Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Clinic Notes: Is the Increased in the Number of Children Diagnosed with Autism Real?
In a previous blog I responded to this question, but now a new study came out and in the February Issue of Epidemiology, which found that most of the increase is real. The authors state that only a third of the increase could be accounted for by changes in diagnostic criteria. Other researchers conclude that the autism epidemic is caused by diagnosing children with mental retardation and learning disabilities as autistic. I don't buy it. In my clinic I am seeing the same number of children in other diagnostic categories, but a geometric increase in the number of children with autism. We need to be looking for the cause of the increase and not arguing about whether or not it is real.