Today I’m not going to talk about weight loss or diabetes, but something that scares me just as much.
The prevalence of autism has increased by 78% since 2002. That’s according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Can you imagine? If this much of an increase in a disorder occurred anywhere else in medicine, there would be a huge public outcry, huge reporting in the media, and loads of money thrown at the problem. Do you know what I hear–crickets!
The health of our children is being destroyed from the time they are in utero. There are over 400 toxins found in cord blood. Of those toxins, over 200 are known to be toxic to the neurological system. And yet, our government doesn’t seem to think there’s a problem with toxins or the enormous amount of chemicals that are in our food, air, and drinking water.
But let’s get back to the data, because it’s frightening.
According to the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) surveillance network, in 2008, 1 in 88 children had an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis by age 8. And the disorder is five times more common in boys than girls–occurring in 1 out of 54 boys.
This is a significant jump from the current estimate of 1 in 110, which in itself was a significant jump from when I was in medical school (not when the earth was cooling, but a mere 30 years ago). Back then, there was an estimated 1 in 1,000 children born on the autism spectrum. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t even a spectrum then.
This marks an estimated 23% increase since the last report in 2009 and a 78% increase since 2002.
So what do the experts have to say about it? “To understand more, we need to keep accelerating our research into risk factors and causes of autism spectrum disorders,” said Coleen Boyle, PhD, MSHyg, director of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.
That’s an understatement if I ever heard one!
The study also shows that more children are being diagnosed by age 3, an increase from 12% for children born in 1994 to 18% for children born in 2000. And guess what else increased in that short period of time? The number of vaccinations given to children before 12 months of age. Regardless of whether you believe that vaccinations increase a child’s risk for autism, you must admit that giving 32 vaccines to an infant before they even turn 1 is excessive.
Pediatricians are often so aggressive that if a parent misses an appointment, they will give up to 10 vaccines in one day. How is a little person supposed to be able to handle such an assault of live viruses? And, why is it necessary to give hep A–a self-limiting disease; hep B–a sexually transmitted disease; chicken pox–again, something that is easily treatable; all before age 1? Why can’t they be spread out? And you know what’s coming–adult immunizations!
The investigators report that there was wide variation in overall ASD prevalence across the 14 surveillance sites; prevalence ranged from 1 in 210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah–Mitt Romney anyone?