Saturday, January 10, 2009

UC Davis confirms sharp rise in autism rates

A recent study of autism rates in California, led by UC Davis researchers, found a "sharp rise" in autism rates even after accounting for higher rates of diagnosis and the inclusion of milder forms of autism. From an article in the Press-Enterprise, which covers Riverside and San Bernadino counties:

UC Davis researchers who analyzed 16 years of records concluded that California's dramatic rise in autism cases since 1990 cannot be blamed on population increases or the way the disability is classified or diagnosed.

The study's authors, from the university's MIND Institute, called for a switch in research emphasis from a genetic cause to possible environmental triggers including chemicals, medications, fertility treatments and childhood vaccines.

The incidence of autism in children 6 or younger increased from less than nine per 10,000 children born in California in 1990 to more than 44 in 10,000 children born in 2000.

Read the rest of the article here.


  1. "possible environmental triggers"-- my personal theory is it is ALL about the toxins in our environment. Our bodies just weren't built to handle all of the crap we make it deal with these days.

  2. The author of the linked article misrepresents the MIND Institute's position on vaccines as a potential environmental trigger for autism. Please note the Institute's official position on vaccines, thimerosal, and autism:

  3. Just means there's an awful lot of very special kids out there.

  4. Thank God. I am so sick of the genetics apologists. I've always said we should study the environment and how different chemicals are affecting our children.

    I have a daughter with autism and no family history whatsoever and none of my other children are on the spectrum. People think autism is "just a little extra school" and not a big deal but believe me, living with it every day IS a big deal, especially if your child is very low-functioning. My daughter is pretty severe; she is almost six and cannot talk and is not toilet-trained. Life with her for the last four years has been pure hell at times. There is nothing I wouldn't give to have a cure for autism. Nothing.

    She is also the only one of my children who spent her whole infancy in California, where the rates are really high.


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