Autism: A Lonely World
There are so many misconceptions about autism, and so many things that have been blamed for causing it, from vaccinations to poor parenting. But what is it, and what is the real cause?
A CHILD WITH AUTISM HAS difficulty learning social and communication skills. Such a child will have trouble understanding and developing language, will not be interested in communicating with other children or adults, and won’t be seeking their attention or even pay attention to them. The child will have difficulty interpreting gestures, body language, expressions, and emotions. Autistic children are not mentally retarded—in fact, many of them exhibit higher intelligence than average, and some have extraordinary capabilities in different fields, such as memory, mathematics, the arts, and physics.
Today in the US, the prevalence of autism is estimated to be 30 times higher than it was 40 years ago. In part, this is because our understanding and definitions of autism have changed over the years. Children who were wrongly considered mentally retarded in the past are now recognized as being autistic. Children who were thought to be “very shy and introverted” in the past actually had mild symptoms of autism. But this still doesn’t explain the exponential rise in the condition.
Over recent years, science has shown that autism has a genetic basis. We also know that environmental factors make a significant impact on the stability and quality of our genes— advanced paternal age, air pollution, Vitamin D deficiency, heavy metals, and exposure to certain infections during pregnancy have all been related to a higher risk of autism. But even these factors do not explain why the incidence of autism has risen so much over the last decades. So what is it in our environment that can explain this rise? What do we have now so abundantly, that we didn’t have 40 years ago?
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation through mobile phones, WiFi routers, cellular networks, radio and TV antennas—and even high voltage electricity lines—has rapidly increased over the past four decades. Today it is all around us, in our pockets, in our homes, on the streets, in shopping malls, cafés and restaurants. You can’t escape it. Open your Wi-Fi app on your phone and see how many routers are currently transmitting to you.
You can be in a remote village in the countryside and still be surrounded by this radiation. Even if you never use a cellular phone in your life, you will still be heavily exposed.
Proving that EM radiation is a direct cause of autism is very difficult. It’s impossible to quantify exposure, and to eliminate the influence of other factors such as different types of environmental pollution that definitely could be contributing to the rise in autism. But the circumstantial evidence is accumulating: Increases in RF exposure rates and autism rates have closely correlated over the years; cellular examinations and behavioral studies on rats have suggested negative effects from EM radiation exposure; some studies indicate that carrying mobile phones affects the quality of sperm; while others link early cellular phone use with the development of