• Christina Delgado, M.Ed.

Estimated Rates of Autism in America as of 2018

Updated: Jul 10, 2019

Hello there my beautiful followers and welcome to Special Ed Advice USA's first official blog post! We are excited that you will be learning with us and diving deep into the world of special needs and those with disabilities!

Rates of Autism! Alarming:

As this is my first blog, I figured that we would start with the basics; the rates of Autism in the United States of American over the past 15 years. The chart you see below was created by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which means it's aka, run by the government. Therefore, this is the most accurate data pertaining to the rates of Autism that we have as of today. As you can see in the chart below, since 2004, the rates of Autism have been going up up up. But what I find to be the most shocking part of this chart is that if you really look at the numbers, you'll notice that there has been a 15% increase across the nation from 2018's 1 to 59 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) compared to 2016's 1 to 68 diagnosed with ASD.

Causes of Autism:

Is anyone else shocked by that?! A 15% increase in two years!! What the heck is going on here you guys?! Is it due to the lack of diagnoses before?, Is it due to environmental factors? (aka food, air pollution, etc.), Is it due to genetics?, Is it due to the testing criteria with low thresholds for diagnoses?, Is it due to an increased awareness of the parents to get their kids tested?, Is it due to vaccines?, or is it because of the million other theories that are out there?! Well, so far, science and research have not been able to tell us a solid, guaranteeable answer as to why the rates of Autism have increase so much and so quickly, but I am going to tell you my opinion.

Personal Opinion:

In my personal opinion, I think that there are several culprits: genetics, environment, and more than anything, now people are getting tested more frequently and more accurately than ever before. Back in the day (aka in the 90's), educators and researchers knew WAY less about Autism and other disables than we know today. So I do think that a lot of people in the 90's never got properly diagnosed. I think a lot of people during that time either got partially diagnosed, falsely diagnosed, or never even got diagnosed and sadly enough were just labeled "weird" or "slow". And this goes for all disabilities, not only Autism. When is comes to disabilities, there is still so much us educators, researchers, and scientists still don't know now, so image back then. That was the area of dial up and cell phones the size of a brick (if you were even lucky enough to have that.) And by default, since we know more now about the characteristics of each disability, we are able to utilize more accurate testing now-a-days, which will tell parents with more accuracy what disability(s) your child actually has and how to properly go about it. Although there is still a stigma about Autism and other disabilities, compared to a decade ago, I do think that as a society we have become more open and understanding of learning disabilities. Hence, I believe that more parents are open to getting their child tested compared to 10 or more years ago. Again, this is just my two cents.

Vaccines and Autism:

Also, I really do not think it is the vaccines guys. I know that that is the hot topic now, but let me ask you this; if vaccines were the source of Autism, then why is it that most people with Autism are male? and why is it that most people with autism are the first born child? I think that if it was the vaccines then it would be split between girls and boys, and amongst all children in the family. Now, of course I am not saying that girls or 2nd, 3rd, 4th children can't have Autism. Of course they can! But research-based data does show that Autism is primarily amongst boys and primarily the first born child. Any parents who think that not vaccinating your child is a good idea, you are making your child at risk of communicable diseases. For more about how vaccines DO NOT cause Autism, please visit the hyperlink to a research article supported and presented by the CDC: https://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(13)00144-3/pdf?ext=.pdf

Any-who, I digress. Below is a link to a study titled, "Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years - Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United Stated, 2014", which was posted on the CDC's website and I found to be quite interesting so feel free to take a look when you have the time.

Be kind, be bold, be you!

Much Love,

Dr. D :)

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Chart Photo Create:

Autism Speaks (2018). Estimated Autism Prevalence 2018. Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/science-news/cdc-increases-estimate-autisms-prevalence-15-percent-1-59-children

Article Create:

Baio, J., Wiggins, L., Christensen, D, et al.(2014). Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years - Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United Stated, 2014. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/ss/ss6706a1.htm

DeStefano, F., Price, C., and Weintraub, E. (2013). Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism. Retrieved from https://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(13)00144-3/pdf?ext=.pdf

*Legal disclaimer: All views expressed on this cite are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated to in the future. The content shown above is 100% my personal opinion and me and only me is responsible for the content expressed above.

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