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Do Vaccinations Cause Autism? No.

Has Incidence of Autism Increased?

Recently a report from the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network indicated that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) amongst 8-year-old children had increased from 6.7 per thousand children in the year 2000 to 11.3 children per thousand children in 2008. That means that in year 2000, one in 150 children was diagnosed with ASD and in 2008 it was one in 88 children. The question is why has the incidence increased so steadily? None of us medical professionals currently know, but most believe the majority of the increase is due to our greater awareness of the diagnosis and improved record keeping. There are likely many factors that account for the increase in incidence of recorded ASD and researchers continue to search for exposure or risk factors. However, there are a number of established risk factors for developing an ASD and these include genetic and non-genetic associations including:

  • Sibling or parent with an ASD
  • Children born to older parents
  • Certain genetic disorders (Down syndrome, Fragile X, tuberous sclerosis, and others)
  • Certain drugs (thalidomide and valproic acid)
  • Low birth-weight, prematurity

One of the major challenges of ASDs is that they can neither be simply categorized nor described. They exhibit a “spectrum” of symptoms and severities involving a variety of typical social, communication, and repetitive behaviors.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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