April 9, 2020, New Brunswick, NJ, The Daily Targum: By Joanne Chung Rutgers expert discusses prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in NJ
I found this stunning piece from a New Jersey paper on the recent expansion of the autism rate in America.
Despite the latest findings, especially for New Jersey, the reporter was indifferent to what was being discussed: the ever-increasing numbers.
“Researchers monitored ASD prevalence of 11 states participating in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Autism and Developmental Monitoring (ADDM) Network in 2016, the report said. The autism prevalence rate for New Jersey was approximately 1 in 32, or 3.1 percent, compared to the ADDM average, approximately 1 in 54, or 1.85 percent.”
Top Rutgers autism researcher Walter Zahorodny gave us the overall explosion in the disorder in New Jersey.
‘From 2000 to 2016, autism prevalence in New Jersey increased from 1 percent to 3 percent, a 200 percent increase.’
No need to worry New Jerseyans. Your state is on top in the autism numbers for a good reason.
Reporter Joanne Chung wrote, “New Jersey’s higher autism prevalence estimates are related to more complete case-finding in New Jersey and availability of high-quality educational and developmental health services in the region.”
In a piece that should have been had the headline, Rutgers expert raises alarm over stunning new autism numbers, Chung quoted Zahorodny saying that there’s “greater awareness” behind the increase but also some “underlying environmental risk factors are likely at play.”
That comment was at the end of the story with no follow-up. Reporter Chung had no interest in what those “environmental risk factors” might be, so the subject was dropped.
In the final sentence Zahorodny described autism as ‘an urgent public health phenomenon’
Seriously? A ‘phenomenon’?
Check out the definition for phenomenon.
A fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.
A remarkable person, thing, or event.
Synonyms include: occurrence, event, happening, marvel, sensation, wonder.
Tell that to the parents changing the diapers on their twenty year old nonverbal son or the parents of the growing number of autistic children who wander away and drown or the thousands of parents with autistic children in Britain on waiting lists just for a place in school there because they can’t keep up with rising demand.
And if Joanne Chung really knew what a reporter’s job was all about she’d have researched Zahorodny’s background and discovered that in 2012, eight years ago, he admitted in a NY radio interview THAT VACCINES CAN CAUSE AUTISM.
I first wrote about Zahorodny in 2015 and referred to his views several times over the last five years.
Here’s what he said on the air in 2012 in response to a question: ‘Vaccines don't play a significant role in autism increasing. Some small number of children probably do have autism because of an adverse vaccine reaction, but they don't make for the overall rise.’
Zahorodny said this in 2012. Since then I have often seen him cited in the press as a top expert looking in autism. He’s been quoted talking those seemingly unknowable “environmental risk factors.” (Most of the time that’s explained away as older moms/dads.)
Zahorodny has had at least EIGHT YEARS to figure out what’s behind the explosion in autism and he’s no nearer an answer today than he was in 2012.
By the way, 2012 was the year the rate went from one in 110 to one in 88 children in America, followed by 2014: one in 68, 2018: one in 59, 2020: one n 54. And as always, New Jersey’s numbers were far worse than the national average.
So I guess we’ll just have to be content to stand by helplessly as more and more and more children fall victim to autism. We can look forward to Walter Zahorodny’s update from the epicenter of autism pandemic, New Jersey, in 2022 because, as Chung told us, that state’s numbers are the most accurate.
The horrifying reality that everyone should consider is this: What if New Jersey’s numbers as really the rate for the whole country? What if the increases are never going to stop until there isn’t an unaffected child left standing?
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.