Posted by: miriamjang | March 6, 2008

Environmental Stress and Autism

This is what I always suspected and now data is coming out to support it: the amount of stress that the fetus or the mom is exposed to seems to affect the Autism rate.

I suspected it because the stress level associated with my pregnancy with my sweet son, Marky, who is Autistic, was astronomical! When Marky was first diagnosed with Autism , I asked if pre-natal stress were a factor in the development of Autism. I was told again and again that it wasn’t. Now studies are coming out to suggest that it does…..This data is not to make you moms feel more guilty than you are already feeling . Remember that stress is beyond our control. Perhaps the only thing we can control is to TRY and limit our response to stress–that means to focus on things that are working and are going well, by exercising and by meditating or engaging  in prayers of gratitude…please pass this valuable knowledge on to your friends who want to get pregnant or are pregnant and for your future pregnancies if it applies…..

Study:

J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 Mar;38(3):481-8. Epub 2007 Jul 6.

Autism prevalence following prenatal exposure to hurricanes and tropical storms in Louisiana.

Kinney DK, Miller AM, Crowley DJ, Huang E, Gerber E.    Genetics
Laboratory, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill St., Belmont, MA, 02478, USA

Hurricanes and tropical storms served as natural experiments for
investigating whether autism is associated with exposure to stressful
events during sensitive periods of gestation. Weather service data
identified severe storms in Louisiana from 1980 to 1995 and parishes hit by
storm centers during this period. Autism prevalences in different cohorts
were calculated using anonymous data on birth dates and parishes of
children diagnosed with autism in the state mental health system, together
with corresponding census data on all live births in Louisiana. Prevalence
increased in dose-response fashion with severity of prenatal storm
exposure, especially for cohorts exposed near the middle or end of
gestation (p < 0.001). Results complement other evidence that factors
disrupting development during sensitive gestational periods may contribute
to autism.

This is a medical disclaimer: Please remember that this not meant as medical advice but as a desire to share information. Please always implement treatments under medical supervision. We are cannot be held liable for any of this information.

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