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Federal Response to Rising Rates on Autism
My oldest son (11) has autism. Health care professionals still don't exactly know what autism is and some even put it off into the realm of psychiatry. Many individuals with impairments are lumped together on the spectrum of autism. My son is high functioning, but his brain does not work like a 'neurotypical' person's.

Anyhow, the most amazing thing happened recently; there was a hearing held by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called "1 in 88 Children: A Look Into the Federal Response to Rising Rates of Autism". And, of all things, the vaccine-autism-connection was brought up by a few of the representatives of Congress to representatives for The CDC and NIH. This is unprecedented; never have 'officials' given credence to the idea that vaccines cause autism publicly. There is also some great testimony that comes in the second part.

It is at least 2 hours, but worth every minute. If you are interested, here is the link.

Here's an article that might lend credence to the view that autism is not an ever increasing problem, it's just that we have categorized an old problem better. I have no idea myself and wish you well with your son.
Palladin, thank you for the article. That is one side of the argument. As I mentioned before, many individuals are lumped together under the category of autism, and although there are different types (Asberger's, Autism, PDD-NOS, and a couple more at least) none of these takes into account how exactly these individuals became to be the way that they are (it's a puzzle, we don't know). Even if it is environmental, it could still be from different causes in the environment (vaccines are included in environment as are any toxic agent that a person is subjected to in the womb before they are actually born). I, however, would not think that autism would have been lumped with schizophrenia as the two are completely different. In either case, the diagnosis could be psychological when the actual symptoms actually have a biological/physiological cause. We tend to lump people by their symptoms when two people exposed to the same thing could have two entirely different ways of dealing with it and present different symptoms, because it was always about the cause, not the symptoms.

Anyhow, I am one of those who believes that autism, even with many causes and many symptoms, is much different than retardation or schizophrenia, and would never have been confused. As for actual data, it is going to be difficult to assess data because the criteria is always changing and did not exist before Dr. Kanner's first diagnosis. Mark Blaxill actually knows more about this and offered testimony on the increasing number of children with autism in the second panel discussion.
When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s the word autism was practically nonexistent. When it started coming out, I remember wondering just what the devil it was. It will be interesting to see how much we discover about it as time goes along, because there seems to be so many different types.

I think they also include 'savants' into the autism category. It just covers so much territory that being specific is difficult.


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