Saturday, December 26, 2009

CDC Autism News Update 2015: Diagnostic Definition Changes, Increased Awareness Behind Recent Autism Surge

January 1, 2015 CDC Autism News Update

In a New Years day  media briefing the CDC has explained that its latest autism prevalence data, released two days before Christmas this year, and  showing a sharp rise in ASD, short for Autism Social Difference,  diagnoses, from 1 in 75 in 2012 to the current estimate of  1 in 50, is probably due to diagnostic definition changes and increased awareness.

New CDC Director Arnie Newman, who is himself "on the spectrum" with an  ASD diagnosis of Asperger Social Difference, says that some tiny, insignificant part of the increase could theoretically be due to environmental factors.  Dr. Newman also noted we are all fortunate to be living in the Acceptance Era when offensive terms like "Disorder" and "Disability" have been replaced by the enlightened  concept of "Difference". 

In what it repeatedly emphasized was a totally unrelated development the CDC also  finally released its  Sixth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. The report is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the exposure of the U.S. population to chemicals in our environment. CDC has measured 2120 chemicals in people's blood or urine—750 of which have never before been measured in the U.S. population.

We now know  that there are lots of environmental chemicals in our bodies said Dr.  Newman but we should not assume that they cause any harm. Dr. Newman stated in closing that the CDC long term study plan projections for the year 2025 include the possibility of examining the effects, if any,  of such chemicals on the developing neurological systems of fetuses and young children.  Such a study is definitely, or at least probably, on our list of possible future research priorities said Dr. Newman.  





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10 comments:

AspieGeek10 said...

Harold,

(I know this blog entry was written in a sarcastic tone.)

Corrections (in CAPITAL letters):

"In a New Years day media briefing the CDC has explained that its latest autism SPECTRUM prevalence data, released two days before Christmas this year, and showing a sharp rise in ASD, short for Autism SPECTRUM DISORDER, diagnoses, from 1 in 75 in 2012 to the current estimate of 1 in 50, is probably due to diagnostic definition changes and increased awareness."

Katie: I think environmental factors play a MINIMAL role.

"New CDC Director Arnie Newman, who is himself "on the spectrum" with an ASD diagnosis of Asperger SYNDROME, says that some tiny, insignificant part of the increase could theoretically be due to environmental factors. Dr. Newman also noted we are all fortunate to be living in the Acceptance Era when offensive terms like "DISEASE" and "STOLEN" have been replaced by the concept of "DISABILITY".

In what it repeatedly emphasized was a totally unrelated development the CDC also finally released its Sixth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. The report is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the exposure of the U.S. population to chemicals in our environment. CDC has measured 2120 chemicals in people's blood or urine—750 of which have never before been measured in the U.S. population.

We now know that there are lots of environmental chemicals in our bodies said Dr. Newman but we should not assume that they cause any harm. Dr. Newman stated in closing that the CDC long term study plan projections for the year 2025 include the possibility of examining the effects, if any, of such chemicals on the developing neurological systems of fetuses and young children. Such a study is definitely, or at least probably, on our list of possible future research priorities said Dr. Newman."

Best regards,

Katie K.

A person with Asperger's (NOT just a difference)

AspieGeek10 said...

Harold,

Additional information to blog entry (fictional story continued):

We are proud to announce that we have selected a new CDC director, Arnie Newman. Newman is an adult who experiences the challenges and gifts of Asperger's Syndrome, a neurological disorder that affects 1 in 50 people from BIRTH. Due to early intervention, self-determination, and extensive effort, Newman has overcome the deficits and challenges that present with having Asperger's. We are thrilled that his extreme attention to detail, long attention span, and desire to help people with Autistic Disorder and intellectual impairment will be an asset to the CDC. Please welcome Arnie Newman as the new CDC Director.

Hello. My name is Arnie Newman, and I am 29 years old. I have Asperger's Syndrome, a neurological disability that affects people from birth. I was diagnosed with the condition when I was eight years old. I received early intervention services in the form of modified Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech and occupational therapy. Modified ABA is a less intensive educational intervention for people on the Autism Spectrum with less significant needs. I would like to thank my parents for their hard work and dedication to help me through the challenging times of childhood and adolescence. Asperger's makes it very challenging to form friendships, understand and interpret non-verbal communication, express emotions verbally, and sometimes even difficulty speaking. Asperger's causes sensory issues that may affect one or more of the five senses (auditory, visual, oral, tactile, and smell). Thanks to occupational therapy, my hypersensitivity to sound, touch, and smell are significantly diminished. On the other hand, Asperger's is NOT a fatal condition nor does it make a person sick.

Claire said...

I am so tired, I totally missed this was fake...and I was really, really confused. OMG.

navywifeandmom said...

Don't feel bad Claire, I thought it was real too, LOL! Had to look again and see that the year was 2015 not 2010. Christmas was fun but totally exhausting for us and I'm still "recovering" :)

Autism Reality NB said...

Yeah Claire I was being a bit sarcastic but I just can't believe how the 93-93 diagnostic definition changes & increased awareness keep getting trotted out to explain every increase in autism diagnoses as we head into 2010 and beyond.

The so called science and skeptic bloggers rely on these excuses with no scientific bases to support their assumptions.

And you know my feelings about the autism is just a difference not a disability nonsense.

Katie Kagan said...

To whom it may conern:

WHO is saying Autism Spectrum Disorders are not a disability?

Ari Ne'eman has NEVER, EVER stated ASD's are not a disability.

http://www.autisticadvocacy.org/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=2

The above link states that Autism Spectrum Conditions are NOT a disease.

Autism Reality NB said...

We will have to agree to disagree about Ari Ne'eman's views on autism being or not being a disability Katie.

I interpret the article you linked to as saying that ASD's are only disabilities when they are not accommodated. In Canadian Human Rights law the existence of a disability gives rise to a duty in employers and service providers to provide reasonable accommodation for the disability. Not the other way around.

Jonathan Mitchell has posted an earlier version of the same article in which Ne'eman states:

"We should recognize that diversity of neurology has contributed to the human race and what it can bring to the future. DIFFERENCE IS NOT DISABILITY and someday, I hope, the world will recognize that those who think in different ways should be welcomed."

If Ari Ne'eman now recognizes that autism disorders, particularly Autistic Disorder with which he has no personal experience, are Disabilities, he should clearly say so and change the essays on the ASAN web sites to reflect hat view.

If he does view Autistic Disorder as a disability why should he oppose parents seeking to cure their children with Autistic Disorder and hence their disability?

farmwifetwo said...

It is my understanding from Jonathon - and I believe he has the before and after - that he did change the essay's, and LBRB went on a "see, he did say autism was a disability" post shortly thereafter. It was last week some time. I have the before but haven't double checked it yet, so I'm not saying "yeah or nay" but over the last few years of LBRB etc... I'm relatively certain - since I haven't checked what I've saved - it's aways been "difference" and that yes, there are those with a "disability" but you can't "cure" them.

Which I found ironic when on the 25th?? Mike Stanton posts a post about how they "cured" his kid and about how hard a time he'd had with his autism and that even though he has a job and can drive he's still "autistic". But if I did what he did... I'd be "curing"... well.. I did do with one... unfortunately, I doubt the elder will get that far... But it won't stop us from trying.

I had wondered if you'd written it or found it... cute.

jonathan said...

something else Ne'eman wrote in response to someone's essay a few years back:

I happened to stumble upon your entry on a Yahoo Search for Asperger's and I'm glad I did. As a teen with Asperger's, I strongly suggest you tell your son as soon as possible. The fact is he is different. What's more, this is not a bad thing. Any individual who accomplishes anything is different. It's his right and his requirement to know who he is, and what makes him different from those around him. Furthermore, Asperger's Syndrome is hardly what one would think of as a disability. I recommend you take a look at Norm Ledgin's "Diagnosing Jefferson", a wonderful book that suggests that one of the founders of our nation had Asperger's. As I and the book can attest, it is not in spite of but because of the characteristics that set us apart from others that "Aspies", as the popular nickname goes, have the ability to do great things.

The day will come when Asperger's will be recognized for what it truly is: a difference, not a disability, and in many ways an advantage. I think you owe it to your son to talk to him about who he is and help him succeed as that person, not pretend (or worse yet, force him to pretend) to be someone else. I'm somewhat notably successful for my age and as a result I've occasionally been asked to speak to newly diagnosed "Aspies" and at a few conferences about Asperger's and special education in general. One of the things I've always tried to stress is the vital importance of recognizing the advantages of difference and not falling into the trap so many do that different is defective.

I urge you to teach your son this when you tell him, talk to him about the notable people who share his neurology and make sure that while he must gain the necessary skills to succeed in a world populated mostly by 'normal' people, he not be forced to lose his unique perspective as a result. If you find yourself in need of any further advice, please respond through e-mail. I can be reached at aspergianneocon(a)gmail.com


Though Ne'eman was talking about Asperger's (which is what he has) rather than generalautism perse, this is something else he wrote where it was quite clear that at the time he did not consider asperger's a disability, so at least he did not consider himself disabled.

Katie K. said...

Fictional story continued:

Congratulations to Matthew Alton, on his position as the CDC's AudioVisual Production Specialist. Alton has had to work much harder than our typical employees. Alton has a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Communications and Design. He also has Autistic Disorder, is hyperlexic, and is gifted with computers. Please welcome Matthew Alton to the CDC.

Hello. My name is Matthew Alton. I have Autistic Disorder. I am also blessed with hyperlexia, the ability to read quickly and comprehend material easily. I was diagnosed with Autistic Disorder at 18 months. At 20 months, I started early intervention in the form of intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from 30 to 35 hours a week. ABA is a very expensive Autism intervention; however my parent's insurance covered it. According to my parents, I was diagnosed with "severe Autism." They told me I was extremely tactile defensive, auditory hyper-sensitive, frequently head-banged, and put everything in my mouth until I was six years old. My parents told me that I started speaking in sentences when I was 10 years old. My speech (as you hear) is still very much monotonous. My saving graces were and still are my hyperlexia and love of computers. My amazing ABA therapists typed social stories for me, and I would read them in a flash. My therapists used my strengths and interests of reading, comprehension, and computers to teach me the skills I would need to be a productive, tax-paying memeber of society. ABA taught me to speak, use a writing utensil (handwriting is still horrible), interact appropriately, have smaill talk, and other skills necessary to function in the community. I was mainstreamed with an aide throughout junior high and high school. My parents have been my BEST advocates.

Although I am a successful person wth Autistic Disorder, I still have challenges. I have severe anxiety, especially in new and social situations. I have to work extra hard to interpret social things. Sometimes, the symptoms of Autistic Disorder reappear, and I have to work really hard to appear indistinguishable.

There is an ongoing debate about "curing Autism Spectrum Disorders." Personally, I think it is okay to have Autistic Disorder; however I can't speak for others with Autistic Disorder or another Autism Spectrum diagnosis.

Although I work with computers, I have been advocating for early intervention, especially ABA. I want to see ALL people on the Autism Spectrum be employed in the community. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.