"Autism epidemic" challenged by UK research

Comments (5)
maurinemeleck wrote:

What utter rubbish this is. You mean to tell me that the study showed that those adults with autism now had never been diagnosed before. Give me a break. And they weren’t aware of thier condition! What did they or their parents think they had-Restless Leg Syndrome? What standards did the testers use on the adults to diagnose them with autism? A knee hammer?
This is obviously another effort to persuade the population that vaccines are all safe and they better get their jabs.
Believ me, if one had a child with full blown autism–they’d know.
Maurine Meleck, SC

May 02, 2011 8:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kevleitch wrote:

Sadly, as demonstrated by Ms Meleck, scientific illiteracy is rife amongst those who continue to believe despite the lack of evidence supporting their views that vaccines cause autism.

Misdiagnosis or even missed diagnosis is hardly new or rare. I blogged the following in 2005:

“Perth & Kinross Council
Figures for adults reflect the national findings that the numbers known to services/diagnosed represent a significant underestimate of those individuals likely to be affected. For example day centre managers locally consider a number of people to be on the spectrum who have had no formal diagnosis.”

About 45% of polled councils in Scotland believed there was significant misdiagnosis amongst adult populations in their care.

Its about time the anti-vaxxers woke up to the facts. No epidemic.

May 03, 2011 6:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JackHep wrote:

The faults and discrepacies in this psychiatric study are too numerous to mention here but a glance at

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/uksurveyautismlink/

ought to elucidate.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this is that Reuters does not appear to have the scientific acumen within its editorial facility to eliminate such crass unscientific verbiage from its pages. The exponetially increasing rate of cases of autistic spectrum disorders will continue so long as ill-conceived projects such as this are performed, and reported.

May 03, 2011 9:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
strongria wrote:

People talk about Aspergers not being added to the DSM until 1994. Most forget that *autism* wasn’t added until 1980. Yes, some people diagnosed before that (in both cases), but many many many were not. And I’m not just talking “those who more-or-less pass for ‘normal’”, either.

I know people who worked in an institution for people with severe developmental disabilities in the 70s. They say there was a room there specifically for children who would now be diagnosed with autism. Classic, “low functioning” autism. They say only one child had that diagnosis at the time; the others were diagnosed with mental r*t*rdation, childhood psychosis or childhood schizophrenia.

A 2008 study study reassessed people who had been diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder in the 80s and 90s. 8/38 were diagnosed with Autistic Disorder, another 4 with Aspergers or PDD-NOS. *None* were thought to be autistic as children. (Other research has shown that developmental language disorder diagnoses go down as autism diagnoses go up). Can provide all studies if anyone wants them – also studies re autism vs mental r*t*dation diagnoses.

My first diagnosis (age 1) was “hyperactive” – I also got “emotionally disturbed”, “psychosis” and “childhood schizophrenia” before my ASD diagnosis in at age 13 or 14 in ’84 or ’85. Obviously, I’m “high functioning” as an adult (tho much more so online than IRL, as are many of us!). As a child tho, I was a wanderer, punched people and lost skills from undiagnosed seizures (written off as “bizarre behaviour”) – amongst many other things! I was on meds for behavior from age 1, and my parents were apparently told I couldn’t be at school unless I was medicated and seeing a psychologist.

I’m not unique. And I know other people about my age with my sort of story who weren’t diagnosed until adulthood.

May 03, 2011 9:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
EmyP wrote:

@Ms Meleck and other naive people:
“You mean to tell me that the study showed that those adults with autism now had never been diagnosed before. Give me a break. And they weren’t aware of thier condition!”
No I wasn’t. I was 24 before it was suggested to me that perhaps rather than the hodge podge of diagnoses that maybe one label covered it all. It was another two years before I was diagnosed. Added to that, as a female I was previously considered less likely to be on the higher end of the spectrum

“What standards did the testers use on the adults to diagnose them with autism? A knee hammer?”
The standard test used for me was the one developed by Simon Baron-Cohen at the University of Cambridge. I think this is slightly more accurate than the knee hammer suggested! :)

“Believ me, if one had a child with full blown autism–they’d know.”
Autism is a spectrum disorder. Full blown autistm is not the only manifestation it, just the most obvious and extreme. Yes, end of spectrum cases are more obvious, but it depends on the level of functioning the person has as to how well they are able to ‘pass’. It also depends on how tolerant the family and friends are – do they see the differences as a problem or personality trait…

By the way, I wouldn’t dream of trying to speak for all Auties, or even all Aspies. We are all individuals with opinions and beliefs, like the rest of the population!

May 04, 2011 5:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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