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#1 of 157 Old 05-31-2016, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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California autism increase report

I linked an article discussing this a couple weeks ago but think it may have gotten lost and thought it was interesting enough to make a thread devoted to it. It looked at data of children between the ages of 3 - 22 years enrolled in special education programs in California and found that 99% of the increase in autism could be explained by a change in diagnosis. In other words, there was not any increase in the total number of children in special education during that 15 year period at all, just more children being diagnosed with autism.

Here is a link to the full report: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312273785...-Summit-Report



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To examine this phenomenon in depth, we gathered data from the evaluation of children ages 3-22 years of age in California schools over the most recent 15-year period, 2000-2015. This analysis provided a sample of 717,233 students in special education in 2015. Across all 15 years, we analyzed data representing more than ten million student eligibility designations (the total special education population in California over the15 year period).5


The number and rate of children with autism, ages 3-22 years, in California and in Orange County has increased six and eight fold, respectively, over the latest 15-year period (see Figure 1).

• While the rates of autism have increased dramatically over this time, the total number of kids in special education has not. In fact, the number of students in special education has increased less than the general population, .69 percent per year in special education compared to .96 percent per year in the general California population.

Surprisingly, the increase in autism rate has not resulted in more kids in special education.

• Nearly all of the increase in the number and rate of children with autism has been found to be the result of a shifting of categories, a migration from one eligibility group to another. This migration does not mean a specic child’s label has changed, but over time, children who would have been considered eligible for the category, specific learning disability, for example, were instead considered eligible for the autism category.

• Approximately 99 percent of the increase in autism can be statistically explained, R 2 =.987, by the resulting decrease in Specic Learning Disabilities (SLD) and the increase in Other Health Impaired (OHI2)
They explain:

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The dramatic increase in rate of autism in both California and Orange County can be almost completely explained by a decrease in another eligibility (diagnostic) category (see Figures 3 and 4). There is no new
signicant group of children being removed from the general education population and being added to special education as some reports suggest. Instead, it appears that kids who are receiving the diagnosis of autism today would have still been eligible for special education in earlier years, but within a different eligibility category, in this case, Specic Learning Disabilities. The category of OHI (ADHD2) has grown almost as much as has autism. This increase is also the result of the migration from the SLD category. We are calling this effect, Diagnostic Migration, which can account for almost all of the new cases of autism and ADHD. See Figures 5 and 6.

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#2 of 157 Old 05-31-2016, 01:55 PM
 
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Well, I guess that demonstrates that the entire problem WAS thimerosal. Once it was removed, no more increase in diagnoses, just shifting around of categories.

Thanks teacozy.

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#3 of 157 Old 05-31-2016, 05:44 PM
 
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Well, I guess that demonstrates that the entire problem WAS thimerosal. Once it was removed, no more increase in diagnoses, just shifting around of categories.

Thanks teacozy.
Can you explain how you came to that conclusion?
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4 points:

1. The study looked at kids from 2000 onward. In 2000, 1/250 kids were diagnosed as having autism. We had already seen a huge increase in autism - up from diagnosed rates of 1/5000 25 years earlier. This study does not account for that.

2. It doesn't really match up with what other recent studies say on diagnostic substituition.

3. I cannot cut and paste, but if you look at page 7, just before the graph, it notes that much of the diagnostic migration came from those with SLD - a label assigned to kids who do not have an intellectual disability, but who perform below expectations. Honestly, that sounds like a cakewalk compared to ASD. Looking just at IQ. all those with SLD have an average or above average IQ, while only about 60% of those with ASD have an average or above average IQ. Thus if the diagnostic migration is migrating from a milder condition, then, um, so what?

4. Lastly, and mostly importantly (IMHO) I know ASD was not around at this rate when I was 20, and no, I do not think they were all in institutions and I just did not notice them. Virtually everyone I know IRL and online who is over 40 tells the same story - ASD just did not exist at these rates in the past. I don't know anybody IRL who cannot name a person with ASD.
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#5 of 157 Old 05-31-2016, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dear_Rosemary View Post
Can you explain how you came to that conclusion?
I came to it the same way that "background rates" are used to explain away all diagnoses of illness following Gardasil. I just figure that spouting absurdities is an available option in these discussions.

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#6 of 157 Old 05-31-2016, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
4 points:

1. The study looked at kids from 2000 onward. In 2000, 1/250 kids were diagnosed as having autism. We had already seen a huge increase in autism - up from diagnosed rates of 1/5000 25 years earlier. This study does not account for that.

2. It doesn't really match up with what other recent studies say on diagnostic substituition.

3. I cannot cut and paste, but if you look at page 7, just before the graph, it notes that much of the diagnostic migration came from those with SLD - a label assigned to kids who do not have an intellectual disability, but who perform below expectations. Honestly, that sounds like a cakewalk compared to ASD. Looking just at IQ. all those with SLD have an average or above average IQ, while only about 60% of those with ASD have an average or above average IQ. Thus if the diagnostic migration is migrating from a milder condition, then, um, so what?

4. Lastly, and mostly importantly (IMHO) I know ASD was not around at this rate when I was 20, and no, I do not think they were all in institutions and I just did not notice them. Virtually everyone I know IRL and online who is over 40 tells the same story - ASD just did not exist at these rates in the past. I don't know anybody IRL who cannot name a person with ASD.
A series of excellent points.

I don't think there were enough beds in institutions at that point to hide hundreds of thousands of people with autism or anything else.
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#7 of 157 Old 05-31-2016, 06:51 PM
 
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"Diagnosis" is the reason we have more kids in special ed, i mean IEP classes.

Just like "sarcasm" is the reason my kid is recovered.
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#8 of 157 Old 06-01-2016, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
4 points:

1. The study looked at kids from 2000 onward. In 2000, 1/250 kids were diagnosed as having autism. We had already seen a huge increase in autism - up from diagnosed rates of 1/5000 25 years earlier. This study does not account for that.

2. It doesn't really match up with what other recent studies say on diagnostic substituition.

3. I cannot cut and paste, but if you look at page 7, just before the graph, it notes that much of the diagnostic migration came from those with SLD - a label assigned to kids who do not have an intellectual disability, but who perform below expectations. Honestly, that sounds like a cakewalk compared to ASD. Looking just at IQ. all those with SLD have an average or above average IQ, while only about 60% of those with ASD have an average or above average IQ. Thus if the diagnostic migration is migrating from a milder condition, then, um, so what?

4. Lastly, and mostly importantly (IMHO) I know ASD was not around at this rate when I was 20, and no, I do not think they were all in institutions and I just did not notice them. Virtually everyone I know IRL and online who is over 40 tells the same story - ASD just did not exist at these rates in the past. I don't know anybody IRL who cannot name a person with ASD.

1)

A) Yes, the study looked at children from 2000-2015. That was explained in the OP. Since people still insist that true autism cases have been "skyrocketing" in that time frame, this is still very relevant to the discussion.

B) According to the CDC, the overall average prevalence of autism in 2000 was 1 in 150 children. (Page 18) http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/doc...nityReport.pdf


2) Sure it does. Eg: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...d_Discovery_RA,

http://journals.cambridge.org/action...ne&aid=9495906,

3) Not really sure what your point is here. If 40% of children with autism had below average IQs, that would be 1 in 170 children using the current CDC numbers. That fits well within the range of what we saw as far as prevalence in 2000 according to my CDC link. Again, the whole point is that there is evidence that this recent "skyrocketing" of autism is because they are catching and diagnosing children with it who wouldn't have been before (children on the higher functioning end of the spectrum). This study looked at an enormous amount of data and found that there was not any increase in the actual number of children in special education at all. There was just a shift from one diagnosis to another. I'll also note that only 4 years into this study (which looked at 15 years of data), there was a change in who could qualify for a SLD diagnosis which actually widened the net. http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/art/ld.rti.discrep.htm

4) Sure, most people likely know someone with autism using the more broad criteria we use now. Those children would not have been diagnosed with autism in the 60s and 70s etc. Most people do not personally know someone with severe autism in my experience. Data I provided in the other thread all the way back from the 60s showed that roughly 1 in 200 something children were severely mentally disabled despite so many members here saying they never saw children disabled enough to wear diapers, head bang etc growing up. Clearly they existed regardless, which is why anecdotal recollections are not very helpful.

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#9 of 157 Old 06-01-2016, 11:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
1)



B) According to the CDC, the overall average prevalence of autism in 2000 was 1 in 150 children. (Page 18) http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/doc...nityReport.pdf


2) Sure it does. Eg: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...d_Discovery_RA,

http://journals.cambridge.org/action...ne&aid=9495906,

3) Not really sure what your point is here. If 40% of children with autism had below average IQs, that would be 1 in 170 children using the current CDC numbers. That fits well within the range of what we saw as far as prevalence in 2000 according to my CDC link. Again, the whole point is that there is evidence that this recent "skyrocketing" of autism is because they are catching and diagnosing children with it who wouldn't have been before (children on the higher functioning end of the spectrum). This study looked at an enormous amount of data and found that there was not any increase in the actual number of children in special education at all. There was just a shift from one diagnosis to another. I'll also note that only 4 years into this study (which looked at 15 years of data), there was a change in who could qualify for a SLD diagnosis which actually widened the net. http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/art/ld.rti.discrep.htm

l.
B) That just makes my point stronger. The study did not account for the jump from 1/5000 in the 1970's to 1/150 in 2000.

2) Those links are really weak. I do not have time to go into it now, but I encourage people to look at them themselves.

3) My point is that they only way you can explain away the high rates of ASD with diagnostic substitution is if both groups have similar features. Pro-vaxxers are very fond of saying "correlation is not causation" and the same applies here. Just because one group went down while another group went up does not mean the two are linked. They could very well be independent of each other.

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#10 of 157 Old 06-01-2016, 11:50 AM
 
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"Diagnosis" is the reason we have more kids in special ed, i mean IEP classes.

Just like "sarcasm" is the reason my kid is recovered.
What makes you think kids didn't need IEPs before there was such a thing? I wonder all the time how my life would have been different if there had been such a thing in the 1970s.
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B) That just makes my point stronger. The study did not account for the jump from 1/5000 in the 1970's to 1/150 in 2000.

2) Those links are really weak. I do not have time to go into it now, but I encourage people to look at them themselves.

3) My point is that they only way you can explain away the high rates of ASD with diagnostic substitution is if both groups have similar features. Pro-vaxxers are very fond of saying "correlation is not causation" and the same applies here. Just because one group went down while another group went up does not mean the two are linked. They could very well be independent of each other.
1) THIS study did not. I never claimed it did. Other studies have looked at this issue and found a change in diagnostic criteria to explain the majority of the increase. The DSM criteria has changed significantly over the years. Like this one for example,https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012...nalysis/15957/

2) The number of children in special education did not change. So, for the record, your theory is that the autism increase is real but at the same time, we've been curing children of learning disabilities the last 15 years in California? Fascinating! I suppose lurkers can decide for themselves how plausible they think that is

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1) THIS study did not. I never claimed it did. Other studies have looked at this issue and found a change in diagnostic criteria to explain the majority of the increase. The DSM criteria has changed significantly over the years. Like this one for example,https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012...nalysis/15957/

2) The number of children in special education did not change. So, for the record, your theory is that the autism increase is real but at the same time, we've been curing children of learning disabilities the last 15 years in California? Fascinating! I suppose lurkers can decide for themselves how plausible they think that is
I am not saying you did say this. I am saying a study that takes place after the exponential rise in ASD is of limited value in explaining the rise

I am saying that a decrease in A is not automatically the cause of a rise in B. You know this is true. ASD and many other LD are pretty darn fuzzy diagnosis - there is no blood work or scan that says yes, this is ASD. This means that people can manipulate statistics and try and rewrite history all they want to make it fit their thesis.

We are not going to agree. I am going to move on.

I would remind everyone that refusing to see a rise is ASD suits the purpose of companies that may be implicated in environmental causes, as well as the government, very, very well. Dismissal does an incredible disservice to parents.
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#13 of 157 Old 06-01-2016, 10:10 PM
 
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I am not saying you did say this. I am saying a study that takes place after the exponential rise in ASD is of limited value in explaining the rise

I am saying that a decrease in A is not automatically the cause of a rise in B. You know this is true. ASD and many other LD are pretty darn fuzzy diagnosis - there is no blood work or scan that says yes, this is ASD. This means that people can manipulate statistics and try and rewrite history all they want to make it fit their thesis.

We are not going to agree. I am going to move on.

I would remind everyone that refusing to see a rise is ASD suits the purpose of companies that may be implicated in environmental causes, as well as the government, very, very well. Dismissal does an incredible disservice to parents.
No shit.
So, here we go again. Wow. Back to MDC in the early 2000s...There is no rise in autism. Just the DX has changed. Jesus... Nothing to look at, keep moving...keep moving.

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B) That just makes my point stronger. The study did not account for the jump from 1/5000 in the 1970's to 1/150 in 2000.

2) Those links are really weak. I do not have time to go into it now, but I encourage people to look at them themselves.

3) My point is that they only way you can explain away the high rates of ASD with diagnostic substitution is if both groups have similar features. Pro-vaxxers are very fond of saying "correlation is not causation" and the same applies here. Just because one group went down while another group went up does not mean the two are linked. They could very well be independent of each other.
Agree.
Thompson pool is based on Special Ed data. So, that means the policies as to who gets a special education affect the pool, that is not an ideal representative sample. Maybe a large prospective study of a popluation based sample would be more clarifying.

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@kathymuggle

That is essentially what you are saying. Since the total percentage of children in special education has not gone up during this 15 year period, a true *increase* in autism would have to mean a true *decrease* in learning disabilities.

I think if we are comparing 1950/60 to now, there is likely some kind of true increase. The majority of the increase is due to better awareness/diagnosis (there are studies that have looked at this issue and agree. The DSM has also changed significantly since then), but increasing parental age very likely means we are truly seeing more autism. Similarly, the incidence of Down syndrome has also been climbing due to this phenomenon even though most Down syndrome pregnancies are terminated. Premature/low birth weight babies are also more likely to develop autism and those babies are going to be a lot more likely to survive today than they would have been in the 60s.

But do I think there has been a true more than doubling of autism in just 15 years? No, and that is what this study was looking at.

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What makes you think kids didn't need IEPs before there was such a thing? I wonder all the time how my life would have been different if there had been such a thing in the 1970s.
No doubt there were some children who may have needed better individualized services. However, perhaps it may also be the case that the principal of supply and demand is at play, which would indicate a true increase.
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This author (who totally dismisses any connection to vaccines) is convinced that there is a real increase and that it represents a huge problem now and an even huger problem in the future. http://www.sfautismsociety.org/blog/...-in-california

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We are facing a public health and social services crisis of epic proportions—and not because there is a hidden horde of autistic adults as Carey suggests, but rather because we have an unprecedented surge of severely incapacitated young people who will never be able to care for themselves. As the need for system-wide reform becomes increasingly urgent, whitewashing this dire reality with superficial but provocative attacks on our state's extremely important data is a sideshow we can ill afford.

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#18 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 09:45 AM
 
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That is a great article, Deborah. I hope those interested in the topic will read.
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From the article:

"The only important implication of the DDS autism data, Carey seems to insist, is not that that we should be worried about the upswing in autism, but rather that DDS and regional center staff have failed to include tens of thousands of adults with severe enough developmental disability-level autism to render them eligible for DDS services, thereby artificially skewing the population curve toward the young end of the population. Apparently we should start scouring of our state to locate a football stadium’s worth of dependent and disabled adults with severe autism … who don’t know they have severe autism … autism so bad it would render them developmentally disabled and eligible for DDS services… but were never noticed before … or something like that.

Okay, let’s go find those hidden severely affected adults! If they exist at the same rate as our kids, they must be everywhere. Except, of course, they aren’t. Our state has, for example, just 140 45 year-old DDS autism cases, but a whopping 3,196 15 year-old such cases. Did DDS really miss approximately 3,000 45 year-olds with DDS-level autism? Not to mention all the other adults of all ages? The idea is preposterous. No one who works in this system thinks there exists an appreciable number of severely affected adults with autism lurking in the shadows, hiding in basements or attics, or otherwise hidden from our system. These people would have been diagnosed with something in the developmental disability orbit, and likely would have been institutionalized. But at its peak in the 1960s California institutionalized just 16,000 people. We have 300,000 in the DDS system today. Where could those hidden people be?"

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#20 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 04:33 PM
 
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From the article:

"The only important implication of the DDS autism data, Carey seems to insist, is not that that we should be worried about the upswing in autism, but rather that DDS and regional center staff have failed to include tens of thousands of adults with severe enough developmental disability-level autism to render them eligible for DDS services, thereby artificially skewing the population curve toward the young end of the population. Apparently we should start scouring of our state to locate a football stadium’s worth of dependent and disabled adults with severe autism … who don’t know they have severe autism … autism so bad it would render them developmentally disabled and eligible for DDS services… but were never noticed before … or something like that.

Okay, let’s go find those hidden severely affected adults! If they exist at the same rate as our kids, they must be everywhere. Except, of course, they aren’t. Our state has, for example, just 140 45 year-old DDS autism cases, but a whopping 3,196 15 year-old such cases. Did DDS really miss approximately 3,000 45 year-olds with DDS-level autism? Not to mention all the other adults of all ages? The idea is preposterous. No one who works in this system thinks there exists an appreciable number of severely affected adults with autism lurking in the shadows, hiding in basements or attics, or otherwise hidden from our system. These people would have been diagnosed with something in the developmental disability orbit, and likely would have been institutionalized. But at its peak in the 1960s California institutionalized just 16,000 people. We have 300,000 in the DDS system today. Where could those hidden people be?"
Sounds like this author is deluded the same way you and I and a few other people on this forum are deluded. Despite being sincerely convinced that it is NOT vaccines.
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#21 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
From the article:

"The only important implication of the DDS autism data, Carey seems to insist, is not that that we should be worried about the upswing in autism, but rather that DDS and regional center staff have failed to include tens of thousands of adults with severe enough developmental disability-level autism to render them eligible for DDS services, thereby artificially skewing the population curve toward the young end of the population. Apparently we should start scouring of our state to locate a football stadium’s worth of dependent and disabled adults with severe autism … who don’t know they have severe autism … autism so bad it would render them developmentally disabled and eligible for DDS services… but were never noticed before … or something like that.

Okay, let’s go find those hidden severely affected adults! If they exist at the same rate as our kids, they must be everywhere. Except, of course, they aren’t. Our state has, for example, just 140 45 year-old DDS autism cases, but a whopping 3,196 15 year-old such cases. Did DDS really miss approximately 3,000 45 year-olds with DDS-level autism? Not to mention all the other adults of all ages? The idea is preposterous. No one who works in this system thinks there exists an appreciable number of severely affected adults with autism lurking in the shadows, hiding in basements or attics, or otherwise hidden from our system. These people would have been diagnosed with something in the developmental disability orbit, and likely would have been institutionalized. But at its peak in the 1960s California institutionalized just 16,000 people. We have 300,000 in the DDS system today. Where could those hidden people be?"
I saw this being discussed on facebook. According to this, the peak in California was 1959 when there were 37,500 people in mental institutions, more than double her number. That would have typically only been for the severely affected. The population has also more than doubled from about 16 million then to 40 million today. Additionally, there are 50,000 homeless people in California - at least 1/3 are known to suffer from mental health issues, according to studies. How many of those would qualify as having autism?

She points out that most of them would have been in institutions but fails to account for the fact that the conditions in those institutions were atrocious. The death rates were extremely high and people who died in those institutions are obviously not going to grow up into adults in the system today. Compounding this issue further is the fact that she is looking at data for 45-year-olds. Matt Carey wrote about a study recently that I discussed here that showed most adults with severe autism died before their 40th birthday.

She is failing to account for a lot of variables.

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#22 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 05:38 PM
 
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2016-45 (as in year old) we are talking about 1971 (data).

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#23 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 05:46 PM
 
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The non-existent autistic adults are already dead. Okay.

That certainly sorts it all out...
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#24 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 06:06 PM
 
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Additionally, there are 50,000 homeless people in California - at least 1/3 are known to suffer from mental health issues, according to studies. How many of those would qualify as having autism?

.
We are currently discussing those with severe autism, as those are the one who qualify for DDS. I think very few homeless have severe autism. Most people with severe autism are completely unable to care for themselves (they would not be able to find soup kitchens, would not know where to sleep, would wander into traffic). They would either be hit by a car or picked up by social workers/police fairly quickly.

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#25 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 06:43 PM
 
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I saw this being discussed on facebook. According to this, the peak in California was 1959 when there were 37,500 people in mental institutions, more than double her number. That would have typically only been for the severely affected. The population has also more than doubled from about 16 million then to 40 million today. .
I took a look at the article you posted It fails to cite where it got the figure from. To be fair, so does the article I cited.

It is also possible they are talking about two different things - your citation is clearly about mental institutions, while the article I cited might have been talking about intellectually disabled. I am not sure whether they were grouped together in institutions or not.

Either way, it does not hugely matter. Even assuming the higher figure of 37 500 and doubling the figure to account for population growth (so 80 000 for ease) it does not touch the 300 000 who qualify for DDS and would have been institutionalized if they existed in the past.

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#26 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are currently discussing those with severe autism, as those are the one who qualify for DDS. I think very few homeless have severe autism. Most people with severe autism are completely unable to care for themselves (they would not be able to find soup kitchens, would not know where to sleep, would wander into traffic). They would either be hit by a car or picked up by social workers/police fairly quickly.
Have you looked at the kinds of services DDS provide and eligibility? It does not look like it is just for people with severe enough autism/disabilities that they cannot care for themselves: http://www.dds.ca.gov/General/Eligibility.cfm

They talk about providing services to help people maintain independent, productive "normal" lives, helping people find housing, helping them with relationships with fellow students and employees in regular schools and workplaces, etc.

That certainly includes people competent enough to find a soup kitchen.

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#27 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 09:08 PM
 
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Have you looked at the kinds of services DDS provide and eligibility? It does not look like it is just for people with severe enough autism/disabilities that they cannot care for themselves: http://www.dds.ca.gov/General/Eligibility.cfm

They talk about providing services to help people maintain independent, productive "normal" lives, helping people find housing, helping them with relationships with fellow students and employees in regular schools and workplaces, etc.

That certainly includes people competent enough to find a soup kitchen.
We have gone from CA autism rates to soup kitchens. Such is this. ...........
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#28 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 11:09 PM
 
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We have gone from CA autism rates to soup kitchens. Such is this. ...........

Yes. Just a level of flippancy that is speaks to zero compassion for people with autistic loved ones.


I know someone with a child who has severe autism.
he will never be able to take care of himself, no walk, not talk, wears a diaper...and certainly would not be able to find a soup kitchen.

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#29 of 157 Old 06-04-2016, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, look... I am not the one who brought up soup kitchens. Kathy was suggesting that for a person to qualify for DDS services, they had to be so disabled that they could not care for themselves or find a soup kitchen. That is clearly not true.

In fact, just in LA county ALONE, this screening was able to find more than 1,000 homeless people who qualified for DDS help. https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v74n4/v74n4p45.html

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Last edited by teacozy; 06-04-2016 at 11:48 PM.
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#30 of 157 Old 06-05-2016, 06:08 AM
 
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Serious distortion of what kathy actually said. Also, serious distortion of the actual data.
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