Autism may be more common than presumed


Two new national surveys done in the U. S. reveal that one out of 91 children in the U. S. may have autism or an autism spectrum disorder.

The new estimate is a considerable increase in number from the previously accepted number of one in 150. But experts who discussed the findings of both the surveys urged to be cautious in interpreting new information about the development disorders.

Dr. James Duffee, medical director for the Rocking Horse Community Health Care Center thinks that it could not mean that autism cases are up. He said, “I think it’s a combination of improved diagnosis and early detection, and perhaps an increase in the number of true cases.”

He believes that whatever may be the conclusion, it is sure to invoke more research into the matter, especially since mercury has been removed from most children’s vaccines in 1999, as it was believed to have caused this rapid rise in cases.

Clinical psychologist Louise Johnson, also of the Rocking Horse Center, told that she has observed the increase in families affected by autism-related diseases and believes that the study is definitely on target with its numbers.

She said that the study shows that these neurological issues are more prevalent than we thought and should make us aware of what issues we haven’t met for such children and check where the resources and attention need to be focused.

The CDC announced this week that it will devote nearly $6 million on a five-year study called “The National CADDRE Study: Child Development and Autism.”

The study aims at identifying factors that might put children at risk for autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. The research will involve 2,700 children between the ages of 2-5 with their parents.