California Autism Rates Double

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

The state of California Department of Developmental Services released a report on Tuesday with findings of a 97 percent increase in Autism during the past four years.

Numerous media outlets reported this week with details from the report (links below) and I have put together a summary of information I have collected.

According to the reports, the number of kids in the state of California being treated for autism doubled between 1998 and 2002. There is no end in sight to the growing trend as researchers still do not know what causes autism, a nervous system disorder that disrupts the ability to communicate and socialize with others.

While scientists continue to search for a cause, theories abound, including the possibility that childhood immunizations may be involved. While none (that I could find) of the U.S. reports made any mention into a possible relationship of mercury-based thiomersal found in various childhood vaccines, UK headlines read… “Fears over UK vaccines after US reports link to autism.” (link below)

From the UK news… “A preservative blamed for triggering cases of autism, but which is used routinely in vaccines for hundreds of thousands of children across Britain, is unsafe according to a major investigation on behalf of the US government. For the first time, the American authorities have said that mercury-based thiomersal is hazardous and they have accused drug companies of failing to adequately test the product for side-effects.”

Other causes suggested include environmental toxins, food additives and possible causes in the womb such as a mother’s immune response to common infections that could affect the developing fetus.

The stunning 97 percent leap in four years has made Autism more common then several other childhood disorders. Once a rare disorder, cases of Autism now out number those of children diagnosed with childhood cancer, diabetes and Down syndrome.

It’s not just California. While the state has one of the most comprehensive reporting systems for tracking the disorder, numbers from states such as Georgia, Minnesota and Massachusetts suggest even higher prevalence rates of Autism. Other countries noting rising numbers of autistic children include Great Britain, Japan, Australia and Israel. In Scotland, a UK report states that Autism cases have risen by 1600% in the past 10 years.

This is certainly a global phenomenon.

Autism rate doubles among state’s kids – Scientists mystified by ‘frightening’ rise of disability
Scientists mystified by ‘frightening’ rise of disability – California autism diagnoses continue increase, study says
Autism cases seen to double since 1999
Autism numbers soar in California
Fears over UK vaccines after US reports link to autism – Exclusive: Call for ban on ‘hazardous’ additive
Vaccine link supports families’ fears – Mercury-based preservative may be cause of autism rise @ 10:00 am | Article ID: 1052931659

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