Should We Believe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Estimates?

Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice has published an important and interesting new editorial by Dr. David Mandell and Dr. Luc Lecavalier that challenges the methods the CDC uses to collect and publish autism prevalence data, now at 1 in 68. While acknowledging that tracking ASD is no easy task, the authors question whether the CDC’s surveillance studies should be used as a basis for estimates of prevalence.

Read the full article here. 

One Reply to “Should We Believe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Estimates?”

  1. The problem with the CDC prevalence studies is that they are highly selective not population based. A few nations have national health registries. In Denmark researchers examined the health registries and identified every child born between 1994 and 1997 and found that the autism diagnosed prevalence was much lower than the CDC overall estimates. Similarly in Western Australia the autism diagnosed prevalence rates were even lower using the same methodolgy. In Denmark and Western Australia the prevalence of strict autism (Autistic Disorder) was even lower demonstrating the widening of diagnostic criteria (PPD or ASD) introduced with the publication of DSM-IV (1994) and ICD-10 (1994). The broadening of diagnostic criteria may have inflated autism prevalence rates throughout the world.

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