Vaccine Autoimmune Project for Research and Education (VAP)

 

 

When 1 in 150 is really 1 in 67
 
By

Raymond W. Gallup & F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP

 

 

On February 8, 2007 the CDC released New Data on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) from Multiple Communities in the United States.” (1)

Since then, most people and the press have been under the impression that in the United States, the “new” CDC- reported ASD prevalence rate of 1 in 150 was a recent discovery that was current for 2007 when indeed it was not at all.  The study did not document a prevalence of 1 in 150 among children born now or five years ago.  The study revealed that among U.S. children born in 1994, thirteen years ago, 1 in 150 on average had a spectral disorder.

According to the official press release:   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported findings today from the first and largest summary of prevalence data from multiple U.S. communities participating in an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) surveillance project.  The results showed an average of 6.7 children out of 1,000 had an ASD in the six communities assessed in 2000, and an average of 6.6 children out of 1,000 having an ASD in the 14 communities included in the 2002 study.  All children in the studies were eight years old because previous research has shown that most children with an ASD have been identified by this age for services.”

The U.S. Department of Education has recently released the official figures for autism/ASD by age and state for school year 2006-2007, in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s requirement that comprehensive annual reports be published and presented to the United States Congress.

Children born in 1994 and who according to the 2002 CDC study had an ASD prevalence of  around 1 in 150, probably started first grade in the fall of 2000.

In Table I, we compared by state, the number of 6 year-old children with Autism/ASD in U.S. schools in 2000-2001 with those similarly diagnosed children of the same age who attended school in 2006-2007.  The percent increase in that particular group since the CDC’s acclaimed 1 in 150 prevalence figures is listed by state in the right column.

All states, except Alaska and Oklahoma had increased first grade enrollment of children with spectral disorders.  Thirty five (35) states more than doubled their load and consequently their financial needs and in New Mexico, the number of ASD students quadrupled between 2000 and 2006.  The District of Columbia did not report.

STATE

2000-2001

2006-2007

% increase

Alabama

47

146

211

Alaska

30

28

-6

Arizona

151

454

201

Arkansas

95

106

12

California

1,539

3,465

125

Colorado

55

156

184

Connecticut

146

343

135

Delaware

22

56

155

District of Columbia

11

x

0

Florida

481

1,080

125

Georgia

273

551

102

Hawaii

42

76

81

Idaho

28

62

121

Illinois

499

945

89

Indiana

254

576

127

Iowa

33

56

70

Kansas

84

141

68

Kentucky

96

217

126

Louisiana

102

173

70

Maine

57

145

154

Maryland

232

414

78

Massachusetts

29

604

108

Michigan

415

735

77

Minnesota

240

695

190

Mississippi

31

64

106

Missouri

198

410

107

Montana

24

35

46

Nebraska

32

87

172

Nevada

59

214

263

New Hampshire

28

70

150

New Jersey

470

1,002

113

New Mexico

14

63

350

New York

664

1,306

97

North Carolina

273

450

65

North Dakota

12

20

67

Ohio

306

798

161

Oklahoma

67

43

-36

Oregon

213

452

112

Pennsylvania

427

1,065

149

Puerto Rico

68

167

146

Rhode Island

34

89

162

South Carolina

88

216

145

South Dakota

23

47

104

Tennessee

83

251

202

Texas

738

1,629

121

Utah

79

167

111

Vermont

12

21

75

Virginia

198

484

144

Washington

122

323

165

West Virginia

49

90

84

Wisconsin

201

461

129

Wyoming

9

27

200

Total

9,483

21,275

124

 
Table I
Children aged 6 with autism served by IDEA
Source: U.S. Department of Education

 
In February 2007,
Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, MD, MPH chief of the CDC's autism program was quoted as saying (1):

  “It is extremely difficult to accurately estimate the number of children who have an ASD”
  “Medical records often do not provide such information, and identification is often made by schools or education specialists”
  “We don't know the causes of ASDs, but we do know that if we can identify autism and other developmental problems in children early, they can begin receiving appropriate interventions sooner”

Parents of children with autism would probably agree with Dr. Yeargin-Allsopp’s first two points and most of them would gladly share their thoughts and ideas about the causes of autism, if she cared to listen.

In the same press release (1) CDC Director Gerberding was quoted as saying: Our estimates are becoming better and more consistent, though we can't yet tell if there is a true increase in ASDs or if the changes are the result of our better studies.

No one asked Dr. Gerberding why, when many at the CDC knew that their own 2002 study yielded a prevalence of 1 in 150 among eight-year old children, the CDC approved, distributed and advertised an “Autism A.L.A.R.M” (2) in January 2004 that proclaimed that “1 in 166 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.”

Dr. Gerberding did not volunteer and it appears that no one thought of asking her why the CDC kept the results of the 2000 and 2002 studies secret for so long or if a third CDC study had been done in 2004 that was still “Top Secret” for undisclosed reasons.

In any case, if according to the CDC, the ASD prevalence rate was 1 in 150 on average among children born in 1994 and if the number of 6 year-old children with ASD known to the U.S. Department of Education indeed increased by 124% nationwide over the last six school years, then it is likely that among children born in 2000 who are now registered in U.S. schools, the prevalence rate of autistic spectral disorders is around 1 in 67, on average.  Now that would be a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions.

Since the CDC 2002 study results were released in early 2007, no one in authority has bothered to correct the false impression that the “new” prevalence was current.  Every day tens of newspaper articles and news items discuss the alarming increase in autism “that has now reached 1 in 150” and promptly reassure people that it is not related to vaccines and a mercury preservative.  It will be interesting to see when the head of the CDC’s autism program will reveal to the Nation that the prevalence of autism and other spectral disorders is really more than double that estimate.

In Table II, we have compared the number of 6-21 year-old students with ASD who attended U.S. schools in the different states, the District of Columbia (DC) and Puerto Rico in school years 1992-1993 and 2006-2007.

STATE

1992-1993

2006-2007

% increase

Alabama

68

2,178

3,103

Alaska

8

454

5,575

Arizona

199

4,001

1,911

Arkansas

30

1,581

5,170

California

1,605

31,077

1,836

Colorado

14

1,642

11,629

Connecticut

164

3,361

1,949

Delaware

15

576

3,740

District of Columbia

0

219

0

Florida

582

9,101

1,464

Georgia

262

6,815

2,501

Hawaii

52

859

1,552

Idaho

39

993

2,446

Illinois

5

9,398

187,860

Indiana

273

7,391

2,607

Iowa

67

1,102

1,545

Kansas

74

1,510

1,941

Kentucky

38

2,068

5,342

Louisiana

409

1,964

380

Maine

37

1,384

3,641

Maryland

28

5,130

18,221

Massachusetts

493

5,966

1,110

Michigan

288

9,723

3,276

Minnesota

296

8,613

2,810

Mississippi

0

880

0

Missouri

336

4,381

1,204

Montana

20

314

1,470

Nebraska

4

1,023

25,475

Nevada

5

1,638

32,660

New Hampshire

0

922

0

New Jersey

446

7,706

1,628

New Mexico

16

612

3,725

New York

1,648

13,951

747

North Carolina

786

6,462

722

North Dakota

9

335

3,622

Ohio

22

9,059

41,077

Oklahoma

31

1,598

5,055

Oregon

37

5,459

14,654

Pennsylvania

346

9,865

2,751

Puerto Rico

266

1,070

302

Rhode Island

19

1,018

5,258

South Carolina

141

1,977

1,302

South Dakota

36

477

1,225

Tennessee

304

2,881

848

Texas

1,444

16,801

1,064

Utah

105

1,959

1,766

Vermont

6

328

5,367

Virginia

539

5,813

978

Washington

476

4,677

883

West Virginia

101

782

674

Wisconsin

18

5,042

27,911

Wyoming

15

279

1,760

Total

12,222

224,415

1,736


Table II
Children aged 6-21 with autism served by IDEA
Source: U.S. Department of Education

 
There were 193,481 students with ASD, age 6 -21, registered in school year 2005-2006.  The 224,415 students in the same category in school year 2006-2007 reflect a 16% increase over 1 year.  

The U.S. Department of Education started providing enrollment statistics on pre-school children age 3-5 in 2000.  In Table III we compare those original statistics with the recent figures for school year 2006-2007.

STATE

2000-2001

2006-2007

% increase

Alabama

84

195

132

Alaska

27

x

0

Arizona

94

364

287

Arkansas

95

195

105

California

3,422

8,521

149

Colorado

53

249

370

Connecticut

152

453

198

Delaware

62

138

123

District of Columbia

16

60

275

Florida

847

1,799

112

Georgia

272

635

133

Hawaii

88

159

81

Idaho

28

78

179

Illinois

670

1,221

82

Indiana

456

798

75

Iowa

128

90

-30

Kansas

87

169

94

Kentucky

168

299

78

Louisiana

121

318

163

Maine

150

376

151

Maryland

371

606

63

Massachusetts

231

1,579

584

Michigan

631

1,272

102

Minnesota

345

1,241

260

Mississippi

34

96

182

Missouri

134

298

122

Montana

40

58

45

Nebraska

37

161

335

Nevada

89

497

458

New Hampshire

55

138

151

New Jersey

397

831

109

New Mexico

6

116

1,833

New York

2,244

1,520

-32

North Carolina

261

903

246

North Dakota

17

40

135

Ohio

326

410

26

Oklahoma

9

65

622

Oregon

429

848

98

Pennsylvania

594

2,458

314

Puerto Rico

147

188

28

Rhode Island

48

130

171

South Carolina

121

392

224

South Dakota

35

89

154

Tennessee

153

481

214

Texas

1,108

2,443

120

Utah

58

247

326

Vermont

14

58

314

Virginia

222

581

162

Washington

64

514

703

West Virginia

14

38

171

Wisconsin

410

593

45

Wyoming

21

35

67

Total

15,685

35,043

123


Table III
Children aged 3-5 with autism served by IDEA
Source: U.S. Department of Education

 
Here again, the number of children with Autism/ASD more than doubled in six years.  Alaska did not report and the number of affected children decreased in Iowa and New York by 30 and 32% respectively.  In all other states and in DC, the number of 3 to 5 year-old children with ASD increased significantly over the last six years with thirty seven states reporting increases of over 100%.  New Mexico, Washington State and Massachusetts had the highest increases: 1833%, 703% and 584% respectively.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders clearly outlines the required criteria for the diagnosis of autism and autistic disorders.  The manual’s 4th and last revision was introduced in 1994.  Since then, the diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV have not changed in any way.  There have been incessant claims that the increasing prevalence of ASD is only due to the less stringent “newer” diagnostic criteria.  We disagree and we have shown that indeed DSM-IV criteria are more numerous and specific. (3)

In any case, it is hard to believe that anyone would even think that in this day and age, school districts would be willing to pay thousands of dollars to provide specialized remedial services to children and adolescents who do not have a spectral disorder and distinct special needs.  More ludicrous is the idea that these services would be perpetuated without a convincing reason year after year. 

Table IV lists the number of students aged 6 to 21 who were registered in U.S. schools since DSM-IV and the yearly increases since then.

School Year

Students

Increase

1994-95

22,780

 

1995-96

28,813

6,033

1996-97

34,082

5,269

1997-98

42,487

8,405

1998-99

53,561

11,074

1999-00

65,391

11,830

2000-01

78,717

13,326

2001-02

97,847

19,130

2002-03

118,603

20,756

2003-04

140,920

22,317

2004-05

166,302

25,382

2005-06

193,481

27,179

2006-07

224,415

30,934


Table IV
Yearly increase: Children 6-21 with autism
Source: U.S. Department of Education

 
In 1994, the population of the United States was estimated at 260,204,000.  It increased by 14.7% to 298,444,215 in 2006.  During the same period, the number of students aged 6-21 with autistic spectral disorders known to the U.S. Department of Education increased by 885% from 22,780 to 224,415.

Table V lists the yearly increases in the number of children who are 3 to 5 years old and who carry the diagnosis of autism or ASD.

School Year

Students

Increase

2000-01

15,581

 

2001-02

17,032

1,451

2002-03

19,017

1,985

2003-04

22,724

3,707

2004-05

25,902

3,178

2005-06

30,276

4,374

2006-07

35,043

4,767


Table V
Yearly increase: Children 3-5 with autism
Source: U.S. Department of Education

 
This 125% increase in children 3 to 5 years old in 6 years is 20 times greater than the percent increase in the US population since the 2000 census when it was 281,421,906.

The following graph illustrates the increase in the number of children with autism and ASD during the last 15 years, in fact since autism was listed as a separate category by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

Increase over the last 15 years
Children with Autism / ASD age 6-21 in U.S. Schools
Source: U.S. Department of Education

 
We are fully aware that many do not believe the statistics that are collected yearly by the U.S. Department of Education on which we have based our reviews (and concerns) since 1999.  We respect their right to do so.

We believe that the alarming trend that we have described must be halted and reversed before another generation of children is lost and thousands more families are destroyed.

Shame on them who have chosen to close their eyes, their ears and their minds to this tragic and serious problem!

 

 

 

References

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/2007/r070208.htm
  2. http://www.medicalhomeinfo.org/health/Autism%20downloads/AutismAlarm.pdf
  3. Yazbak FE. Autism in the United States: A Perspective. J. Am Phys Surg 2003; 8(4) 103-108 http://www.jpands.org/vol8no4/yazbak.pdf

 

 

Data Sources

https://www.ideadata.org/PartBChildCount.asp Age 6 2006-2007
https://www.ideadata.org/arc_toc8.asp#partbCC Age 3-5 2006-2007 - Table 1-2
https://www.ideadata.org/arc_toc8.asp#partbCC Age 6-21 2006-2007 - Table 1-3
https://www.ideadata.org/tables29th/ar_1-2.htm Age 3-5 2005-2006
https://www.ideadata.org/tables29th/ar_1-3.htm Age 6-21 2005-2006
http://www.ideadata.org/tables28th/ar_1-2.htm Age 3-5 2004-2005
http://www.ideadata.org/tables28th/ar_1-3.htm Age 6-21 2004-2005
http://www.ideadata.org/tables27th/ar_aa2.htm Age 3-5 2003-2004
http://www.ideadata.org/tables27th/ar_aa3.htm Age 6-21 2003-2004
http://www.ideadata.org/tables26th/ar_aa2.htm Age 3-5 2002-2003
http://www.ideadata.org/tables26th/ar_aa3.htm Age 6-21 2002-2003
http://www.ideadata.org/tables25th/ar_aa2.htm Age 3-5 2001-2002
http://www.ideadata.org/tables25th/ar_aa3.htm Age 6-21 2001-2002
http://www.ideadata.org/tables24th/ar_aa2.htm Age 3-5 2000-2001
http://www.ideadata.org/tables24th/ar_aa3.htm Age 6-21 2000-2001
http://www.ideadata.org/tables/ar_aa2.htm Age 6-21 1999-2000

 

 

Raymond W. Gallup
Lake Hiawatha, NJ
highnoon@gti.net

 

F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP
Falmouth, Massachusetts
tlautstudy@aol.com

 

October 5, 2007

 

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