why the sudden rise of autism today?

Philippines
@Cutie18f (9583)
November 5, 2010 7:16am CST
Many years back, I have never encountered nor heard of any child or anyone suffering from autism. That is probably the reason why the word never even existed yet. However, today I notice that there is now a growing need of teachers to teach "special kids" with "learning problems or disabilities" like autistic children whose number are on the rise. No one can exactly say what the real cause of autism is. Some say it's the environment and the pollution, etc. There are others though who believe that this could be the side effect of some vaccines given to babies. How about you? Do you happen to know the real cause of autism?