Autism Frequently Asked questions

So many common beliefs on Autism are taken as facts, yet they are just beliefs. This FAQ page has answers to common questions on Autism. It's not your standard answers however. The answers you'll find here are designed to challenge your thinking and beliefs around Autism.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterised by weaknesses in social interaction, communication, repetitive behaviours and certain lacking or delayed skills.

ASD is diagnosed by assessing certain traits and behaviours. Some of these include:

  • Weaknesses with social interactions, including difficulty communicating and interacting with other people
  • Restricted interests
  • Repetitive behaviours
  • A spectrum of other symptoms that negatively affect a person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life
  • Tending not to be able to make and hold eye contact.
  • Having trouble to hold age-appropriate back and forth of conversation
  • Weaknesses in understanding another's perspective or point of view
  • Repeating certain behaviours and repetitive movements
  • Having unusual behaviours
  • Being intensely focused on particular interests. These could be things such as repetitively moving objects or focussing on topics such as maths, facts and details.
  • A lessened ability to cope with changes in routines
  • Being more sensitive to sensory input, such as noise, light and tactile sensitivities.

There is an Autism Spectrum test that involves testing traits and behaviours including those above. Autism isn't diagnosed with any medical tests, but it's considered to be a lifelong condition.

Today, we often think of Autism being related to children. This has a lot to do with the increasing rates of diagnosing Autistic kids, but there are adults with Autism too. Many have lived with Autism undiagnosed, and some are diagnosed later in life. The adult Autism symptoms may be different than those of children, but diagnosis takes this into account. The Autism symptoms for adults tend to be heavily weighted towards those of social weaknesses and narrow interests, while being particularly talented in certain specific skills.

What are the signs of autism?

Many of the symptoms of Autism are those characteristics mentioned above (under the heading 'What is Autism Spectrum Disorder). The early signs of Autism that parents should be particularly aware of for young toddlers are things such as:

  • Unusual behaviours or particular distress in unfamiliar noisy environments.
  • Sensory seeking behaviours, particularly concerning seeking sensory input through the hands. This may be things such are obsessively carrying particular objects or repetitively handling bark in the playground.
  • Difficulty holding eye contact

What causes the Autism Spectrum Disorders

There isn't an agreed upon cause of ASD, so I will answer from my opinion only.

There is no one cause of ASD. Some individuals may have a structural brain development issue, while others may be lacking in certain essential aspects of health. The recent increase in children developing Autism has, in my opinion, a lot to do with poor health. For this reason, I will focus on health-related causes. The good news is that health-related causes can be addressed and therefore improvements can be made.

Many children and adults with Autism Spectrum symptoms will have some problem with food. The issue could be an allergy, a chronic gut symptom or nutritional deficiency. Medicine is not in a position to confirm this, however, mainly because it's rare to test anyone on the spectrum for these issues.

In my view, the number one group of causes affecting the worsening ASD symptoms is poor gut health. I say group of causes, because gut health is not the cause. The cause is deeper than that. What I mean is that something causes the gut health issues.

For example, a diet low in fibre from fresh, low fructose vegetables and fruits, and high in processed foods could be considered the cause of the gut issues. It so happens that these poor diet choices can cause other symptoms as a result of lacking nutrients and overexposure to toxins.

Now it's time for me to challenge your thinking a little. I need to do this because we tend to look for one cause of things. Through conversations and the media, our society tends to look for, and find the one cause. Then we get the one and only remedy. This thinking serves our system of diagnosis and treatment well. We can go to a doctor, who asks a few questions and sometimes tests, then chooses a diagnosis with an available medicine. Many of us have completely handed our power of promoting health away to a doctor whose focus is providing a remedy, not creating health.

I don't want you to think like that. In the case of Autism, it's particularly important not to think of one cause. Instead, you should think about promoting health. Remove things that are reducing health, which all could be contributing to ASD. Add in changes that promote health.

Common things that reduce health and could be considered as causes all contributing to ASD are:

  • Food that promotes unbalanced gut flora such as sugar and excessive fructose.
  • Foods that cause inflammation, which could be different for everyone, such as gluten, milk and processed foods.
  • Foods that cause leaky gut such as foods that contain gluten and glyphosate.
  • Stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Lack of functional exercise

Throughout this site, there's content that will help you add in lifestyle changes that promote health. Visit our blog for information about improving health by following this link.

Visit our approach to healing Autism here