Autism Action Network Avonte Found: Call for Independent Investigations
New Disclosures on Vaccine Safety Data Link

Dachel Media Review: False "Undiagnosis" To Mimic Drop?

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.

Jan 23, 2014, Worcester (MA) Telegram: Autistic students affecting Worcester school budget

Jan 23, 2014, Forbes: Big Data Crushes Anti-Vaccination Movement

Jan 23, 2014, New Diagnosis Rules Could Lead to Drop in Autism Numbers

Jan 23, 2014, Fox News: Number of kids with autism may drop under new criteria

Worcester (MA) Telegram 

The enrollment of an unexpected number of autistic students means Worcester public schools will spend $1.2 million more than anticipated on providing services to those students.

The money will come from the almost $1.26 million the district received from the state when 143 students returned to the district from the Spirit of Knowledge Charter School, which closed in October.

The number of students with autism "jumped dramatically over the past five months," School Committee member Jack L. Foley told his colleagues Thursday night. Mr. Foley is chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance and Operations. .

Notice that the headline is all about autism and the budget, but the story doesn't really sound concerned about it. It's just one item.

143 autistic students will cost $1.2 million. That's about $8,000 each.


For years it's been relatively easy to ignite medical controversy with emotional (but often anecdotal) evidence. TV is a popular format for doing just that. It's quick, colorful and dramatic (and increasingly in high-def and big-screen). Add a well known celebrity (or two) and the effects can be powerful, long term and hard to refute.

Much of that power, however, is changing and will continue to change with large datasets that are freely available online - or soon will be. When we talk about the science of "Big Data" as a new discipline, it's often the datasets that we're referencing - and the visualization of those datasets can be equally powerful and dramatic. As a single example, I wrote about the release of one such dataset on hospital pricing released last year by the Government.

On Monday, Aaron Carroll (over at the Incidental Economist) highlighted another chart that was based on a dataset recently published by the Council On Foreign Relations. The chart shows "vaccine preventable outbreaks" around the world from 2006 to present day.

"Big Data"? The map of disease outbreak? What does that prove? I posted a number of comments.

The study estimates that if the new diagnostic guidelines had been in place in 2008, they would have lowered the prevalence of the disorder in a nationally representative database to one in 100 children.

The most recent estimate of autism prevalence from this database, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is one in 88 children with the diagnosis.

Researchers say it's hard to tell how quickly the new guidelines will be put into practice. But some fear this change to how the condition is diagnosed may mask true increases in the number of children who develop symptoms that have been consistent with the disorder.

"The trend in the incidence of autism spectrum disorders has been one of pretty steady increases. Whether the switch to DSM-5 would offset that yearly increase remains to be seen," said study author Matthew Maenner, an epidemiologist with the CDC.

But advocates for children with autism say the ramifications of the new guidelines go beyond research. They say they're starting to see signs that children are being reclassified under the new criteria and that some may be losing access to needed services as a result. . . .

Researchers caution that it's still not clear how the changes will play out in the real world. Doctors, for example, could change how they look for symptoms to better fit the new criteria. It's also possible that kids who don't qualify for an autism diagnosis could receive a new designation -- something called social communication disorder.

The latter is what seems to be happening, said Michael Rosanoff, associate director of public health research at Autism Speaks, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Autism Speaks is surveying parents to find out how the changes are affecting their children. Though the results are still early, and it's not a scientifically rigorous sample, he said they are seeing indications that children are being reclassified using the new criteria.

"What we've seen from the first 600 persons participating in the survey, is that there is a percentage of individuals being asked to be re-evaluated by school districts or insurers using DSM-5 criteria," he said.

Insurers and school districts are asking to have certain children re-evaluated. Not a surprise.

Fox News

The findings show that 81 percent of children in the study diagnosed with autism under the old criteria would still be classified as having the condition under the new criteria, which were released last year in the new edition of the psychiatric handbook called the DSM-5. . . .

The new findings should be reassuring to parents, said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, who was not involved in the study.

"The overwhelming majority of children" who met the old criteria will continue to meet the new ones, Adesman told LiveScience. . . . The new study reviewed information from 8-year-olds living in 14 areas of the United States in 2006 and 2008. The estimated prevalence of autism in 2008 under the old criteria was 11.3 cases per 1,000 people in the population, but under the new criteria, the prevalence dropped to 10 cases per 1,000 people, the study found. . . .

Still on the rise

Diagnoses of autism have risen in recent years a trend not likely to be reversed by the adoption of new criteria, the researchers said.

Maenner noted that most of the children in the study who met the old criteria for autism, but failed to meet DSM-5 criteria, were off by only one symptom. (They had four symptoms instead of the necessary five.)

Many doctors are aware that a diagnosis of autism will qualify children for services, and it's possible that some doctors could be motivated to add more symptoms for children who are very close to meeting the diagnosis, Maenner said.

Because of the change in criteria, it will be challenging to compare newer estimates of autism prevalence to older ones, Maenner said. The new study "is a step we can take to begin to understand how to put those numbers in context," Maenner said.

So ... the good news is that 80 percent of autistic kids will keep their diagnosis..........too bad if your child is among the 20 percent who won't.

Is that guaranteed? Can 80 percent of parents count on that?

"Because of the change in criteria, it will be challenging to compare newer estimates of autism prevalence to older ones."

And maybe that was the whole purpose of the change anyway.

No place here for comments.


david m burd

Truthseeker2: The gigantic propaganda lie citing 35,000 annual U.S. flu deaths has persisted via such as wikipedia, a source NEVER to be trusted on any matter - no doubt their medical fear-mongering lies fed by the pharma industry. As your Huff ref pointed out, the real number of actual annual flu-caused deaths in the U.S. is way under a thousand, and Canada less than a 1/10 of the U.S., actual sources being the CDC and Canada'a equivalent agency.


Michael Brady Hey -- liar

See what the CDC says.

It was not hard to find:

And it says:

"Developmental Disabilities Increasing in US
This increase indicates a serious health problem. Future research should focus on understanding risk factors, changes in acceptance and awareness of conditions, and benefits of early intervention services."

And it continues and mentions something about 1 out of 6.

Jeannette Bishop

Re: muddying the waters, it's almost as if they are hedging against possibility of a rather distinct jump above whatever the autism rate has been in recent years in infants born circa 2010 who should be getting a diagnosis about now (as we're so much better at recognizing autism earlier) likely due to the prenatal "swine flu" vaccine push in 2009 on top of the "regular" flu vaccine...


Change the diagnostic criteria and this lowers the number of people diagnosed with autism. Then they will be shouting from the streets about autism rates going down. This is a trick to get people to look the other way by feeling reassured that autism is going away. This will not work because the financial repercussions of autism is being felt everywhere. You would pee your pants if you knew how much medicaid is paying to treat one severely autistic child and will continue to pay for a lifetime for thousands like him. And it's not $8,000 unless they are talking about that much per day. They make like $15 in profit from the MMR vaccine. I bet the vaccine pushers are no longer going to be the governments best friend when they do that math.


And how will epilepsy come into play with communication disorders?

How will tics play in with communication disorder.

This took 'em a while - I dare say to figure it all out, but how ever they did it was mostly the PDD-NOS that will be excluded and not so much the aspergers.

So that gets autism to seem really cool for those outside looking in -- they are a bunch of brain men that can learn really hard languages in a week.


Time to start including in with Generation Rescue, National Autism, Age of Autism -- communication disorders.

I bet my PDD-NOS or is he aspergers, nope PDD-NOS is just communication disorder. However, there it that anxeity and he just wants to go to work (yes he has a job) and home again with no social life.

I am curious how that will blend in with just an communication disorder?


The following is a very interesting article on Flu deaths. I did not know that pneumonia from any cause could be noted as flu death.


How about we change the diagnostic criteria back to what it was in 1980, and see if the incidence returns to 1 in 10,000.

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