Autism, 2000: A Tragedy by F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP

The following data, from Table AA11 of the twenty-first report of the
United States Department of Education to Congress (IDEA) show that the
accelerating increase in autism is continuing:
http://www.ideadata.org./tables/ar_aa11.htm
Nationwide, in a one-year period, 97-98 to 98-99, autism has increased
by 26% among children ages 6 to 21 attending school in the United States.
In the same population, the following relevant increases were reported in
the same period:
All disabilities: 2.6%
Specific learning disabilities: 2.27%
Speech and language impairment:1.03%
Severe emotional disturbances: 1.94%
The increase in autism for the same one-year period varied in
different states.
% Increase States % Increase States
0-5% 2 5-10% 1
10-15% 4 15-20% 5
20-25% 13 25-30% 7
30-35% 10 35-40% 3
40-45% 3 45-50% 1

One state, Ohio, reported a 106% increase.
Further review reveals that the incidence of Autism/PDD in Ohio has
been increasing steadily for the last few years, as evidenced by the
following figures from the Special Education Department of the Ohio State
DOE:

Autism/PDD
(Children 6 to 21)
Year Number
1992 22
1993 124
1994 144
1995 199
1996 292
1997 501
1998 1040
1999 1523

In eight years, 1992 to 1999, Autism/PDD has increased by 6,822% in
Ohio.
It is extremely important to note that these figures do not include affected
children under age 6 and those not attending school.
In the same eight years, children in special education increased by
2.2%.
Because it is most likely that in the last four years, the staff completing
the evaluations and the diagnostic criteria have remained unchanged, the
following percentage increases are meaningful and probably, statistically
reliable:
Yearly Percentage Increase
Years Increase
95 to 96 46.73%
96 to 97 71.57%
97 to 98 107.58%
98 to 99 46.44%
The twenty-first report to Congress sends another very alarming
signal.
Like in previous annual reports, Table AA8 demonstrates a nationwide higher
incidence of Autism/PDD in the younger age groups, and therefore suggests
that increases will continue.
http://www.ideadata.org/tables/ar_aa8.htm >

Number of Children with autism served under IDEA by age

6 years old 7.677 7 years old 6,839 8 years old 6,202
9 years old 5,316 10 years old 4,654 11 years old 4,109
12 years old 3,406 13 years old 3,078 14 years old 2,563
15 years old 2,460 16 years old 2,099 17 years old 1,755
18 years old 1,373 19 years old 966 20 years old 730
21 years old 349 22 years old 224

Noteworthy is the fact that unlike Autism/PDD, all other disabilities
are actually decreasing among younger children in US schools:
Age All disabilities
6 years old 326,594
7 years old 396,635
8 years old 477,768
9 years old 520,004
10 years old 528,215

Autism in the United States has been an emergency for years.
(Autism 99, A National Emergency <
http://www.garynull.com/Documents/autism_99.htm >)

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