The incidence of autism has increased in recent decades, but scientists are still struggling to understand what causes the developmental disorder. Now they are starting to suspect "environmental epigenetics" may play a key role in its origin.
"Jill Escher’s near-obsessive quest to unravel why two of her children are autistic has drawn the attention of scientists, and may ultimately lead to a greater understanding of how prescription drugs -- and perhaps chemicals in the environment -- may secretly and subtly harm the health of generations to come. 'The autism explosion has been with us for more than two decades, and we have little to show about what's causing it,' Escher said. 'We have many hundreds of thousands of functionally disabled people who didn't exist before, and we have our heads in the sand.'"