Don't Call Me an Anti-Vaxxer!
A Mother’s Day Thank You From Cathy Jameson of Age of Autism

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Epidemic? THIS Epidemic

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

Hey check it out, fellow innumerants, those who are naive enough to believe that the autism rate has actually gone up, a lot, and it is not just an artifact, as they say, of better diagnosing, better awareness, better do what Paul Offit says, etcetera.

This new study looks at the change between 1990 or so and 2010 in cerebral palsy, hearing loss, intellectual disability (including autism) and vision impairment. As you can see, nothing went up much but autism, which went way, way up -- 9.3 percent a year for a total 269 percent increase. (That's Buffett-level compounding!) Let's see, if something goes up 100 percent, that means it doubles. Two hundred percent, it triples. Two hundred and sixty nine percent, it more than triples and a half -- and that's just since 1996. The CDC can never bring itself to look back into ancient history, say 1980.

Even so, the increase is from 4.2 per 1,000 children to 15.5 per 1,000. Now let's see, that would be about 1.6 per 100, or 1 in 62.5 kids. Which is even worse than the 1 in 68 the CDC keeps talking about.

As my colleague Mark Blaxill, who really does understand math and chart-like things, put it: "This plots autism rates against some other disabilities. Uses 8 year olds and the year on the axis is birth year plus 8. So the time series starts in 1988 for ASD. It’s a pretty dramatic picture." 

Diagnostic substitution is notably absent. Doctors still know what hearing loss is, and they diagnose it. Ditto for all the others. 

I always like to quote the late, great Bernie Rimland, who said, "The autism epidemic is real, and excessive vaccinations are the cause." Here we see the truth of the first part of that sentence. Of course, the last part remains verboten in polite company. But it's no wonder that folks like Offit have ventured into territory you'd think they'd have no interest in -- claiming the autism increase isn't real.

Because if it is real -- which it is -- the implications are hard to ignore. Even for innumerants like us.

Trends in the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Hearing Loss, Intellectual Disability, and Vision Impairment, Metropolitan Atlanta, 1991–2010

Age of Autism Rates Chart

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.


Jeannette Bishop

Pertinent testimony from a special education teacher:

Grace Green

Looking again at this study, I notice that these five conditions are described as Developmental disorders, although no explanation of how they are caused is offered. I had always thought that cerebral palsy was brain damage usually caused by oxygen deprivation at birth, which is quite different from an ongoing problem in development. This makes me wonder if 'Development disorder' is newspeak for 'brain injury'. Interestingly, I recognize the last name on the list of authors. Now where have I seen her name before?

For Adam

No, you can't rule anything out - including an invasion of autistic 8 year-olds from outer space - but there wasn't any particular reason for favouring your suggestion.


I'm not saying that diagnostic substitution (DS) accounts for all of the ASD increase. I'm saying that it cannot be ruled out. The author says "DS is notably absent" and later in the comments "no possibility of substitution." This is not true, and not supported by the data. The author is the one trying to make a claim that is completely unproven. Funny that instead of addressing this point he expresses disinterest.

Whether the curves cross is irrelevant. If there is a negative correlation between ID no ASD and ASD no ID, then DS cannot be ruled out. The study's authors state that it can't be ruled out and that it is very difficult to measure. This is pretty simple; it isn't rocket science.

At any rate, I will leave you all to your own devices. Best wishes.

Grace Green

Adam, I think you're making a mistake here. ID no ASD and ASD no ID may cross each other, but ASD overall shows a similar increase. Also, BritishMum's point is valid. Mothers and teachers are the people in the front line. You could argue that mothers are too subjective, but teachers are objective and have many years of experience. ASD and ID are completely different conditions, and people who have experience of children with one or the other can see the difference.

For Adam



I said diagnostic substitution may be a reasonable explanation, which is true. You said diagnostic substitution is absent. The data doesn't support that. The study's authors don't conclude that. Are you privy to data that they aren't?

For Adam


Now you are stretching a point to cover up your earlier errors. Time to back down gracefully?


"Forget about graphs and interpretation of statistics." No thanks. I prefer to rely on hard data rather than anecdotal evidence.

I am referring to the graph on page seven. The "ID no ASD" curve starts at 13 per 1,000 and decreases to 8.6 per 1,000. The "ASD no ID" starts at 1.6 and goes up to 8.6. So ID decreased by 4.4 and ASD increased by 7.

I agree, ASD is increasing, but the data does not prove that "diagnostic substitution is notably absent." At best, one could say that a portion of of the increase may not be due to diagnostic substitution. The authors themselves state:

"Whether and to what extent the identified ASD trend reflects improved identification or changes in the number and/or severity of population risk factors is of keen interest [33]. The contributions of these two possible explanations are complex, difficult to measure, and not easily separable given currently available data [4]."

British Mum

Dear Adam,
Forget about graphs and interpretations of statistics. Go out into the community and ask long-term experienced special needs teachers about the children thirty years ago compared to the children today. For some inexplicable reason the medical profession isn't listening either to the parents or the teachers - why not?

I used to recommend the official website of the State of California Department of Developmental Services which had been tracking the numbers of ASD diagnoses back into the 70s/80s. Significantly, they didn't count children under three years or people with the diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. One figure I remember is that of a 273% increase from 1987 to 1998. Perhaps someone could spare the time to check if it's still there or if information on that website has been tidied out of existence.

For Adam

The paper does not advance a substitution hypothesis and they would not be very competent if they could not clearly distinguish between the categories in the period in which they were being charted - even the wretched CDC couldn't hide it. The strongest upward trend is for ASD without ID (no possibility of substitution). If you look at the separate ID trend on the graph reproduced, it travels about a bit but it is actually higher at end of the period (2010) than at the beginning (1991).

Of course, your starting comment "The graph you show does not disentangle ASD and ID" is simply untrue. Funny that.


The graph you show does not disentangle ASD and ID - meaning a child diagnosed with both could be contributing to both curves. The second graph does (page 7), and it shows a clear DECREASE in the prevalence of ID without ASD, while there is a clear INCREASE in ASD without ID. I haven't run the stats, but qualitatively there doesn't appear to be a significant difference between the amount of increase in ASD and amount of decrease in ID. Hence, it appears that diagnostic substitution may be a reasonable explanation for the difference.

Jeannette Bishop

Re Hepatitis B vaccine @ birth,

Thomas Verstraeten, in an email obtained through FOIA, stated after running data various ways that "all the harm is done in the first month."

It certainly seems like that vaccine "recommendation" might be the worst (unless prenatal flu vaccine turns out to be good competition).

Dr. Eggertsen helpfully summarizes concerning Hep B research about the vaccine @ 2:47 - 5:27:

He also goes over the Verstraeten study @ 12:05.

I think Dr. Eggertsen was hoping to reach colleagues with this video and some of it is technical, but mostly straightforward for a layperson I believe, and very current, so it could be a good recommendation for anyone wanting information about vaccine concerns generally and willing to spend about an hour.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Gatogorra- Which state do you live in and does that state allow flu vaccines with mercury for pregnant women and babies?

Peter Miles

Jeannette Bishop

In Ontario Canada, our son got Hep B in 1991 within a couple of hours of birth. Although we didn't know it at the time his reactions after birth, which the nurses and doctors did not seem concerned about, were characteristic of vaccine injury - stiffness, trying to hold his arms and legs in tight to his body, and an inability to nurse properly. In 1992 the vaccine schedule changed and Hep B was scheduled for 2 months and NOT BEFORE 6 weeks. The schedule has been changed again and now it is only recommended for infants if there is an identified Hep B risk. Of course, these changes are not documented anywhere on-line and there are no reasons given for the changes. Its only because of looking into this frequently over the years that I am able to relate this. Incidentally, we are aware of three other boys with autism born in 1991 in the little community hospital where we lived which recorded only just over 200 births for that year (1 in 50 rate). So further study into the Hep B vaccine would be very beneficial.


What Denise said - "Thank you, Dan, you are so good. Keep 'em comin'!"

Good points, Jeannette - like a frog being gradually brought to a boil indeed.

Jeannette Bishop


It seems like we're the proverbial boiling frog with the pharma+ exposures being slowly increased, and in a way that appears to come down harder on each younger generation, at least in terms of chronic health problems.

A discussion came up in a radio program recently where someone in the healthcare field said the 80-year-olds they treat are more healthy than the new 60-year-olds coming into their care. She said the 60-year-olds are closer to death and attributed it to the 80-years-olds mostly having had more time in life eating a better diet. I can't help also wondering if those 80-year-olds also missed many if not all vaccinations growing up, maybe had less chance of receiving high copper Hg dental amalgams, less fluoride exposure, probably didn't have flu shots before they were 60 if at all, etc.

Louis Conte

And yet, strangely, no media coverage...


Let me correct that -- I got another another DPT vaccine in the earlier mid 80s. And so did my husband at his work place. He reacted with a few hours at home with seizures, and later developed panic attacks.

This was before the birth of our son by a couple of years. We miscarried the year before his birth

He reacted very fast to all three of his DPT shots the first years with swollen heart - and the last one he was catatonic.

So I suspect it could be some of the 87 spike you are seeing is the result of vaccinating young adults in their child bearing years.


Jeannette Bishop;
Another thing to consider is they started giving adults not just a tetanus shot but a DPT shot starting in the very late 70s in just a few places and then the practice spread.

I am sure I got two of those in 78 and again in late 80s.

It does make a difference how the kids react to the DPT shot when the parents have been exposed to it even before they are conceived.

Denise Anderstrom Douglass

Thank you, Dan, you are so good. Keep 'em comin'!

Jeannette Bishop

Looking at ID and autism, if combined, it appears to me there could be upward trajectories at approx. birth years 1987, 1992, and throughout 1996-2000 with some leveling off in between.

Re Hib vaccination, the following suggests it was used in 15+ months initially (infants born about 1988 and 1987?), and in younger infants towards the end of 1990: (paragraph 4)

Hepatitis B was recommended in 1991. David Kirby reported that compliance with the starting-at-birth series rapidly increased in the mid 1990s to the late 1990s:

"But according to the CDC's National Immunization Survey, only 8% of infant children received the Hep B vaccine in 1992, when that birth cohort showed an ASD rate of 1-in-150.

"By 1994, the number of children receiving Hep B vaccine had reached just 27% -- and the cohort showed a similar ASD rate, though it did go up by as much as 10% in some locations between the two cohorts.

"But by 1996, Hep B coverage rate had risen to 82%. And that is the cohort whose ASD rate rose to around 100-per-10,000 or more."

Does the following report suggest that HepB at birth compliance generally dropped off for a few years (maybe after the joint announcement on thimerosal in 1999 which recommended delaying the birth dose and getting thimerosal out of the schedule--which doesn't seem to be mentioned in the following report for some reason--or maybe just from various general & observational concerns)?

"The findings reveal that, during January 2003--June 2005, before implementation of the 2005 ACIP hepatitis B vaccine recommendation, the national newborn hepatitis B vaccination coverage estimate was 42.8% at age 1 day and 50.1% at age 3 days, with substantial variation by states and local areas."

ADHD seems to have also increased in about the same time-frame:

Has anyone attempted to make a chart-like graph of ADHD rates by year? I can't help thinking that might be informative...mostly because of my not being able to find one..

And it would be nice to know what the epidemic has been doing the past decade plus, particularly during the years just prior to DSM-V recalibration.


I laughed at Chart-like things as well! Thanks for more confirmation of what many of us already know.


Chart-like things. I needed a laugh today. The rate in our kids' last school is 1 in 15 for the prenatal flu shot generation. The school does everything it can to ship the wounded out to institutional schools to hide them, otherwise people would wonder what's in the water. It would hurt real estate.

Laura Hayes

Thanks, Dan. Great article, and great graph.

Angus Files

They use the weakest form of testing epidemiology to prove a very important argument. Why not use science as Dr Wakefield et-al did or vaccinated v non vaccinated why indeed why?



What happens when you take - Oh some thing like intellectual disability and pick it a part a little bit and start counting parts of it differently?

Would that make intellectual disability go down and stay some what constant - as the other new thing rises?

Perhaps the true measurement would be to put them together and see how high the blue-and red lines really go. Yeah, let us see how high the purple line goes?

By the way mental illness is not on this graft Things like bipolar, schizo, mood disorders, ADD, ADHD, OCD, Tourettes, and ect - which are not under intellectual disability, is not plotted on this graft.

Looks like there has been a lot of manipulating the data for for a very long time.

Autism -- no one knew what it was -- well we do now. So now we all know - they are going to manipulate it again - let us tease apart autism into communication disorders.

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