The rate is up again, but there’s no need to worry. It’s just more of the “better diagnosing” that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been famous for, for the last twenty years.
Notice the piece below by Ari Ne’eman in which he is adamant: THERE IS NO EPIDEMIC. It’s all just better recognition of a disorder that’s always affected a significant number of people.
The only malfeasance here is society’s failure to something about all the autism plaguing adults. We’ve ignored them for far too long. It’s time to right that wrong and find the undiagnosed/misdiagnosed in the adult population, according to Ne’eman.
Good luck with that. They tried it in Britain in 2011. Using survey questions, researchers surmised that autism affects adults at the same rate as children. Finding middle aged adults who would rather stay home and read a book than go to a party was supposed to be equivalent to masses of hand—flapping, head—banging, non—verbal six-year-olds.
April 28, 2018, Vox: The CDC just announced 1 in 59 children are autistic. Here’s why that’s not evidence of an epidemic. By Ari Ne'eman
Especially within minority groups, parents and doctors are getting better at identifying the condition.
The Centers for Disease Control this week released the latest autism prevalence numbers, which suggest that approximately 1 in 59 children are autistic. …
There is no autism epidemic, however. The numbers are likely changing due to improved diagnosis and services, more inclusive diagnostic criteria and reduced stigma rather than a change in the actual number of autistic people. …
The idea that autism represents a recent and unprecedented phenomenon is an article of faith among those parents who continue to believe that autism is caused by vaccines, despite a wealth of scientific evidence debunking the idea. Just as science has debunked the vaccine causation hypothesis, it also casts strong doubt that any autism “epidemic” exists.
Grasping that the numbers represent better identification of a population that has always existed should lead to important policy shifts. Rather than searching for the cause of a non-existent surge in the condition, we can focus on the needs of autistic people as a population long misidentified, or not identified at all….
And if the rate of autism has long been stable, policymakers and funders should rethink the public response to autism. If rates are increasing, it follows that there are fewer autistic adults, relative to autistic children; if rates are not increasing, then adults are underdiagnosed. It’s the latter that’s likely to be true. Yet only about 2 percent of autism research funding goes towards the needs of adults.
This pretense goes on because it has to. Our health officials have to maintain the myth that nothing is different in kids today. The alternative is a massive cover-up of man-made damage affecting now an entire generation of children and making inroads on a second one.
PBS, a trusted media source, is in agreement.
April 27, 2018, PBS: The autism rate is on the rise, CDC says. Here’s what that actually means
This finding indicates the prevalence of autism is slightly higher than previously thought, but does it mean autism is becoming more common? Here is what you need to know….
The new rate, in context: The latest figure from the network represents a small — less than a quarter of a percentage point — increase compared to the autism rate released in 2016 (one in 68). CDC officials partially attribute this rise to improved surveillance and diagnosis in minority communities.
Socioeconomic factors into whether or not a child will receive access to autism screening, and prior research has found white and Asian children are more likely to be diagnosed than black and Hispanic kids. In 2012, the ADDM survey detected 20 percent more cases of autism in white versus black children. Compared to Latino children, the gap was even larger, at 50 percent….
But if it’s the case that the rate grew only because of better diagnosis, that would mean that autism spectrum disorder isn’t becoming more common among American children. Doctors are just better at spotting it.
PBS predicts that probably every state has New Jersey’s rate.
Why it matters: There is huge room for improvement when it comes to diagnosing autism. Based on the latest survey, doctors had noted developmental concerns early on with 85 percent of the children with autism, typically by age 3. But physicians only referred them for specialized evaluation 42 percent of the time. The autism rate also varied dramatically by region, with New Jersey reporting a prevalence that is twice what is found in Arkansas.
Until screening becomes level across the nation, it will be difficult to fully determine the degree to which regional, environmental and socioeconomic factors contribute to autism. …
Even in New Jersey, where it’s one in every 34 children, one in every 22 boys, there is denial.
NJ expert Dr. Walter Zaharodny who worked on the state numbers can be found saying the increase is real and not real.
IT’S A REAL INCREASE:
April 26, 2018, NJ.com: Autism rates continue to skyrocket, N.J. leads nation in latest study
Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School who led New Jersey's portion of the study, said even though New Jersey may be more aggressive in diagnosing autism, he doesn't believe that alone can explain the rising trend.
Autism in New Jersey has climbed roughly 200 percent since 2000, Zahorodny noted, adding that he believes that increase is far too dramatic to attribute solely to better diagnostic techniques, especially since rates are going up across the country.
"That's similar to what they find in all other states ... It all points to some factor that is causing autism rates to increase," Zahorodny said, adding that he believes it must be due to some "unknown, environmental factors."
IT’S NOT A REAL INCREASE:
April 27, 2018, New Jersey Patch: Big Jump In NJ's Autism Rates: Now Among Highest In America
Researchers caution that high rates don't necessarily mean more children with autism live in New Jersey. Instead, the data could mean that children with autism are more likely to be diagnosed if they live here, but there's not enough information to know for sure.
"Other states could be underestimating the rate of autism," Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the lead investigator on the study, said.
Google News does have sources speculating that the increase is real, like Thomas Frazier, chief science officer for Autism Speaks, who points to older parents and saving preemies who used to die as the cause of the increase.
The rest of the media is losing no time telling us that all is well and diagnosing is getting even better. That must mean that no matter how bad the numbers eventually get, officials will never be worried.
April 28, 2018, St. Louis (MO) Post Dispatch: Autism on the rise again: 1 in 59 children in St. Louis is diagnosed by age 8
Doctors said the recent rise in the autism rate reflected continued improvements in identifying the disorder, particularly among black and Hispanic children. The CDC campaign “Learn the Signs, Act Early,” which launched in 2004, could also be a factor.
“There’s no such thing as an autism number, there’s no test that you run, so this is clinicians’ applying their judgment to who is impaired by this condition,” said Dr. John Constantino of Washington University, one of the authors of the CDC report.
Constantino said that when today’s definition of autism is applied to populations of children studied in the 1960s, the true rate of the disorder is virtually unchanged.
“It’s just that we were either missing it and not aware of it, or not diagnosing it, or for many cases diagnosing it as intellectual disability,” he said.
April 28, 2018, Georgia Sun: CDC: 1 in 59 children are on the autism spectrum
…Some of the change in prevalence could be due to improved identification of autism in minority populations, the CDC said.
… “The higher number of black and Hispanic children now being identified with autism could be due to more effective outreach in minority communities and increased efforts to have all children screened for autism so they can get the services they need.” …
“We have seen non-white children get diagnosed at much lower frequency,’’ said Chris Gunter, associate professor of pediatrics and human genetics at Emory School of Medicine and director of communications operations at Marcus Autism Center. So the new data show that “kids who need services are getting them more often,’’ she said….
“There’s not an epidemic of autism,’’ she said. “Autism is not spreading. We’re still grappling with the changes in diagnostic criteria in the last decade, as well as seeing how kids change over time.”
April 28, 2018, Coeur D’Alene (ID) Press: A blueprint for the future: Columbia holds first ever Autism Speaks Walk
The increase could be due to better identification in minority populations, according to the report, although these populations have fewer diagnoses compared to white populations.
April 29, 2018, Atlanta Black Star: More Kids Are Being Diagnosed with Autism as Testing Increases In Minority Children
The government estimates that autism is becoming more common, but it’s only a small increase and some experts think it can be largely explained by better diagnosing of minority children. …
That increased recognition in minority kids is likely a big reason for the overall increase, CDC researchers said.
April 29, 2018, Fox News, Springfield, IL: Increase in Autism diagnosis causes concern for parents
…There's some debate whether more children actually have autism, or if the numbers have increased because we are now able to better detect it. …
April 30, 2018, Newburgh (IL) Gazette: Autism prevalence increases: 1 in 59 United States children Newburgh Gazette
…The government estimates that autism is becoming more common, but it's only a small increase and some experts think it can be largely explained by better diagnosing of minority children. …
That number is significantly higher in Minnesota, where one in 42 children has autism. …
April 30, 2018, Press of Atlantic City: As autism's prevalence rises, understanding its symptoms is key
Nina Radcliff, MD:…Researchers attribute most of this increase to changes in how the prevalence is measured, increased awareness of the condition and shifts in the criteria for diagnosing autism.
All those in denial have to be very scared. The day is fast approaching when the children with full-blown autism will be adults. How will society react to this high—need population that simply isn’t here now at any level similar to what’s coming? I can’t imagine. We’ve pretended that autism is just a difference in people that we weren’t really aware of previously for so long, I’m sure reality will hit right between the eyes.