I’ve found the Hidden Horde!

From today's Daily Telegraph

Liam Byrne, the health minister, said that 6,170 children under 16 had
been diagnosed in England last year, compared with 3,100 in 1997-98.
The number of cases including adults rose from 4,220 to 9,170 in the
same period.

So autism diagnoses for children have nearly doubled in 8 years from 3100 to 6170. Meanwhile adult diagnoses have nearly tripled in the same period from 1120 to 3000.

So have we got an epidemic of regressive autism in adults or have I found the hidden horde? 


I have been googling away trying to find the source of these figures with no luck so far. But Liam Byrne is a health minister in Tony Blair's government and the Telegraph is a respected national paper so I think the figures are reliable.


18 thoughts on “I’ve found the Hidden Horde!

  1. Thank you!!!

    I am laughing. No, I am giggling. 😀

    What do you bet all that adult regressive autism was caused by the thimerosal laden vaccines that they can’t use in California? Shipped to the UK, uhuh.

  2. On second thought, the article is unclear about something. It speaks of children who “have been diagnosed” in a period of time (probably apparent incidence) and of “number of cases” (probably apparent prevalence). So it would be great to find the original source of the data to interpret what this means exactly.

    The article also quotes Paul Shattock, of the autism resarch unit at Sunderland University, as saying “I still believe there has been an increase in the actual incidence of autism.” I wonder what he bases that belief on.

  3. Mike, I *am* the Hidden Horde :-). Actually I must be the curebies’ worst nightmare: I am one of Blaxill’s “geeks [who] got lucky” — married to a loving and (usually) patient non-autistic spouse — and together we have brought *another* autistic person, our son, into the world. And not only that — our daughter’s in the broader phenotype, too.

    — Phil, feeling whimsically megalomanic, and wishing he could remember the name of the great folksong he once heard about the obsessive housewife who swept every speck of dirt out of her house her whole life long… until she was buried in six feet of it. Sic transit Schafer, Blaxill, et alia. (In Lenny’s case, I heard he’s gonna cease publication once he no longer can divert any of Izak’s support funding into the enterprise…)

  4. Pingback: Autism Blog Web Design Blog: » A Few Questions For David Kirby

  5. You know what Mike? I read this in the Telegraph online yesterday and totally failed to make the connection. Thankfully you seem a bit more on the ball ;o)

    I’ll be asking David Kirby for his opinion.

  6. Mike

    The Acting headteacher of my son’s special school informed me at the Annual Review on Tuesday in front of my AS son , with a SALT report in front of him, ” there is a Question over your son’s AS diaognosis, i got mad, the HT then said ” most parent would be pleased to hear that there child’s AS diaognosis was being questioned”, i went mental at him, in the post today i have recieved a letter from the legal department for the LEA threatening me with court action and a ASBO for my agreesive behavoiur at my son’s AR meeting and the contents of the AR2 form, so it seems that maybe the lastest way to shut up Parents of AS children with AS is way if they voice their opinion just too much, you battle to get the diagnosis and then you accepted it, you son’s is aware of it to, but it does not stop professionals questioning it?

  7. Pam
    that is outrageous. I advise you to contact the National Autistic Society for support. Their Advocacy for Education Service seems the most appropriate.

    For non-british readers an ASBO is an anti-social behaviour order. They are designed to deal with persisitent anti-social acts that are difficult to prosecute in a court of law. But once an ASBO has been made, breach of the ASBO is a criminal offence. ASBOs are open to abuse in so far as non criminal behaviour can be made subject to an ASBO. Henceforward that behaviour will attract criminal penalities.

    So far in the UK there have been cases of ASBOs to forbid a person with Tourettes from swearing and to stop a person with AS from staring over his neighbour’s garden wall!
    Asbo Concern is a broadbased movement that monitors the use and abuse of ASBOs and campaigns against them.

  8. A recent review of trends in intellectual disability diagnosis in California revealed that as the ID diagnsis decelined the autism diagnosis soared. I am writign another book on Asperger syndorme and language, whihc is how I happened on the piece. If anyone is interested, i will email the reference.

  9. Hi John
    is that the paper by Croen, L. A., Grether, J. K., Hoogstrate, J., & Selvin, S. (2002). The changing prevalence of autism in California. Journal of Autism
    and Developmental Disorders, 32, 207–215.

    I do not have access to that but I do have copies of Blaxill et al’s commentary and Croen and Grether’s response.

  10. Hi there – I found the figures on the “They work for you” website – it’s a beta version – doesn’t alweays work well but will send email messages when certain words are spoken etc in parliament. There’s a screenshot of the stats on my Flick’r site and I’ve added the HTML to display it below … if your blog takes html …

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