Autism will be fully understood only when the brain impairments that prevent
    normal development of language and social awareness are determined.  
    Evidence has been available for nearly half a century of what these impairments
    might be, though it has long been overlooked by mainstream researchers.

    Autism has many causes.  Complications at birth are well known.  A lapse in
    respiration at birth can lead to selective, well-defined damage of the midbrain
    auditory system.  This ought to be part of common knowledge by now, and why it
    isn't is puzzling.

    The midbrain auditory system (the inferior colliculi) have higher blood flow and
    metabolism than any other area of the brain.  Thus auditory function, which does
    not only mean deafness, is susceptible to impairment by any factor that disrupts
    aerobic metabolism.  Exposure to alcohol or valproic acid during gestation,
    phenylketonuria (PKU), mercury, lead and other post-natal sources of toxic
    metabolites are likely to also affect the highly metabolically active auditory system.

    In addition to mercury-laden vaccines, obstetric protocols adopted since the mid-
    1980s include clamping the umbilical cord immediately at birth.  This can lead to a
    lapse of respiration, and should be brought to public attention and investigated
    as a possible cause of the increasing prevalence of autism and other
    developmental language disorders, including dyslexia.

    Clamping the umbilical cord before the first breath goes against common-sense
    understanding of the importance of the need for uninterrupted oxygen delivery at
    birth.  Oxygen is an urgent ongoing need for all species dependent upon aerobic
    metabolism.  Blood from the placenta must be transferred to the capillaries
    surrounding the alveoli before the lungs of a newborn infant can take over the
    respiratory function of the placenta.  No amount of air or oxygen blown into the
    lungs can get into the circulation before blood is available to receive it from the

    Enough randomized-controlled trials were done decades ago.  Continuing
    research on "delayed" versus the current protocol for immediate clamping of the
    umbilical cord should be stopped.  Animal rights activists may protest
    asphyxiation of newborn monkeys to determine how the brain is affected, but
    immediate clamping of the cord runs the risk of asphyxiation of human infants.

    No more monkeys need to be subjected to asphyxia at birth either.  The evidence
    (the data) gathered years ago remains in the medical journals, and remains as
    valid now as it was half a century ago - Ranck & Windle (Experimental Neurology
    1959; 1:130-54) is now online, and easily available via academic online journal
    services.  The papers of Faro & Windle (Exp Neurol. 1969 May;24:38-53) and
    Lucey et al. (Exp Neurol 1964 Jan; 9:43-58) are likewise available online.  These
    should be required reading for all students of obstetrics and neonatology.

    This update is in progress.  Currently my focus is to put together a chronology of
    change in childbirth practices, little by little as I find time...

    Eileen Nicole Simon, PhD (biochemistry), RN
    January 9, 2008