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MIT's Dr. Stephanie Seneff on Autism Explosion Vs. Media Coverage

Stephanie-seneffBy Anne Dachel

A person does not have to search far in order to be reassured by leading experts that the flood of  children with all sorts of learning problems and developmental issues are nothing to worry about.

For years   prominent news outlets and journals have downplayed the numbers, quoting experts for backup.  Here are examples from over the last six years, including one from the BMJ just last month.

CNN, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: ‘Doctors are getting better at diagnosing autism… How much of that increase is a result of better tracking and how much of it is a result of an actual increase, we still don't know.’

U.S. News, Dr. Nancy Murphy, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Children with Disabilities: “The increases in these conditions may signify a greater awareness on the part of parents, teachers and health care professionals to identify children with disabilities and get them help.

“ ‘That could mean that kids that might have been dismissed as simply being "slow" or disobedient in the past may now be getting some extra help to realize their potential,’…”

New York Times,
Dr. Stephen Blumberg, senior scientist, National Center for Health Statistics: ‘Our findings suggest that the increase in prevalence is due to improved recognition of autism spectrum disorders, as opposed to children with newly developed risks for them.’

Wall Street Journal, “The number of children diagnosed with autism has surged around the globe in the past two decades. But new research in Europe and the U.S. suggests much of the increase occurred on paper.”

Scientific American: “Many individuals diagnosed with autism may, in the past, have been misdiagnosed with other conditions, such as intellectual disability: As diagnoses of autism have risen, those of intellectual disability have decreased.”

British Medical Journal: “This study highlights the complexities involved in understanding changes in the reported prevalence of ASD that are likely to be multifactorial. It has provided evidence in Australia of changes in diagnostic preferences and a broadening of the spectrum and that differences in service requirements can influence prevalence estimates.”

Medpage Today: “The investigators offered some possible factors for the general increase in ADHD and autism prevalence such as: Advances in behavioral disorder classification, Efficacy of clinical and behavioral treatments for ADHD, Increase in services for children with developmental disabilities, Improvement in clinical, parental, and societal recognition of disorders.”

So while no health official can explain why so many children today have autism, no one is calling it a crisis.  

By Anne Dachel

Back in April of this year USA Today published the story, Why are autism cases exploding, and what can be done? by Jerry Carino.

It was an interesting piece, unlike the vast majority of mainstream news reports that leave autism as a mystery or dismiss the numbers as merely“better diagnosing” of a condition that’s always been around.

Carino wrote: The statistics grab you by the collar.

In the early 1990s, the national diagnosis rate for autism was 1 in 10,000 children. In 2012 it was 1 in 68. In 2017 it’s 1 in 45.

That rate is even lower in New Jersey, at 1 in 41.

“When you look at those numbers, that’s [not] only a crisis, but it’s a significant issue for our society right now,” said Bret Vaks, executive director of Autism Family Services of New Jersey. ‘I’m not even certain most people are aware how significant it is’.”

Carino is off on the numbers. In 2012 it was 1 in 88. In 2014 it was one in 68 and again in 2016.

The one in 45 came from a study released in 2015, and the higher number was explained as being due to “changes in the order and wording of the survey questions.” 

The one in 41 in New Jersey was announced back in 2014, so it’s not really current either.

Bret Vaks and Professor Samantha Herrick from Rutgers were the sources for this piece.  Herrick is quite well known and has even spoken at a United Nations autism conference. She said she is constantly is faced with the question, “What’s causing this spike in autism?”

Herrick’s answer: “‘Science is not there yet. At this moment, the best we can render is it’s probably a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.

‘…there may be some sort of environmental antecedents that trigger it for that particular individual. But we don’t know what it is, which is the big bugaboo in our field.’

“The rogue theory blaming vaccines has been debunked, although Herrick still gets inquiries to that effect. …

“Despite the surge in cases, autism remains on the outskirts of public discourse.”

Herrick went on to deny that it’s just awareness.

“Another myth: The spike is caused by increased awareness about autism in the three decades since ‘Rainman’ introduced the condition to much of America.

‘There is no doubt that raised awareness is going to have influence of those types of numbers,’ Herrick said. ‘But most experts I’ve talked to believe it can’t be the sole cause of such a spike in numbers.’”

Herrick attributed the high rate in New Jersey to early and better screening.

Vaks was more critical of the lack of concern over autism. ‘It should be one of the biggest issues are leaders are talking about. We’ve made zero leaps and bounds because it’s not on their radar.’

Herrick and Vaks seem to be a little out of touch with reality. There’s a whole month dedicated to autism awareness. The world is lighting up itself up in blue for autism every April.

And for example, Hillary Clinton did speak out on autism, she just isn’t concerned about the rate.

Lots of people are talking about autism, only no one is worried, and it’s because no one will admit there is an autism epidemic going on. No U.S. health official or medicine association has ever said that there are actually more cases of autism.

If Vaks and Herrick really wanted to make the issue resonate among politicians and health officials, they should go looking for the same rate of autism among folks over 30 that we see in our children (and I mean adults with the same signs of classic autism we see everywhere in our children—not a college professor who doesn’t like to eat out).

If Vaks and Herrick really wanted to discover the environmental triggers for autism, they’d study the thirty percent of autistic children who experienced some type of regression, often quite severe regression. What environmental exposure preceded that loss of learned skills?

If Vaks and Herrick really wanted evidence that it’s not vaccines, they’d look at fully vaccinated and never vaccinated kids to see if they had same autism rate.

I seriously doubt that Rutgers University would allow any such research, nor do I think that Herrick would want to risk her professional reputation by investigating these topics.

It’s pretty clear that if no one in charge will even come out publicly and address autism as a crisis and an epidemic; it’s equally true that no one wants to seriously consider what environmental triggers might be involved.

 As long as autism remains a medical curiosity we have all the time in the world to figure out, we don’t have to really look for the cause.

Consider this recent story from South Carolina, which received zero attention in the mainstream press:

May 12, 2017, Spectrum News: Alternative screen finds high autism prevalence in U.S. state

A new study in South Carolina has found a prevalence of 3.62 percent for autism, or roughly 1 in 28 children. Researchers presented the unpublished findings today at the 2017 International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco, California.

The study screened children born in 2004, the same birth year analyzed in the most recent prevalence estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For South Carolina, that estimate, released in 2014, reported a prevalence of 1 in 81 children1. The average prevalence for the United State is 1 in 68.

That jaw dropping statistic should have been big news and lots of questions should have been asked. Again, that didn’t happen. In fact, lead researcher Laura Carpenter from the University of South Carolina attributed this rate to better assessment. 

‘I think this is probably getting pretty close to the true prevalence. This is probably going to make a lot of sense for anybody who is working in a school or autism clinic.’

It seems that researchers were still missing a lot of kids, but now they’re finally getting it right.

What this really tells us is that autism by the numbers will never be a crisis in America. We’ll continue to ask for awareness, early diagnosis, and services—NEVER ANSWERS.

Here’s the history of autism numbers in the United States.  

2001 1:250, 2004 1:166, 2007 1:150, 2009 1:110, 2012 1:88, 2014 1:68. 2015 1:45, 2016 1: 68.

With every update of the autism rate, there was ALWAYS someone from the CDC right there to deny a real increase in autism: Julie Gerberding, Coleen Boyle, MarshalynYeargin-Allsop, Thomas Frieden.

"Serious health care concern" is the strongest language any official has used when talking about autism.

Asperger's or high functioning autism was added to the DSM in 1994, and it was removed in 2012, but it did not cause a change in the rate. 

There’s more confusion

2013 One in every 36 of ALL children in MN has autism

The study's data revealed that 1 in 32 Somali and 1 in 36 white children aged 7 to 9 were identified with autism in 2010 — numbers that are statistically indistinguishable, according to the researchers.

2012 One in 47 children in Utah 

2011 One in 38 children in South Korea.

2008 One in 32 among Somali children in MN  

The Numbers are all over the board. One in 28, one in 68—the numbers do not matter when it comes to autism. We should all have learned that by now.

Three years ago,  I interviewed Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT about the explosion in the autism rate and the environmental toxins responsible. She linked the autism epidemic to mercury and aluminum in vaccines, glutamate in vaccines, and glyphosate, the active ingredient in the GMO herbicide, Roundup.

Recently I went back to Dr. Seneff to ask her about the ever-increasing and inconsistent autism numbers, the lack of concern from mainstream medicine or in our federal health care agencies, and her prediction that eventually autism will affect half of U.S. children. Here’s what she had to say.

Q: Dr. Seneff, since we talked last, the official autism numbers increased to one in 68 and then seemed to stabilize at 68, two years later. At the same time, we can find alarmingly higher rates in individual states like South Carolina, Utah, and Minnesota. Officials are at a lost to explain any of this. What do you think is happening?

A: “It’s very disconcerting this number of one in 28 from South Carolina, and I suspect that it’s a more accurate representation  of what’s happening across the country than the one in 68 that we got as a report from the U.S. government, …which was stabilized. It had been growing exponentially for two decades, and all of a sudden, boom, it’s completely flat, which makes no sense.

“You don’t expect it to change that way because none of the factors that have been causing it have been fixed, in fact, I think that everything is continuing to get worse. So it simply does not make sense.

“I think that the CDC must have been doing something fishy with those numbers to keep that data flat for these past two years.”

(*It should be noted that there was a reversal of the stunning Utah numbers the next time rates were updated. Utah went from one in every 47 children to one in every 58, a nearly 20 percent drop. Dr. Judith Zimmerman filed a lawsuit alleging that the numbers had been falsified.)

Q: Dr. Seneff, do you still feel that the autism rate will continue to worsen until half of our children have the disorder?

A:  “I predicted, looking at the exponential growth, it’s very easy to plot that on a linear scale, on a log linear scale, and you get a straight line, if it is exponential growth, and it’s exactly what you get with those data.

“You can extend that line into the future, and given that the numbers are for 12 year olds, then children born in 2032 would be the ones that would show up on the scale at 12 years later, 2044, and that’s where you get the point in which half the children, eighty percent of the boys born in 2032 will end up on the spectrum—diagnosed on the spectrum.

“And this, to me, is incredibly frightening. To think of one in five boys being born actually not having autism, is going to be—no one‘s going to want to risk having a child at that point, it seems to me. It’s going to be too terrifying.”

Q: Why do you think officials still refuse to acknowledge that there has actually been an increase in autism? Why is there no alarm over all the developmental disorders plaguing our children?

A: “I think what may be going on with regard to trying to hide the increase in autism, is to get these kids other diagnoses, to divert them off into things like ADHD or a social communication disorder—they have these new names now that they can call it and siphon it off. And so then we can hide the fact that autism is growing so fast.

“And in fact, when you look at something like ADHD, that has grown also exponentially over the past 20 years, and now it’s apparently one in six, which I find really, truly amazing: one in six of the kids being diagnosed with ADHD.

“And we have the tics, and we have the autoimmune diseases, all the allergies, the gluten intolerance, casein intolerance, we have the eczema—tremendous eczema these days— asthma, all these illnesses that these children are facing.

“And it’s not just the vaccines, I think, that are causing these. In fact, I think that the bigger problem is the food and the toxic chemicals in the food, particularly the glyphosate, which is pervasive in our food, which the government thinks is completely safe.

“Which is working synergistically, very, very effectively, with the vaccines, to cause harm.

“We simply have to, the government has to face this crisis. They should have done it many years ago, and if they don’t do it soon, then I think our country is just going to be history.”

Q: What are you most concerned about when it comes to what’s happening to the health of Americans?

A: “I think that probably the most critical component of -- the most critical cause of the epidemic in autism in America is glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup, and Roundup is the herbicide that we all love because it’s completely non-toxic to humans.

“But this is simply not true.

“My research has gone deep and wide, and I’m absolutely convinced that Roundup is insidiously cumulatively toxic, and it is causing many, many problems, many health problems in our society, mostly related to autoimmune disease and immune dysfunction and neurological disorders. …

“Glyphosate is causing an epidemic in so many diseases which is the reason why we have a runaway health care system, with enormous health care costs we can’t meet.

“The U.S. government seems to be completely blind to the problem with glyphosate.

“However, I will say that the Canadian government is doing much better than our government is in terms of at least finding out the extent of the problem, with respect to glyphosate contamination in the food, and this is because of the relentless efforts of an activist in Canada called Tony Mitra.

“He has been pestering them for many years, and he’s finally gotten them to agree to test thousands of food samples for glyphosate contamination.

“Tony then has analyzed their results.

“The U.S. recently said, okay, we’re going to test—we’ve only tested, as far as I know—one food item, which is soy, and in that food item, we found ninety-one percent of the samples had glyphosate contamination…

“So basically, it’s all over the soy. …

“The U.S. government confirmed that … Like, it’s okay, it’s in the soy, who cares?

 “It’s really incredible how much they refuse to acknowledge that there’s a problem.

“Canada tested a whole bunch of foods, they tested Canadian foods, U.S. foods, and foods imported from Europe, and from around the world—Mexico.

“…And what he found was that the United States and Canada stood out, having by far, having the highest level consistently of glyphosate in all the food samples that they tested compared to Europe and especially, surprisingly, compared to Mexico.

“Mexico had much, much lower levels across the board than the U.S. and Canada.

“There were high levels in wheat. They were in chick peas, in various cereals, cookies, all kinds of products—highly contaminated with glyphosate.

“Glyphosate causes breast cancer cells to grow when it’s present at levels of parts per trillion, in culture, parts per trillion. And I suspect that glyphosate is causing the breast cancer epidemic among pre-menopausal women.

“It’s just so many diseases, Alzheimer’s, autism, ADHD, various cancers….”

 Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.


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John Stone

Hi Bret

Thank you for responding - I must point out that this article was written by Anne Dachel and not Dan Olmsted our late founding editor. You obviously deserve credit for your work with autistic people and for recognising the magnitude of the problem but you take too much on trust the way our governments have deliberately fudged this issue while the numbers have grown - and while frankly you have made your living from it, family after family have had to lower their hopes for their children and their lives, and are publicly pilloried for even raising the issue of vaccine damage and environmental toxicity. At the rate of 1 in 36 nationally published last December another child is being diagnosed every 4 to 5 minutes in the US. I fear the reason we have not gone anywhere in recognising the problem is simply that it is not policy, and the whole point of autism awareness month is to pretend that everything is normal - perhaps it ought to be called autism normalisation month. From the point of view of the people who started it it is a huge success.

If we had a pandemic in which by 24 months children’s limbs were dropping off, or going blind or something - something immediately tangible - governments would have to address it, but since brain damage may be subliminal to the wider public they don’t.

So, what’s your explanation?

Bret Vaks

Hi Dan you missed the entire point of my article. Autism is an epidemic and it is clearly not on the radar of our leaders right now. Please do not personally attack those who have a different opinion as it does not get us anywhere nor is it helpful. It was not about Hillary Clinton either. Not sure why you mentioned that. Autism Awareness Month is nice but has also not made a difference yet. I have worked with children and adults with Autism since 1989 and I don’t appreciate your personal attack. I have dedicated my life to this and love it! Please remember it is far easier to sit and write blogs based on anger and animosity then actually getting out and running programs or teaching or doing the research you scoff at! You want to make a change-then do not attack. -Bret Vaks

Grace Green

Morag, the answer to your question what happens to Asperger's and high functioning auties now, is, we're thrown on the scrap heap as always!


Very interesting and thought provocating article .
As stated aspergersers or high functioning autism was added to the DSM in 1994 and it was removed in 2012 ,but it did not cause a change in the rate?

Absolutely flabbergasting ! .when we were doing our add-on to general nurse qualification mental handicap training at the big 900 or so bed mental handicap hospital on the outskirst of Glasgow mid 1980's .We were taught about a condition called" Savant" which is totally apart from other presentation of autism totally.another example of tick box diagnosis based on personal opinionated tosh ! Therefore ,so what happens now to people who no longer fit the forensically fondled tick box criteria paperwork ?
Well definately, don't let other peoples papework perceptions, at a whim define your capabilities if you are a savant person!


I am being pressured by my son's school district (California) to change his diagnosis from autism to 'other health impairment' (he developed PANS two years ago).

Their stated reason is that he is much more severely affected by PANS (versus moderate autism), and PANS is what is driving his services.

However, I know the true reason is that the school district receives more federal dollars for a child with a low incidence disability versus autism (presumably because they need more specialized services that the school district is not already equipped with because it is rarer--not that my son sees one dime of it in his programming).

So while the incentive for school districts moving kids into the "other" category is likely financial, it has the effect of skewing the number of cases of autism.


I think De Niro has a thing or two to tell Clooney about what should be injected into his infants.

I don't think the Clooney's give a damn

Frankly my dear

quite frankly indeed.. .

Aimee Doyle

@ David Weiner
"It's really hard for governments to acknowledge the truth now, because to do so would be to admit to a great crime and incompetence. I thought that Trump's vaccine safety commission might break through, but haven't heard much about it lately, so I am not holding my breath."

I have been disappointed in Trump. Despite all the promises, nothing. In fact, worse than nothing. He appointed Tom Price to the HHS - and Price said during his confirmation hearings that the link between autism and vaccines had been disproven. He appointed Scott Gottlieb to the FDA - and Gottlieb said antivaxxers should "just get over it." Trump hasn't appointed ANYONE to head the CDC, and as David said, hasn't done anything on making the vaccine safety commission a reality.

On the other hand, Trump supports healthcare legislation that will strip $800 BILLION from Medicaid. My adult autistic son depends on Medicaid - without funding - no day program, no services, no medication, etc. And for those in school, Trump appointed Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary - she didn't even know what IDEA was - and I doubt she understands how an IEP works.

It's important to remember that damage starts with vaccines, and we need to address that and prevent further damage. But for our kids (and adults) who are already damaged, we need education, therapies, treatments, research, supports, services, employment, etc. With so many on the spectrum and more and more each day (every 20 minutes, a child is diagnosed with autism), this should be a priority.

Angus Files

The globalist politicians are handsomely paid to mislead the population that the ship is in safe and reassuring hands just like the unsinkable titanic they do a great job.

Pharma for Prison


go Trump

It is always about the money.

Since 1990, the typical American family of four has provided nearly $40,000 in military spending in the Middle East. Thank goodness that problem is over.

Somehow 20 years ago, American doctors were missing 19 out of 20 Autism cases... they are so much sharper now.

David Weiner

Not only do we have the toxic onslaught of vaccines and glyphosate today, we have the ramp up of another factor: electrification.

Epidemiologist and medical doctor Samuel Milham has compiled compelling evidence that the large increase in the so-called diseases of civilization in the 20th century and beyond (e.g. cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, suicide) are attributable to electrification.

David Weiner

It's really hard for governments to acknowledge the truth now, because to do so would be to admit to a great crime and incompetence. I thought that Trump's vaccine safety commission might break through, but haven't heard much about it lately, so I am not holding my breath.


The degree to which these numbers are driving the American electorate is something only short sighted candidates will ignore.


I see the same pattern Dr. Seneff suggests, public health officials are hiding ASD cases in other categories and delaying the count by years. In the California data below, one begs to know the difference between "Speech or Language Impairment" and "Autism". Based on that, the rate goes from 1 in 60 to 1 in 24, very similar to S. Carolina. It looks like Colleen Boyle has gotten to the data.

California Dept of Education 2016-17
Intellectual Disability 43,978
Hard of Hearing 10,528
Deaf 3,346
Speech or Language Impairment 160,024
Visual Imapairment 3,565
Emotional Disturbance 24,560
Orthopedic Impairment 11,153
Other Health Impairment 90,692
Specific Learning Disability 293,231
Deaf- Blindness 51
Multiple Disability 6,887
Autism 104,573
Traumatic Brain Injury 1,689
Total Disabilities 754,277
Total Enrollment 6,228,235

Autism Rate 1.7%
(1 in X) 60

Autism + Speech 4.2%
(1 in X) 24

All Disabilities 12%

Laura Hayes

Wow, what an incredible article, Anne. Leaves me speechless, and angry, and heartbroken at the continued denial of and apathy toward the vaccine and chemical crippling of our children, entire populace, and nation. I do not understand the lack of concern, the absence of honesty, the ridiculous denial, and so many heads buried in the sand. We are living in surreal times that are leading to a great many tragedies.

Thank you and Stephanie both for your Herculean and tireless efforts. Maybe one day the masses will wake up to the fact that we are being poisoned and destroyed from all angles, with no end in sight.

Bob Moffit

@ Bill

I wholeheartedly agree with your astute comments and identification of the ""G.R.E.G. B.'s", - the Global Ruling Elites, and Global Banksters".

Indeed, the SWAMP which these powerful creatures dominate is GLOBAL .. thereby making them even more dangerous to the future of mankind than the SWAMP creatures confined by the limits of Washington, D.C.

We also agree the SWAMP creatures are driven by BOTH .. a personal lust for POWER and MONEY.

Thanks for your observations.


While I'm mostly in agreement with Bob Moffit's "FOLLOW THE MONEY" comment above, I think he's leaving something out, and understating the problem. When he talks of the money-lovers in the "D.C. swamp", he's correct, as far as he goes. But it's NOT ONLY money, nor is it only in D.C. The true culprits I call the "G.R.E.G. B.'s", - the Global Ruling Elites, and Global Banksters. They only want MONEY, and POWER. Look at a typical D.C. lobbyist, or Federal Agency head, or high-level employee. No, they aren't poor, but they aren't necessarily multi-millionaires or billionaires. But politicians have the POWER of MONEY. That is, they can raise taxes, spend taxes, and influence what rich folks and Foundations do with their money. The rich do have the MONEY of POWER. So it's POWER, *and* MONEY which these people want. Many of them get a sick and perverse enjoyment out of the idea of millions of American kids stricken with autism spectrum disorders.Just as we have a "military-industrial-complex"(MIC), so, too, do we have a "medical-industrial-complex". A growing autism rate is a guarantee of future taxpayer-funded medical research, and corporate profits for the pharmaceutical industry. So Bob Moffit is correct, as far as he goes, but let's support him in going further, and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!....
Because what's going unsaid here - we are ALL going to have our work cut out for us in the future.

Bob Moffit

"It’s pretty clear that if no one in charge will even come out publicly and address autism as a crisis and an epidemic; it’s equally true that no one wants to seriously consider what environmental triggers might be involved."

It is no accident that .. according to those "deep state" people in charge .. that "global warming" is routinely identified as the greatest danger to human existence .. while the very same "deep state" people in charge .. NEVER seriously consider what environmental triggers might cause autism.

All one has to do .. duh .. is FOLLOW THE MONEY.

There are as many corporate lobbyists in the SWAMP .. Washington, DC .. who are nothing more than "pro-global warming scaremongers" .. seeking and being awarded BILLIONS of federal dollars every year ... researching and producing solar and wind energy sources .. many of which have lost BILLIONS of dollars without any return for the monies invested in them .. being opposed by a well-entrenched .. well funded .. industries that produce .. "oil, gas and coal".

The Wash D.C. SWAMP .. profits handsomely when TWO powerful lobby groups in opposition of each other .. grovel for access to the public money trough .. by throwing money at them all year long.

Unfortunately .. there is NO well-funded lobby throwing money at the SWAMP creatures that would cause them to demand answers to what has CAUSED THE AUTISM EPIDEMIC. NONE.

In fact, the SWAMP creatures (CDC, HHS, FDA, elected reps, academic, scientists, etc) stand ready to devour the professional reputations and careers .. (Dr Wakefield) .. of ANYONE who dares threaten the lucrative rewards that rely upon autism's cause remaining a MYSTERY.

As I said ... FOLLOW THE MONEY .. it is the ONLY thing the SWAMP cares about.

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