New statistics on autism have reached an alarming high. CNN Health reported today that, “The number of children with autism is "significantly" higher than previously thought, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). School-aged boys were four times more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis than girls, according to the new data.”
CNN Health goes on to say, “The CDC released a report a year ago estimating 1 in 88 American children has a form of autism spectrum disorder - neurodevelopmental disorders that lead to impaired language, communication and social skills. The report looked at medical and educational records of all 8-year-olds living in 14 areas of the United States during 2008.”
Boston.com/health reports that, “Increased awareness and medical coverage for autism have no doubt contributed to the uptick in diagnoses -- especially for borderline cases that barely meet the criteria for being on the spectrum. “Kids with social problems who wouldn’t have necessarily been diagnosed with autism in the past are nowadays getting the diagnosis, so it’s tough to tell how much the prevalence is truly increasing,” said Dr. Andrea Roberts, a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health.”
The Boston.com/Health report goes on to say, “In a study published in JAMA Psychiatry on Wednesday, Roberts and her colleagues examined medical records from 50,000 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II and found that those who experienced the most physical, emotional, or sexual abuse as children were 60 percent more likely to have a child with autism; 1.8 percent of children born to women reporting the highest amount of abuse had autism compared with 0.7 percent of those born to women who said they were never screamed at, hit, or sexually abused as children.”
These findings are largely due to the reports given by the parents and guardians of the children. The mother of an autistic child who became a household name because of her advocacy is Jenny McCarthy. Jennie McCarthy was adamant that her son’s autism was caused by childhood immunizations. “After years of speaking publicly about her belief that MMR shots (immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella) caused her son to suffer from autism, Jenny McCarthy now faces the reality that her son, Evan — who no longer shows any signs of autism — may likely have lived with a completely different illness.”
According to Hollywood Life, Time magazine interviewed Jenny and suggests “Evan suffers from Landau-Kleffner syndrome, a rare childhood neurological disorder that can also result in speech impairment and possible long-term neurological damage.”
The issue is that there is a controversy about the increase of children with autism. Some medical professionals are not sure if the increase is actually due to a real diagnosis or if it due to more awareness and other factors.