Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Burden of Proof on 'Epidemic' has Shifted

At this juncture I feel it is necessary to emphasize that the burden of proof on the 'autism epidemic' has clearly shifted. The strength of the findings that support the conclusion that no epidemic has occurred is undeniable:

1) The characteristics of the autistic population have changed over time. Severity indicators are dropping consistently as apparent prevalence rises. Comparing numbers from one year to the next is like comparing apples and oranges.

2) The 'epidemic' is geographically isolated. There is evidence of a catch-up factor between regions, as well as evidence of group inequivalence between regions.

3) There is no evidence that objectively diagnosed co-morbidities of autism have been on the rise. Existing data show that this is not the case at least for epilepsy and mental retardation.

4) There is evidence of diagnostic substitution, in particular from mental retardation and learning disability.

5) There is evidence of increasing recognition of autism within the population with mental retardation.

6) There is no evidence of incidence drops which may be correlated to removal of possible environmental triggers.

Some of these observations have already been made in the mainstream literature. See for example:



The staff of California DDS Data Extraction itself is well aware of many of these facts and of the misuse of caseload data to determine prevalence and incidence numbers. This is clear from communications I have received from CDDS:



I have argued many of these points myself in several blog entries. Although some bloggers have disagreed with my conclusions, no real rebuttals have been posted.



Evidently, citing prevalence numbers is no longer sufficient, for the reasons already given. At this point any claim of 'autism epidemic' may be described as naive, uninformed, far-fetched and unsubstantiated. Epidemic proponents need to come up with new evidence. And given that this is an extraordinary claim now, it will require extraordinary evidence.

36 comments:

  1. But the epidemic is an article of faith for so many, that expecting to reason them out of it or to give us good reasons to believe it is a waste of time. What we have to do is shift them out of their present vantage point in the general media.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wouldn't say that the burden of proof has "shifted," because those who make new claims (such as the existence of an epidemic) always have the burden of providing evidence to support their claims.

    Looking at it from a scientific and logical viewpoint, we never had the burden of proving that there wasn't an epidemic.

    Of course, as Mike points out, when a media frenzy takes hold, logic and reason quickly get lost along the way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I actually do think that our side of the debate did have an intellectual responsibility to demonstrate that an epidemic did not take place. This is because prevalence numbers clearly showed that there was more autism now than in the past. We can't just dismiss this. So the burden of proof was on the side that was making the extraordinary claim: What appears to be real is not real. But now that more facts are coming out showing that the 'epidemic' is truly not real, the burden of proof has shifted.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Zero autism in 1943. Zero autism in 1993 in New Hampshire. 1,600 cases of autism in New Hampshire in 2005. Look up the numbers for the rest of the country if you want. Our kids have been poisoned and you can't justify it by playing with statistics.

    ReplyDelete
  5. John, you're like a broken record, and we can't fix you unfortunately, so I'm not going to argue the point.

    ReplyDelete
  6. John,
    Didn't you claim zero autism in China before a certain date too?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I believe that in the past Fore Sam did claim that there were 5 million "new" cases of autism in China following the introduction of thimerosal-containing vaccines. However, when pressed (repeatedly), he was unable to come up wih a source for that number.

    The numbers he is quoting for autism in New Hampshire are from the IDEA data. It is important to know that the IDEA did not recognize autism as a separate disorder until 1992 - reporting was optional in 1992 and mandatory after 1993. This is the cause of the outrageous "increases" in autism in the early 1990's.

    In fact, Fore Sam should know that thimerosal-containing vaccines were in use in New Hampshire well before 1993 or even 1983 (or 1973), so those numbers would, in fact, be strong data refuting the hypothesis that thimerosal causes autism.

    John, you just keep digging your hole deeper every time you post. Keep up the good work!


    Prometheus

    ReplyDelete
  8. Prometheus;
    HepB was added in 1990 or 91. That's the thing that correlates with the increase more than anything else. It wasn't reported in 1992 because it did not exist.
    I gave you my source for the 5 million in China. You just chose not to believe it.
    Not mercury;
    Someplace on the internet I acknowledged that I probably should have said it was virtually non-existent after someone pointed out a few cases to me. I haven't looked at the Chinese govt. website for awhile but it was advising parents that autism was caused by bad parenting. Maybe you should be more concerned with that crap and in letting the Chinese know the truth so they can help their kids. Oh sorry, I forgot, you're too dumb to realize that this epidemic was caused by mercury yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fore Sam: Oh sorry, I forgot, you're too dumb to realize that this epidemic was caused by mercury yourself.

    So if I were really smart, like you for instance, I wouldn't forget that I'm too dumb to realize the epidemic was caused by mercury myself?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fore Sam,

    What you gave me as your "source" for the Chinese autisism numbers was the name of someone who was dead. Was there another source - preferably one in writing - that gives these numbers? Personally, I think that you just heard it from somebody and believed it - no "source" beyond that.

    Let me see if I can make this painfully clear to you:

    [1] Prior to 1992, the IDEA did not collect data on autism - in New Hampshire or anywhere else in the US.

    [2] Because of #1, the IDEA numbers for autism in New Hampshire - and the other 49 states - are zero in 1991 and in all previous years.

    [3] Starting in 1992, the IDEA included autism as a separate category - prior to that year, children with autism were included in some other category.

    [4] The IDEA made reporting autism numbers optional in 1992 - it wasn't until 1993 that all states were required to have a separate category for autism.

    [5] As a result of #1 - #4, All 50 states had zero (0) autistic children on their IDEA reports in 1991. In 1992, when IDEA reported autism separately for the first time, not all states reported autism cases because reporting was optional that year.

    You know, it's like you just don't want to learn anything, Fore Sam. Or are you being deliberately dense? The reason that there were no autistic children reported in 1991 in New Hampshire (or New Mexico) was that they weren't being counted.

    If, however, it comforts you to believe that there were no autistic children prior to 1991, then go ahead and believe it. I wouldn't want your make-believe world to collapse.

    On the other hand, that pretty much puts the lie to your previous assertion that autism started in 1931 when Eli Lilly developed thimerosal, doesn't it?



    Prometheus

    ReplyDelete
  11. Prometheus;
    You may be right about 1991 but that has nothing to do with 1931. I don't see you showing me any 75 year old autistics.
    The numbers in 1992 and 1993 are quite small compared to numbers now. The increase is due to thimerosal.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "You may be right about 1991 but that has nothing to do with 1931. I don't see you showing me any 75 year old autistics."

    May be? He is right.

    And I've told you about my great aunt and great uncle who were both on the spectrum. Both born before 1915. Anecdotal to be sure but then again, so's everything you claim.

    I've also shown you a piece of peer reviewed science from Paul Shattock, a friend of Andrew Wakefields and fellow believer in the MMR/mercury connection, demonstrating the presence of autistic people in Victorian Britian.

    What was it you called Andrew Wakefields biggest supporter in the UK again? Ah yes 'some nut' :o)

    Mr Shattock was also in attendance at the AWARES conference - you know, the one I jumped in my time machine back to 2003 and invented just to trap you?

    Ah, this is getting too easy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't know if Fore Sam is going to read this, but I'm going to put it out there, and maybe it'll get to him eventually --

    There was at least one autistic adult in NH between 1977 and 1993. Really. I went to a church in Nashua with my parents, and she went to the same church with her parents. She was an autistic adult when I met her.

    Since I know this, I'm taking all of Fore Sam's statements of NO autism in NH prior to 1993 as the statement of someone who doesn't have all the facts; and if he's going to be throwing one thing around without knowing all the facts, I'm going to assume that some of the other things he's throwing around are on a basis of not having all the facts. (Of course, I don't know which ones he doesn't have all the facts for....)

    (Last I heard, the woman in question had gone to Florida with her parents when her father retired, so trying to track her down in NH now would probably be futile.)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kevin;
    Try using the truth sometime. Lying about all sorts of things isn't helping your daughter. Allowing yourself to accept the truth will allow you to help her.
    I don't doubt that your relatives may have had very low IQ's like yourself. That doesn't make them autistic. You never offered any explanation as to how your 19th century people became autistic.
    I know you keep getting a good laugh for yourself about that phony AWARES conference but it is just further example of your (pl) stupidity in resorting to something like that to mine some quotes. How moronic is it Kevin, for you (pl) to persist in defending the companies who poisoned your children? The only thing that makes sense is that all of you ND's are drug company employees or just too damn stupid for words.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Julia;
    That woman originally came from Massachusetts so she was not counted in NH stats of school age kids.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "I don't doubt that your relatives may have had very low IQ's like yourself. That doesn't make them autistic."

    As ever John, you have it backwards. They were autistic - they didn't have low IQ's.

    "You never offered any explanation as to how your 19th century people became autistic.""

    They were born that way John. They didn't 'become' anything.

    "I know you keep getting a good laugh for yourself about that phony AWARES conference but it is just further example of your (pl) stupidity in resorting to something like that to mine some quotes."

    Just for anyone who might be reading this (and Joseph you might want to add this one to JB Jr's 'greatest hits' - its a classic), last year Autism Cymru (Wales) under their AWARES banner, launched an online conference about autism. Sallie Bernard, David Kirby, Paul Shattock and Eric Fombonne were amongst the 'speakers' each presenting a paper and overseeing a forum discussion about it.

    John turned up and did his level Best (as ever) to turn it into a quagmire of mercury and chelation and a few of us got involved. John lost that famous temper of his and ended up getting a warning from the organisers.

    Anyway, a few weeks after it finished John comes onto my blog and tells me he knows I 'invented' the whole conference (attended by hunderds of people from all over the world) with the sole purpose of getting some juicy quotes from him!.

    Thats right, his ego really is that big :o)

    At some point John decided it wasn't me but Frank Klein. God alone knows why. Here's a link to another (not online) conference AWARES will be running in May. I tell you it took me ages to run up that speaker list!

    You couldn't make it up :o)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Kevin;
    It's not surprising that someone who sides with the liars in the CDC and Pharma can't tell the truth about anything. You never answered me about helping that organ grinder, Kev?

    ReplyDelete
  18. WIt's not surprising that someone who sides with the liars in the CDC and Pharma can't tell the truth about anything."

    What lies have I told John? You keep saying this and I keep asking you to show me where I lied and you keep ignoring that request. Just this once - back something you say up with more than just sulky bluster.

    "You never answered me about helping that organ grinder, Kev?"

    Sorry John - no clue what you're talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Kevin;
    I'd spell it out for you but you or some other asshole would preserve my quote someplace out of context with your own idiotic spin. Not that that matters since anyone with half a brain just looks at all of you ND's as a bunch of wackos. Your relatives weren't autistic, Kev. It hadn't been invented yet. Learn that so you can help your kid, child abuser.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yeah, I didn't think you'd be able to answer me. Thanks for the sulky bluster.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Kevin;
    You know the answer. You just would rather lie about it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. John, I mean this in all seriousness. I have literally no idea what you're talking about. What lies am I telling/have I told? This is your chance to publicly shame me! Take it man!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Kevin;
    Just keep playing your childish games. You shame yourself every day by defending the people who poisoned your kid. I can't improve on that.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your relatives weren't autistic, Kev. It hadn't been invented yet.

    Another classic. But there are too many like these now.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Promise me you'll never change John :o)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm beginning to think that Bronze Dog might just be right - Fore Sam is sounding more and more like a content-free "bot" that just pops up and makes irrational accusations.

    Fore Sam - are you just a computer virus or do you actually exist? I ask this in all sincerity, because your "conversations" are starting to sound like the final moments of the "HAL 9000".

    If, as you assert, there were no cases of autism in New Hampshire before 1992 (which, as I keep repeating, is because they weren't counted), then why do you insist that autism started in 1931 with the synthesis of thimerosal. (FYI, 1931 was before 1992)

    If Kev has "lied", how about letting us all in on the secret? What did Kev say that was a lie and how do you know it was a lie (you know, the "evidence")?

    Any pre-school child can shout "Liar, liar, pants on fire!", but that doesn't make it so. Take a deep breath, tell the voices in your head to be quiet for a moment, and tell us what's got you so agitated.


    Prometheus

    ReplyDelete
  27. Prometheus;
    It's not my assertion that autism started in 1931. That's what Kanner told us. Since he was the leading expert on the subject, I have no reason to doubt him. He just never figured out what the cause was.
    Autism is very easy to recognize. NH didn't report any autism because there wasn't any here. Nobody could miss these "train wrecks".
    As for Kevin, we've already been through this and if he wants to lie about it, I don't care. I'm not the least bit agitated. The Red Sox are winning and golf season has arrived so I'm a happy guy. I'll be happier if Sacred Light wins the Santa Anita Derby tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's not my assertion that autism started in 1931. That's what Kanner told us. Since he was the leading expert on the subject, I have no reason to doubt him.

    Are you trying to be funny John or is this by accident?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Joe;
    He said it had never been seen before in 1943. I think the kids were 10 to 12 years old.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Fore Sam,

    That settles it - you are a computer virus!

    If you were to link your program over to http://neurodiversity.com/library_kanner_1943.html, you would find that Kanner actually said in the opening paragraph of his 1943 article:

    "Since 1938, there have come to our attention a number of children whose condition differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far, that each case merits - and, I hope, will eventually receive - a detailed consideration of its fascinating peculiarities." (italics mine)

    Later in the paper, he states:

    "The combination of extreme autism (which was a symptom at the time, not a diagnosis), obsessiveness, and echolalia brings the total picture into relationship with some of the basic schizophrenic phenomena. Some of the children have been diagnosed as of this type at one time or another."

    No doubt you are going to claim that this was so because thimerosal had been around since 1931 - right Fore Sam? However, if you read the paper, you will see that Kanner was not under the impression that he was describing a new phenomenon - just that he was the first to see that this subgroup of kids formed a distinct (so he thought) separate diagnosis.

    I suppose you'll have to wait until someone makes a movie of the paper, since I'm sure that you could never get through it.

    Standing by for the inevitable random comment from ForeSam.bot.

    Prometheus

    ReplyDelete
  31. Like crime and the police force, "autism" must expand to support the exponential rise in autism "experts".

    Easily done by changing standards, confusing issues, roping in ever more unrelated disorders etc.

    The easiest technique, though, is to ignore the real history! Check this progression:

    Is it likely that Kanner and Asperger independantly co-invented this strange word? Of course not, so anyone who has a modicom of intelligence (and who seeks truth) checks for previous usage, of which there are in fact several.

    The first published example (1912) appears to be Eugene Bleuler (widely acknowledged as the father of schizophrenia in just about any text on the subject) who used it to describe a phase of the condition he was studying. Meanwhile, his contemporary, Aaron Rosanoff (who appears in no autism text I've ever read, other than those I've posted myself, and responses thereof) was using the word to describe one of what he thought of as the four main disorders (non of them specific to childhood development!).

    Is it likely that four such competent (especially by today's standards) scientists would use the same word to describe three (considering what K and A reported are very alike, except in degree...and much more selective than "one word fits all" "definition") unrelated conditions? I think it unlikely (too confusing; note that both K and A knew at least about Bleuler's work).

    So what's left? There's an odd one out here; Rosanoff also used autistic to describe one facet of his proposed Theory of Personality (along with words like paranoid, depressive, manic...sound familiar? So how come his contemporaries like Jung are all pretty famous, but this guy is almost unheard of?).

    So how about if "autistic", back then was widely known as a label for a basic personality type? It would then seem much more reasonable that the word was borrowed as a descriptive label for various disorders which superficially resembled the introverted nature implied? I can only speculate, I'm afraid, and maybe the earlier reference is lost (unless Bleuler mentioned it; can anyone access his paper of 1912, or any psychological or similar dictionary of that period?) but it just seems much more probable than the hogwash we're being fed today!

    Anybody like to test this theory? Try googling Chandler & Macleod (who's Temperament and Aptitude test, rated me as "very strongly autistic", way back in 1981, before AS {which I Identify with strongly, by the way, but I have nothing which could be objectively described as a disorder, at least, not before I got CFS} came to the fore) and try their 5 minute on line test (it's a bit of a toy, so just breeze through it; it's less frustrating that way!) and see how you rate. What's it got to do with autism? You'll find there the same labels Rosanoff used, and not surprisingly, as it's based on a study of Rosanoff's theory, by Humm and Wadsworth who published their Temperament Gradient in 1935 (interesting date?). Yes, this theory is the mainstay of a large number of professional aptitude tests used in industry...but none of these autism "experts" will admit to having heard of it, let alone consider using these awsomely accurate and reliable tools in diagnoses; all we get is that crude and judgemental AQ test!

    ReplyDelete
  32. More on Neanderthals: First off, the absence of mDNA is not proof of extinction, as this form of DNA (probably from a microbial invader, early in evolution, which then became a symbiote) is independant of the genotype; a male Neanderthal could transmit the latter, even if the females carriers of a particular mDNA failed to breed. As an argument for the OoA hypothesis, it's just as weak as all the others (grave goods are proof of a "greater symbolic logic"? Pull the other one; only a cretin would throw away perfectly good artifacts...or someone who wanted to reinforce the notion that some people are more "important" than others).

    I was sceptical when I first heard of this hypothesis, but the more I studied it, the more sense it made; it eventually culminated in a theory of my own, which indicates strongly that modern man is a hybrid race. It could also provide a basis for turning psychology into a hard science.

    It has further relevance to current clinical research as it indicates that, rather than arising from too many autism genes, it could be that many, maybe all the real autism related disorders arise from hybrid incompatibility (which puts a whole new slant on gene research...or it would, if only one of these "experts" would condescend to listen to us uneducated retards!). I should think some of you have already supected this possibility, and that most of these late addition disorders have nothing whatsoever to do with autism?

    Can't give you link from here, but if you google "awares conference o5" (which is how I found this site) and sign in (it's read only, but there's some good stuff there) you'll then need to click on a paper, then comment on this paper, then look for the list of topics button (sorry about this; it's not the easiest site to manage). Then you need to click on "firt hand experience, voices from the spectrum" (a handy little gheto, just for us, so professional researchers don't click on it by mistake...) and you'll find my post under "Islands of Sanity".

    If you like it, then why not join awares 06, and come and give me some support?

    ReplyDelete
  33. These links my work:

    Islands of Sanity;

    http://www.awares.org/conferences/bb.asp?section=000100010002&conferenceCode=000200010009&forum=000100100073

    Chandler & Macleod test;

    http://chandlermacleod.com/cmbestfit/content/btw.cfm

    ReplyDelete
  34. So what's the point of a site no one reads or responds too?

    ReplyDelete
  35. My stupidity; I imagined a blog dedicated to autism would be by people who seek the truth! I was surprised to see my humble contribution appearing in a google, but maybe now readers will appreciate the bogus nature of previous contributors?

    I've belatedly scanned the previous contributions to this blog, and it's clear now why no one of them responded; if you have read the above, you have witnessed the usual pantomime produced by those who are determined to eliminate us autistics (yes, I am one) by engaging in a seemingly purposeful dialogue, intending to display a conflict of views, as if it was "official" or by "experts", or by people who are "autistic". It is not so.

    I am autistic, and you can reach me at gwynzkind@yahoo.co.uk

    I am gwynfryn, and I have never denied my e-address to anyone

    ReplyDelete
  36. My stupidity; I imagined a blog dedicated to autism would be by people who seek the truth! I was surprised to see my humble contribution appearing in a google, but maybe now readers will appreciate the bogus nature of previous contributors?

    I've belatedly scanned the previous contributions to this blog, and it's clear now why no one of them responded; if you have read the above, you have witnessed the usual pantomime produced by those who are determined to eliminate us autistics (yes, I am one) by engaging in a seemingly purposeful dialogue, intending to display a conflict of views, as if it was "official" or by "experts", or by people who are "autistic". It is not so.

    I am autistic, and you can reach me at gwynzkind@yahoo.co.uk

    I am gwynfryn, and I have never denied my e-address to anyone

    ReplyDelete