Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Autism > The Mystery of Autism: 4 Potential Causes that May Surprise You

The Mystery of Autism: 4 Potential Causes that May Surprise You

Candida Yeast
The debate over the role of intestinal yeast overgrowth in chronic illness has been going on for decades. Antibiotics that are often given to children for common illnesses, such as ear infections, have also been shown to kill beneficial bacteria in the intestine, thus allowing intestinal yeast to grow.

Although no definitive laboratory research exists to show intestinal yeast overgrowth may be linked to autism, the Environmental Illness Resource (EIR) cites several independent studies and circumstantial evidence that show autism spectrum disorders have risen in parallel with the increase in the use of antibiotics. Most of the autistic individuals who were studied had increased levels of tartaric acid, a substance produced primarily by yeast.

Heavy Metal Toxicity
Autistic children have been shown to have elevated levels of heavy metals, particularly thimerosal, in their bodies. Thimerosal is an inorganic mercury compound that has been used as a preservative in vaccines since the 1930s. According to the National Autism Association, infants are now exposed to three times more mercury than in previous decades due to the use of thimerosal in childhood vaccines. As this exposure has risen, so has the prevalence of autism.

It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there is no proven link between autism and vaccines, and urges parents to vaccinate their children, because the benefits far outweigh the risks. Still, in 2001, the CDC along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended that thimerosal be removed from all vaccines given to children.

However, the EIR states that an examination of California's health records showed autism cases continued to rise between 1995-2007, even after thimerosal was removed from vaccines.

Children can also be exposed to mercury in other ways. Contaminated food and water supplies, especially fish, have been shown to have high levels of mercury due to oceanic pollution.


st. patrick’s day

Celebrate the
luck of the Irish
with recipes
and activities.



10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks