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One in 50 Kids Now Have Autism - What do you think about these new numbers?

Posted by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM
  • 38 Replies

One in 50 Kids Now Have Autism

by Lindsay Ferrier 

FlickrIf you're not already completely freaked out by the number of kids diagnosed with autism, get ready -- the latest numbers are out today and one in 50 school-aged children have autism.

Last year, it was one in 88. People. What is going on?

I really don't understand why the general public is not absolutely up in arms over these rising numbers. One. In. Fifty. This is not okay!

According to USA Today, the numbers are higher because of different counting methods:

The study looked at children ages 6-17 and was based on parent reports, while last year's study looked at 8-year-olds whose diagnosis was noted in school district or other official records.

But experts also say that this study proves we're going to need a lot more autism services for kids than we thought.

Another interesting aspect of the survey is that boys are four times as likely as girls to have autism.

And some experts say that autism in kids hasn't actually increased. What's really changed is that we've gotten better at diagnosing it.

I'm tired of hearing this line, though. Look around you. Is it not COMPLETELY OBVIOUS that autism is on the rise? I have so many friends who have kids with autism -- I think back to when I was a child and I can't remember knowing many children at all with autism, or even kids who had symptoms that would possibly indicate autism. Even more telling to me anecdotally is the fact that my mother was a special education teacher when I was growing up and had hardly any kids with autism or symptoms that might now be indicators of autism. A few years ago, she volunteered in her church nursery and was astounded at the number of children with autism. The church even had a special volunteer effort so that each child with autism would have his/her own helper during the service. This is just one small example of what I'm sure many of you are seeing around you.

People don't like the use of the word "epidemic," but that's exactly what I'm calling it. Autism is an epidemic, and it needs to be treated like one. We need more funding for research and treatment and services -- and we need to figure out what's causing it. Like, NOW.

What do you think about these new numbers? Are you as bothered by them as I am?

by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Carreon
by New Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM
1 mom liked this

I am sick, no one seems to care it is just our children. I agree with you that I do not remember 1 person in school even close to what I see today. I truely believe it is either in our water or the canned food that people eat. My son is 3 1/2  he is the youngest of 4. It was clear very early on there were issues and not until he was 2 that we really thought it was more. When he turned 3 and had 6 months of speech and OT under his belt did we know for sure it is Autism. It is still very new for us but we as a family have gathered to help him in any way. I am sad that school funding is at risk as this epidemic spreads and no one that does not have a child with Autism seems to care. I am educating myself and trying to reach out so mom, dads, grandparents and caretakers can talk openly with out shame. 

LIMom1105
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:34 PM
1 mom liked this
Excuse me, but I hate the use of the word epidemic in regards to autism. It's not a disease you can catch, it's a neurological disorder.

As for this study, it was conducted by telephone. Telephone surveys have definite flaws these days given the gathering method. I tend to believe the study showing 1 in 88 that came out last year. Autism does seem to be rising, though the rise isn't as dramatic as this report makes it seem. More are being diagnosed these days and diagnosed accurately. Many people were diagnosed with schizophrenia or mental retardation not soong ago.

Even so. I think the numbers are rising, but this study is sloppy IMO, and I don't buy it.
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rccmom
by Gold Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM
3 moms liked this

We have pharmaceuticals in our drinking water, bpa in our plastics and lining our canned foods, chemicals fed to our livestock, tons of chemicals used in agriculture, and herbicides and pesticides sprayed all over our lawns in suburban America. I think this is a problem and probably contributes to the increase of Autism.

Another thing to remember is Autism is a spectrum disorder and covers a wide range of behaviors. Children with Autism range from being nonverbal and unable to care for themselves to quirky geniuses like Leornard on The Big Bang Theory. With such a variety of characteristics I would assume there are a lot of factors, both environmental and genetic, and possibly not the same set of factors for each case of Autism.

LIMom1105
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:47 PM
2 moms liked this
Oh about adults, many were never diagnosed. I know quite a few parents of children with an autism diagnosis who suspect one patent has it also. Thinking back to my school days, there are a few kids who probably had it, but were not diagnosed to my knowledge. I think people had it, but it either wasn't recognized or diagnosed as something else.

I'm not saying its not on the rise, but I don't think this study is correct. And I object to the "scourge" language used to describe autism. My son doesn't have a plague.
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rccmom
by Gold Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM
1 mom liked this


According to the school, my son has traits of Aspergers, but not a full blown diagnosis. He has always walked a fine line between quirky, and diagnosable. The outside the school system psych said he probably has Aspergers, but it doesn't matter. My child does not have a plague either, or even traits of a plague. His brain works differently, but not wrong.

have you read anything by Temple Grandin, or seen the movie about her? She is an awesome spokesperson for those with Autism.

Quoting LIMom1105:

Oh about adults, many were never diagnosed. I know quite a few parents of children with an autism diagnosis who suspect one patent has it also. Thinking back to my school days, there are a few kids who probably had it, but were not diagnosed to my knowledge. I think people had it, but it either wasn't recognized or diagnosed as something else.

I'm not saying its not on the rise, but I don't think this study is correct. And I object to the "scourge" language used to describe autism. My son doesn't have a plague.



GrandmaGRN
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 3:56 PM
1 mom liked this

 I think you are exactly right. We have to look at what we are feeding our kids.  Additionally, the govt requiring all kinds of new vaccines that haven't been tested (flu vaccine especially).  I'm an RN but I really discourage my kids from vaccinating my grandchildren against a virus that mutates yearly.  And, on the other hand, I feel like everyone wants a "diagnosis" for every little quirk that shows up in a kid. They have to be labelled ADHD, autistic or whatever. They want a pill or something to make their kid behave.  Often that seems to be a license to give up and not teach the child how to get along in the world.  Now don't all you mom's of truly autistic or DD kids jump all over me.  I'm not talking about you!  I believe there is an increase, but maybe not to the degree reported.

Quoting rccmom:

We have pharmaceuticals in our drinking water, bpa in our plastics and lining our canned foods, chemicals fed to our livestock, tons of chemicals used in agriculture, and herbicides and pesticides sprayed all over our lawns in suburban America. I think this is a problem and probably contributes to the increase of Autism.

Another thing to remember is Autism is a spectrum disorder and covers a wide range of behaviors. Children with Autism range from being nonverbal and unable to care for themselves to quirky geniuses like Leornard on The Big Bang Theory. With such a variety of characteristics I would assume there are a lot of factors, both environmental and genetic, and possibly not the same set of factors for each case of Autism.

 

Citygirlk
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM
1 mom liked this

Yes I am. I personally think it has something to do with what we are giving our kids from vaccines to the growth hormones and all that other unnatural stuff we put in our food.


 Also I don't think it has much to do with pollution, in the industrial era you weren't hearing that much about this more about people dying because of harsh conditions. 


Ayway that just my thoughts on it.

LIMom1105
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Okay, you cannot with something like you did and not expect any reaction, but whatever. I agree our environment and our food plays a role. I also think heredity plays a big role, and the fact that older parents are having children (I say this as a mom who gave birth at 40). Like it or not, I think it's a factor. 

But not everyone seeks a diagnosis to get a pill. There is no pill that fixes autism, so that doesn't even apply here. My son is one of the "high functioning" kids, and I didn't want a pill or an excuse for bad behavior. I sought a diagnosis after a year and a half of being told nothing was wro g with my child (by doctors and EI). Yet he got kicked out of one daycare for hitting. He was on the verge of getting kicked out of another. He didn't socialize appropriately, and while his IQ was high, he couldn't verbalized his needs well. No standard parenting technique or discipline method worked (they still don't). It's heartbreaking to walk into a CPSE office and request an evaluation for a child who should be doing well, but cannot cope in a group setting, cannot deal with the slightest change to his routine. And we're not talking tantrums, we are talking hysterical sobbing over changes. So no, I do not have a child who is classically autistic, but He couldn't function well daily either. 

I don't want meds for my child, but I did know something wasn't right, and I needed help helping him. All the things you and most parents do didn't work. I don't think this is a fair analysis at all, and an autism diagnosis is not an easy one to get either. Rigorous evaluations are done, usually by a number of people, and it takes many parents years to receive one.

Quoting GrandmaGRN:

 I think you are exactly right. We have to look at what we are feeding our kids.  Additionally, the govt requiring all kinds of new vaccines that haven't been tested (flu vaccine especially).  I'm an RN but I really discourage my kids from vaccinating my grandchildren against a virus that mutates yearly.  And, on the other hand, I feel like everyone wants a "diagnosis" for every little quirk that shows up in a kid. They have to be labelled ADHD, autistic or whatever. They want a pill or something to make their kid behave.  Often that seems to be a license to give up and not teach the child how to get along in the world.  Now don't all you mom's of truly autistic or DD kids jump all over me.  I'm not talking about you!  I believe there is an increase, but maybe not to the degree reported.

Quoting rccmom:

We have pharmaceuticals in our drinking water, bpa in our plastics and lining our canned foods, chemicals fed to our livestock, tons of chemicals used in agriculture, and herbicides and pesticides sprayed all over our lawns in suburban America. I think this is a problem and probably contributes to the increase of Autism.

Another thing to remember is Autism is a spectrum disorder and covers a wide range of behaviors. Children with Autism range from being nonverbal and unable to care for themselves to quirky geniuses like Leornard on The Big Bang Theory. With such a variety of characteristics I would assume there are a lot of factors, both environmental and genetic, and possibly not the same set of factors for each case of Autism.

 


deadlights86
by Member on Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:44 AM
2 moms liked this

Autism is becoming the new adhd every single kid that shows the slightest bit off from the norm is labeled as autistic. Now I do believe some kids really are but most I think just are a little quirky not really autistic.

rccmom
by Gold Member on Mar. 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM
1 mom liked this

 So, here's my question. What is Autism? Can you differentiate between a child who is quirky to the extent that he cannot socially interact in a "normal" way with other children and that quirkiness inhibits his ability to function well in his day to day situations? In a lot of ways the characteristics of being gifted have traits in common with ADHD and ASD. I've had a psychologist whose area specialty was in figuring out the differences between all these, and you know what, I've decided when it came down to it, it did not matter. What mattered was getting my child the therapy he needed to learning the coping skills to get by in this world right now. I don't want a dx, I don't want a pill, but I DO want my child to not come home from school crying because once again he messed up socially, was outcaste, and he just didn't know why. Or once again he came home bruised from being physically bullied because he was different. Or again, I had the parent teacher conference about how very smart my child was, but his behavior was not satisfactory and I must be an incompetent parent because smart kids don't have disorders/differences.  


Quoting deadlights86:

Autism is becoming the new adhd every single kid that shows the slightest bit off from the norm is labeled as autistic. Now I do believe some kids really are but most I think just are a little quirky not really autistic.


 

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