The answer to this question is easy. No, autism by itself cannot cause death. The disease does cause many sufferers to have mental disabilities though and this can be a cause of accidental death. In some therapy classes people with autism are taught to swim or avoid dangers that they may not understand so that they remain safer in the long run. Deaths attributed to autism are always from another cause though. There have been no cases where a direct link could be drawn between the disease and a shortened life. That is one comforting thing for parents of children who have autism.
Thimerosal causes autism
This is one of the agents that contains mercury that some think may be linked to autism. But, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that there is no known link between autism and thimersol. The reason people may believe this is that it has been used as a preservative in foods for the past eighty years and a buildup across the generations may have something to do with the recent uptick in autism cases. Unfortunately, this looks like another dead end in the search for a cause for autism. The fact that researchers constantly search for a solid link is encouraging though.
Autism is a scary disease for parents. Consider the cycle of life, at least from a psychosocial perspective. Parents want to see their children grow up, get married and have a successful career. They probably want grandchildren too at some point. Autism can stop all of that. So people look for causes. Mercury in the water supply and in some of the foods gleaned from water (fish and mussels) have been known to have high concentrations of mercury. It is possible that this is one culprit. Unfortunately, though it is known that autism can be caused by many things, no one cause is known.
It would seem that the protagonist of the book “Loser” by Jerry Spinelli is about a young man who is high functioning on the autism scale. Although the book never says so outright, many people have thought that the character had to be. He is oblivious to the world around him most of the time and his world is fun and carefree. He does not see the taunts of his classmates until they brand him a loser in the fourth grade. He recovers and becomes a hero. Autism has many faces and his could be one of them we just do not know for sure.
On a night a few years ago when George Zimmerman’s name was only known to a few family and friends, he had a relatively peaceful life. Then he killed someone. Even though it seems that he did it in self-defense, it does appear that there was sufficient evidence that he acted rashly to provide suspicion. Since, Zimmerman has had a very difficult life in that everything he does is seen under a microscope. He has not come out and said that he is autistic or even close, but it is a possibility. He could be somewhere on the high end of the autism scale.
Does Zac Efron have autism
Some people just come into the limelight when they are young. Think of Shirley Temple as an example. She was a great little actress, at the tender age of three. She grew up on stage. The same can be said of Zac Efron to an extent. He first appeared in “High School Musical” and his career has been a whirlwind from there. It is curious that people would wonder if this young man is somewhere on the autism scale, but people do about any actor. He is talented, outgoing and not a bit shy from all appearances. So, no autism.
People who act just plain weird when they are in public or as characters in a show get the label of autism and most likely Asperger’s. Zach Galifinakis is an actor who has played some very strange characters, but the actor himself does not seem to be on the autism register. His character in “Bachelor Party” and other roles may seem a bit extreme, but this would lead one to think about the opposite of autism. He may be a bit manic though. This seems more the case than that he could be autistic. So, no he is probably not autistic.
“Bones” the long running TV show on the Fox network, has a few characters that people think have a form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome. Bones herself is one of them and the character Zack Addy is another. It seems that he is actually more sociopathic than autistic though. There are reasons to think that he may be autistic, but he does not seem to care at all about others or consequences and this leads away from that diagnosis. He is brilliant and lets everyone else on the team know that he is, and that is not characteristic of autism either.
Although he plays an autistic child, Yun Joon Suk, has said that he is not autistic. It would be difficult for someone with the level of the disease that Suk supposedly has to act in any capacity, so the actor had to take on the traits of someone who is autistic and make the disease his own. He has proven that he has great range, even as a young actor, because he can play a character who is disabled while knowing little of the syndrome personally. The fact that he plays an autistic character does not mean that he is autistic, but he plays the part well.