By Dr. Joey Shulman D.C., RNCP
Autism is classified as a mental disorder that tends to develop mysteriously in toddlers who appear to have a normal infancy. Around the age of 18 months, parents often notice that their child is not reaching various developmental milestones. Sensitivity to touch, failure to make eye contact, frequent temper tantrums and improper speech are all common symptoms associated with autistic disorders. For more information on diagnostic criteria for autism, visit Childhood Illnesses.
Autism affects 5 out of every 10, 000 people in North America. In addition, 15 out of every 10, 000 people are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Autism affects individuals of all races, cultures and socioeconomic groups. More males than females are affected, with the ratio being 4:1.
Causes of autism are not known. Potential causes appear to include genetics, leaky gut syndrome, food sensitivities, vaccination, exposure to environmental toxins and a difficult pregnancy or labor.