New research supports an increase in autism prevalence over the past 10 years, but controversy still exists about why such a sharp increase. Many still feel that mercury in vaccinations is to blame while others point to new diagnostic criteria established in 1994.
Research supports genetic factors but environmental factors are the controversy - the truth is, we just don’t know yet why there has been such a dramatic increase in prevalance. The article below shows the new findings (which are similar to those published 5 years ago). .
While it is important for doctors and researchers to look for the cause and the cure, it is also important for us to talk about what we can do for these children today. The fact is, we have too many children who are in need of treatment and not enough resources to help them all. So, while we research the cause and wait for the cure, we must have solutions in place today (check out Autism Speaks, Autism Society of America, and TeachTown for information about treatment).
US Survey Shows Autism Is Very Common (copied from The Financial Express)
WASHINGTON, MAY 5: The first national surveys of autism show the condition is very common among US children —with up to one in every 175 with the disorder, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday. This adds up to at least 300,000 US schoolchildren with autism, a condition that causes trouble with learning, socialising and behaviour, the CDC said.
The CDC analysed data on 24,673 children whose parents took part in two separate government surveys on in the United States to generate its first national estimate of the prevalence of autism.
“Together, these two national surveys of parents indicate that at least 300,000 children aged 4 to 17 years old had autism in 2003-04,” the CDC said in the report.
The surveys came up with similar results — that autism has been diagnosed in anywhere between 5.5 per 1,000 and 5.7 per 1,000 children aged 4 to 17. This translates to between one in every 175 to one in every 181 children.
“(The surveys) affirm that autism is a condition of major public health concern that affects many families,” Dr. Jose Cordero, director of CDC’s National Centre on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said in a briefing.
He said the findings fit in with previous estimates of autism, which were based on local surveys done in Atlanta and New Jersey. A survey in 1996 had showed autism had been diagnosed in 3.4 per 1,000 of the 3- to 10-year-olds included, or one in every 296.