New CDC Report: US Autism Rates up 10 Percent in 2 years!

US autism rates up 10 percent in new CDC report

Contributed to TLB by: The Children’s Health Defense Team

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health contributed to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that finds the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among 11 surveillance sites as 1 in 54 among children aged 8 years in 2016 (or 1.85 percent). This is a 10 percent increase from the most recent report two years ago when it was 1 in 59, and the highest prevalence since the CDC began tracking ASD in 2000. Consistent with previous reports, boys were 4 to 5 times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls. The rate for ASD is 1 in 34 among boys (or 2.97 percent) and 1 in 145 among girls (or 0.69 percent).

ASD is a developmental disorder characterized by social and communication impairments, along with limited interests and repetitive behaviors. Early diagnosis and intervention are key to improving learning, communication, and other skills. Rates have been rising dramatically in the past three decades, but researchers do not know how much of this rise is due to better detection or an increase in “true” cases or both. Technical factors that may be contributing to an increase in ASD include increased awareness, screening, diagnostic services, treatment and intervention services, better documentation of ASD behaviors, and changes in diagnostic criteria. To date, the causes of autism are not completely understood but studies show that both environment and genetics may play a role.

Since 2000, prevalence rate has nearly tripled, from 0.67 to 1.85 percent

As in its prior report, the CDC collected data at 11 regional monitoring sites across the U.S. that are part of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. The ADDM Network makes its estimates in the participating communities by reviewing health and/or education records to ensure as complete a count as possible. ADDM does not rely solely on the presence of a documented ASD diagnosis; it also counts ASD cases determined by ADDM expert clinicians who review the records.

The Maryland-ADDM monitoring site is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

This is the seventh report by the ADDM Network, which has used the same surveillance methods each time. Estimated prevalence rates of ASD in the U.S. reported by previous data were:

  • one in 59 children in the 2018 report based on 2014 data

  • one in 68 children in the 2016 report based on 2012 data

  • one in 68 children in the 2014 report based on 2010 data

  • one in 88 children in the 2012 report based on 2008 data

  • one in 110 children in the 2009 report based on 2006 data

  • one in 150 children in the 2007 report based on 2000 and 2002 data

“We need to know how many children have ASD in order to prepare our communities and services systems,” says Li-Ching Lee, PhD, ScM, a psychiatric epidemiologist with the Bloomberg School’s departments of Epidemiology and Mental Health and the principal investigator for Maryland-ADDM. “An ongoing and accurate estimate will help to develop realistic plans to support these children now, and later into their adolescence and adulthood.”

For the first time in ADDM’s history, researchers found no statistically significant difference in the ASD prevalence between black and white children. This may suggest progress toward earlier and more equitable identification of ASD, the researchers say.

“Although the gap related to the prevalence of racial and ethnic differences is closing, disparities in early intervention persist for racial and ethnic minorities,” Lee said. “Black and Hispanic children with ASD were evaluated at older ages and were more likely to have intellectual disability than white children.” Later diagnosis can hinder early intervention, considered the most effective treatment for ASD.

In Maryland, the prevalence of ASD was 1 in 52 children: 1 in 33 for boys and 1 in 128 for girls. The data were derived from health and special education records of children who were 8 years old and living in Baltimore County in 2016.

ASD can be diagnosed as early as 24 months of age. In Maryland, however, only 48.3 percent of children with ASD received a comprehensive evaluation by 36 months, and the median age at earliest ASD diagnosis was 48 months. “This lag may delay the timing for children with ASD to get diagnosed and receive needed services,” says Lee, who is an associate director of the school’s Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

The CDC recommends that parents track their child’s development, act quickly, and get their child screened if they have a concern. Free checklists and information for parents, physicians, and child care providers are available at Learn the Signs. ActEarly.

A full copy of the report, “Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years–Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2016” is available on the CDC website.

A copy of the Community Report with individual state statistics is available: CDC – Community Report on Autism – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network


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The above CHD Article: US autism rates up 10 percent in new CDC report originated on the Children’s Health Defense website and is published here by contribution with attribution to the author, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and website



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1 Comment on New CDC Report: US Autism Rates up 10 Percent in 2 years!

  1. One of the hazards from dental amalgams is that the mercury in the amalgam constantly releases vapour, which is inhaled and drawn into the brain; however, as will be discussed later in this chapter, the dental establishment denies that any health hazards result from dental amalgams. This denial is unacceptable considering that the WHO has acknowledged that small amounts of mercury can cause serious health problems.

    Another form of mercury is a compound called mercury chloride, also known as calomel. This compound was regarded as a ‘medicine’ and used as a diuretic, laxative and topical disinfectant. David Livingstone, the famous 19th century explorer, was also a medical doctor. He took calomel with him on his trip to Africa and used it to treat himself when he became very ill with a recurring fever that he believed to be malarial. Unfortunately, his lack of knowledge about the serious dangers of mercury means that his use of calomel as a ‘medicine’ substantially contributed to his death at a relatively early age.

    As previously discussed, mercury continued to be used in the treatment of syphilis into the early 20th century; it was prescribed and used for both adults and children. One of the consequences of this ‘treatment’ was an increase in other health problems, as Dr Blaylock states:

    “It is interesting to note that one of the most common diagnoses for admission to mental hospitals during this period was neurosyphilis…”

    The label ‘neurosyphilis’ indicates that the nervous system has been affected; mercury is a known neurotoxin. This would indicate, therefore, that people claimed to suffer from ‘neurosyphilis’ had been misdiagnosed; their condition should have been labelled ‘mercury poisoning’ and they should not have been admitted to mental hospitals.

    Mercury poisoning is clearly another instance of ‘iatrogenesis’, although the number of people who have died as the result of its use as a medicine over the course of many centuries is unknown, because it was not recognised to be dangerous until relatively recently. Dr Blaylock refers to the use of mercury for the treatment of syphilis as:

    “…one of the greatest medical disasters of all times…”

    This is an understatement; the treatment of any condition with mercury is one of the most tragic errors of ‘medical science’. It is an error because there is no basis for the belief that mercury has any beneficial effect within the human body, as Herbert Shelton explains in his January 1972 article entitled How Far is Too Far?

    “Mercury is not a constituent of any of the fluids and tissues of the body and is not usable in the performance of any of the body’s functions. It is equally as unusable in a state of illness as in health.”

    Some of mercury’s neurotoxic effects include disruption to the normal functioning of the nervous system; it can also impair other functions, such as cognitive skills, and has the ability to cause tremors and sleep disturbance. Mercury can also damage brain functioning, which means that it has the ability to cause a variety of health problems that have been given a number of other labels, including that of autism. As will be discussed in chapter seven, ‘autism’ is neither a single condition nor does it have a single cause, which is convenient for the vested interests that seek to deny a causal connection between vaccines that contain a form of mercury and subsequent brain damage. Mercury is not the only neurotoxic substance used in vaccines; there are others, including aluminium as already discussed.

    Another frequently occurring theme in discussions about the toxicity of different substances, is the distinction between large doses or exposures that have distinct effects and low-level doses or exposures, the effects of which are far more difficult to measure. The particular problems with the different effects from exposure to mercury are described by Dr Blaylock:

    “Acute poisoning with massive doses of mercury is clinically obvious, with such symptoms as abdominal cramping, kidney failure, hallucinations, muscular weakness, and numbness in the hands and feet.”

    He contrasts these symptoms with the effects from a lower level of exposure to mercury:

    “Lower mercury levels frequently cause unusual irritability, timidity and suicidal tendencies.”

    These effects could easily be misdiagnosed as a ‘mental illness’ and treated with toxic psychiatric drugs. Dr Blaylock also describes the effects from even smaller exposures:

    “Even lower levels may produce symptoms that most physicians would not even connect to mercury.”

    It is extremely likely that those physicians who would not recognise the effects of low-level mercury poisoning, may suggest that a patient’s illness is due to an ‘infection’, because, as Dr Blaylock explains, the kinds of symptoms experienced would include frequent colds, joint pains, subtle neurological dysfunction, headaches and poor memory; all of these symptoms may be attributed to a ‘virus’.

    Like lead, there is no ‘safe’ level of exposure to mercury; as demonstrated by the statement in the 2010 article entitled Mercury Exposure and Children’s Health, which was previously cited in chapter two but deserves repetition:

    “Mercury is a highly toxic element; there is no known safe level of exposure.”

    It is clear that mercury is finally being recognised as the highly toxic and extremely dangerous substance that it is; unfortunately, recognition of this fact has been an exceedingly slow process and has cost untold numbers of people and children their health and even their lives.

    “There is a growing body of evidence that agrichemical exposures may contribute to birth defects.”

    One of the many chemical compounds found to be teratogenic is TCDD, a member of the family of dioxins, which, as discussed, result from the processing of organochlorines. The manufacture of Agent Orange, the organochlorine-based defoliant used in the Vietnam war, caused the final product to be ‘contaminated’ with TCDD; it was not an intended ingredient. However, the ‘contamination’ of Agent Orange by TCDD is claimed to have occurred only in ‘trace amounts’; the concentration is said to occur in parts per billion, which is not considered to be a significant level. As Dr Colborn has stated, hormones circulate in far tinier concentrations; often in only parts per trillion, which makes the ‘trace amounts’ of TCDD, or any other teratogen, at parts per billion, a matter of significance and of serious concern.

    Organophosphate-based chemicals, such as cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, are also teratogenic. The discussion about Gulf War Syndrome indicated that exposures to the combination of organophosphate pesticides and other toxic chemicals had seriously affected military personnel. In addition to the effects suffered by the men and women who served in the military, there has been an increased incidence of birth defects in children conceived after their return from military conflicts in the Gulf and elsewhere. Exposure to organophosphate pesticides has been associated with an increase in a particular type of birth defect, called neural tube defects, which are discussed in the section about spina bifida.

    Glyphosate, the pesticide commonly used with GM crops, has also been linked to birth defects. The section about GE foods in chapter six referred to the Argentinian study conducted by Professor Carrasco that was reported by William Engdahl in his October 2010 article entitled Study Shows Monsanto Roundup Herbicide Link to Birth Defects. The most significant statement in the article is that:

    “Roundup in far lower concentrations than used in agriculture is linked to birth defects.”

    This demonstrates, yet again, that endocrine disruption occurs at levels that have been deemed by traditional toxicology to be ‘safe’; but these chemicals are clearly unsafe.

    Methanol is another teratogenic chemical; this is demonstrated by Dr Woodrow Monte, who explains that, when purchased for laboratory use, methanol carries a warning label that refers to its potential to cause birth defects. As discussed, methanol has many uses; it is present in cigarettes due to the methods used to process tobacco leaves. In While Science Sleeps Dr Monte states that:

    “Consequently, methanol is one of the most abundant poisons found in tobacco smoke.”

    The fact that methanol is an ingredient of aspartame means that this toxic ‘sweetener’ is also teratogenic; as indicated by Dr Carolyn Dean who quotes Dr Betty Martini’s statement that:

    “Aspartame is a teratogen causing birth defects and mental retardation.”

    The endocrine system also regulates growth and development after birth; which means that any influence that can adversely affect the baby’s endocrine system can adversely affect ‘normal’ development after birth. The use of plastics made with phthalate plasticisers for the manufacture of many baby’s toys can be a contributory factor to later ‘problems’ that may be labelled as ADD, ADHD or autism, for example. In the previous discussion, Dr Kwiatkowski referred to these conditions as being ‘endocrine-related’; autism is discussed later in this chapter.

    One substance that has been mentioned many times is also appropriate to this discussion, because mercury is also teratogenic. Its deadly nature is explained by Dr Carolyn Dean in Death by Modern Medicine:

    “Mercury is a neurotoxin, a carcinogen, a teratogen, a nephrotoxin and is life threatening.”

    Many of the chemicals used as ingredients of cosmetics and personal care products are not only toxic, they are also teratogenic and, again, this often involves members of the family of phthalates. One chemical in this family, called DBP (dibutyl phthalate), is an ingredient of nail polish and implicated in various reproductive problems; as Dr Epstein explains in Toxic Beauty:

    “The highest levels were recorded in women twenty to forty years of age, the prime childbearing years – a major cause for concern since DBP has been linked to birth defects and reproductive problems.”

    Other influences that have been proven to be teratogenic include ionising radiation, especially X-rays. In Secret Fallout, Dr Ernest Sternglass refers to a study by Dr ML Griem that investigated children whose mothers had been X-rayed whilst pregnant. Dr Griem’s data showed that:

    “…there was a significant increase in benign tumors and certain types of congenital birth defects…”

    Although the expectant mother’s exposure to teratogens is a significant contributory factor for birth defects, the father’s exposure cannot be ignored, as the example of the male Gulf War veterans has demonstrated. This point is also of significance in the context of exposures to ionising radiation. In The Plutonium Files, Eileen Welsome reports details of the nuclear bomb tests that occurred in the late 1940s. Although there were many unknown factors about ‘safe levels’ of radiation, she explains that, at the time, it was discovered that:

    “…as little as 0.5 roentgens per day for three months or less could result in defective children in successive generations.”
    She also refers to examples of military personnel who had worked in the Manhattan Project, or were present during various nuclear bomb tests, or both. As a result of their duties, many of these men were exposed to radiation and some of their children suffered defects of various kinds.

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