Presentation will cover environmental elements associated with autism
Peter Sullivan will speak at NAC
January 13, 2017
Nearly one percent of the world's population has autism spectrum disorder, according to the Autism Society, a nonprofit that strives to improve the lives of all affected by autism.
That means nearly one in 48 people are on the spectrum
This is a far cry from 1978 when one in nearly 10,000 were diagnosed with the complex developmental disability that includes, but is not limited to, delays in speaking, poor motor skills and sensory sensitivities, said Peter Sullivan an environmental health funder who focuses on toxins and wireless safety.
Sullivan spent the last 15 years helping his two sons work through autism and sensory issues. In the same time period, he recovered from mercury poisoning and the effects of high levels of wireless and electric magnetic field (EMF) exposure.
In 2007, Sullivan founded Clear Light Ventures, with the goal improve human health and performance by removing widespread environmental health threats.
At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, Sullivan will give a presentation, "Reducing the Symptoms of Autism by Treating Your Family's Environment," at the National Ability Center, 1000 Ability Way at Quinn's Junction.
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"I will talk about my story and answer a lot of questions," Sullivan said during an interview with The Park Record. "[Harvard Medical School assistant professor of neurology] Martha Herbert says autism isn't a trait like blue eyes, but a state, like a state of overload. So, if you can manage and lighten the load, and kind of rebalance the equation, these kids can get back into the game.
"The whole idea of the talk is to give parents and caretakers ideas of what they can control in the home. We'll cover things in the home that make kids more susceptible to regressing into autism."
The presentation will focus less on the science aspect of autism treatment and more on how families can take precautions to help prevent autism's symptoms.
"I've given talks in the past about environmental factors in autism, but I wanted to make this one more practical so people could actually take their own action," Sullivan said. "However, if people want to find the science behind these topics I will address, they can, because all of what I say is backed by research."
The first thing Sullivan will talk about is a study Stanford University did with twins.
In some of the cases, both had autism and in some, there were those who didn't. Some cases involved twins where one had autism and one did not.
"Sometimes it was just one bad gene that affected the sets that were both autistic," said Sullivan, who serves on the advisory board for the International Institute for Building-Biology & Ecology. "Then there were cases where two kids had autism, but there was not a genetic reason.
"When they did the math, the genetic contribution to autism on average is 38 percent, less than half," he said. "So, you think, while you can't control the gene, you can control the environment."
So, Sullivan will talk about eliminating some things in a home that are connected with the development of autism.
"If we get rid of some of the environmental factors, do you think the children can improve?" Sullivan asked. "Yes, they can. So, we'll lay out a map that will show every known thing that is associated with autism today."
This is where the discussion may get a bit intense.
"I will talk about toxins and then move on to the wireless and the electromagnetic field," Sullivan said. "I will talk about screen time with phones, computers and TVs.
"I will lay out some serious stuff for people and we'll take a break in the middle of it all," he said. "I don't want people to get despondent and hopeless, and I don't want people to get over defensive."
Another topic Sullivan will address will be medical factors.
"This will include some controversial vaccine ingredients, the Tylenol use before circumcision, ultrasounds before the first trimester and things like that," he said. "I will list them and show the slide and then urge the parents in the group to talk with their doctors."
Sullivan will also talk about genetic susceptibility.
"What we need to note is that some of the gene mutations aren't inherited," he said. "There are mutations that happen, and there is evidence of this, that radio frequency or microwave radiation can damage DNA, so there is concern about Dad having a cell phone in the back pocket prior to conception."
Sullivan learned about the National Ability Center, a nonprofit that empowers people of all abilities to build self-esteem through sports, recreation and educational programs, 12 years ago.
"I worked at Netflix at the time and told my boss that I needed to stop working to help my sons," Sullivan said. "My boss, whom I have known for a while at another company, asked me to stay until the end of the month and go to the Sundance Film Festival with the team."
While at the film festival, Sullivan met one of the National Ability Center's equine
"She said she worked with autistic children," he said. "We saw a film together and then I never saw her again."
A couple of years ago, Sullivan decided to come back to Sundance.
"While I was in town I thought I should connect with the National Ability Center about what I had learned with my sons," he said. "I had great access to all of these scientists and had all of this information that I wanted to share."
Clear Light Ventures founder and CEO Peter Sullivan will give a presentation called "Reducing the Symptoms of Autism by Treating Your Family's Environment," at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at the National Ability Center, 1000 Ability Way at Quinn's Junction. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit http://www.discovernac.org.