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CDC Registers Rise in Autism Rate

Posted on Mar 29, 2012
Flickr / Pablo Asorey (CC-BY-SA)

The CDC report found that American boys are about five times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a significant uptick in autism diagnoses in several areas of the country that were part of a study published Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Whether that means that the incidence of autism itself is on the rise or more children are being diagnosed might be up for debate, and according to the CBS report cited below, the CDC warned that the results of the region-specific study “should not be generalized to the United States as a whole.” However, also confusing is how CBS proceeded to open its story about the study by doing just that. So how to make sense of it all? Discuss.  —KA

CBS News Healthwatch:

One out of 88 children in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder, according to the latest estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previously the CDC estimated autism’s prevalence at about an average of 1 in 110 U.S. children. The new estimate suggests autism is more common than previously thought - about 25 percent more common - and may affect more than one million children and teens in the U.S.

“One thing the data tells us with certainty - there are many children and families who need help,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a written statement. “We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children.”

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By JEA, March 31, 2012 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This isn’t some fucking hypothetical in social studies
class, gerard.

People have to live with autism, and it’s not always
easy and it’s not always pleasant.

Parent of an autistic child.

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By berniem, March 31, 2012 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Of course the government’s role in the rise in this, as well as other less sensational, disease proliferation should be mentioned in light of its abdication of its responsibilities to ensure the safety of the citizenry via strict oversite of environmental quality. Turning over virtually all important quality of life decisions to the profit/greed driven private sector ensures the misery of the many for the benefit of the few and their governmental agents! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!

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By gerard, March 30, 2012 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

It would be a very good idea to stop treating autism and its related characteristics as an illness or a deficiency.  Too bad this study comes at us courtesy of the Center for DISEASE Control, published in The MORBIDITY AND MORTALIEY Weekly Report.
  Publicity of categorizations like this doesn’t help a bit in understanding autism and related symptoms, and professionals themselves are admitting that “perhaps they are asking the wrong questions” in their investigation in the case of Asperger’s-related symptoms.  Why habituate a prejudice?
  I advocate that instead of emphasizing “finding a cure” scholars take a look at the possible relationship between the increasing lack of empathy in modern societies as a whole, and try to account for causes, such as starvation, war, general bowing in the direction of violence, and the structure of and tolerance for increasingly mechanistic societies as possible CAUSES of genetic alterations such as autism. And after that, if there is any connection between such societies and the alteration of genes.
  Also recognize the fact that autistic complexes are often accompanied by superior abilities in certain fields of endeavor such as math, music and cryptographic and digital abilities. What does that tell us, if anything?
  Research should not always be steered in the direction of “curing an illness.” Societies as a whole deserve more systematic investigation. What makes them “tick?” Obviously, we have only the most inexact ideas!

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