I received a very upsetting email this morning through my son's website.
The individual who wrote me this morning declined to leave an email so that I may respond to their allegations. They were obviously misinformed. But I did want to clear up some statistics that were questioned by the
e-mailer as I know they are common misconceptions that others may also
hold. Here is what I received this morning:
"You have the rates of autism changing great deal... but that is incredibly misleading left alone like that.
Without stating any of the factors that have contributed to that in regards to the HUGE CHANGE in the diagnostic criteria, without adding that these numbers can be accounted by the decrease in other diagnosis that present themselves often in the same was as aspergers and such. You're using completely different criteria then back then... therefore the comparison is bullshit.
Fine inform people, but you're doing everyone and injustice when you fail to inform them correctly. You should be ashamed."
1. The rates have exploded to epidemic proportions (and the rates on my site may even be lower than true numbers as a study recently completed by the University of Michigan found that the current national rate may be as high as 1 in 125 and not the currently accepted rate of 1 in 166 as I have quoted).
2. Yes the diagnostic criteria have changed. But since they have changed there should be MILLIONS of adults walking around with ASD if the diagnostic criteria were reason for the increase in ASD. Studies have been completed using today's DSM-IV criteria to try to find the MILLIONS of missing adults with ASD. One study was able to find 2 adults that had been misdiagnosed and were actually on the spectrum. Not the MILLIONS that should have existed if this theory was correct.
3. Another argument is that genetics is causing the autism epidemic. Medical and science professionals agree that a "genetic autism epidemic" is simply statistically IMPOSSIBLE.
4. The third argument often used is that parents are just more responsible and aware of ASD now and are seeking diagnosis. See comment #2 for this as the same study should have located these individuals who had "missed" their diagnosis. Also, I'm pretty sure my grandmother would have taken offense to the statement that I care more for my children than she did for hers. Sure she didn't know as much about ASD but neither did doctors or scientists for that matter. Only 1 in 10,000 individuals had ASD 20 years ago. Most people would have never met anybody with ASD. Also, myself (and most of my "spectrum" mommy friends) prayed very hard not to get an ASD diagnosis. It was the last thing we wanted for our child. We and our doctors found every excuse not to diagnose our child with ASD and to see him as just a "quirky kid" for way too long.
5. Perhaps the strongest evidence that Thimerosal has played a key role in the ASD epidemic is that stats released in California. California has been keeping the most accurate stats on ASD for the longest amount of time of any state in the country. It was also the first state to ban Thimerosal from childhood vaccines. The statistics released for 2005 from California indicated a drop in new ASD diagnosis for the first time! Since the removal of Thimerosal in California was the only thing that changed this is very promising statistical evidence that Thimerosal plays a role in the triggering of ASD.
I sincerely hope that the individual who sent an email blasting me will
take the time to revisit our site or will be able to educate themselves
about the truth elsewhere.
Disclaimer: The material on this site is for
informational purposes only and is not to be meant as medical
advice. Please consult a trusted and knowledgeable physician when
making medical and treatment decisions.
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