1 in 47 Utah children has autism, new estimates say

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  • DrAnnBlakeTracy Henderson, NV
    April 1, 2012 11:49 p.m.

    I have attempted to tell Utah for 20 years this was coming. No one wanted to hear it including your doctors. Now attorneys are filing suit for this as a birth defect in children born to mothers who took antidepressants.

    Autism is a condition of elevated serotonin levels. From the introduction of Prozac Utah has led the way in the use of these drugs that are designed to specifically increase serotonin. I recall a woman who called me in the mid 90's to ask if I thought her use of Prozac might be why she had three children in a row with Autism. I explained to her what I just told you & she said, "I knew it!"

    Now research shows a FOUR TIMES greater rate of Autism in the children of mothers who took antidepressants! Simple math: Utah's high rate of antidepressant use = Utah's high rate of Autism in the offspring. So if you took an antidepressant & have a child who is Autistic I would say it sounds like it is time to find a good attorney to let the antidepressant maker know how much you appreciate what your child is going through now!

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2012 2:55 p.m.

    Autism is rising. Insurance should cover. A sampling of 14 states only scratches the surface. Vaccinations have been attributed to many mysterious illnesses, such as the near eradication of polio, diphtheria, tetanus, small pox... and the list goes on. The D.N. article indicates that Autism may be attributable to a number of genetic factors combined with some possible environmental triggers. Has anyone suggested that Utah's higher rate of Autism may be impacted by a smaller and less diversified gene pool combined with a population concentration situated along the Wasatch Front, also home to industrial polluters which have impacted our ground water and air quality? Fortunately, the drinking water we enjoy does not come from valley wells. Unfortunately, we can't pipe in air from Park City (yet). Research will provide long term solutions. An emphasis on increased access to quality health care which includes Autism will address the spike that plagues our State, in the short term. Special Education is a blessing. But, which is better? Physical (mental) therapy or accident prevention?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    March 30, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    re. LDS Liberal. Are you just looking for something to complain about? Mom of 8 made some good, insightful comments from someone who is closely involved in the problem. Obviously, her child isn't as handicapped as others so the expenses aren't as great. I got no indication at all in her comment that she has an "Everything is A-OK, So long as I get MINE mentality." Are you sure that Mom of 8 is even a conservative? You see - this is what chaps me the most about liberals. They are so desparate to make a point they lose contact with reality.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 30, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    Mom of 8
    Hyrum, UT
    My 8-year-old has been diagnosed as a high-functioning autistic…His needs are readily met in special ed classes in school.

    And WHO pray-tell pays for that?!

    You see - This is what chaps me the most about conservatives.
    Everything is A-OK, So long as I get MINE….mentality.

  • Ace Farmington, UT
    March 30, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    Mom of 8 hits the nail on the head with her comment about autism being an umbrella term for a spectrum of disorders. And it's an umbrella that has grown larger over the years. Despite what the study above says about total "autism" diagnosis, other studies have shown that autism rates in this state are relatively on par with the remainder of the nation and unchanged over time when limited to individuals with severe functional impairment (i.e. the "classic" autistic individual we all imagine when we hear the term).

    Sometimes I fear that autism has merely become this decade's ADHD "fad" disorder, too often pinned on otherwise normal children who have behavioral problems or who are slower to develop socially. Doctors need to ratchet down the definition and diagnosis of autism in order to ensure that treatment resources go to those with genuine need.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 30, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    I wonder if Mom of 8 has her head in the sand The higher diagnosis is because Utahns pay closer attention to their kids? That's just plain wrong and an insult to parents around the country who do as good better of a job. I would argue that lots of kids in Utah are effectively neglected. And perhaps "The spectrum of disorders needs to be dismantled", but if everyone is on the same playing field, Utah still comes in number one and this begs the question as to why?

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    March 30, 2012 9:47 a.m.

    Another issue with autism is that it is a SPECTRUM of SEVERAL disorders. My 8-year-old has been diagnosed as a high-functioning autistic, with few of the problems the children described here have. His needs are readily met in special ed classes in school. We don't need insurance or other assistance like more severe cases do.

    The spectrum of disorders needs to be dismantled, and much more specific diagnoses rendered. Children with severe needs should be given a different designation which insurance companies should help; kids like mine should be given yet a different label since they don't require as much attention.

    There are likely dozens of disorders all under the autism umbrella, not all of them needing high specialized care. And until all of the disorders are pulled out of this jumbled tapestry, lots of kids who truly need help won't get it.

  • SOJO UTE South Jordan, UT
    March 30, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    Only three comments in we have a comment about vaccines. Fortunately this argument is irrelevant. Utah does not have the highest rate of vaccinations in the US by any stretch of the imagination, so that cannot explain it. In any case, real evidence (not uneducated celebrity advice and wild rumor) has shown there is no link to vaccines. So let's get off of that issue and put our research money towards finding what is actually causing this!

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    March 30, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    I suspect rates are higher in Utah simply because parents pay close attention to their children. Across the country diagnoses are increasing because we're more attuned to know what we're looking for.

    No, green jello doesn't cause autism; we're just in tune with our children's development. The amount of cases are the same across the country, we just happen to recognize the symptoms.

  • wilson-kelly Vale, OR
    March 30, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    Well, the national average now is 1 of 88 children with autism. It appears the rate could be better.
    Perhaps when it is 1 of 2 children with autism someone will start to ask why.
    Utah also has a very high vaccination rate. Some of my family in Utah, have been privy to the pressure put on parents to vaccinate.
    To be fair, it isn't just the vaccines related to autism, but it is a start.
    The research is out there, it can be found. Why does Japan have the lowest autistic rate in the industrialized world? Oh... the radiation??? No.....
    You might want to check out the Japanese and British Data/study under Child Health Safety.
    There are non so blind as those who will not see.
    We also have a child in the family who is autistic. We get it. There are resources available for help, holistically.
    I don't blame insurance companies not wanting to cover autism, especially in Utah. WOW! Parents could use the help! If the insurance does cover autism treatments, it would be only right to cover complimentary treatments also.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 30, 2012 7:41 a.m.

    Why does Utah have the highest rate in the nation? What is the cause?

    And: "Insurance won't pay for autism services and they don't qualify for Medicaid." Isn't it time to finally move to a national health care system like the rest of the industrial world? We are devolving into a third world nation, and deluded into thinking we are so much better than anyone else.

  • mulrich Columbia, SC
    March 30, 2012 4:31 a.m.

    1 in 25 is alarming and frightening.

    I would like to see a follow-up study comparing autism rates of LDS and non-LDS whites in Utah, and between Utah and non-Utah LDS. This would help identify if the disease is specific to the LDS community or specific to Utah.