Autism Epidemic?

Statisticians and researchers have recently deduced that a possible autism epidemic is imminent.  “According to widely publicized estimates, one in 166 is now the proportion of children who suffer from autism. This proportion is astonishingly high compared with the figure of one in 2,500 that autism researchers had accepted for decades.”  

Autism is a disorder that appears in infancy.  Most individuals suffer communication barriers amongst a myriad of other social issues.  

The causes of autism are unknown, however there are many studies that are dedicated to unraveling answers.  “Investigators have turned to environmental factors for potential explanations.  The causal agents proposed include antibiotics, viruses, allergies, enhanced opportunities for parents with mild autistic traits to meet and mate, and, in one recent study conducted by Cornell University researchers, elevated rates of television viewing in infants. Few of these explanations have been investigated systematically and all remain speculative.”

With this information in mind, it is important to sift out certain criteria in order to properly diagnose if an epidemic is probable or if there are any intrinsic errors/inconsistencies.  The causation for autism is highly unknown, so it is very difficult to pinpoint any real cause for an increase, even if that increase is immense, in incidence.  A larger net must be casted if any real results with real, objective relevance is to be taken into account.  More systematic research, for example, with large, varied sample sizes must be incorporated in order to minimize any intrinsic errors.  

The point is that there is an issue at hand and the children of America are at risk.  Therefore, research for this type of severe disorder must be funded, either federally or privately, to ensure that this does not become more prevalent and result in a more grave situation.  

The article by Scientific American Magazine that discusses this in much more detail can be found here.  

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~ by jrn320afigueroa on April 18, 2009.

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