NOTE: All the discrepancies that I was worried about have been checked out and this is the best version of the data available.
California has released their autism numbers and the increase in cases continues to drop.
The excel spread sheet that I am tracking this on is posted here if you would like to download it, check my work, make your own graphs, whatever.
There is much conjecture as to which way the trends will continue. Speculation from proponents of the mercury theory has been that the 2006-2007 will be when rates will drop more dramatically as three and four year olds, who have the highest rate of diagnosis, will have been born in 2003, when most high dose mercury vaccines had cleared the shelves. We will keep posting the numbers to see if things go this way.
The new talk is about what the CDC decree that all pregnant women and children over 6 months of age should get flu shots (most of which are full dose mercury shots) will do to the numbers if the mercury theory is indeed correct. I read that expectant mothers are shying away from getting the shot (I think the article said only 13% of moms are opting for it, but don't quote me on that) but those little ones are so vulnerable, will that 13% be effected at higher rates? We will have to wait another three or four years to find out.
Update: Someone emailed me this question, and I thought I would post my answer here as a reminder of the context in which these should be viewed:
Ginger, To what do you attribute the percentage change (negative) in the year 2000?
I don't know what to attribute that to for sure.
California made an adjustment in diagnostic inclusion criteria at some point, resulting in fewer children receiving services, and I can't remember if it was in 2000 or not. If so that would certainly explain the dip.
But bottom line, these numbers really should only be used for looking at wide trends. If things are generally moving up or moving down. They are not broken down into new diagnosis v. adults, by birth year, by people moving into and out of the state, etc, and those are the things that we would need to have information on in order to really interpret well the impact that mercury in vaccines has on autism. These numbers are just one big blob of people who are getting autism services by the state, so looking at a big dip in one quarter will probably only tell us something about the way the numbers were collected, rather than what the true picture of autism cases are.
If you look at the huge drop in 4th quarter '98 for example and then the huge jump in 1st quarter '99, it makes me think that the computers were down in December of 1998 and people's paperwork was not processed, and they caught up in January or something. These two quarters show dramatic change, but if you averaged these two out and looked at them in context they would actually follow the trend. The same with 1999 and 2000 on the yearly graph at the bottom. The spike in 1999, the plateau in 2000, taken together they follow the trend.
I am hoping that the government will actually publish a study that looks at the number of new diagnosis charted by birth year, but I am not going to get my hopes up.
At this point we do have enough information to see that there was a trend up in the 90's and there is now a trend down. There is certianly enough information to postulate that the drop in vaccine hg correlates with the drop in the increase in autism cases, and that the two may be related. It is now the government's job to do their due dillagence and take a more detailed look at the information they already have, and see if this theory holds up when you look at the number of new diagnosis by birth year. Then if it still holds up, they need to get their asses in gear and to a Verstraeten type study, except with out the fraud this time.
From the Schafer Report:
California Reports: New Autism Cases at 4 Year Low
From California autism advocate Rick Rollens.
According to information released today by the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the number of new cases of professionally diagnosed full syndrome autism (NOT including any other autism spectrum disorder) entering California's developmental services system in 2005 was the smallest number of new cases since the year 2001.
The DDS year end report for 2005 documents that during 2005, California added 2,848 new cases of autism to it's system. Not since 2001 (2725 new cases) has California added less new cases of full syndrome autism to it's system. Every year since the all time record year of 2002 there has been a slow, steady decline in the number of new cases of autism entering California's 37-year old developmental services system.
Between 1979-80 and the end of 2002, California's developmental services system experienced unprecedented record increases in the number of new cases of autism every year over the previous year. The 1990s saw an explosion of new cases of professionally diagnosed full syndrome every single year culminating in the record year 2002 with 3,132 new cases.
Prior to the start of the modern day autism epidemic, autism accounted for less then 3% of all the new intakes coming into California's system which also includes mental retardation, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy. Today, autism accounts for 60% of all new intakes, and is the number one disability entering California's developmental services system. 18 years ago there were 2,773 persons with autism in the system, today there are 29,424.
Children under the age of 3 years old with full syndrome autism are NOT included in the DDS reports, but instead are enrolled in the Early Start Program.
Nearly two-thirds (2 out of 3 ) persons in the system with autism are between the ages of 3 and 13 years old, with nearly 8 out of 10 under the age of 17 years old.
(Rollens comments: For those who continue to believe in the fantasy that we have NOT experienced an epidemic of autism, might I ask one simple question: If the incidence of autism hasn't increased dramatically over the past 20 plus years, then where are all the adults with full syndrome autism? Surely if there is no real increase then we should see roughly the same number of adults with autism as we do children. I am sure it is about as easy today, as it has been in the past, to somehow misplace or not recognize thousands of adults with full syndrome autism...about as easy as missing a train wreck. Sorry but no Ph.D. or MD required to recognize either one.)