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Utah & New Jersey Have Highest Autism Rate

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With more children with an ASD diagnosis, school districts have created more programs that teach autistic children in more appropriate ways and with specially-trained staff; researchers have undertaken studies to understand autism’s causes and develop medications to address neurological functioning. Charlie, who would probably have been institutionalized by now had he lived in a previous generation, is a lovable teenager who lives at home, rides his bikes for miles every day and loves his school, which teaches him essential vocational and life skills.

ASDs are lifelong diagnoses and, amid the cries for figuring out why so many more children now receive an ASD diagnosis, we need to keep in sight the urgent need for more programs and services for individuals of all ages and especially adults. The new CDC figures are still considerably lower than the 1 in 38 prevalence rate found by researchers in a study of school children in South Korea, an indication that the CDC’s figures for the autism rate could increase again. There are more individuals diagnosed with ASDs and, while seeking to understand why this is now the case, we need to do everything we can to provide them with supports and services, to help them achieve their full potential.

Happy trails

 

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Photo of the author's son in 1999, around the time when he was diagnosed with autism.

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15 comments

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10:49AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

As a child psychologist, I certainly understand the concerns with overdiagnosis. However, one of the things that so often times gets overlooked in these discussion is that in order for a child to receive treatment by their insurance or within the schools, they must have a diagnosis. Otherwise, the parents are the ones who end up paying out of pocket. Although the system is faulty, the intentions of the system are good. Check out my recent thoughts here in answering the question: Do we over diagnose children?

http://www.themommypsychologist.com/2012/04/11/are-we-over-diagnosing-our-children/

10:48AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

As a child psychologist, I certainly understand the concerns with overdiagnosis. However, one of the things that so often times gets overlooked in these discussion is that in order for a child to receive treatment by their insurance or within the schools, they must have a diagnosis. Otherwise, the parents are the ones who end up paying out of pocket. Although the system is faulty, the intentions of the system are good. Check out my recent thoughts here in answering the question: Do we over diagnose children?

http://www.themommypsychologist.com/2012/04/11/are-we-over-diagnosing-our-children/

7:55AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

When geographic discrepancies in prevalence were found in the late 1990's, it led to research seeking reason(s) for the differences (e.g., environmental contaminants, etc.). Anyone going to look to see why Utah and New Jersey are so much higher?

5:28PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

Thanks for posting....

2:17AM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

1 in 64 in Arizona.

5:03AM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

Artificial foodstuffs additives, soda drinks, colourings, all these things accumulate in the mothers bodies and are passed to their children, someone please do a study on what these mothers have ingested prior (years) to these children's births.

3:51AM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

My son has an ASD and I believe it has to do with DNA. He has a deletion, a piece missing, from one of his chromosomes. He probably inherited it from one of his birth parents, but neither bio-parent will have a blood test to find out if this is the case. There is also the possibility the genes mutated on their own, which could have been caused by anything - the point is, my son was born with this, it's not from a vaccine. As soon as his little life began in the womb, his DNA already had this aspect of his life mapped out.

2:15PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

I found the cure for autism...and cancer too --- don't pollute.

11:30AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

What I fear is that, absent an obvious cause, we might just dismiss the increase in ASD as a result of greater diagnostic work. What if the cause is complex and pervasive? Do we have the will to fund enough research to solve this mystery? Then, do we have the will to make massive and systematic changes in our environment to stop this?

Let South Korea's statistics be a warning. Don't just assume it is greater reporting.

10:30AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

MMR vaccine anyone??

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