As Autism Rates Skyrocket, Are Environmental Factors to Blame?

With the root cause of autism still only speculated upon, and everything from prescription drugs in the water supply to pesticides used to grow food and the manner in which vaccines are constructed potentially to blame, a new study shows socially aloof couples with a small circle of friends are more likely to parent autistic children. Suggesting genetics and the resulting social environment in which kids are raised may be more to blame than anything.Parents of Autistic Children Show Similar TraitsThe study, conducted by the California Institute of Technology looked at how parents of autistic children evaluated facial expressions and found that they gauged faces in exactly the same way as people with the disorder, despite the fact that they were not classified as autistic themselves.

Parents deemed "socially aloof" had very few close friendships, where sharing and mutual support were routinely evident. And intriguingly the parents of autistic kids were largely dependent on reading the emotions on others faces via their mouths and not their eyes, as is the case with most people who are not afflicted with the condition.

So is it drugs in the water, pesticides in our food, and concerns over vaccines or simply a case of genetics? Who knows, it's even possible that the stark rise in reported cases of autism is simply due to those of us who've become sensitive to its symptoms reporting them more often.

via: The Times of India
More on Environmental Factors and Autism in Children
Huge Drop in Birth Defects As Chinese Coal Plant Closes
80% of Schools Apply Pesticides Regardless of Need

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