Autism triples among children in California

February 8, 2011

The number of children with autism in California has tripled since 2002 according to new state education figures released in February. [California Watch]

More than 680,000 students – 11 percent of all California public school students – are enrolled in special education. The number of students diagnosed with autism climbed from 17,508 in 2002 to 59,690 in 2010, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health found.

Students with autism represented 8.8 percent of all special education enrollment last year, up from 2.6 percent in 2002. Other health impairments – defined by the state as “limited strength, vitality or alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems,” such as a heart condition, asthma, epilepsy or leukemia – are also on the rise, comprising 7.9 percent of disabilities among special education students.

At the same time, the number of special education students with a learning disability – the most common diagnosis – is falling. In 2002, 52.4 percent of students had a learning disability, compared to 42.3 percent in 2010.

Autism is the fastest-growing student disability in the country.



  1. Cindy says:

    There is no decline in special ed students,

    “More than 680,000 students – 11 percent of all California public school students – are enrolled in special education. ”

    Apparently they have experienced a decrease of students that are classified with general learning disorders but they have had a 200% increase of students entering the special ed programs with autism and they have also experienced an increase in sick children entering the program.

    I think they may be better diagnosing children these days rather than to tag all slow learns as having ADD, ADHD or some other learning disability.

    This increase in autism is very disturbing. It has to be coming from our environment and I for one do not buy into all the propaganda from the drug companies. The amount of inoculations that they are pushing on the public and young children is ridiculous and many of those agents are unnecessary in my opinion. I do agree about the chemicals in our food and the junk food diets.

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  2. willie says:

    Include EMR as a possible contribution

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    • thinkaboutit says:

      Good point. But unfortunately, like anything else, EMR is only as useful and accurate as the multiple people and number of agencies inputting the info and those who are informing the health care worker (or not). So far, the system is woefully lacking overall.

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  3. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Some things to consider:

    1. More than 80 physicians, surgeons, scientists and other experts go on record stating that there is no real science behind vaccination and it does more harm than good. Natural News 2011 Feb 1

    2. Our documentary on chemtrails What in the World Are They Spraying, was featured in a CBS Atlanta affiliate story. The station is requesting photos of chemtrails for proof of spraying. IntelHub 2011 Feb 3

    3. US: Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley, three of the largest organic-food brands, say they will not fight genetically-modified foods but, instead, will “co-exist” with them. They were told by the FDA that a complete ban was not an option, so they chose the best they could get, which is partial regulation of some crops. [Very courageous! By the way, the CEOs of two of these companies are personal friends of the head of USDA who is so close to Monsanto that he has traveled on its corporate jet on political campaigns. The author of this article says this is not a major scandal, just disappointing. Our view is that it is a major sell-out with the distinct odor of corruption.] FastCompany 2011 Feb 2

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  4. Typoqueen says:

    It seems like they could find the answer to this. I don’t believe that immunizations are the cause. Perhaps it’s all the processed junk we eat. Compared to what we ate growing up it’s incredible what’s in the food that kids eat today. Walk down the supermarket isle and read the ingredients, I can’t even pronounce half of the ingredients in most of the packaged foods. The seeds for the veggies that our kids eat are ALL distributed from Monsanto. Why is a chem company making veggie seeds? Veggies don’t have even half the nutrients in them that they had 40 years ago. Also, as a kid, most of us only had fast food as an occasional treat, it’s now a main weekly staple of most American school children. Mom and dad work so fast food and processed food are the main diets for todays children.

    Perhaps we have this issue now because the screening is more accurate so it gets diagnosed more. I really don’t know but I do question why there hasn’t been more studies to explain why. I discount the immunization issue as there has been a number of good studies that make sense and discount immunizations as a cause of autism.

    Regarding the the decline of special ed students, perhaps that’s due to a lack of funding so they’re cutting back on class sizes??

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