Yesterday I suffered a concussion. While taking pictures I slipped and fell and was knocked out for a few minutes on the Westmorland Street Bridge in Fredericton . I had received a very good whack on the back of my head. On coming to I immediately checked ... my camera was OK. After walking further to the Second Cup for a coffee I called home and Heather recommended I get checked out at the DECH, the Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital, which I did. The pictures above are of the WS Bridge and some of the pictures I took immediately before my fall.
Today, with a slight headache, I was thinking about the incident and while I was knocked out I don't think I suffered any great damage. Another person though, not blessed with such a thick skull, might have suffered more serious injuries. My fall on the bridge makes me think again of the view that autism is purely genetic, the view that has dominated autism research funding models and neurodiversity autism ideology over the past decade. It is a view which excludes any reference to external, environmental factors in causing or triggering autism. Autism is inherited, end of story.
According to the "it's gotta be genetic" mindset no external factors be they vaccine ingredients, power plant emissions, drinking water contaminants, plastics components, or the ingredients in the children's toys and jewelry that are all around us could possibly be involved in causing autism disorders. This grand assumption flies in the face of the fact that in some cases an identical twin will have an autism disorder while the other does not. It flies in the face of the fact that people are genetically and biologically different in their ability to absorb external shocks. One guy can take a punch, even a knockout, and get back up and fight, or play hockey or football, another is out of the game. One guy can slip on ice and be rendered unconscious but get up and be none the worse for wear beyond a good headache the next day. Another might not recover so well. One child has a preexisting mitochondrial disorder that renders her vulnerable to vaccine delivered shocks, another does not.
That "it's gotta be genetic view" of autism identified by Teresa Binstock 10 years ago is slowly giving way to the more likely and common sense based view that autism, like most conditions in life, good or bad, results from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Even the IACC and Dr. Tom Insel are grudgingly beginning to acknowledge that likelihood and to acknowledge the need for increased funding of environmentally focused autism research.
We have reason to hope that the "it's gotta be genetic", frozen view of autism will soon be thrown off the research funding bridge ... or at least suffer a serious slip and fall. Hopefully 2010 will be the year that environmentally focused autism research gets up on its feet and we begin to understand all the factors that cause or trigger autism disorders.