Apparent New Rise In Autism May Not Reflect True Prevalence
by Peter Hess / 26 September 2019
New statistics on autism prevalence in the United States suggest a dramatic rise in the number of children with the condition. But it is unlikely that these numbers reflect a true rise in prevalence, experts say.
Autism prevalence in the U.S. rose from 1 in 91 children in 2009 to 1 in 40 in 2017, according to survey results published today in Pediatrics1. The condition is most often diagnosed in white children, those living in urban settings and those who have any government-funded insurance, the study also shows.
The results are based on telephone or in-person interviews with the parents of 88,530 children aged 3 to 17 years, collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of its National Health Interview Survey. The numbers are higher than the 1-in-59 prevalence that the CDC reported last year that study analyzed health and education records from 2014 for children in 11 states generally considered to be more reliable than parent surveys.
A sizable portion of the increase is probably due to rising awareness of the condition and improved systems for identifying autistic children, says lead investigator Benjamin Zablotsky, health statistician at the CDC.
The way the survey phrases and places a question about autism asking parents whether a healthcare professional has ever told them their child has autism may also affect prevalence estimates, he says2.
Can You Prevent Autism
There is not a cure for autism.
That being said, there are a lot of opinions on the causes of autism and ways of prevention.
Autism.com states that one of the best things can do is give herself six months or even a year to improve her diet and make better lifestyle choices .
She should consume organically grown grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and lean sources of protein.
Laying the foundation by putting herself in optimal shape prior to conceiving will go a long way in minimizing the chance of miscarriage, or developing other complications of pregnancy and delivery.
They go on to say that reducing or eliminating the white foods , chemical preservatives and processed foods may help prevent autism.
Lastly, they also recommend improving the gut bacteria which I get into more below.
A Variety Of Possibilities May Link Asd To The Male Brain
According to some researchers, the reason is that autism is an excessive expression of those aspects of brain development that are already pronounced in the male brain. The extreme male brain theory posits that it is an overdevelopment in the male traits of cognition that causes ASD patients to over-systematize, leading to a breakdown of verbal and social capacities.
Some studies have found correlations between fetal testosterone levels and ASD.
On the other hand, researchers in Canada in 2010 undertook a genetic study of ASD patients and found that around one percent of the males tested had a particular mutation in a certain gene on their X-chromosome. If the mutation were found to be linked to ASD it could explain some of the preponderance of ASD among boys.
And even more recently, scientists in Germany found a positive correlation between a thin cortex and the likelihood of an ASD diagnosis. Since women reliably have greater cortical thickness than men, this could indicate that the male brain is simply more vulnerable to whatever structural changes bring about ASD.
The search for a definitive answer as to why more boys than girls suffer from ASD is only one aspect of the larger search for the causes behind autism and is not likely to be resolved until that central mystery is itself cleared up.
In the meantime, for applied behavior analysts working with ASD patients, the likelihood that most of them will be boys isnt going to change anytime soon.
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Why Is There More Autism Now
Why Is There More Autism Now. We know that today, approximately 1 out of every 160 children are affected with autism to varying degrees. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in the united states has jumped.
Learning that there is a reason why i am autistic changes everything, but at the same time, it changes nothing. The prevalence of autism in the united states has risen steadily since researchers first began tracking it in 2000. The answer to the burning question of why there are so many more disabled children now is this: More than half of young adults with autism remain unemployed and unenrolled in higher education in the two years after high school. Certain societal influences make it more likely for an individual to be diagnosed with autism today than in the past.
Is Autism An Epidemic
Before discussing whether these numbers suggest an epidemic, its necessary to understand why autism statistics have increased. An epidemic is a spike in the rate of new cases. However, its unclear whether the prevalence of autism has really increased or if its just an increase in diagnoses.
Chris Abildgaard, LPC, a writer for Autism Parenting Magazine explains that there is an increase in identified cases of autism due to, expanding the definition from autism to autism spectrum disorder increasing knowledge of the disorder by professionals, which leads to an increase in better and earlier diagnoses more consistency by CDCs Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network in the method used to identify cases an actual increase in the rate of children being born with the disorder.
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Whats Causing This Increase
Study authors suggest that the near-800-percent rise in autism cases has more to do with increased reporting and better screening methods than an actual increase in the number of people living on the autism spectrum. Despite their findings, researchers say they still cant rule out the possibility that more people are developing ASD in recent years.
As there is not really a plausible reason why autism should increase more in adults and females our study suggests the change is probably due to increased identification, and not more people with neurodevelopmental disorders per se, says lead author Ginny Russell in a university release.
However, autism is not like a continent awaiting discovery. The definition of what constitutes autism has changed over time, and females and adults were not often thought of as having autism 20 years ago. The vocal work of charities and media coverage, combined with changes in policy has led to more assessment centers for adults, and an autism narrative that many women and girls identify with. Consequently demand for diagnosis has never been higher.
Autisms Genetic Risk Factors
Research tells us that autism tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child . Other times, these genetic changes arise spontaneously in an early embryo or the sperm and/or egg that combine to create the embryo. Again, the majority of these gene changes do not cause autism by themselves. They simply increase risk for the disorder
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More Children Being Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder In Recent Years
New numbers show that autism affects one in 59 children.
More kids have autism, better diagnosis may be the reason
More children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Their new numbers now show that autism affects one in 59 children, an increase from previously reported one in 68 children.
Dr. Walter Zahorodny, a pediatrician and autism researcher, is stunned by the speed of increase.
This data was collected in 2014 through the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, an organization described by the study’s authors as an active surveillance system that provides estimates of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years.
In this study, the ADDM Network first identified over 10,000 children with symptoms of ASD in 11 states. A team of researchers and experts in the field then reviewed their medical and school records since birth, confirming an autism diagnosis in 5,473 children. This extremely thorough approach limited confusion and ensured accurate and consistent diagnoses and results. Part of the difficulty in autism research is that there isnt a medical test that determines if a child falls on the autism disorder spectrum — its an evaluation based on observation, so reliable numbers have been historically difficult to guarantee.
The short answer: We dont know.
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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Is Autism On The Rise Worldwide
Yes is the short answer.
Its worth noting that researchers havent been tracking autism for decades. In fact, serious tracking didnt start until 2000.
Its also worth noting that unlike many other conditions, there isnt a blood test or scan that can detect autism. So we are relying 100% on doctors and researchers to objectively agree on criteria and diagnose in a consistent manner.
That is to say, its probably not very consistent compared to tracking of other diseases and conditions.
That being said, its undeniable that autism IS on the rise. The World Health Organization puts the autism rates by country at 1 in 160. The CDC has noted a 15% increase in autism spectrum disorder diagnosis over the past 2 years and a whopping 181% increase from 2004 to 2018.
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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.
Using Asd To Market Fear
Marketing campaigns and articles that use autism to instill fear should be regarded with caution . As outlined in this article, there have been more diagnoses of autism over the years. This can be correlated with nearly anything whose use or consumption has also increased over the years: GMOs, WiFi, iPhone sales, quinoa and kale consumption, organic food sales, etc. When reading such articles, focus on the data beyond the correlation: is there any evidence to support that one actually causes the other? Who are they interviewing? Is there a reputable medical organization that is supporting the arguments in the article?
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Increased Awareness Of Autism
Support for autistic children and funding for research on ASD has increased, and with this, there has been increased awareness of autism and associated behaviours. Stories in social media and broadcasting may have contributed to the fact that we are all more familiar with autism. Medical institutions such as the CDC have implemented programs to better educate parents on childhood development milestones and on the importance of early intervention. Additionally, teachers and early childhood educators may be better trained to recognize signs of ASD. These factors, among others, may have contributed to increased awareness of autism and parents discussing concerns with their doctors, in cases that may have otherwise been ignored. This increased awareness may also be important in the increases seen in underserved communities that we mentioned above.
Why So Many People With Autism Have Eating Disorders
Of course, all parents of late-talking children should be sure to have their child screened for autismand all other clinical conditions associated with late talking: speech disorder, language disorder, hearing loss and intellectual disability while also bearing in mind that many late-talking children do not have any disability whatsoever. But never forego assessment simply because the odds are favorable that a late-talking child does not have autism.
But, also be prepared for an even more dramatic increase in the next round of autism data and a HUGE increase in the reported incidence in 2020and beyondbecause the latest 2018 data do not include children who were screened in 2010 at age 2 when the new guidelines for screening 2-year-olds were initiated. That is, national data are for autism in 8-year-olds, but are not reported until four years after a birth cohort turns eight. This years increase is based on children who turned eight in 2014 and were thus born in 2006. The 2020 data will be for children born in 2008, and then screened as 2-year-olds in 2010. They will turn eight in 2016and be reported in the national data in 2020.
Autism Spectrum Disorder. Data and Statistics. . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. accessed 4.29.2018.
Godlee, F., Smith, J., Marcovitch, H. Wakefields article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent. BMJ. 2011 342: c7452. Accessed 01/25/2018.
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Why Are Autism Diagnostic Numbers Increasing
Patreon members and channel members, & had access to this video on September 30, 2021. The videos public release will be November 3, 2021.
Hey humans, Lyric here, and this week Im going to be talking about why autism numbers have been going up over the past several years, and why this, actually, is a good thing.
If youre wondering. And would like to know more, please do stay tuned.
Autism?! We didnt have all this autism stuff when I was growing up! Oh my gosh! There are so many Autistic People now! This is an epidemic! Autistic People are everywhere, all of the sudden! Where did they come from?
Have you heard this nonsense? Have you heard this nonsense?
Lets talk about why this is nonsense and there is no autism epidemic.
First lets tackle the first claim that we didnt have all this autism stuff when you were growing up, because that ones easy.
We didnt have autism in our diagnostic manual until 1980. So there wasnt the word in the language for autism. It wasnt something that was diagnosed before 1980, but just because we didnt have a word for autism and for Autistic People, doesnt mean we werent here and we didnt exist.
That doesnt make sense. There are a lot of stars and planets in space that we havent named yet, but they are still out.
So heres the thing about that:
Im 34. And though I struggled a lot in school, and I even spent time in special education, and gifted and talented though, that didnt go so well, my autism was missed.
What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world. NINDS and several other NIH Institutes and Centers support research on autism spectrum disorder.
Nearly 20 years ago the NIH formed the Autism Coordinating Committee to enhance the quality, pace, and coordination of efforts at the NIH to find a cure for autism. The NIH/ACC has been instrumental in promoting research to understand and advance ASD. The NIH/ACC also participates in the broader Federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee , composed of representatives from various U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies, the Department of Education, and other governmental organizations, as well as public members, including individuals with ASD and representatives of patient advocacy organizations. One responsibility of the IACC is to develop a strategic plan for ASD research, which guides research programs supported by NIH and other participating organizations.
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