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beti
beti asks:
Q:

Why do you think there is such a great increase in the diagnosis of Autism and Asperger's Syndrome?

In Topics: Autism & Aspergers Syndrome
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Louiseasl
Feb 24, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

This is a very interesting question.  I don't have any specific answer but permit me to answer a question- with a question.

Are we seeing a higher incidence of Autism due to the increased survival rate of premature babies?

Just wondering.

Thanks for your thought provoking question.

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Additional Answers (3)

pigtoria
pigtoria writes:
Hi Beti....

You ask an interesting question and it's one that many scientists are still looking for answers to.  One study in England had linked autism to the the MMR vaccination.  It's was the combination of MMR vaccination that caused autism the researcher said.  And when MMR was administered as 3 individual doses at some time spaced apart, there was no case of autism reported in the years the research did the study.

There was another study in one of the northern European countries (can't remember if it's Finland or Iceland) that linked drinking cow milk to ADHD.

Many other studies and observations have looked at the increased vaccination that are given to children, increased consumption of processed food and contamination food, pregnant woman or young children exposing to asbestos paint, and genetics as possible causes of autism and Asperger's syndrome.  

I don't know if an actual cause can be determined for why there is an increase cases of autism and Asperger's syndrome - it probably can only be said that it's biological.

Personally, I think that the increased diagnosis of autism and Asperger's syndrome has alot to do with "convenient label" for everyone.  When you have an "odd" child whose behavior can be embarrassing in the public, it's so convenient to be able to say "oh he's autistic" or "he's has AHDH" or "he has Asperger's syndrome".  I used to do therapy with autistic children and many times when I see a normal preschool misbehaving child in the mall and the parent turn around and tells me that his child is autistic, I would think to myself, you don't know what "autism" is.  My opinion, increased of diagnosis of autism and Asperger's syndrome - a convenient label.

Hope this helps!

Vicki
> 60 days ago

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MLPerry
MLPerry writes:
Having a son on the spectrum and growing up with a brother on the spectrum, I believe the answer to the question is actually a simple one. I have no doubt that there are environmental concerns that exacerbate or mimic autistic tendencies, but the reason for the increase in diagnosis is really just a stronger defining of criteria to make those diagnosis. I grew up in a world where kids were labeled, "troubled" or "bratty". Many of those troubled kids are finding out as  adults that they should have been diagnosed as children, much as my husband should have been. It has been there, just not recognized as it should have been.
> 60 days ago

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Muddlingthrough
Muddlingthr... writes:
The "research" (and yes, that's correctly in inverted commas) done by Andrew Wakefield into links between MMR vaccination and autism has been completely, systematically, emphatically disproved by an entire cohort of experts and he has been severely sanctioned by the professional body in the UK.  I would not want to see such damaging and erroneous myths repeated where parents desperate for an answer to their child's ASC might stumble across them.
> 60 days ago

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