Autism and the Environment 101: Online Course 21

Reasons For Hope

Acknowledging a potential role for the environment in contributing to or causing autism implies several things that give hope:

  • If we reduce or eliminate harmful exposures, we may reduce harm and suffering that either causes autism or causes problems that make autism harder to live with.
  • If we understand some of the ways that toxic exposures cause harm, we may be able to reduce vulnerability, increase resiliency and improve health and well-being in people already affected.

What Does the Future Hold?
In the past, children diagnosed with autism were written off as “untreatable.” However, parents, caregivers and medical professionals have made great strides in helping children on the autism spectrum reach optimal outcomes and lead happier, healthier and more independent lives.

Autism is Treatable
Acknowledging a potential role for the environment in contributing to or causing autism also means acknowledging the possibility that autism or some symptoms associated with autism may be, or may become, predictable, preventable and reversible. Making this possibility a reality will then need to become a top priority, which will have a far-reaching and profound impact on future research as well as medical, educational and other public policies.

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