Monday, December 12, 2011

Why Are Autism Diagnoses Rising?


The LA Times is running a series on autism. The first article in the series strongly implies that increases in autism diagnoses are simply a function of changing diagnostic criteria and practices.

"Unraveling an Epidemic"

On the one hand, I agree that a child who would have been diagnosed with mental retardation in the 1960s, is more likely to be given a diagnosis of autism today. I also agree that we are more likely to give children with eccentricities diagnoses today than in the past.

However, that being said, I strongly disagree that there exists no real increase in kids with development disorders. I believe there are real increases as a direct result of environmental contaminants. 

I'm posting my response to the article here:

How is it that we know that BPA, Round-Up, and phthalates are endocrine disruptors, yet increases in autism rates are simply from changing diagnostic standards and practices?
(Round up and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark http://www.scribd.com/doc/57277946/RoundupandBirthDefectsv5

How is it that we know that pesticides impact neurological development, but yet increases in autism rates are simply from changing diagnostic standards and practices? 

How is that we know that living near a major road or freeway increases likelihood for an autism diagnosis, but increases in autism rates are simply from changing diagnostic standards and practices?  

How is that we know that ionizing radiation damages DNA and our kids are bathed in it yet increases in autism rates are simply from changing diagnostic standards and practices?


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