Saturday, February 03, 2007

Clinic Notes: ABA and the Rising Number of Children Diagnosed with Autism

In the January 31, 2007 Schafer Report (, two separate articles dealt with the rising number of children diagnosed with autism. In California, 3385 new were added last year. The second article discussed the difficulty in determining whether or not the increase was real, and if it was, what was causing the increase.
Without doubt, I think there is an increase in the diagnosis and miss-diagnosis of autism. I see that almost everyday in referrals made to my clinic. But I also think there is something else going on. Autism does have a genetic link, but I'm not sure more people carrying the autism gene or genes are breeding and having more children with autism. I have no data to support that belief, but that is my belief. I think our attention needs to be directed towards the environment.
At any rate, it is getting very difficult for those of us in ABA to offer intense ABA for a child when we have so many children diagnosed with autism on our waiting list. Do I schedule one child for 10 hours of ABA a week? Or do I see ten children for one hour?


Babiebluz said...

I have to agree with you on this...there are so many children being diagnosed and not enough trained professionals to provide treatment...knowing that "watered down" ABA really does follow the principles behind its goal...intensity is key so if we need to treat one child for 10 hours then what will happen to those other 9 children? I think that if there was a larger increase in advocacy about autism and ABA that there would be more people interested in becoming trained professionals, I just hope those people come sooner than later...I have been providing ABA programming for children with autism for almost 6 years now and I know very few people that even know what ABA is...

Babiebluz said...

in my first comment I meant to say that "watered down" ABA does not follow the principals behind its goal...sorry