Autism Awareness Day

Boy in green coat standing next to a tree and touching it

Happy World Autism Awareness Day!  President Barack Obama stated today that “Every person deserves the chance to reach for their highest hopes and fulfill their greatest potential. On World Autism Awareness Day, we reaffirm our dedication to ensuring that belief is a reality for all those who live on the autism spectrum ‑‑ including 1 in 68 children.” Those national numbers are staggering when you consider that not that long ago, those numbers were 1 in 10,000.

Data we have from a 2010 MN Department of Health study showed that in Minnesota, we are faring much worse, with 1 in 48 children overall identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder based on a study conducted in Minneapolis. The numbers were higher for white children (1 in 36 identified as having ASD), and Somali children (1 in 32), and lower by comparison, in hispanic children (1 in 80), and non-somali black children (1 in 62). When looking at the MN prevalence rates for boys, the numbers are even more staggering, with 1 out of 30 boys affected overall (1 in 126 for girls overall), and 1 in 23 white boys (1 in 95 for white girls), and 1 in 20 Somali boys (1 in 96 for Somali girls), being identified as having ASD in Minneapolis. The other sad fact was that the average age of diagnosis in this study was 5 years of age, far older than optimal age of diagnosis of 1-2 years of age, when the brain and body has more opportunity for recovery and when early intervention, nutritionally, related to the microbiome, biomedically, metabolically, academically, and related to therapies, is most successful.

The good news is that we know a lot more now than ever before, and we can do a lot to prevent, treat, and in some cases, reverse, autism spectrum disorders by paying attention to nutrition and consumption of whole foods, healthy fats, and targeted nutrients, the health of our microbiome (the good bacteria and microbes in our bodies), supporting our underlying genetic strengths and weaknesses, mode of delivery (vaginal birth is best whenever possible), early feeding practices (breastfeeding is best, and avoidance of sugar, flour-based foods, and processed foods in children), environmental exposures (toxins/toxicants, chemicals found in every day products, electromagnetic radiation, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, genetically modified foods and the related chemical exposure, pharmaceuticals that affect the microbiome, the mitochondria and the immune system), inflammation, stress levels, exercise, time in nature, and much more.

If you think your child might be slower to develop or may have signs of autism, ideally talk to an educator and a health professional about your concerns. Look at your child’s diet, remove processed foods, gluten, dairy, soy, and possibly corn, change to eating a whole foods diet, high in vegetables and fruits and healthy fats, moderate in clean, healthy protein, and very low in starches, sugar, gmo foods and pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Don’t wait. Getting help early is important for your child. In MN, if your child is 5-years-old or younger, call the Help Me Grow Program at 1-866-693-4769. If your child is older than 5, contact your local school district’s Special Education Director. Services are free to all children.

Newbridge Clinic helps each person with autism reach for their highest hope and fulfill their greatest potential by impacting the nutritional, gut/microbiome, metabolic, epigenetic, infectious, toxin/exposure-related biomedical conditions associated with autism, attentional, sensory, learning and behavior, and related disorders. Come check out our Autism and ADHD education and support group for more information and to answer your questions. Sign up to attend or receive notices about the group by calling 612-730-2237.