How Common is Autism? (and How to Prevent a Second Child from Becoming AutisticWhen You Have One With Autism?)

AutismHow can you prevent a second or third child from becoming autistic if you already have a child with autism?  The study, “18-month predictors of later outcomes in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder: a baby siblings research consortium study,” published in October 2014,  mentions that about 20% (that is one in five) younger siblings of children with Autism spectrum Disorder (ASD) will develop the condition by age 3. You can read the study here…

Parents you should be horrified by this statistic. 1/5 of your subsequent children will have autism!  This study found that by 18 months, you could predict in half the children who would go on to have autism due to poor eye contact, lack of communication gestures, or imaginative play, and in a few, by repetitive behaviors.

Various other studies are showing autism rates as high as 1 out of every 50 children.  CDC data is presented here for you to see.

In our practice at Integrative Pediatrics, we are experiencing a much lower rate of autism.  For data collected on over 1000 children born into our practice over the past 6 years, who are now at least 3 years old, we have one new autism case (child had a sibling with autism and no vaccines were done).  We have 87 children who were born during this time who had a sibling with autism. That is a rate of 1 in 87 instead of 1 in 5!  For the remaining 1000 children, one would expect about 10-20 new cases of autism.  Why are we not seeing higher autism rates at Integrative Pediatrics?

In no particular order, here are the things parents are doing differently at Integrative Pediatrics that has likely resulted in reduced rates of autism:

  • Wait until at least 3 years of age before giving the MMR.
  • Don’t give the Hepatitis B vaccine to infants, wait until at least school age (unless birth mom has Hepatitis B).
  • Only give one aluminum containing vaccine at a time (thus avoiding the DTaP and Prevnar at the same time).
  • Waiting until at least age 2 to give the aluminum containing Hepatitis A vaccine.
  • Avoiding the Tdap during pregnancy (this is a new issue that wasn’t a factor in the data and experience of the past 6 years).
  • Making sure pregnant moms are getting a prenatal vitamin with iodine, extra omega-3 fish oil with high DHA, and extra vitamin D (5000 IU daily).
  • Eating organic and drinking filtered water from pregnancy through infancy and early childhood.
  • Minimizing exposure to endocrine disruptors (plastics like BPA, flame retardants, herbicides, and pesticides).


Parents, you can make a difference in your child’s future by paying close attention to these issues.  It is not just autism that we are preventing.  Attention to these details will likely reduce all disorders affecting the brain (anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, bipolar, learning issues, language issues, sensory issues, etc.), and will reduce allergy and autoimmune disorders (asthma, eczema, diabetes, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS, etc.)

With toxins, 1+1 might equal 5 or 10.  Since no studies have been nor will they ever be done on all of the toxins out there, and there interactions with all of the vaccines and all of the available nutrients, wisdom would suggest that you avoid all the toxins you can.  Make sure you are getting clean, purified water and organic non-GMO foods.


To your health and the safety of our children’s brains and immune systems.


Dr. Paul





    • carla

      I meant todo ask why filtered water is important? Is the water safe here in portland?

      • Paul Thomas, M.D.

        While the municipal water has been evaluated as safe to drink, it still holds allowable amounts of many different toxins, including radon, microbial contaminants such as viruses and bacteria from animals and septic systems, inorganic contaminants such as salts and metals picked up in run-off, pesticides and herbicides, organic chemical contaminants from industrial discharge, and even radioactive contaminants. While Portland has had some of the best tasting water in our country, recent water quality reports are showing more and more low level toxins, which can build up in our bodies. Some of the items listed on the reports are giardia, arsenic, barium, fluoride, and chlorine. Other things found in our municipal water are the residuals of pharmaceuticals that have entered the water system, either from disposal into the toilet, or even from the urine of a person on the meds. Portland has a water quality report that they deliver to each home in the water district each year. It can also be found online here…

        By drinking filtered water, you are helping to eliminate your families exposure to many of the “allowable” amounts of these toxins that are found in the municipal water. Keep in mind that bottled water comes from a municipal source as well. What you want to look for is reverse osmosis filtering, similar to distilling, that separates the water from the toxins hidden within it. Any filtering is better than none. Also look for BPA free water bottles. A water cooler for your home can easily help to get you and your family onto a path of drinking clean, safe, and pure water!

  • Christina Nash

    Hello Dr Paul, my son was a patient of yours in 2010, we have since moved to CA. I wanted to see if you would be able to recommed a pediatrician in or near the Sacramento area, that shares your same ideoligies/ beliefs and someone that would be able to help assist us with my son that is on the spectrum. Im still on your email distribution list, and find the info that you give out is really helpful! Thank you so much!

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