If the total number of 3-5 year olds in the California DDS system has not declined by 2007, that would deal a severe blow to the autism-thimerosal hypothesis.
Note that what David Kirby is expecting to see is a drop in the total number of 3-5 year olds. He might now claim that gradual drops in caseload growth are significant (without explaining why) but clearly that's not what he agreed to.
Let's see what the California DDS Quarterly Client Characteristics Report says, with only two quarters to go before 2007.
(False New Cases)
|Annual Growth (%)||3-5 Cohort|
The key information in Table 1 is that the 3-5 caseload continues to grow, and this growth is still rather fast (11.70% annually). Barring any miracles, in two quarters David Kirby will either need to issue a statement saying that he no longer believes in the autism-thimerosal hypothesis, further goalpost-shift the target date for a caseload drop, or claim that there hasn't really been a significant drop in the thimerosal dose per child in California. What do readers predict he will do?
It's surprising that caseload growth has increased for the second or third consecutive quarter. The prior tendency was for caseload growth to drop gradually, which should be expected, as I've argued repeatedly. It would seem that it will be a while before annual caseload growth goes down to population growth in the state, about 1.3%. I can only speculate about the implications of this turn of events, but for the time being I'm having doubts that prevalence will level off in 10 years, as I had previously estimated.
Dad of Cameron has sent me the following graph of the 3-5 caseload for the last 16 quarters.
I noted that this line is not showing any signs of leveling off. Annual growth has remained consistently over 10%. To contrast, imagine what the line should look like if it had leveled off. At 1.3% annual growth, in 4 years it should have gone from about 4,000 to about 4,212 (i.e. nearly horizontal).