New CDC Study Shows Average Autism Prevalence Up 23% From
– A study out today from the Centers for Disease Control &
Prevention (CDC) indicates Autism now affects an alarming
one in 88 children, (one in 54 boys) a sharp jump from the
previous numbers released in late 2009, and frighteningly
distant rate from one in 10,000 cases seen in the 1980s.
Today’s study, conducted by the Autism and Developmental
Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network office of the CDC,
looked at eight-year-old children born in 2000. A previous
study released by ADDM in 2009 showed autism spectrum
disorders (ASD) affected one in 110 children. The number of
children identified with ASDs in this study ranged from 1 in
210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah. CDC
reports that the largest increases were among Hispanic and
According to a CDC press release issued today, “One thing
the data tells us with certainty – there are many children
and families who need help,” said CDC Director Thomas
Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We must continue to track autism
spectrum disorders because this is the information
communities need to guide improvements in services to help
The National Autism Association again calls for swift
government action, including the declaration of the
autism epidemic as a national health crisis. An
immediate focus on the following areas is critical:
Genetics alone cannot explain the rise in autism. Proper
study into environmental cofactors should be a top
priority among our government, researchers and
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC).
This latest study confirms that the number of children
diagnosed with autism continued to rise among those born
in 2000, before the removal of the mercury-based
preservative thimerosal from most routine childhood
vaccines. The findings are also consistent with recent
indicating an association between the hepatitis B
vaccine and brain damage.
Parents have consistently stated that regression in
their child occurred following immunizations. Further
research on the increased use of vaccines is warranted
and should be conducted with significant stakeholder
input. Obvious research that has been ignored, such as
health outcomes in vaccinated versus non-vaccinated
populations must be undertaken.
Certain subgroups may be more susceptible to
environmental regression, including those with a family
history of autoimmune disorders, premature infants, and
children that are ill at the time of vaccination.
Researching ways to decrease adverse reactions while
increasing the safety of vaccines benefits the overall
health of the general public.
Children with autism have underlying medical conditions
that often go missed, dismissed or misunderstood. These
conditions deserve the full attention of our government
health agencies and medical research community. A
recently published review of the world’s medical
literature strongly implicates biochemical abnormalities
including oxidative stress, immune dysregulation or
inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction and toxic
Physicians should be sure and listen to each caregiver’s
account of any medical issues their child with autism
may have and not presume it to be behavioral.
Treatment, services and therapies should be available to
all individuals with autism. Insurance coverage for
co-morbid medical conditions should be mandated
Studies on children that significantly progressed or
completely lost a classic autism diagnosis should be
conducted to uncover biological underpinnings.
Clinical studies on promising treatments are necessary.
Wandering-related deaths remain on the rise among
children diagnosed with autism. A wandering prevention
protocol should be in the hands of pediatricians to
increase awareness & education. Just yesterday, yet
another child with Autism drowned after wandering away
from a safe setting.
School systems are overwhelmed by increased autism
rates. Our community is in critical need of additional
and properly trained special education personnel.
Cameras in special education classrooms are crucial.
Families are often unable to pay for basic speech and
occupational therapies. Government aide is needed for
these struggling families.
We will soon be faced with a disproportionate number of
diagnosed adults in need of housing, job assistance, and
lifetime care. Preparation should begin immediately and
resources allocated accordingly.
A national strategy for autism is long overdue,
as is a central federal web site dedicated to autism
programs, assistance and information.
“Autism is a national health emergency. Our hope is that the
government will finally declare it as such so that proper
prevention, treatments and resources will be put in place,”
says NAA Executive Director Lori McIlwain. “Immediate action
is necessary for our community, and for members of the
general public who just became one doorstep closer to
For more information about autism, visit
Neurotoxicology. 2009 Oct 2. Delayed
acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates
receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine:
Influence of gestational age and birth weight.Hewitson
Railey White E,
Wakefield AJ.Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States; Thoughtful House Center
for Children, Austin, TX 78746, United States
2 Hepatitis B Vaccination of Male Neonates and Autism
Annals of Epidemiology, Volume 19, Issue 9, Pages 659-659
C. Gallagher, M. Goodman
3 A review of research trends in physiological abnormalities
in autism spectrum disorders: immune dysregulation,
inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction
and environmental toxicant exposures. Rossignol DA, Frye RE.
International Child Development Resource Center, Melbourne,
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