Vomit By Kim Stagliano

Studies raise questions about increase in autism cases

I am nauseous reading this article.  I have three daughters with autism. No epidemic? Just a genetic blip that happened to hit us? You couldn't miss us from 5 paces. Strangers on the street whisper, "Do they have autism?" They know. The lack of speech. The gorgeous eyes turned away. The lack of sociability.

On Saturday night we took the family to a local restaurant. We had to wait in line for a bit. Two families came in behind us with girls who couldn't have been more than three years old. Within seconds, the girls were trading dolls and chatting amiably. One said, "Can you eat with us?" And they looked at my three girls with funny faces. They could tell within seconds my girls are different. And it freaking broke my heart. Damn. Now I'm crying and about to puke.

Read the article here.  Here's an excerpt from our friend Nancy Minshew.

Nancy Minshew (Read about her HERE) the director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Excellence in Autism Research, said last week, "I used to think there were more cases [than in past years], but I don't think so any more." She is now convinced that the higher numbers are "not an increase in the number of cases, but are an improvement in recognition."

The epidemic deniers are now at the highest echelons of the "autism experts."   Meanwhile, they rake in the money from the epidemic that doesn't exist.  Disgusting.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.



I have a habit of throwing things at the TV when the notion of better diagnosis comes up.
We lost precious early intervention time, with our pediatrician's nonchalant attitude, when our son stopped talking.
On the various parent to parent lists my husband and I field calls from, we routinely see the exact opposite of "better diagnosis". Parents struggle from expert to expert trying to figure out what is wrong with their kids. Many call exasperated from physicians who told them to "wait and see", others went through a revolving door of doctors to get a diagnosis. One child ignored by physicians was diagnosed by a daycare worker! Many parents are dismissed as neurotic.
Better diagnosis is a myth but more so an insult to teachers and professionals in decades past. Who could miss a 1st grader not talking.
And we are accused of entertaining junk science???
Never in the history of time has their been a genetic epidemic.


Hello Kim,

As a parent of a Child with Autism I understand the feeling of guilt when our children act as they do when they cannot help it at a restaurant. We tend to go to our favorite restaurant at least one or twice a month with our child and we never know how he will react/behave when there is a waiting line or backup to be seated. Sometimes our child will have no issues while others he wants to be seated immediately. Its not fair. It is just not fair. The stares and looks from these other parents make a grown person want to scream back and say "This is just one flavor of Autism, tell me how many scoops you would like" because they have no idea what our lives are like. In the future I am hoping that all U.S Restaurants will make a line for NT customers and then a line for ASD customers. Although this sounds great, it will never happen. I can only pray that things will get better. No parent of a child with Autism will ever get the respect they so truly deserve. The reason a child with cancer touches so many people is because these children have the ability to show more than love and emotions. Put a dying child with Autism and cancer in the same room with a NT child with cancer and you will clearly see and feel exactly what I am talking about. I truly believe that in this world there is no tolerance for a screaming child with or without Autism in a restaurant. God Bless us all.

Barbie Hines


We have had these experiences many times...and it just never gets easier...and then we have the idiots who want to remain politically correct and try to convince the public that better diagnosis is simply the answer...overly emotional parents? You bet!

My husband and I have asked every teacher and therapist we have encountered in the past four years, "Do you see more children on the spectrum now than say 10 years ago?" Every single person has answered, "It's unbelieveable." One therapy center recently told us that 15 years ago they had a handful of children with ASD. Today, ASD is 85% of their business. And they aren't talking about kids who are quirky. They are talking about nonverbal, barely verbal, stimming, unregulated children. We have searched and searched for a 'special' school for our son...and we are constantly reminded by educational advocates and consultants, "Mr. & Mrs. Hines, what you want just doesn't exist. We never had this problem before, so the appropriate schools just do not exist yet."

Hang in there...your girls are beautiful and amazing!

Theresa Cedillo

Oh Kim - now I want to cry. We've experienced it as well with Michelle, but mostly from adults. It strikes you right in the heart, especially when the looks are mean and completely lacking in sympathy.

We are in the midst of such an obvious autism explosion that it's incredible an educted person would venture to say anything different.

Speaking of shame, let me share with you my new favorite scripture - "God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. (1 Corinthians 1:27)"

I believe this truly says it all - and this battle we are fighting with the deniers, well I believe we are just gearing up.

Great docs!

I went to the article to pick up a quote but couldn't decide on which one to pick. You see, each one was better than the next. I decided I couldn't top that.

" "

Yes, that's my comment, I am speechless.


From the article

"Dr. Shattuck said other epidemiological studies have shown that the rate of severe autism has stayed steady at about one to two children per 1,000, so that the main part of the increase to an estimated six to seven children per 1,000 has come in the milder, higher-functioning forms of the disorder."

Interesting. Does anyone have links for these studies? Is that an undisputed fact that carries over in the new California "mercury is OK" paper?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)