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California Autism Survey

California is adding one new child every three HOURS with full-blown Level 1 DSM IV autism to the California Developmental Services system, according to a report just released by the agency.

During the 88 day period from January 4, 2001 to April 3, 2001, 700 new children were professionally diagnosed with DSM IV autism, a rate of 8 new children a day seven days a week, or one new child every three hours

The 700 new children represents the largest quarterly increase in the history of California's developmental services system, and represents an increase of 107 more children than reported in the previous record highest quarter.

8 New Cases a Day
Historically throughout the late 1960's and through the 1970's, California was adding roughly 100-200 new cases A YEAR of autism to it's developmental services system, with autism accounting for 3% of the total number of new cases coming into the system which includes mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. Since the beginning of the autism epidemic in 1979-80, California's increase of new cases of autism has exploded to the current level of 700 new cases EVERY THREE MONTHS, and autism now accounts for an unbelievable 37% of all the new cases coming into California's developmental services system.

While California's developmental services system has been diagnosing autism since 1969, the standard for inclusion into the system has not changed, that is, only those professionally diagnosed with the most severe cases of autism are qualified for services and counted in these reports. The figures in these reports DO NOT include any autism spectrum disorders such as PDD, NOS, Asperger's, Retts, Fragile X or any other autism spectrum disorder. What would this increase look like if we included all of the autism spectrum disorders?

Jan-April 1994 173 new children Total cases (4/94): 5,281

Jan-April 1995 234 new children Total cases (4/95): 6,009

Jan-April 1996 230 new children Total cases (4/96): 6,757

Jan-April 1997: 388 new children Total cases (4/97): 7,875

Jan-April 1998: 339 new children Total cases (4/98): 9,120

Jan-April 1999: 593 new children Total cases (4/99): 10,799

Jan-April 2000: 416 new children Total cases (4/00): 12,566

Jan-April 2001: 700 new children Total cases (4/01): 14,777

Evidence grows with every quarterly and yearly report from the best data source on autism in the world, that autism is a rapidly growing epidemic, increasing faster then anyone could imagine or anticipate.

The situation begs the question: If California reported that eight new children a day were showing up at the door steps of hospitals throughout California with a devastating and crippling brain disorder, what would the response be by our policy makers and public health community? Does anyone honestly believe that anyone would seriously suggest that the reason they were there was because somehow we have just now come to recognise what a disabling brain disorder looks like, as some officials have previously suggested? A public health crisis of monumental proportions is occurring right before our eyes.


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