Dan Olmsted's recent Age of Autism piece - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 44 Old 07-28-2014, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dan Olmsted's recent Age of Autism piece

I saw this recent piece that Dan Olmsted wrote for AoA mentioned on another blog today and thought I would discuss some of it here, since they moderate their comments there.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2014/07/w....html#comments

He says "The evidence for lower autism rates in less vaccinated populations keeps rolling in – and rolling off the backs of the media and medical establishment.

Thanks to AOA’s Adriana Gamondes for spotting this March article in the Times of Israel: “In Israel, a lower percentage of ultra-Orthodox and Arabic children are diagnosed with autism compared with the general population — and no one is quite sure why.

“That pattern, which is mirrored in Aboriginal populations in Canada, was the subject of discussion by autism researchers from the two countries at a Hebrew University symposium this week. One thing is certain, they said — when it comes to autism in both Israel and Canada, not enough is known.”

It goes without saying that nobody at the symposium or in the article raised the idea that a lower vaccination rate might be a suspect here. "

What he either didn't mention or didn't bother to look up is that reports indicate that the vaccine rates are higher in Arabic children than in Jewish children. So whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with vaccines.

"Ha'aretz reports:

The report found that 94 percent of Arab families vaccinate their children against hepatitis A, compared to 80 percent of Jewish families. The immunization rate against polio is 88 percent for Arabs and 78 percent for Jews.

But vaccination against certain diseases, such as meningitis and the combined DPT inoculation against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, is virtually universal in both communities."

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/fai...heirs-567.html

On the point about the Aboriginal populations of Canada having virtually no autism they also say "Conclusion: Autism appears to not exist amongst Inuits from Northern Quebec. If confirmed, it would have significant implications for the genetic understanding of autism. In addition, as Inuits are exposed through their fish-eating practices to high pre- and post-natal levels of mercury, it would also suggest that high mercury exposure in itself does not increase the risk of autism."

http://63.131.128.66/sites/default/f...06_Program.pdf

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#2 of 44 Old 07-28-2014, 10:24 AM
 
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On the point about the Aboriginal populations of Canada having virtually no autism they also say "Conclusion: Autism appears to not exist amongst Inuits from Northern Quebec. If confirmed, it would have significant implications for the genetic understanding of autism. In addition, as Inuits are exposed through their fish-eating practices to high pre- and post-natal levels of mercury, it would also suggest that high mercury exposure in itself does not increase the risk of autism."
Exposure of mercury through ingesting fish = exposure of mercury through injection of thimerosal containing vaccine. ????


The Inuit (traditional) diet is very high in omega 3 fats and selenium which is protective against MeHg toxicity.

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Recent studies have shown that Se-enriched diets not only prevent MeHg toxicity, but can also rapidly reverse some of its most severe symptoms.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20561558

The Inuit diet. Fatty acids and antioxidants, their role in ischemic heart disease, and exposure to organochlorines and heavy metals. An international study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8871682
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#3 of 44 Old 07-28-2014, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Exposure of mercury through ingesting fish = exposure of mercury through injection of thimerosal containing vaccine. ????
Teething tablets aren't injected either but that hasn't stopped members from not only this forum but other non/anti vaccine sites from linking the grandparent survey study and concluding that that is evidence that mercury is linked to autism.

So, ingested =/= injected unless you (general) agree with the results?

Interesting.

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#4 of 44 Old 07-28-2014, 03:49 PM
 
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I believe it was actually teething powder that contained calomel that was linked to Pink Disease. Correct me if I am wrong but with the powder being rubbed on the gums wouldn't that constitute a sublingual route of admission where it would then enter the bloodstream bypassing the stomach-intestine-liver route of ingestion?

Teacozy, do you acknowledge that high levels of selenium and fatty acids may lower the impact of ingested mercury through the Inuit diet?

And perhaps it is why omega-3 fatty acids are highly recommended in the diet used by some parents to recover their children with autism.

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#5 of 44 Old 07-28-2014, 09:36 PM
 
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Also metallic mercury in fishes is not the same as the mercury containing compound thimerosol (no more than chlorine gas is the same as table salt).
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#6 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 04:42 AM
 
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Also metallic mercury in fishes is not the same as the mercury containing compound thimerosol (no more than chlorine gas is the same as table salt).
Are all mercury compounds "safe" like table salt, or only thimerosal?
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#7 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 05:38 AM
 
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I have not looked into the toxic properties of mercury compounds. All I know is that assuming immediately they are dangerous because metallic mercury is makes no sense as the properties of compounds are very different to the elements which make them up.
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#8 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The children who developed pinks after being exposed to mercury via teething powder/tablets had ingested it.

There is a lot of information and case studies that come up when searching the terms "acrodynia (pinks) following ingestion of calomel" that you can look up if you're interested.

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#9 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 07:30 AM
 
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Teacozy, do you acknowledge that high levels of selenium and fatty acids may lower the impact of ingested mercury through the Inuit diet?
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#10 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Teacozy, do you acknowledge that high levels of selenium and fatty acids may lower the impact of ingested mercury through the Inuit diet?
I only had time to glance at your second link and it said after doing autopsies "The level of methyl mercury in organs is generally high. PCB concentrations found in organs of Greenlanders are higher than among other populations. Health and risk effects of the traditional foods need further investigation."

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Teacozy, the powder was rubbed on the gums. If you only use "ingested calomel" as your search words, you may be excluding other routes of exposure.

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When she was about nine months of age, she began teething and to soothe her, her mother Lillian bought some Steedman's Teething Powder and rubbed them on her gums. Almost overnight, baby Heather fell ill. The little tot couldn't stand to be touched, threw convulsions and stopped eating and drinking.
http://www.pinkdisease.org my bold

Sure some of the powder would have mixed with saliva and it would have been ingested. But as the powder was rubbed into the gums I would imagine some of the powder would have gotten into the blood through tissues of the buccal vestibule. Can you prove this wouldn't have happened?

And I wonder as well about the impact of a teething baby->powder rubbed on gums->hands in mouth->rubbing eyes route.
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#12 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 09:14 AM
 
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I only had time to glance at your second link and it said after doing autopsies "The level of methyl mercury in organs is generally high. PCB concentrations found in organs of Greenlanders are higher than among other populations. Health and risk effects of the traditional foods need further investigation."
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In the 1970s the preventive effect of marine fat on cardiovascular disease, thrombosis and atherosclerosis was described. The low incidence of ischemic heart disease among Greenlanders has been related to the high intake of marine food.
Basically the high levels of SE and omega fatty acids counter the bad effects of the mercury. Are you agreeing with the premise that although high in mercury, the Inuit diet when high in SE and omega fatty acids protects against the ill effects of mercury and is not analogous to thimerosal delivered by vaccines?
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#13 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 09:40 AM
 
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So…I am not going to talk about Israel. I could cobble together stuff from the interent, but really, it is quite beyond my knowledge level.

I am a tad better on Canada.

It looks like First Nation Canadians do have less autism (about 1/2 the rate)

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/.../ar_02-eng.php

"The most significant and unexpected association is that of reduced rates and later diagnosis of ASD among children, especially boys, of Aboriginal mothers. It may point to poor access to diagnostic and treatment facilities in remote areas (note that children of mothers who were on welfare—perhaps similarly economically disadvantaged, but more likely to reside in urban areas—were not at increased risk), but a difference in genetic vulnerability cannot be ruled out. A two-fold increase in ASD risk was previously associated with urbanization (regarding place of birth) in Denmark;24 therefore, if it were true that rural/reserve lifestyle is protective for ASD, then our observation of protective effect of having an Aboriginal mother may also reflect the associated level of “urbanization.” ...Our findings are generally in agreement with those of Leonard et al.22b who reported decreased risk of autism with mental retardation among Australian Aboriginal children relative to Caucasians, pointing out to apparent differences in risk of ASD among Aboriginal people living in industrialized countries compared to the rest of
the population."

It also seems that about 1/2 of all registerred natives live on reserves ( http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2...011001-eng.cfm) and that natives on reserves have a 20% lower vaccination rate

http://www.unicef.ca/en/policy-advoc...o-child-behind

So…..less vaccination and less autism…hmmmm

Sounds like the Amish.

Really, though, correlation does not equal causation, so there could be something else at play. There could be many factors at play, of which vaccine status is just one. <shrug>

It is intersting, though. It is interesting to see if lower patterns of vaccination correleate to lower autism rates.

Off to google vaccination rates in Aboriginal Australians per bolding.
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#15 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Correlation does not equal causation indeed.

AoA says that Arab children have lower rates of autism, yet they also have higher vaccine rates than Jewish children.

Even looking at the US, Arkansas has the second lowest MMR uptake after Colorado at 85.9% yet also have some of the higher rates of children with autism.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwr...cid=ss6302a1_w

Maybe vaccines have a protective effect against autism

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#16 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 12:45 PM
 
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Correlation does not equal causation indeed.

AoA says that Arab children have lower rates of autism, yet they also have higher vaccine rates than Jewish children.

Even looking at the US, Arkansas has the second lowest MMR uptake after Colorado at 85.9% yet also have some of the higher rates of children with autism.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwr...cid=ss6302a1_w

Maybe vaccines have a protective effect against autism
Your link does not prove your point.

If you look at table 2, you will not that Arkansas ties for 5/6 place out of 11 for autism prevalence numbers.

Colorado does have lower ASD rates (#3 out of 11 states, and I believe it has low vaccination rates across the board. I also think it is a relatively wealthy state, so lack of diagnosis ability does not explain it. It is a mystery.
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Maybe vaccines have a protective effect against autism


WOW! Given the number of vaccines is at the highest EVER in history that would mean we have should have the LOWEST number with autism according to your logic! Try again!

When are vaccines going to be promoted as saving a child from having autism?

 

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Maybe vaccines have a protective effect against autism
I'll let my son know.

Maybe he can sue the vaccine makers for product failure.

Have you given up on the Inuit/high mercury exposure/no autism argument then Teacozy or do you need more time?
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#19 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your link does not prove your point.

If you look at table 2, you will not that Arkansas ties for 5/6 place out of 11 for autism prevalence numbers.

Colorado does have lower ASD rates (#3 out of 11 states, and I believe it has low vaccination rates across the board. I also think it is a relatively wealthy stste, so lack of diagnosis ability does not explain it. It is a mystery.

I have to go, but
Yeah, it does I had originally read 12 states, but being in the top half isn't too great. The point is that there is no pattern at all. Some states with low MMR (colorado) also have low autism rates, but other states with autism rates on the low end have high MMR. Like Missouri, for example. Alabama was lowest of all for autism, but has almost 10% higher MMR coverage than colorado. Wisconsin had lower rates of autism than Colorado but has an MMR uptake of nearly 94% compared to Colorado's 85%. Etc. There is no pattern, in large part because the MMR does not cause autism.

Of course another reason it varies to much from state to state is differences in diagnose testing, but non vaxxers always claim that diagnosing issues are not actually a problem and don't explain changing autism numbers. Wonder if you'll (general) change your tune when the numbers don't work out to your favor.

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#20 of 44 Old 07-29-2014, 04:07 PM
 
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Yeah, it does I had originally read 12 states, but being in the top half isn't too great. The point is that there is no pattern at all. Some states with low MMR (colorado) also have low autism rates, but other states with autism rates on the low end have high MMR. Like Missouri, for example. Alabama was lowest of all for autism, but has almost 10% higher MMR coverage than colorado. Wisconsin had lower rates of autism than Colorado but has an MMR uptake of nearly 94% compared to Colorado's 85%. Etc. There is no pattern, in large part because the MMR does not cause autism.

Of course another reason it varies to much from state to state is differences in diagnose testing, but non vaxxers always claim that diagnosing issues are not actually a problem and don't explain changing autism numbers. Wonder if you'll (general) change your tune when the numbers don't work out to your favor.

You are hyper focusing on MMR. What about the rest of the schedule?


Your original post said Arkansas was a state with a higher level of autism - yet the link only shows 11 states. What about the other 39? Moreover, even if we assume they are indicative, Arkansas is middling, not a "high" autism state as you claimed.


Oh, and of course I think diagnosis issues have something to do with the current rate of autism and its variety from place to place. I simply do not believe that diagnosis is the only factor in the increase.
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#21 of 44 Old 07-30-2014, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You are hyper focusing on MMR. What about the rest of the schedule?

The link I'm using lists MMR, DTap, and Varicella 1 and 2 doses. The numbers are generally pretty similar to each other within states.

For example Wisconsin, which has lower rates of autism that Colorado, has 92.8 for MMR, 96.1 for DTap, 91.1 for 2 doses of varicella.

Colorado has : 85.7 for MMR, 82.9 for DTap, 84.6 for Varicella 2 doses.

Alabama also has lower rates of autism than Colorado and has : 92.8 for MMR, 92.8 for DTap, 91.9 for Varicella 1 dose.

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The link I'm using lists MMR, DTap, and Varicella 1 and 2 doses. The numbers are generally really similar to each other within states.

For example Wisconsin, which has lower rates of autism that Colorado, has 92.8 for MMR, 96.1 for DTap, 91.1 for 2 doses of varicella.

Colorado has : 85.7 for MMR, 82.9 for DTap, 84.6 for Varicella 2 doses.

Alabama also has lower rates of autism than Colorado and has : 92.8 for MMR, 92.8 for DTap, 91.9 for Varicella 1 dose.
Yes, but you kept saying MMR (post 15 and 19). Oh, well, it doesn't really matter.

You could list places or communites with high vax, low autism…then I could turn around and list places with low vax /low autism. What we really need is a meta-analysis by a credible, low bias source, where populations are matched for characteristics (including autism in the family) and ASD rates are looked at in the vaxxed and unvaxxed.

A few of those type of studies may convince me on a population level (although not on an individual level - when a parent says they witnessed a regression after xyz I believe them.)

The other thing that would convince me vaccines did not play a part on a population level would be if they figured out why autism rates are rising and reversed them. (I reject the " they are not really rising" theory. Puhleeze - no gaslighting folks, we all know what we see.)

So do some solid meta-analysis or find the cause(s) of autism and stem the epidemic (word used deliberately) and we are golden.

In the meantime, I think it is very, very reasonable for any parent to delay vaccines until their child is 3 or 4. Vaccines, IMHO, have not be ruled out as a link in some people. As your original post said, the amount we know about autism is very little.
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Yes, but you kept saying MMR (post 15 and 19). Oh, well, it doesn't really matter.
MMR just seems to always be the PRO play book vaccine of choice! Let's forget what is in the fly vaccine.
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Here in Canada, we're pretty awful to our aboriginal peoples. The conditions on reserves are not good. I'm honestly surprised that any doctor can say with certainty that aboriginal children do not have the same rates of autism. How the hell do we know, when we can't even get people up there for basic stuff like delivering babies or filling cavities? They could all be autistic and there's no way our government would notice.

Inuit people are about 10 times more likely to kill themselves than the Canadian average. Do they have autism? Who knows? They're dead.
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Just to make a point so there isn't confusion, Inuit do not live on reserves.
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#26 of 44 Old 07-30-2014, 07:26 PM
 
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Something else that has to be tied into the discussion is that when we are trying to link autism rates to vaccination rates (or to de-link them), we need to be looking at the vaccination numbers from years ago, not the current numbers. We also need to stratify the children by age and match them up to the vaccine rates when they were receiving vaccines, not the current rates. It is a very complex operation. It would actually make more sense to just collect a group of children and look at their actual medical records, rather than the vaccination rates in general.

However, I do think the inability of anyone to do a proper study on this is suspicious. There certainly have been a number of improper studies. I tried to start a thread on one, but no one wanted to discuss it.

In the Fombonne study, he looked at a group of teenagers in Montreal and used the MMR uptake rates from a different city.
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Just to make a point so there isn't confusion, Inuit do not live on reserves.
Ah, yes. I switched back and forth a bit too much in my post. We have many First Nations people on reserves here, and many living in cities and non-reserve communities. The Inuit people are another aboriginal people. They mostly live in the extreme north, the majority in Nunavut and northern Quebec. Conditions are very harsh for them and suicide rates are high.

It's a bit surreal that we are talking about levels of selenium in their diets; tralala; isn't it nice they get so much fatty acid; their kids don't have autism isn't that lovely?

They get infamously intermittent medical care there. Do we honestly suppose that an Inuit mom is going to go to her checkup and say, hey doc, I have a son who sometimes has trouble expressing his emotional needs and can't cope very well with abrupt changes in his environment, can you check him out?
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#28 of 44 Old 07-31-2014, 05:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

It's a bit surreal that we are talking about levels of selenium in their diets; tralala; isn't it nice they get so much fatty acid; their kids don't have autism isn't that lovely?

They get infamously intermittent medical care there. Do we honestly suppose that an Inuit mom is going to go to her checkup and say, hey doc, I have a son who sometimes has trouble expressing his emotional needs and can't cope very well with abrupt changes in his environment, can you check him out?
It is a thread about autism, and aborginals were specifically mentionned in the OP. No one is trying to brush other heath issues under the table.

I do indeed think high functioning autism might be missed in any area with access to diagnosis issues - I would still maintain it is less likely to be missed in moderate or severe cases. Would an Inuit mother or mother on reserve bring a 5 year old who does not speak and is not potty trained to a doctor ? Yes, I think she would. I think the school system would catch moderate to severe cases anyways and ask for referrals, etc, were someone to fall between the cracks.
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#29 of 44 Old 07-31-2014, 05:26 AM
 
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"Only 63 per cent of First Nations children on selected reserves accessed a doctor in 2001; 46 per cent of Inuit children and 77 per cent Métis children did so, compared to 85 per cent of Canadian children on average"

From the Unicef page linked in a previous post.

So, yes, aboriginal children do see the doctor - but it does not seem so shockingly less that a significant percentage of autism would be missed.

It is also worth noting that Inuit, who clock in at 46% making a doctor visit in 2001 only make up 4% of the population. First nations and metis make up the bulk of aboriginals, and they do see the doctor more frequently.


http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/auto/diagram...31122160554837
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#30 of 44 Old 07-31-2014, 06:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post
hey doc, I have a son who sometimes has trouble expressing his emotional needs and can't cope very well with abrupt changes in his environment, can you check him out?
As an aside…this description really misses the ball. I am not sure if you are deliberately picking the mildest manifestation of autism to make your point or have little idea of what autism looks like, but to remedy the situation for you and any lurkers:

"About 40 percent have average to above average intellectual abilities….About 25 percent of individuals with ASD are nonverbal but can learn to communicate using other means."

"Seizure disorders, including epilepsy, occur in as many as 39 percent of those with autism."

"GI distress is common among persons with autism, and affects up to 85 percent of children with ASD. These conditions range in severity from a tendency for chronic constipation or diarrhea to inflammatory bowel disease. Pain caused by GI issues can prompt behavioral changes such as increased self soothing (rocking, head banging, etc) or outbursts of aggression or self-injury"

http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/symptoms

There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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