The CDC reported in 2018 that 7,111 students have autism; 8,992 preschool children have developmental delays. Students with autism cost Colorado schools $96 million annually.
In his Letter to the Editor, March 20, “Diagnosis of autism increasing, not the condition itself,” the author “Dr.” Gene I. Katz is neither an MD nor credentialed to assess the autism epidemic. His website shows an MS degree in Counseling, University of Phoenix and certification in Sexology. Mr. Katz promotes erroneous notions that the increase in autism is merely better diagnosing or changes in diagnostic criteria.
DSM-IV was in place from 2000 to 2013, while autism in Colorado schools increased from 338 students to 5,774 students using the same diagnostic criteria. “Better diagnosis” cannot explain the 17-fold increase using the same DSM diagnostic criteria for 13 years. CO Dept. of Ed’s government data reports that since 1992, Colorado student population grew by 49% while autism increased by over 400%. That is 17 Colorado students with autism were reported in 1992 and the CDE reported that 7805 students in 2018 have autism. Students with autism cost Colorado schools $96 million annually.
Colorado is not alone. The Philly Inquirer reports Apr. 11th: Autism spectrum disorder rates in New Jersey 4-year-olds rose by 43 percent in four years…”It’s very likely that the next time we survey autism… the rate will be even higher,” said Walter Zahorodny, associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School…The increases appear to reflect actual growth in the rate of children with autism, not just more diagnoses, according to Zahorodny.
Let’s promote more research and funding for autism and stop denying its real increase!