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  • Types

    Yes, there is more than one type of autism. In fact, there are several, and knowing what type of autism that your child has will help you know how to treat your child the proper way.

    It is believed by many that autism is caused by vaccines alone and this is just not true. It’s very easy to get caught up in the mainstream of angry parents and blame vaccines as well. But keep an open mind as I did myself, and you may just find that there is something greater happening.

    This is not to say that vaccines don’t ever contribute to autism. Even though we discovered that our child has a genetic condition called Rett Syndrome, it does not mean that I don’t believe that vaccines are always safe for children with an undiagnosed, predisposed genetic disorder as our child has.

    Because some genetic conditions can create a weak immune system and vaccines rely on a healthy immune system to work properly, some vaccines end up competing with the immune system in a fight for survival. This can sometimes leave the child noticeably ill right after a vaccine shot and leave the parent to believe that vaccines caused the damage alone.

    There are over 25,000 genes in every cell in our body. If any one of them is underdeveloped or altered as we are born, the genetic condition can at times cause our bodies to negatively react with what it encounters in the environment.

    Rett Syndrome is seen as the worst type of Autism in girls. Even though Rett Syndrome mimics autism, it is actually much more than that and comes with seizures, bowel issues and other severe physical problems that come on slowly over time because of how the genes work.

    Imagine that you are in a room filled with oranges. Let’s say the room would represent under our skin and the orange would be a cell in our blood. The room full of oranges would make up just one drop of blood. Now imagine grabbing just one orange (cell) and peel away the skin and separate the pieces. The divided pieces would represent the chromosomes that hold our genes. Now take one slice (chromosome) and look at the seeds. The seeds would represent our genes. Now look for a bad seed (gene). Now imagine peeling every orange and finding the same looking bad seed (gene) in the same slice (chromosome) every time.

    This is how genetic autism works. That one bad seed (gene) can cause autism. And in Rett Syndrome, the one bad seed is known as the mecp2 gene and it lies within the X chromosome of every cell.

    Now why do we see our kids regress at 18 months or so? We see them regress because that one bad gene can sometimes be dormant until we age. In Rett Syndrome, girls actually have two X chromosomes (remember those orange slices?). The bad gene (seed) is only found in one of the X chromosomes. As time goes by, the X chromosomes in every cell will actually shut the one with the good gene off and switch to the one with the bad gene. They actually compete with each other at random in a fight for survival. While the X chromosome switches over to the one with the bad gene, we see this in our children with Rett Syndrome and Autism as regression, because it takes months to years for this to happen until a physical reaction develops.

    The problem with a bad gene like the mecp2 gene that causes Rett Syndrome is that it is smooth like a porcupine at rest when it should actually look like a porcupine all quilled out. The spines on the gene act like an antenna to communicate with the thousands of other genes around it. However, when the gene is smooth, it can’t get the proper signal out and a chain reaction of negative effects will take place. We see this as autism in many cases.

    The bad gene is called a mutation. In some cases, the gene can actually be completely gone or even duplicated. In these cases, you will see the most severe forms of autism. Either way, an altered gene like this can cause havoc on the entire being of a person’s body. Because remember, this takes place in every single cell in their body. So the signals get mixed up and ultimately the brain is affected through a long domino effect of chain reactions taking place starting from that one bad gene.

    So back to the types of autism. so far I have discussed Rett Syndrome as an example of a genetic form of autism. But this is only one type caused from one bad gene; and there are over 25,000 unique genes in each cell inside all those 46 chromosomes. Researchers have only perhaps scratched the surface at identifying different types of autism because there are so many genes to sift through. But so far, there are a handful of the identified and they include ones that cause:

    Rett Syndrome (mecp2, cdkl5 or foxg1 gene alterations)
    Angelman Syndrome
    Wilson’s Disease
    Asperger’s Syndrome
    Fragile X Syndrome
    and more…

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