Regional Center lobbyist) Rick Rollens.
California Reports: New Autism Cases Continue To Decline
According to information released today by the California Department of Developmental Services (www.dds.ca.gov), the number of new cases of professionally diagnosed full syndrome DSM IV autism entering California's developmental services system declined from 734 new cases during the second quarter of 2005 (April through June) to 678 new cases during the just completed third quarter of 2005 (July through September), a 7 1/2% decline in one quarter.
During the first three quarters of 2003 California added 2,449 new cases, last year in 2004, California added 2,267 new cases of autism, and most recently, during the first three quarters of this year, 2005, there have been 2,148 new cases added to the system.
The recent continuing decline of new cases of autism is occurring against the backdrop of over two decades of record setting consecutive years of new cases of autism entering California's 36 year old system. Even with the declining numbers, autism as a category, the other categories being mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy, now comprises 66% of all new intakes, or 2 out of every 3 persons now entering California's system has been professionally diagnosed with full syndrome, DSM IV autism..easily making autism the number one disability entering California's developmental services system.
It is important to note, that in California's developmental services system, children under the age of 3 years old are NOT counted in DDS's quarterly reports. Also, only those persons with professionally diagnosed full syndrome autism, not including PDD, NOS, Asperger's, or any other autism spectrum disorder, are included in these reports.
The latest quarterly report confirms the trend of decreasing number of new cases entering California's developmental services system.
UPDATE: Teresa Binstock has a good, albeit technical, frame of reference as to how the numbers in California fit into the current biomedical theory of autism:
Yesterday, Rick Rollens shared California news wherein the number of new autism cases has again declined, thus potentially reflecting the gradual reduction in thimerosal injections into Calif infants and toddlers.
Several days ago, Dan Olmsted's most recent column featured a arent who wrote "My child is toxic" (1), wherein the parent well expresses the challenge of inter-individual differences among children with autistic traits.
The two news items - Calif's reduced rate, toxic children - are related. First, thimerosal probably is not a major etiologic agent in *all* cases of autism, tho' thimerosal may have been a major etiologic agent in many and perhaps most cases of autism. Secondly, as previous citations have delineated, many, perhaps most, and nearly all human-made toxins are detoxified via cellular processes dependent upon glutathione.
A ramification is that the so-called "background" toxins increasingly documented in human bodies, amniotic fluid, cord blood, and breast milk contribute to the depleting of intra-body glutathione and thereby tend to overwhelm cellular detoxification, and thereby increase the likelihood of developing adverse sequelae when a bolus dose (eg, thimerosal injection) occurs and/or when a given locale has a high level of another toxin or several (eg, arsenic in water, on playgrounds equipment).
The Calif data suggest that the reduced number of thimerosal injections has induced a decrease in the bolus doses of ethylmercury injected into children who nonetheless retain a high level of "background" toxins. Many such children (high toxin levels, virtually no injected thimerosal) would seem likely to develop at least some adverse sequelae from the 'background' toxins - even if traits defining DSM-IV autism do not appear in full force in otherwise affected children. Furthermore, other epidemics (eg, childhood and adult cancers) appear to have environmental factors as etiologically significant.
Three points in closing:
1. The toxic child had "chronic constipation since infancy" (1), thus
gastrointestinal problems and a likelihood of impaired nutritional status were occurring prior to his regression. The impaired nutritional status is likely to have corresponded to a lower availability of glutathione's precursors and thus to a gradual increase in the child's intra-body toxic load. The gradual increase in his body burden of toxins finally manifested into a regression that included observable traits defining autism (DSM-IV).
2. Decreasing environmental toxins in individuals, in our communities, and in the biosphere has become a necessity. However, modern economic systems contain numerous financial incentives (a) for inventing, selling, and releasing toxins, (b) for shortcutting on pollution controls, and (c) for profiting via OTCs and pharmaceuticals used to mask the chronic symptoms induced by chronic exposures to "background" toxins. These financial incentives need to be minimized then eliminated.
3. A recent study documented that children's levels of toxins can be rapidly decreased when the child's diet includes more organic foods and fewer non-organic foods. That finding by NIH researchers suggests an important principle: reducing the level of toxins entering a child's body is likely to increase his or her availability of glutathione needed for detoxification.
Researcher in Developmental & Behavioral Neuroanatomy