With the rise of Autism cases, a study was undertaken by researchers at UC Davis MIND Institute to determine the possible causes of this illness. They studied the local environment of the mothers in California, where the records show 10,000 autistic children among 2.4 million are born.
10 clusters were established in 8 regions. However, the findings showed a different result. While the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) records Autistic cases, it doesn’t search them out; instead it depends on those cases that are brought to its notice. Obviously, this is done by educated parents, particularly mothers. So while local environment does not play a major role in Autism clusters, it’s the higher education of mothers and their awareness that establishes ‘Autism clusters’. Researcher, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, PhD, MPH advises that moving away from these clusters was an inappropriate step.
Andy Shih, PhD, VP Of Scientific Affairs For The Advocacy Group Autism, feels that parents with better economic means and awareness are able to get their children tested at the right time thereby causing “increased Autism prevalence”. Genetics may have some hand in autism, but that is yet to be determined.
Denmark has carried out a national screening. However, the same may not be possible in US due to cost and privacy issues.