Interviewer: There's a number of doctors at this conference and others that subscribe to the autism caused by a vaccine theory. Where do you stand on that?
Dr. William Walsh: Well I think there are some highly sensitive children where a vaccine might trigger he onset of autism, but there have been more than 30 reasonable theories as to what the environmentally insult might be that can trigger autism. 80 percent of all autistics have regressive autism. In other words, they start life rather normally and by the time they're 18 months old they might be starting to talk and sing and charming their grandparents. And then something really quite terrible often happens within a very short time. Sometimes only a matter of days or a week or two and the child looses all speech. They develop mood swings. The develop intolerance to foods. They seem to be filled. And they seem to have no interest in their family or anyone. And they go off on their own and just sit or stand and do odd repetitive movements. So these families seeing something terribly wrong, go to their pediatrician who then will send you probably send the family to experts to evaluate them. And then they get a diagnosis of autism and they're told that it's incurable and that the child is headed for a lifetime of really severe handicaps. And I talk to thousands and thousands of families who tearfully told me about this horrible experience. Now, in past years the mistaken belief was that this was caused by bad parenting. Which was really a nasty thing because parents are not only depressed because their beautiful little child might have a lifetime of handicap, but the finger of blame was pointed right at them. And that was so wrong because we now know that's not true. Children are born with a tendency for autism. Some of them are. But we know that even though it runs in families, if you have identical twins and one becomes autistic, the odds that the other one will get it is more than 60 percent. It's not a hundred percent. It violates the laws of Mendelian genetics. If you have fraternal twins, children born in the same womb, the same environment, the mother's environment, and one becomes autistic, it's less than 10 percent the other one will. So there's obviously some genetic relationship contribution. We now know the recipe for autism is an inborn predisposition and then an environment insult. So there's been a lot of discussion of toxic metals like mercury or vaccines. We know there are medications that could cause autism. The Thalidomide scandal back in the 60's when women were taking this medication for nausea. Many of them developed these terrible deformities. Some born without hands or fingers, but also a high percentage of them became autistic. And they tracked that down and they now know that the Thalidomide babies that developed autism all had that medication between days 18 and 22 in the womb. And that's a time of major events in the womb. We're now, I don't know how many people agree with me, but I think there's more and more of us that now know that autism is basically what we call an epigenetic [sp] disorder where the environment permanently changes gene expression as a result of an environmental insult. It can change your gene expression indelibly for the rest of your life. And things like that is what autism really is.