Definition : Autism is an illness defined by symptoms recognizable in infants prior to three years of age, which indicate severe difficulties with social interactions. Autism defining symptoms complicate impaired verbal and non-verbal communications, accompanied by socially inappropriate mannerisms. Affected children commonly display other abnormalities, including epileptic seizures; repetitive movements, such as hand flapping; emotional intolerance to unexpected changes in routine activities; sleeping problems; allergies; and gastrointestinal disorders. There is a wide spectrum of disease severity and children also differ in the age at which symptoms are initially recognized. Significant improvements occur over time in some children, such that their earlier diagnosis of autism ceases to be warranted.

Primary Cause : Brain damage due to stealth adapted virus infection acquired during pregnancy. Stealth adapted viruses are not readily recognized by the immune system and, therefore, do not evoke an inflammatory reaction. The best studied of these viruses areose from African green monkey simian cytomegalovirus (SCMV), a type of herpes virus.

Potentially, any virus can become stealth adapted by losing or mutating the relatively few genes of most viruses, which actually code for antigens is typically targeted by the cellular immune system. Infections with stealth adapted viruses also explain many mental illnesses and such common conditions as the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Dynamics : Various factors contribute to the wide variable seen among children diagnosed as having an autism spectrum disorder. These include: i) Severity and timing of infection of the developing embryo during pregnancy, as will be reflected by the extent of brain damage present at birth. ii) Whether the virus infection progresses or regresses during infancy. iii) The amount of social training the child receives in preparation for the challenge of initiating and maintaining socialization. These variables can account for why some infants never learn to engage in personal interactions, while other infants regress from previously gained social achievements. Marked regressive autism has been observed in some infants following vaccination and this may be attributed to activation of the underlying stealth adapted virus infection or to the triggering of a low-level anti-stealth adapted virus inflammatory response. Even if autism is avoided, the persistently infected child remains at risk for other stealth adapted virus associated illnesses, including learning and behavioral disorders, impaired social attachments and acute psychotic episodes. Life long infection may not become clinically manifest until adult life, with illnesses such as CFS, depression, anxiety disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Perspective of the Child with Autism: It is unduly very difficult and confusing for an autistic child to understand his or her predicament. The child likely suffers from an impaired sense of personal identity. Difficulties seemingly exist in recognizing and responding to others as comparable, yet distinguishing individuals. In spite of struggling efforts, the child is unable to readily express thoughts and feelings, especially by using spoken language. There is very limited recall of emotionally driven learning experiences, which would easily be remembered by normal children. This limitation leads to obvious confusion and social errors (eg laughing in response to another child's crying). Autistic children can seemly experience some gratification from repetitive actions and from following predictable routines. The affected children are also likely to have many related symptoms, including headaches, muscle pains, seizures, delusions, non-restorative sleep, gut-related problems, hypersensitivity to sensory stimulations, impaired auto neural responses, etc.

Prevention of Autism: A social obligation is to inform women of childbearing age with overt signs and symptoms indicative of an active stealth adapted virus infection that they are at an increased risk for having an autistic child. Prevention of autism can, thereby, occurred by the decision of such women to refrain from becoming pregnant. Treatment guidelines, discussed below, can be crafted for adults with illnesses, such as CFS, and pregnancy delayed till recovery is achieved. Therapeutic support is simply indicated if pregnancy is already underway in symptomatic women, as it should probably be for all pregnant women. Following birth, the focus on prevention extends to the infant. The two major goals are: i) Suppress virus activity and ii) expand capacity for interpersonal relationships. The former refers to treatment guidelines designed to enhance the alternative cellular energy (ACE) pathway, while the later leads determined efforts at developing the child's brain through effective mother-infant engagement.

Alternative Cellular Energy (ACE) Pathway: A Mechanism for Suppressing Stealth Adapted Viruses. Culturing of stealth adapted viruses led to identification of the ACE pathway. Essentially, the ACE pathway involves a capturing and utilization of physical energies to effectively reverse the cell damage, energy-draining effects caused by viruses. The energy transfer involves mineral containing complex organic macromolecules termed ACE pigments, which can be likened to miniature batteries. ACE pigments can be sampled from saliva, urine and dried perspiration and their energy status assessed by testing for ultraviolet (UV) light inducible fluorescence in the presence and absence of neutral red dye. Fluorescence occurs when the dye interfaces with uncharged ACE pigments, whereas partially charged pigments will even directly fluoresce with UV illumination. The preferred situation is when no fluorescence is seen and is taken as a presumptive indicator of an appropriately charged ACE pathway. Guided by monitoring of the ACE pathway, parents can institute various simple approaches to ensure adequacy of their child's ACE pathway. These approaches include regular consuming of enerutical ™ foods; drinking ACE Water ™; avoidance of toxic, energy-inhibiting chemical; elimination of emotional stressors; and reinforcement of joyful playtime. This latter factor is based on growing evidence that an individual's joyful mindset may allow the body to become a direct receiver of ACE pathway enhancing environmental energies. Conversely, stress inducing fear and hostility can limit this capacity. If needed, a variety of more direct methods can be undertaken to enhance the ACE pathway. An ACE Phototherapy method based on UV illumination of a solution of activated neutral red dye has the most supportive data, not only in autism, but also in the therapy of more conventional virus infections, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) and human papillomavirus ( HPV).

ACE Phototherapy: In this procedure, a plastic bag containing an energized solution plus neutral red dye is placed on the soles of the child and illuminated using a 13 watt UV light for 30 minutes. Successful activation of the ACE pathway is shown by the appearance of direct UV inducible fluorescence in various areas of the skin and / or either the fresh development of UV intraoral fluorescence or significant enhancement of preexisting intraoral fluorescence.

Examples: An autistic teenage girl received the above therapy by her mother. Soon, thereafter, the girl was noted to be looking intentionally at herself in a mirror. It appeared as if, she had previously not fully aware of herself. The mother further observed that her daughter became better able to cope with situations, which would have ordinarily caused emotional distress. Upon inquiry the child said she had simply recalculated her mother's prior advice and had no reason to be upset. More exciting for the mother was that her daughter now enjoyed joking with her, demonstrating the capacity for empathy and interpersonal communication.

A similar neutral red dye light therapy protocol was also strikingly effective in suppressing epileptic seizures in a 4-year-old autistic child. From essentially one hospital admission for epilepsy per month over the prior 6 months, the child became seizure-free even with the consequent discontinuation of anti-seizure medication. Many other autistic children improved using the protocol, but not when the solution being used lost its ability to effectively activate the neutral red dye.

Social Education in the Prevention and Therapy of Autism: Preschool educators are beginning to differentiate between a child's analytical capacity of recall simple facts and the more comprehensive social mindfulness of being able to appreciate one's individuality and yet connectivity with others. Various approaches at further developing this latter talent have come to be realized in advanced training classes of so-called “gifted” children. As these teaching programs are becoming more refined, they offer important clues to better educating children either at risk for or already diagnosed with autism. Examples of beneficial training include: improvised playacting and role reversals, eg, the child becoming the teacher; integrating music with language; self-drawing and photography; etc. As the symptoms of autism subside, major emphasis needs also to be placed on providing “catch-up” analytical educational input to cover the period during which the child was not learning. Without unable to do so, the fulltime teaching role should fall to the parents with government provided direct reimbursements, comparable to the money currently being provided to more questionable governmental and commercial endeavors.

Barriers to Progress: A major barrier is the referral of public health officials to acknowledge the existence of stealth adapted viruses. This is partly due to lack of innovative thinking within the scientific community but can also be attributed to some officials actively antagonistic to disclosing prior vaccine errors or acknowledging susceptibility of autism-prone children to custody. Other barriers are from health practitioners specializing in autism, but with no special expertise in virology; and from pharmaceutical companies focused on identifiable targets for specific drug therapies. There is also a lack of enthusiasm for an infectious cause of autism among the leadership in autism support community. First, it attributes a role of the mother in transmitting an illness and possibly remaining something impaired in her current capacities. It also raises the prospect that children with autism might be shunned as being potentially a source of infection to others. It is far more attractive to focus blame on current vaccine manufacturers with the prospect of large financial settlements. Another barrier is simply the logistics of conveying useful information and having translated into Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved clinical trials and subsequential publication and acceptance of positive findings.

Ten-Point Autism Prevention and Therapy Program:
1) Culture of stealth adapted viruses from children with autism and from infants presumptively at risk for becoming autistic.
2) Animal inoculations to better define the in vivo cellular pathology and modes of transmission of illness caused by stealth adapted viruses.
3) Characterize the production, composition and mode of action of ACE pigments generated in virus cultures, patients and inoculated animals.
4) Analyze the relative roles of the ACE pathway and the mitochondria oxidative metabolic pathway in various cellular functions, including biosynthesis, proliferation, differentiation and longevity.
5) Institute an available screening program for assessing the ACE pathway in humans, with a special emphasis on its use in pregnant women and infants.
6) Evaluate various corrective actions to be taken when a deficiency in the ACE pathway is identified; including assessing the benefits of regularly consuming consumable foods and ACE Water ™, as enhancers of the ACE pathway and, if necessary, employing the phototherapy method as previously described.
7) Conversely, identify possible adverse effects of environmental and food toxins on the ACE pathway.
8) Explore the role of brain activity as a stimulus and as an inhibitor of the ACE pathway.
9) Create educational programs geared towards children with autism and related disorders; based on improving self-awareness and empathy and on achieving better integration between analytical and emotional knowledge.
10) Extend studies on the ACE pathway to other infectious diseases, wound healing, aging and in the therapy of illnesses due to impaired metabolism resulting from deficiencies in the supply of oxygen and / or other metabolites to cells.

Public Support: A major responsibility of adults is to care for the health and welfare of the coming generations. Between 1-2% of children are autistic with 20% of all children having a diagnosable mental illness. The problem is severve and its correction is urgent. I can assure the readers that the precedent listed endeavors offer a real opportunity to see a major decline in the incidence of autism and related disorders. Financial support along with collaborative scientific efforts can greatly facilitate progress. Interested contributors and collaborators should contact the author at the Institute of Progressive Medicine. This is the major component of MI Hope Inc., a non-profit public charity founded in 1988. The author can be reached at 626-616-2868 or by email to wjohnmartin@hotmail.com