Note: You'll need an extra large coffee if you sit down to read all of these stories about autism.
By Anne Dachel
The same people who gave us Vioxx and the opioid crisis continue to face allegations of a link between the mandated, ever-increasing vaccine schedule and the ever-increasing autism rate among children worldwide.
Vaccine makers, U.S. health officials and their faithful drudges in the media have steadfastly defended vaccines as safe for every child. They’ve fabricated years of science showing no connection between vaccines and autism.
Most critical to the vaccine promoters is idea of autism as a genetic condition that’s always been around, unrecognized as a specific developmental disorder. Every time the autism rate takes another lunge forward, there is without exception some public health officials to be quoted saying that they are not sure if THIS rate represents a true increase in autism (from the previous increase). The crafty spin from the media is invariably the same: THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AUTISM RATE.
FOR YEARS, going back to 2006, I’ve written about THE REALLY BIG LIE ABOUT AUTISM: THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY INCREASE IN AUTISM.
And it’s never going to go away because it can’t.
This is the scenario that has played out for years. The public has been told endlessly that there will never be an increase that we’ll have to worry about. Having more kids with autism is simply an expanded definition, better diagnosing and greater awareness.
The problem with this mindset is that we’re talking about disabled children who qualify for special help in school, and if the school can’t provide these services, they have to be bused to a school that can at a huge cost to the child’s home district. Growing numbers of children with severe autism have led to whole new schools being built to address their needs because mainstream education can’t accommodate them.
It’s a little hard to understand how these kids could have always been here, unrecognized, underserved and marginalized somewhere.
The spin masters have a new answer, as expected. Doctors haven’t really been doing this outstanding job of finding the undiagnosed/misdiagnosed children with autism. In fact, they’ve messed up the whole idea of autism.
The latest research hailed in the press shows that experts have expanded the definition of autism too widely, and they’re now engaged in over-diagnosing big time.
A new study published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, trashed the idea of an epidemic of autism among children.
It seems what we think are alarming numbers are actually a ‘pretend’ or ‘fake’ epidemic caused by children being labeled on the spectrum when they’re really not much different from the general population.
One researcher, Dr. Laurent Mottron at the University of Montreal explained it this way:
‘The objective difference between people with autism and the general population will disappear in less than 10 years. The definition of autism may get too vague to be meaningful.’
Lots of children with a label of Aspergers, a condition that was specifically eliminated as a separate autism diagnosis in 2013 and melded into the autism spectrum, should never have had the diagnosis. They’re pretty much just like you and me.
These kids do very well and demonstrate few overall signs of autism, and at the same time they’re falsely inflating the numbers.
Case closed. Autism numbers remain unchanged and always will.
In the real world this study has no bearing on the impact of kids everywhere with full-blown autism—kids who simply weren’t here just 20 years ago.
The real purpose
MOST IMPORTANTLY, this study is being used to discredit the claim that children have been profoundly injured by more and more unsafe vaccines. IF there is no real increase in autism, then exposing kids to more vaccines hasn’t had any effect.
Making it all go away
A story from Canada on Aug 22nd cleverly made the case for no link. Notice that RFK, Jr. is the immediate focus of the story.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and other anti-vaccine crusaders have long and falsely blamed vaccines for breeding an “epidemic” of autism.
But is the epidemic even real?
According to the authors of a new study, the astonishing explosion in the number of diagnosed cases of autism is the result of a broadening of the definition of what counts as “autism” — so much so that the differences between people diagnosed with autism and the rest of the population are shrinking.
“The pretend epidemic of autism is related to the inclusion of people less and less different from non-autistics,” said co-author Dr. Laurent Mottron, a professor in the Université de Montréal’s department of psychiatry….
“The definition of autism,” Mottron added, “may get too blurry to be meaningful — trivializing the condition — because we are increasingly applying the diagnosis to people whose differences from the general population are less pronounced.”
The finding might explain why no major discoveries have been made in autism in the last decade, he said, because studies are being watered down with too many people with mild and dubious symptoms who aren’t sufficiently different from people without true autism.
Actually this is right out of the Dr. Paul Offit playbook.
On February 23, 2007 on ABC’s 20/20, Offit explained that the increase in autism was due to the fact that “people that we once called quirky or geeky or nerdy are now called autistic.”
Not so fast
People on the spectrum who can get degrees, drive cars, hold down jobs and live independently don’t represent what’s happening. And maybe they shouldn’t have an autism diagnosis.
In truth we’re talking about a dramatic increase in kids with significant differences. Kids who, to varying degrees, require costly accommodations in school and will have to supportive services for the rest of their lives. These kids have not falsely inflated the numbers.
Schools around the world are drowning in children whose autistic symptoms are evident to all. These aren’t kids who might seem a little odd, yet are included in regular ed classes. Many of them can’t be helped in special ed classes, they need whole separate schools.
To understand how bad the autism epidemic is, the researchers of this study should research the news. They need to explain why these things are happening.
These are recent statements from a small sample of the mainstream news stories over the past month collected on my blog, LossofBrainTrust.com.
They speak for themselves.
On Thursday it said the budget for constant supervision of students with autism or life-threatening allergies will come at the expense of “holiday school” tutoring during Hanukkah.
Sources at the ministry explain that the number of autistic children has risen by 3.7 percent a year recently, while the number of school pupils in the general population increased by 1.7 percent.
(UK) Oldham Evening Chronicle:
Town hall bosses have agreed the second expansion in six months of a school for children with autism to meet ‘significant pressure’ for places.
Oldham’s cabinet has agreed to spend £300,000 [$363,000] from the basic needs funding pot to increase the number of classrooms at Hollinwood Academy on Roman Road.
When it opened in 2015 the school was originally expected to cater for around 50 pupils, but officers predict that by this September there will be more than four times that, with 215 attending the school.
Alma (MI) Morning Sun:
The rising prevalence of autism is leading more families to seek treatment options. To meet the growing demand, Centria Autism, a division of Centria Healthcare and a leading national provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism, announced the opening of a new therapy center in Mt. Pleasant. …
“With so many children in need of support, we’re eager to onboard team members so that we can take families off waitlists and provide them with the resources and care that they deserve.” Linaye McDonald, MS, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), said that there is a "huge need in area for this facility."…
ABC13, Lynchburg, VA:
A new special education program opens in Roanoke next week. Centra's latest Rivermont School is geared towards teaching students with disabilities and autism on the lower functioning levels. …
"It's important to have schools like this in the area because these children need individualized care and instruction," Ferrell said. The majority of the students work one-on-one with teachers. With our area's special education schools growing by five-10 students per year, Rivermont decided to open a second Roanoke location on Riverland Road to focus on students with lower functioning capabilities….
(UK) Bromsgrove Standard:
A SCHOOL for up to 18 autistic children in Bromsgrove has been given the go-ahead after councillors unanimously approved the plans on Monday, August 5.
Bromsgrove District Council officers had previously recommended councillors refuse the plans for the school on Lokrum Fields, Copyholt Lane, near Stoke Pound. They said it would be an inappropriate development on Green Belt land and had ‘poor transport links’, despite admitting Bromsgrove was in dire need of a school like it.
Daytona Beach (FL) News Journal:
…On the bad days, he might punch a hole in the living room wall, bolt out the front door or throw something down the storm drain outside of his family’s Deltona home. Then he’ll look to his mom and ask, “I’m a good boy, right Mommy? Tell me I’m a good boy.”
Chris has autism spectrum disorder, an umbrella term that refers to challenges with social, behavioral and communication skills.
He was one of 1,122 students with autism enrolled in Volusia County schools last year — a number that’s more than tripled in the past 10 years even as resources to serve them have failed to keep pace….
Nationally, the number of children with autism has doubled over the past 10 years. In the Volusia school system, the number of students with autism has more than tripled — although they accounted for fewer than 2% of the district’s 63,000 students in 2018. …
In the past decade, the number of students with disabilities, ESE teachers and paraprofessionals have all gone up by about 10%. At the same time, the number of students with autism has tripled. …
“The schools are not prepared for these kids, they are just not prepared,” she said. “They have to train the people who are on the front lines with these kids on how to handle these behaviors.”…
“We’re getting more and more students with higher needs and I don’t know how much longer we can handle all of that without more support — from behavior specialists, guidance counselors, therapists and outside mental health,” said the teacher who spoke anonymously to The News-Journal.
A new school dedicated to education for students with special needs will soon be opening in Cheshire East. This is one of fourteen schools approved by the government, which will start providing free access to education to students with learning disabilities….
One of the most significant campaigns in support of students with disabilities and special learning needs was a petition signed by more than nine thousand teachers and parents. In it, families demanded that teachers receive mandatory training for helping children with autism throughout their education. …
(UK) Belfast Live:
Thousands have signed a petition calling for teachers across Northern Ireland to have mandatory autism training. Around one in 30 children here are living with autism with the vast majority (78%) in mainstream education. The charity, which is behind the petition, is calling for urgent action from decision makers.
“Many of our teachers in Northern Ireland feel overwhelmed with the lack of training and resources they are given to teach autistic children,” added Ms Boyd….
“As Northern Ireland teachers cope with a growing number of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder we fear students are losing out on their education because schools just don’t have the support to cope,”
(UK) Kent Online:
Work has begun on building a new £10m special educational needs school in Sittingbourne. …
The school, run by Grove Park Academies Trust, will open in 2020 with space for 168 children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other severe speech and language difficulties. …
The school has been designed by architect Bond Bryan and is being built by BAM which has worked on more than 100 major projects in Kent since 1877.
It recently completed four special educational needs schools in the county.
(Kenya) Kenya Broadcasting Corp.:
12 counties are in the process of passing motions for the establishment of special classrooms in all ECD centers across all the wards. This they say will boost support among minors suffering from Autism….
Chege at the same time said the organization with other stakeholders will roll out a national survey so as to determine the exact numbers of children with Autism. He said current statistics indicate that one in forty children suffers from the condition but they are determined to get the real numbers so as to be able to offer help at the local level.
And we can’t just look at what autism is doing to schools. Our children are dysfunctional to such a degree that today’s typical classroom bears no resemblance to the classroom of the 1980s.
SPECIAL EDUCATION itself is putting endless demands on school districts…
With the teeth in Michigan's third-grade retention law ready to sink in this school year, results from the state's annual literacy exam remain bleak: nearly 55% of third-grade students failed the test with only a slight improvement in scores statewide. …
In the past five years, overall enrollment declined at Coachella Valley schools while the special education population grew…
(UK) Northampton Chronicle and Echo:
In the past five years, overall enrollment declined at Coachella Valley schools while the special education population grew….
The number of children with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream education has fallen by a quarter (24%) in England since 2012, while the number attending special schools has risen by nearly a third (31%), analysis by this newspaper shows.
“Additionally, we have created new special schools in response to the increasing number of pupils with complex special educational needs and are committed to delivering even more provision to ensure every child is able to access the education that they need.”
Kodiak (AK) Daily Mirror:
The number of preschool students that qualify with special needs in Kodiak has increased 350% in the past four years, according to Kim Saunders, assistant director of Special Services in the Kodiak Island Borough School District.
The preschool program has grown from one classroom to six in the last …
Radio 570, WNAX, Yankton, SD:
The “Special Education Interim Legislative Committee” will meet again Tuesday in Pierre. The committee is looking at the increasing demands and costs of special education for public schools….
Culver says more of their students need extra services…. Culver says specialized services that students need are becoming more expensive..
Palm Springs (CA) Desert Sun:
School districts across the Coachella Valley say improving students' behavior and mental health will no longer just be a job for special education teachers. During the past several years, the Coachella Valley's three school districts have implemented "multi-tiered systems of support" to address negative student behaviors before automatically referring students to special education programs that can be costly and restrictive for learning….
In the past five years, overall enrollment declined at Coachella Valley schools while the special education population grew.
Across the state, school districts are struggling with a growing population of students participating in special education services, amidst a shrinking overall enrollment, which determines funding for students with disabilities.
(UK) Edinburgh News:
Disabled children channelled towards mainstream schools are being left isolated and segregated because there is not enough support, an Evening News investigation can reveal.
The number of pupils with additional support needs (ASN) going to mainstream schools has dramatically increased amid concerns that lack of funding for the sector risks “isolating” and “segregating” pupils. There were nearly 200,000 children registered as having ASN across Scottish education in 2018, up a massive 69 per cent since 2012, analysis from JPImedia shows. …
A pupil support assistant (PSA) from Edinburgh has revealed how he feels “completely overwhelmed” working in schools with additional support needs (ASN) pupils and has expressed concern about the lack of qualifications and experience required by PSAs to work with vulnerable children. …
(UK) Yorkshire Today:
And the number of children attending special schools has risen in the county by 35 per cent, the Department for Education (DfE) figures reveal. …
Nationally, the number of children with SEN in mainstream education in England has dropped by a quarter - 24 per cent - since 2012, while the number attending special schools has increased by nearly a third - 31 per cent. …
“Additionally, we have created new special schools in response to the increasing number of pupils with complex special educational needs and are committed to delivering even more provision to ensure every child is able to access the education tt they need.”….
(UK) Portsmouth News:
Hampshire County Council has defended its stance, citing an increase in children with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) and severity of needs which can’t be catered for in mainstream schools. …
However, in recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of children with an EHCP in Hampshire, and while some will be very well supported within one of the county’s mainstream schools, many others will require the expertise that only a specialist school can provide.’…
Portsmouth City Council have said that changes to the assessment process have resulted in less children being identified with SEN but a greater proportion of those children assessed as having more complex needs….
Norwich (CT) Bulletin:
A new school that serves students with special needs is opening this school year in Windham County.
High Road School of Windham County aims to serve local school districts who have exhausted all local options in attempting to serve the needs of students with various special needs. Districts who are interested would send those students to High Road on a tuition basis. …
The school is part of Catapult Learning, Inc., a nationwide company that runs special needs schools and programs in districts, serving more than 500 school districts and 200,000 children.
Observer investigation reveals 30% rise in overspending against backdrop of a failure to meet demand for services The funding crisis in special needs education is deepening, with council overspends on support for children with conditions including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder rising by 30% in just a year, …
“We have significant pressure in delivering specialist services across a large geographic area and we have faced year-on-year increases in both the number of children being supported and the complexity of their needs.”
Kirklees Council has been forced to divert money towards special educational needs and disability (SEND) as it shores up a multi-million pound funding shortfall. And senior councillors have attacked central Government for failing to address growing SEND requirements faced by local authorities.
Kirklees has been allocated £38m [$46M U.S.] towards high needs as part of the government's Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) but has forecast that it will need to find an extra £9.2m [$11M U.S.] to cope with rising demand. …
"Whilst an early settlement is to be welcomed I suspect that this will be very much a holding settlement and will not address the growing demand for services we see in many areas of the council….
Hollister (CA) Benito Link:
Keith Thompson Non-Public School serves students with complex needs.
As demand for behavioral health services for youth increases, Chamberlain’s Youth Serviceslooks to close the gap by adding a class to the Keith Thompson Non-Public School. …
“Without this facility this means that children would have to travel out of San Benito County in order to get an education,” she said. ...
Patrick Ellis, Chamberlain’s executive director, said that a growing number of students have been referred to him for specialized services, and that he has had to redirect them out of the county because Chamberlain’s could accommodate only 12 students.
“The traditional school environment, even in their special ed department, sometimes does not have the tools to work with children who have particular needs that a lot of times end up looking like behavioral issues,” Ellis said. …
“When the child’s needs are proven to be beyond the capacity of what the school can offer, that’s when we start getting calls,” Ellis said.
(UK) Sussex Express:
An application to build a specialist school for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs at Reef Way was approved by East Sussex County Council’s planning committee today …
Mr Juilan said: “I thought it would be helpful from a children’s services point of view to give a bit of context [to the application]. It is mainly around the rise in the number of children with social, emotional and mental health needs in East Sussex.
“In January 2016, out of 2,756 children with special educational needs, 420 had SEMH. But by January 2019 there were 605 pupils with SEMH.
(UK) Bristol Live:
The £12.5million [$15M U.S.] expansion of a Weston-super-Mare special school is set to go ahead on green belt land after other sites were ruled out for a second time.
Baytree Special School, the only school in the district that provides education to children with severe and profound learning difficulties, wants to boost pupil numbers from 72 to 120. …
“The second site will not only ensure children and young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties educational needs are met, but will also free up capacity within the current site and increase much needed provision for children and young people with severe learning difficulties and autism.
(UK) Sussex Express:
Proposals to build a new special school in Hailsham are to go before county council planners next week. On Wednesday (August 14), East Sussex County Council’s planning committee is set to consider an application to build a specialist school for children with Special
Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at Reef Way in Hailsham. According to planning documents, the school – to be arranged into an upper and lower school with separate entrances – would provide places for around 80 pupils between the ages of four- and 16-years-old. …
By providing the 80 new spaces the county council says it will be able to reduce (but not eliminate) its spending on private school spaces….
(Ireland) Irish News:
The number of children with SEN in schools has risen by almost 30,000 in a decade and a half. Almost one in every four pupils now has SEN, with a handful of schools educating 200 or more children….
Experts say the massive increase is partly due to earlier and better identification. In addition, the department has a policy of inclusion, which has seen many more pupils having their needs met in mainstream settings.
Unions argue, however, that teachers are not equipped to give children with increasingly complex needs what they require.
(UK) Belfast Telegraph:
The rising number of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) pupils is a key driver of the trend, MPs said….
Geri Cameron, who represents the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), says "nothing has been done" to alleviate the real and present difficulties facing Northern Ireland's education service.
(UK) Bury Times:
A PRIMARY school which serves hundreds of pupils with special educational needs has undergone a major extension.
As is the picture at many schools across the borough, demand for places at Millwood Primary School in Radcliffe currently exceeds capacity.
(UK) KCW Today:
Special needs and disability support in London schools is facing “unsustainable financial risk” according to a report from London Councils. A “dramatic and sustained rise” in demand for special educational needs and disability services (SEND) has led to a £77 million [$96M U.S.] funding gap in the capital, research found.
There are more than 200,000 young people in London with special educational needs or a disability, and almost a quarter have high needs. …
Demand for health and care plans in the capital has increased rapidly, rising by 31 per cent between 2014/15 and 2017/18.
Each story is a tragedy in itself, made more egregious by pretend science like the study in JAMA.
Special ed has become behavioral ed.
The disaster happening in schools can’t be dismissed by claiming that all the autism is the result of over-diagnosing. What about all the other disorders and behaviors afflicting our children?
Why wasn’t education like this twenty years ago?
The people in charge of the narrative have to make all this go away, and one way to do it is to isolate autism as a condition. We are being led to believe that it’s the only concerning disorder out there.
The truth is we’re talking about a whole lexicon of conditions associated with childhood today that were unheard of a few decades ago: ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, auditory processing disorder, language processing disorder, and/or nonverbal learning disorder, sensory processing disorder, anxiety disorder.
Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students, but no one sees a connection.
Still schools have to provide for these children. If it were possible to have them in a regular ed program with a few accommodations, they’d do it, but it takes more. They’ve having to spend huge piles of money for these children to get an education.
I’d like to have Dr. Mottron explain what’s happening, especially in the U.K. Would all this go away if we just stopped giving students labels? Is all this really a ‘fake/pretend epidemic’?
I’m sure Mottron doesn’t deal with the obvious. His job is to make us believe that it’s always been like this. We’re making up diagnoses for kids, especially when it comes to being on the spectrum. Doctors are doing worse diagnosing, not better.
MOST OF ALL: Nothing is wrong. We can go like this forever.
And if nothing is really wrong, then Robert Kennedy and “other anti-vaccine crusaders” have no case, and they should just fade into irrelevancy.
Regardless of the people telling us that life is good, this can’t continue.
There was a word that stood out to me was in the KCW story from Britain at the bottom of my list: