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The Really Big Lie Crumbles

Abadnonned schoolBy Anne Dachel

Fourteen years ago, when I was in the early stages of my coverage of autism in the news, I wrote a piece that was published on Scoop.co.nz entitled, The Really Big Lie About Autism.

This article referred to the universally promoted idea that all the kids with autism everywhere were really nothing new. They’ve always been here; they were called something else or their condition went unrecognized by doctors and teachers.

Reporters routinely assured the public that while the rate of autism may seem to be on a nonstop upward path, it was merely the result of “better diagnosing,” “greater awareness,” and “ an expanded definition” of the disorder.

For years these excuses have been enough to dispel any real concern. I’ve seen them thousands of times in news reports over Lie livesthe past two decades, and I’ve always wondered why no one asks the obvious: WHERE ARE THE ADULTS WITH AUTISM at rates even remotely close to what we’re seeing in children? Most importantly, why do the numbers never level out? Why do they only trend upward?

Back in 2006 when I first wrote about The Really Big Lie the official autism rate was one in every 166 children in the U.S. Things continued to get worse as the years went on as shown by statistics from the Centers for Disease Control: 2007: one in 150, 2009: one in 110, 2012: one in 88, 2014: one in 68, 2018: one in 59, (also in 2018: one in 40 according to a separate study published in JAMA).

Really alarming was the rate from New Jersey in the 2018 CDC announcement: in that state one in every 34 children has autism. New Jersey is credited with having a statewide registry of children with autism so their identification of the disorder is considered very accurate.

What if New Jersey’s autism rate is happening everywhere? What if the national rate is really one in 34 children? No one even considered that possibility anywhere in the news reports when the numbers were announced in 2018.

The end of the Really Big Lie About Autism

Seriously it has to stop. How much better diagnosing can we afford? When will we openly admit that something of recent origin has dramatically impacted nearly two generations of U.S. children?

I’m seeing the end, kind of. Here are three reports from the past couple of days. Two are from California, one is from Minnesota.

We can’t keep closing our eyes to these numbers

On Feb 13 a news report from Brainerd, Minnesota announced that 22% of the students there were getting special education services there. (Minnesota’s state average is 16%.)

Statistics that I’ve compiled over the last couple of years reveal some other higher than average numbers in that state: Duluth 17% SPED, Austin 17.3% SPED, Red Wing 18% SPED, Minneapolis 18% SPED, Bemidji 20% SPED And remember the official U.S. percent for students receiving SPED services is 14

State and local numbers keep increasing

“Brainerd stayed consistent with 22% of students reported to receive special education services in 2018 as well. The district percentage has increased over the last five years, though, from 18.6% in 2015. The state average increased from 14.4% in 2015.”

A big part if this is autism

“In Brainerd, students primarily fall into one of the following disability categories: speech/language, learning disability, emotional/behavioral, other health disabled, autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay. The highest number of students — 360 — are considered to have learning disabilities, with the next highest category being developmental delay at 318, followed by autism spectrum disorder at 237. The developmental delay category had the highest increase from 2015 at 43%.”

And developmental delays and autism at never-before-seen rates are predicted to continue in Brainerd. “Superintendent Laine Larson said she expects to see more increases in that category in the coming years as well, so the district will keep that in mind moving forward.”

As implausible as it may sound, the special education assistant director attributed the stunning numbers to “earlier detections of the disability and more referrals from doctors.” This absurd explanation makes doctors and educators look completely incompetent. How did they miss these kids in the past? Why were their needs ignored?

Move on to California as disaster unfolds

On Feb 3 an eye-opening piece was published on the California education site Ed100 called, Special Education Costs Flood School Budgets.   It focused on state statistics.

“The rising costs of special education services are overwhelming your school district budget. And we are talking big bucks. Nearly 800,000 students in California receive special education services — about one in every eight students.”

Numbers are up

“The cost of providing special education services in California has grown significantly over time. In 2017-18 the total cost was about $13 billion. According to the state Legislative Analyst Office this represented an increase of about 28 percent over a decade earlier, adjusted for inflation. The percentage of students receiving special education services jumped from 11 percent to 13 percent.”

A major reason costs are increasing is because there are more kids with autism. “About two-thirds of the cost increases reflect the growing number of students with severe disabilities, especially autism. According to the Legislative Analyst Report, ‘The share of students identified with autism has increased from 1 in 600 students in 1997-98 to about 1 in 50 students in 2018-19.’”

We’re not told why there are more kids with autism in California schools, but their cost is undeniable. While the writer, Carol Kocivar, former President of the California State PTA, was mostly concerned with the failure of the federal government to cover their share of the cost of educating special needs students, her statistics don’t lie: there are more disabled students in California schools especially ones with AUTISM.

Then on Feb 16, the piece California must face reality: Autism cases are increasing was published by CalMatters really got to the point. It was written by Jill Escher, a mother with two severely affected children with autism. She’s affiliated with local and national autism groups.

Escher cited chilling statistics from her state: “In 1999, the state of California was in shock: baffling even the most seasoned of authorities, autism cases in the developmental services system had spiked from about 4,000 in 1987 to about 13,000 cases in 1998.”

That was nothing of course. Escher reported California now recognizes more than 122,000 autism cases. She admitted that there’s no sign that this upward spike is  leveling off. She also noted, “We hear little about autism data from our public health leaders or media.”

The impact of so many children with autism is far-reaching

“Schools can’t keep up with ever-growing demand. Emergency rooms and police departments are reeling from increasingly frequent crisis cases. Families are desperate for support and solutions.”

The future with tens of thousands of California children with autism aging out of school is scary. “[A]s autistic students are aging out of school and into an adult services system woefully unprepared to meet their complex needs. Based on Department of Developmental Services data, the demand for adult services and housing will likely grow five-fold over the next 20 years, from 28,000 developmentally disabled autistic adults over 21 today, quintupling to about 140,000 in 2040.”

Escher doesn’t believe Really Big Lie About Autism

Escher wrote, “Though it has become fashionable to blame rising awareness or diagnostic shifts, those arguments are well past their expiration date.”

Noting that after 2003, the criteria for an autism diagnosis in California became more stringent, she wrote that “the door for entry has been narrowing, not widening. No it’s not ‘better awareness.’”

So something in the environment is responsible for what’s happening to our children and we have to do something. This is the message from Jill Escher.

What’s really confounding is her blanket dismissal of the possibility that our unchecked, unsafe, liability-free vaccine schedule is to blame.

“While nobody fully understands what is behind the dramatic increase in autism, two things are clear: it’s not vaccines, and it’s not a change in criteria.”

Escher’s reasons for rejecting vaccines are straight from the CDC’s playbook:

“And of course vaccines have nothing to do with autism. Autism has its genesis in abnormal wiring up of the early brain, starting well before birth. Aside from biological implausibility, a multitude of epidemiological studies have found no link between vaccination and autism. If anything, vaccines protect against early life infection that can cause brain damage. …

While putting her trust in the science from officials in bed with the vaccine makers, Escher fails to name any other possible environmental cause. If it’s not the vaccines, what’s behind the epidemic of autism around the world? If children are born with autism, how does she explain the many cases of dramatic regression where normally developing children suddenly lose learned skills and become autistic? Why isn’t she interested in the more than 80 claims of vaccine-induced autism that have been compensated by the federal government?

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.

Despite her denial of a link to vaccines, Escher is sounding a warning. Autism will bury us. Its march is relentless. We may celebrate it with blue lights and raise awareness with puzzle pieces, but we’re going to have to live with reality that autism is an epidemic. And unlike epidemics in the past where victims either died or recovered, this disabled population will live long and costly lives dependent on taxpayers who have had no interest in where they were all coming from.



I think Jame's Lyons Weiler's book mentioned that at least 2 studies found that no more than 25% of the increase in autism cases, max, could be a result of better diagnosis.


I wonder how long till the post birth abortion (up to 3 years of age) idea gets paraded about again. I recall reading about that several years ago. It was always curious to me that they would allow abortion up to 3 years of age.


Regarding Kara Finn's comment on historical "may have been autistic" figures and Aspergers in general -

I wonder if there is a deliberate confluence of high-functioning people with Asperger's-like behaviors and people with moderate-to-severe-autism, in order to use the former as a way to "cover up" the massive growth in the latter.

I'm willing to consider the possibility that some sort of mild "Asperger's syndrome"-like condition has always been around, and that recognition of more people with mild Asperger's-ish behavior patterns could be due in part to "better diagnosis". Maybe there is a genetic pre-disposition or something not-new that results in a slightly awkward, precise, literal personality type. I do know that as an adult in my 50s, I can remember a few classmates, professors, and older people I met who, in retrospect, "might have been autistic," where by "autistic" I specifically mean seemed to have some of the characteristics of an Asperger's diagnosis. And there is some evidence of historical figures who fit an Asperger's-ish profile. Maybe there really is a mild, high-functioning condition that's always been around, and that is part of a natural spectrum of "neurodiversity". Maybe.

But even if that's true, the pre-existence of Asperger-ish people still doesn't explain the rise in far more-severe autistic conditions. In fact, I've increasingly wondered if the insistence on putting Asperger-ish people (including historic figures) on the "autism spectrum" with much, much more-severely disabled individuals is a deliberate attempt to downplay the growth in the latter. "Oh, autism has always been with us! Remember your Great Uncle Ed, the engineer who was very precise and not the best in social situations? Or that awkward kid in your elementary school who was good at math and grew up to be an accountant? Or that boring, pedantic chemistry professor you had? They were obviously all "on the spectrum"! That proves that autism has always been with us, and the rise in non-verbal people who can't take care of themselves is nothing new! It's all just a spectrum, better diagnosis, nothing to see here, blah blah."


Reporters routinely assured the public that while the rate of autism may seem to be on a nonstop upward path, it was merely the result of “better diagnosing,” “greater awareness,” and “ an expanded definition” of the disorder.


I struggle to understand why any reporter would feel compelled to try and explain this all away. I mean technically, they have no dog in this fight. And choosing not to dig further into a story like this one, could potentially mean passing on one of the most spectacular crime stories of the past century. It just makes no sense.

Also, if 'expanded definition' is really a big part of what's behind the exploding incidence of autism, then why not just revert back to the definition that they were using in 1980? Its not exactly a difficult thing to do. And you'd see pretty quickly if the incidence actually drops from 1 in 59, back down to something closer to 1 in 10,000.

Jeannette Bishop


The New Jersey rate (with mandatory reporting) of 1 out of 34 from couple of years ago is very close to 3% (1 in 33.33333~ would be 3% technically). I personally consider that the U.S. rate in 8 years old from 2012 or so, but it's probably more today, whatever the awaited next "report" will say.

Adela Ludeke

There are so many holes in epidemic denial. If autism is more common because autistics are having more kids together, then how is this possible? After all, most autistics can't even care for themselves, let alone children. And as for the "autistics being kept away in bad institutions" theory, people would still here a lot about. Because during the Black Plague, sick people were quarantined in their houses, but people still heard a lot about it, as it was still an epidemic.

As for the autistic adults, the first autism generation has come of age, but because of their mental disabilities, certainly don't seem like adults. And when you go up in generations, autism is less and less prevalent. That being said, it's sad that there will be so many adults who need care from others because their parents are dead or too old to care for them. This is the future that we face, though.


Escher says that the synthetic hormones her mother took when her mother was pregnant are responsible for her two kids having autism. OK. If that's not the reason why your kid has autism then it's because grandma(?) was a heavy smoker. OK. Or it's something else like general anesthesia...did I read that right?...uh, OK. Or it could be other toxicants. OK. But what's important according to Escher is that Mark Blaxill and RFK Jr. stop saying right now it could be vaccines because there's no biological or epidemiological (insert smiley face here) evidence that it's vaccines. WTF?

Escher likes to review books and did give a favorable review to Denial except for the vaccine part. So I figured she must have reviewed How to End the Autism Epidemic by J. B. Handley because that book does talk about biology, and I'd love to get her insights about the biological research discussed in that book. But no review! (Insert frowny face here)

John Stone


You bet - and btw I said it in my article about Francis Collins week if they wanted to count properly and keep the tallies more or less up to date they could. They do they want rather than serve the public good.


A person can look and look and look at all the stats coming out of the CDC, it is like they are just trying to confuse the issue of how many have autism.



CDC: 1 Percent of 8-Year-Olds in U.S. Have Form of Autism ...
Close to 1 percent or an average of 1 out of every 110 8-year-olds in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder, according to a study released by the U.S. …
CDC: Autism Diagnoses Are On the Rise | Time

Reported rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are now at 1.7%—or one in 59—of 8-year-olds in the U.S., the CDC says. Here's why. About 1.7% of 8-year-olds have autism spectrum disorder
Author: Jamie Ducharme

Autism Disorder Increases in U.S. Children, CDC Study ...

Apr 26, 2018 · U.S. autism prevalence has grown, according to a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, with about 1.7 percent of 8-year-olds affected in 11 states. The new estimate represents a 15 percent increase in prevalence nationally.

1 out of 39 percent is what then?

Anne Dachel

Dear Aimee,
Sorry, I don’t have a search method on my site, https://www.lossofbraintrust.com/ BUT every story is listed by city/state. Just a search over the past few months (it goes back three years) should give you some stories. They’re ones every state legislator should be concerned about.

Kara Finn

When someone says Some historical figure had autism, such as Einstein or Edison, I point them to Dan’s book about medical mercury and the age of autism.

Sure they may have had mercury poisoning from coal or anything else.

Or, perhaps geniuses of that type are susceptible to toxic injury-certainly —as we recover “autistic” kids they often resemble the type of quirky geniuses pointed to in the past who “may have been autistic”.

So this is my point: if Einstein and Edison and your favorite quirky Tech leaders are in fact aspie types—and would have qualified for an autistic label as some in the “neurodiverse” movement insist—then vaccinating them at the rate that our children are now vaccinated very likely would have locked them in a box of silence and pain, like so many beautiful “autistic” children. We would have lost all the gifts they gave us, forever. Thank God they were not vaccinated with the toxic cocktails AND what gifts did our sons and daughters have that have been silenced and lost forever? And the children who fell to so-called “SIDS”

go Trump

I am sure many States have heard that "gambling revenues" will save their schools.

That has now been changed to the "financial cut" the schools will get for their student vaccine mandate programs.

Aimee Doyle

Hi Anne -

Thanks, as always for your great reporting. The numbers out of California are staggering. It's tragic too, because the vast majority of those on the spectrum will need lifelong care and support.

I understand the push for funding for supports and services. Housing and employment matter enormously too. But I don't understand why there isn't an equivalent push for research into effective treatment and therapy. It seems to me that with effective treatment and therapy - especially focusing on older children and adults - fewer supports and services would be needed. I think it would also be useful to have living skills, job, and educational training beyond age 21.

I'd also like to see a good breakdown of numbers when it comes to levels of autism: how many have intellectual disability, have many are non-verbal, how many are semi-verbal, how many have aggression and self-injury, how many have co-morbid medical conditions like epilepsy or GI issues? I'd like this because needs vary depending on the level of severity of the autistic individual - so you'd think that school and adults services system would like this information for budgeting purposes. Yet I've never seen anything other than a rough estimate.

Just curious- do you have the articles you've collected indexed by state? I've been thinking that state-specific articles, sent to state legislators, might have an impact.


Escher says it was the drugs her own mother was given when Escher was in utero.


The sad thing is Damaged Kids Capitalism is big business. From the vaccines which initiate the damage, to the meds to treat the illnesses, and the doctors and lab tests to issue the vaccines, diagnose and treat subsequent illnesses, all profit the Medical Industrial Complex. But there is more of course. Special Education teachers, highly paid administrators whose job it is to beg for Federal dollars, dependency of the state on Federal relief, and of course increased national debt that benefits Big Banking.

For the neomalthusians there is the added benefit of sick kids becoming sick adults who wont breed as much. Then of course a new industry to take care of all the autistic adults in the pipeline, which will lead to more debt owed to Big Banking to pay for their medical and personal care.


So if what it is 1 out of 34 what percentage of the population is that now? Does that get it up to 2% yet?

Maybe a better question would be what percentage is that of the 8 year olds population? What percentage is that of an up and coming generation?

John Stone

Bob, Anne - Yes, that was Toby Rogers. This is a link to his PhD.



The number of children kicked out of school because of mandates is well into the thousands. Surely enough for any logical person to make some accurate assumptions. So I have two questions for pro-mandate, pro-pharma, drug-dealing, legislator, and for Jill:

What is the vaccination status of the special education children who will be kicked out of school?

What is the vaccination status of the Non-special education children who will be kicked out of school?

And NO, before that rabbit hole is exploited, I’m not asking what their MMR vaccination status is, I’m asking what vaccines have the special education children losing their ability to access school and the services they need received and similarly for those children whom are not in special Ed and do not require additional services.

Angus Files

Theres a family in the town where i live and they have owned a law firm for over 250 years.The only son has had 3 children all in their mid 30`s not one of them is barely able to go out the door due to one illness or another one of them autistic- suppose its just better diagnosis for sure, not!By the way, they believe its nothing to do with vaccines , clever people at one time even they havent done the pharma maths vaccines = autism.

Thanks Anne always enjoy? reading your articles.

Pharma For Prison


Anna Quandt

Hi Anne,
Jill's main political concern has been to assure funding for all the services that will be needed. To enter the vaccine debate would make her less effective. I don't know what she personally believes. But I endorse anyone who can make headway against the "there is no epidemic" crowd.

susan welch

Anne. As always, thank you so much for setting out so clearly the crisis we have. It is inconceivable that governments are, not only able to ignore this catastrophe, but willingly and obediently promote the cause.

When everything comes to a head, as it must eventually, I have to wonder what their excuses will be. They cannot say they did not know. I understand that they do not care that families are suffering so much, because they have to be sociopaths. However, surely some of them must be getting concerned about what will happen to them when their part in the cover-up is exposed?


Anne-You are so right that "autism will bury us" and there is no way that society will be able to support such a huge number of people with autism. We are seeing a medical pandemic and we need researchers from around the world to find the answer to a cure for this neuroimmune dysfunction syndrome that presents as autism, but is acutally a medical illness. Now they are racing to find a cure for the coronavirus, but what about all our children who have been suffering from something that can be cured if the right research is done all over the world. Our children desperately need a cure for this devastating condition that was once 1 in 1,000 and now is climbing higher and higher every year. We can't wait any longer to save whole generations of people from a lifetime of this epidemic condition.

Anne Dachel

Bob, I watched that show! I'm writing up a transcribed version of what was said about the catastrophic cost we'll be facing because of autism.

Bob Moffit

Del Bigtree's excellent program .. 'HIGHWIRE" .. recently had an interview with a prominent economist who has evaluated present increasing trends in the financial costs of autism and he confidently predicts that increasing cost of autism will soon exceed the TRILLION DOLLARS presently being spent on our national defense.

Think of that for a moment .. the cost of autism will soon be higher than our nation's highest priority .. paying for our national defense.


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