By Carrie Cariello, contributor to The TODAY Show and author of the blog, "Carrie Cariello: Exploring the Colorful World of Autism"
Article as originally appeared on her blog under the title, "I Know What Causes Autism"
I was surfing the Internet and came across a headline proclaiming autism and circumcision are linked. I couldn't help myself. I laughed out loud.
In no certain order, I have read the following explanations for autism over the years:
Autism is caused by mercury.
Autism is caused by lead.
Autism begins with poor maternal bonding.
Certain pesticides may trigger autism.
Gluten aggravates autism spectrum disorder.
People with autism should eat more strawberries.
Too much automotive exhaust is a leading cause of autism.
Chemicals found on non-stick cookware may trigger autism.
The one about maternal bonding is sort of painful for me. The truth is, I did have a hard time bonding with infant Jack. The little guy shrieked and whined and cried for a solid year. He started sleeping through the night at six weeks, and stopped at three months.
But I am certain there is no one on earth more bonded to this boy now, and guess what? He still has autism.
I am happy to announce that I do know what caused Jack's autism, and without further ado, I'd like to tell you.
Wait for it.
It's kind of a big deal.
Drum roll, please.
Jack has autism because, as his 5-year-old brother Henry says, he was bornd-ed with it.
Yes, I believe autism is a genetic condition. I believe that somehow my husband's DNA mixed up with my DNA and together we had a child who thinks Wednesday is orange. Perhaps his unique genetic coding makes him more sensitive to things in our environment like lead and mercury and plastic.