Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorA rather disturbing report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today about the wide range of disorders known as autism. The key point of the report: the numbers are in a steep, steep climb.

In 2000, the estimate was one in 150 American children had a form of autism. In 2006, that number jumped to one in 110. Today’s figure is based on an analysis of medical records and school reports on thousands of children in 14 states. It says autism affects one in 88. That’s quite a jump.

So what’s going on? Many say it’s simply a matter of improved awareness and more aggressive diagnosis. The big fear, however, is something is going on in the environment that is responsible for the rise.

Although most researchers don’t think that’s the case, experts are now looking at what kids are exposed to in the womb, what their parents were exposed to (especially just before and during pregnancy), as well as what children are exposed to shortly after birth, including medication.

One of the most disturbing findings to come out of the report is that 40 percent of kids aren’t diagnosed until after age 4. That’s way too late, since we now know early treatment can help these children.

That means you, and your doctor, need to be looking for clues at the earliest of ages that your child is developing at a steady pace and hitting the guidelines for growth and development within acceptable ranges.

In addition to routine screenings at regular well-child checks, your doctor should be performing specific screens for development at certain visits: 9 months; 18 months; and 24 months. Preemies, low birth weight kids, and those with a family history of autism may need more frequent screening.

Here’s a nice link for all of you parents out there: “Learn the signs, Act Early!”

LINK: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Autism ‘Act Early’ Website

And as a physician, I leave you with one more piece of advice: you know your child best. Trust your instincts. Make sure your child is where he or she should be on the road to normal development. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference.

Comments (20)
  1. JeanneLePieux says:

    Check out the schedule of “recommended” vaccines on a bar graph as they have increased over the last two decades.. Then look at the increase in Autism on a graph as it has increased over the decades.. Place them next to each other. Heck, put them on top of each other – it will look practically the same. THEN tell me it has nothing to do with vaccines.

    Pretty soon “they” are going to start controlling what pregnant women eat.

  2. mildmannered says:

    I’d like to know how the US autism rates compare with, say, Canada’s, or other ‘advanced’ countries.

    1. BritannicUK says:

      ‘mildmannered’, Whilst trawling through news-sites, I saw your question. It’s the same here in the U.K. I think. A good friend of mine was diagnosed with Aspergers in his mid 40s. As the article mentions, better diagnosis seems to indicate an increase, but perhaps – just perhaps – the cases have always been there, but naturally they were overlooked for various reasons. Firstly, specialists with expertise were not available. Secondly, (and as far as I understand), autism is well established by the age of 2 years. My friend was vaccinated with the single vaccine against measles and mumps, and this was long before the controversy over the M.M.R. version. Personally, I’ve sometimes pondered on the possibility of the contraceptive pill, or perhaps agricultural herbicides and insecticides poluting the air, and entering the food-chain as possible causes, but, as I’m not fully familiar with their effects on this condition, I can’t substantiate these notions. As far as I’m aware, autism seems to be on the increase over the developed, but I may well be incorrect. I’m afraid I can’t realy offer anything better unfortunately. .. As an after-thought however, and if C.B.S. Denver doesn’t mind me mentioning it, our B.B.C. website.here offers a pretty comprehensive health page, and exterior links, so I’d imagine autism would almost certainly feature on it. Hope this is of some help anyway. Regards, BritannicUK

      1. mildmannered says:

        Thanks for your thoughts. I understand the link between better diagnosis and an increase in numbers. I also have pondered the possibilities you have. What we unknowingly ingest in foods and what we knowingly ingest?

        I have heard about people wanting to link autism to vaccinations, so that was the real reason for the question, what are the rates in other countries.


  3. Dave Thrush says:

    My son has Aspergers Syndrome and is now in College at CCU with 3 scholarships. At 3 He was diagnosed in California with sensory integration disorder. We brought him to Denver and had him diagnosed at JFK partners with what we already knew was Aspergers. Early intervention is critical and we were blessed with a couple of really good therapists (fine motor skills, social development) and so we now have a 19 year old with good skills in College.

  4. Becky Miller says:

    Drinking diet soda during pregnancy causes autism! Read more here: http://www.whilesciencesleeps.com/birth-defects-caused-by-aspartame/

    Increases in the rate of autism track perfectly to increases in diet soda consumption, and the epidemic began when the FDA approved aspartame for use in diet sodas. Pregnant women should avoid diet drinks or they risk their unborn babies’ health!

  5. JeanneLePieux says:

    Becky, I think you are right on also! In my first post I was going to include aspartame and high fructose corn syrup as other “factors” in which the use curve (or graph) is similar.

    Dave, your story is similar to ours. Our daughter was diagnosed with SID at age 6 at Children’s Hospital. We didn’t get an Asperger’s diagnosis, but I believe she is at the very low end of that spectrum also. Her twin sister is completely normal…

  6. justamom says:

    On one hand I’m so glad that the media has drawn attention to early diagnosis, but I also wonder how many kids are over-diagnosed (misdiagnosed). I have a stubborn, quirky 6 year old daughter that at 2 and a half was diagnosed at JFK with Autism. To this day her family, pediatrician, teachers, and other school professional wonder how she ever got that diagnosis. But I certainly feel for families that have to live with Autism, for real, every day (by no means am I discounting their real struggles).

    The real story now needs to be better diagnosis (which takes research and money) and getting resources to families that really need them! Colorado is historically a very under funded state for Developmental Disability services.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Too much Tylenol: https://www.facebook.com/acetaminophenhealthissues

    There’s your environmental trigger.

  8. edward collins says:

    Dave recommends a lot of vaccinations, says corn sugar is ok, money in he bank for us to be sick

  9. Will says:

    With the CDC recognizing that Autism rates have gone up by 23% in just two years (1 in 54 boys being diagnosed)and saying that Autism is reaching epidemic proportions…

    What is the CDC’s remedy? How do they plan to LOWER the numbers of those diagnosed?

    As this article noted: They’re going to change the definition. Instead of finding the cause, and treating it…they’re simply covering up the real numbers by removing a significant portion of those diagnosed NOW under current criteria in order to FALSELY lower the numbers based on a NEW definition of Autism.

    That should be a criminal offense. Shame on those who think otherwise.

    Seriously, what is the cause for this “sudden” jump in Autism? If the autism rate has doubled in six years and is becoming an epidemic…what’s causing it? Environmental factors? Viruses? Bacteria?

    What happened starting around 6 years ago that would cause a sudden spike in the ensuing years?

    Wasn’t there a change in vaccine’s given to babies around that time?

    Kathy Wakefield, immunisation lead at NHS Rotherham, said “Some years ago, there were many stories in the media linking MMR with autism. These caused some parents to delay their child’s MMR immunisation or not to have it at all resulting in outbreaks of measles. However, independent experts from around the world have found no credible scientific evidence for such a link and in fact now have a large amount of evidence showing that there is no link.”

    In contrast to Ms. Wakefield’s statement, the Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD) would like to show how Microcompetition could be the missing link.In other words, Microcompetition could be the biological mechanism linking the MMR II vaccine to Autism.

    The vaccine package insert for the MMR II vaccine written by Merck & Co., Inc. and that can be downloaded from the FDA website, shows that Fetal cell line Wistar RA 27/3, Fetal cell line WI-38, and genetically engineered human albumin are all used in the vaccine.( http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM123789.pdf )

    The CBCD believes that the current purification processes cannot completely filter all foreign DNA plasmids used in the process of manufacturing the MMR II vaccine. Therefore, some foreign DNA fragments end up being injected into infants.

    In support of this belief, Dr. Helen Ratajczak, Ph.D. who published two papers on the subject in the Journal of Immunotoxicology, says “The MMR II vaccine is contaminated with human DNA from the cell line in which the rubella virus is grown. This human DNA could be the cause of the spikes in incidence. An additional increased spike in incidence of autism occurred in 1995 when the chicken pox vaccine was grown in human fetal tissue.” (Merck and Co., Inc., 2001; Breuer, 2003).

    The contamination of MMR II with foreign DNA fragments, discussed by Dr. Ratajczak, combined with Microcompetition, discovered by Dr. Polansky is the missing link between MMR II and Autism.

    If the MMR 2 is causing microcompetition, which in turn “could” cause Autism, one needs to ask what the CDC’s motivation in ignoring such evidence could be.


    For more information on the Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease, or to learn more about microcompetition, biologists, virologists, geneticists and doctors should definitely read “Microcompetition with Foreign DNA and the Origin of Chronic Disease”. People can check it out for free at: http://www.cbcd.net

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  12. edward collins says:

    Thanks JeanneLePieux…. think Dr Dave reads???

  13. JeanneLePieux says:

    Yes, I believe wholeheartedly that he reads AMA and CDC propaganda like its the Bible. BTW, mainstream medical types hate Dr. Mercola. That’s why I like him! (And Dr. Russell Blaylock!)

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