Autism has become a widely discussed topic in recent years. Despite the growing awareness, there are still many misconceptions about what causes this neurodevelopmental disorder. What really causes autism? Is it genetics? Environment? Vaccines?
Autism affects approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States, and the prevalence continues to rise. While there is no known cure for autism, understanding the underlying causes is crucial for developing effective treatments and interventions.
The question of what causes autism is a complex one, and there is no simple answer. However, researchers have made significant strides in understanding the various factors that may contribute to the development of autism. In this article, we’ll explore some of the leading theories and evidence surrounding the causes of autism.
What Really Causes Autism?
The link between EMF exposure and autism development is explored in Sullivan and Herbert’s research.
This interview was recorded at the ACIM convention in Orlando, Florida in November 2018. Although there were concerns about its controversial topic at the time, we have decided to release the video now, five years later, due to changes in the landscape and the importance of the topic in light of COVID.
I conducted an interview with Peter Sullivan and Dr. Martha Herbert, both experts on autism and dirty electricity, who collaborated on “The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be.” In our discussion, we explored the toxic factors that contribute to the development of autism, with a particular focus on electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) and dirty electricity.
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Sullivan has experienced electromagnetic hypersensitivity, which drove him to research the topic and become knowledgeable about it. In the 1990s, he worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley and was interested in personal technology.
The speaker studied at Stanford. They focused on human-computer interactions. They worked in different roles at various companies, including troubleshooting in Silicon Valley and engineering and software design. They also worked at well-known companies like Netflix.
During the early 2000s, the individual began to experience various health issues such as fatigue and food allergies, and noticed developmental delays in their children. It was later discovered that they had toxic levels of mercury in their system.
In 2005, the speaker decided to take time off work to prioritize their family’s health and well-being. They were able to dedicate more time and energy to researching various topics of interest.
My doctor, Dr. Raj Patel, was integrative and discussed topics such as Candida overgrowth and mercury. He helped us get back on track. The kids improved over time, but I did not, even after detoxing. In fact, my condition worsened.
I reached a weight of 131 pounds. I developed sensitivity to electricity. My mind believed that technology was safe and tested, but my body reacted as if something was amiss. I found myself discarding cellphones and feeling uneasy around transformers.
After learning about dirty electricity, he took measures to reduce his exposure and regained weight and improved his health within a few months. He now shares information about the dangers of EMFs and dirty electricity and how to address electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
The goal is to share credible information, establish credibility in the field, and prevent people from suffering.
He has designed a tent that is free of EMF and brings it along with him when attending seminars and conferences that are held in areas with high EMF exposure. In addition, he has provided funding for Herbert’s research.
In 2009, I met Herbert at a Cure Autism Now event (now Autism Speaks). Herbert’s two children had autism symptoms when they were young and have since fully recovered. Initially, she focused on noninvasive screening for toxic metals, particularly mercury toxicity.
Herbert pursued a career in medicine after obtaining a Ph.D. in history of consciousness from the University of California Santa Cruz. She specialized in pediatric neurology and became involved in autism research after inheriting MRI scans from the first study conducted on autistic children in 1989.
Herbert was among the first to use brain imaging to identify white matter abnormalities in autism, challenging the traditional belief that behavior is solely controlled by the cortex. She had a holistic approach to patient care and was already seeing patients at the time.
Only a small number of patients had the rare neurogenetic diseases that I was trained for in pediatric neurology. Most presented with common issues like diarrhea, eczema, and sleep disturbances. It felt more like primary care in neuropsychiatry. This is how I began adopting a whole-body approach.
In 1999, I came to the realization that the conditions my patients were experiencing could be linked to their environment. Through further research, I discovered that taking a systems biology approach was necessary to address these conditions.
The application of systems biology to autism
Systems biology views biology as an interconnected web. Any change to one part of the web affects the rest. In traditional science, individual components are studied in isolation. This is the basis of clinical research.
Herbert explains that they are searching for clear indications of disease, though the conditions they are studying are often complicated with various symptoms, some more predominant than others. In the early stages of investigating autism as a systemic issue, he focused on language disorders and developmental language issues.
Upon closer observation, these individuals exhibit signs of impaired coordination, indicating a breakdown in the brain’s precision and fine-tuning. After conducting research, I came across an informative article discussing the networks within the brain that are affected by psychiatric disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and depression.
The hubs of these networks have a high-frequency gamma frequency, which is driven by cells with high-energy demand and centered mitochondria.
Recent studies have indicated a correlation between metabolic activity and brain networks, with some cases showing a correlation between network disturbance and mitochondrial dysfunction.
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The Transcend Research Program
Herbert has established a brain research initiative at Harvard named TRANSCEND2 (Treatment, Research and Neuroscience Evaluation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders). The program employs MRI, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalogram (EEG) techniques. MEG gauges the magnetic activity of the brain, while EEG measures the electrical activity.
According to Herbert, electrical and magnetic activity are measured differently but relate to the same thing. Her hypothesis is that autism is caused by environmental factors instead of being present at birth.
To conduct research on the topic, the study began by observing babies throughout their prenatal and postnatal development. Biosamples were collected from the mothers during pregnancy and after birth, and continued until the mothers ceased nursing. Additionally, EEG and autonomic data were collected using wristbands to analyze the progression of autism in the observed children.
Our findings have multiple interpretations and we are in the process of publishing them. Our research involved EEG data from infants at 2 weeks old, which predicted their outcome at 13 months.
Autism is something that can be developed, not necessarily something one is born with. It’s like having an excited and irritated brain. Early environment plays a big role in making someone more predisposed to autism.
A whole-body wellness approach may help to reduce the risk of autism
Some primary care pediatricians have started using early predictive ability to implement whole-body lifestyle modifications for parents and children, resulting in a low incidence of autism in predisposed babies through avoidance of toxins and allergens.
Herbert suggests a public health intervention focused on teaching people how to maintain their health from preconception to infancy. Instead of resorting to drugs for an irritable brain, safe and healthy actions should be taken, as drugs and toxins are the root of the problem.
Herbert and Sullivan are working on establishing an online database that collects anecdotal stories from families with autistic children, who claim that EMF causes issues.
Reducing Wi-Fi can alleviate symptoms in some cases. A child who used to stim excessively by a dishwasher was found to be affected by dirty electricity from the appliance, which was fixed and led to a reduction in symptoms. This was reported by Herbert.
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Common Risk Factors Of Autism
Herbert suggests that brain irritability may predict autism. Sullivan identifies mercury, EMF, and glyphosate as potential triggers, which may have a greater impact than vaccines.
Herbert notes that processed food may play a significant role in contributing to allergies. While reducing allergens in a mother’s diet during preconceptions and pregnancy is important, it’s important to consider the total load of factors involved.
Mitochondria can be injured in 10,000 different ways, and even seemingly harmless exposures can contribute to the damage. This is important to consider, according to Sullivan, who has created a video and booklet called ” Simplifying Autism Improvement and Recovery.” The material includes a list of possible suspects for parents to investigate.
Research suggests that exposure of sperm to wireless radiation from cellphones and laptops can result in de novo mutations. To minimize the risk, it is recommended that men refrain from carrying their cellphone in their pants pocket while it’s on, as cellphone radiation may cause gene mutations in the sperm. If carrying the cellphone in the pocket is necessary, it is advisable to turn it off or switch to airplane mode.
Herbert is currently recruiting participants for her study, the Child Health Inventory for Resilience and Prevention (CHIRP), which aims to gather information on the relationship between environmental stressors and chronic disease in children. If you have a child aged 1 to 15, you can apply by completing two prescreening questionnaires to determine eligibility.
Many parents begin treatment at an ineffective stage
Herbert and Sullivan, who have extensive experience working with autistic children and advising parents, were asked about common mistakes they observe. Sullivan responded:
People often assume that a child’s problems are related to the child themselves. They immediately start treating the child, thinking it may be genetic or behavioral. However, if given the chance, the author would start by examining the environment. Specifically, they would look at EMF levels, especially at night.
To ensure safety, we turn off the baby monitor, cordless phone base station, Wi-Fi, and circuit breaker for the bedroom at night. A wired baby monitor is a safe option. To make things easier, plug everything into a power strip and put it in the wall. At bedtime, simply pull out the power strip. In the morning, plug it back in. Another option is to put it on a timer.
Addressing the state of overload in a household, it is important to prioritize tasks that have the greatest impact, starting with the easiest ones. This applies not only to children, but to the entire family.
EMF reduction can lead to better sleep and increased capacity. Building a spiral of capacity begins with reducing EMF. This creates an upward spiral.
Studies have shown that microwaves and EMFs have significant neuropsychiatric effects, while sleep and reducing inflammation are crucial for maintaining good mental health.
More Information About Autism
To learn about the correlation between autism and wireless radiation, the impact of EMFs on sleep, and suggestions for EMF meters and safety measures, visit ClearLightVentures.com, the website of Sullivan.
Herbert’s website, https://drmarthaherbert.com/, provides information on improving overall health and reducing total body stress for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
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