Preventing autism

Preventing autism

According to California records, autism has increased 1000 percent in the past 20 years. Autism used to account for 3 percent of the caseload of the California Department of Economic Security. In 2004 it accounted for 34 percent of the caseload and costs taxpayers about 2 million dollars per child. Lifetime care costs for an austic person are $5 to $10 million each.

According to California records, autism has increased 1000 percent in the past 20 years. Autism used to account for 3 percent of the caseload of the California Department of Economic Security. In 2004 it accounted for 34 percent of the caseload and costs taxpayers about 2 million dollars per child. Lifetime care costs for an austic person are $5 to $10 million each.

by Dr. Larry Wilson —

Autism, a serious behavioral disorder among young children, is now occurring at epidemic rates. According to a recent article by Donald Miller, M.D., autism is diagnosed in about one of every 400 girls and one in every 100 boys. This article discusses natural approaches for helping autistic children and, more importantly, preventing autism.

In a typical case of autism, around his second birthday, a normally developing boy stops communicating with others and withdraws. He avoids eye contact and becomes strange and aloof. He often develops various motor-nerve disturbances such as jerking movements or walking on his toes. Physicians also describe behaviors such as head banging, crying spells, speech problems and gastrointestinal and immune system problems.

Other behaviors depend on the severity of the condition, which may vary. Some autistic children are able to attend school, while others must be institutionalized, as their behavior is so disruptive to their families.


Causes of autism

While there is no official medical cause for autism, here is what is known about the causes of autism:

• Autism appears related to mercury toxicity. The first case of autism in America was observed in 1943, precisely 12 years after a mercury-containing preservative, thimerosal, was added to the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine. In the 1950s, with only four recommended vaccines available, the incidence of autism was one in 10,000 children. As more vaccines were recommended, the incidence of autism increased dramatically. By 1981, children received 135 micrograms of mercury through vaccines, and the incidence of autism increased to one in 2,600 children. Children in 1996 received 246 micrograms of mercury through vaccines, and the incidence of autism grew to about one in every 350 children. Today, 13 vaccines are recommended, with varying numbers of booster shots. The incidence of autism now averages about one in every 250 children.

Children who receive vaccinations containing thimerosal are six times more likely to be autistic than those who receive a vaccine free of thimerasol. The majority of autism symptoms begin following a vaccination. Some physicians specifically blame the hepatitis B vaccine, sometimes given on the day a child is born. At that time, a child’s immune system is not yet well-developed, and their nervous system is extremely vulnerable.

A child receiving the hepatitis B vaccine may receive in a single dose 36 times more mercury than the safe limit. The symptoms of autism are very similar to the symptoms of mercury poisoning. Due to vaccines, six-month-old children today receive more than 100 times the safe dose of mercury for their age.

Vaccines containing mercury also are given to mothers. In one study, 50 percent of autistic children’s mothers had received Rho Gam shots containing mercury as a preservative. These shots are given to mothers who have an Rh negative blood type and may be carrying an Rh positive baby. Flu shots may also contain the mercury-containing preservative, thimerasol.

• Autism is related to chronic infections. These may be due to vaccinations or other causes. Approximately 80 percent of autistic children have autoantibodies in their blood that are present in only about 5 percent of normal children. These autoantibodies indicate an exposure to a virus such as measles, mumps or other illnesses. Although the vaccine for measles and mumps (MMPR) does not contain mercury, it intentionally introduces viruses into young children’s bodies. This indicates that all vaccines, which work by exposing an individual to a low level of a harmful virus, may be dangerous.

• Autistic children often have food allergies. Many autistic children are highly allergic to milk protein and other foods. This may be due to digestive disturbances, chronic intestinal infections, toxic metals or other causes.

• Autistic children may be born toxic. The natural approach to health and healing recognizes that most illness is the result of an accumulation of toxic substances, infections and other nutritional, structural or psychological insults to the body. These often begin at conception and continue after birth. Deficient diets, medications, vaccines, toxic chemical exposures and other stressors all play a part. Conditions including autism and ADHD are merely the end result of the process.

A very important and often overlooked contributor to autism is the nutritional condition of mothers during pregnancy, which greatly influences the developing fetus. Most women are unaware of their nutritional deficiencies and metal toxicity. These imbalances cannot be identified without performing a hair mineral test, as they do not show up on routine blood tests. As a result, mothers often innocently and unknowingly pass their deficiencies and toxicity on to their children.

In some indigenous cultures, as soon as a young woman reaches puberty, the community celebrates by feeding her special foods to prepare her for bearing children. The adults may walk for miles or go on special fishing trips to locate just the right types of food to help produce superior offspring.

In contrast, teenage girls and young women in America often eat the worst diets imaginable. What we call prenatal care is insufficient and comes much too late. For most women, prenatal care does not even begin until the formation of the brain and nervous system of the fetus are well underway, a month or more into pregnancy.

The only nutritional support most pregnant women are offered is usually a single multi-vitamin, which may not contain ingredients the woman needs. Also, one pill does not contain nearly the nutrients needed to both strengthen body chemistry and eliminate toxic metals, toxic chemicals and chronic infections that are so common today.

Animal breeders understand well that to produce healthy offspring, they must feed the parents, especially the mothers-to-be, a very high-quality diet. They usually add special nutritional supplements as well. And they know that this feeding should begin long before a female animal becomes pregnant.

Genetic problems cannot account for the staggering increase in autism in the past 20 years. However, genes are activated by nutrients. Some so-called genetic defects are related to the poorer nutritional status of today’s mothers and children due to their diet, eating habits and stressful lives.


Preventing autism

It is usually easier to prevent autism than to correct it. Prevention starts with the nourishment and general health of young women before they become pregnant. The nutritional condition of the father probably also plays a part. A healthful lifestyle that includes plenty of rest and sleep, a quality diet, freedom from toxic chemicals and metals in the food, air and water and healthful emotional states is vital.

Once children are born, the question of vaccination must be considered carefully, as autism often occurs soon after a vaccination. This is a difficult decision for parents. The references at the end of this article mention just one of many books available about vaccine problems, so parents can evaluate different options.

Young children, of course, also need a quality diet, and to avoid junk foods and medications wherever possible, including fluoride applications to the teeth and mercury amalgam dental fillings. Based on current research, these measures would significantly reduce the chances of a child developing autism.


Correction of autism

If a child has been diagnosed with autism or a related disorder, there is still much that can be done. Here are basic measures:

Diet. One needs to begin with a diet of only natural foods, preferably organically grown. This means fresh vegetables, whole grains, natural meats and eggs, and healthful beverages such as spring water or herbal teas. Young children all need healthful fats in their diet for the development of their nervous system. These include foods such as eggs, butter, meats, avocado, fresh nut butters, coconut oil or olive oil.

Strict avoidance of all cows’ milk products is beneficial for many autistic children. Avoiding wheat, sugar and perhaps other foods also helps many of them. Many autistic children have chronic intestinal yeast infections that make them very sensitive to sugars. It can be very important to avoid all concentrated sugars including soda pop, candies, cookies and even natural fruit juices and other sweetened foods. Excessive carbohydrates in the diet, even a good quality one, can also worsen an intestinal yeast condition.

Supplementary nutrients. In addition to avoiding allergic foods and improving the general quality of the diet, a scientifically designed nutrition program based on hair mineral analysis can be most helpful. The key to nutritional balancing programs, and the way they differ from what may be called symptomatic approaches, is to gently and delicately balance body chemistry.

Through an individualized hair mineral analysis, a custom program can be set up to slowly detoxify and rebuild the body. A child’s first hair mineral analysis reflects the top layer of metabolism and will not show all the imbalances. Practitioners address issues indicated in the test results with diet, supplementary nutrients, lifestyle modification and detoxification procedures.

After a number of months, a retest will reveal a deeper layer of metabolism. Many times it will look quite different from the previous layer, particularly if the healing program was followed. Uncovering and reversing layers of adaptations and compensations, a process called retracing, requires time and some persistence, but is far more permanent and health-producing than simply removing symptoms. The results are:

• Enhancement of absorption and digestion of all nutrients. Mineral imbalances play an enormous role in the production of digestive enzymes and for rebuilding the intestine. Also, mineral imbalances often contribute to intestinal yeast infection and other disturbances of the normal intestinal flora. Autistic children may also require digestive enzymes, probiotics such as acidophilus, anti-candida supplements and specific dietary changes to help rebuild their digestive systems.

• Nutritional balancing programs facilitate the removal of metals. These include mercury, copper, manganese, iron, lead, cadmium and other metals that are commonly present in excess. This will occur even if metallothionein metabolism is impaired. We do not recommend synthetic chelating agents. They are unnecessary with the nutritional balancing program and may be harmful. Nutritional balancing programs help remove toxic metals by several methods simultaneously:

  1. Improving the overall energy level.
  2. Balancing the autonomic nervous system — the sympathetic nervous system is overactive in many, if not all, autistic children.
  3. Improving the organs of elimination.
  4. Providing natural toxic metal antagonists and chelating agents.

Other natural therapies. Other natural therapies may be helpful for autistic children. These may include chiropractic, massage, craniosacral therapy and others.



The autism epidemic — and it is an epidemic — causes a staggering level of suffering and wasted human potential. It also is an enormous financial burden on families and assistance agencies. Standard medical treatments often are ineffective. Natural therapies, especially nutritional correction, are demonstrating positive results. Prevention is definitely the best treatment.

On the positive side, a few states have banned the use of thimerosal in vaccines, and as a result have seen a slight decline in autism. In addition, there may be other positive outcomes from the autism epidemic. For one thing, it is definitely drawing attention to the problems associated with multiple vaccines. Alert doctors and parents are beginning to question the wisdom of injecting multiple viruses into their newborn children, especially when the vaccines are preserved with toxic metals such as mercury and aluminum.

Autism also is contributing to a societal shift from a more male-oriented structure to one in which women are playing a greater role. This is occurring simply because between four to 10 times more male children are affected by autism, ADHD and related disorders. This in itself is shifting the balance so that more girls are emerging as mentally superior, although the reason for the shift is undeniably painful to behold.

Most important for the future is the hope that autism also will cause more people to be concerned with the way young women are prepared for motherhood. This is a critical factor in the development of many conditions, including autism. If the pain we all suffer from the autism epidemic causes us to wake up and place more emphasis on the nutrition of teenage girls and young mothers-to-be, this would be a very positive step toward producing healthier generations of children in the future.



1. Miller, D.J., M.D., “Mercury on the Mind,” Health Freedom News, pp. 16-18, 27, December 2004. Also available at

2. “Mercury in Medicine,” The Congressional Record, May 21, 2003, E1011-E1030.


4. O’Shea, T., The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination Is Not Immunization, 2004.

5. Miller, N. Z., Are Vaccines Really Safe and Effective, 2002.

6. Autism Research Institute (

7. Geier, M. and Geier, D, MD, “America’s Developmental Disorder Nightmare,” Dental Truth, A Publication of DAMS International, pp. 20-21, December 2003.

8. Defeat Autism Now (


Dr. Lawrence Wilson has a medical degree and has been in the health field more than 25 years. His books include Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, Legal Guidelines for Unlicensed Practitioners, Healing Ourselves and Manual of Sauna Therapy and The Real Self. He also co-authored Toxic Metals in Human Health and Disease and contributed to The Dangers of Socialized Medicine. 928-445-7690 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 23, Number 1, February/March 2005.


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