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Autism: the Increase in Autism Diagnoses

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Autism: The increase in Autism Diagnoses
Autism is one of a group of serious developmental problems called autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that appear in early childhood — usually before age 3. Though symptoms and severity vary, all autism disorders affect a child's ability to communicate and interact with others. Many researchers have believed that the continuous increase in autism cases over the last decade isn't real, but can be explained by "artifacts." Among these artifacts are the vaccines containing Thimerosal, a genetic problem, and the broadening of the diagnostic criteria for autism. One in 110 American children are considered to fall somewhere along the autism spectrum, according to the latest report released by the federal government (Park).
One train of thinking is that the increased numbers of mandatory vaccinations have exposed the children to an overdose of mercury that can have adverse effects on a child. The main reason why anyone talks about vaccines and autism is that some parents have noticed changes in children shortly after the children were vaccinated. Their kids seemed to be developing normally, then suddenly stopped interacting with people and lost language abilities, a condition called "regressive" autism. Most medical researchers argue that this is probably a coincidence: Autism symptoms tend to become apparent around the same time that children are scheduled to get routine vaccines. Although there are two separate issues concerning vaccines and autism, they're often lumped together. One has to do with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine; the other involves vaccines containing the chemical preservative thimerosal. Thimerosal is a controversial mercury compound used as a preservative in certain vaccines and other products since the 1930's. Given the widespread use of vaccines, state mandates requiring vaccination of children...

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