Monday, October 15, 2007

Autism and the Environment - Time To Get A Grip

One of the most consistent points of controversy, amongst the many that dominate world discussion of autism issues, is the extent to which autism disorders are caused by environmental as opposed to genetic factors. Our environment today is polluted with a variety of toxic substances and we are also now experiencing a dramatic increase in diagnosed cases of autism disorders around the globe. Some of the more frequently mentioned potential culprits in influencing current autism surges are mercury and lead. We have recently seen the advancement of a unified autism theory based on genetic mutations that may also suggest environmental factors. One of the more balanced overviews of environmental influences on autism increases is that offered by Martha Herbert M.D., Ph. D., assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, and a pediatric neurologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Child and Adolescent Development.

In Time to Get a Grip Dr. Herbert presents the case that environment is involved in causing autism. In advancing this argument Dr. Herbert urges readers to look at the whole person and whole body because both genetic and environmental factors impact the whole body and not just the brain. Dr. Herbert's model of autism disorders suggests that something can be done about the challenges presented by autism deficits, at least to prevent, and possibly, repair such deficits. She also argues that it is important for everyone that we address the very serious environmental deterioration which threatens us all.

Today is Blog Action Day and the environment is the theme. For a balanced overview of environment and autism issues it is difficult to find a better source than Time to Get a Grip .

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