Did anyone else hear of the recent Harvard study linking air pollution exposure during pregnancy to autism rates? I just heard about it on the radio, and don't have time to post a link right now. But it sounds fascinating. Although it probably won't apply to me or my son with autism (we lived on a fairly remote island in the Puget Sound during my pregnancy with him - few cars, and NO trucks or trains), the idea makes sense to me to explain the skyrocketing rates we are seeing.
Diesel fumes/autism link
After doing a ton of research on this I'm convinced that the massive increase in ASD rates are caused by a combination of increased reporting, coupled with a genuine rise caused by environmental factors that are triggering genetic tendencies. So yeah, I'd totally buy that pollution, exposure to toxins, etc will all eventually be proven to play a role in rising ASD rates.
Anything but vaccines.
The decades of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s were the heyday of prenatal pharmaceutical use. Countless millions of us were exposed in utero to synthetic hormones, tranquilizers, amphetamines, morning sickness medications, and/or other drugs prescribed almost indiscriminately in a haze of unbridledenthusiasm for the promise of the new pharmacopeia. Until the 1970s, little thought was given to these potent chemicals' impacts on the fetus, as doctors falsely considered the placenta a fairly impenetrable barrier to the mother's medication. As we grew up, we were seldom told of our exposures, little follow-up research was done, maternal memories faded, and old medical records were thrown away.
Autism The (Enviromental Induced) Genetic Epidemic