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Lorin Thwaits A geek says what?

Y'know, after reading over my last post about the TV-autism link, I see that I was a little harsh on Gregg, Michael, and the others who wrote the report.  Okay, I was even downright inflammatory.  I apologize.  It's a hot button for me because of our friends who have had to go through so many trials with their autistic little ones.  Sadly they are often completely misunderstood because most people assume that the wild behavior of their children is from bad parenting, never knowing about their condition.  With autism being so prevalent, it's important to get to the bottom of this common disorder that has seemingly been "swept under the carpet" for many years now.

After digging deeper into the report from Cornell, there is one interesting find that will hopefully not get lost even though the rest of the report has generally been ridiculed.  Dismissing entirely the link made between autism and television viewing, at the end of the report, starting with page 63, there are three great charts that establish a correlation between the amount of precipitation and the rate of autism in an area.  More rain means more cases, and the pattern is pretty consistent everywhere north of San Francisco.  Here's a comparison chart I put together by combining the data from Washington, Oregon, and California:

My take?  I think the key find here is that autism could somehow be related to the amount of precipitation.  Maybe for those who live in the rainy areas there is more of a tendency to get a flu shot, and hence the children are subjected to more mercury.  Worth a look, anyway.

I decided to write the dean of the college at Cornell where the study was published to let him know about this interesting nugget, and recommend that the report be re-worded to focus on simply autism and precipitation, leaving television completely out of the equation.  Being sent on a Sunday evening, I didn't expect a response until the next day.  But he wrote back very quickly, indicating he would look into it.  Cornell is a good school.  Hopefully bringing out this aspect will let them "save some face" with this already controversial study.  Or if nothing more, I'm glad the study made national news so that more people are generally aware of autism.

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006 2:28 AM Health | Back to top


Comments on this post: Perhaps we've dismissed the precipitation <-> autism link too quickly.

# Yes you did dismiss the precipitation <-> autism link too quickly.
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You are spot on there Lorin. Just 2 weeks before the Cornell paper emerged I sent out a consultation draft of an update review of my 1982/1993 autism theory. The autism increase was due to US patent 3841860 for non-gamma-2 dental amalgam. My paper not surprisingly included a prediction that lack of ventilation or less time outdoors would be associated with higher autism rates. Now it's confirmed even before I published it.

Please click on my name to get to my 1993 paper, update is forthcoming.
Left by Robin P Clarke on Dec 25, 2006 5:53 AM

# re: Perhaps we've dismissed the precipitation <-> autism link too quickly.
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keep posting. Thanks for such kind of information.
Left by search on Jan 29, 2010 5:14 AM

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