Introduction by Yuval Levental: I am a person on the autism spectrum who critically analyzes autism advocacy. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from ESIEE Paris. Other hobbies of mine include recreationally solving complex math puzzles, traveling, eating new foods, and learning about different cultures.
Until recently, I assumed that the main cause of my autism was excessive muscle tension around my forehead and nose, caused by my protruding forehead (https://corticalchauvinism.com/2017/11/13/yuval-levental-cranial-deformities-sinus-difficulties-and-autism/). However, results from a blood test I underwent a few weeks ago have changed my viewpoint on the matter.
My Vitamin D level is about a third of the minimum level that is needed, and about a fifth of the recommended level. It should also be known that I was eating right, getting enough exercise, and was already taking over-the-counter Vitamin D supplements before I got my blood tested. According to the Harvard Medical School health blog, only 6% of Americans have vitamin D levels less than 12.5 ng/mL (https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-d-whats-right-level-2016121910893). Additionally, my father and brother both have very similar vitamin D levels, even though we all live very different lifestyles. Therefore, it is very likely that the main cause of this deficiency is genetic.
Looking up information on Vitamin D and autism, I learned that Vitamin D provides energy to a person’s mitochondria, which are the batteries of the body’s cells (https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/archive/2013/04/vitamindproventoboostenergyfromwithinthecells.html). Additionally, some studies have shown that Vitamin D supplementation has improved the core symptoms of autism (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28217829). Therefore, it is likely that for some autistic individuals, low Vitamin D can explain potential difficulties with employment.
In the past, I received Botox injections to treat the excessive muscle tension that I faced. This did help me function better, but it seems that the Vitamin D supplements have had an even greater impact on my well-being, causing me to feel far more alert in general. Therefore, I have decided to stop taking Botox for now, as I don’t find it to be as beneficial anymore. Currently, I am taking one 50,000 IU pill of Vitamin D per week, which is equivalent to 1.25 mg. This treatment is considered to be lifelong.
However, I am now wondering how more awareness can be raised about this potential cause of autism. Claiming that autism is a “difference, not a disability” certainly would not be beneficial to a person with this deficiency. Additionally, some say that nothing can be done about a person’s autism, but this finding definitely proves otherwise.