An abstract of a study released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that the study's "2010 [Autism Spectrum Disorder] prevalence estimate of 14.7 per 1,000 (95% CI = 14.3-15.1), or one in 68 children aged 8 years, was 29% higher than the preceding estimate of 11.3 per 1,000 (95% CI = 11.0-11.7), or one in 88 children aged 8 years in 2008." Of the sites surveyed, four counties in New Jersey had the highest prevalence estimate, with 21.9 per 1,000 (95% CI = 20.4-23.6). National Public Radio quotes CDC experts that "skyrocketing estimates don't necessarily mean that kids are more likely to have autism now than they were 10 years ago."
"It may be that we're getting better at identifying autism," says , director of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.Researchers say intervention in early childhood may help the developing brain compensate by rewiring to work around the trouble spots.
Another abstract of a "small, explorative study" from The New England Journal of Medicine describes Patches of Disorganization in the Neocortex of Children with Autism and suggests "a probable dysregulation of layer formation and layer-specific neuronal differentiation at prenatal developmental stages." CBS News demystifies the study as "brain abnormalities may begin in utero." [Ed's note: Link intermittent]
Last month, we discussed findings that suggest that delaying fatherhood may increase the risk of fathering children with disorders including Autism.
There's a strong genetic component that pre-dispositions to Autism, but there's probably an environmental trigger that combines with it.
My wife wasn't taking any drugs (unless you count the pre-natal vitamins prescribed by her doctor), and we've got 2 boys, both diagnosed and clearly more severe than "Aspergers."
Not trying to pry, but for the sake of science, would you mind letting us know if the age of you and/or your wife at the time of the pregnancies was believed to be a factor?
My own anecdotes are contradictory, my mid-40's aged teacher got pregnant and had a perfectly normal, healthy kid. My friend had in her late 30's a daughter who managed to be fine mentally but was born with only one kidney.
Not the parent but my wife was 23 and I was 31 when our autistic son was born.She wasn't on any drugs either and I was a light pot smoker.
Anecdotal means nothing in the greater discussion and scientific evaluation (and, of course, everything to the individuals) - with present rates quoted at 1/42 boys born, I congratulate your two friends on falling into the "easier to mesh with society" side of the lottery. However, if it's just a lottery, we just pulled out a 1/1700 winner.
We are older - and there may be a behavioral selection bias there (don't find mates until later, yadda yadda) The kids were born at mom's age 37 and 39.
Forgive me if this is personal, what age did they get diagnosed? I am sure you are aware of the importance of early detection and intervention in this case. It is true there is a genetic component to this disorder which is likely very strongly influenced by environmental trigger/s. Unfortunately all the components seem to be some what rare in the sense each individual might have a unique set of them. That makes it difficult to hunt them down. Interaction of genetic and environment is what makes Autism a complex disorder.
When they were born (early 2000s) the establishment refused to attempt diagnosis until age 3. The older boy was enrolled in special needs pre-school starting 5 days after his 3rd birthday (and it was very helpful...)
By the time the younger was 2.5, they were starting to stretch the rules a little and we got a M.D. to do the diagnosis then.
I am glad that the kids got started with the program by 3. In early 2000s the concept that diagnosing kids at 3 for autism was very new and most clinicians did not believe in it anyway. Things have rapidly changed since then. I am reading these days they test much earlier than 3 years, that paediatricians (sp.??) follow it as routine and the intervention programs have become better refined. We need more research in this area and the one referred in TFA is a small study by any standards, a progress nonetheless.
I wish your family good luck and hope for the best outcome possible, nothing less.