I’m not a doctor, nor a clinician. I have no medical or psychiatric degrees. I have no product to sell – nor am I raising money. I haven’t had my conclusion peer reviewed or even taken seriously. Still. I’m saying it here and maybe someone in the internet hears me and thinks “wow, she might be onto something” and decides to follow up on it.
I know what autism isn’t….directly. It isn’t vaccines or refrigerator moms, it isn’t gluten or casein. It isn’t video games or electronic transmissions. It isn’t mental illness.
Here’s what I think it is. Somewhere in the genetic makeup, a mutation has occurred. When? I dunno…I do believe environmental factors such as manufactured pollutants have caused it to mutate faster. Whatever little switch controls the fight or flight reflex buried deep in our cortex below conscious thought gets switched on. Senses go on overload and the body is thrown into a state of anxiety. The child goes into flight or flight trying to deal with the overload. Notice the behavior? Spinning in circles to cause the feeling of being drunk – creating strict order by stacking blocks – only eating certain foods…these behaviors are all simply a human’s attempt at regaining control when they feel their environment is out of control. The senses have been turned to hyperdrive and anxiety kicks up so my son covers his ears, and starts screaming louder than the noise so he can block it out. If he’s the loudest thing, then he’s in control.
I can’t remap his genes. So how do I help him? Teach him to manage the anxiety. Give him the tools to give him that sense of control of his environment, within reason. Some children are born motivated, some are born mathematical….our kids were born afraid….
Now, another thought that occured to me, a rather strange one, but interesting, was from a conversation with a very devout vegan in the mid 80s. He was a hairdresser, and once he got your hair “half cut” he’d pull out his conservationist magazines of animal poaching pictures and start convincing you why you needed to be vegan. He said we take on the spirit of the meat we eat, and the way we’re treating our food animals is horrible. He believed the spirit in the meat we ate was corrupting us. Now it is a little out there, even for me, but you think there might be something to that? Throw in the fantastic things Temple Grandin has done with ethical slaughter houses and such….how does she have such an instinct for that?
As for the food intolerances, well – if your body was in hyperdrive fight or flight 24/7, your stomach wouldn’t be too food friendly either, now would it?
So there you go….I got the cause. Take all this money you’re throwing at tests to blame someone, and go back to square one. It’s a genetic problem that causes psychological symptoms. What is turning this switch on? I don’t believe we’ll ever see a “cure” for this. I’d be happy with preventative measures. I can manage my burden and have…but lord knows I don’t wish it on anyone else.
And a post script: take this theory and apply it to any other mental illness and tell me what you find out….I’ll let you come to your own conclusion.