A Veteran DAN Doctor’s Thoughts on Reducing the Risk of Autism During Pregnancy

When Dr. Cindy Schneider finished her medical residency in 1990, she planned a career in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN). After having three children, two of whom are on the autism spectrum; Dr. Schneider’s career changed forever.

Not long after her children were diagnosed with autism, Dr. Schneider attended her first DAN! Think Tank. The year was 1996.

“I missed attending the first Dan Think Tank by just one year,” Dr. Schneider laughed, realizing how long she has been researching autism. She continued, “In those days, Dr. Rimland, the other scientists, and I thought autism was an ‘orphan disease’, that is a disease that is incredibly rare. When we witnessed the increase in prevalence rates, it was mind numbing.”

In 1998, Dr. Schneider gave up her OB/GYN practice to focus on treating children with autism. “Lots of people can deliver babies, but not many can treat our kids,” said Dr. Schneider. She is currently the medical director of The Center for Autism Research and Education (CARE) in Phoenix, Arizona. CARE treats more than autism. The center also specializes in Tourette’s, dyslexia, Down Syndrome, ADD/ADHD, and nutritional deficiencies.

Prevention of Autism Spectrum Disorders is one topic that is very dear to Dr. Schneider’s heart. She believes there are many steps women can take to cut the risk of having a child on the spectrum. As Dr. Schneider says, “Genes are the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.“ She feels passionately about reducing the toxins in the environment so the trigger is never pulled.

The following is a list of precautions Dr. Schneider feels that women should take before, during and after pregnancy to optimize their child’s neurological development:

Dr. Cindy Schneider is an asset to our community. Her recommendations are full of common sense and very valuable to mothers who may already have a child on the spectrum, or related to a child with autism, or concerned about exposure to toxins.

Dr. Schneider hopes to write a book on optimizing pregnancy outcomes and early childhood development. Who better to write about this topic than an OB/GYN, DAN! doctor and mother to two children with autism.

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