Age of Autism

NOTE: Maybe Bruce Springsteen will write a song about the boys with autism who can’t find work in the closed factories… and who might never have their hearts broken by a Jersey girl. Born in the USA has become frightening as more families are learning their child has a diagnosis. We are in an emergency situation.

U.S. autism rate now one in every 59 eight year olds in America. In New Jersey, it’s one in every 34 children, one in every 22 boys.

By Anne Dachel

The numbers are from 2014. Dare we suspect that they are even worse today? Is anyone alarmed because the New Jersey rate is so much higher than the national average?  What if the Garden State has the most accurate count of kids?

The go-to guy on autism in New Jersey is Dr. Walter Zahorodny. His remarks in the press on the horrific rate in New Jersey are incomprehensible.

Six years ago he admitted the possibility of a connection between vaccines and autism.

I wrote this for Age of Autism:


Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, directed the autism study. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Nick Romanenko)

Finally, there’s Dr. Walter Zahorodny, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark and he was the lead researcher on the New Jersey portion of a CDC rate study.  He was interviewed for in March, 2014 about the update in the autism rate to one in every 68 children.  Zahorodny said, ‘It’s a true increase. It’s a change of great magnitude. It’s silly to go on debating that.’  Furthermore, he said the numbers are going to get even worse.


Back in April, 2012, Zahorodny was featured on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC radio.

During the interview, the host brought up research on the possible causes for autism and he made this comment: “I guess we know what they aren’t, for instance, childhood vaccines, right?”

This was Zahorodny’s stunning response: “Vaccines don’t play a significant role in autism increasing. Some small number of children probably do have autism because of an adverse vaccine reaction, but they don’t make for the overall rise. Similarly, thimerosal, the additive in vaccines which was almost entirely out of the picture by 2000, which was when our children in the ’08 study were born. So these kids, which would have seen declining autism prevalence if thimerosal was an important risk factor, not increasing prevalence. So I rule those two things out. There are other factors that would be more likely at play-demographical factors related to parents’ age and other factors linked to that.”

So a “small number of children” have autism because of their vaccines.  Shouldn’t we all be concerned? 

While Zahorondny’s claim that thimerosal was removed by 2000 is clearly wrong, his admission that yes, some kids really do become autistic after vaccinations, was alarming.

So how much of the rate increase is because of the vaccines children receive?

So now it’s 2018 and the numbers have once again taken a jump leap forward.

Since NJ has the highest rate in the country, Zahorodny is being quoted in national coverage. He makes it clear that it isn’t just BETTER DIAGNOSING. The numbers show no sign of slowing down. He finds that worrisome


“It all points to some factor that is causing autism rates to increase,” Zahorodny said, adding that he believes it must be due to some “unknown, environmental factors.”

How dare this man continue to act like he’s lost in the woods. How will he be quoted when the rate is one in every 10 kids in New Jersey? Will the mystery continue indefinitely?

Bob Menendez is in the U.S. Senate from NJ.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez says prevalence in New Jersey is nearly double the national rate, with about 3 percent of children in the state affected.

 “These increase rates only mean we need to redouble our efforts, keep up the pressure, continue expanding research, screening, and support services for Americans with autism spectrum disorder.” 

‘Expand research’? More money into genetic studies? More ‘screening and support services’? So New Jersey would like to find even more autism?

Meanwhile the mainstream media is out to downplay the announcement. See America, everything is under control. There’s nothing to worry about, no matter what the rate.

Tech Times: Stuart Shapiro from the CDC attributes the increase to better diagnosing among minorities.

Washington Times: “It’s only a small increase.

Baltimore Sun: “The increases were not necessarily a surprise to public health officials, who said they don’t know if there are actually more cases, or if awareness and diagnosis have improved.”

CNN: “Also, the definition of autism has changed through the decades…”

Medscape: “Autism prevalence up slightly to 1 in 59.”

NJ.comAutism rates continue to skyrocket, NJ leads nation in latest study

One out of every 34 children in the state is affected by autism, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which used research by Rutgers University. That represents a 19-percent increase from two years ago when the report was last released. At that time, one out of every 41 children were affected. 

One autism expert noted, however, that more minority kids are being identified as autistic, which could help explain the increase.

Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School who led New Jersey’s portion of the study, said even though New Jersey may be more aggressive in diagnosing autism, he doesn’t believe that alone can explain the rising trend.

Autism in New Jersey has climbed roughly 200 percent since 2000, Zahorodny noted, adding that he believes that increase is far too dramatic to attribute solely to better diagnostic techniques, especially since rates are going up across the country.

“That’s similar to what they find in all other states … Autism rates in NJ are the highest in the US, have tripled recent ly

The rate of autism among children in New Jersey — now nearly 3 percent — is the highest ever documented nationwide, with nearly 5 percent of 8-year-old boys in the state on the autism spectrum in 2014, according to a report released Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control. 

Autism diagnoses in New Jersey have tripled in 14 years and show no signs of leveling off, according to the study’s lead researcher. The rate of increase accelerated in the most recent two years, climbing by 19 percent to one in 34 children.

“We don’t understand the reason for it,” said Walter Zahorodny, director of the New Jersey autism study and an associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. In the 14 years since the monitoring study began, “it has never stabilized or decreased.”

WBGO Newark, NJ Childhood Autism On The Rise

The childhood autism rate continues to rise, and New Jersey’s rate is the highest in the nation.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in 59 children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2014, a 15 percent increase from two years earlier.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez says prevalence in New jersey is nearly double the national rate, with about 3 percent of children in the state affected.

“These increase rates only mean we need to redouble our efforts, keep up the pressure, continue expanding research, screening, and support services for Americans with autism spectrum disorder.”

Tom Buffuto , the executive director of ARC of New Jersey, says the findings are a wakeup call.

“When we see these numbers we clearly have to do a better job of diagnosing children on the autism spectrum disorder earlier and we must get them into early intervention programs so they get the support and service they need as soon as possible.”

Rutgers researcher Walter Zahorodny says undefined environmental risks contribute to the increase, but it might also be due to better awareness. …

Researchers intend to launch a large scale autism screening initiative in New Jersey to help identify children with autism who go undetected before the age of 3.

Tech Times Minority Children Caused Autism Rates To Rise, CDC Says

According to the researchers, more children with autism have been reported due to the growing recognition of the disorder in minority communities. In the past, autism was more traced among Caucasian children than African-American and Hispanic children. This is because experts did not examine minority children. Autism was originally 20 percent higher in Caucasian children than African-American children, but the percentage decreased to 10 percent. Despite the decline, the prevalence remained prominent among Hispanic children.

Stuart Shapira, associate director for science at CDC’s national center, believes that the higher number of minority children with autism could be due to health services being made available to minority communities unlike before. Shapira further said that the efforts are significant, because if more children are screened for the disorder, they can eventually get the assistance that they may need.

Washington TimesAutism rate jump in US may be result of better diagnosis

The government estimates that autism is becoming more common, but it’s only a small increase and some experts think it can be largely explained by better diagnosing of minority children.

About 1 in 59 U.S. children were identified as having autism in 2014, according to a Thursdayreport from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that focused on 8-year-old children. That’s up from 1 in 68 children in both 2010 and 2012.

White children are diagnosed with autism more often than black or Hispanic children, but the gap has closed dramatically. Autism used to be 20 percent higher in white kids than black children, and that difference shrank to 10 percent. The gap between white and Hispanic kids shrank from 50 percent to 20 percent.

That increased recognition in minority kids is likely a big reason for the overall increase, CDC researchers said.

The causes of autism aren’t well understood, and it’s not clear if other factors might also be at play – like, for example, more couples having babies later in life,said Thomas Frazier, chief science officer for the advocacy organization Autism Speaks.


Newsy CDC: More US Kids Have Autism — But Experts Don’t Exactly Know Why

But the study’s authors say the data isn’t clear about the reason for the overall increase. One theory is that access to services, screening and diagnosis has improved, which is considered a positive improvement. Experts recommend more research to fully understand why youth autism rates have risen.


Baltimore Sun Rate of kids with autism in Maryland jumps to one in 50

…The rate of children on the autism spectrum in Maryland jumped to one in 50 in the latest report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the disorder’s prevalence. It was one in 55 two years ago.

Nationwide, the CDC reported the rate increased to one in 59 children from one in 68 two years ago. That’s the highest prevalence since the health agency began tracking the disorder 18 years ago.

The increases were not necessarily a surprise to public health officials, who said they don’t know if there are actually more cases, or if awareness and diagnosis have improved. Still, the numbers are important for giving an idea of the disorder’s reach, said Rebecca Harrington, who helped lead the data gathering in Maryland through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“There remains a lot of children in Maryland who have autism spectrum disorder, and they and their families are going to need more services,” Harrington said. …

The rates have been rising since the 1960s, but researchers do not know how much of this rise is due to better screening, diagnostic services and treatment and intervention. The medical community also has improved the way it documents the disease and is better at identifying autism-related behaviors.

CNN Autism prevalence increases: 1 in 59 US children

…The new estimate represents a 15% increase from two years prior and a 150% increase since 2000. …

Also, the definition of autism has changed through the decades. “Over the ’80s and ’90s, the diagnostic criteria expanded to include more children,” Christensen said, “so I think that’s definitely a possibility for the increase that we’ve seen.”


U.S. News & World Report Autism Rates Jump Among US Children

The study, based on research by Rutgers University from 11 states, estimated that autism is present in 1.7 percent of the childhood population, or 1 in 59 children. New Jersey had the highest rate of the disorder among the states studied, at 1 in 34 – a 19 percent increase from a CDC study two years earlier.The rate of childhood autism in the state was also higher than the national rate, at 2.9 percent, or 29.3 diagnoses per 1,000 children.


Daily MailAutism rates spiked 15% last year, new CDC data reveal

Experts believe the spike may be the result of improvements in diagnostic methods, with more doctors testing for the condition, especially in black and Hispanic communities. The condition is also linked to children having older fathers and being born prematurely – both of which are increasingly common.

WebMD-More US Kids Being Diagnosed With Autism

But autism experts said better detection is not solely responsible for the continued increase in autism rates.

“We are seeing an increase, and I think it’s a meaningful increase,” said Thomas Frazier, chief science officer for Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization. “I don’t think this increase can be completely accounted for” by the closing of disparity gaps.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.