The Canvas Grey

Inspiration, Perspective, Insight

Autism Increase Due to Better Diagnoses?

Posted by TheCanvasGrey on November 5, 2007

Autism is on the rise just because doctors are including more in the spectrum.  So says this article and many others.

Here is what I know and why I’m question this line of thinking/belief:

The “experts” have been explaining away the increase for years!  Just exactly how many decades does it take for the “better diagnoses” take to even out so we can measure apples with apples? 

Spectrum disorders have been in place for years; well before my son was diagnosed.  In 1998 the CDC reported that autism INCLUDING PDD categories was 1 in 500; recent figures state 1 in 150.  That makes me gasp! 

How is it in 2000 I quickly found a doctor that could tell me why my son wasn’t talking?  He was only two and at that time the spectrum disorders were already in place and schools/teachers had plans in place to pull my son into the PUBLIC school. 

Why did the CDC come to our neighborhood and tell us that we were just randomly picked in our area?  Then come to find out they visited almost everyone in our neighborhood.  Was it because our child was recently diagnosed?  Was it because we had neighbors with children who exhibited autistic characteristics? 

Why isn’t the media (who loves to sound alarms) doing some investigative pieces on this?  We only hear about some families and their fight/plight or celebs who found “the cure.”

Where is John Stossel when you need him?


3 Responses to “Autism Increase Due to Better Diagnoses?”

  1. FXSmom said

    I think you are right that they make better diagnosis’. I also think that they are including more things into the “autism spectrum.” Eventually, they will split them all up again and it won’t look so bad. 😉

  2. paul said

    Both factors mentioned above are about the first things that come to mind, all the more so by people who are studying the phenomenon. The “better diagnosis” and “more things included” hypotheses were disputed by the evidence of a major California study in 2004. The authors of the study naturally considered these possible “causes” in the increase in reported cases, and with apparently well-trained statisticians, were able to discount them as contributing substantially to the phenomenon.

    Moreover, just about every factor mentioned in the “this article” link above was considered by the researchers, and all were found not to account for the increase (though they might add a small fraction thereof). In assessing the article above and the study I mention, consider that the article sights no study whatsoever, just impressions of experts in the field who conducted no studies. Impressions are no match for good data, even by “experts” in a field, as I’m sure they’d be the first to admit.

    See the full report at

  3. thecanvasgrey said

    Thank you Paul.

    I appreciate your time and the information. This is a study I’ve not seen and want to read. I would tend to believe there is a predisposition to autism from a genetic link. I can even believe there may be no outside factor from the environment to the individual person who has autism. I can even image that it was something from the environment that mutated genes generations ago and we are just now seeing the effect. The reason it is so easy to say and see how this could happen is to look at the lead in toys TODAY and now asbestos, who knows what heating food in a plastic container in the microwave does to us (if the plastic melts and the food sticks to it, then plastic is sticking to the food too). I will probably pull your response and place it within it’s own post so others will be sure to link to the study so they may informed.

    Thanks again for your comments!

    PS> I found this buried in my spam file, must have been the link. 🙂

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