March 27, 2014
Autistic Self Advocacy Network Issues Statement on Latest CDC Autism Prevalence Data
Latest CDC numbers reflect better understanding of autism; racial and gender disparities persist.
Washington, DC — March 27th, 2014 — The Autistic Self Advocacy Network issued the following statement in response to the unveiling of new data on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) today.
“These numbers are in line with our expectations based on previous studies showing that autistic people represent between 1 and 3% of the population,” said ASAN President Ari Ne’eman. “The CDC numbers show that while we are gradually improving diagnosis and identification of autistic people, significant disparities persist. African-American and Hispanic autistic children continue to go under-diagnosed, as do women and girls on the spectrum.”
According to the latest CDC data, approximately 1 in every 68 children in the United states is on the autism spectrum. However, vast diagnostic disparities exist–boys were 4-5 times more likely to be diagnosed than girls, with a prevalence rate of 1 in 42 for boys compared to a rate of 1 in 189 girls. In addition, girls who received an ASD diagnosis were more likely than boys to have been identified as having an additional disability, implying that less obvious cases were being missed. This data supports previous studies which showed gender disparities in diagnosis to be largely a problem of identification, as opposed to indicative of lower occurrence.
Nor were diagnostic disparities restricted to gender. White children were approximately 30% more likely to be identified with ASD than black children and were almost 50% more likely to be identified with ASD than Hispanic children. Children of color, when diagnosed, were more likely to be identified as having additional disabilities. These alarming disparities indicate that while improvements in diagnosing autism have been made for some populations, considerable efforts are still needed to make diagnosis and services available to all.
“This disparity data highlights the need for serious action to ensure progress in autism diagnosis and services is available to all, regardless of diagnosis or gender,” said ASAN’s Director of Programs, Julia Bascom. She went on to add, “The lack of any data on adults represents a serious gap in CDC’s efforts. When the United Kingdom conducted an adult prevalence study, it found the same rate of autism in adults as children, helping to debunk public hysteria over a so-called ‘autism epidemic’.”
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people. ASAN’s supporters include Autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators and friends. Its activities include public policy advocacy, community engagement to encourage inclusion and respect for neurodiversity, leadership trainings, cross-disability advocacy, and the development of Autistic cultural activities.
Director of Public Policy
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
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Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.