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CDC Reports 1 In 88 Children Now Affected With Autism In the US 398

An anonymous reader writes "A new government health report indicated that about one in 88 children in the United State has autism or a related disorder, the highest estimate to date, which represented an overall increase of 25 percent since the last analysis in 2006. The Centers for Disease Control reported on Thursday that the rate increased by 78 percent compared to the reported rate in 2002. From the article: '"The CDC’s new estimate of autism prevalence demands that we recognize autism as a public health emergency warranting immediate attention," Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson said in a new release. "More than ever, these numbers compel us to redouble our investment in the research that can reveal causes, validate effective treatments and guide the effective delivery of services to all our communities," she added.'"
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CDC Reports 1 In 88 Children Now Affected With Autism In the US

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  • Slashdot 1 in 2 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @07:20PM (#39516907)

    Whereas on slashdot the ratio is the prevelance is the far more alarming 1 in 2.

  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @07:25PM (#39516973)
    The article I read about this earlier today did actually credit better/more defined diagnosis criteria as a major part of the increase in diagnoses, but that roughly 50% of the increase is still unexplained. But yeah, years ago, just as with other mental diseases/development disorders, higher functioning sufferers were generally just considered slow or slightly odd, but otherwise normal.
  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @07:35PM (#39517055)

    There's a pretty active debate over how to classify it, and how it relates to "normal" functioning, and some of the major theories do at least hint in the direction that the picture of "normality" is complex.

    One model, which has a clearer division, is that there is a specific etiology, which would make "autism" a more conventional "disease" in a sense, in that some people have it and some don't, and there is a known cause.

    However another major model views the "autism spectrum" as something like the tail of a normal Bell-curve distribution for some cluster of traits. In that case, the dividing line between "normal" and "not normal" becomes a more subjective one having to do with how far in the tails you decide to put a cutoff, which probably involves some judgment of ability to function in society (which in turn depends on the society).

    Other models think that we're conflating several etiologies in this big basket, and that some may be discrete diseases while others are tail-of-a-Bell-curve traits.

  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @07:54PM (#39517223) Homepage Journal
    Researchers have recognized for years that autism is heavily a question of chemical pollution in the environment, just like cancer. However, it's pretty clear that there is also a genetic component to vulnerability, otherwise we'd all have it. The problem still needs to be understood in full if we want to do anything about it.
  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @08:36PM (#39517615) Homepage Journal
    For what it's worth, though, it's certainly true that under some circumstances the complex gene networks involved can behave in ways that appear to be trivial if the problematic environmental condition is sufficiently prevalent. This past summer I did linkage analysis on a family that appeared to have Mendelian inheritance of autism. But given the plethora of subtly different autism conditions that our lab has seen and studied, it's absurd to believe that their situation describes the majority of cases.
  • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @08:40PM (#39517653)
    A friend's child who was diagnosed with autism was excluded from school at 5 years of age because the teachers couldn't cope with him. His parents had to fight very hard to get him back in with the support that he was supposed to have. So the idea that people are trying to get their kids diagnosed in order to get more attention is rather an offensive one for those having to deal with the lack of support every day.
  • by Cazekiel ( 1417893 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @08:41PM (#39517669)

    All right, let me elaborate through my editing your statement: Researchers have speculated for years that autism is heavily a question of chemical pollution in the environment, just like cancer, but it's never been demonstrated.

    Perhaps I'm wrong. I'd be very willing, humbled and even eager to give a look-see to any valid, world-renown documents or studies that have demonstrated that what you're saying is true (especially if you're the one who'd come up with the results; I can't dispute that) without question. Seriously. I'll take back the 'bullshit' comment if you can, with promises.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @10:58PM (#39518827)

    As a parent of an autistic child, let me tell you:
    You are ignorant and have no idea what you are talking about.

    Just like all those wonderful "parents" with all the answers who don't actually have children.

    Boy though- I do wish you were right. I wish it was just a simple failing of myself as a parent that caused this. I wish I could lift this burden from my daughter through simplistic things like like being more servere in disciplining her. Lord knows my wife and I tried that route unsuccessfully for over a year and a half before she was diagnosed.

    Anyways- keep on trucking in your ignorance and comically naive view of complex problems. My family and I in the meantime have to live in the real world.

  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @11:19PM (#39518963) Homepage Journal
    Yes [].
  • by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Friday March 30, 2012 @07:56AM (#39521035)

    I don't know how much experience you have with Autism, but I can assure you, as the parent of TWO ASD children, it goes well beyond "quirky".

    "Quirky" is when a kid likes to wear silly hats, or insists on wearing tights with everything, or like to dance and sing at not always appropriate times. That's quirky.

    "Quirky" is NOT being unable to dress yourself properly or being unable to BATHE yourself, or sitting on your bed making moaning and grunting noises while rocking back and forth and flipping through toy magazines and then stripping your clothes off and shredding your underwear into teeny tiny bits before having a poop accident and then smearing it all over yourself and your walls. At 11 years old. THAT is Autism. Not "Quirky".

    I think far too many /.ers have a really inaccurate idea of what Autism actually is. Many here seem to think that it's all Aspies. Trust me, it's not. Aspies are the tiny minority of ASD sufferers. MOST ASD sufferers are so social and learning disabled that even doing basic day-to-day living activities such as toileting or bathing or even feeding themselves is a challenge. So this isn't the kind of thing taken lightly by researchers. If there has been a substantive increase in diagnosis, then I am wont to believe it.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain