One line from the CDC Autism Prevalence report you will likely never see quoted

28 Apr

The CDC came out with an autism prevalence estimate a few days ago. There have been a number of news stories on the subject and the usual attempts by credulous websites to use this to claim that vaccines cause autism.

It’s right there at the top, in the interpretations section of the abstract:

Because the ADDM sites do not provide a representative sample of the entire United States, the combined prevalence estimates presented in this report cannot be generalized to all children aged 8 years in the United States

The Age of Autism blog (as noted already, always a good place to look for people getting it wrong on autism) ran a piece “Breaking News: 1 in 59 children Born in 2006 have Autism, 1 in 36 between the ages of 3 and 17. What’s going on?” Because, you know, claiming an epidemic is in their mission statement.

SafeMinds, another organization promoting the failed “vaccine-induced-epidemic” idea of autism wrote:

Baltimore, MD, April 26, 2018 – SafeMinds, along with other national autism advocacy organizations, sent a letter today to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials demanding a meeting within the next 30 days to discuss the creation of a Federal Autism Strategic Plan to address the nation’s autism crisis. The urgent letter follows the release of a report this afternoon by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC report found that autism is now diagnosed in one in every 59 American children, representing 2 ½ times more autism in 12 years and a 15 percent increase in just two years.

First, there is an Autism Strategic Plan. A member of SafeMinds helped craft it with HHS while she was on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. She voluntarily decided not to pursue another term on the IACC.

Second, your reason is that ” The CDC report found that autism is now diagnosed in one in every 59 American children”. The CDC told you explicitly in the first few paragraphs that can’t be said.

But I do appreciate that you are implying no epidemic among children. You clearly state that the rate is the same for all American children, not just the 8-year old children of the CDC study. Or did you miss that important point?

So, good luck with that letter. I’m sure your readership will not notice the problems with your logic, but HHS will.

There are more examples, but these make the point.

By Matt Carey

12 Responses to “One line from the CDC Autism Prevalence report you will likely never see quoted”

  1. doritmi April 29, 2018 at 00:45 #

    Good points. Adherents of these groups really should consider what it says that they are willing to make a claim they know is incorrect – the one about the strategic plan.

  2. crd April 29, 2018 at 01:03 #

    Matt, let’s translate your interpretation of the CDC’s report:

    “CDC reluctantly releases report indicating another frightening rise in autism diagnoses, then backhandedly declares its own statistics useless for any and all practical purposes.”

    Given the CDC’s reluctance to stand behind their own analysis—and their intentional and aggressive efforts to downplay, ignore, and otherwise obfuscate the still growing EPIDEMIC of autism cases, we can draw one of two logical conclusions. Either:

    1) The CDC is so hopelessly stupid and incompetent that they don’t recognize that this is the single greatest issue facing this country’s future health,


    2) They are engaged in a deliberate, top-down institutional cover-up to hide the fact that they have been complicit in a continuing rise in vaccine injuries that are devastating generations of children with autism and a host of related autoimmune disorders.

    There’s a special place in hell for all of you cowards who continue to defend these crimes against our children. Word to the wise: pack sunscreen.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) April 29, 2018 at 16:18 #

      Thank you for this. I predicted over a month ago that EXACTLY this sort of response would come to the CDC autism prevalence report.

      I do love the “here, let me quote you in a way that totally misrepresents what you said” approach. It’s old and common among you anti-vaccine activists. It’s dishonest and intended to provoke. I just laugh.

      I could write your arguments, and do a better job. That’s how much of a predictable mob you are.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) April 29, 2018 at 16:28 #

        The CDC has long made it clear that these numbers are valuable, but that they require some care and thought.

        In the past they have referred to the prevalence as the prevalence of “identified autism”. They can’t find what isn’t in records. If a school or a medical record doesn’t include statements that allow the researchers to determine the child is autistic, the child isn’t counted.

        Thus, the changes in prevalence will represent changes in awareness and diagnoses in the community.

        Actual advocates (of which you are not included) believe that autistics benefit from being provided autism specific supports. This won’t happen if they are not identified. So, it is critical that we understand how we are improving diagnosis rates, how states vary, and which groups (such as minorities) remain under-diagnosed.

        But you can have NONE of that. Nothing that challenges your BELIEF that vaccines cause autism. Nothing that impairs your ability to cause FEAR of vaccines.

        You can’t be bothered to actually help disabled children. Under-diagnosed communities, such as autistic children of color, can all remain undiagnosed and underserved so that you can continue your war on vaccines.

        You do NOTHING to help autistic children and, instead, are part of the problem.

        In short, you are disgusting. Ignorant, willfully ignorant (or just lying) and disgusting. You use disabled children as pawns in your fight against life-saving vaccines.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) April 29, 2018 at 16:34 #

      There’s a special place in hell for all of you cowards who continue to defend these crimes against our children. Word to the wise: pack sunscreen.

      Nice–the totally expected “righteous condemnation” conclusion. You wield the justice of God, and thus are holy in your efforts and hold the moral high ground.

      Your community clings to that. It must give you some solace. Some ability to ignore that you use disabled children as pawns in a war to undermine life-saving medicine.

      I guess being correct serves that role for me. Understandng the science and the facts fills the hole that you need to fill with some sort of religious excuse for your actions.

      Spend some time analyzing your actions and your facts. That would do better than hiding behind this gross self-congratulatory righteousness.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) April 29, 2018 at 16:37 #

        And don’t congratulate yourself that you angered me. First of, how disgusting is that? You troll the parent of a disabled child with the intent of angering him. Second, you invoke God to do so. Third, you do so in an effort to attack life-saving medicine. Your end goal is suffering and death.

        Keep in mind that I’ve been seeing “you” for well over a decade. The responses above are not new. They are the responses to the various incarnations of “you” I have seen over many years. Yes, I find you disgusting. But I write this dispassionately. You are a common garden slug. Except they server a purpose.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) April 29, 2018 at 17:13 #

        Also understand that I fully realize that you will take my comments and use them to ignore the substance of my statements. You will say “oh he called me a garden slug and disgusting” and tell everyone, including yourself, that you don’t have to listen to such rude people.

        It’s how you (as a group) operate.

        Someday, gather the courage to face the arguments put before you head on. Consider the facts. Because you are wrong. This is not a controversy, this is not an argument. This is one person (me) telling another (you) where you fail. Both factually and morally.

        I faced these questions and continue to face them. I have studied your arguments in depth. That is why I know they are wrong.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) April 30, 2018 at 21:45 #


        you posted some incredibly long comment. I glanced over it, saw it was nonsense. I’m not here to host your blog posts or to make it seem like there’s a debate on vaccines and autism.

        There isn’t.

    • doritmi April 29, 2018 at 16:39 #

      Responsible scientist warn readers of research limits. Responsible readers use the data with the limits in mind.

    • Delatrice April 29, 2018 at 18:22 #

      May God grant you the wisdom to repent from your attacks on parents and doctors. When you do, just ask and we will forgive you. Until then, I’ll pray for you.

    • Delatrice April 29, 2018 at 18:24 #

      May God grant you the wisdom to repent from your attacks on parents and doctors. When you do, just ask and we will forgive you. Until then, I’ll pray for you.

      Meanwhile, something to think about – isn’t it weird that the people you sneer at as cowards allow you to freely post your lies, while pro-disease blogs like Age of Autism boast that they censor comments to protect their delicate readers from uncomfortable facts?

    • Epi The Ren November 18, 2018 at 22:48 #

      Writing “epidemic” in all-caps doesn’t make it so. An increase in prevalence (the number of cases divided by the total population) doesn’t indicate an epidemic is underway. It only indicates that none of the cases are becoming non-cases, through recovery and immunity or through death.
      For us to label something an epidemic, we need to look at incidence (the number of new cases divided by the population at risk). Incidence numbers for autism have not increased a lick since CDC and others started keeping track. It’s still about 1.5% of all births. And, since autism is not curable, prevalence increases.

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