatical errors; forever a teacher....lol!

      November 7, 2013 at 01:14 | Report abuse |
    • Nobody you know

      Anecdotes do not prove a thing, Brenda. Doctors don't think they know more than you do. They simply have evidence and data that point to something you don't want to believe.

      November 9, 2013 at 19:58 | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    My son, now 33, was definitely showing signs of Autism at 3 months. This was at a time when there was virtually no info or help for parents. But now, after one-on -one for most of his life he is doing well and even has a job he's good at.

    November 6, 2013 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • liz

      totaly agree. I have a great nephew that was anti-social to the extreme since birth and way before he was one year. His parents never talked about that but punished him for behaving in ways that I felt in my heart he could not control. he's come a long way but I think he's obviously autistic to some degree and can only hope he gets some help at some time. Not a subject I could even approach with his family.

      November 6, 2013 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • Steve


      Just a point of clarification... Autism isn't necessarily anti-social. Anti-social behavior might be a resulting condition of autism. Autism is essentially the lack of referencing for social input, which non-autistic people naturally do (hence it showing up in lack of eye-contact, etc.). If this goes untreated or improperly treated, the tendency would be to become more anti-social as one has a harder time fitting in. One has to purposely be trained to reference others in social interaction, to have a chance to properly 'read' the social situation and respond appropriately. For example, my son is extremely social and always has been as far as we can remember. But, until he got proper therapy, he just became more and more frustrated as social interactions didn't often go well. While it's still a struggle for him, we fortunately started early with treatments and the types of treatments available today are far more advanced than just a few years ago. We've seen a massive difference in only like a year and a half... so much so that he often is able to better respond to social situations than some of his non-autistic peers, so long as he is actually focused on trying to read the social situation. While it will probably never be natural to him, he now has the tools.

      November 6, 2013 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      When I first saw my brother's baby, when he was just a couple of days old; I instantly knew there was something wrong with him but didn't say anything to my brother because it would have been inappropriate; plus I didn't know exactly what was wrong, it was just a sixth sense thing. The baby turned out to be borderline autistic and didn't say a word until he was 3, and that only happened after they had him in intevention therapy. Luckily he developed normally once he started to talk. The intervention worked, thank goodness! He's now a young adult with a degree in Biology.

      November 7, 2013 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
  4. Bruce

    Years ago Scientific American had an article on how some children with autism had slightly different shapes to the mouth and ears. Those shapes are determined early in pregnancy, which was the first clue that a vaccine wasn't the cause.

    November 6, 2013 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sandy

      There are many recorded cases of autism symptoms showing up in healthy babies soon after getting vaccines. This is why many people suspect that vaccines cause autism.

      November 6, 2013 at 23:35 | Report abuse |
  5. mrsmontanez

    Reblogged this on Bipolar Mom, Authoress and commented:
    My son's autism is mild, and so doubtfully would have been detectable so early, but I find all new research on the subject of autism to be fascinating!

    November 6, 2013 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BD70

      Same here with my grandson who has a twin sister. The only thing of consequence was he wouldn't breast feed. No other indications until he was just about one. He stopped using his words. Early Intervention got him back talking but now he has a social issue. He does not interact with other children....only his sister. They are 3 now. Recommendation is to have him attend school more. Right now they do 2 1/2 days a week.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
  6. Dennis

    My son, who turned out to be diagnosed as 'High Functioning Autistic' later, was exhibiting self-stimulating behavior by rocking his head side to side in his crib within 4-6 weeks after birth. He turned 21 last May, still rocks when lying down, and sways side to side when standing.

    November 6, 2013 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Gene

    I welcome all studies of Autism if it helps iD a cause and they are structured appropriately to include the affects of vaccinations on children. Unfortunately previous studies of Autisim and vaccinations were NOT structured appropriately. Unfortunately medical studies usually follow the money trail. All you have to do is read the side-effect warnings on vaccines, they admit 1 out of 10,000 will have problems. Remove the fudge factor and its proabably 1 out of a 1000.

    November 6, 2013 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Autism is not caused by vaccination. There is no link between the two things at all. Period.

      There is a higher risk, however, of autism among mothers who had the flu while they were pregnant, ignoring physician's standard advice to get flu vaccines during pregnancy. So in that sense, vaccination CAUSES autism, indirectly.

      But I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
    • Susan StoHelit

      So, you welcome all studies, so long as they prove your pet cause true?

      Problem is, the studies you mention have been done – and they have proven, conclusively, that vaccines don't cause autism. And yes, that is possible.

      Studies of up to millions of kids, tracked for 10 years, showed absolutely no difference in the rate, severity, nor onset of autism, between vaccinated and unvaccinated kids. If there were any way, however subtle, in which vaccines cause autism, it would show in a higher rate of autism in the vaccinated. There was absolutely no correlation in any of the studies – thousands have been done, only the one known to be a fraud with faked data ever found a link.

      November 6, 2013 at 19:01 | Report abuse |
    • Caroline

      Vaccines are money maker for Big Pharma. I am not against the vaccines, I am against the toxins that are added to the vaccines and also, one size fits all. Not all babies are the same and should get standard vaccines. My oldest child tolerated the vaccines well while my youngest almost died.

      November 7, 2013 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • Nobody you know

      No, vaccines are NOT a "big money maker" for pharmaceutical firms. Look it up.

      November 9, 2013 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
  8. mim

    I saw the signs in the first 48 hours. Body going rigid for a few seconds and then relaxing. Now at 8 years old, still happens. The child says when this happens there is a tingling sensation during the tightening. A neighbor also remembers that from childhood but it is gone as an adult. Both mild cases, both brilliant people.

    November 6, 2013 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mim

      No vaccines but the mother had them as a child. Pre-disposition carried on in blood perhaps, or mutated genes. My theory of how it might have been transmitted or acquired if vaccination is the target culprit.

      November 6, 2013 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • verify


      Re: The parents' own vaccinations as a cause

      Possible, I suppose, but just as possible that all the mothers (or fathers) ate Twinkies when they were children... or had fluoridated water and toothpaste... or rode in gasoline-powered cars... or many other things like that.

      Hope we find out the real deal someday...

      (sorry if this is a duplicate post - not seeing the other one)

      November 6, 2013 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
    • verify

      Is there a word filter going on here? My post didn't appear until I took out the word "multi tude".

      November 6, 2013 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
    • joe

      That kind of sounds like epilepsy not autism.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
    • skeptical

      Mim–this tightening of the body sounds like a seizure.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
  9. Roger. R.

    The total nutjobs are still blaming vaccines. There is no underestimating the ignorance of some people.

    November 6, 2013 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steven

      Scary thing is now their children are running around non-vaccinated which opens a whole new world of problems for communities. It's funny how these mentally retarded parents (can't understand science) are so afraid of mental disorders in their children.

      November 6, 2013 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      If your kids are vaccinated (and therefore protected), you have reason to fear other kids who are not vaccinated.

      November 6, 2013 at 23:39 | Report abuse |
    • not really

      Sandy, that isn't true. No vaccine is 100% effective and the stronger the challenge, the more likely even a vaccinated person will contract disease. Also, elderly people lose their vaccine efficacy as do people undergoing chemotherapies that suppress the immune system. All it takes is one person fulmanently infected with something contagious like Measles to infect lots of people and kill some of them. There have been several outbreaks of Measles over the past 10 years, all of which were brought to their communities by an unvaccinated person. Such a person should never walk into a hospital, nursing home, airport, football game or school.

      November 7, 2013 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  10. Tammee

    Here you go honey bunny.

    November 6, 2013 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Carl

    "This type of eye-tracking requires sophisticated technology that can track even the slightest movement of the eye."

    This makes sense with the 2-stage development theory. In an adult or child human, smaller eye movements can be completely involuntary (e.g., you look at an object by directing your eyes in its direction, and your eyes make small jumps to whatever parts of it are deemed worth focusing on by a more primitive part of your brain). These non-conscious movements are small and fast, and abnormal variations would definitely be hard to assess in normal interaction. It also makes sense that these movements would be functioning before the higher order brain functions, as they are controlled by an image map between the eyes and the various consciousness-related parts of the brain.

    Larger, more deliberate conscious movements (such as the decision to look at your face at all) are slower and much more obvious. You would notice if a baby never looks at your face at all; you wouldn't notice so easily if they had a below-average speed for the micro saccade which jumps their eyes from your nose to your eyes (200 milliseconds or less).

    November 6, 2013 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Elaina

    My daughter never made good eye contact. From the very first night in the hospital she never gazed at our faces. After a year of testing and therapy she was diagnosed with Autism at 2 and later we were able to identify a genetic condition. I trusted my intuition and with early intervention she has made great strides. In our case this was absolutely true. Poor eye contact was the very first indicator.

    November 6, 2013 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Michael

    Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy for some details, and of course I cannot find it right now, but essentially the whole MMR thing was some lawyers in some European country trying to get money out of a vaccine company.

    Autism Spectrum Disorder is generally regarded as a genetic disease with possible environmental triggers.

    Or as we say at work when looking for the source of a problem, its not under this rock, look some place else. Blame glutens, blame lactose, those dogs might hunt, but MMR vaccine does not.

    November 6, 2013 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. melissalasure

    I have a son that would not look me in the eye. Even as I was nursing him– a breastfed baby and when I looked at him, he would look away. He's in his twenties now, after growing up with some disabilities. They are trying to determine what it is. I've been saying Asperger's Syndrome all along. He's smart, likes to research, but he lacks simple social communicative skills.

    November 6, 2013 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. teamgraceopinion

    It is quite obvious that autism wasn't discovered this early because it is harder to tell if somebody has communication or thinking problems at this stage. It is likely very similar for many conditions with the brain but autism suffered from activist who jumped the shark.

    November 6, 2013 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sylvia Fuoss

    When my grandson was an infant I cared for him while his mother was in the hospital for a time. I had no trouble making eye contact with him, and neither did a friend who used to babysit at times. When he was about 3 I had him visiting at my home and got out a puzzle to fit together with him. He started with the eyes. I tried several times to get him to understand and try to work with edge pieces with absolutely no success. If the puzzles didn't have eyes, he would not try to work them, but he quickly found the eye pieces and fit the puzzles together. He was extremely bright, read fluently in 3rd grade level books by the middle of the first grade and was very skilled with numbers and mechanical equipment and toys. He clearly has some form of autism, and has been labeled as Asperger's Syndrome. He is in prison now.

    November 6, 2013 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sylvia Fuoss

    I dropped my brain? What does that mean? I love the boy, and I took care of him and treated him well. Why would you make such a response? Clearly there is some eye fixation - lets share what we know, and try to help these individuals. He is the only one in our family with the syndrome, as far as I know.

    November 6, 2013 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. longtooth

    I respect medical science. I have been a direct beneficiary of it, and so has my family. However, I fear that, too many times, there is a tendency to over diagnose any condition. I was a shy boy, my brother was not. We both survived, with nobody measuring our eye movements. I was born in the first half of the last century, when every house was coated with lead paint, inside and out, and we all ate sugar whenever we could. We had no helmets or elbow pads when we rode our bikes, and we all managed to produce the next generation. Lighten up!

    November 6, 2013 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. justcurious

    If vaccines work, how does an unvaccinated kid endanger all of the vaccinated kids?

    November 6, 2013 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alana

      There are still some people who can't get vaccinated. For instance, very young children/babies who are not old enough to receive their vaccinations. There are also people who have various immune disorders or allergies to vaccine components who cannot be safely vaccinated. (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/09/25/226147147/vaccine-refusals-fueled-californias-whooping-cough-epidemic)

      In the case of shots like the flu vaccine, people over a certain age cannot get it, and are also especially vulnerable.

      These people should generally be protected by herd immunity i.e. if they don't encounter anyone sick because most of the people around them have been vaccinated so they won't catch the disease, then the risk is lowered. But with every individual who doesn't get vaccinated, the risk rises, especially since in general, you interact with so many people who you can catch a disease from (people at the store, in school, waiting in line at the DMV, the person who sat before you in a seat at the movie theatre, public transportation...) that unless you don't leave your house it is pretty difficult to ensure if the people you interact with are vaccinated or not. So the less people who remain unvaccinated, the less potential carriers of the disease that people with weakened immune systems could encounter.

      Also read: http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130528/srep01905/full/srep01905.html

      November 6, 2013 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
  20. coopsdad

    You call parents retarded for thinking that there may be a link to vaccines and autism....We have NO answers to what has caused this! I have read multiple stories of how parents took their child in for their mmr vaccines and the child was never the same again. what are we to believe? Raising an autistic child is a challenge that many of you will never understand. I'm 29 and have a 5 year old autistic son. He's very intelligent and blows our minds everyday! From an outsiders' view looking in, it's easy to call us retarded (which is ridiculously childish and wrong) or say it's something we, as parents have done wrong. The only thing we can do now is embrace our children and hope that eventually they will progress as to function in this crazy world we live in. we have to wear t-shirts in public so people don't judge our child for acting out. I've been in heated arguments before in stores because I was blamed for being a "bad parent" because my son was having a meltdown. you don't understand, you won't understand. I'm very proud of my son, he's very smart and is in kindergarten. still non-verbal. he doesn't tell you he loves you when he goes to bed, he doesn't greet you when you come home from work. but you know he's happy to see you. I have taken offence to multiple comments on this topic. Even if you know someone who has a child on the spectrum, you don't realize the differences between one child to the next. my son is not vaccinated, we have read hundreds of studies of how autism isn't caused by vaccines, still we are not having him vaccinated. So if you're here to call us parents "retarded" for not vaccinating, keep your smug comments to youorself and grow up.

    November 6, 2013 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Confused

      I'm confused by your rational...you didn't vaccinate your autistic son, but still won't vaccinate him, because you have experience not found in the peer-reviewed literature that vaccines cause autism? You just broke your own argument. Unless you have a second son, in which case, it would behoove you to distinguish that.

      November 6, 2013 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
    • Briguy85

      Why is that all the people who think vaccines cause autism place their trust in one highly discredited study that that supported the theory but ignore a vast number of studies that show NO causal link? Or the recently published study that found a genetic link to autism? I realize people are desperate to find an answer they can understand but perpetuating the vaccine link myth is more harmful overall.

      November 6, 2013 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • Betty

      My grandson was showing signs of autism at a few weeks old. Before any vaccines were given.

      November 6, 2013 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • cms

      I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to raise an autistic child. But you actually disproved your own theory. You have an un-vaccinated child, and he is autistic!!!!!!!!! Yet you still think hundreds of studies that prove no link are false? Your own situation proves all of those studies true!!!

      November 7, 2013 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
  21. coopsdad

    I still believe that vaccines are potentially harmful. I didn't break my argument...simply stated that I have read the studies that indicate there is no connection. I still believe there very well could be. this is my opinion...simply that.

    November 6, 2013 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. ChemE


    I think it is our Doppler weather radar towers causing Autism: They are pumping 0.25-1.25 MW continuously into the atmosphere over our heads.

    South Korea has the highest concentration of doppler towers and highest autism rate
    Cuba has one of lowest rates and just got their first Doppler radar in 2012
    The 1995 spike in autism in Minnesota corresponded with the startup of two NEXRAD doppler towers and one TDWR in the area
    The autism rise has paralleled the rise in use of Doppler radar since the early 1990's

    The Doppler radars are energizing the atmosphere which is discharging/reflecting sone of the extra energy back to Earth as weakly ionizing radiation triggering mutations and brain damage in humans and fish kills and algae blooms surrounding the towers.
    I have been studying it for a year

    November 6, 2013 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply

      ChemE..this is what I as the father of a six year old boy with autism is looking for. Timelines..for example what is the timeline between the massive spike in the rate of autism and the introduction of the MMR vaccination being combined into one vaccination (previously was three separate vaccinations). Also if I'm correct the previous vaccinations were derived from animal compounds and synthetic compounds are now being used. My son made perfect eye contact the day he was born and after the MMR shot his eye contact was completely gone . The best explanation I have been given is that it was a coincedence. I have the greatest respect for science, but scientific studies have been proven wrong in the past (with the addition of more studies. Last but not least lets consider what the re-percussions for the vaccination being found as the cause would be to the drug companies and the medical profession.

      November 7, 2013 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
    • ChemE

      In my model, the atmosphere around us is generally "weakly ionizing" unless you live within a Doppler weather radar high "flux zone" (~150 mile radius) or are in severe weather where the background radiation goes up and is low frequency and penetrating. In that instance, substances that are normally "inert" become reactive, dissolved oxygen in bloodstreams becomes ionized and you get toxic chemical reactions and mutations taking place within the body when typically there would be none. It is the same reason humans are not able to survive in the ionosphere. I have 10 months worth of data showing me that their is an increase in fish kills, algae blooms, toxic waterways, sinkholes and waterspouts AROUND DOPPLER RADAR TOWERS, which are pumping 0.25 to 1.25 megawatts of energy continuously over our heads and it is discharging back to Earth and GOING THROUGH US. Given high enough ionizing radiation levels, anything can become toxic, even you. The Autism spike starting in the '90s matches the widespread installation of Doppler radar towers, many of them overlapping, doubling or tripling the radiation

      November 7, 2013 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • not really

      SkepDad, it is possible that environmental influences that are benign to almost all of the population will deleteriously affect kids who are susceptible. That is the case with major mental illness. If you are genetically susceptible, you don't necessarily get sick. You have to have the right environmental stressor. Others who get the environmental stressors but who are not genetically susceptible don't get mental illness. It is probably the same relationship with kids on the Autism Spectrum. This is why proving a link is very difficult because for genetically "normal" kids, the stressor doesn't do anything harmful.

      Also FYI, if the medical community and "those danged drug companies" were to be shut down, your kid and 4/5ths of all kids born would have died before the age of 5 years from GI illness and others. Please don't damn the medical community and definitely don't damn the pharmaceutical companies, who literally make all the drugs that allow us to live to age 90. Are people perfect? No. Are you perfect? No. Everybody makes mistakes somtimes and we should all be accountable but ruining an entire profession or the very means of having pharmaceuticals is never the answer. As a practicing academic scientist, I enjoy needling the medical community but I still respect them and the work they do. I am also thankful for their work. You should be too.

      November 7, 2013 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
    • ChemE

      My 11 year old is in gifted in school but has had sensory problems since birth. Sensitive to noise, certain clothing against his skin, even balance/motor skills. I feel your pain.

      Come check out my research and you will understand what I believe is giving our children brain damage – our Doppler Weather Radar Towers. It is doing something similar in the waterways around the towers, trigggering algae blooms and hypoxic conditions. My research is being read in 190 countries. darkmattersalot.com

      November 7, 2013 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
  23. dennis

    who even makes eye contact anymore??

    at any age??

    November 6, 2013 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. PHinMiami

    At the risk of being too provocative, please study what percentage of babies bottle fed and carried around in baskets, develop Autism. Compare that to babies whose mothers swaddle them to themselves and breast feed.

    November 6, 2013 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Betty

    I have a grandson with autism that I got custody of at birth. I knew he was autistic by 1 month. Well, I didn't 'know' but I suspected. He wasn't diagnosed until 16 months. I raised 4 typical children. I knew he was not typical.

    November 6, 2013 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. TImothy Rigney

    I'm no Medical Doctor, but personally I'm having trouble buying this. I think it's a big mistake to start putting a "label" on kids too early. "There's Science behind it?" How many times has "Science" been wrong about such things? No really; HOW many times? Credibility begins to fall flat after awhile; and there's sound logical reasons for that.

    November 6, 2013 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Betty

      It is not labeling them. Early intervention is key to helping them. The earlier the better.

      November 6, 2013 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
  27. coopsdad

    how is it harmful? people who choose not to vaccinate aren't hurting anyone except the pharmaceutical companies' pockets....and yes early intervention is key....

    November 6, 2013 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Island Shadow

      I'm sorry sir but did you say that "people who don't get vaccinated are not hurting anybody (excluding the pharma comment)?" Yet you could hurt people by coming in sick to work or school. People are no where near responsible enough to stay home when their sick (part of that blame lies on the employers that have a low tolerance for people who call in sick). If more people are vaccinated, then more people can't get sick. This generates herd immunity, and thus the virus cannot spread and "dies" out as a result.

      You don't realize the brutality of these diseases, which can be prevented by vaccines. Why don't you talk to your parents and grandparents about small pox pandemic. Nearly 300-500 million people have been killed from 1914-1977, which is more that all wars in the 20th century combined! It is thanks to the small pox vaccinations that hundreds of millions were saved and eradicated small pox from the planet. When you see death left and right of you, you don't give a s*** about side effects. If I had a child, I would get them vaccinated ASAP. I would rather have an autistic kid than a dead kid.

      November 7, 2013 at 00:34 | Report abuse |
    • ahunt

      Or you could try researching rubella and the horrific birth defects it can cause. Those defects look harmful to me.

      November 7, 2013 at 02:04 | Report abuse |
    • self or others?

      Coopsdad, I work at a hospital and it is required that all people be vaccinated for influenza starting each fall. It is manifestly irresponsible to bring an influenza infection (you've got it and are contagious up to 24 hours before showing any symptoms) into a hospital setting where unvaccinated patients and their families become exposed. People die from influenza, especially weakened people in a hospital setting. Vaccination is the only responsible way to manage something that can be largely controlled. We get vaccinated to protect OTHER people. Think about that.

      November 7, 2013 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
    • clarity6

      My niece has cancer. She can not be around other kids or go to school (she is 10) because her immune system is weak. I am sure there are other people who may not have cancer but other illness who can also be hurt by children who are not vaccinated.
      Why kids get cancer? or why some do and some don't? I don't know. It is more important to live the present and enjoy what we have right now, because tomorrow we, or our loved ones, may be gone.

      November 7, 2013 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • Starflyr

      If you bring your unvaccinated, sick child to my office (Im a pediatrician), keep in mind that I also have patients who you are putting at risk – I have several who have autoimmune diseases that are on immune suppressing medications, a couple with cancer (on chemo), multiple children with special needs who are medically fragile, and infants who are too young to be vaccinated that are MUCH more likely to require hospitalization and/or die if they get a serious infection. Not to mention other families who "have concerns" about vaccines (not many, but since Im an employee and not in private practice, we are not allowed to decline service to such families).

      My father-in-law was one of the last children to have polio in this country. Post-polio syndrome is AWFUL. Unvaccinated children in Syria are now threatening Europe, especially since the injected (inactivated) polio vaccine (IPV) is NOT AS EFFECTIVE as the oral polio vaccine (OPV). It is not used in countries where polio has been declared eradicated, since the OPV is known to cause 5 cases of polio per 100,000 doses given. BUT...well... it's not as effective. Whooping cough. in my county, we've had 600 cases this year, most likely due to declining herd immunity. I've had to put 2 kids in the hospital for it...one unvaccinated, one special needs/medically fragile (but vaccinated). We had a measles outbreak at (guess where?) a local church that preaches against vaccination. If that had hit one of the hospitals, it would have been a DISASTER. Measles is spread through the air. It can cause permanent brain damage and even death. Wild-type measles is much more severe than the weakened virus that is in the vaccine. Luckily, my practice isnt near the area of the church, so my patients were out of the line-of-fire for that one. Even chickenpox, which we still have living memory of in current parents of small children, is often not recognized and children sometimes sit in the waiting room, which ends up with us having to call every. single. familly. that was exposed and (in some cases) arranging for early vaccination or other treatment for exposure, depending on the situation.

      I work with many families that have concerns, and I dont slam them or yell or condescend. However, please, NEVER fall prey to the assumption that the choice that you make for your family to not vaccinate (or delay vaccination) is made in a bubble and wont affect others. Your "choice" may just end up costing another family much heartache, money, or in an extreme case, even the life of their loved one.

      It may cost YOUR FAMILY the same thing. One thing I am always sure to explain is this: Vaccination is not 100% safe no one has EVER said it is. The IOM has a great study on the CDC website that explains possible (albeit rare) adverse effects of vaccines. However, the question you MUST ask yourself is this:

      Which can you live with?

      I vaccinated my child (per current recommendations) and my child had a rare but serious vaccine reaction with permanent damage/issues/long term consequences.


      I chose not to vaccinate my child (against current recommendations) and my child caught a vaccine preventable illness and has permanent damage/issues/long term consequences (or died)?

      November 8, 2013 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
  28. K

    Since this turned into a vaccine debate. I know the MMR findings from england proved to be fake, but what about the findings where vaccines were causing autism in chimps?http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/107993.php It's such a huge debate because we've tried to link everything we can think to autism. So far the biggest mainstay has been vaccines. People want an answer. Although this eye test doesn't give any answers maybe early detection can get us to actually pinpoint a cause. I strongly disgree with Dr. Steve where the internet has been the worst thing to happen to medicine. The best decisions are the most informed decisions. Not to mention vaccines are made in monkey kidneys and in cow parts. We are still inventing technology to see how their DNA can bind with a humans and possibly cause something like autism. And we all know how safe the polio vaccine is or the Gardisil vaccine for that matter. You can not get me to trust blindy, not when it comes to my kids. I agree with Katie some vaccines are safe, some are not.

    November 6, 2013 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. turq

    Don't like eye contact because if I can see out, you can see in.

    An even earlier diagnosis is great, good job these researchers.

    November 6, 2013 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Autism has become a cottage industry

    I think it is because we as a society use so many legal and illegal drugs. I also think that many children diagnosed with autism don't have it .

    November 6, 2013 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • coopsdad

      are you freaking kidding me???!!!!! you should have used that big lopsided thing on your shoulders before you put those fingers to the keyboard...

      November 6, 2013 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
    • Victor Romero

      I agree. There are many parents who can't parent and consider tantrums to be a sign that their child has autism.

      November 7, 2013 at 00:52 | Report abuse |
  31. Gee, to think Barbara could have known about W a month after he was born...

    She could have aborted and saved us the problem of having to have gone through 9/11 or the Iraq War.

    November 7, 2013 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tnut

    I have two personal examples: 26 yo man and 30 yo woman have a child. The woman had high blood pressure and doctors induced labor at 8 months because here blood pressure was dangerously high. The baby boy has autism. Second example: 32 yo man and 26 yo woman. Both parents used alcohol and drugs throughout most of their adult lives, but the mother was clean while pregnant for 9 months.. The baby boy has no known mental problems.

    Without all the statistics, I can personally say it is more important the woman have the baby at a young age and carry the baby full term to 9 months. The second example put at many 'toxins' as could be found in their bodies and it did not lead to autism.

    November 7, 2013 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Chuck

    Not enough Red Meat in the diet

    November 7, 2013 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Donate Life

    Even if vaccines caused or contributed to autism (which every scientifically valid study has shown is not true), without high levels of vaccination, millions of children every year would die or be severely disabled due to measles, polio, pertussus, Hib and many other easily preventable diseases. It is anticipated that 2.7 million children would die worldwide every year if we stopped vaccinating for measles! Is potentially losing your child's life worth the risk? Is autism worse than death? I don't think so. People now are so blind to the past, they just don't remember the time when child mortality was high, partly due to these infections. Now that most people are vaccinated we have herd immunity – the unvaccinated are protected because the rest of us immunized folks in the herd are not able to spread the diseases. But if the anti-vaccination folks make too much headway, these diseases will return, and they will only have themselves to blame.

    November 7, 2013 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. bob

    vaccines dont cause autism, secondhand smoke and alcohol do. but its inconvenient to ban those.

    November 7, 2013 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Mom

    Air pollution raises the risk, but that's just one factor. Various toxins a little girl is exposed to (starting from before and when she's in the womb) can affect autism, and when she grows up to have a child...it all plays out. We need to be very careful about what we are exposed to and what we put into our bodies. The mother has a huge responsibility to avoid as many toxins as possible. (And no, it's not about vaccines. Those are the greatest invention for children EVER. Before those, most kids died before age 5. Didn't have much of a chance at all for life).

    November 7, 2013 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Common

    We know that many parents who have a child diagnosed with autism tend to be vaccine-hesitant with their younger children. It would be very helpful to know how the kids in this study were vaccinated.

    Were the high risk younger siblings who were later diagnosed with autism more or less vaccinated than the high risk younger siblings who didn't end up with an autism diagnosis?

    November 7, 2013 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Michele

    I'm sure giving pregnant moms flu and tdap vaccines and then vaccinating babies with hep b vaccine within hours of birth has nothing to do with it...SMDH...

    November 7, 2013 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. usethebrainsgodgiveyou

    This makes me sad. While the pro and anti vaccinators argue...something is being lost.

    What about the children? Are we going to start performing ABA on infants? I feel sick inside. Nothing good will come of robbing mothers of their natural instincts to love their children in the nursery. We have become so afraid of AUTISM, we don't realize that the monster is in us, not the poor, defenseless babies. Give it a rest, people.

    November 7, 2013 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Richard Edward

    The biggest scam ever orchestrated! The vaccination scandal, was the best diversion to keep the numbers climbing in the diagnosis debate. Now with the prevalence so great, the Medical Industry can profit for another forty years! Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. pale in comparison to the profits that can be made from a "lifetime" of treatments, in this situation. The "ship has come in" and it is LOADED!

    November 7, 2013 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. wrm

    Growth charts for social behavior. Great.

    November 7, 2013 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Janna

    My son is 6 and had signs of possible mental illness as a baby and up through the years until now. He had to be in a pre-k class with 4 teachers instead of 2 and have 1 on 1 time with a teacher to complete work sitting still. He was very smart from early on, learning shapes from a shape puzzle, counting, exploring, reading the digital clock all before he could read, and his reading is spot on now. He is so smart, but in Kindergarten they promised us he would have a teacher who would be able to handle him, and ended up giving him the newest teacher who sent notes home often. This year he was doing a little of his work, but then he would shut down, and only draw pictures on his work. Day after day, note after note, I got fed up! His first Doctors office was so slow and acted uninterested in helping him so we changed doctors earlier this year, too. I finally got the nerve to ask his new Doctor about his behavior and after a long conversation, in just that one day, he began helping us. I took my son out of school to home school him and he loves it. We get the work done within hours and he can play with the neighbor kids as social time. He is not touchy person, he shows a range on emotions, but he just can't handle over stimulation. He shuts down. He doesn't eat well regardless of what we feed him (unless it's candy, most kids would eat candy all day if they could). I've tried everything from bribing to grounding. I tried being more loving and tender, and I tried being stern. In the end, if he needs a break when he normally wouldn't have one at school, he can easily take a break and come back to his work. I get more time with him, and I am not so frustrated anymore, either. My 4yr old daughter is in head start and loves school. My 11 month old son is walking good, saying words like cat, and eats good. - What would I blame? My induction gone C-section and all the pain medicine? Sitting with a laptop on my lap a lot during pregnancy? My husband having been a smoker for years and being in his 40's? I have yet to really figure that one out, but like someone else said, it could be a number of things that causes it. What we eat, drink, and put things in (plastics), the chemicals in soaps, the chemicals in the air we breath, any infections you have while pregnant, or medication you take.... All I know is that I will not let my child become one of those "bad kids" everyone looks down on at school just because he can't conform to strict scheduling.

    November 7, 2013 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. ChemE

    My research is showing it is our Doppler Radar Weather Towers guys. They have put us all in an "Easy Bake Microwave Oven" powered by low frequency, penetrating, ionizing radiation from the Doppler towers reflecting of the atmosphere. Back in the late '80's/early '90's Dopplers were rushed into service due to airport crashes. This involved Lincoln Labs/MIT, the FAA, Raytheon and other radar manufacturers. No long term effects on biology were known. WE ARE THE EXPERIMENT darkmattersalot.com

    November 7, 2013 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Greg

    The pro-vaxxers are absolutely confident that vaccines do not cause autism. They have the 'sound' peer-reviewed studies (never mind that they only mainly looked into one vaccine and one vaccine ingredient) to prove this. Science (actually science bought by the pharmaceutical industry) is firmly on their side. Yet, when pressed to do the definitive studies that will forever put the final nails in the coffin of the anti-vaxx movement (a vax/unvax study, a study showing a 1 in 50 autism rate for an unvax population, or an animal vax/unvax study), for some inexplicable reason they are not so keen.

    November 7, 2013 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. First Hand Experience

    Am over 50 and high-functioning autistic. My parents never had me vaccinated. I watch peoples mouths instead of their eyes because it's easier to follow what they are saying.

    November 8, 2013 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • First Hand Experience

      By the way, my hearing is fine. It's been tested a few times over the years.

      November 8, 2013 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
  46. anon

    What if, the reason to autisum, is bad parenting, and theres no such thing as autisum. Maybe the kids just need more time to develop, with loving parents, that dont take them to a doctor if they arnt making eye contact.

    Btw, looking at a screen and looking at someone in real life is compleatly different.
    Maybe putting them in front of these screens is giving them autisum.

    November 17, 2013 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Jenny

    I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do, w*w^w . Best96 . c^o*m-

    November 18, 2013 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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    November 27, 2013 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. kim

    When I have a baby, I will try the test as shown in this article.

    December 22, 2013 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Christina

    So .. you know Nothing. Just say it. Dont give hope or worry. It is time OUR neglective govt stop hiding and spending $$ on decorating and step the #$$@ up on this. when the Hell will people see this is a all human need for help. Cowards.. all of you. Shame on everyone. I feel like I am in the movie wherethere is a perfect world but if your not conforming you are an out cast... Is that who we are now??? And how long has it been.

    April 16, 2015 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
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