The Education and Science Institute in Vietnam has warned that the number of children with autism in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) has increased by nearly 160 times over eight years. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen, deputy head of the institute, said that the number of children diagnosed with autism is rising sharply in Vietnam.
The number of children with autism detected by the Hanoi-based Central Pediatrics Hospital in 2007 was 50 times more than in 2000, and the number of autistic children treated by the hospital in 2007 increased by 33 times from 2000. The number of autistic children in HCMC increased from only two in 2000 to 324, or 160 times higher, in 2008.
The warning was released this week at a seminar on care and education for autistic children. The seminar was jointly held by the Vietnam Association of Autistic Children, the United States Embassy in Vietnam and the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund in Hanoi. On March 13, Tuoitrenews.vn reported that, according to medical websites, "There is probably a combination of factors that leads to autism, including genetic factors and others including diet, mercury poisoning, the body’s inability to properly process vitamins and minerals, and vaccine sensitivity..."
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