Newsmaker: The mysterious growth of autism
Published Monday, April 16, 2012 2:57PM EDT
MONTREAL - The rise of autism is widely considered an epidemic, as the frequency continues to rise. Just four years ago one in 110 children was diagnosed with the condition, and that has risen to 1 in 88, making it more common among children than cancer, AIDS and diabetes combined.
Some attribute the rise in better autism diagnosis but Nathalie Garcin, executive director of the Abe Gold Learning and Research Centre in Montreal, a non-profit organization that focuses on autism, doesn't believe that tells the whole story.
"Yes they're getting better at diagnosing autism, but that's not the only issue. We know that genetics are involved, many studies are going on and environment appears to be a factor. Maybe there are environmental factors triggering genetics," she told Paul Karwatsky.
Warren Greenstone of the Miriam Foundation said that the services offered to autistic children are lagging.
"Right now we know just on the Island of Montreal there are over 700 children waiting for a diagnosis and once that diagnosis has been given we know, as well, that the waiting list for public services could exceed two years. Based on research that's unacceptable, the provincial government needs to do more," he said.
Check out the full discussion by clicking the videoplayer to the right.