According to today's Sydney Morning Herald, the number of students in NSW schools who have been diagnosed with autism is now 4 times what it was 8 years ago. (See link at the bottom of this post.)
Not only that, but rates of diagnosed depression and other mental illness among schoolchildren, according to the article, have almost doubled during the same time.
Mental illness aside, this staggering autism increase must surely be awakening questions in the minds of even the staunchest believer in the 'better diagnosis' myth. Could past medical practitioners really have been so ignorant a mere 8 years ago? Could diagnostic differences really have allowed them to miss 3 out of 4 cases?
Even now in Australia, the possibility that autism has environmental causes is rarely discussed in public, and seldom without massive controversy. The certainty with which people declare that autism is a predominantly genetic ailment, and that questioning environmental toxins like mercury (whether vaccinal or not) is wrong, is astonishing when so little else about autism is fully known.
The suggestion that earlier diagnostic methods failed on such a grand scale remains the most curious aspect of the authorised account. Think about it. In order to defend the present system, authorities are admitting that they have comprehensively failed autism as recently as 2003.
Surely if the medical system failed autism in the past, then the system is not infallible now. But instead of failing diagnostically, it may well be failing even more comprehensively at the level of investigation and research.
I wonder how long the 'better diagnosis' myth will last if the rates keep climbing? Will it still be clinging on when the autism rate hits one in two? Or will a majority have finally worked out what seems inescapable to me: that something causes autism?