I get a great deal of requests from students around the world to assist with their research papers. Because these questions are asked so frequently, I decided to post the latest inquiries with my responses, which I think will help all readers.

Dr. Udell,
 I am a Junior in high school. For my advanced placement English class we were assigned to write a research paper. I have decided to write about the rise of children being diagnosed with Autism. If is isn’t an inconvenience I would greatly appreciate a response to my questions below:

1. According to the CDC one in 88 children are diagnosed with Autism. What factors have contributed to this sharp increase?  
A. Toxic environment acting on susceptible fetuses and infants. This is by far the most important reason for the increase.
B. Better recognition.
C. Broader range of signs and symptoms included in the diagnosis.
D. Inclusion of some genetic syndromes such as Fragile X and Retts syndrome.

2. Is this issue global or more centered in the United States?
I see patients from all over the world, including the Middle and Far east, India, Africa, south America, Central America, Europe. Although most countries have not reported as high an incidence, there is definitely a world wide increase (think toxic world).

3. What are some of the ramifications seen by this increase now, and what are some long term effects on society if this trend continues?
A. Increased need for early recognition.
B. Increased need for services and useful interventions.
C. Increased need for physicians suspecting the diagnosis and research.
D. Future increased needs for adult services and appropriate living facilities.

4. What are some proposed solutions to this issue, and what preventative measures can and are being taken?
A. High index of suspicion with earlier diagnosis and interventions.
B. Recognizing toxic environment and reducing toxic load.
C. Use of successful medical interventions at earliest possible times.
D. Healthier pregnancies with better nutrition and less toxic exposure.
E. Finding genetic and other markers of risk for prevention.

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