Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

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Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby Hamletintaiwan » 13 Aug 2012, 13:29

I have noticed that in pretty every kindergarten here are at least a couple of children with autism.
I was told today, after having a discussing about one of my students who has autism, that the number of these cases has increased dramatically over the past years.
I learned the the place I work at has several such cases and that the reason for this increase is unknown.

Coincidently, I saw a reportage yesterday, reporting that there are mercury leakages in those new light-bulbs. One search at google recommended right away (mercury poisoning autism).
What do you think? How likely could it be that these new power saving light bulbs are responsible for the increase of autism here in Taiwan?
Could it be that when one of those light bulb ruptures, and the woman living in the place is within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, that this could be causing autism already?

We already started throwing out these bulbs month ago. As they fail, we are replacing them with LEDs. It's a bit expensive but I think they last longer anyway.
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby headhonchoII » 13 Aug 2012, 13:34

I don't think there has been any proven link between mercury and autism. Although anecdotally it does seem more prevalent, has a controlled study been done to take out the effect that autism is becoming more recognised in society?

As for the mercury lightbulbs, I blew up one about a year ago (wrong voltage), man I nearly crapped myself seeing that deadly cloud of gas wafting my way! How does things got approved as environmentally conscious products is a complete joke. Opened the windows and doors and stayed out of there for a while.
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby Hamletintaiwan » 13 Aug 2012, 13:57

headhonchoII wrote:I don't think there has been any proven link between mercury and autism. Although anecdotally it does seem more prevalent, has a controlled study been done to take out the effect that autism is becoming more recognised in society?


As far as I can tell, searching through the google results, you are right. But reading several different opinions on this suggests, that there isn't much funding for research, since the main culprit for mercury exposure are vaccinations, and not light bulbs. If this is the case, you can argue that there is a strong lobby behind preventing any founded research.
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby baberenglish » 13 Aug 2012, 14:20

per se per say parsley
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby Chris » 13 Aug 2012, 16:07

baberenglish wrote:There is no "increase" per say

per se.

Just thought I'd point it out.

OK, you may continue.
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby Tempo Gain » 28 Aug 2012, 23:33

Very interesting NYT article

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opini ... wanted=all

More recently, William Parker at Duke University has chimed in. He’s not, by training, an autism expert. But his work focuses on the immune system and its role in biology and disease, so he’s particularly qualified to point out the following: the immune system we consider normal is actually an evolutionary aberration.

Some years back, he began comparing wild sewer rats with clean lab rats. They were, in his words, “completely different organisms.” Wild rats tightly controlled inflammation. Not so the lab rats. Why? The wild rodents were rife with parasites. Parasites are famous for limiting inflammation.

Humans also evolved with plenty of parasites. Dr. Parker and many others think that we’re biologically dependent on the immune suppression provided by these hangers-on and that their removal has left us prone to inflammation. “We were willing to put up with hay fever, even some autoimmune disease,” he told me recently. “But autism? That’s it! You’ve got to stop this insanity.”
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby elburro » 04 Sep 2012, 21:52

I've noticed this as well. Have two friends with kids that are diagnosed autistic. The rate of autism in Taiwan is on the increase, but this is true in almost all of the developed world. And I think as awareness on the symptoms become more well known among the public, the number of cases will increase further.
Related article: http://topnews.us/content/237863-taiwan ... s-clutches

If mercury from vaccines or new lightbulbs were the cause I think we'd see a similar increase in all countries that are adapting these lightbulbs, but apparently the rate of autism changes widely from country to country. So I fail to see the correlation.
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby housecat » 05 Sep 2012, 08:06

When I first landed on the ROC, I never saw a case of autism, or one I'd suspect, anyway. But things have changed a lot now and in the last two years I was there I saw several, taught several, kids with autism. But there are many reasons for this apparent increase, IMO.

Firstly, I think that attitudes have changed a lot. Taiwanese people as a group are more educated, and more accepting of differently abled individuals. There are still a LOT of jerks out there, but attitudes really are getting better. My friends and I used to remark that you never saw a mentally or physically challenged person outside, but now this is common and there are even attempts at building adequate infrastructure for wheel chairs, canes, and service dogs.

Secondly, pertaining to Autism specifically, the diagnostic process has changed and it is not considered to be "a" disorder, but a spectrum of symptoms and severities. This means that more people are diagnosed as autistic in some way. This is good in places where an accurate diagnosis opens doors to better services, and unfortunate where it's simply a label that a person will be stuck with for the rest of his/her life. But this new spectrum diagnosis is being credited with a marked increase in autism cases all over the world.

Finally, I personally believe that our environment may be partly to blame for a real increase in instances of this disorder. An over controlled, over vaccinated, over modified food source, more chemicals in everything, pollution. It's not beyond me to believe that this has something to do with it.

In Taiwan, I feel like the practice of buxibans accepting autistic kids is very unfortunate. This is because these kids actually DO need trained teachers and care givers to thrive, but they can truly thrive if they have appropriate teachers and appropriate goals. The buxibans won't turn them away because money is money. Buxiban teachers usually aren't even trained in teaching, much less working with/teaching autistic children. It's always the kids, and their classmates who suffer because someone out there sees dollar signs when he looks at kids.
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby noamchomsky » 07 Sep 2012, 21:26

People having children later.

This post was recommended by tomthorne (08 Sep 2012, 00:25)
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Re: Taiwan's High Rate of Autism

Postby tomthorne » 08 Sep 2012, 00:25

noamchomsky wrote:People having children later.


Spot on. Weak sperm combined with better (over?) diagnosis. Every other explanation is paranoid hippy-dippy nonsense.
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