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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autism rates at 2% and not because of MMR

Before I start, if you haven't checked out the Asperger Women Association's latest internet radio show episode "Autism and Changing the Language with Michael Buckholtz" then I suggest you do so now. It is an excellent discussion on the word "disability" when referring to autism, and how to go about to make a positive influence.


What has caught my attention was the release of a study on autism and a couple of articles documenting and commenting about it. From the Times blogs comes a post about the National Autistic Society coming off the fence , as well as the actual news article about the study and the implications of the results. All very good, nice and dandy. Yay for the press.

Ah, but of course, we have the blogging sphere. Left Brain/Right Brain refers to an excellent post by Mike Stanton, that includes a more inside look and observation, including study links! Because facts are facts, and it's starting to get harder to play neutral.

Now, as we're all cheering, Socrates from the New Republic keeps us honest by being brutal and surprisingly refreshing in interpreting the study's results. Because there's always a different perspective on things.

Personally, I can't help but notice the large gap in the mens and women's prevalence rates. 1.8 for men, and 0.2 for women. I'm trying to figure out whether the new concepts of autism manifesting differently in women was factored in when they did the studies.

You can find the actual studies here and the report released here.

Anyways, the newspapers do a little rounding (or as I think, adding 1.8 and 0.2) and proclaim an autism prevalence of 2%, in adults as well as children. That we know of, I might add. While it's a nice number, I'm thinking it's probably higher, but that might just be me.

Either way, a 2% prevalence is larger that some categories of Myers-Briggs Personality Types.

(for the record, I'm

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