Dachel Media Update: Mandates
Scotland's Mental Health Act

Best of AofA Scottish Autism Increase

Nicola Sturgeon

We ran this post last Spring.

By John Stone

Autism in Scottish schools rose from 820 cases in 1998 to 9,946 in 2013. We have to consider what it means in a civilised nation when you have to look after an autism rate of 1 in 30…Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, needs to stop being re-assured by the UK Department of Health in Westminster that they know what they are doing and everything is completely control. They don’t and it isn’t.

While the UK Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne contemplate how to trim billions from government spending they might like to bear in mind the projected cost to the British economy of autism, calculated a London School of Economics academic at an £34 billion ($54b) in 2013 and modestly downsized to £32b ($51b): this was up about 20 times from the greater than £1b figure calculated in 2001. But if as we shall see the basis of Prof Knapp’s calculations maybe erroneous we are hurtling to a situation where the costs will be even worse.  The problem is dramatically highlighted by the numbers of Autism Spectrum Disorder cases recorded in Scottish schools from 1998 to 2013 (it is worth concentrating on Scotland because the figures go back further and are more comprehensive than for England): in Scotland the figures rose from 820 cases in 1998 to 9,946 in 2013: allowing for the change in overall numbers this was 1 in 925 in 1998 and 1 in 68 in 2013. However, this in itself disguises the fact that the 2013 figure combines a lower rate in older students with a much higher rate in younger students: the present rate for children entering the system in the last five years will much higher than 1 in 68, and is perhaps conservatively in the region of 1 in 30 (data supplied by the Scottish Executive).


Total number of pupils

Number of pupils with an ASD

















































 The Buescher study in JAMA  , co-authored by Prof Knapp last year, projected 604,824 ASD cases in the total UK population - of which 491,243 were said to be adults -  while the Department of Works and Pensions only knew of approximately 130,000 cases  (which includes children): they conjecture that a further 300,000 cases of learning difficulty may include ASD cases but presumably this is the ever elusive hidden hoard. The National Statistics survey which projected a 1% figure for adults in England - having used inappropriate means - had in reality failed to detect a single authentic case, and was further involved in fraudulent re-labelling . However, if the Buescher study greatly over-estimated the present number of adult cases in the UK it seems to have grossly under-calculated its per capita costs.  The study gives the lifetime cost of a person with autism and intellectual disability (ID) as £1.5m ($2.2). Not only is this absurdly low (even in 2001 Prof Knapp projected an average lifetime cost  -with or without ID - at £2.4m ($3.8)) a calculation based on its costs in Table 2 gives a figure for autism and ID of £4,864,911 (about $7.8m), or more than three times greater.

We have to consider what it means in a civilised nation when you have to look after an autism rate of 1 in 30. For one thing Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, needs to stop being re-assured by the UK Department  of Health in Westminster that they know what they are doing and everything is completely control. They don’t and it isn’t.

(Added May 26)

The culture of the Department of Health has been defective going back far into the mists of time. Although it did not touch specifically on vaccines the House of Commons Select Health Committee report in 2005 'The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry' condemned the culture (p.3):

"The Department of Health has for too long optimistically assumed that the interests of health and of the industry are as one. This may reflect the fact that the Department
sponsors the industry as well as looking after health. The result is that the industry has been left to its own devices for too long. It may be relevant that this is the first major select committee inquiry into the pharmaceutical industry for almost one hundred years – the
last was undertaken by the Select Committee on Patent Medicines which reported in August 1914."

And there is much more: unfortunately it remains the case that if nothing had been done since 1914 nothing was done after 2005 either. The DH and its licensing agency the MHRA (paid for entirely by the industry) fail to act as anything but enablers for the industry and it is the public who reap the consequences. This is perhaps a much graver issue than whether you happen to live in England or Scotland.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.



Hi John

Head in the sand – yes - but Nicola Sturgeon is not alone.
I don’t like the sound of …. “Although such data can provide important information about drug utilization and safety once a medication is in use,”! Suck it and see? Then analyse data? [Having said that – isn’t that how psychiatry works?]
Rats and rabbits and monkeys are one thing, but in many cases it’s not until the human starts taking a drug, that the true effects are noted. And when the patient reports side effects, will the doctor believe him?
The 21st Century Cures Act sounds like a quick way to get new drugs on the market and see the money roll in a bit faster.

John Stone

Hi Seonaid

Well we had a picture of gutsy little Nicola but perhaps we would have done better to have one of an ostrich with its head in the sand.

Of course, the answer in the US is to throw even more money at pharma and accelerate the pace of human destruction.



These present figures are terrifying. If the rise continues at this rate, what will they be in 2025? The children grow up, and parents grow old. There will come a time when the cost of care for this huge section of society will financially cripple the country. Most parents of autistic children – and adults - have no time or energy to concern themselves about Scotland’s future care bills – they have too many other things to cope with. But politicians should be looking ahead and preparing themselves for the asteroid approaching. Perhaps concerns about present and future costs will eventually prompt them to explore tests, treatments and prevention?

John Stone


The High Priests are the health officials. Nicola is Pontius Pilate.

Angus Files

Technically,I think John the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can do their own thing, reject JCVI advice, make their own recommendations and, in theory, run their own tenders for vaccines. However, this has so far never happened and can be considered most unlikely under current arrangements In short, Scotland does not have an “independent” vaccination policy and shows no desire to change the status quo ..so far as I can see..The first written Early Gaelic law tracts, from the ninth century reveal a society highly concerned with kinship, status, honour and the regulation of blood feuds..They had it soo right then ..Our modern day Sadducaic High Priestess Nicola,will need to try and sort it out the maiming and killing cant go on world wide.


John Stone

Hi Angus

Unfortunately to date (and with quite a long history) Sturgeon and the SNP have been blind enactors of Whitehall policy on this. In the case of the JCVI a clause was added to UK legislation by default on April 1 2009 placing a responsibility on the Secretary of Health in the Westminster Parliament, which is probably in itself illegal, to act according to the advice of the JCVI. If it is binding in England and Wales it probably isn't in Scotland but of course out of laziness and cowardice politicians everywhere tend to wash their hands like Pontius Pilate, and leave if it to the Sadducaic High Priests.


Angus Files

Prior to the devoloution vote I read through “Scotland’s Future” – the SNP’s “plan” for an independent Scotland – there is no mention of vaccination and what Scotland would do in the event of a UK divorce. As it is now the JCVI advise Scotland and it seems this would be automatically “handed over”, to the SMC representatives who attend the JVCI invited in as “observers”, After all, when you divorce you divorce.

So, would Scotland have its own JCVI? Would responsibility for policy shift to the SMC?

Until the above is discussed and sorted out its pretty clear that the SNP may seek change in wide areas but so far as vaccination is concerned they are happy with what they have got and were in for the sameold, same old vaccine damage for years and years to come.

Paid SNP Party member since 1981.


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