Not surprisingly, it's not entirely clear if this is simply because of better identification of kids who are autistic. I remember when my nephew was diagnosed with autism. Right before actually. He was pretty young, already walking, but I'm guess two or three at most. I could tell something wasn't right, I even remember telling my mom about it when we were all at my grandma's (the central hub of all family activity). I don't recall how soon after he was diagnosed. And this was easily thirty years ago.
"Doctors are getting better at diagnosing autism; communities are getting much better at [providing] services to children with autism, and CDC scientists are getting much better at tracking which kids in the communities we're studying have autism," Frieden says.In sort of related news, the NYT reports that Global Warming is not only lengthening the allergy season, but it's making pollen a more potent allergen. Hurray! And it may be why asthma is worsening too.
"How much of that increase is a result of better tracking and how much of it is a result of an actual increase, we still don't know. We know more about autism today than we have ever known," he says, "but there is still so much we don't know and wish that we knew."
Other studies, including a recent one at Harvard, have predicted that pollen will continue to increase with rising temperatures. And some scientists suspect a link to the global rise in asthma — a condition that can be triggered by pollen.I know my ashtma is the worst it's ever been this spring. Even my albuterol didn't really help the other day, and that's NEVER happened before (fortunately I don't get asthma "attacks," per se, just tightening in the chest (knock on wood)).
I wonder if it's not the food and the air quality going downhall that's part of the problem as well.