Media Downplays Autism Rate Again
HuffPo Revisited: What if Autism Were Contagious?

More Junk Autism Data From The British Government

image from www.nhs.ukBy John Stone

In my letter to the British government's leading medical adviser, Dame Sally Davies, published in these columns two days ago I commented:

"When the DHSC last surveyed this problem in 2004-5 the overall ASD rate among school children was ~1% which was 5 times higher than the rate for those young people born between 1984-8 mostly before MMR was introduced, as reported in the equivalent 1999 survey. Since then your department has neglected to look at the issue (apart from a couple of failed adult autism surveys) as everything manifestly got worse, year on year."

By a strange coincidence the government published its first survey of child and adolescent mental health (including autism) in 13 years the day after my letter to Davies was dispatched, placing the overall prevalence of autism in English schools at 1.2%, completely out of line with the situation engulfing our schools. My criticisms of the new data have now been published in British Medical Journal Rapid Responses:-

Scepticism regarding the NHS survey 'Mental Health of Children and Young People, 2017' and ASD/PDD

I note the recent comment of Prof Philip Graham in Guardian letters [1] regarding the publication of these figures:

" In addition, the rate of autism spectrum disorder was stable between 2004 and 2017, providing no support for the commonly held view that rates of this disorder are rising."

I doubt even using the figures for the 2017 survey [2] against the 2004 survey [3] that Prof Graham is justified since the overall figure for 2004 is 0.9% and the figure for 2017 is 1.2% and my rudimentary maths makes this an un-negligible 33% rise, while the the level for boys was 250% higher between the 17-19 year-olds and the 5-10 year-olds (1% against 2.5%). I also note that these figures are discrepant from the 2004 survey. For instance the 2017 survey measures the level of autism for boys in the 17 to 19 group at 1% when it was 1.9% 5-10 years in 2004, and this suggests inconsistency. In fact, the survey admits [4]:

"ASD was not associated with age. Rates appeared higher in younger age groups than
older ones (1.5% of 5 to 10 year olds; 1.2% of 11 to 16 year olds; 0.5% of 17 to 19
year olds). However, due to the small number of cases identified in the sample, the
survey was underpowered to detect variation."

These projections for England really need to be contrasted with the hard data in the recent Northern Ireland School Census based survey [5] which showed that prevalence in schools had risen from 1.2% in 2008-9 to 2.9% in 2017-18, and which is much more likely to represent conditions across the UK, where daily we hear reports of services under pressure and new schools having to be built - while also being out of line with official education figures [6].

It is doubtful whether these figures for England present either a true assessment of a well-nigh catastrophic situation, or the basis on which to conduct future policy.

[1] Guardian Letters 25 November 2018,

[2] 'Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 Autism spectrum, eating and other less common disorders' Fig1 p.10

[3] National Statistic 'Mental Health of Children and Young People in Great Britain, 2004' Table 4.1 p.35

[4] Op.cit p.11

[5] Information Analysis Directorate 'The Prevalence of Autism (including Asperger Syndrome) in School Age Children in Northern Ireland 2018', published 10 May 2018,

[6] Responses to Viner RM, 'NHS must prioritise health of children and young people',


Raymond Gallup

Excellent letter to BMJ, John.

Susan Welch

John, I was so pleased to read the excellent BMJ response from Noel Thomas.

Susan Welch

Excellent letter to BMJ, John, as always.

I liked J K Arnand's (not sure if I spelt that right) response to it.

I wonder if it will prod any of the 'Powers that Be' to write a response. I doubt it, though, because they know how thoroughly you research and that don't have a 'leg to stand on' - both with the statistics and with the science. do.

So grateful for all you

John Stone

Science is Pure

Yes, it is an astonishing admission about the thinness of their data - Dickens’s Circumlocution Office is back in action “HOW NOT TO DO IT!”. If you don’t want to find anything start with a weak data source. It’s the Northern Ireland Office which shows it all up: if you really want to know what’s going on why not collect all the data in the first place...same nonsense with the CDC.

Science is pure.  People are corrupt.

'It should be noted that due to the low prevalence of these disorders and the relatively few cases identified in the sample, some of the prevalence estimates and profiling are subject to uncertainty.'

Very little information is provided on confidence intervals across the data; in fact this would serve as a good example for schoolchildren on how not to present statistics.

Jenny Allan

Daf - Thanks for your response. This mumps at uni business needs to be publicised more. I will probably get 'stoned' for saying this here, but the answer for teenagers, reluctant to have MMR vaccinations, would be the choice of single vaccines for both mumps and measles. My youngest grandson got one of the last licensed single mumps jabs in the UK around a decade ago. His mum is very worried about him contracting mumps now he is at college.

I don't think she has anything to worry about. You have stated neither you nor your son contracted mumps as children. Me neither, nor did either of my daughters, too old for MMR. In around a third of cases mumps is so mild it goes undetected. Unlike the vaccines, contracting the 'wild' diseases confers life long immunity.


Jenny Allan, that is interesting because I also know of two cases of our friends children with Mumps at university and they were both vaccinated, given an MMR booster at University. One mother a nurse, when I questioned her about the sense of having the vaccination for her son, and then him contracting mumps, said: ' He would have had it worse, had he not had the vaccine". How does that make sense, my unvaccinated son, visited him during the incubation period......unvaccinated and didn't get Mumps. I have never had mumps either, even after sitting in a car beside someone with it for 6 hours going to Cornwall as a those days they tried to give the children all the childhood diseases, to build up our immune systems, so that they know how to ward off auto immune diseases and cancers. Mothers knew best, now mothers aren't allowed to think for themselves. That's the herd, don't become part of it.Magda Taylor, thanks for all you do in raising awareness. I took my son and his fiancé to see a screening of VaXxed, a very important report from parents about their children who were developing beautifully, until vaccination, they can tell you the day development changed. Why does the Government not support it's voters and admit what is going on ?

Hans Litten

There are lies, damned lies and then there is the British Government.

The Rate is 10% or greater.

Angus Files

No coincidence John your own hard work to tell the truth has them scrambling to get their scandalous marked down figures out.

Well done.

Pharma For Prison


Jenny Allan

I think there's a 'Shakespearian' limit to what members of the public are prepared to believe these days. 'Protesting too much' hath the opposite effect.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with so called 'statistics' and 'projections' -always coming from 'experts' of course and based on 'science'. The latest dire projections on 'Brexit' coming from no less than Bank of England expert Mark Carney, state the UK economy will nosedive. But wait a minute. Didn't this same man make the same dire forecasts for the UK economy if the referendum result took us out of Europe? In reality the economy has flourished and the jobless total has declined. The Daily Mail wrote a scathing editorial about Carney's predictions. Maybe someone should lend the man a crystal ball.

It's worse with autism. We have had the entire gambit of elderly mothers & fathers, poor nurturing, air pollution, parents who smoke etc etc. Now we are told autism is just another facet of neurological 'diversity'. The only things which we are told do NOT cause autism are vaccines, with or without mercury.

So the 'latest' UK official autism stats puts "the overall prevalence of autism in English schools at 1.2%." I am quite sure this would be disputed by every state school teacher, every pupil in a state school, and every nurse and doctor in our struggling NHS. I have left out private schools, since most are not obliged to admit children with special needs, and I suspect dedicated schools for special needs children, and 'institutions' for autistic minors, including 'difficult' teenagers, have been left out of this equation. There are very few autistic children in mainstream school classes and these will all be high functioning.

Teenagers have been targeted for another dose of MMR vaccine in the UK. As usual Dr Wakefield gets blamed for them being unvaccinated in infancy. This is rubbish. Most UK teenagers have received at least one MMR dose, initially stated to protect for a lifetime. The hidden agenda? In a word MUMPS. It is now admitted the Jeryl Lynne mumps MMR component wears off, just when it is most needed, since young adults can be rendered sterile by Mumps. My eldest grandson said five of his University 'mates' got mumps and were warned they could be sterile as a result.

As for the MMR targeted UK 'teenagers'. They are refusing in droves. This is propaganda versus reality, and reality is WINNING.

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