Autism is an illness that is affecting an increasing number of children daily. In 2000, it was estimated that one in 160 children was affected by autism or autistic tendencies. In 2012 that estimate went from one in 160 to one in 80 or less. In fact, it was believed at the start of 2013 that one in 40 children were affected with autism or autistic tendencies. Their have been belief systems that the reason that the number has increased drastically is due to the fact there are several medical and environmental issues affecting the numbers. For example, there are groups of people who believe vaccinations are causing the issue while others believe that environmental factors are causing the issue. Another group of individuals believed that autism is on the rise due to an overdiagnosis.
It is believed that when a child is brought into a doctor’s office and has symptoms that are similar to ADHD, ADD or hyperactivity disorders the immediate assumption is that they need to be put on some form of medication for these issues. However, if the child is also acting out, it is not developing mentally or physically at the rate that they should be for that age or if there is some other issue present then autism is the next step. Unfortunately, there are a group of medical professionals and a group of parents who believe that this diagnosis of autism is simply a label put on children when there is no other label or issued to attach. If there is no reason for the issues they are having and no medical reason to back it up that autism is the answer.
Unfortunately, this has led to a belief of overdiagnosis. This has been shown in several medical studies and in community studies where a child has been diagnosed with autism only to have the diagnosis later moved to asperger’s and then later moved to no issue at all. In other words, children are seemingly growing out of autistic tendencies after a certain amount of time or after medication has been prescribed for ADHD issues. The belief is that if the child is not growing out of autism or growing away from autistic tendencies but they never had autism to begin with.
Attached parenting movements suggest that the issue is the scheduling that physicians and the scientific community hold the children in their development. For example, if you look at the various scheduling formats it is shown that children by the age of five should develop a certain way. They should be a certain height, weight and have certain mechanical and physical tendencies by that age. If a child is not reached those particular levels by that age is believed that something is wrong. In fact, it may simply be that child may develop later in a natural format. In other words nothing is wrong they are just developing in their own pace at their own suggestion. These are natural factors that are being written off as an overdiagnosed answer that autism is the reason.
This is not to say that autism is not a real issue or a real disease. It is simply to say that there are schools of thought that autism is an overdiagnosis when there may be nothing wrong or there may be something mildly wrong.