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The Root Cause of Children's Health Conditions

by Janice Carlin, PhD, CHHP, CHNP, CNHP

Copyright © 2023 Janice Carlin  All Rights Reserved.

In 2000 the rates for autism diagnosis in the U.S. were 1 in 150. These have steadily increased to today, where 1 in 36 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. [1]

People want to know - Why are autism rates exponentially increasing in children?

Let’s start with a basic misunderstanding of how our bodies work. Allopathic medicine leads us to believe that the body is divided into separate systems that work independently from each other. And that the mind is separate from all of these systems.

This is not true.

Our bodies and minds are connected as a complex system that allows us to live our lives in this physical world.

The misinformed beliefs we hold about how our bodies work prevent us from knowing that we have the power to take action to actually help ourselves, not only in preventative ways but also to recover our health.

If we continue to use the allopathic approach of diagnosing and treating symptoms, we miss the point of why so many children (and adults) in the world today are significantly struggling with their health. And we miss the opportunity to see what it will take to reverse the increase in diagnoses of chronic health conditions around the world: to realize that the root cause is not actually different between them.

What is the root cause then? What is the one, single element that connects the 1 in 6 children in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder, with the 15,000 children diagnosed with cancer, and the 6.1 million children with asthma? [2]

The answer is one simple word that has many complex layers: Toxicity.

Our bodies are designed to function correctly. However, our world is not currently a place that allows for this to happen.

There is no question that exposure to environmental chemicals plays a huge role in the prevalence of childhood health conditions, including autism and ADHD. Scientific studies have already proved this. [4]

Think about some of what children experience in their lives in a multi-leveled way:

  • There are 400 million tons of man-made chemicals produced worldwide [3] and children are exposed to them constantly through their food, water, body products, cleaning products, and the air they breathe.

  • Over 1 billion children worldwide live in poverty and lack access to basic needs like enough food, clean water, safe shelter, education, and health services. [5]

  • Heavy metal exposures affect children before they are even born in ways you may not realize: Mother’s amalgam (silver fillings), antiperspirant use, consumption of fish, cosmetics, and vaccines are a few of them.

  • Children are exposed to radiation, dirty electricity, and EMFs through Wifi, cell phones, computers, video games, etc.

  • Emotional and physical abuse and neglect at home and bullying at school cause trauma to the body and psyche.


You will not see or be aware of all of the toxins that have filled your children’s bodies and minds and continue to impact them every day, but the kids can feel them. They feel them through the pain and struggles doctors diagnose as mental and physical diseases and health conditions.

And children’s bodies are hit with so many of them before they have finished developing to be strong enough to detoxify, cognitively process, and emotionally cope with them.

Beginning the recovery process requires all of us to take a deep look at how we live our lives and start making some changes. The more people who do this, the fewer toxins will exist in our world.

Children are clearly showing us through their pain and struggles on any level that something major needs to change for them to be able to thrive on this planet. All we need to do is listen to them – listen to their symptoms and take actions, not to cover them up, but to resolve them.

The time is now. The numbers will only continue to increase if appropriate action is not taken.

Parents, you can do this. Step into the driver’s seat and help your children. Do not believe the limiting beliefs others throw at you that nothing can be done besides medicating symptoms.

If you need help, reach out.


​1. Maenner MJ, Warren Z, Williams AR, et al. Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2020. MMWR Surveill Summ 2023;72(No. SS-2):1–14. DOI:

2. National Cancer Institute, Cancer in Children and Adolescents. 

Cree RA, Bitsko RH, Robinson LR, et al. Health Care, Family, and Community Factors Associated with Mental, Behavioral, and Developmental Disorders and Poverty Among Children Aged 2–8 Years — United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1377–1383. DOI: .

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Most Recent National Asthma Data.

3. Hazardous Waste Statistics (

4. von Ehrenstein O S, Ling C, Cui X, Cockburn M, Park A S, Yu F et al. Prenatal and infant exposure to ambient pesticides and autism spectrum disorder in children: population-based case-control study BMJ 2019; 364 :l962 doi:10.1136/bmj.l962. 

Brown AS, Cheslack-Postava K, Rantakokko P, Kiviranta H, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki S, McKeague IW, Surcel HM, Sourander A. Association of Maternal Insecticide Levels With Autism in Offspring From a National Birth Cohort. Am J Psychiatry. 2018 Nov 1;175(11):1094-1101. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.17101129. Epub 2018 Aug 16. PMID: 30111184; PMCID: PMC6377859.  

Kuehn BM. Increased Risk of ADHD Associated With Early Exposure to Pesticides, PCBs.  2010;304(1):27–28. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.860. Roberts JR, Dawley EH, Reigart JR. Children's low-level pesticide exposure and associations with autism and ADHD: a review. Pediatr Res. 2019 Jan;85(2):234-241. doi: 10.1038/s41390-018-0200-z. Epub 2018 Oct 8. PMID: 30337670.

Polańska K, Jurewicz J, Hanke W. Review of current evidence on the impact of pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and selected metals on attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder in children. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2013 Mar;26(1):16-38. doi: 10.2478/s13382-013-0073-7. Epub 2013 Mar 22. PMID: 23526196.

Moore S, Paalanen L, Melymuk L, Katsonouri A, Kolossa-Gehring M, Tolonen H. The Association between ADHD and Environmental Chemicals-A Scoping Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Mar 1;19(5):2849. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19052849. PMID: 35270544; PMCID: PMC8910189.

Pearson BL, Simon JM, McCoy ES, Salazar G, Fragola G, Zylka MJ. Identification of chemicals that mimic transcriptional changes associated with autism, brain aging and neurodegeneration. Nat Commun. 2016 Mar

Trasande L, Shaffer RM, Sathyanarayana S; COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH. Food Additives and Child Health. Pediatrics. 2018 Aug;142(2):e20181410. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-1410. PMID: 30037972; PMCID: PMC6298598

1;7:11173. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11173. PMID: 27029645; PMCID: PMC4821887.

Bung-Nyun Kim, Soo-Churl Cho, Yeni Kim, Min-Sup Shin, Hee-Jeong Yoo, Jae-Won Kim, Young Hee Yang, Hyo-Won Kim, Soo-Young Bhang, Yun-Chul Hong, Phthalates Exposure and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in School-Age Children, Biological Psychiatry, Volume 66, Issue 10, 2009, Pages 958-963, ISSN 0006-3223,

Nevison, C.D. A comparison of temporal trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors.  , 73 (2014).

Amir Miodovnik, Stephanie M. Engel, Chenbo Zhu, Xiaoyun Ye, Latha V. Soorya, Manori J. Silva, Antonia M. Calafat, Mary S. Wolff, Endocrine disruptors and childhood social impairment,NeuroToxicology, Volume 32, Issue 2, 2011, Pages 261-267, ISSN 0161-813X,

5. Save the Children. Global Child Poverty.

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