Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Review of The Autism Autoimmunity Project’s “The Epidemic Continues”

(click on graph to increase its size)

In this post I reviewed the data sets for The Autism Autoimmunity Project (TAAP) (2005). Their Epidemiology section has been recently updated. It now includes data for the 2004-2005 School years. These data are based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1990) yearly reporting to the US Congress. These data can be accessed at

I have previously critiqued the use of the IDEA statistics when they are used as epidemiology (a purpose they are analogous to, but do not constitute) as explained elsewhere on this site

I have attached an updated graph with a heavy red line that shows the 6 year old cohort as they grow older. This upward trend within the age cohorts was noted by Laidler (2005). I also noted it informally in an undergraduate honors thesis early last summer.

In TAAP (2005) the authors present data that shows the trend of increase for the autism service category. It may seem moot to present a separate analysis, however there are several new things to note.

Thimerosal began to be fazed out in 1999 (Center for Disease Control, 2005). It still may be in some vaccinations whose expiration date has not yet arrived and in certain flu vaccinations. It is logical however, to conclude that overall, less thimerosal has been used since that time.

If we assume that overall, there has been less usage thimerosal in vaccines, we can predict that the age cohorts of children after year (2000) will be lower or equal in number of children receiving services compared to the immediately previous year. The overall pattern that would emerge would be a “wave” that slowly travels across the graph as the years go by. It is also logical to predict that this pattern would being to be seen by at least 2004 for the youngest age groups (ages 3 and 4).

This is not seen via the graph. The predictions have “flunked” so to speak. The IDEA autism rise is still going and will very likely continue until it reflects the prevalence rate of the epidemiology as predicted by Gernsbacher, Dawson, & Goldsmith (2005).


Gernsbacher MA, Dawson M, & Goldsmith HH. (2005).Three reasons not to believe in an autism epidemic.Current directions in psychological science, 14 (2), 55-58.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (1990). Public Law 101-476, U.S.C.

Laidler, J. (2005). US Department of Education data on "autism" are not reliable for tracking autism prevalence. Pediatrics, 116 (1), 120-124.

The Autism Autoimmunity Project.
Accessed November 26, 2005-11-28

The Center for Disease Control. July 14, 2005
Accessed November 26, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Do You Like Epidemiology and Dr. Fombonne

I based this on “Green Eggs and Ham”. This was also partly inspired based on a wonderful Green Eggs and Ham takeoff about IEP’s which can be found here and several other sites. It seems to be anonymous.

This is meant to be a facetious, but not mean spirited look the autism epidemiology

Do you like epidemiology and Dr. Fombonne

I do not like epidemiology and Dr. Fombonne
I simply do not like them John
You graph, you analyze
Assign scores and rate,
But all you get are correlates

Would you, could you, like the data you see?

I do not like the data I see
Not on tables 1 or 3
I just don’t care
What those shills all spray
There is an epidemic
The teachers say
And talk about all the autistics they see
Who the heck needs epidemiology

Would you read them in here or there

I would not read them here or there
I shall not read them anywhere
Not in Pediatrics
Not in JAMA
Not with a Laidler
Not with a Honda
Not with a Geier
Well……..Maybe with a Geier

I will not read them here or there
I shall not read them anywhere.

Would you, could you, read what the DDS see

I will not, will not! Read what the DDS see
No need; no time
I know all about the tsunami

Could you graph the data from I.D.E.A.
Then you may conclude what you may

No, there is no need, not a single one you see
The percent increases are near infinity
I have seen the data, there is lots
And I don’t care about post
Or prompter hocs

You do not like them
So you say
Graph them, Graph them, and you may
Graph them and you may I say.

John, If you will let me be
I will read them
You will see


I like epidemiology and Dr. Fombonne
Dang, I really actually like them John
And I will read them here and there
And I will chart them everywhere

And I will review tables 1 and 3
And critically look at what I see
And review different diagnostic lots
And learn about post and prompter hocs
And I have come to a new appreciation
Of all those standard deviations

I do so like them John
Thank you, epi studies and Dr. Fombonne