Congratulations to Paul Shattock on his article (WDDTY, vol 11 no 6) regarding the real causes of autism.
Swedish research shows that tranquillisers, so casually prescribed to pregnant mothers, can cause both ADD and autistic disorders in the affected child. Anecdotal evidence suggests that antidepressants can be even worse. Even when a mother stays clear of all drugs during pregnancy, research again shows an increased risk of autism after a general anaesthetic delivery or simply during a difficult labour, when large quantities of diazepam and other drugs are usually used.
As psychotropic drugs can damage DNA, these problems could be passed on for generations to come. Although mothers are warned of the dangers of smoking and drinking in pregnancy, no one is ever warned of the far greater dangers of prescribed drugs. Millions of children worldwide have probably been damaged in this way in families where there have been no previous history of either autism or learning difficulties. Margaret Bell, London N12