If you hear the numbers, it may really come as a shock, but remember – more autism diagnoses do not equal more autism cases in general. Apparently, too many doctors misdiagnose autism, which is already a tricky condition to start with.
The main problem is said to come from the fact that autism is very easily mistaken with other related intellectual disabilities. Yet, the numbers show that we, the US, may be facing what has been dubbed a true autism epidemic. This could not be farther from the truth.
The sheer level of the rising diagnoses could be the subject of a fiction as back in the year 1975, there was just one case of autism for five thousand patients. Fast forward to 2002, that ratio effectively exploded, as one person in just 150 people was diagnosed with autism. Then the more recent numbers, dating from 2012, place the number of cases as one in only 68. This information is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC).
Yet, a study which was published recently in the American Journal of Medicine Genetics says that there has definitely not been such a dramatic increase in the number of autism patients. A rising rate worthy of the screenplay for an apocalypse. The main reason for this growing number seems to be the reclassification of earlier dubious conditions as autism.
It may be that, as autism is a very strange condition, which largely remains misunderstood, it can be easily mistaken for other disorders of the neurological or intellectual type. It may also be that milder cases of intellectual problems evolve into autism – though this is highly unlikely.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Penn State University. To get these results, they analyzed data pertaining from to 11 years of patient data available from enrolment in special-education schools. They found that 6.2 million enrolled in these institutions every year. And the number had not changed much for 11 years.
They authors of the study also saw that the number of autism diagnoses increased inversely proportionally to those of other neurological disorders. That means that while autism cases raised, others fell in the same dramatic way.
One other issue that autism is usually linked with other problems and usually appears together with other problems.
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