Thursday, July 23, 2009

Autism Still Rising in Australia

According to the Australian Broadcasting Company News two new independent studies from Melbourne's La Trobe University indicate that autism is on the rise in Australia. Official Australian estimates of 1 in 160 are now being challenged by the two studies one of which reports an incidence of 1 in 119 persons affected by an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. A second study from La Trobe using much smaller study group reports a 1 in 100 figure.

The usual "we don't know if the increase is real, or is the result of better diagnosis" stuff is quoted in the ABC News article. Maybe we should just assume that the increasing rates of autism in Australia, and elsewhere in the world, are due entirely to better diagnosis and increased awarness. Like the famous three monkeys we could cover our eyes and ears and ignore the autism epidemic.

Perhaps like Dorothy from the other Oz we can just click our heels three times and wish that autism were not actually rising, that there were no environmental factors causing increases in autism. Or maybe we could do the research necessary to determine what environmental factors are causing the autism increases.

We really don't need any wizards telling us it is all in our heads.

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Anonymous said...

Autism is rising very quickly in the most industrialized nations, such as the US, Canada, UK and Australia.

But, last time I checked, the ASD rate in China was ~1 in 1000; in Taiwan ~ 1 in 530; in India ~1 in 250.

I don't understand these figures.

In the US in Minnesota the ASD rate is 1 in 74; in Iowa it is 1 in 554.

How can this simply be due to "better diagnosis?" If this "better diagnosis" theory were correct than the ASD rate would be stable across the world.

But it is not.

It varies not only from country to country but from state to state and even from county to county.

No one can give a good explanation and the "better diagnosis" theory fails to explain anything since the rates are not stable.


This definitely stands to reason since Australia, with 27 vaccines on their vaccine schedule, is surpassed only by the U.S. and Canada - the two other countries with the highest autism rates in the world.

It's amazing how medical professionals can't just open their eyes and see the data smacking them in their faces.

Michael Paluszek said...

Great blog and post. I work for a public relations firm in NYC. We work for Rethink Autism. A compelling piece about Rethink Autism ran on WCBS-TV Ch. 2 (Max Gomez) in NYC last night/this morning. Text/video links follow
(to segment)
(to text)
(to Rethink Autism website)