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2002 - 1 in 150
2006 - 1 in 110
2008 - 1 in 88
2013 - 1 in 50

Autism Diagnoses Rise Among U.S. Children, CDC Finds

As the tsunami of autism continues to build we still have no national urgency to address it.

These kids (my son included) are growing up and will overwhelm the anemic support systems we currently have in place at the same time as the right wing works ferociously to gut the system.

About 2 percent of American school children were diagnosed with autism disorders in 2011 and 2012, a 72 percent increase from the previous five years, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The current statistics were compared with the CDC’s 2007 report that found 1.16 percent of children ages 6 to 17 were diagnosed on the autism spectrum, according to their parents. Most of the increase was due to more diagnoses of milder autism disorders, the Atlanta-based agency said.

The current data show that 1 in 50 children have been diagnosed with autism or a related disorder, such as Asperger’s syndrome. The conditions are characterized by difficulty with communication, social functioning and by unusual responses to sensory information.

I just wanted to let the DKos community know about this report.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    When I see pictures of Tea Party events all I see are 60 somethings, when I see pictures of Occupy Wall Street all I see are 20 somethings... attrition is our ally.

    by Loudoun County Dem on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:13:32 AM PDT

  •  I suspect this is an increase in diagnosis (6+ / 0-)

    rather than an increase in actual cases of autism.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:34:25 AM PDT

    •  I'm sure that is part of it... (8+ / 0-)

      But that just indicates how much the problem was unknown or ignored in the past.

      It remains a crisis increasing in scope with which we must deal with increasing urgency.

      I know from personal experience how the system is already strained. Between the school systems trying to cope with the increasing number of students with autism issues to the fights all of us parents of autism need to go through with the health insurance maze to get coverage for the services our children need (everything is seemingly deemed experimental and therefor not covered).

      There is no let up in the effort. It is exhausting in the daily care of these children, the efforts to effect change in the attitude and awareness of society (you become inured to the judgmental looks from people who think your child is simply undisciplined, even if you child is almost completely non verbal like my son) and the unending advocacy to improve the protections and services available to help these kids. I know I will always be responsible for my sons well being but I work to improve the prospects of a quality of life for him when I am no longer able to protect him.

      When I see pictures of Tea Party events all I see are 60 somethings, when I see pictures of Occupy Wall Street all I see are 20 somethings... attrition is our ally.

      by Loudoun County Dem on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:47:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree in principle, commonmass, (3+ / 0-)

      but wonder about the impact of an increasingly hostile climate filled with damaging elements such as heavy metals and the like.

      "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

      by Yasuragi on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:03:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The epidemic is real, the strain on families is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loudoun County Dem

    tremendous and as people with autism age, the resources dwindle.

    This country is totally unprepared to deal with this crisis.

    You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Foundmyvoice on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:36:28 AM PDT

  •  Diagnosis. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loudoun County Dem, blueash

    When I was a child, everyone knew I was a little "off", but autism was kids who sat rocking themselves and banging their heads against a wall.  Kids who were highly verbal, capable of reading through the entire textbook in an evening and singing with perfect pitch were told that they were "too intelligent" to be incapable of understanding social cues without having them spelled out or to ignore company to go for a walk in the rain.  And of course, since having the television on in the next room didn't bother anyone else, it was their own fault if they couldn't sleep or do homework because of the friggin' noise.  Now, I can take a pair of tests online that both indicate a very high probability that if I were a child again, I'd be diagnosed as High Functioning Autistic in about fifteen minutes with a specialist.

    Try thinking of it this way:  human beings have never all been alike, all thought alike, all worked alike.  For a certain period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it became a social ideal to reduce all kids to a single unhappy medium, study their "average" behavior, and define that as "normal".  Those who weren't "normal" were in some way bad.  It was a disability, socially if nothing else, to be Different.  Variations from standard weren't tolerated.  Now we discover that there are quite a few people who are different.  1 in 50 isn't all that different from the long tail in any "normal distribution".  Autistic kids are simply noticeably Different.  So are ADD kids.  The "social norms" of schools designed in the 19th century to create a workforce suitable for factory employment (complete with Pavlovian conditioning to the sound of a loud bell) don't accommodate the natural variations of the human nervous system.

    But those variations have always been there.  In ancient and medieval times, in fact, the rare high-functioning autistic was specifically sought and trained for intellectual work that was heavily-dependent on skills with abstract thinking and memory, much like computer science today.  Likewise, the concentration on sales, marketing, and convincing fraud that typifies the majority of positions in business was another tail-end distribution that medieval society felt very little need to encourage.

    Autistic children can benefit a great deal from specialized training in social skills and physical activities that they are unlikely to learn by osmosis like their neurotypical peers.  On the other hand, they often require far less training in the basics of spelling, grammar, and elementary mathematics than their age-peers.  It's simply a matter of recognizing that one program rarely fits all in a diverse human population.

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