A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

Browsing Posts published in June, 2013


If I had been born at almost any other time I don’t think my boys would have been autistic.  I wonder what people in the next two centuries will think of this primitive era, where our only concern was personal convenience:

Could autism be linked to pollution?

Harvard researchers conducted a study

Updated: Monday, 24 Jun 2013, 9:13 AM EDT Published : Sunday, 23 Jun 2013, 3:02 PM EDT

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new study has found a possible link between pollution and autism.

“I have friends who have children that are autistic.  Why or how that happened I don’t know,” Lynn Riopelli told 22News.

Harvard researchers say they may have found an answer.  A new Harvard study found pregnant women exposed to pollution were twice as likely to have children with autism.  According to Autism Speaks, autism affects one in 88 children.  And boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have the disorder.

Ivy Daly of Chicopee said, “You can say yes and no to that because it’s the same thing with cancer.  It can be environmental or it can be genetic.  It’s 50/50.”

Researchers studied more than 20,000 women and said those who lived in locations with high levels of  diesel particles or  mercury in the air were more likely to have a child that’s autistic.  Exposure to that type of pollution during pregnancy can affect brain functions in a developing baby.

This is the first national study to examine links between autism and  air pollution across the United States.

There is no known single cause for  autism.

I have over the past two years built up hopes about a new class of drugs that would help to mitigate the symptoms of autism.  It would somehow reduce irritability, calm nerves, connect synopses, you name it, I expected it to work.  I had irriationally built up hope for a mircale cure.  While that miracle drug might be in development right now, it won’t be  arbaclofen (A.K.A. STX-209).

Here’s an article from today’s NY Times that sums it up:

An Experimental Drug’s Bitter End

Daniel Acker for The New York Times

Holly Usrey-Roos, right, with Parker, 14, and Allison, 10. Both have fragile X syndrome. Ms. Usrey-Roos said Parker was helped by the drug arbaclofen.

Published: June 6, 2013