Recent Studies From Other Countries
- The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network in the USA looked at eight-year-old children in 14 states in 2008, and found a prevalence rate of autism within those states overall of 1 in 88, with around five times as many boys as girls diagnosed .
- The National Center for Health Statistics in the USA published findings from telephone surveys of parents of children aged 6-17 undertaken in 2011-12. The report showed a prevalence rate for autism of 1 in 50, .
- A study of a 0-17 year olds resident in Stockholm between 2001-2007 found a prevalence rate of 11.5 in 1,000, very similar to the rate found other prevalence studies in Western Europe, .
- A much higher prevalence rate of 2.64% was found in a study done in South Korea, where the researchers found two thirds of the people on the autism spectrum were in the mainstream school population, and had never been diagnosed before. .
- Researchers comparing studies from different parts of the world over the past few years have come up with a more conservative estimate of 62 in 10,000. They conclude that the both the increase in estimates over time and the variability between countries and regions are likely thanks to broadening diagnostic criteria, service availability and increasing awareness of autism among professionals and the public, .
Zeroing In On Environmental Triggers
A variety of environmental triggers is under investigation as a cause or contributing factor to the development of ASD, especially in a genetically vulnerable child.
Exposure to pesticides during pregnancy may boost risk. In a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers compared 465 children diagnosed with ASD with nearly 7,000 children without the diagnosis, noting whether the mothers lived near agricultural areas using pesticides.
The risk of having ASD increased with the poundage of pesticides applied and with the proximity of the women’s homes to the fields.
Besides pesticide exposure, exposure to organic pollutants that have built up in the environment are another area of concern, says Pessah of UC Davis. For instance, polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, substances previously found in electrical equipment, fluorescent lighting and other products, are no longer produced in the U.S. but linger in the environment, he says. “Particular types of PCBs are developmental neurotoxins,” he says.
Another toxin to the brain is mercury in its organic form. But according to a report published in Pediatrics, there is no evidence that children with autism in the U.S. have increased mercury concentrations or environmental exposures. Though many parents of children with ASD believe their child’s condition was caused by vaccines that used to contain thimerosal , the Institute of Medicine concludes there is no causal association.
What About Autism And Vaccines
Most discussion about the cause or causes of autism, especially in media reports, invariably touches on the subject of vaccines and autism. Indeed, a number of parents of children with autism believe that there is a link between autism and the MMR vaccine and that the vaccine, in fact, caused the onset of autism.
Despite the strongly held beliefs of proponents of the vaccine theory, there is no scientific proof that the MMR or any vaccines cause autism. There is a correlation in time, however. The age for autism diagnosis is normally between years 1 and 3, whereas children are vaccinated around the age of 2. With no other explanation for the onset of autism, this correlation often leads parents to link the development of autism symptoms to the effects of the MMR vaccine.
As a result of those concerns and the advocacy of many parents and parent groups, there is ongoing research that is examining environmental factors as they may relate to autism. At present, however, there is no evidence that a link between autism and vaccines exists, and it is important to note that vaccines help protect and strengthen the bodys immune system and, therefore, prevent many otherwise serious diseases.
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Changes In Reporting Practices
The CDC’s report on autism statistics is based on health and school records for 8-year-old children who live in select counties across the United States. The researchers are part of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which the CDC set up in 2000 to estimate autism prevalence.
Clinicians scanned the school records for signs of autism features, such as social problems or repetitive behaviors. They use data from 8-year-olds because most children are enrolled in school and have had routine health assessments by that age. However, the data is not based on whether children have been given an actual diagnosis of ASD.
Up until 1990, autism was not included in legislation aimed at guaranteeing an education to individuals with disabilities. In 1990, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act added autism to its list of conditions covered under the act. The new law also added transition services and assistive technologies to its requirements. Autism had never been tracked as an educational statistic before 1990. Since 1990, the incidence of autism in schools has risen dramatically.
Another set of prevalence estimates published in Pediatrics in 2019 found that the prevalence of autism in the United States rose from 1 in 91 children in 2009 to 1 in 40 in 2017. The results were based on telephone or in-person interviews with the parents of 88,530 children aged 3 to 17 years, collected by the CDC as part of its National Health Interview Survey.
Why Is Autism Increasing So Much
Youve probably seen the Autism Speaks ads: Every two seconds a child is diagnosed with autism. As I write this today, the CDC has determined that 1 in a 54 people or 2% of males has an autism spectrum disorder !1Ever since Bob Wright, former president of NBC, became the grandfather of a child with autism and created Autism Speaks, awareness of and research on the condition has skyrocketed. Given this prevalence, you probably know someone who has a child with an ASD.
Welcome to my world. I am a developmental and behavioral pediatrician who has specialized, over the last 30 years, in caring for, diagnosing, and helping literally thousands of children and adolescents with ASD.
Over this time, my patients and their families have taught me so much about what it means to both struggle and grow and accept what cant be changed. I have learned to see through the eyes of the differently abled and their families. I have been witness to the miraculous potential within many of these children and adolescents who become fully functional and even indistinguishable from their peers . Recent research has found that the child with autism who receives intensive early intervention can outgrow their diagnosis.2 In my practice, I have many children who, over time, no longer met the official criteria for an autism spectrum disorder.
with lilacs. The last descendant.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry.JAMA Psychiatry.
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What Is The Prevalence Rate Among Military Families
Research conducted by the CDC shows that there are varying prevalence rates of ASD across different geographic locales. The same variability can be observed among military dependents. Currently, there are an estimated 1.2 million children in active duty military families. Based on the 2020 TRICARE report to Congress, there were an estimated 34,361 military autistic children in FY2019, including an estimated 20,735 children of active duty military families.
When one considers that those studied were more often service members in the junior ranks and the youngest parents , the implications for and potential impact on military healthcare are significant.
There Will Be An Even Larger Increase In 2020
The biannual announcement in 2018 of yet another increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder has practically become a new rite of spring.
At the start of the millennium, the rate of ASD reported by the US Centers for Disease Control was 1 in 150 and this rate remained steady for 2002. Then, starting in 2004, there have been increases announced every two years: 1 in 125 in 2004, 1 in 110 in 2006, 1 in 88 in 2008, 1 in 68 in 2010 and 2012.
Last week, the data for 2014 were announced, with another increase to 1 in 59. It is noteworthy that the CDC prevalence data are based on 8-year-old children, so that the 2014 data are for children born in 2006.
What in the world is going on? Why do the reported rates of autism keep rising? And, will they keep rising despite new programs designed to detect and treat it at increasingly younger ages?
Although scientists have not yet discovered what causes autism, a number of proposed causes have been disproven. For example, the popularized view that MMR vaccines cause autism is no longer a tenable “cause” and the article originally presenting the vaccines cause autism discovery by Andrew Wakefield was withdrawn under scandalous circumstances.,
Despite this, the view that vaccines cause autism persists and some point to the rise in autism as a reason to fear vaccinations. And, of course, the rate of autism keeps increasing.
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The Claim: Autism Has Increased By 30000% In 50 Years Is Linked To Vaccines
As states advance in their distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Americans have continued to discuss what risks could be associated with gaining protection against the virus. One common belief espoused by parents and public figures who are against vaccination is that vaccines cause autism spectrum disorder, despite several studies showing no correlation between childhood vaccination and autism diagnoses.
A may represent a similar view. The post claims that autism “increased 30,000% in 50 years” and suggests there is a link between injections and this statistic. Originally posted on April 3, 2020, the post has accrued roughly 1,500 shares.
In a on the post, the author linked vaccines to the “injections” he mentions, suggesting he made the post, “Because they are trying to make us all take a shot of their NEW ‘Vaccine’!” The post’s comment functionality has since been turned off.
USA TODAY reached out to the poster for comment.
Rates Of Autism In 2021
Autism is a common developmental condition, affecting approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States. Far more boys are diagnosed with autism than girls .
Most diagnoses are made after the age of 4, though a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder can be reliably made by the age of 2. Earlier screening tools are being used to catch cases earlier, allowing for therapy to begin at the soonest point possible, which results in the most successful outcomes.
All ethnic and socioeconomic groups are affected by autism. There is no medical test or cure for the disorder.
The exact cause of autism is unknown, though many risk factors have been identified.
- There is a genetic link to autism. If there is a family history of autism, it raises the likelihood that a child will develop autism.
- Parental age is a factor. Children born to older parents have a higher risk of autism.
- If your first child has ASD, your second child has a 2% to 18% chance of also having ASD.
- Despite past media coverage, there is no connection between childhood vaccines and ASD.
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Who Resolution On Autism Spectrum Disorders
In May 2014, the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Comprehensive and coordinated efforts for the management of autism spectrum disorders ,” which was supported by more than 60 countries.
The resolution urges WHO to collaborate with Member States and partner agencies to strengthen national capacities to address ASD and other developmental disabilities.
How Common Is Autism
In 2018, the Centers for Disease Controls Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring reported that approximately 1 in 59 children in the United States has been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder . This estimate is a 14% increase from the 1 in 68 rate in 2016 and a 47% increase from the 1 in 88 rate in 2012. In the 1980s autism prevalence was reported as 4 in 10,000. In the nineties, prevalence was 1 in 2500 and later 1 in 1000.
It is problematic to compare autism rates over the last three decades, as the diagnostic criteria for autism have changed with each revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual , which outlines which symptoms meet the criteria for an ASD diagnosis. In 1983 the DSM did not recognize PDD-NOS or Aspergers syndrome, and the criteria for autistic disorder were more restrictive. The previous edition of the DSM, DSM-IV, included autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, PDD-NOS, and Aspergers Syndrome. Due to inconsistencies in diagnosis and how much we are still learning about autism, the most recent DSM only has one diagnosis, autism spectrum disorder , which encompasses each of the previous four disorders. According to the new diagnostic criteria for ASD, one must have both deficits in social communication and interaction, and restricted repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities .
The Demographics Of Autism
Studies have found that all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups are impacted by autism.
When evaluating the impact of socioeconomic status on ASD diagnoses, researchers have found that the prevalence of ASD increases with socioeconomic status. This could be due in part to greater access to health care and therefore a higher likelihood of receiving a diagnosis.
Researchers have also identified racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of autism. Among black, white, and Hispanic children, the difference in the prevalence of ASD has remained relatively consistent over time, especially among those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
Black and white children see nearly identical prevalence of ASD. Hispanic children, however, are less likely to receive an autism diagnosis.
Autism advocates are striving to expand access to diagnostic testing and subsequent services for children in underrepresented populations. The sooner children receive intervention services, the more they are likely to gain from them. This increases the chances that they will effectively acquire essential life skills for independent learning and living as they grow up.
What’s Behind The Recent Rise In Autism In The Us
26 April 2018
The percentage of kids with autism in the United States continues to rise, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
The report found that, in 2014, an estimated 1 in 59 children had autism, up from 1 in 68 children in 2012, and 1 in 88 children in 2008. The findings are based on data from more than 300,000 8-year-old children living in 11 diverse communities across the United States.
A previous CDC report, released in 2016, suggested that the autism rate, or prevalence, was leveling off, but the new report shows that this is not the case.
“It is now clear that what we saw in 2016 was just a pause along the way. It remains to be seen at what point rates will plateau,” Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and a co-author of the report, said in a statement.
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects communication, behavior and the ability to interact with others.
So what’s behind the increase? Perhaps, rather than more kids having autism, just more of them are being diagnosed with it. Communities are doing a better job of diagnosing autism among minority populations, said Alison Singer, president and co-founder of the Autism Science Foundation, who was not involved in the new report.
“Children are just not being diagnosed as early as they can be,” Singer told Live Science.
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Who Are These Radical Scientists
Independent, decentralized biomedical research has come of age. Also sometimes called DIYbio, biohacking, or community biology, depending on whom you ask, open research is today a global movement with thousands of members, from scientists with advanced degrees to middle-grade students. Their motivations and interests vary across a wide spectrum, but transparency and accessibility are key to the ethos of the movement. Teams are agile, focused on shoestring-budget R& D, and aim to disrupt business as usual in the ivory towers of the scientific establishment.
Ethics oversight is critical to ensuring that research is conducted responsibly, even by biohackers.
Initiatives developed within the community, such as Open Insulin, which hopes to engineer processes for affordable, small-batch insulin production, “Slybera,” a provocative attempt to reverse engineer a $1 million dollar gene therapy, and the hundreds of projects posted on the collaboration platform Just One Giant Lab during the pandemic, all have one thing in common: to pursue testing in humans, they need an ethics oversight mechanism.
These groups, most of which operate collaboratively in community labs, homes, and online, recognize that some sort of oversight or guidance is usefuland that it’s the right thing to do.
The Triad Of Impairments
- In 1979 Lorna Wing and Judith Gould examined the prevalence of autism, as defined by Leo Kanner, among children known to have special needs in the former London Borough of Camberwell.
- They found a prevalence in those with IQ under 70 of nearly 5 per 10,000 for this syndrome, closely similar to the rate found by Lotter. As well as children with Kanner autism, Wing and Gould also found a larger group of children who had difficulties with social interaction, communication and imagination , as well as a repetitive stereotyped pattern of activities.
- Although these children did not fit into the full picture of early childhood autism as described by Kanner, they were described as being on the broader ‘autism spectrum’. The total prevalence rate for all autistic children with special needs in the Camberwell study was approximately 20 in every 10,000 children . Gillberg et al in Gothenburg, Sweden, found very similar rates in children with learning disabilities.
- Other studies in different countries have also looked into autism and numbers of autistic children . These results range from 3.3 to 60.0 per 10,000. This could be due to differences in definitions or case-finding methods .
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