Wow, there has been lots of interesting autism news coming out in the last few days. Yesterday, we learned about the study that found that autism may be much more prevalent than researchers, health experts, school administrators, and even parents thought.
Today's big news comes from researchers at UC Davis who found that California babies conceived in March had a significantly higher rate of autism than babies conceived in other months. Why the higher rate? One possible explanation is that the pregnant mother's exposure to spring and summer pesticides early in her pregnany may lead autism after her baby is born.
For the study, researchers evaluated the health records for 7 million children born in California between 1990 and 2002 and found that children conceived in March have a 16 percent greater chance of being diagnosed with autism than children conceived in July. The study collaborates previous research that found that babies conceived in the spring have a higher rate of birth defects, such as Down syndrome and spina bifida than babies conceived in the other seasons.