By Anne Dachel
Huffington Post is running two major autism stories today. Plesae comment on both over at HuffPo, links are below.
First is David Kirby's article "Tidal Wave" of Young Adults with Autism about to Flood Cash-strapped California" (HERE) about the looming generation of adults with autism and it points to the undeniable truth...
A once rare disorder has impacted hundreds of thousands of our children who are rapidly reaching adulthood. As adults, they will be dependent on the U.S. taxpayers for their support and care. For years, as the autism numbers exploded, our federal health agencies pretended that nothing was wrong. Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics congratulated doctors for "better diagnosing" to account for the children everywhere with autism. No matter how bad the numbers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has adamantly refused to admit that there has been any real increase.
In the second piece, Cracking the Autism Riddle: Toxic Chemicals, a Serious Suspect in the Autism Outbreak, (CLICK HERE TO COMMENT AT HUFFPO) assistant professor of pediatrics, UCLA, Dr. Harvey Karp, here billed as, "America's most read pediatrician," makes a stunning break from the official denials. Karp publicly admits that there has been a "WORLDWIDE RISE IN AUTISM."
This has got to be sending shock waves through the medical community. Karp is a regular speaker at AAP events around the U.S. and I have to wonder what their reaction is going to be. If "America's most read pediatrician" admits a real increase, the pretense about autism being a solely genetic disorder, can't be true. Lots of people in high places have gone on the record holding fast to the claim that we've always had so many autistic kids everywhere, we just didn't call it autism.
When the CDC finally got around to releasing the update on the autism rate to one in every 150 children/one in every 94 boys in Feb. 2007 (based on outdated study numbers from 2000 and 2002), they did so still denying any real increase.
Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, chief of the CDC's developmental-disabilities program at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities said at the time that the increase in the rate from one in 166 to one in 150 didn't really mean 'the rates of autism have gone up, just that now we have some more definitive data.'
Former head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, agreed that autism isn't more common, it's just that 'our estimates are becoming better and more consistent.'
Dr. Paul Offit, America's most often cited expert on the autism-vaccine controversy explained that the increase in autism is due to the fact that 'people that we once called quirky or geeky or nerdy are now called autistic.'
In the New York Times article, Study Puts Rate of Autism at 1 in 150 U.S. Children, Dr. Fred R. Volkmar, from Yale University School of Medicine was quoted as saying, 'It appears that the rates are unchanged over the past 20 years or so.'
On Larry King Live, Dr. Max Wiznitzer recently attributed any supposed increase in autism to a "loosening of the diagnostic criteria."
All those in the know seemed solidly behind the no real increase mantra. Now to suddenly have Karp acknowledge that more children are autistic means that there must be an environmental trigger. This is a major happening. Karp is pointing to endocrine disrupting chemicals (HERE) (EDCs) as the culprits causing so many kids to be autistic. Karp wrote on Huffington, "In recent years, research has mounted against a virtual police lineup of EDCs, like BPA (in food cans, hard plastic water bottles), phthlates (in soft plastics, cosmetics) and fire retardants (in sofas, computers, flame-resistant clothing). "
It seems all the toxins in the environment are possibly at fault here---except of course the poisons regularly injected into babies and small children in their mandated vaccination schedule. Teflon, plastics, and formaldehyde should be worrying everyone, not the mercury and aluminum in vaccines.
Maybe the real story here is that health experts realize that David Kirby's article is a wake-up call. They can't continue to ignore the explosion in autism. "Better diagnosing" simply won't work when these young adults are lined up at every Social Security Office in the country applying for benefits when they turn eighteen. Actually, the people who watched autism become an epidemic and said nothing are going to have a lot of explaining to do.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.