The number of children diagnosed with autism increased in recent years, which led researchers to look into what caused this rapid rise. Experts believe that there are millions of children struggling with autism in the United States, and this figure rises even higher in some countries. Though some believe this recent increase might relate to the foods that kids eat and other possible factors, others believe that it relates more to the changes in which doctors diagnose their patients. Researchers working at some of the top colleges in the world plan to look closely at the increase in new cases.
New Statistics on Autism
Autism is a condition that causes a break from reality. Kids suffering from autism often have a hard time forming relationships with others and difficulties in school. Some children are non-verbal, which means that they cannot talk or explain their thoughts. Even those who are verbal may have problems communicating. Autistic children also have problems paying attention to simple tasks and keeping up with their peers. One out of every 150 children living in the United States received a diagnosis of autism in 2000, but according to Lindsey Stone, this figure increased to one out of every 68 children in more recent years.
Autism and Vaccines
There is a dedicated and vocal group of individuals living in the United States that believe there is a link between autism and vaccines. They believe that certain types of vaccines, including the MMR vaccination, causes autism. Those who believe this often point to a study released by a British doctor years ago. After some of his fellow researchers listed on the study claimed that they didn’t work on it, he eventually admitted that he falsified some of his research and that he couldn’t find a clear link between vaccinations and autism.
Finding a Link
Autism Speaks is a large charity focused on finding a cure for autism. The organization also provides funds that go to researchers looking for a link or finding a cure for the condition. Though doctors do not understand what causes autism, most believe that it is a combination of genetics and environment. Others believe that the cause might relate more to genetics and less to environment. They point out that kids raised in different homes and situations who share nothing in common can all receive a diagnosis of autism.
University of Michigan Research Study
Researchers working at the University of Michigan recently received a $1.6 million grant to study autism and what caused the recent increase in cases. Many experts working in the field today believe that the rise relates solely to the increase in reporting. Doctors working in the past usually diagnosed those suffering from autism with other medical conditions, including attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As more medical professionals talked about autism and identified the symptoms of the disorder, more doctors found themselves choosing a diagnosis of autism over those other conditions.
The study done by the University of Michigan will look at a number of factors, including the foods that autistic children eat, the environments they grew up in and changes in the reporting of autism. Though researchers have yet to announce when they will finish the study, it’s likely that the university will release its finding in the coming years.