New Autism Stats: 1 in 100

This article is from the Age of Autism Web Newspaper. I'm making the whole article a link to it's original source and I hope I'm not breaking any laws:

August 10, 2009
And the Band Plays On - Autism is Now 1 in 100

Too-Many-Babies-Too-Much-Carbon By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

In 2007 the National Survey of Children's Health conducted a study on the rate of autism. The results have now been released. Of the 80,496 children surveyed, 921 were said by their parent to currently have autism or Asperger's syndrome. That makes the rate of autism in the children surveyed approximately 1%, or 1 in every 100. The rates generated from data in 2002 and 2003 suggested a rate of 1 in every 150.

A curious finding of the study was that 459 of the parents told the researchers that their child was previously told their child had autism or Asperger's Syndrome, but that they do not have it currently. This result is in accord with what has been reported by many parents that their children can improve, especially through bio-medical interventions, although many also report success through therapeutic interventions.

When you add the two numbers together, you find that of the 80,496 children surveyed, 1380 either currently have autism or Asperger's Syndrome, or did at some point in the past. That works out to 1.7% or 1 in every 58 children. Think about that. 1 in every 58 children is now getting a diagnosis of autism or Asperger's Syndrome in their lives. If you have two children that means the chance one of your children will be diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder is 1 in 29. If you have three children the chance is 1 in 19. If you're Jon and Kate plus Eight that's a little more than 1 in 7.

In commenting on this finding, Dr. Steve M. Edelson of the Autism Research Institute noted, "What we are discovering is that those with autism oftentimes have underlying medical disorders that impair gastro-intestinal, metabolic, and immune systems, and that when these problems are accurately diagnosed and treated, the symptoms of autism improve, sometimes to the point that the child is no longer classified as autistic."

As I was driving home today I heard a local doctor talking on the radio about those crazy people who think vaccines are linked to autism. The rate has gone from 1 in 10,000 twenty-five years ago to 1 in 100 today. Something is happening to our children that did not happen in the past. If not vaccines, then please find what is causing this problem. A generation of children and their parents deserve an answer.

You can read the full report

Kent Heckenlively is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.

Ok, now me: These stats make me want to scream, rage and cry for all the families who are suffering and for all the children who are suffering. And it is suffering. Autism is not easy to live with, whether you have it yourself, or whether your family member has it. It is HARD. It's hard to have a kid who screams and rages daily because they can't adequately communicate what's going on. And with autism, even the kids who can talk sometimes can't communicate what's going on and the so-called-tantrums happen. And the headbanging, the food issues, the bullying that such children get subjected to...the social awkwardness, the strangers and friends who think to tell you what you should do. The family members who roll their eyes and think to themselves "If I got my hands on this child for a few weeks, things I'd be able to whip him/her into shape, just you see." The lack of understanding and support.

But 1 in God, have mercy on us all. And really that's 1 in 58. Something is causing this. Something is deeply wrong with this picture.

Personally, I think Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is on to something with her theory on this epidemic. I really do. Check out the link. Get informed. With such statistics, if you don't already know someone with a child on the spectrum, you will someday. If not your child, it might be your grandchild someday.


thegeekywife said…
I have a young cousin (5) who was diagnosed/evaluated as having PDD a few years ago. Thanks for blogging honestly about your experiences with children on the autism spectrum. Many prayers for healing and for research.


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