[Time will tell if this is the vanguard of turnaround in the geometric growth in incidence of autism that took place since 1980, best accounted for by the State of CA DDS]
According to information released today by the California Department of Developmental Services ([url="http://www.dds.ca.gov/autism"]www.dds.ca.gov/autism[/url]), the First Quarter of 2005 (1/4/05 to 4/4/05) produced the smallest number of new cases of professionally diagnosed DSM IV full syndrome autism of any first quarter reporting period since the year 2001. 736 new cases.
In California's 36 year old developmental services system, the DDS Quarterly Reports document changes in the caseloads of California's eligible developmental disabilities. The eligible disabilities are: Autism (which only includes the most severe cases of autism known as full syndrome autism and DOES NOT include any other autism spectrum disorder such as PDD, NOS, or Asperger's Syndrome), Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy, and Epilepsy. The Quarterly Reports do not include children between the ages of 0 to 3 years old. Children between 0 and 3 are placed in the Early Start Program and accounted for in that section of California's developmental services system. 82% of all new autism intakes first enter the system by age 6 years old, 90% are there by age 10, and 99% have entered by age 15.
California's autism epidemic now accounts for 57% of all the new intakes, and is the fastest growing disability in California's system.
At the beginning of 1988, some 17 short years ago, there were 2,778 cases of autism in California's developmental services system. Today there are 27,312.
Today, California is adding on average eight new children a day, seven days a week, with professionally diagnosed DSM IV full syndrome autism to it's system. 80%, or 8 out of 10, of all persons with autism in California's system are between the ages of 3 and 17 years old. The staggering tidal wave of young children is unique to the autism population and is not evident in any other eligible disability except autism.