Wednesday, December 30, 2009

prevalence

So, there is concern that Hispanic school children aren't being diagnosed enough with autism. Here's the article.

"For every 10 percent increase in Hispanic schoolchildren in a given district, the researchers found, the prevalence of autism decreased by 11 percent, while the prevalence of kids with intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities increased by 8 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

The reverse was seen as the percentage of non-Hispanic white children in a district increased, with the prevalence of autism rising by 9 percent and the prevalence of intellectual and learning disabilities falling by 11 percent and 2 percent."

So... basically the concern is the kids are just being diagnosed with learning disabilities... Isn't perhaps the over diagnosis of autism a bit more of a concern? Since autism is a pretty big stigma?

Notice how the number of kids with learning disabilities is the same... it's whether they call it autism or dyslexia that determines whether or not there is an "epidemic" in the area?

This is why I am getting so annoyed at the epidemic and crisis b.s.

It's simply a changing of diagnosis and how many of those kids have any real brain damage causing the learning disorders? And if that many kids do have developmental delay, is it really such a crisis? Obviously the number of kids with learning disabilities isn't changing. Which learning disability they call it is changing. So a certain percentage of the population is a bit slower. This has always been true. Why is it a big deal?

The spectrum is a very wide category, as it's currently defined. I'm pretty sure we could squeeze a good ten percent of the population in if we tried.

4 comments:

Jon A.S. said...

Hey Abi,

This study seems to be another case of "racial profiling" the auties into sub-groups, which is ridiculous, BTW...and does nothing to help auties from every nationality.

Jonas

Abifae said...

my spiteful little brain assumed they were mad cuz the hispanics were lowering their inflated numbers and incomes by not jumping on the autism bandwagon, actually.

Autism Reality NB said...

The diagnoses definitions were changed in 1994. Yet the prevalence has been moved upward every few years since them including over the past two years.

Your opinion that it is all just diagnostic change is opinion not science. And it is not consistent with the views of Dr. Thomas Insel head of the IACC.

Abifae said...

Perhaps you missed the part that showed LD diagnosis down at the same rate autism diagnosis is going up. It's still just an exchange of diagnosis. With all the funding that autism gets and all the new help and programs and forced into insurance plans, a conscientious doctor will diagnose more often for autism than just a learning disability because the child gets more out of that diagnosis.

Autism rates might be going up a bit due to more actual autistics, but since they still don't have a firm grasp of what that IS, the diagnosis is still symptom based, not test based. Which means the diagnose is going to fluctuate with what is popular and what is politically correct.

Things like strep throat are tested by the strep bacteria. If there are suddenly a LOT of cases, then you know there are actually a lot of cases.

With something like autism, if there are a lot of diagnoses made, that only means there are a lot of diagnoses made.