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Autism: More Common Than We Thought?

“Two-thirds of the children with autism that we ended up identifying were in mainstream schools unrecognized, untreated,” said Richard Grinker, a professor of anthropology at The George Washington University and one of the study’s authors.

The study’s authors stressed that the large percentage of children with autism in this study roughly two and a half times the current rate for the U.S. is not an indication that this particular South Korean town has a greater incidence of autism than anywhere else in the world. Rather, they think the numbers are so high because they were able to look at the general population, not just at kids who have already been diagnosed.

“There’s no reason to think that South Korea has more children with autism than anyplace else in the world,” said Bennett Leventhal, deputy director of New York’s Nathan Klein Institute for Psychiatric Research and another of the study’s authors.

The study’s primary message, Leventhal says, is that “if you really go look carefully amongst all children everywhere, you find that things are far more common than you previously expected.”

What do you think? Do you think that the current rate of autism in the U.S. could be as high as 1 in 38?

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Megan, selected from Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network's mission is to help you improve your world. From covering the latest news on health, science, sustainable business practices and the latest trends in eco-friendly technology, MNN.com strives to give you the accurate, unbiased information you need to improve your world locally, globally, and personally all in a distinctive thoughtful, straightforward, and fun style.

86 comments

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2:15PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

'Epidemic of autism'?

."The autism “epidemic” is set to spread further starting in May 2013, when the next revision of the diagnostic manual (DSM 5) will be published. The DSM 5 definition of an “autistic spectrum” will cast an even wider net, capturing many people now considered to be normal or to have another disorder.... During the past two decades, child Psychiatry has already provoked three fads -- a tripling of Attention Deficit Disorder, a more than 20-times increase in Autistic Disorder, and a 40-times increase in childhood Bipolar Disorder"
Dr. Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, in Psychiatry for 46 years

"We currently have a manufactured epidemic of psychological disorders, and the drug industry is at least partly to blame." Dr. Joanna Moncrief, Psychiatrist

"...there is a huge potential for many unusual kids to fall under this umbrella (of diagnosing 'early risk syndromes') and carry this label for the rest of their lives" Dr. David First, Psychiatrist





2:22AM PST on Dec 1, 2012

thanks for the information

4:09AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

interesting... thanks!

4:44AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

I think it's a little unethical to be diagnosing such young children - especially if they are only showing traits. If it's barely visible then there's every chance it will self-correct. In addition, many traits can be brought about by many other factors than autism. Is true autism common? Oh yes. But it's very difficult for an on-looker to identify what social dynamics are at play, so making a medical or psychiatric diagnosis based on such situations is questionable in my mind.

4:31AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

thank you for this article. i am taking part in a volunteering scheme for children with autism under five years old next week and prior to this my knowledge of autism was quite non-existant. i am excited and enthused to start the scheme next week to try and change at least one child's life if i can through interaction and social techniques.

7:57AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Joyce may be right.

10:38AM PST on Dec 17, 2011

very sad

6:02AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

thank you for this article

6:02AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

thank you for this article

2:48AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

& thank you for this great article, & everyone for sharing their personal experiences, ideas, opinions, questions, & every comment which spreads the awareness & shares the care!

The incidence of autism is growing, we must identify & so all we can to isolate, & counter, the cause, & identify all those factors that exacerbate this condition (& alzheimers, parkinsons, cancer) & stop the escalation of these debilitating diseases.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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