Reasearch suggesting that the increase in the number of children with autism is due to modern life, and not just because more are children being diagnosed, was reported in some of this morning’s papers. It was also reported that more than 40 environmental factors had been identified as possible triggers, including mobile phones and food additives, in research carried out by two UK universities.
However, the reports were not accurate, and the National Autistic Society (NAS) has quickly released a statement, commenting: “Reports in today’s press have suggested that a new study by the University of Exeter has identified links between autism and a number of environmental factors. However this is not the case.
“The small-scale study of 100 people actually aimed to explore layperson opinions about the causes of autism. It lists a number of speculative theories suggested by the group. The study did not in any way test the validity or reliability of the theories put forward, and nor did it intend to.”
If you’re child has autism, you’re no doubt very aware of how a change in routine, increased social activity and noisy places can cause distress. And Christmas time tends to go hand in hand with these things!