However, unless mercury is somehow being slipped into children in greater amounts now than in the 90's, mercury does not seem to be the main cause of autism now. And no, I don't think the mercury in the flu shots is capable of offsetting the mercury infants got at birth, 2, 4 and 6 months in the 90's. Flu shots present smaller doses at later ages, and the big flu shot push for kids didn't get started until 2004 anyway.
The message has not had any replies, and it's not clear if the person who posted is still in the list after such a blasphemous remark.
This was written by someone who does believe vaccines have "almost everything to do" with autism. But this person does take the time to look at the actual CDDS numbers and not just claims about the numbers, and clearly has some skills that allow her to interpret the numbers. For her critical thinking, she should be commended.
I should note that she claims to believe in the work of the Geiers, which is actually inconsistent with her analysis of the CDDS numbers.
She expresses concern about the "57% increase in the 3-5 year olds" (in the last 4 years). And makes a good case about prevalence, which follows.
Let's assume the 1 in 166 for ASD (which includes Asperger's and PDD_NOS, not included in these numbers) is going to be close to what you would get based on people that were 3 to 21 in 2002. The US Census Bureaus says that California has approximately 500,000 people of each age in the younger ages Â or 57,200 people with ASD. The 2002 full autism numbers for ages 3 to 21 add up to 15,939, or about 27.9% of the ASD population and also about 1 in 600 for the entire age cohort. The 2006 group of 3-5 year olds represents 0.41% of the California population age 3-5. If you assume these number will increase 62% in the next 4 years, as did the 3-5 group from 2002, you get 0.67% of the population, or 1 in 150 -- FOUR TIMES THE CURRENTLY REPORTED RATE!!!
I do also share her concern that the current prevalence of 40 in 10,000 for the 3-5 cohort is higher than expected for Autistic Disorder, and this prevalence is still growing at a fast pace. That is, it's not clear when it will level off, and we can't assume there's a magic number it cannot go over. But it's not as bad as she thinks. Anecdotally, some PDD-NOS and Asperger's does get included in the CDDS numbers. Besides, in psychology there's a debate about the existence of Asperger's. Some researchers are saying that DSM-IV Asperger's is impossible to diagnose, and that virtually all children diagnosed with Asperger's actually have Autistic Disorder. If this opinion becomes mainstreamed, what do you think the end result might be in terms of caseload?
Additionally, it's unlikely that the 62% increase will be maintained over the next 4 years. Growth expressed as a percentage necessarily decreases over time.
We really [need] to get to the bottom of this. The effects on society are almost too big to contemplate.
The fact that more and more children are being labeled with all sorts of cognitive disorders is a valid concern, in my opinion. Sami Timimi, for example, is an outspoken critic of psychiatric over-labeling. He says that we'll end up with a generation of grown-up children who have been unnecessarily convinced that they are defective. But should we be concerned about an increasing number of people becoming disabled? I think we should be really concerned about this if, say, the prevalence of institutionalized developmentally disabled individuals were increasing. (However you look at it, more institutionalization is not a good thing). But it's not increasing. In fact, it has dropped a little in the last 14 years in California, according to the CDDS numbers. If our concerns are not consistent with reality, what is the use of our advocacy?