Contact: Ginger Taylor
Phone: (855) 711-5282
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 A.M. EST, March 20, 2012
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control have promised to release their most recent autism prevalence numbers sometime “in the spring,” which officially begins today. Most likely the release will give rates from the 2008 report of the Autism Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network on eight-year-old children born in 2000.
Over two years ago the CDC reported autism rates of 1 in 110 in children born in 1998. Early reports indicate that rates for children born in 2000 have risen above 1 in 100. According to sources, the new rates could be announced as early as next week.
Chairman of the Canary Party Mark Blaxill said, “We’ve been waiting for years to get these numbers from the CDC, but most of all we’ve been waiting for health authorities to face the reality of the American autism epidemic. Something terrible has happened to a generation of American children and the CDC refuses to declare autism a public health emergency.”
In order to assess the new report, the Canary Party urges the public to consider the following:
• These statistics are many years behind the current situation. Since the onset of autism begins in infancy, before three years of age, these statistics are effectively a decade old.
• Utah, one of the ADDM reporting sites, has already published their results for the 2000 birth year. The risk for autism in eight-year-olds born in Utah in 2000 was 1 in 77. This is a 73% increase from Utah’s 2002 ADDM statistics, which showed a rate of 1 in 133 for children born in 1994.
• Autism was reported as a new condition in American children born in the 1930s. For many years reported U.S. autism rates were low, not much higher than 1 in 10,000. Starting with children born around 1990, autism rates began exploding. Some authorities attribute this increase to the inclusion of Asperger’s syndrome in official diagnostic criteria, but Asperger’s syndrome only makes up a modest portion of total autism cases and cannot explain such sudden and large increases.
• The ADDM Network has never reported breakdowns within the autism spectrum, making comparisons to past prevalence reports difficult. Without the ability to separate rates of Asperger’s syndrome from other autism categories, the CDC has failed to address the impact of Asperger’s syndrome on autism time trends.
• The ADDM Network reporting sites have also changed frequently, making comparisons even with the CDC’s own autism reports difficult. High prevalence sites like New Jersey were removed from the ADDM Network and lower prevalence states like Florida were added. These shifts make the increases appear less alarming than they truly are. Nevertheless the last CDC report showed an increase of 57% in just four years.
• The ADDM Network reports begin with children born in 1992, so they miss the crucial inflection point in autism rates around 1990. Yet the CDC’s own statistics from New Jersey, an early ADDM site, show rates for autistic disorder rising from ZERO in the 1988-89 birth years to 1 in 128 by 1993.
The only plausible explanation for these rapid increases is a change in the environment affecting millions of American children. A recent study on California twins — the largest autism twin study ever conducted — reported that the environment explained over 60% of autism causation, and by some estimates over 90%.
The Canary Party calls for all Americans to watch for the new autism rates and demand action from public health authorities.