Relationship to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Concept Paper: Fetal Ultrasound and its Relationship to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Whales are the largest creatures to have ever inhabited this earth. Imagine, through the entire history of the planet there has never existed a larger animal, and like humans, a mammal. The largest whale observed by scientists in the 20th century was thirty-three meters (110 feet), in perspective, an equivalent to ten full-size sedan vehicles bumper to bumper (USDC, 2012). In March of 2000, seventeen whales beached themselves on the shores of the Bahamas. There is nothing unusual in the beaching of a whale except when the numbers exceed one or two. For years the beachings had confounded scientists. After physical examination of the whales from the Bahamas, a team of veterinarians determined that the cause of death was damaging, acoustically induced hemorrhage around the ears and linings of the brains of these magnificent creatures (USDC, 2012). In March of 2002, in a paper presented to the National Academy of Sciences, the United States Navy accepted the blame for the death of the whales. The Navy identified the cause of the damage to the whales as inadvertent exposure to low frequency active sonar that was being used to standardize that which would be used to detect submarines by the military. The report further outlined that this one event was the largest sound ever introduced into the ocean.
Sonic waves generated by the submarine detection equipment is, but for its size, the same principle upon which the sonogram is based. When administering prenatal ultrasound to determine the sex and growth of the fetus, the fetus is exposed to exactly the same treatment as the whales. The imaging process used by the military was developed from sonar used to ‘see’ objects in the ocean (USDC, 2012). This process is exactly the same when used for... [continues]
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